Five Things About Heather Norman Smith of “Grace & Lavender”

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Heather Norman Smith wrote heartwarming Grace & Lavender, her debut southern fiction which encourages fostering and adoption, a cause near to her heart. Here are Heather’s “five things”:

Heather Norman SmithAlong with writing, I love music. I’ve sung in church most of my life—as a soloist, with the choir, and with different groups—and I love music that honors God, especially the old hymns. And I enjoy writing songs. Also, I own the same alto saxophone that I first learned to play in the sixth grade, but now I only play it every once-in-a-while.

I’ve attended the same church since I was two years old. My father started pastoring there. He’s still the pastor and now my husband is the youth pastor. I’m thankful for a foundation of faith in my life and for a loving church family.

Throughout my teens and into early adulthood, I was obsessed with Gone With The Wind and collected lots of movie-related items. I read the book in eighth grade, then saw the movie for the first time when I was probably fifteen. My husband and I honeymooned in Atlanta back in 2006, where we visited the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum.

One of the greatest dreams of my life was fulfilled when I became a mother. I am blessed with two daughters and a son, and my husband and I hope to expand our family through foster care/adoption in the future.Heather Norman Smith

As a child I dreamed about traveling the world but, so far, I haven’t made it west of the Mississippi. I believe there’s still time for grand adventures down the road, but I’ve decided I’m content and that my home state of North Carolina is the best place in the world to be. I enjoy writing stories set in different parts of the state, to showcase the beauty of the region and its people.

Learn more about Heather Norman Smith and Grace & Lavender by visiting www.heathernormansmith.com.

Resolving to Make the Minutes Count by Sowing God’s Word

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The Sower

This picture, called The Sower,  has hung on the publisher’s office wall throughout Ambassador International’s 40-year history.  It is taken from the Parable of Jesus where the man sows the seed of Salvation and it falls on different types of soil. Dr. Lowry, Ambassador’s founder and publisher, has always felt that this is the calling and heart behind Ambassador: to sow God’s Word and reach the world through the books that are published. Derick Bingham says it best in his book North of Shadowlands, “The potent power of the seed of the Word of God is actually, when you muse on it, eternal in its influence. So, sow it, Christian, sow it. Don’t go through your day without scattering some of it in the corners only you can reach” (Pg. 41-42).

Dr. Lowry chose this excerpt from Minutes Matter because the focus of this book is on time and what we do with it. This book helps us see how important it is to use our time here on earth to bring glory to God. Let us muse on these words as we begin this new year:

“525,600 minutes in a year. 36,792,000 minutes if you are given 70 years, and 72,048,000 minutes if you’re blessed with 80! ‘The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.’ -Psalm 90:10
Could you imagine at the beginning of our lives if we had the opportunity to check how many minutes we were going to live?

26,280,000 – 50 years
31,536,000 – 60 years
36,792,000 – 70 years
42,048,000 – 80 years

May I ask who wouldn’t check the 42,048,000 minute box? I mean, would anyone check less? But when you look at it as minutes, don’t all these choices seem like so many?
We must remember, however, the more days we are given, the more we will have to be accountable for over time. We all know this fact to be true, that none of us are guaranteed another minute. So why not strive to make each minute matter and every beat of our heart count? I wholeheartedly believe that as we begin to be good stewards of our days, we will be able to accomplish so much for the Lord because we are honoring Him with one of the most precious gifts we’ve all been given, time. So where do we begin?
Our days are busy, and without a plan, we will collapse at the end of each day and ask, ‘What just hit me?’
Ever been there?
I’m going to open a window to myself so that you can get a little glimpse of how I’m wired. I’ve been an organized person for most of my life, at least as long as I can remember. Being disorganized can drive me crazy. I’ve learned to live by to-do lists, and when I check something off, it makes me feel really good!
I know, kind of weird, huh? But how many of you can relate? Actually, when I do something that wasn’t on my list, I’ll sometimes write it on my list so that I can receive the pleasure of checking if off my list.
Some of you are laughing and some are relating to this. There are many benefits of being an organized person by your very nature, but the danger of needing organization in your life at every turn is that it can be hard to relax.
That is why the smartest man who ever lived, Solomon, wrote this as well:

‘Do not be overly righteous, Nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself?
Do not be overly wicked, Nor be foolish: Why should you die before your time?
It is good that you grasp this, And also not remove your hand from the other;
For he who fears God will escape them all.’ Ecclesiastes 7:16-18

In another version, it says the man who ‘fears God will avoid all extremes’ (NIV).

Minutes Matter

We must keep a balance in our lives as we use our time wisely in all that we do. We must begin our days asking the Lord to help us in all areas of our lives. In the following chapters, we will look at some practical ways to stay healthy within our personal lives, our families, and our place of work, in worship, in serving, and in play. There are various areas of our lives that we will explore to make sure we are making our minutes matter in this crazy pace we try and keep called life.
In whatever we do, my prayer is that we make our lives count for something or someone.”

Excerpt taken from Minutes Matter: Making Every Beat Count by K. R. Mele, Chapter 1, Pg. 13-15. To learn more about Minutes Matter, visit HERE.

As we carry on in 2019, may we use our minutes in ways that matter!

Five Things about LeAnne Blackmore of “God’s Name is a Tower”

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author LeAnne Blackmore wrote the adorable “God’s Name is a Tower” which parents can use to teach their child about the gospel and who God is. Here are LeAnne’s Five Things:

 

God's Name is a TowerI grew up on an island in the Detroit River in Michigan. We could stand at the end our driveway and see Canada. When out-of-town guests would come to visit, a standard outing involved taking them over the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor, Canada, where we’d eat at McDonald’s. After eating our fancy fare, we’d head back to Michigan via the Windsor Tunnel—a route which takes you under the river.

My husband and I were both raised in strong Christian families. Each set of parents were married more than 60 years. My siblings and their spouses share a similar godly heritage. In fact, over 240 years of marriage are accounted for among all four sets of parents.

I’ve traveled to 24 different countries. Some trips were more missions oriented, while others were just for fun. I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite because each place exhibited its own charm, but the grandeur of the Swiss Alps literally brought me to tears.

I’m frequently stopped and told I have “epic” hair. While traveling in Brazil, people stopped me in the street to take their picture with me—because of my hair. I was like a rockstar! (An old one, but a rockstar nonetheless!)

I make great cookies—chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, oatmeal, sugar, peanut butter! I’m not much of a cook, but if you want some fantastic baked goods, I’m your girl. Truth be told, cookie dough is my favorite food.

 

LeAnne Blackmore

LeAnne’s whimsically-illustrated children’s book is now available for preorder!

Learn more about God’s Name is a Tower by visiting HERE and LeAnne by visiting www.leanneblackmore.com.

2019 Reading Challenge

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Do you love to read but have a hard time figuring out what book to read next? Don’t worry, we’re a publishing house and sometimes we do, too!

Ambassador International has teamed up with our authors to put together this 2019 Reading Challenge List. When looking for a book, use this list to find your next one. We’ve based this list on reading one book a month, but have thrown in a few extras for those who have more time to read!

Get ready . . .

Get set . . .

Go!

2019 Reading Challenge

And let us know in the comments below which book(s) you picked!

 

Happy New Year and Our Special Gift to You

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With some personnel changes, new exciting industry partnerships, and updated in-house production systems, 2018 has been a super exciting year for Ambassador, and we thank you for being a part of this incredible year.

We wouldn’t be where we are without your support. In gratitude, please enjoy a $5 discount on our retail store using code 2018ROCKED.

Shop now – code expires on January 10th!

See you in 2019!
The Team at Ambassador

Ambassador welcomes new Publicity Director

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Ambassador International is thrilled to welcome Elizabeth “Liz” Ann Burgdorf as our new publicity director.

Liz graduated in 2005 from the University of Southern Indiana with a bachelors in broadcast journalism. Liz enjoys photography and reading in her spare time. She became a foster parent two years ago and has been married to her husband Eric for 13 years. They currently reside in Greer, South Carolina, with their two boys, a dog, and a cat.

Liz can be reached at [email protected]

New Binge-Worthy Series for Middle Graders Available Just in Time for Christmas!

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Recognizing a lack of available Christian middle grade fiction, Bertha Schwartz endeavored to fill that void with her new series, available on December 1, 2018. In The Searchers series (Daisy’s Search for Freedom, Kelly’s Search for Family, Sarah’s Search for Treasure) Schwartz has written three historical adventure novels that follow the lives of three different girls as they seek freedom, family, and treasure, and discover the voice of God directing their paths.

The Searchers

In Daisy’s Search for Freedom, Schwartz carefully spins the tale of a slave girl who is searching for the Underground Railroad with nothing but her faith in God to lead her. Author Katie Cruice Smith says, “The first book in The Searchers series does an excellent job of making history come alive through the eyes of someone my own child’s age. Schwartz does not shy away from uncomfortable topics but does an excellent job at depicting history in a way that is age-appropriate and faith-based. This series is a great way to ignite a love for history in our children while showing them how God has always been and will always be at work in our lives.”

Kelly’s Search for Family follows the life of Kelly as her papa goes missing and she is left to tend to the lighthouse—her papa’s job. This second book of the series will keep young readers turning pages to find out what happens next to Kelly in the aftermath of the Civil War and slavery.

Sarah’s Search for Treasure is a heartwarming and adventurous tale following spunky Sarah as her father goes in search of gold in the Californian gold rush. Young readers will be entertained by the resilience of Sarah and her whole family as they learn to fend for themselves in a new and changing world.

Each book in The Searchers series is a standalone and contains thought-provoking discussion questions to spark conversations with young readers and their peers, teachers, parents, guardians, etc.

The Searchers series is available December 1 where books are sold.

New Book Magazine Launching: Ambassador Sponsoring 1-Year Subscription

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Hope by the Book is a new magazine for readers by readers.

The Hope by the Book mission statement is:

We love books. We live books.
In fact, to us, books and lifestyle are interchangeable.

Books inspire us to change our lives, to refine our souls, to stretch our imaginations, and to deepen our faith.

We are avid readers and book ambassadors, and we invite you to join us as we find Hope by the book.

Hope by the Book magazine

 

You can learn more about Hope by the Book HERE.

 

Ambassador International is so excited about this new magazine launching in November…because we love books, too!! And to celebrate, we want to award one lucky winner with a one-year subscription! Entry details below. If you don’t win and want to subscribe, use the code “BOOKISH” for a discount off your subscription!

Win 1-Year Subscription to “Hope by the Book”!

Terms and Conditions:
Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

The winner will receive one-year only subscription to “Hope by the Book” magazine. The winner will be announced on Ambassador International’s Facebook page on November 1, 2018, between 12:01am and 11:59 pm, and will have 24 hours to claim, or they forfeit the prize. No purchase required.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.