Rebuilding After Hurricane Ian

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Like so many, over the past few days, we have been keeping a steady eye on the unfolding events of Hurricane Ian.

Florida holds a special place in my heart, as it was my first home in the United States, and in the hearts of some of our staff members as a place where they have taken many family vacations over the years. To see the destruction that has been caused (and is still being caused) is truly heartbreaking.

We are seeing bridges collapse, flooding of homes, many with no home to return to, continued power outages, and no internet or phone service in many parts of Florida. Some areas in Florida have seen flooding of up to 10 feet high. Cars are underwater, boats have been run aground or sunk, and planes have been destroyed all by one storm.

Hurricane Ian hit the western coast of Florida on Wednesday as a category 4 hurricane with maximum, sustained winds at 155 mph. Places such as Clearwater, Tampa, Sarasota, and Fort Myers Beach have experienced some extreme weather. They are now predicting Ian to hit the South Carolina coast as well.

Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said that the “amount of water that’s been rising and will likely continue to rise today, even as the storm is passing, is basically a 500-year flood event.” Damage reports and rescue attempts continue on in the wake of such devastation.

A Florida Author Chimes In

And yet, even in such dire circumstances, we are not without hope.

Sara Jewell (one of our authors who lives in the Florida area) after checking in, pointed us to the song Eye of the Storm by Ryan Stevenson which says
in the chorus, “In the eye of the storm, You remain in control. In the middle of the war, You guard my soul.
You alone are the anchor when my sails are torn. Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm.” These
words can bring us comfort and peace. Jesus did not promise that we would never go through trials or hardships in life, but He did promise that when we do, He will be right there beside us.

If you would like to support Sara as her community (Naples, FL) rebuilds, please consider purchasing a copy of her book for yourself or a loved one, especially as her in-person opportunities are now limited.

 

For the Children

So, what now? What do we do in the wake of such damage and devastation?

 

Children’s author Tina Hebert shows how a community can rebuild and come together after a storm in her book Rebuilding the Cajun Way. Many children who have experienced a natural disaster are left in a state of misunderstanding and confusion.

Rebuilding the Cajun Way offers an opportunity for children to be enlightened and taught how important it is to keep a positive outlook in the midst of the struggle.

Although the setting is in Louisiana, this book is for any child who has experienced a natural disaster.

The story follows three little Cajun animals as they plan and host a party for their friends that will have all of their favorite food and music. Their plan takes a devastating turn when a storm comes along, and they are forced to deal with the circumstances. They face many struggles, are forced to adopt new attitudes and
outlooks, and are able to experience many victories by the positive choices they make.

Below is a brief expert from the story.

When they awakened the next morning, a mess was what they found! Branches, logs, and neighbors’ things
had floated all around. They sought shelter for those in need and helped as many as they could… cooking… cleaning… even Jacques did all that he could!

Together they rebuilt, and things were even better than before. They learned more about one another and valued each other more.

 

Truth in the Tempest

We certainly hope and pray that these words ring true to all of those affected by Hurricane Ian– that each community is made stronger than ever before.

After devastation such as this, we are familiar with the tempest and all of the trials and
hardships that it brings and carries along with it, but do we also know the One who calms the storm?

Faythelma Bechtel focuses on how we can find truth and comfort, even in the midst of the storm, in her devotional Finding Truth in the Tempest. We may be asking “why?” or simply struggling when life doesn’t make sense, but even in these moments, God’s Word is always sufficient to answer our questions.

There is no sequence or special order for trials and afflictions in life. Challenges may slip in through the open window or crash in through the roof when you least expect them. While you are focusing mostly on hard things in life, never forget to search for and acknowledge the blessings God sends along with His
teaching, training, and stretching exercises. God’s goal is to conform [us] into His image that we might live for the praise of His glory.

Why the tempest? There are many reasons for a tempest to arise. When my will clashes with God’s will, it is like the hot and cold air colliding and creating a storm. At other times, there seems to be no possible reason for the tempest other than a lesson of trusting in the Lord. But always, there is some lovely gem to be extracted from every tempest.

A tempest has many ways of building character and developing Christian graces. But we humans do not like the tempest. A tempest brings fear, insecurity, dismay, and disappointment. The disciplines of the Christian life are often difficult, and I prefer to have problems that work out easily, painlessly, and quickly. But I must remember, God is more concerned about my character than my comfort.”

Whenever you feel confused, hopeless, irritated, or like the battle is lost, be assured that your focus is on the battle and your inability to handle it, on the pain, and on the temporal present. It is a must that you refocus! Focus on God, His power and love, and the eternal future. Refocus by reading and digesting the truths of His character. Get a fresh view of who God is and move ahead in faith.

 

Verses for Rebuilding

As many seek to move ahead and rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Ian, I pray that God will grant strength to those who are weak, that He would give peace to those who are troubled, and that He will provide for those who have experienced loss, that He would comfort those who mourn, that He would bring healing to those who are hurting and broken, and that He would give hope to those who are feeling hopeless, overwhelmed, or defeated. May we all continue to show love to those around us and do what we can to help those who have
been affected by this storm.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. – PSALM 46:1-2

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. – PSALM 91:2

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. – ISAIAH 43:2

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But
take heart! I have overcome the world. – JOHN 16:33

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – JOSHUA 1:9

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. – 2 THESSALONIANS 3:16

 

Browse Ambassador International Books

As a Christian publishing house, we are once again reminded of our mission to encourage and point all to Christ through our books.

We would be honored and encouraged if you would browse our books or the purpose of encouraging your heart, another’s, or perhaps supporting an author who is suffering the impacts of Ian.

With eyes fixed on him,

Samuel Lowry, Publisher, Ambassador International

5 Things About Author Rev. Desiré P. Grogan

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Rev. Desiré P. Grogan has written a  verse-by-verse commentary on the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation titled  “Revelations from the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Chapters 1-3: A Commentary for the Believer in the Pew.”

Rev. Desiré P. Grogan is a vibrant and anointed member of the ordained clergy at the historic Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. In 1992, Rev. Grogan became the first woman to be ordained by the Shiloh congregation, through the American Baptist Churches USA, since the Church’s inception in 1863. Rev. Grogan is a native Washingtonian who received her formal Author of Revelations from the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Chapters 1-3: A Commentary for the Believer in the Peweducation from the D.C. Public Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree from the Boston University School of Fine Arts, a Master of Library Science (M.L.S.) degree from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Library and Information Science, a Master of Divinity (M. Div.) degree from the Howard University School of Divinity, and a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Semitics (Hebrew, Aramaic, Ugaritic and Akkadian languages) from The Catholic University of America. Rev. Grogan serves within the Shiloh congregation and across denominational lines as preacher, teacher, and retreat facilitator. She believes her main qualification for writing Revelations from The Revelation of Jesus Christ is derived from the practical experience of having taught The Revelation in the Church setting with great success to believers who were not seminary-trained. She is a firm believer that scholarship should serve the pew, not laud it over the pew! In addition to her ministerial duties and to a diverse and lengthy career in the fields of library science and digital technology. Rev. Grogan serves with much passion and joy as Board member and Scholarship Chair of the Mamie Stanley Ash Memorial Scholarship Fund, so named for her maternal Grandmother who only achieved a third-grade education and from which a growing number of students continue to earn its scholarship to attend distinguished institutions of higher education.

 

Here are Rev. Desiré’s “five things”:

  1. Rev. Desiré has journeyed to the Holy Land and Rome on pilgrimage with her home church, Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, D.C.
  2. Rev. Desiré is passionate about teaching Scripture and helping others to discover new layers of meaning in the Biblical text.
  3. Rev. Desiré has a love of animals and a tangible commitment to organizations and agencies that advocate for their care and preservation.
  4. Rev. Desiré has a tangible compassion for the homeless as the “Lazarus” to whom we are accountable (Luke 16:19-31).
  5. Rev. Desiré delights in preparing and eating shrimp in a variety of ways.

* * *

For the believer in the pew, the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ needs no other introduction than that it is the most avoided Book of Scripture that few feel capable of navigating and understanding on their own. The dense amount of imagery and the horrific scenes of judgment are mind-boggling and remain a mystery for many. The purpose of this volume is to empower you – the believer in the pew – with the most accessible tool to navigate and understand this last Book of Scripture, and that tool is the Bible itself, the Bible in your hand! You see, the God Who is speaking and acting in this last Book of Scripture has been speaking and acting throughout the Biblical text (cf. Heb 1:1-2). It is God’s intent, therefore, that you understand this last Book of Scripture just as He intended for you to understand all Scripture! The Revelations in this last Book were not hidden from you but for you to discover through diligent study! Let this volume be your entrance into the awe-inspiring zone of discovering and re-discovering the majesty and the consistency of the only God Who is worthy to be trusted and obeyed, worshipped and adored!

Learn more HERE.

5 Things About Author Beth Grisham

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Beth Grisham compiled  inspirational true life stories in  “Seeds of Perspective: Planting Hope and Healing In The Baggage Of Life.”

Beth Grisham is a wife, mother, and non-profit ministry leader.  Beth graduated from the University of North Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. However, she believes her greatest education came through her role as mother to her six children, now thirteen to twenty-five years old.  After working at home for 17 years Beth became the Executive Director of a non-profit crisis pregnancy center.   She prayed to receive Christ at age eighteen, but it wasn’t until age twenty-six with the loss of her third child that Beth developed a personal relationship with Christ and fell in love with studying His Word.

Her loss was the beginning of a whole new way of life and a totally different perspective regarding things of importance in this world.  It has been said that your greatest ministry will come from your greatest pain, and that has certainly proven itself true in Beth’s life.  She considers motherhood and the raising up of a next generation of Christ followers to be her greatest blessing and her greatest opportunity to make a Kingdom impact on the world.

Here are Beth’s “five things”:

  1. The miscarriage of her third child opened Beth’s eyes to the horrible realities of abortion.
  2. Beth has a desire to become involved in international missions so that she can help women in other countries find ways to support and care for their families.
  3. Beth helped to start a coffee roasting business as a means of raising funds for the non-profit that she oversees, with an even greater goal of seeing that business grow to support centers just like theirs across the U.S. She firmly believes that when we are blessed it is so that we can bless others in return.
  4. Beth and her husband of twenty-eight years have five daughters and one son.
  5. God uses nature to inspire many of His lessons for Beth. She especially loves birds, trees, and butterflies.

Seeds of Perspective by Beth GrishamWhat if your greatest downfall could be redeemed to become your greatest calling? In Beth’s new book Seeds of Perspective: Planting Hope and Healing In The Baggage Of Life, gain a new perspective about old baggage that has kept you from experiencing freedom in Christ and from pursuing the purpose God has for your life.  Let the experiences of others remind you that you are not alone, and that God can use all things for your good and His glory. Learn more HERE.

September is National Literacy Month!

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It’s National Literacy Month and as a publishing house…we have a lot of books!

First – a book releasing November 1, 2022.

The Year of the Bear by Douglas J. Lanzo is a coming-of-age story for the middle-grade readers in your life.

Thirteen-year-old Jason is on the cusp of manhood, striving to find his place at school and at home-especially after his mother has abandoned them and his father is left to deal with his own anger. When Jason and his father encounter a bear while out hunting, they shoot and kill it, not realizing that they have left a cub without its mother. When Sasquot of the Penobscot Tribe, a part of the Bear Family, discovers what they have done, he decides that Jason needs a lesson in caring for God’s creatures. Thus begins a year that Jason will never forget as he begins to care and train the cub in order for it to survive. As Jason forms a bond with the bear, he, in turn, learns valuable lessons for life.

Pre Order your copy today

Next, a gorgeously illustrated book for pre-readers about just how much God loves them!

Guess How Much God Loves You is the story of seven-year-old Lucy Lu, a colorful, creatively curious first-grader, who is starting to have serious questions about God.

  • How old is He?
  • Does He sleep?
  • What does He do all day?
  • And the biggest one of all—does God love me?

After one particularly hard day of being bullied by her classmates at school, Lucy feels like she doesn’t matter. She sits with Papa Joe, who has promised to answer her questions about God, launching them onto a journey to discover God’s never-changing, never-failing, never-ending love. What follows is a wild adventure through the Bible, where Lucy and her papa find themselves in the middle of each page of the exciting story of God’s love and faithfulness for all people throughout all of history.

We ADORE this beautifully illustrated book and highly recommend it for young children!

How far would you go to protect the ones you love?

The Withering begins after the apocalyptic “Days To Come” have come and gone, four orphans who have nothing left but each other set out across the desert in search of a sorcerer, in hopes of finding a way off of their dying world. What they find sparks disagreement about what to believe and who to trust. The unsettling answers they uncover will force each of them to face ghosts from their past as they come to grips with their own purpose, faith, and identity. We recommend this book for sci-fi lovers, as well as tweens and teens looking for an engaging story in another world – without the garbage!

Searching for books for homeschooling, additional education, or just books that make any reader LOVE reading again? We have books for every age and stage!

Want more book content when scrolling on your phone? Our Instagram has you covered. Plus, we run fun giveaways!

 

We’re Looking for Book Reviewers! Need FREE Books?

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Interested in reading FREE books that you don’t have to return to the library?

  • Want to contribute to the realm of Christian literature and publishing?
  • Have a social media or literary platform?
  • Did you love English class in high school or college?

We want to partner with YOU!

Send us an email at media@emeraldhouse to apply!

Written a book review or two for one of our books and forgotten to submit it? Never fear! The link is right HERE!!

Let’s fill the world with clean, great, and inspiring Christian books for all to read. There’s never a better time to start than now!

Author Forum: How Do You Manage Your Writing Schedule?

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This is the third of a multi-part series by guest blogger Ivy Cheng tapping into the expertise of several seasoned Ambassador authors. The first post offered tips on dealing with writer’s block. The second post covered the influence other writers can have on your work.

As a college student, I know all too well the struggles of time management. Juggling an internship, part-time job, classes, and still trying to find time to see friends seems like an impossible task. I cannot even imagine trying to find the time to write a full length book, when I am struggling to write all  my class papers! Our authors must have schedules that are just as intense, if not even more! Not all of our authors are full time writers. Many of them hold other occupations, such as teachers and parents. Therefore, we ask some of our authors their methods of fitting in writing in their busy lives.

Juana M9781620202913-e1414700233650ikels – Author of Choosing Him All Over Again 

I wrote over half of my book, possibly more, while our household was asleep. I would begin at 10:00 pm and end somewhere around 2:00 am. The time passed as if it were just minutes. I had to make myself go to bed so I could still do my responsibilities with my family of six.  Once the book was written (took about a year and a half), I edited it primarily in the daytime a couple hours at the time. To do that, I had to turn off email and my phone to “carve out the time.” I had to say no to speaking opportunities (I didn’t get that many, but I couldn’t lead a Bible study or even a small group as a facilitator!) I had to keep carving out the time to edit, which took months. I like to think that I pulled it off without my family even noticing what I was doing by doing it at night and editing it in chunks of one hour here and two hours there—but I hate to tell you that they were rather tired of hearing about my “finishing the book” in the end!

 

From Driftwood to SapphireKathy Howard – Author of From Dishes to Snow and From Driftwood to Sapphire

Writing is not full-time for me, not yet anyway. If the Lord is willing, I would love to make it my full-time job eventually.  For now, though, I fill my days homeschooling my children and writing in between. From Dishes to Snow was written mainly at night, after the kids went to bed. However, its sequel, From Driftwood to Sapphire was written like a full time job, during the days, barricaded in my room for over a month as my family patiently endured a messy house. That was probably easier to do as a writer, but harder to do as a mother. Now that we are on summer break, I hope to find a happy medium as I put the finishing touches on a third novel.

 

Grace in the MiddleWendy Duke – Author of Grace in the Middle

I work in spurts. During the summer, I am mostly home with my kids, so writing time is scarce, but I want them to see me working hard, so I try to get up earlier than they do and write in the mornings. When they’re in school, my job working in sports ministry is flexible, so I usually take a day a week and spend all day writing / editing.

 

 

An9781620202692-197x306drea Rodgers –Author of The 20th Christmas

I’m a stay at home mom to two children, which means I never had a break until my son started school! My daughter is in pre-school two days a week so, during the school year, those are the days I write. Thankfully, my husband is also supportive, so when I’ve been on deadline he will take the children away from the house in the evenings to do fun activities with them while I write.

 

 

How do you manage your busy schedule? Go and comment on our Facebook page and tell us all about it!

 

Choosing LIFE: Cathy Harris

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Cathy Harris wrote the amazing living testimony  “Created to Live.” Here are Cathy’s “five things”:

I love watching childbirth. Ever since I had my first daughter naturally 7 years ago, I have been in awe of the childbirth process. I love learning about natural childbirth as well as teaching it. I have been a childbirth educator for the past 6 ½ years. As much as I love teaching, nothing compares to attending and being part of a birth. I love watching mothers become strong empowered women. I love watching fathers comfort and coach their wives in gentleness and confidence. I love watching babies be born wide opened and ready to take in the world. About a year ago, I had a chance to catch a baby for a couple having a homebirth. Due to a very fast birth, 9781620205716the midwife was not able to make it to their home in time for the birth. I was forced and delighted to jump in as the acting midwife to catch their squishy and cute baby boy. A process that might be scary or even gross to many people, is fascinating to me. When my kids get older and leave the house, I might just attend births just for fun.

 

I homeschool my kids. Homeschooling started out as something I was terrified to do. Now it is a delight and privilege. Of course, it is also a huge challenge. There are days I think about putting my kids on the school bus, but our incredible homeschool community helps me work through the hard days. We are a part of a community called Classical Conversations. We actually “go to school” every Friday together. Each of my kids have their own class and teacher. I have been blessed (or perhaps I am the only crazy one in the bunch) to teach the 4 and 5 years olds. Much of my time on Fridays is helping these young ones memorize and absorb new information in the following subjects: history, math, geography, Latin, English, science, and fine arts. Bottom line is, I pretty much make a fool out of myself in front of a few moms and 8 kids every week. We dance, sing, march, and even roll out our new memory work. It is a ton of fun. Unless God changes our course, we plan to homeschool our kids through high school.

 

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I love the arts. Singing, painting, and playing the piano were my past times. Before the days of snotty noses, diapers, homeschooling, and soccer fields, I spent most of my free time painting, playing the piano, or singing. I sang for several years on the church worship team and was a member of a few of the worship teams in the Atlanta International House of Prayer. I don’t get a chance to dabble in the arts all that much anymore. I guess you could say that home décor, chalk painting furniture, and writing have replaced the hobbies of the past. And, if I can sneak a ticket to a play or pop in a musical in the DVD player, I am a happy girl.

 

I am an introvert. Some people may find it strange for an author, speaker, and teacher to be an introvert. I love being around a lot of people, but I refuel in my alone time or with people who know me well. I would also much rather sit down with you and have deep conversation over coffee than mingle in a large crowd. I am not the life of the party at all. I actually tend to be very reflective, practical, and quiet. I am an ISTJ according to the Myers Briggs Personality Test. Funny enough this is the opposite from my husband in every way. I am an introverted (I) sensor (S) who logically thinks through everything (T) and loves discovering what is just (J) in every situation. Being spontaneous is a challenge. I make a list for everything that requires planning, and I have 4 white boards in our house that help me organize life. Some would say that I am boring, but I would say I am practical.

 

I love Missions. I love everything about missions. I love reading about it, supporting missionaries, and hearing about what God is doing all of the earth. I served as a missionary for 6 years before I got married through the United Methodist Missionary Society. Although I was not an overseas missionary, I was appointed as an associate director at the United Methodist Student Center (The Wesley Foundation) at the University of Georgia. I was also blessed with the opportunity to go on or lead college mission teams to Los Angeles, New York, Omaha, Guatemala, Scotland, and Israel. My husband and I also served as the Adventures in Missions Field Coordinators for a summer in Philadelphia. We hope as our kids get a bit older, we will be able to continue taking mission trips.

 

 

 

Merry Christmas in July!

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It’s Christmas in July and it’s our biggest event of the year!

Our annual Facebook event is the perfect way for you to browse our new releases and get to know our authors. You can ask questions, dig in deeper, and add a stack of books to your to-be-read list. We know, we know – that list never stops growing. But we have so many titles and don’t want anyone to miss out!

From exhilarating sci-fi to historical fiction set in the French Revolution, to books on end-time theology, and one person’s struggle with a terminal diagnosis, our books will leave you inspired and draw you closer to Christ.

 

But first – you have to join the group! Click here for this exclusive opportunity to browse new releases and chat with our award-winning authors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Ambassador International, our mission is to provide the Church with Christian books written by Christian authors – published by a Christian publisher. It is no small feat to go against secular media and houses, but we are not called to do easy things. Every time you purchase a book, leave a review or recommend one of our books, you are helping to continue our mission.

 

We hope to see you soon!

 

 

 

Roe v. Wade Overturned + Our Pro-Life Mission

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In case you missed it, Roe v. Wade has been overturned!

But as Christians, we know that our pro-life rhetoric can never waiver and the laws of the land do not change our mission to live out our faith.

We are honored to present a Christian perspective on this decision from several of our books.

But HOW can we become the answer in an abortion-free community?

Created to Live is the story of Cathy Harris, a seventeen-year-old who had an abortion out of fear, and who now teaches Christians just how to live out their pro-life ethic in their communities.

With the overturn of Roe, this story is even more crucial for Christians today. But we caution you. Don’t read this book if you do not want to be challenged, become uncomfortable, and grow.

Truth is stranger than fiction, but if we could learn about our post-Roe world from fiction?

Memories of Lasting Shadows  was written before the fall of Roe v. Wade, but discusses a world far post-Roe. The author paints a picture where medical advancements are applied to save the lives of mother and child and the discussions of today are no more. For those interested in a bit o’ fiction on an exceedingly relevant topic, this is the book for you!

But what about those among us who need encouragement when faced with a difficult pregnancy diagnosis?

Grace In the Middle tells the story of parents faced with a painful diagnosis, the doctors who advised them to terminate, and the faith that guided their decisions.

Finally, we see the need for YA fiction that talks about the realities of teenaged pregnancies. Someone Like You is the tale every teenaged reader and parent needs.

These books are more than a pro-life book list. They are reminders to all of us of how we can live out our faith and beliefs, especially in a post-Roe world. We are grateful for the privilege of publising books to the honor and glory of God. We hope each one of our readers will use these resources to bring glory to our Savior.