National Day of Prayer

posted on

In 1952, Congress passed a bill that directs the President to declare one day each year as a National Day of Prayer, encouraging the people of the United States to “turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.” (Public Law 82-324, Sec. 119)

May 2, 2024 marks the 73rd annual National Day of Prayer, and the NDP Task Force chose “Lift Up the Word, Light Up the World” as its theme, focusing on 2 Samuel 22:29-31.

For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens the darkness, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God—His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuse in him. (ESV)

Ambassador International asked three of our authors who have written books on the topic to offer some thoughts on the power and practice of prayer. We trust that their words serve to encourage and inspire your own prayer life. Watch our social media space throughout the month of May, as we continue the theme of practicing a meditative walk with the Lord.

Prayer is Transformation

By Reverend John Clark Mayden, Jr.

Through God, prayer is transformational! James 5:16b echoes this statement: The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Our prayers have an impact.

My demanding six-year ordination process has given me a front-row seat to God’s move through prayer. Initially, I failed my preliminary theological exam twice, which delayed my being ordained. On the verge of quitting, ” I am not cut out for this,” were the words that circulated through my mind and arrested my spirit. However, the Lord prompted me to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and move forward.

Gradually, the Holy Spirit began to change me. I started to see these challenges as opportunities for spiritual growth and deeper Christian discipleship. My mindset changed, and I had a positive outlook on my struggle.

The Good News is that prayer is a vehicle the Lord uses to transform our lives. Set aside time every day to make this journey to God. We will experience God’s life-altering move.

It is reassuring to know that our prayers are not brushed aside. We are changed to handle the circumstances in our lives. Things may not improve immediately, but we must seek God in prayer. Prayer is effective and meaningful!

About the Author: Rev. John Clark Mayden, Jr. is the author of Prayer: The Most Reliable Wireless Communication. He is a Christian and the proud pastor of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Upperco, Maryland. He is married to Kirstyn, and the two have one daughter, Naomi. They reside in Baltimore, Maryland. Rev. Mayden is the author of four books: Breaking the Barriers: 31 Keys to Experience Inner Peace (2018), Breaking the Barriers: Keys to Unlocking Inner Peace (2015), The Victorious Life Prayers for Every Season of Life (2010), and Prayers for the People: A Book of Prayers for All People (2009).

Prayer Journaling

By Rosie J. Williams

I used to cringe when people would talk about being more disciplined with my “prayer life.” When I learned how to write and illustrate my prayers in a creative way, the connection with my Heavenly Father became intimate, personal, and life changing. Here are some ideas:

  1. Read a passage of Scripture. Psalms or Proverbs is a good place to start. As you meditate, ask the Lord to show you how this applies to your life. Pray the words over yourself, your family, and others.
  2. Get the YouVersion Bible app and sign up to receive a verse for the day to jump start your prayer time. Search for my Repurposed Faith Quiet Time Challenge (ten days) on YouVersion.
  3. When I started journaling, I learned modern calligraphy and lettering. Mixing and matching lettering and images sparks your God-given creativity. Dayspring offers many varieties of prayer journals. My favorite, Lettering Prayer Journal by Krystal Whitten, offers demonstrations on YouTube.
  4. “And when you pray, go into your room, and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And Your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6

Repurposed Faith: Breathing New Life into Your Quiet Time - Rosie WilliamsAbout the Author: Rosie Williams is the author of Repurposed Faith: Breathing New Life Into Your Quiet Time. Rosie utilized her degree in Family and Child Development as a case manager, program director, and business owner. Rosie and her husband Steve work with Point Man International Ministries, a Christian organization for veteran families. She blogs at and has contributed to Faith Deployed Again; NIV, Military Wives’ New Testament With Psalms and Proverbs; and the Military Families Bible. The Williams have three adult sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.

Ask, Seek, and Knock

By Curt Richards

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who ask receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7-12 NIV)

These are my favorite verses on prayer. I have never interpreted these words of Jesus to mean that all my request will be granted. When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, he explained that prayer was a continuous act. He was instructing his disciples how to develop a lifestyle built around active communication with the Father.

These words, ask, seek, and knock are words of action. I take this passage to mean that our prayer life should create in us a vigorous desire to communicate with God. We should ask God to develop in us a loving heart and to open doors as we seek opportunities to show our love to others.

About the Author: Curt Richards is the author of Misguided Passions and the Lord’s Prayer. He is a retired public school teacher from the Upstate of South Carolina. He has taught various science courses for thirty-eight years ranging from middle school to college. During his career, Richards has mentored numerous teachers and practice teachers. He feels that there is no higher calling than to guide young people as well as adults through their education. In his spare time, Richards enjoys studying nature, gardening, hiking, reading, socializing with family and friends, and writing across multiple genres.

Educator Trades her Grading Pen for Author’s Quill

posted on

In her debut work, The Crown Effect: Abundant Life in a Chaotic World, retired Walker County Schools teacher and administrator Kathy Vintson explores the themes of dysfunctional families, alcoholism, bullying and forgiveness. Offering personal examples of God’s life-changing grace, she infuses practical wisdom with humor and applies the truth of God’s Word to share what she learned about her godly inheritance and the transformation that occurred when she chose to believe His promise for her life.
From falling head-over-high heels in front of the entire church congregation to getting back up again with a smile, this book describes the profound effect that God’s unconditional love, unearned help, unmerited favor and undeserved peace will have on you now, if you but choose to receive it.
Be prepared to laugh through, cry over and relate to Vintson’s journey while learning what it means to see yourself the way God does, knowing you can face darkness when you walk in the light of God’s grace, right in the middle of the chaos.

About the Author

Kathy Vintson hails from inner city Birmingham, Alabama. Raised by her grandparents, she learned the importance of trusting and believing in God for everything from a young age. Now retired from a career in education, she writes from a small corner desk that overlooks the lake, where she lives with her husband of more than thirty years.
In addition to creating inspirational blog content, Kathy serves as a motivational speaker for women. She is passionate about encouraging women to claim all God has for them in order to live joyful, successful, abundant lives and to face each season in anticipation of God’s plan for them.


The Crown Effect makes you feel like a treasured friend is telling you a story that imparts her wisdom rather than an impersonal Bible lesson. No matter what season you are in, you will relate to this heartfelt and humorous book.”
Amy Bowdoin
Honeysuckle Drive

The Crown Effect: Abundant Life in a Chaotic World by Kathy Vintson is a must read for anyone who has ever found themselves turned upside down by the chaos of life or believing the lies of unworthiness that we are fed by this world. Once we accept Christ, we become sons and daughters of the King, yet we so often settle for less than the peace, joy, grace-filled, life of abundance He offers His children. Kathy’s words are balm for hurting souls as we reorient ourselves to Who Christ is and who we are to Him. What beautiful truth this book gives every reader who is blessed to read these words!”
Jen Thompson

Johnson Brings Irish Dishes to American Tables in New Cookbook

posted on

In her new cookbook, Delicious Ireland: Forty Years of Fabulous Food, Margaret Johnson brings the taste of Ireland to tables all over the world. “Delicious Ireland guides you on a decades-long culinary and photographic odyssey around the Emerald Isle,” she promises and spends the rest of the book delivering on that promise.
Johnson shares that Irish food has evolved over the past forty years, making now the perfect time to learn new recipes from a new culture. A seasoned cookbook author with fourteen previous works, Johnson is eager to share this evolution. Over four sections—starters, mains, sides, and sweets—she delves into unique new recipes, including some of her new favorites: Tipperary-made Cashel Blue and Fig Tartine, Chilli-smoked Salmon Fritters, and Blood Orange & Polenta Cakes.
Many of the recipes in this cookbook do not instantly scream “Irish.” While it includes the classics like brown bread, lamb, boxty, and bread pudding, Johnson also shines a light on new dishes. Delicious Ireland features vegetarian takes on traditional dishes, a focus on Irish cheeses, and delicious desserts. In the course of sharing all of these new dishes, Delicious Ireland also focuses on the cultural diversity of different Irish regions, sharing variations on the same dish that stem from different local traditions.
The introductions to both the cookbook’s sections and each individual recipe abound with information about Ireland and Irish tradition. Cooking these recipes will give you more than just delicious food, although you certainly will gain some new favorite dishes. Each recipe offers a sneak peek into aspects of Irish culture, making the food itself that much richer.
Delicious Ireland is filled with beautiful, brightly-colored photographs. Just flipping through these pages will make your mouth water as you follow Johnson to every corner of Ireland over the course of her forty years of travel there. It will, undoubtedly, whet your appetite not only for Irish food but for Ireland itself.

About the Author:

Margaret M. Johnson is author of fourteen cookbooks—most recently Festive Flavors of Ireland (2021), Teatime in Ireland (2019), and Favorite Flavors of Ireland (2015)—all published by Ambassador International. As a food and travel writer, she has contributed to magazines in both the U.S. and Ireland, including Intermezzo; SIP, For the Love of Drink; and Teatime. She writes regularly for the Irish Echo newspaper,, and She hosts food programs at public libraries and frequently appears at Irish food and cultural events. When she’s not visiting her ancestral home in Ireland, she lives in Westhampton Beach, NY.

The Real Saint Patrick – According to a Northern Irishman

posted on

Saint Patrick

Musings of an Irishman

Who was the real Saint Patrick? A collection of resources. 

With it being St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to write a little something about the man who inspired the holiday. Although there is much speculation about who St. Patrick was and what he did, there are some indisputable facts that many people do not know.

Ambassador author John Holmes describes the life of St. Patrick and explains the many trials and triumphs that St. Patrick faced throughout his life in his book, Saint Patrick: The Man and His Mission. In the opening preface of his book, he explains:

“St. Patrick is among the most famous figures in history. He is forever linked, and rightly so, with Ireland and the Irish people. Around the world innumerable places, churches, colleges and institutions carry his name and yet surprisingly few individuals have anything more than a slight knowledge or understanding of the man himself. You would be hard-pressed, for example, to find anyone, even in our halls of learning, who could quote something that Patrick has said. It is true that in recent years some well-researched books on Ireland’s patron saint have been published but it would appear that most of these have a limited circulation and are not widely read.

Patrick belongs to the fifth century; to times and conditions far distant from ours. Our knowledge of society in Ireland in those days is limited indeed, for virtually nothing remains of the materials needed to construct some kind of detailed history. By nature of the case it must also be admitted that there is a multitude of questions about Patrick which cannot be answered with complete confidence. There is a multitude of questions which can never be answered – at least not in this life.

We can, however, be reasonably certain about many things and there are areas where the scholars are in general agreement. The historical basis of this little book rests on such material.”

In one of the first chapters of his book, Holmes explains how it is almost impossible to give an exact date for St. Patrick’s birth due to the rarity of records during the time; however, it is widely assumed that he was born in England around 390 AD. He was born into an aristocratic and religious family. Around the age of 16, he is believed to have been captured by Irish raiders and taken across the sea to Ireland as a slave. According to legend, Patrick worked as a shepherd near Slemish Mount while in captivity. After six years of slavery, he escaped confinement, obtained his freedom, and returned home to England and his family. Little did he know (upon his return home) that one day, he would be called back to the land of his captivity to preach the gospel of salvation to the people of Ireland. Today, many remember him as the man who used the shamrock (clover) to explain the holy trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I believe it is only fitting to share the writing of St. Patrick entitled, The Confession of Patrick, which can be found within Holmes’ book.

“I pray those who believe and fear God, whosoever deigns to look at or receive this writing which Patrick, a sinner, unlearned, has composed in Ireland, that no one should ever say that it was my ignorance if I did or showed forth anything however small according to God’s good pleasure; but let this be your conclusion and let it so be thought, that – as is the perfect truth – it was the gift of God. This is my confession before I die.”

As we enter St. Patrick’s Day this year, let us remember the love that he had for the Lord and the vision he sought to fulfill by ministering in Ireland. In closing, let us remember the words (so similar to the feelings of St. Patrick that they could have been sung by him) from the old Irish hymn, Be Thou My Vision:

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun.
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


To learn more about Holmes and Saint Patrick: The Man and His Mission, visit HERE.


And learn more about some of Ambassador’s other Irish titles including:

A Little Irish Love Story

The Titanic’s Last Hero

A Shiver of Wonder

Favorite Flavors of Ireland

Flavors of Ireland

The Shamrock and Peach

Delicious Flavors of Ireland

Is Christ in Your Christmas?: A Letter from Our Publisher

posted on

For many adults and children alike, Christmas truly is “the most wonderful time of the year.” Families come together, gifts are exchanged, and plenty of food is eaten. But with so much going on, we can find ourselves so wrapped up in the business and blur of the season that we miss what Christmas is all about. We become so enveloped in trying to find the perfect Christmas tree, sing the perfect Christmas songs, and find that perfect gift for loved ones that we forget that these minor things are not the true meaning of Christmas. It is so important for us to realize that we need to slow down and be reminded of our Savior’s birth and the story of the first Christmas.
 Author Karen Straszheim shares her experience and thoughts about Christmas in her book A Sanctuary in Our Midst. She walks readers through that first Christmas night, shares of the events leading up to it, and explores what it means to us today. She reminds us not to get caught up or strung out in the midst of the holiday madness and rush. Her book helps place the focus where it should be during the busy Christmas season: on Jesus.

“People in the Bible were glad for what they learned about God from prophecy. At Christmas, we also can be glad for what we learn about God from Scripture. One day, we will enter heaven with everlasting joy. For now, we can enter Christmas with singing, gladness, and joy. He came so we can know Him.”

“If God had not loved and protected Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, what would have been the outcome for them? In Matthew, it says that “Herod gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under.” There was heard among the people “weeping and great mourning . . . Parents weeping for their children . . . because they [were] no more” (Matt. 2:16,18). But Joseph and Mary returned to Israel with their child still living. God’s love was shown to them through the protection of their child’s life.

“Some people feel unloved or abandoned throughout the year and these feelings are noticed even more in the Christmas season. Our culture says this is a time to be with family. But for some, the people they’d like to be with are absent. A parent hasn’t been there for them as a child or an adult. For others, an important person has left, quit, walked out or died, leaving them feeling deserted, cast off, or rejected. A person who has been abandoned can feel lonely, forgotten, forlorn, or sometimes hopeless.
”God, however, says, ‘I will live among the [people] and won’t abandon my people’ (1 Kings 6:13). Jesus had a Father who loved Him and didn’t abandon Him to permanent death. We have the same Father who gives the same love and care to us He gave to His son Jesus (John 17:23, 26). We have hope in a love that is unfailing (Ps. 147:11). He shows us His love with the forgiveness He of­fers us. His compassions are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). He is merciful and faithful to us (Heb. 2:17). God is a parent who is there for His children. He listens to us attentively: ‘ . . . You will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jer. 29:12-13).

“If you are feeling lonely or forgotten this Christmas, call on your heav­enly Father. A Sanctuary in Our MidstPray and let Him know how you are and what you need. He will be there for you.”
“God is both supremely above us and with us. Jesus, He who saves, is also Immanuel, God with us. He is a king who is a servant to His people (John 13:1-16). God gave me a banquet of knowledge about Himself and then proclaimed a holiday. He “distributed gifts with royal liberality,” which included the gift of rest (Esther 2:18). This idea changed my thinking about Christmas.

“Christmas, for me, now isn’t the usual, a time to be busy. It has become a time for understanding what rest is: rest from sin and rest from work; a time for having joy in who Jesus is and what He came to do. Ezekiel 37:28 says, “The nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy when my sanctuary is among them forever.” As a sanctuary, God shelters His people. He watches over us and takes care of us. He is in our midst to help us in the ways we need. This Christmas, may you, too, find Him doing the unexpected in your life in ways that show you He is a sanctuary.”

To learn more about Straszheim and A Sanctuary in Our Midst, visit HERE.

Christmas Books for the Whole Family

posted on

It’s December! The lights are up. The trees are decorated. Christmas music is playing. The cookies are baking.

What’s missing? A good book, or two, or a dozen!

If you’re still looking for Christmas books this year, we have you covered.

First, for the kiddos…


I Want A Water Buffalo For Christmas


 Judy DuCharme has done it again and written a clever classic for yet another age group to enjoy. I Want a Water Buffalo for Christmas tells the story of LaGory, a young water buffalo, who brings life to a family in dire need. Circumstances mysteriously fall into place to create the life-giving wonder of giving to those who have less. Children of all ages will learn the true meaning of Christmas in this fun, cleverly written book. An excellent read for families trying to teach the Reason for the Season this Christmas.


Oddball Ornaments: The Story of Christmas


Next up on the Christmas list is the oddly titled ( we jest!) Oddball Ornaments by Terry Overton tells the adorable story of the ornaments in the attic, excitedly waiting for their time to shine. Except, instead of being pulled down from the attic, the ornaments are replaced with new ornaments. Something isn’t right. Determined to get to the bottom of the matter and discover the true meaning of Christmas, the Nutcracker sets out on an epic quest to climb the Christmas tree and get to Angel. Maybe Angel will be able to proclaim what Christmas is all about – once and for all.


Baby Jesus Is Missing

For the older, middle-grade readers on your list, a Christmas detective story! Baby Jesus is Missing, and the small town of Reedy River seems to be having a crime streak. Will sisters, Catherine and Susanna Mae be able to find the baby Jesus figurines in time? Or will their detective case take them down a journey of loss and betrayal this Christmas season? Perfect for the readers who want just a bit more to their Christmas tales.


For teens and adults alike!


Life’s About Relationships: A Foundation for Good Relationships

Next, everyone knows that the holidays can make relationships difficult, but Dr. Don Woodward argues that, Life’s About Relationships in his new book titled just that. With an easy, conversational style,  Woodard examines the common struggles that relationships of all sorts face, and gives Biblical advice as to how to face them. Perfect for anyone dealing with conflict or new relationships this year!


A House Without Walls

For the discerning reader comes Dan Crabtree’s A House Without Walls, a Christian’s perspective on the ethnically divided church and how Christ unites us all. In a sea of conflicting attitudes and division, this book draws the Body of Christ together once more. A must-read for the Christian seeking Biblical systems during this season of upheaval.

And finally, what is Christmas without a miracle?

They Call Me “The Miracle”: The Carmen Rice Story

They Call Me The Miracle is the story of Carmen Rice and her decades-long battle with a brain tumor that should have claimed her life within six months. Instead, Carmen is here with us today, proclaiming her story, the truth of the Gospel, and the miracle that God gave in her. A must-read for those struggling with faith, discouragement, or hardship during this season.


We hope these books bring joy and delight to your family, and you draw you closer to Christ this Christmas season.

Merry Christmas from the team at Ambassador International!


Thanksgiving Books + Primary Sources for Kids + A Double Author Interview!

posted on

Thanksgiving Books + Primary Sources + Children’s Author Extravaganza 


Thanksgiving books for your kids that teach YOU and belong on your bookshelf year ’round? We’ve got them!

Rebekka Parry

Ah, Thanksgiving! There’s nothing like it. But too often, the books we read our children aren’t crafted from the best primary sources, or hewn from the knowledge that we can’t truly know everything in history.

Enter our three favorite Thanksgiving books for kids!


The story of Sarah Josepha Hale


But wait, there’s more! We’ve added a Zoom interview with two of our Thanksgiving authors so that you can learn about the history of Thanksgiving with all the books and research right at your fingertips!

We know. We know. It’s too good to be true!

Click HERE to check out this incredible interview, gather fun anecdotes for Thanksgiving dinner, and maybe add a book or two to your holiday bookshelf!


Five Things: Ruth Ann Ellinger {Author Spotlight)

posted on

Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “5 Things” series. Ruth Ann Ellinger is the author of the historical fiction novel, The Broken Spear: Reformation Rising, which was released on July 13th! Check out Ruth Ann’s five fast facts below…

1. Despite being legally blind, writing has been an integral part of my life.

2. My children live in the four corners of America: California, Idaho, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

3. My husband and I love restoring historic cottages.

4. I was raised on a farm in Ohio and the farm remains in the family. I can always go home.

5. I am a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and can even trace my ancestry to the 12th century!


You can find Ruth Ann on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Amazon! Order Ruth Ann’s newest novel, The Broken Spear: Reformation Rising, here!