The Truth Will Set You Free

posted on

 

From our Publisher’s Desk
In a world full of white lies, fibs, exaggeration, near truths, and stretching of the truth, it can be hard to know what is fact and what is fiction. In the past few months, we can see this firsthand if we look closely at our politicians, media, and especially posts and pictures on Facebook from those we know. Everyone wants that picture perfect family appearance, that impeccable dinner picture, that cause worth sharing, and that Instagram worthy outfit and pose to photograph. In fact, that is all we see. Life is filtered through a camera lens so that only the perfect moment is captured, while the tantrums, tears, trials, and hard work are left off camera…behind the scenes. This filtered, idealistic living is so prevalent in today’s culture that it is hard to know who, and what, to believe.
   Christine Paxson and Rosemary Spiller address the fact that the Bible has all the answers, not just for the past, but for present circumstances as well in their book and study guide, No Half-Truths Allowed: Understanding the Complete Gospel Message. It is important that, as believers, we know the truths found within God’s Word so that we can share those truths with others and not get caught up in what society thinks of us and how they perceive us. They explore what Jesus has done for you and me. With society’s ever-changing cultural standards, we have to be rooted in the truth… God’s truth. We have to let Him reign in our hearts and lives so that we can bring glory back to Him by not compromising what is right and true, by reflecting that truth in and through our lives. We can do this by standing up and saying, “No more half-truths are allowed in my life!”
***
    “A person’s experience with the Gospel can be a lot like quilting. The beauty and seemingly simplistic message of the grace and love of God displayed in His only Son dying for us can draw our longing hearts in like moths to a flame, but if we do not take the time to study and understand the full message of the Gospel, we are selling ourselves – and God – short. The Gospel is the Word of God and the main message of the entire Bible. It is the saving power of God! Its power is not contained in the eloquence of the messenger, but in the message itself. That is why we need to get it right.”
“Most of us have asked basic, fundamental questions about the Gospel – and others like them – and have had them run through our heads at one time or another. For some of us, the Bible has been taught in a way that makes us believe many things are right. For others, culture, other religions’ ideas, and even TV commercials have planted ideas firmly in our minds. But we need to know what the Bible says about [the questions we have]. Remember, the goal for this book is to make sure that by the end, you have a clear understanding of what the full Gospel message is – not only for yourself, but also so that when you share it with others, they fully understand what they are either accepting or rejecting.”
“The bottom line is, if we emphasize that God is remaking or renewing the world but do not include how He is redeeming people to be in it, we have not proclaimed the Good News to them. We have left them ignorant of the saving message of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Why does the Church, the Bride of Christ, want to shove sin, and death, and the glorious message of the cross out of our vocabulary? Have we tried to become too relevant? Are people so self-centered that even the Church has to make their focus all about people and no longer God? Is it because our good deeds make us feel good about ourselves, but we find it hard to bring up the Gospel to someone? Are we believing some of these half-truths ourselves? Are we more intent on what God can do for us than we are about studying His Word? Is it because we just don’t know any better? Christian, it’s time for that examination, and we start with the question to ourselves, ‘Am I really a Christian?’
If you are a Christian, as we’ve described over and over again in this book, then the next questions should be, ‘Am I sharing the whole Gospel message?’ ‘Is my church sharing the whole Gospel message?’ If not, then what do we do about it?
Let’s make it our aim to glorify God by taking the message of the cross and making it central to everything else. “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).” (Text taken from No Half-Truths Allowed book)
***
    “As God’s chosen people, we need to make sure we are doing what we were created to do – glorify Him and enjoy Him forever! To do that, we need to know His Word, and we need to follow it. We need to spread the Gospel message, and we need to do it correctly! Will it be easy? Sometimes. Will it be hard? Sometimes. But it needs to be done. Therefore, let’s make it our aim to glorify God by taking the message of the cross and making it central to everything else.” (Text taken from No Half-Truths Allowed study guide)
***

    When we are tempted to get caught up in making our lives look perfect over Facebook or Instagram, or when we are unsure what to believe about our friends, neighbors, leaders, pastors, or politicians, let’s try to remember that we live in a fallen world, and no one is perfect. Let’s try to focus on showing our reality, and not a watered-down version of it. But most importantly, let us remember that  we are here to glorify God and help lead others to do the same. Be an example to those around you, don’t compromise, and don’t settle for sharing any half-truths!

To learn more about Christine and Rose and No Half-Truths Allowed, visit HERE.

 

NFPA Names Maria Bostian 2020 Educator of the Year!

posted on

Ambassador International congratulates Maria Bostian of the Kannapolis Fire Department who has been selected as the NFPA 2020 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year. Bostian has 21 years of experience delivering fire and life safety to her community through presentations to varied audiences, a robust Fire Prevention Week campaign, and an ongoing social media initiative.

Maria is also the author of Firefighters’ Busy Day! released by Ambassador International in 2016. Fire safety education is essential for children, and Firefighters’ Busy Day! presents a fun, interactive resource book to teach children about the responsibilities of firefighters!

In her upcoming series, the Fraidy Brady series, Maria has written resources to give educators, parents, caregivers, and those working with children an opportunity to start genuine conversations with the young children in their lives. The first book Fraidy Brady and the First Field Trip, set to release August 4, 2020, is an opportunity to introduce stranger safety and awareness in a gentle manner. Book two, Fraidy Brady and the Fire Station, is a resource to  introduce firefighters, true heroes in their community, to young children.

Read the National Fire Protection Association announcement HERE.

Transformed Thinking: A Defense of the Christian Worldview

posted on

Dr. Tom Wheeler grew up in a pastor’s home and received Christ as Lord and Savior as a child. He attended Christian college and then completed a Ph.D. in theology. He taught Bible and theology classes for a number of years in a Bible College and seminary and taught Bible classes in a Christian high school for a few years.

In his new book, Transformed Thinking: A Defense of the Christian Worldview, Dr. Tom Wheeler clearly lays out the most fundamental beliefs of Christianity and compares them to other worldviews, providing arguments to support his beliefs. Even though this book is purposed for the classroom setting, it would be a beneficial read for any believer who wants to have a firm foundation on which to share their beliefs with unbelievers.

From the beginning of the world to the inerrancy of Scripture, Transformed Thinking will provide you with solid answers for your faith because in today’s world of varying religions, it’s becoming more and more important for a Christian to know what they believe and why they believe it.

Now available in King James Version and English Standard Version editions.

Transformed Thinking

Transformed Thinking

Will You Chicken IN?

posted on

From our Publisher’s Desk

  I believe we can all agree that the past two months have not gone as any of us anticipated this year would. It feels as though there is no escape from the constant battering of news, safety updates, and personal social distancing requirements. The good news is that as believers in Christ, we do have an escape, a refuge from the storms of life, and a constant peace in times of trial. God is our strength and salvation, so we do not have to fear the unknown. He has a plan to work all things for good in our lives, even things that the enemy tries to use to come against us.
  Life has become much simpler. There has been much more time spent with family and/or resting. We have been forced to slow down and change our pace. But instead of looking at our current circumstances as devastating, we should take the extra time we have been given to focus on what is truly important in life: building strong relationships with family, friends, and those around us, encouraging them in their walk with Christ, and for those who do not have a relationship with Him, to continually point them to God and to show His love. Let us use this time to better ourselves and grow spiritually.
JJ Gutierrez talks about building a life of faith instead of fear in her book entitled Chickening IN. She examines how things around us may be scary, due to the unknown, but if we have a relationship with God, we can have a courageous faith.
Although, we may be living in unpredictable and uncontrollable times, we can defeat feelings of fear, doubt, and anxiety by reconstructing them into faith in God and His promises, by stepping into the calling that God has placed on each of our lives, and by not backing down or chickening out.

***

   “The Bible is full of examples of people who acted upon God’s word in faith. They couldn’t see the end result, but without action they were sure not to arrive at the destination. This is the key difference between the stuck and the unstuck, being trapped in a broken, discouraged life or being transformed into a new life of healing, joy, and wholeness. The key is action.”

“During times of fear, self-preservation, and retreat, we often need someone to speak encouragement into our lives – a friend, mentor, or coach – someone to wake us up, to shake us up. That’s exactly what Mordecai did for Queen Esther when he spoke these wise and powerful words, “What’s more, who can say but that you have been elevated to the palace for just such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)? This is the most well-known verse in the book of Esther and for good reason. Esther was in a position of influence unlike anyone else. Her identity as a Jew had been concealed. She was beautiful and found favor with the king. She had learned the customs of the palace and understood how to behave in her new culture. What appeared to be many coincidences was actually God’s providence for the Jewish people – Esther was positioned for this moment.
Have you ever experienced being positioned well and you knew it was your time to execute? It was as if God prepared you all along through your past, your resources, and your relationships lining up, and what seemed disconnected was coming together for a single purpose.”

“Taking risks, living with courage, and following God will most likely lead to unfamiliar roads. There are many kinds of unknown roads. Think of them not just as physical places, but mental, emotional, and spiritual places you’ve never been. Most often they will steer us to climb steep mountains, cross desert plains, sail uncharted oceans, or soar to new heights. If we are willing to travel these unknown roads, we will be challenged by our fears and doubts, and we may be temped to turn back. However, if we refuse to give in to the fear bully, we might discover something new and amazing about ourselves, God, and life.”

“Over and over God invites us to have courageous faith. In fact, there are more than 300 Bible verses commanding us to fear not, don’t be afraid, or to have courage. Christine Caine says in her book Undaunted, “He knew that we would be afraid, that we would doubt. That’s why He tells us again and again in the Bible, ‘Fear not.’” Maybe that’s why God dedicates a chunk of Scripture to encouraging us to be brave – He knew we would need reassurance and support not just once, but on an ongoing basis. However, in order be strengthened by God’s Word, we have to know it. We must study and learn the Scriptures to become the courageous and fearless women [and men] we desire to be.”

***

These past two months have been extremely trying for everyone regardless of age, ethnicity, or status. We have all experienced many of the same feelings and emotions. We have fought back fear of the unknown, worry of what tomorrow will hold in store, and the crushing disappointment of a lost job, trip, etc. But we can all stand to learn a powerful lesson from JJ Gutierrez’s book, Chickening IN. We can still have faith in God and His Sovereign plan for us. We can still be obedient to Matthew 6:34 when it tells us, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And most of all, we can be courageous in our walk with God and grow in His likeness during these times by being obedient to Him. We can’t let fear hold us back from living to the full potential for which God has created and called us. Now, more than ever, is the time to step out of fear and into a courageous faith. We need to start Chickening IN.

To learn more about JJ and Chickening IN, visit HERE.

Have you ever wondered?

posted on

Have you ever wondered what it might have been like when Jesus walked on the Earth as a man amongst men? In the following two historical novels, S.A. Jewell and Andrew Stone both take a fictional approach to answering that question.

Of Friends and Followers follows the life of Miriam, a widow in Judea, who has only one hope for survival: she must go to Capernaum and live as a beggar. On her way to the city, she is viciously attacked and left for dead. A leper, an unlikely and dangerous hero, saves her life but Miriam’s journey has only begun.S.A. Jewell
Miriam’s resilience and faith are tested again and again. Meeting unlikely friends along the way, Miriam’s path winds from Capernaum to the Sea of Galilee to Jerusalem. As she searches for friends and security, she eventually meets a man named Jesus of Nazareth. By His miracles and teaching, Miriam and her friends finally find something to believe in. Can they overcome the doubt and treachery that lurks in Jerusalem?

Realistic friendships, love interests, conflict, and bonding friendships await in Of Friends and Followers.

Learn more HERE.

 

Son of the Father is a modern storytelling of Barabbas, the man released in the hours leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion.
Long before his life is traded for Jesus’, Barabbas’ family is ruined, a consequence of his own rage. Consumed with guilt he resolves to put things right, but this seems an impossible task. Huge debts, a man bent on revenge, theft, and murder hang above his head.
Son of the FatherAs Barabbas struggles to atone and restore his family’s honor and to bring himself out of poverty, he meets the new religious teacher. Barabbas can’t bring himself to trust this wandering preacher even though his family follows Him, until Barabbas’ life is spared, costing more than he thought possible.
In this thought-provoking and gripping novel by debut author Andrew Stone, readers will discover a much deeper meaning as the lives of Barabbas and Jesus intertwine between the pages and weave a story of love and sacrifice.

Learn more HERE.

These new releases are no joke

posted on

Every month at Ambassador International brings brilliant and exciting new releases. This month we have new biographies and memoris and Christian inspiration. Ambassador International is proud to present to you our new releases which are no joke! These books are now available at your favorite book retailers.

 

From death camp survivor to rescuer of the unborn, Eva Edl is a true hero of the faith, whose story of following God in the darkest of circumstances will lead you to fight for the rights of the “least of these.”

Barely escaping with her life from the Nazi regime during World War II, Eva emigrated to America, where she took up the battle cry for another group of people who could not speak for themselves—the unborn.

In She Looks Like My Little Girl, follow Eva’s amazing journey of a love that conquers all.

Learn more HERE.

 

 

 

Prodigal tells the compelling story of a young man that decides to go away from the Church and the Lord in his early adult years. Follow Daniel on a journey into his own pit of despair. Many Christians today follow the same path of Daniel: we all know someone who has found themselves on the wrong path. Perhaps that person is ourselves. Prodigal serves as a message of warning, but also a message of hope and forgiveness. Redemption is for everyone: there is always rest to be found in the loving embrace of our Heavenly Father.

Learn more HERE.

 

 

 

 

In today’s society, healing and doctors’ visits are centered around a “self” and “me” attitude. As Christians, in spite of an illness or condition, we should approach medical care with a Christian attitude. Dr. Jim Halla shows readers how to be a God-pleasing patient and how to have a mindset that centers on God.

Learn more HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In today’s world of instant communication, any problems with cellular service or Wi-Fi access can be a major disruption to one’s day. But there is one kind of communication that is always reliable and never disrupts: prayer. In Prayer: The Most Reliable Wireless Communication, Rev. John Clark Mayden, Jr. compares today’s technology to communicating with God. This book will show you the importance of keeping the “air waves” clear to connecting with the God Who cares more about you than any other connection you’ll ever make.

Learn more HERE.

It’s Time to Breathe. . .

posted on

From our Publisher’s Desk

As we move into March, many of us are already feeling the weight of business and the rush of life pulling us in a million different directions. It can be hard to find the time in our busy schedules to slow down, be still, and just breathe and rest in God’s presence.
On this St. Patrick’s Day, it is important for us not to get caught up in the festivities of the day, and instead to think about what the day actually represents. Instead of focusing on wearing green or not being pinched, we should take a moment to get away from the noise around us, take a breather, and spend some time alone with God. The real St. Patrick would emphasize the importance of us maintaining our spiritual health in order to be spiritual leaders and make disciples for Christ. How can we show and reflect who Christ is in our own lives if we don’t take time out of each day to spend with Him and learn more about who He is?
A Whisper in the Woods    Martin Wiles emphasizes the importance of stepping into quiet escapes with God in his book A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes in a Noisy World. This book provides weekly devotionals that can transport readers out of the noisy world around them and into the quiet escape of a beautiful forest with tall trees where the voice of God is more clearly heard throughout nature. In his book, Martin provides tools that help readers hear God’s words of comfort as they face the mountains and the valleys that this life often and unavoidably brings. Throughout A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes in a Noisy World, Martin lays out ways to take a step back, adjust our focus, and spend some quiet time resting in God’s presence.

***

     “The psalmist was a morning person. He had no alarm clock to awaken him, but he rose early and took his requests to the Lord.
While God doesn’t dictate morning as the time we must come to Him, He does have a lot to say through those who followed Him about the advantages of coming to Him in the morning. Jesus Himself did.
Our minds are fresher in the morning. I may still be sleepy, but the clutter of the day hasn’t cluttered my mind yet. Some function better at night, but the advantages of the morning are weighty. Quiet reigns, which allows me to focus.
When I approach God in the morning, the day is before me. I’ve not made any mistakes or decisions yet. The potential, however, is there. What day doesn’t involve decisions, temptations, or potential mistakes? Coming to God in the morning allows me to petition Him for guidance, strength, and wisdom.

Regardless of what time I come before God, coming consistently is important. Just as regular communication with others stabilizes friendships, so spending time each day with God cements our relationship with Him.
Morning by morning – or whenever is good for you – spend time with God.”

***

     “Since life has many paths – represented by the numerous decisions I have to make – knowing the right one is essential. Otherwise, I might find myself in unnecessary debt, broken relationships, jail, or any other number of unpleasant situations.Martin Wiles
Taking the right path is possible when I consult the guidebook. God calls it His Word. We call it the Bible. Any direction I need is found there. Life progresses, scientist discover, and technology advances, but the principles of God’s Word never get outdated. They are good for all time.
Prayer keeps me on the right path. Through prayer, I petition God to give me full understanding of His Word, to help me know how to apply it to daily situations, and to guide others in the same path I’m traveling. Prayer helps the guidebook come alive in daily life.
Communing with other believers is also wise. Passing other hikers who were coming from the direction we were going assured us we were traveling tin the right direction – even if we had not seen any blazes. There is strength and comfort in numbers.
Don’t guess about whether or not you’re on the right path. You can know.
Prayer: Father, lead us along the right paths in life so we’ll end up where You want us to be.”

***

     Instead of getting caught up in the world’s celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, take a moment to remember the real St. Patrick, take time out of your busy day to sit down, take a breath, stop worrying, and rest in God’s presence and purpose. Let Him refresh you and make you more like Him. And in doing so, let God use you (just as He used St. Patrick) to share His word and make Him known.

To learn more about Martin and A Whisper in the Woods, visit HERE.

Choosing Love

posted on

From our Publisher’s Desk

As the new year continues to unfold, it brings with it a very special holiday. Whether single, dating, or married, Valentine’s Day can be a very special day for everyone. It is a day where we can show the loved ones in our life (whether that be family members or a significant other) just how much they mean to us and how much we care. Not only that, but we can also remember how much our heavenly Father loves us and wants what is best for us. It is important that in any relationship (no matter what stage it is at) that we keep God first.

Lindsey Holder explores how to keep God at the center of life while dating in her book, Waiting While Dating. Although dating can be a challenge in today’s culture, Lindsey focuses on the questions we should be asking as we take steps towards that special person and grow deeper in our relationship them. Some of these questions include how much time should be spent together, should we serve in the same area at church, and what do social media boundaries look like?
“[God] is not to be argued with, half listened to, or disputed against. You do not doubt God’s direction. There is no option of partially obeying the Lord without bearing the consequences of shame and separation. Partial faithfulness is non-existent. It is one way to believe God’s Word, and it is another to obey it. It is one way to believe God’s Word and another to admit what you are actually doing.”
“In today’s culture, we plan and prepare for our future with education, training, and working diligently to be successful in our business ventures and career. We thirst for knowledge, crave to be the best, and chip at it every day to be the guru in our field. But in relationships, we tend to fail ourselves so easily. We allow our hearts to be carefree, not planning for our heart’s future, for our emotional health, or for the memories we make. We easily connect, giving so much of ourselves before it is time and without truly understanding who we are giving that to and without having received an ordained commitment of marriage in return. Why are the most precious gifts given so freely?”
“It’s easy to read and be clear on paper prior to reality. To get to know someone requires you to share gradually to establish if indeed they are that marriage partner. What questions do you ask your potential partner and when? What boundaries do you set? At what point in the relationship do you bring Christ into it? What is over the limit and appropriate?
As you study His Word, you will find God provides you all of the wisdom you need to find the qualities and characteristics of a marriage partner. But He expects you to study His Word, obey His Word, and have a faithful heart in the interim.”
“God’s Word is God’s protection. Your free will is not free, as every choice has its consequences. It is up to you to decide whether you want positive or negative ones. However, those set boundaries may be different for every couple. May this book help you along your way to finding your partner with holiness, faithfulness, and obedience, with God’s word at the center.”

For those who have passed the dating stage, Randy Blankenship, Sr. in his book, The Mystery and the Masterpiece, discusses what a Biblical portrait of marriage should look like. There are many who are no longer dating and have moved into the next stage of life: marriage. But do we understand the message that marriage was designed to teach us? Randy shows this message throughout the pages of The Mystery and the Masterpiece.
“Marriage is the picture God painted to portray and reveal the kind of relationship He desires to have with mankind. He painted this picture in the beginning, and this has been His intent from the start.
I have heard many teach about marriage. I have read many books on marriage. The vast majority of them miss the main point of God’s purpose for marriage. It seems to me, in most teachings today, the main purpose of marriage and human sexual behavior is completely absent.”
“The first brushstroke in God’s great portrait of marriage begins with man being made in the image of God. Our marriages are intended to be an illustration of the relationship God wants with us! He made us in His image. We are to show forth His picture.”
“I have used terms like portrait, picture, and masterpiece to illustrate what I believe to be this central truth: that Christ will be eternally married to His people and our earthly marriages are intended to be the greatest illustration of that truth.”
“As followers of Christ, sometimes we try so hard at getting other people to also follow Christ. We make all kinds of efforts – that’s not bad. Marriage is work too. We should work at our marriages – but if it is only work, it’s not a happy marriage.
If we will simply allow Jesus to come into us – if we will experience the joy of Him coming into us, new life will automatically happen. It can’t not happen!”
“Marriage is God’s masterpiece. It is His great piece of artwork designed to show the relationships that He wants to have with us. It can only be what the Master Painter painted. It should be cherished and highly valued as He intended. It should be our desire to live that out before the world in our relationships.”

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, let us remember to keep God at the center of our relationships, strive to serve Him and His plan, and to follow His purpose in both dating and marriage.

The Heart Changer Winner of Silver Award

posted on

Illumination Book Awards recognizes The Heart Changer by Jarm Del Boccio in its Seventh Annual Illumination Book Awards {2020} as silver award medalist in the juvenile/young adult fiction category.

Feeling sorry for the children in the Bible who had no name and no back story but important roles, debut author Jarm Del Boccio tried to answer these questions for inquisitive minds while also sparking a love for Scripture in her  middle grade fiction The Heart Changer (Ambassador International, April 26, 2019, $12.99).

In The Heart Changer, Miriam has been wrenched from the only home she has ever known. But that’s mild compared to being taken and employed by the wife of her captor. How can she possibly live in this strange household and be content? Not even this Hebrew girl could guess the far reaching influence of her presence.The Heart Changer

This middle grade biblical fiction addresses the angst and homesickness a young refugee experiences in a foreign land where all seems lost.

The Illumination Book Awards, hosted by Jenkins Group, are designed to honor and bring increased recognition to the year’s best new titles written and published with a Christian worldview.

Learn more about The Heart Changer and Jarm Del Boccio HERE.