A Mother’s Day Book Gift-Guide

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This May, in honor of Mother’s Day and the great moms in the world, Ambassador International would like to highlight books written for mothers with its Mother’s Day Gift Guide! The perfect Mother’s Day gift for a mom in your life, and a gift that keeps on giving. 

The High Calling of Motherhood (Book and study guide): written for the mom who seeks so much more.

Why Did You Choose Me: a book for the adoptive or foster mom to share with the children of her heart.

Time Out for Tired Moms: a book for the exhausted mom, in need of her own time out and rejuvenation.

The Inconceivable Truth: a book for the woman struggling with the heartbreak of infertility.

The Life She Once Knew: a book for the mother struggling against impossible odds and searching for faith.

52 Conversations to Have With Your Teen: a book for the mother looking to reconnect and grow in her relationship with her teenage children.

Chickening In: a book for the mother searching for a guide to quenching anxiety, fear, and hopelessness, and turning her gaze towards God.

Chronic Love: for the mother struggling to parent and love her children in the midst of chronic illness.

Enough of Me: a study for mothers looking to win in the tug of war between an Instagram-perfect life and the truth of the Bible.

The past year, the world has relied heavily on the capabilities of mothers everywhere, as many women balanced it all, all while striving to still grow in their faith and relationships. This year, give Mom the gift of a good book, a cup of coffee, and a quiet space to enjoy it.

Happy Mother’s Day from Ambassador International. 

 

Survivor Highlight

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In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Ambassador International would like to highlight Vanna Nguyen’s book, The Life She Once Knew: The Amazing Story of  Queena, The Bloomingdale Library Attack Survivor.  It is a story, not only of a young woman who

In 1981, a Vanna Nguyen stared death in the face as she lay on the floor of a small boat in the South China Sea, fleeing the life she once knew in Vietnam. In 2008, her teenage daughter lay fighting for her life after being brutally raped and left for dead at a library near Tampa, Florida.

The attack in front of the Bloomingdale library left Queena with a traumatic brain injury, sentenced to a life unable to walk, see, or speak. As Vanna Nguyen lovingly poured herself into caring for her now severely disabled daughter, she also battled with reliving her own Vietnam War survival story. She was forced to confront a choice:  forgive the attacker whose unforgivable decision changed both their lives as they knew them forever or live forever in grief and bitterness?

In The Life She Once Knew, Vanna candidly chronicles the deeply spiritual and emotionally powerful journeys of these two strong women as they fight for their lives and their futures decades apart.

Join Queena in her in her journey to continue as a survivor, and witness to the testament of faith, grace, and determination. 

 

Another Award-Winning Author

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Ambassador International is thrilled to announce that March release author, Terry Overton, has won a 2021 Firebird Book Award for her book, Both Sides of The Border. The novel placed in three categories: Cross-Genre, Socio-Political Fiction, and Women’s Fiction. Terry will also be interviewed on Speak Up Talk Radio on May 12th at 10 AM EST to discuss her book. Stay alert for updates on this interview and what podcasts to tune into to learn more about this fascinating novel!

Both Sides of The Border takes the reader on a physical journey, up through Central America to Texas, but also a journey of perspectives and experiences. One woman heads north, escaping her old life, in search of a better one. A second woman heads south, escaping the mundane, all while searching for greater opportunities. While the content and societal relevance make this book a must-read novel for 2021, it is especially fitting for young adults looking to understand more about current events. Readers can find Both Sides of The Border here.

About the author:

Terry Overton obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology and her Ed.D. in special education. She taught in public schools and was a school psychologist and a professor before retiring in 2016. Her university experiences included teaching at Longwood University in Virginia, the University of Texas-Brownsville, The University of Texas-Pan American, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Stephen F. Austin State University. She held positions as Dean and Department Chair during her tenure in higher education. Her areas of research
included behavior disorders, learning disorders, autism, and research in higher
education. She currently resides in Laguna Vista, Texas. She enjoys Biblical history and general Bible studies, writing, blogging, and playing golf.

 

Forgiveness: Letting Go

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Forgiveness – Let it Go

There it was again. I was out walking, enjoying the day, and my mind reached down and pulled up that hurtful memory like a cow pulling up its cud to chew. And chew I did. I was there again. I rehearsed what they said, what they did. It was simply wrong. It wasn’t true or right. I saw their expression. It hurt. It made me mad. My body tensed. All the words I should have said coursed through me.

Finally, I said to myself, “That was five years ago! WHY am I thinking about that now? I thought I forgot that.” Obviously, I had not. As I settled down and focused on why I was remembering so vividly rather than what I was remembering, I had the thought that perhaps I needed to forgive.

The word forgive comes from the Greek word aphiemi which means to release or send away. Bottom line: it means to let it go.

Unforgiveness puts us in a prison of torment. They say it’s like preparing poison for the person you haven’t forgiven and then drinking it yourself, not understanding why they don’t change.

Unforgiveness makes us ugly. We think we are unaffected, except for what they did to us. The truth is we become difficult to be around. Perhaps we are always the victim, promoting the poor-me attitude. Perhaps we put up a wall so no one else can hurt us or deceive us. We also may get aggressive, just to make sure no one has the opportunity to do anything against us.

Forgiveness sets us free. Most of us think it lets the other person off the hook. Not so. It does not deny what they did or that it was wrong. They will have to answer to God, to themselves, and perhaps the civil/criminal court of law. But we can be free of their sin’s control over us. That person may not even know anyone was offended. It’s possible their comment or action was inadvertent. And, certainly, it may have been on purpose, mean-spirited, and downright evil. Either way, forgiveness sets us free from those chains.

Forgiveness is the highest order of life.  If you forgive constantly, if you make a habit of letting it go, life is a joy.  It destroys the stumbling blocks of anger, frustration, resentment, bitterness, and wariness that seem to place themselves right in your path. You have the opportunity every day to take offense, but it will be poison in your veins.  Forgiveness cleanses you, protects you, and so blesses others. Why not begin developing the habit? As with any habit, you will have to practice. Sometimes you may need to forgive the same thing many times, but it becomes easier and easier.

I spent a whole summer walking and forgiving.  It seemed all those things that had festered below the surface were brought up to my mind, like the cream rising to the top so it could be skimmed away. I learned to let it go, to skim it away. Some were easier than others, but I began to develop a pattern, and I began to learn to recognize the poison for what it was. Looking back, a lot of good doors opened after that summer. I think when those ugly thoughts aren’t dominating our thinking that we are so much more open to hearing God’s thoughts and good plans for us.

I still have to work at it at times, but life is so much better when I let it.

Judy DuCharme is an award-winning author of six books, with more coming soon. When she’s not writing in Wisconsin, she’s walking Florida’s sunny beaches, pondering her next story,

 

 

 

Seeing From A Sycamore

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Seeing From A Sycamore
by Malinda Fugate

 

The crowd was gathering and excitement was bubbling over. They’d heard all the stories, but now had the chance to see the miracle-worker with their own eyes. He was passing through their town today! No one wanted to miss him, so they filled the street as soon as they could, eagerly keeping an eye down the road to spy the first glimpse of this man and his companions. 

Zacchaeus, though just as anxious to see the visitor, had a problem. He had tolerated his short stature his entire life, and now it prevented him from getting any view of the street. Attempts at slipping between his taller neighbors failed as the crowd grew thicker. “Excuse me,” he requested- at first meekly and then with increasing frustration at being obviously ignored. And could he blame them? These were the people who avoided him every day, dreading their turn for tax collection. When the time came, it was Zacchaeus who had the power to take great sums from them, devastating their ability to feed their families. He might have been short-changed by height, but he made up for it in the ability to gain wealth and exert some amount of power over the townspeople. They saw his life of luxury while they struggled to meet basic needs and they despised him for it. But now, in this small way, the tables had turned. There was no law that said they must acknowledge him here. If he missed seeing the miracle-worker, the teacher who some said was the Son of God, well, that was what Zacchaeus deserved.

But Zacchaeus didn’t achieve his career goals by passively waiting for life to hand him wealth and success. He was a quick-thinker, a go-getter. Inspired, he ran up the street to the waiting shade of a sycamore. The sturdy branches were in reach, allowing Zacchaeus to practice a skill he hadn’t used since childhood. The scramble into the tree rewarded him with a much better view than anyone could find on the ground. And just in time! Over the heads of his loudly chattering neighbors, Zacchaeus saw the small group of men walking his way! So this was the miracle-worker at last! His name, Jesus, was on the lips of many crying out greetings and requests for help or signs from God.

As Jesus walked closer to the tree perch, he abruptly stopped. The crowd hushed, hoping to see something amazing. Zacchaeus nearly fell from his branch when Jesus looked up, straight at him! How was he visible among the leaves? How foolish must he look, sitting like a bird in a nest! Then Jesus spoke kindly, “Zacchaeus, come down from there. I must stay at your house today.”

And so began a transformation in Zacchaeus’ life. His encounter with Jesus changed everything and did not end with that moment on the street or the afternoon at home. No amount of wealth or power mattered compared to the kingdom of God, and Zacchaeus whole-heartedly wanted to right the wrongs he committed against his fellow man. And no amount of sin could keep Him from God’s love. The Son of God did not treat Zacchaeus with the scorn, contempt, or revenge he often received from the townspeople. Instead, Jesus honored Zacchaeus by sharing a meal, and then showed him acceptance and love.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:8-10 NIV)

When we draw near to the Lord, He will not ignore or reject us. He does not require a checklist of qualifications before we can approach Him. His love is not conditional, nor do our shortcomings, failures, flaws, or sins disqualify us from His salvation. He will welcome us into His kingdom with the same compassion He welcomed Zacchaeus. Though we might feel like we don’t fit in with our community, there is a place for us at God’s table. 

Dear friend, do not allow self-doubt to keep you from closeness with your Savior. Seek Him, take one more step towards His open arms, and find His unconditional love and He draws you closer to His heart.

 

Learn more about Malinda and her inspirational book, The Other 3:16s, a challenging study of faith in the Christian’s quest to understand the God of the Bible. 

Written Interview with J.D. Rempel

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For those of you following along, Ambassador International has started interviewing its authors. Most of the interviews can be found on our YouTube channel here

However, today we are honored to have an author of Melanie on the Move here in written form!

J.D, please introduce yourself to our listeners.

Hi, and thank you for this opportunity to share about my book, Melanie on the Move. I’m J.D. Rempel and I write contemporary and speculative fiction for all ages.
My husband, Matt, and I have been married for 28 years. We have a turtle named Applesauce who loves to play peekaboo. I’m an Anglophile (a person who loves British culture). When I’m not writing or spending time with my family and friends, I watch British TV – mostly mysteries, play games, and read.

Please describe your book, its message, and tell us why you wrote it.   My book, Melanie on the Move, a contemporary middle-grade fiction piece is for girls ages 8-13. My tagline for the book is a modern-day Little House on the Prairie. Melanie on the Move is based on the verse Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” It’s the first in my series, The NorCal Girls. In Melanie on the Move, Melanie’s life seems perfect. She’s the star on her swim team, she has great friends, and she’s turning thirteen in just a few weeks. But when her family is forced to move to Northern California, her world starts to unravel. Isolated in a new town, Melanie misses her father, her friends, her pool, and even her bossy older sister. While visiting a church, she hears the message that God loves and cares about her. But it’s hard to believe when more and more troubles fall on her family.

 

I wrote Melanie to show readers we can trust God when He allows bad things to happen and that God can bring something good even from the difficulties in our lives. Another reason is that I wanted to give middle-grade girls a story similar to the ones I grew up on but for today’s readers. When I was that age, I spent most of my time in my room reading The Elizabeth Gail Series by Hilda Stahl and the In Grandma’s Attic series by Arleta Richardson.

What inspired you to write Melanie on the Move?

Growing up, my family went to Family Camp at Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds almost every summer. Melanie on the Move is set in that area. Our family had such wonderful times at ARCG. Every time I visit there, I feel my relationship with God deepening. ARCG means so much to me and I want others to have a similar experience. Part of the proceeds from all of my books is donated to Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds for camp scholarships and maintenance. I hope readers will fall in love with the book and want to visit Alliance Redwoods too.

Did you name any characters after people you know?

Yes, I did. Quite a few in fact. Cindy, who is Melanie’s friend is named after my younger sister. In the book, Cindy has brothers named Trevor and Tyler but those are actually my nephews. Bonnie and Rachel are based on good friends of mine. Also, Mr. Carlisle is named after an English professor who really encouraged me in my writing so I wanted to honor him.

Are there any characters in the book who are similar to you?

Yes. Some of the characters have different aspects of me, but Katie is the most like me. Also, much of the story itself encompasses my beliefs, ideas, and experiences.

The character Melanie is interested in birds, did you have birds as pets?

Yes, we did. We had a few parakeets. When I was first married, I had a pet bird named Duke (after John Wayne since I love westerns) who was trained. I could take him anywhere and he would always fly back to me whenever I called his name. When I’d watch TV, he would sit on my shoulders and around my neck and preen me just like Paco does to Melanie.

What is the hardest part of the writing process?

Since I write in multiple genres and for different age groups, the hardest part of writing is choosing which project to work on. I’m constantly distracted by new ideas. Writing is a passion for me and even at a young age, I was always making up stories. It’s hardest to find the one God wants me to write and then finishing it.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on the second book in the NorCal girls series. It’s tentatively called Melanie at Camp Redwoods. I’ve also been doing the narration for the Melanie on the Move audiobook. Recently, I finished my audiobook for another one of my books, Marigold and the Snoring King which I hope to release soon.

Has there been any exciting news in your life?

Yes, my other book Marigold and the Snoring King, a children’s picture book won Honorable Mention in the 2020 Writer’s Digest Self Published Awards.

How can we connect with you or purchase your books?

Melanie on the Move which was released with Ambassador International on April 23, 2020, is available from most major retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and christianbook.com. My website is jdrempel.com where you can find out more about me and my work, as well as purchase signed copies of my books. I host on my website a Give-A-Book contest where I draw names to give out a free book to a school or library of an entrant’s choice.
You can connect with me through Facebook at jdrempel. I am also on Instagram at j.d.rempel and Parler @jdrempel.

If you have a chance to read one of my books, I hope that the lessons Melanie learns about God find their way into your heart too!

Like what you read? Be sure to follow Ambassador International on Facebook and YouTube!

What’s in A Name – A Devotional

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What’s in a Name?

By Ellie Gustafson

Of the people I’ve known, one of my favorite names is Signhild Hannah Victoria Gustafson. Hyphenated and the ‘N’ repositioned, Sig-nhild morphs to “Sing-hild.” And yes, the name does sing.  Signhild was an eccentric—one of my husband’s aunts—a maiden lady whose fiancé was killed in World War I. The Gustafsons were of strong, Swedish stock—educated and expected to BE someone. Aunt Sing taught languages at Classical High School in Springfield, MA—fluent in five languages and conversant in three others. She traveled to Sweden multiple times—by ship. An interesting lady, though my mother-in-law got quite testy when Sing came for a visit. She was a talker and rambled from one thought to another with nary a breath in between. I enjoyed her, and when she died, I inherited her banded ring with its four diamonds.

My children all went to Wheaton College in Illinois, a long drive from Massachusetts. On one trip with a car full of multiple students, we broke down near Buffalo. The only repair place could not do the job that night; morning would have to suffice. Where to stay? With no spare cash, we opted to knock on the parsonage door of a nearby church. “Please, sir, could we bed down in your church?” He sized us up, and on hearing the name Gustafson, said he’d had a language teacher named Gustafson, back in Springfield, Massachusetts. Aunt Sing got us free space in the church, that night!

I have gone by assorted names: Eleanor Kathleen Emmans, Eeekie (EKE), El, and finally, Ellie Gustafson. These names express different but much-valued aspects of my life. They speak of who I was, who I am, but not who I will be. That will depend on an entirely different venue.

Revelation 2 talks about this: “Let everyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: Everyone who is victorious shall eat of the hidden manna, the secret nourishment from heaven; and I will give to each a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one else knows except the one receiving it.” I love stones and have a few white ones that I cherish, but I can’t wait to see the one Jesus will choose—with MY NAME written on it. It will express the concept He implanted when He first knit me together. That name will be even grander than Signhild Hannah Victoria Gustafson and more comfortable than Eeekie, for sure. I want it to declare my love of and passion for praising and worshiping my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

“Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,   that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,   and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

 

Discover more about Eleanor Gustafson and her sixth novel, An Unpresentable Glory today!

 

More Than Great Books!

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Want more of Ambassador International books and a sneak peek into the people writing these great books? We have something for you! Follow Ambassador International on Facebook or YouTube for interviews with our authors by our very own publicity director, Susanna Maurer.

In episode one, learn what caused a children’s Sunday school teacher to deeply research her faith and discover the spirit and heart behind The Other Three Sixteens. In episode two, learn what homeschool curriculum shaped and molded a young girl into the brilliant author of The Journey and The Village.

Give us a like or a share to spread our authors’ stories and our message around the world!

In thirty-minute increments, these author interviews are the perfect podcast-sized entertainment for an evening at home. You may even discover a new book or two to add to your list. Leave us a comment in the comment section to let us know what you loved about that episode, questions you might have for that author, or authors you’d like to see featured. We appreciate your feedback!

Ambassador International publishes a wide array of genres and authors, allowing everyone to find the perfect book. But we hope you won’t just stop at one!

Illumination Awards Bronze Medalists

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Ambassador International is thrilled to announce that Chris Paxon and Rose Spiller won a bronze medal in Theology at the Illumination Awards for their book, No Half-Truths Allowed: Understanding The Complete Gospel Message.

Well done, ladies. We are so excited by this prestigious accomplishment, and more importantly, grateful for the kingdom-work you are doing through your ministry.

If you haven’t already read No Half-Truths Allowed, now is the time to pick up this elucidating, engaging discussion of the Gospel. 

For fans of the book, this comes as no surprise. With its clear theology and the authors’ understanding of the global implications of the Gospel message, No Half-Truths Allowed gives its readers the gift of going back to Sunday School – this time as adults. Gone are the weak, palatable clippings of Scripture, and present is the solid, true meat of the Word. In a time where truth is subjective and words lose their meaning, this book directs people back to the Gospel and the Bible, teaching them to understand and truly know of the Word of God.

For those who want to dig in more, No Half-Truths Allowed also has a study guide, allowing readers to read and study the Bible with this book as a guide. Buy them in a pair here!

As always, Ambassador International thanks our authors and readers for their support. But today, a round of applause for these hard-working authors!