Archive for the ‘5 Things’ Category

5 Things About Author David Garcia

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author David Garcia wrote the book Portrait of a Powerful Last-Day Christian, available now. Here are David’s “five things”:

We spent 9 years as full-time missionaries. From January, 1976-July, 1980, in the inner city of Bronx, New York (where Nellie and I were born and raised), working in an inner city church doing evangelism and discipleship. Also from July, 1980- November, 1984, in Zimbabwe, Africa, right after the government changed from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. We were involved in church planting, evangelism, discipleship, and directed a bible school.

Portrait of a Powerful Last-Day ChristianWe have been pastoring Grace World Outreach Church, Brooksville, Florida for 26 years. This is a multi-ethnic and multi-generational church of 1,600+ people, with a strong emphasis on evangelism, missions, and discipleship.

I travel world-wide teaching in churches, leadership seminars, pastors schools. I especially have a passion for teaching teenagers and young adult singles on biblical romance and godly relationships. In addition, in the pastors schools I train pastors in Kigoma, Tanzania covering subjects that include Leadership, how to disciple new converts, marriage enrichment, authority over demonic powers, dealing with witch doctors, healing, and bible prophecy. I have a team from our church in the area who are reaching unreached people groups which include the Tongwe and Regwe people. In addition, I also minister in Mindinao, Philippines conducting evangelistic crusades, leadership training, and discipleship. I serve as an apostolic advisor to two organizations: one in Dipolog & the other in Pagadian City. The group in Dipolog is also reaching unreached people groups in the remote areas. In addition, Inhave a passion for the UK and have preached in churches in Hull, Wolverhampton, London, and Manchester. I have a conviction that since Britain planted the seeds of the Gospel in our country & is now post modern with less than 2% of the population saved, that as the US Cuvier j invests in the UK, revival will come to the US.

My wife Nellie and I are avid college football fans. Since she is a Florida State Seminole and I’m a Florida (Univ of Florida) Gator fan (both teams are state rivals!), football season is very interesting in our household and church!!!

I am an avid reader of history, especially military history. I have a large collection of war movies including the Civil War, World Wars 1, World War 2, and others. I firmly believe if we do not learn from the past, we are bound to repeat the same mistakes in the future.

Five Things About Authors Lindon and Sherry Gareis

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Authors Lindon and Sherry Gareis wrote the recently released book, Declutter Now!: Uncovering the Hidden Joy and Freedom in Your Life, available now. Here are Lindon and Sherry’s five things:

Gareis PhotoWe started writing Declutter Now! after dating for only two months. We had each always wanted to write and publish a book, and both had started books over the years, but neither had ever completed one. It was only after God saw fit to bring us together that we were able to write, finish and publish a book. Thanks God!

We love ALL things water. You’ll often find us in the pool, at the lake, boating or taking a vacation by the ocean. It doesn’t matter if it’s saltwater, freshwater or even chlorinated pool water! Just get us in, on, or by the water and we’re happy campers!

 The #1 comment we get about Declutter Now! is, “WOW! This book is so much more than I expected!” Many people think we only address decluttering physical space, but then are delighted to find out we declutter much, much more, including relationships, finances, careers, kids, physical and mental health, and even spirituality. It’s a whole life, comprehensive approach!

Declutter Now

We are certified Christian Life Coaches providing individual and couple-to-couple coaching. Our focus is forward motion – helping people get from ‘where they are’ to ‘where they want to be’ through assessment, action plans, accountability and encouragement. We coach nationwide via phone or Skype and speak to issues such as decluttering (of course!), relationships, single-parenting, women’s/men’s issues, small business, and spirituality.  

We own four acres of land ninety minutes outside of Phoenix and hope to build a home on it in the near future. This would make for a perfect writing getaway, as well as an excellent opportunity to host couples for Intensive Coaching Retreats. The air is clean, mountains are beautiful, and climate ideal.

 

 

Learn more about Lindon and Sherry and Declutter Now! by visiting www.actionplanministries.com.

 

5 Things About Author Melanie Wright Zeeb

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Melanie Wright Zeeb wrote the recently released book Beauty From Ashes: An Eyewitness Account of Haiti’s Tragic Earthquake, available now. Here are Melanie’s “five things”:

Some would call me a disaster magnet. When I was 7 years old, my family’s home burned down in a house fire the day after Christmas. My town was hit with tornados when I was in high school and college, and I experienced several hurricanes and tropical storms during my time in Haiti. Of course, the worst disaster I have lived through was the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. After I moved back to the U.S., my apartment was flooded by an overflowing creek 2 weeks before my husband and I were scheduled to move out. I am currently avoiding all volcanos and anywhere tsunamis are likely to hit!

Beauty from AshesThere is a part of me that has always been fascinated with disasters, perhaps because of my own early experience with tragedy. I knew that disasters happened to real people, and knowing as much as I could about a disaster and those it affected was one way I processed the tragedy. After Hurricane Katrina, I was in a position to help with relief efforts, making several trips to the Gulf Coast and working to rebuild houses there. In spite of my exposure to the disaster zone, living through the Haiti earthquake was an entirely different experience. I was no longer the fascinated observer; now I was the one struggling to survive. As a child I had trusted that my parents would provide for me after our house fire; now I felt the weight of responsibility for more than 150 children at the orphanage. Since the earthquake, I no longer view disasters with the eyes of a child, believing that someone else will make everything all right. Instead, I sympathize with the victims who bear the responsibility of creating a new life out of whatever remains.

I believe that hope is one of the most powerful forces at work in the world. Even in the midst of terrible tragedy, if we have hope, we have an invaluable resource. Hope does not allow us to give up or give in, knowing that we will make it through, that someday things will be better. In Christ we have the hope that even if things never get better on earth, the world to come will have no suffering. We live in a flawed and often scary world, but there is hope, and that hope is just as important in the stories we tell as in the lives we live.

Haiti, and other “dangerous” places, are often worth the risks. When I told people I was moving to Haiti, one of the most common responses was, “Is it safe?” News reports and government travel advisories paint a picture of poverty and violence that are by no means the whole picture. The same violence is in our own cities and neighborhoods, just not in so foreign a form. The Haiti I know and love is a beautiful island nation filled with a people who daily face the task of survival. They are strong and courageous and filled with a joy that is incomprehensible to those of us who associate happiness with things working out the way we want them to. If I had listened to those who advised me against going to Haiti, I would never have met some of the most inspiring people I know. If we only ever stay where it’s “safe,” we miss out on some of life’s most rewarding experiences.

I never intended to write Beauty from Ashes. During the time of the earthquake, I sent frequent updates to my family and friends. Several people told me they thought I should write a book about my experiences, and my initial response was an adamant no! Although I have always wanted to write a book, non-fiction was never something I was interested in or considered pursuing. God had other plans. Once the idea had been planted in my head, it grew until I knew that the story needed to be told and I needed to tell it. I hope that anyone who reads Beauty from Ashes will benefit from this account of God’s faithfulness.

 

5 Things About Author Holly Mthethwa

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Holly Mthethwa wrote the recently released book Hot Chocolate in June, available now. Here are Holly’s “five things”:

I discovered a deep love for writing when I was 11. My teacher entered a poem I’d written into a school competition in which the winner got to attend a Young Authors Conference. I ended up taking first place in my age group and got to attend the conference and workshops. It was through that experience that a passion for writing began to etch itself upon my childhood heart. I still have my young author t-shirt and held it up to stare at shortly after I signed my publishing contract with Ambassador for Hot Chocolate in June.

I used to be devastated I wasn’t musically gifted. I played the cello for a year and a half until I moved to a new school that didn’t offer orchestra. I was last chair among the many cello players and my parents cringed when I practiced. I switched to playing the clarinet at my new school and was last chair again—and there were a number of chairs (though I was eventually able to move up a couple of spots). That, along with having been rejected for a song solo, led me to believe I should rather stick to writing.

Hot Chocolate in JuneRedemption is one of the themes I want to take the spotlight in Hot Chocolate in June. One of my most favorite things about Jesus is that He takes our muck, our sin, our shame, and our rebellion and not only forgives us, but gives us a new identity in Him. I want others to see that amongst my adventures and love story; and to claim the truth of His love and grace for themselves.

Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia Maclachlan was one of my favorite books growing up. I wanted to live in Maine like Sarah once had. My cousin and I would daydream about one day sitting in rocking chairs on the wraparound porch of our old Victorian house by the sea. I’ve yet to visit Maine and think my heart will burst with joy the day I do.

My life verse speaks of gentleness. I find it incredibly easy to be gentle with the hurting, the poor, and strangers, but sometimes my family and friends aren’t on the receiving end of my gentleness. My mom says there are times when I’m about as cuddly as a porcupine; and my husband agrees. I think we can easily forget about our fleshly tendencies to be prickly to those closest to us; and find myself a big work in progress in this area. “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” –Philippians 4:5

Five Things About Author Joanie Bruce

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Joanie Bruce wrote the recently released book A Memory Worth Dying For, available now. It’s the anticipated follow up to her first novel, Alana Candler: Marked for MurderHere are Joanie’s “five things”:

I surprised my family when I told them I had a book accepted for publication. None of my family, even my husband, knew I was writing until I was completely done with the first manuscript. Fear of being incompetent as a writer kept me from sharing with my family, but love of clean, Christian suspense/romance books kept me writing anyway. My inspiration for improving my writing style comes from being an avid reader of “how to” books—how to create characters, add conflict, build suspense, and write from the correct point of view. Many of my friends are surprised that a former first grade teacher would find writing about murder and intrigue interesting, but I find it both challenging and fun. It’s a rewarding way to honor the Lord with the abilities He has given me.

Besides being an authW by Joanie Bruceor, I’m also an artist. The Lord has blessed me with the ability to paint portraits and has given me the wonderful opportunity to have pictures hanging in the governor’s private office in Atlanta, Georgia, the late Senator Charlie Norwood’s office in Washington, D.C. and a portrait of George Bush in the private collection of George and Laura Bush in Texas. The funny thing about this talent is that I never knew I could draw—especially not portraits—until about eleven years ago. God’s timing is always perfect!

I love music and play several musical instruments: piano, pedal harp, harmonica, and a little guitar. When I was in high school, I took drum lessons and played privately for a couple of years. I have to say, though, that the piano is my favorite. When I’m upset or tired, I play for relaxation and for inspiration. I’ve written several arrangements for popular hymns, and I thoroughly enjoy making up new arrangements on the piano. There is only one problem with this skill: I hate preforming in front of others. I hardly ever write my arrangements down because I play them from memory, and I’m sure you know how memory plays tricks on you when you’re in front of a crowd.  =)

I’ve actually milked a real cow. My husband was raised in the dairy business and was managing his own dairy when we married. Before we sold the dairy cows in 2012 and changed totally to beef, we celebrated thirty-three years of running our own dairy business. I have milked cows by hand, put on automatic milking machines, run calves through the pasture trying to steer them toward the loading chute, and fed baby calves with a bottle. For this city gal, born and raised in the city, living in the country was an experience. But I have to say … country living is the BEST. I love watching the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets from our house sitting high on the hill, and watching the beef cows grazing in the pasture in front of our home. There’s nothing like country living!

I hate loud noises that scare me to death: Balloons, mouse traps, smoke alarms, canned biscuits, and thunder are not my favorite things. I make my husband replace the battery in the smoke alarm when it warns of a weak battery because I can’t stand the anticipation of waiting for that loud “beep” that surprises you when the battery is first installed. I also make him open the canned biscuits, crescent rolls, or cinnamon rolls before I cook them. That “pop” when they burst open almost gives me a heart attack.

Five Things About Author Amy Fleming

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pic of me lightLearn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Amy Fleming wrote the recently released book A Little Irish Love Story, available now. Here are Amy’s “five things”:

Maybe I write so many scenes with people eating or preparing foods because I have a hole in my heart that microwaved tofu created. Kitchens are my favorite settings in my books even though no one in my family ever entered them. I grew up in a health-nut family, but no one knew how to cook!  In fact, I had to delete about 25 references to strawberry muffins in my last book. I should probably not write on an empty stomach…

I often dream stories before writing them. I have always been a very vivid dreamer and even dream sequentially- sometimes for months on end with the same storyline! I remember things vividly when I wake up. The hero of my book is also a dreamer like me.

The crazy people in my family became a rich resource for my characters. From Aunt Mim’s love of “bluing” her hair to Grandpa’s obsession with the “Little People” who constantly took his glasses, there was always something to laugh about. When writing a serious story like A Little Irish Love Story, I like to pump in those quirky, adorable moments that have amused me.

An angel took my mom’s picture in Rome. She was walking around the ruins at midday and a band of men surrounded her! Just as they were about to attack her, a man in all white appeared out of no where. He calmly asked to take my mother’s picture. He took her picture, handed her back her camera and vanished! The men were so scared they ran away. We still have that picture. If you look closely, a very similar scene is in my book.

My great-grandparent’s love story inspired my new book. My Great Grandpa became my hero very early on in life. He helped build the Titanic in Belfast! His wife had a stroke right after they got married and he had to care for her his entire life. He told me one day, “Taking care of her was the greatest honor God has ever given me.” I wanted to honor him by making him the hero of A Little Irish Love Story so I used his name and his personality for the main character.

Learn more about Amy and enjoy her new book A Little Irish love Story. Thank you Amy for sharing your “five things” with us!

Five Things About Author Steve Whigham

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Steve WhighamLearn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Steve Whigham wrote the recently released book Eclipse of Faith: When Doubt Overwhelms Religious Belief, available now. Here are Steve’s “five things”:

  1. I have spoken on this subject on three continents already. I’m amazed at how many people struggle with doubt. Most do not feel confident enough — or free enough — to discuss their doubt with others. I know how they feel. I went through the same struggle myself, which I wrote about in my book. You just don’t want to vocalize your doubt about faith just in case it may alienate people you are very close to.
  2. I love music. I’ve been playing piano, drums and guitar for many years now. I’ve played in all kinds of bands, even orchestras: classical, opera, jazz, rock, blues, folk, and even a bit of country. Whenever I need to relax and decompress, all it takes is a few minutes behind the keyboard and I’m renewed. There is something special about music. The crazy thing is, I can’t sing on tune. I can play instruments. I just can’t sing.
  3. You just never know who is embroiled in doubt. I met a bright, young Christian leader just a couple weeks ago. He’s struggling with his faith in profound ways. From the outside he looks all put together — a model 20-something actively leading Bible studies, church functions, etc. He just doesn’t know what he truly believes any more. And he was scared to admit it. I got to talk witEclipse of Faithh him for a couple hours over coffee and give him tools to deal with his doubt. When we finished, he looked so relieved. I’m praying for the joy of his faith to return to him soon.
  4. I got to talk to a former Captain of the Soviet Air Force in Odessa, Ukraine a couple years back while there on business. He must have been at least 80 years old. He clapped his boot heels together and saluted me with pride. He spoke no English. I spoke only rudimentary Russian. But we both spoke enough German to have a pleasant conversation. He is a follower of Christ now and attends an active church right in the heart of Odessa. His eyes danced with joy. That day, I got to experience history folding down upon itself and reveal the human stories behind the dry accounts of history. When you get past the stereotypes, how much alike we all are!
  5. I have to admit it, I’m a reading geek. I can’t get enough reading time in. I’ve got so many books I’m currently reading encompassing so many subjects: history, politics, philosophy, arts, science, cooking, fiction, autobiographies, business, theology, technology, and the list goes on. I should be more focused — but maybe not. I’m an eclectic reader and I think it gives me a broader perspective. It sure makes entertaining dinner conversation!

Learn more about Steve and his struggle with doubt in his new book Eclipse of Faith. Thank you Steve for sharing your “five things” with us!