Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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!

The Best is Yet to Come . . .

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When I agreed to write a 2020 December devotional around this time last year, I assumed I’d be writing about the Incarnation, the holy God of the universe condescending to His creation, putting all His might and majesty in the frail form of an infant child. Sitting down to write this, I still considered talking about that, but when I looked back at the past year and just how difficult it has been for so many people, I felt compelled to offer some words of comfort and encouragement instead.
Solitary ManIt’s easy to look at a globally decimating pandemic and wonder just where God is in the middle of it all. Millions around the world have died, many millions more have lost jobs and/or businesses, hospitals and food banks are overrun, and our politicians have proven themselves to be mostly useless idiots grabbing for power in any way they can. Why would God allow or ordain such a potent cocktail of tragedy, devastation, and incompetence?
Unfortunately, I do not have complete and utter insight into the mind of God, so I don’t have specific answers to that question. However, God has revealed enough about Himself in Scripture to help us understand that nothing happens without purpose. And what is that ultimate purpose? It’s that God will be glorified.
Everything God does is for His own glory. Creation happened so God could display His glory (Psalm 19:1). Humanity was created for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). Isaiah 43:25 shows us that a redemptive plan was offered to show His glory (notice the phrase for my own sake). Jesus went willingly to the cross not only to save us, but to glorify His father (John 17:1). And at the end of all things, God’s glory will shine so brightly, we will have no need of the sun or the moon (Revelation 21:23).
To understand just how passionate God feels about His glory, I give you Isaiah 48:9-11: “For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.
If your first inclination is to think that God’s words are narcissistic, then shame on you for conflating the holy and perfect Creator with sinful, depraved humanity. Why does God get all the glory? Because He deserves it. He deserves it because of who He is. Who is He? He is the God who temporarily withholds His just wrath over sin, opting to offer compassion, mercy, and grace to rebels who come into this world hating Him. As Isaiah noted, sometimes He tries His children in “the furnace of affliction,” but His love for us never wavers as He puts us through that purifying process of sanctification. This is why Christians have hope, even in the middle of tragedy and chaos beyond our control: because absolutely nothing is beyond God’s control. Even the difficult times are Eric Landfriedengineered by Him to reveal His glory to us. He has His hand on the wheel, guiding us expertly through this storm, and regardless of what happens He is ultimately all we need. The apostle Paul said it perfectly in Romans 8:18: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Hmm, I wonder what glory he’s talking about? Hang in there, Christians. The best is yet to come.

Discover more about Eric and his exciting fiction book Solitary Man.

 

Meet Susanna Maurer

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Susanna “Susie” Maurer is Ambassador International’s newest team member, as Publicity Director. Susie has a BA in English & Creative Writing and a penchant for adventure. When she is not toting her children around Europe, she is trying to find her keys. Susie believes in the power of forming strong relationships in her work, and that has carried and propelled her through a variety of customer service, communication, and management roles. The most important relationships in Susie’s life are her relationship with Jesus, her relationship with her husband and children, and her relationship with coffee.

Of these items below, let us know which five you think are true about Susie and which one is not true!

…Met her husband when they were both seven years old.

…Likes to make at least one new friend in every new country.

…Loves cooking, especially French cuisine.

…Cannot drive stick shift, despite living in the UK for three years.

…Loves peppermint ice cream, Americanos, and quality pillows.

…Has a fear of parking in public, but loves speaking in public.

 

For all inquiries, Susie can be reached at media@emeraldhouse.com

“Fate of the Watchman” Cover Reveal Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway

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Join the scavenger hunt to see the full cover of Chad Pettit’s Fate of the Watchman and also look for clues to win a $10 Barnes and Noble egiftcard and a free digital pre-release ebook of Fate of the Watchman!

Welcome to the Fate of the Watchman Cover Reveal Scavenger Hunt! You have arrived at stop #8.

Please take time to carefully read the details below and follow the clues to the next stop.
The hunt began August 30, 2018, at Reading is My Superpower and ends on September 7, 2018, at 11:59pm EST at Chad Pettit’s site where he’ll reveal the full cover for his book! There will be 9 stops on this scavenger hunt, and you will find a CLUE IN RED at each stop. Write them down as you go. At the end of the hunt, you will unscramble and enter the clues into the giveaway entry form.

Chad Pettit

Who is Chad?

Chad Pettit grew up in Oregon with books and the mountains to help his imagination grow. After high school, he spent ten years in the Army, travelling and deploying all over the world, including two combat tours in Iraq. After the military, Chad earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas A&M University-Central Texas, and then he started teaching English at an early college high school in central Texas. Chad currently serves in a local church as a deacon and the Sunday school superintendent.

What is Fate of the Watchman?

Lester Sharp is a workaholic, obsessed with the success of his business and oblivious to the world around him. All of that changes when a peculiar stranger comes into his shop asking for food and help. Lester soon finds himself on an impossible journey around the world to bear witness to some of the greatest tragedies a person can know, all frozen in a single moment of time. In this challenging and gripping novel, debut author Chad Pettit, delivers a supernatural, pulse-pounding adventure in which Lester Sharp is in for the longest second of his life and learns lessons to last a lifetime.

Fate of the Watchman is a novella that releases on October 1, 2018, and will be followed by Chad’s second full-length novel Fate of the Redeemed {release date TBD}.

What’s next?

Below is the cover teaser!

Fate of the Watchman

Follow Chad for more updates on his novels! Details below:
For more information about
Chad Pettit & Fate of the Watchman
please visit:
www.chadpettit.net
@pettit_chad
www.facebook.com/ChadPettit.Writer
Instagram: @chad_pettit_

 

Thanks so much for stopping by our site and participating in the Fate of the Watchman Cover Reveal Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway. Before you move on to Stop #9 to pick up your next clue, be sure to write down this clue: to

See you at the end and happy hunting!

If you missed the beginning and need to go back, you can find the links below:

Day 1:

Reading is My Superpower

Day 2:

Allen Steadham

Day 3:

Daphne Self

Day 4:

Christian Shelf Esteem

Day 5:

Heather Norman Smith

Day 6:

Allison Wells

Day 7:

Katie Cruice Smith

“Fate of the Watchman” Scavenger Hunt Cover Reveal Giveaway

The 2018 Southern Book Prize Long List

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Tales of a Cosmic Possum

Ambassador International is pleased to announce that Tales of a Cosmic Possum by Sheila Ingle is on the 2018 Southern Book Prize Long List, featuring all the eligible titles that have been nominated for the Southern Book Prize (formerly the SIBA Book Award). Finalists for each category in the 2017 Southern Book Prize will be announced April 16, 2018. 

Congratulations, Sheila!

To learn more about the 2018 Southern Book Prize Long List, go HERE.

To learn more about Sheila and Tales of a Cosmic Possum, go HERE.

Readers’ Favorite 5-star Review of “What Good Is Jesus?” by Marv Nelson

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Readers' Favorite 5 Star Review Seal

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers’ Favorite

What Good Is Jesus? is an inspiring and captivating Christian non-fiction book written by Marv Nelson. Nelson writes the book from a fresh new perspective in consideration of today’s culture and ideas. He does not shy away from delving into difficult topics and questions that Christians tend to avoid. Targeted toward millennials, What Good Is Jesus? seeks to answer questions related to the identity and character of Jesus, the interaction between the church and politics, and the appropriate Christian approach to political agendas. He challenges Christians to remember that they are representatives of Christ here on earth and should, therefore, present the right image of Him. Nelson defends his viewpoint with appropriate scriptural backing as he navigates some of the most intricate areas of Christianity that are usually ignored or assumed away, but are equally crucial.

From the point I read the title of the book, I knew this would not be just any another Christian book. As I turned the pages, every chapter challenged me to look at Christianity in a fresh new way and not just what I have adopted through tradition. Marv Nelson wisely tackles difficult questions that are usually on the minds of many millennials. He helped me remember what Christianity is all about as defined by the Bible itself. Further, being a millennial myself, Marv Nelson helped shed light on areas that I find puzzling in the Christian faith. I couldn’t help appreciating his sheer honesty and pluck as I read What Good Is Jesus? Above everything, reading the book reminded me of the foundation values of the Christian faith such as love, compassion, faith, trust and complete surrender.

Learn more about What Good is Jesus? HERE.

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Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

Why Did You Choose Me? Pre-order Perks and giveaway!

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Katie Cruice Smith’s highly anticipated new book Why Did You Choose Me? is now available for pre-order! Katie Cruice Smith, a foster and adoptive mom, strives to answer that question in a way that young children can understand. Drawing from her own experience as an adoptive mom to three children, Katie uses the questions her own children have asked her and her husband in order to draw them to the response that there never really was a choice—she knew right away that they were hers.

Pre-Order Smith’s new book Why Did You Choose Me? and you’ll enjoy some great freebies and offers including:

+ Free download of The Itzels’ There is Hope (Siri’s Song)
+A downloadable adoption print by artist Sarah Strickling Jones
+A chance to win:
  • A copy of Hope CD by the Itzels
  • A LulaRoe $25 credit {provided by an adopting family}
  • A copy of Why Did You Choose Me? {to keep or gift!}

 

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Simply purchase your book from an online retailer and forward your receipt to digital@emeraldhouse.com to receive your free download and be entered in the giveaway!
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Why Did You Choose Me? is available at the following retailers:
Ambassador International: https://buff.ly/2gxoSB2
Book Depository: https://buff.ly/2g4JEIr
Books-a-Million: https://buff.ly/2z83eJ1

**purchases from any retailers are accepted**