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Grad Gifts for The Class of 2022

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Congratulations to the class of 2022!

 

Student Loans, Mental Health, and Relationships.

At Ambassador International, we know that GREAT books form GREAT adults, and we would like to welcome the class of 2022 into the club!

Life’s About Relationships and we would know – one of our authors wrote the book about it! Pastor Don Woodard’s book takes the basic struggle of every human and puts into perspective, helping new grads solve relationship problems from the get-go. A must-read for every graduate – high school on up!

The need for money (and student loans) means  The Love of Money is the perfect gift for the new grad looking to balance student loans, saving for a mortgage, and investing! Give the new grads in your life the gift of financial responsibility.

Imagine Not As Much gives new grads a healthy perspective on nutrition and bodies – ever so necessary for adult life!

 

What to Do After Graduation?

 

There’s nothing like Obstacles to knock over a new grad, but what if there’s a success story in there? Readers of all ages will find themselves entertained and encouraged by this story of athletic feats that is NOT about football.

For the Display of His Splendor meets this generation where they are in anxieties and mental health struggles, reminding everyone to look upward to the One who formed them. This book is an absolute for new grads in 2022.

The Divine Deal: Life Lessons on Preparing for Adulthood answers the questions every new grad has and shows them just where so many of the answers to adulting lie. The Divine Deal is the adulting manual every 2022 grad should read!

 

Biblical Grace Today!

 

The Other 3:16s takes the Bible’s most famous passage and reminds its readers of the other 3:16s. Perfect for the new grad with new study times on his/her hands and a hunger to learn more.

There’s not a blueprint for life after graduation, but there is The Bible Blueprint. Join Rose Spiller and Chris Paxson as they study the Bible like the blueprint it is – readers will want to leave their thinking caps on for this book.

And finally – The Life She Once Knew is the incredible, true-life story of a high school graduate who survived a brutal attack, but was changed forever. Graduates of all ages will be inspired and shaped by Queena’s story and the faith her family displays.

 

To Our 2022 Graduates:

We are so proud of you. We pray and hope that you shape the world with your dedication, knowledge, and absolute love for Jesus Christ our Savior. Takes these books and walk in faith.

~Ambassador International

Job, Daniel, and David: Men Who Came Before Us

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With Memorial Day just around the corner, many of us are preparing for our summer vacations, time off from work, and time with our families.

As we do so, we take time to remember those who have gone before and have paid the ultimate price for our country. We celebrate their lives and their sacrifice. But how often do we do the same for those who have gone before us spiritually? How often do we take time to remember the stories or lives of those in the Bible who lived a life of faith, courage, or repentance? I believe these men and women are just as important to us from a spiritual standpoint. Some of these men include Job, the man who lost everything, Daniel, the man who risked everything, and David, the man after God’s own heart. These men represent three pillars: faith, courage, and repentance.

 

Job examines how deep our faith is when everything is stripped from us. Dr. Jim Halla in his new release, The Book of Job: God’s Faithfulness in Troubled Times seeks to show readers that even in our darkest hour, God is still sovereign over all.

This message is for all believers in all seasons of life, no matter their spiritual maturity.Dr. Halla begins by telling readers, “the book’s major focus is on the very essence of God and the believer’s relationship to Him in all types of God’s providence. Others tend to agree and view the book as cataloging the development of Job to become not only the most righteous among mortals but also the wisest. Therefore, the book has a relational emphasis highlighting who God is in relation to His people and His world.”

He goes on to explain that “Job was blameless and upright, caring for and interceding for his wife, and children, and helping others. However, he had problems – trouble – from the hand of God. Many speak of the suffering of Job. We need to be careful here. Too often the term suffering is undefined and is focused on the subjective – the person’s feelings which too often control his or her response. I prefer the generic term trouble. Labels have significance. Trouble must be understood as an expression of God’s providence: God’s control of His world, His way for His glory, and for the good of His people.”

Even what the enemy may use to harm us, God can turn it around and use it for our good and His glory. After all of the trials that Job faced, he never denied or turned away from God.

Because of this fact, everything that had been taken away was “restored and God brought back Job’s family, who apparently had alienated themselves from Job, the previously prosperous and caring patriarch. All of his family was forgiven, and they came and consoled, comforted, and rejoiced with him…. The faithfulness and trustworthiness of  God are bedrock pillars of truth. Circumstances and experience (God’s providence), feelings, and human understanding divorced from biblical truth don’t negate these truths. Seeking to understand God and His ways may be a blessing or a curse. However, knowing God and His ways are privileges and blessings that every believer has.”

One thing we can learn from Job’s story is that our circumstances don’t change God’s goodness. God is still good, and “God extends His care – common grace – to even His enemies.

Fallen man has nothing within to “lure” or draw the Holy Spirit to him. On the contrary, God saves in spite of the person simply because God saves. This fact is captured by Jesus in John 6:44-65 and 12:32. The term for draw indicated the supernatural, inside-out influence of the Holy Spirit who regenerates the believer. It is not an ‘against-your-will’ influence but a heart-opening, eye-opening, ear-opening activity that moves the now-believer to desire and seek Life and Light – Jesus Christ. In Christ by the Holy Spirit, the believer is something – he is more than simply God’s image-bearer. He is God’s child, bought with a price, and indwelt with and by the Holy Spirit. In that sense, he is something because something was done to him and in him. As a result, Jesus gave Job, and Peter, and all believers, the command to minister in His name. Believers are to follow suit. The magnitude and awesomeness of God’s redemptive work can’t be overemphasized. You, too, will persevere and minister because God has you!”

We can find peace and rest in this, that God is control and is with us through every trial or trouble we may face. We can have the courage to face the unknown. This is evident in the life of Daniel. Terry Thompson takes readers on a journey through Daniel’s life and the courage he had despite his circumstances in his new book, Daniel: Prophet at the Kings Command. Daniel was taken captive by the Babylonians as a teenager and had to find a way to make the best of a difficult situation as a slave in the king’s court. Daniel and his friends had to try and honor God amidst a people who did not. Terry paints this picture by writing about Daniel’s life in a story-like format.

Throughout the Bible we can see many prophesies and see them fulfilled; however, “to begin exploring prophecies, particularly as they apply to our future, we need to dig into the book of Daniel.

Daniel lived in the sixth and seventh centuries B.C. He was born around 620 B.C. and lived to about 536 B.C. During those eighty-four or so years, the Hebrew people – the Jews – suffered one of the worst times in their history. Of course, the Jews have experienced physical and spiritual affliction from their origin in Abraham to the Egyptian slavery, to the exile in Daniel’s day…” and the list goes on.

The exile of Daniel’s day began with “the Babylonians invading the southern kingdom of Judah three times between 605 B.C. and 586 B.C. and took most of the country’s Jews into exile in Babylon.

Daniel, along with many other young men, were taken to Babylon in 605 B.C., almost twenty years before the ultimate defeat of Judah and the exile of the majority of the Judahites. [He] was a teenager when he was taken by force to Babylon. He was never the typical prophet of his day but became more of a seer, or a receiver of visions about the future. God gave most of the prophets’ supernatural knowledge of future events, but none received more than Daniel. That’s why he is a special source for understanding how events of the past and today relate to what is to come.”

“Daniel’s revelations pointed to the promised Messiah, and he trusted that promise. Other prophets before and after Daniel received messages about the coming of the Lord to Earth in physical form.

In fact, as I have mentioned repeatedly, the central theme of the whole Old Testament is the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. If you miss forging a personal, committed relationship with Him, you miss God’s eternal plan for your life. The decision to be a loyal follower of Christ can’t come out of an infatuation with prophecy or from respect for a person. It has to come from a personal encounter between an individual and Jesus Christ.” Daniel had such an encounter. This is what allowed him to stand up courageously in and for his faith despite what was going on around him.

As we continue to read through the Bible, we find that David also had such an encounter and faith in God. David: The Godly Heart of a Sinful Man by author Terry Hyman examines David’s heart, identifying specific character qualities that influenced his response when confronted with his sin.

Humility, honesty, and confession were common, and it was evident that David cared more about getting right with God than defending his actions. The main point that we can find displayed in David’s life is that God does not expect us to be perfect, but instead, He wants a heart that is sensitive and responsive to the ministry of God’s spirit, a contrite heart.

By examining the story of David, we find the “ultimate ‘unexpected success’ story. An obscure shepherd boy from Bethlehem rose to become king of Israel.

Unqualified, undeserving, and unsuitable are all words that man would use to describe this unlikely candidate for royalty, yet God does not reason like man. He saw something in David that made him worthy of divine attention. David’s heart was different. David had a yearning to follow God, an eagerness to have God’s blessing on his life, and a willingness to sacrifice when necessary. ‘A man after His own heart’ is how the prophet Samuel described God’s view of David.”

What high praise to receive! However, even though God chose David, that does not mean that he was perfect or without sin. What set David apart from others was his response to his sin after he made a mistake.

He repented. But before he repented, we see that “for almost a year after his sin with Bathsheba, David lived with the disgusting shame of a man haunted by what he had done. He was suffering, and his guilt was overwhelming. It made no difference what he did or where he went – he could not escape the awareness of his dreadful deeds and their horrible consequences. Though God had chosen David to lead Israel specifically because of his godly heart, he was still only human. Acknowledging David’s fleshly nature doesn’t provide an excuse for his sin; it simply states the obvious truth. David was guilty of a series of despicable sins. Lust, adultery, deceit, murder, and hypocrisy mixed with pride and arrogance to produce unbearable guilt in his tender, responsive heart. His sins were committed secretly, willingly, and without human accountability.

So deep was David’s anguish of soul that his words pulsated with urgency as he sought God’s forgiveness. He no longer cared about concealing his sin. His resolve to justify his sin was gone.

He wanted only one thing – he longed to be reconciled to his God. At that point, everything changed. David’s guilt was gone. When David’s sin was concealed, he was miserable… when David’s sin was confessed, he regained his humility. When his sin was covered (as a result of his confession), his joy returned. He was forgiven and his guilt was gone!” David was willing to repent from his sin by confessing it to Nathan when Nathan confronted him about what he had done. He humbled himself before God.

 

Although David’s life could be viewed as a ‘rags to riches’ success story, what we should take away is that his life “is not about his accomplishments, his victories, or his faithfulness. Nor is it about his godliness.

It’s about David’s dependence on his God and God’s willingness to use him in spite of his human weaknesses. If we learn anything from David’s life, it is that David’s godly heart was not the result of his character. Instead, it was a consequence of David’s awareness of his ungodly character. The essential truth is that genuine godliness is possible only when we realize that it is impossible without God’s help. David clearly understood that principle. His life reflected that understanding, and his example is a challenge to every believer.”

 

No matter what circumstances you may be facing, God is still good.

Whether you are facing a difficult situation of loss like Job, experiencing uncertainty caused by outside forces like Daniel, or struggling with past mistakes like David, remember that there is peace, courage, and forgiveness to be found through Jesus. Our circumstances never change God’s goodness. He is constant. So, as we remember those who have gone before and sacrificed for our country, let us also remember those who have gone before in the faith and the example they set for us.

 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

A Mother’s Day Gift for Mom

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“I’ve been called many things in life, but there’s no title so precious as ‘Mom’.”

Who knows which royal said this? Hint: she might just be American!

This Mother’s Day, give Mom the gift that keeps on giving – a Mother’s Day book for her bookshelf!

 

Love Romance Novels with a twist?

Why not check these out for Mother’s Day?

Amazing Grace: A love story; a missionary story – set in the plains of Africa. 

Love’s Lost Star: A bride disappears on her wedding day…

Gifted: A young, talented runner; a soul-searching coach; a determined father…

 

 

Or perhaps a novel on a completely different timeline might suit Mom’s fancy?

Sabal Palms and the Southern Squall: a hurricane brings to light the undercurrent of dark forces working against a community.

Second Chance at Happiness: A young widow, an old flame, a decision that shocks the community. 

Solomon’s Concubine: A gripping spin of life in King Solomon’s harem from the perspective of a kidnapped Jewish girl. 

 

Or a book for Mom about the Christian walk?

Revelations from the Revelation of Jesus Christ: an empowering discussion of the book of Revelation. 

Real Recovery:  the story of one woman’s journey of recovery from an eating disorder. 

For the Display of His Splendor: A Christian’s deep dive into anxieties and mental and emotional stressors that plague humans today.

 

While there is no best way to thank the mothers in our lives, we hope you will consider picking up a book for Mother’s Day, along with flowers and a nap for all the moms in your life.

May Mother’s Day 2022 bring hope, blessings, and joy to all who celebrate it.

Here’s to you, Mom!

Spring Reads Coming Your Way!

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It’s finally SPRING!

After a long winter and an already- difficult year, spring has finally sprung. And with it – new books for all to read.

Here’s our April book list. We hope everyone can find one, two, or more to add to their “to be read” stack!

 

 

Someone Like You

From the pen of Michelle Dykman comes a Young Adult novel about teen pregnancy, choosing life, and redemption. 

Candice Hillman is on the precipice of completing her senior year at Bethel Private School. Although her parents are mostly absent from her life after their divorce, Candice finds support in her housekeeper, Mrs. Potter, and her boyfriend Brad. When a night of too much partying leads to a pregnancy, her carefully-constructed world comes crashing down forcing Candice to relook at her life and the choices she makes regarding her baby.

Someone Like You is a heartfelt look at the struggles of teenage pregnancy and takes readers on a journey of acceptance, forgiveness, and the wonders of God’s grace with a little bit of romance thrown in along the way

 

Sabal Palms and the Southern Squall

From award-winning author, Terry Overton, comes a story of a supernatural squall and those who chose to ride out the storm.

Elaine Smith lived in the small coastal town of Sabal Palms long enough to know when to worry about a squall and when to simply close the windows and wait for it to pass. This one would be significant. It would be significant in terms of damage, but that was to be expected. What no one expected was the profound effect it would have on the lives of people from the Texas coast to New York City. Positive qualities of humanity are often displayed during times of natural disaster.

But a supernatural power had attached to this storm and subsequently worked within the hearts of the most needy, the most lonely, and the most sinister. The lives of four delightful women, a homeless teen, a rebellious son, a grieving lover who is at the bottom, a son who lost his faith, and a hired murderer are all intertwined in the aftereffects of a Category 3 hurricane thanks to a few passages written by one determined woman.

 

Second Chance at Happiness

From the talented Greta Picklesimer comes a love story about second chances and the power of standing for what is right.  

After Catherine Reed’s husband dies in a tragic logging accident, Catherine and her four-year-old daughter, Clair, move home with Clair’s mother and brother in order to accept a new position as the teacher for the town’s one-room schoolhouse. But Catherine carries a dark secret that she hasn’t even shared with her mother. Will she ever find forgiveness?

Samuel Harris has suffered his own loss, losing his wife and unborn child over a year prior. Although he is the town’s preacher, he struggles to trust God, blaming God for allowing him to be absent when his wife died. The guilt has burdened him ever since. But when his old flame Catherine Reed comes back to town, he wonders if they can find healing together.

Catherine believes that anyone who wants to learn should be allowed to learn, but she is quick to find a town divided on that issue. As she and Samuel set out to change people’s minds in a post-Civil War era, they find themselves drawn to each other over and over again. As they join together for the same cause, could they also find a Second Chance at Happiness?

 

From the desk of Sara A. Jewel flows Solomon’s Concubine, a historical and biblical fiction novel about the women in King Solomon’s harem, and one girl’s journey from ordinary Jewish girl to glorified concubine. 

Nalussa is a simple Jewish girl, living with her family in a small town a day’s travel from Solomon’s kingdom. When a strange man meets her one day at the town well, Nalussa suddenly finds herself whisked away from all that she wants and desires to fulfill the lusts of a king she has never met. But one word of outcry can lead to her family’s harm and her own disgrace and removal from society.

While giving in to her new life at Solomon’s palace, Nalussa still holds onto hope that God will rescue her. When the king suddenly dies, the kingdom is in turmoil over who will be king next. Could this be her opportunity to escape? But where will she go, and will anyone want the king’s concubine?

S.A. Jewell looks at life in Solomon’s harem through the eyes of a concubine, taking the reader on a quest through Scripture to see a different side to the king who was given great wisdom and wealth from the one true God. Did Solomon die outside the will of God? And who is the mysterious woman he writes to in Song of Songs?

Amazing Grace: A Novel

From the pen of Malanya M. Donaho…

When Dr. Sam Gray is sent to Africa as a volunteer physician, he is counting down the days until he can go home again. During a trip to the local school to take care of the students, he runs into the Cloverdales, a missionary family determined to win every soul in Africa to Christ. While fun-loving, brightly dressed Esther Cloverdale befriends him from the start, her more serious twin sister, Grace, is not as easily won over by the agnostic doctor. And Dr. Sam is convinced all their father, Thomas, wants to do is convert him.
Try as he might, Dr. Sam can’t seem to resist the family and finds himself being pulled into their midst again and again. As he battles his own beliefs, Dr. Sam begins to find that maybe he’s in need of a Physician as well, but Who will ever be able to heal his hardened heart?
Grace Cloverdale has only one purpose—to serve God. She has determined she will only fall in love with a man who is strong in his faith. So when she meets Dr. Sam Gray, she has no interest in pursuing anything other than a professional relationship. But the more time she spends with him, the harder she finds it to keep her resolve. Will she give in to temptation and fall under the charming doctor’s spell? Or will she remain faithful to her God?
Amazing Grace answers the questions so many people have—what’s so amazing about grace?

We’re Bringing Home the Medals – Illumination Book Awards

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Who wants to be a medalist-reader? Who is fascinated by award-winning books?! We LOVE it when our authors become award-winning authors!  Ambassador International is thrilled to announce that three of our authors medaled in the 2022 Illumination Book Awards!

𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗚𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗨𝗟𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦 𝘁𝗼 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗷𝗼𝗯 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗱𝗼𝗻𝗲!

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘉𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘉𝘭𝘶𝘦𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵 by Christine Paxson and Rose Spiller received 𝗕𝗿𝗼𝗻𝘇𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘆 𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗼𝗿𝘆!

𝘓𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘰𝘰𝘳 𝘐𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴 by Judy DuCharme received 𝗕𝗿𝗼𝗻𝘇𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗴 𝗔𝗱𝘂𝗹𝘁 𝗙𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗼𝗿𝘆!

𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘭’𝘴 𝘓𝘶𝘤𝘬 by Dave Milbrandt received 𝗦𝗶𝗹𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝘆𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘆/𝗧𝗵𝗿𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗿 𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗼𝗿𝘆!

Want to hear more from these authors? Each author has an author interview with our publicity director and these episodes are on both Facebook and YouTube!

In today’s climate, Christian media has the double uphill climb of carving out a niche and reaching their audience. Our readers’ support of Ambassador International and its authors include reading our books, leaving reviews, recommending our books, and following our authors. THANK YOU for all you do. If you would like to pick up one of our award-winning books, please do and leave a review! We appreciate you partnering with us as we spread God’s Word and Christian books to a dying world!

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The Golden Rule

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  February. The month of love. But what is LOVE?

Valentines Day is right around the corner and shops are filled with heart designs, shades of red and pink, chocolates, and of course, roses! During this season of celebration, we often celebrate the love of our spouse, our children, a friend, or a special family member. This is wonderful, but do we ever stop to celebrate the love of our Heavenly Father? And although it is good to take time to show our appreciation to those whom we love, are we showing this love to them year-round, and are we showing the love of Christ to even those whom we don’t hold in high regard?

 

Matthew 7:12 tells us, “’So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.’”

This sums up the second half of the Ten Commandments as well, love others. In order to be a true reflection of Jesus, we have to love everyone… whether we like them or not! And how do we do this? By doing unto them what we would want done to us in return.

Dan Crabtree, a pastor at Immanuel Bible Church, examines what it would look like if we, as the church, stepped outside of our comfort zones and showed the love and unity of God to those around us in his new book, A House Without Walls.

He specifically examines and attempts to realign discussions about race under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and focus on Biblical understanding and applications. How can the church show the love of Jesus to the world if they are divided by ethnic and social division? The answer is, they can’t.

“There must be a better way to talk about race in the Church! Shouldn’t we be able to find a path forward that doesn’t lead to fracturing parties and mass migrations from the Bride of Christ? Recent, divisive conversations about race have revealed a deep ideological fault line underneath the Evangelical surface. Where did that chasm come from , and how can it be bridged? Shouldn’t the one household of faith, the pillar and buttress of the truth, the Church of the Living God, be able to maintain some semblance of unity even in a dark and divisive world? How might God bring His diverse people together as one?”

  “The Bible’s answer to ethnic division in the Church is surprisingly simple and not at all what the world would tell us. Here it is: The church is united by Jesus.”

“Rather than giving demands or ultimatums to our brothers and sisters in the Church, let’s surpass one another in service. Paul says, “Outdo one another in showing honor” (Rom. 12:10). Instead of outlining the ways your fellow believers need to behave, try to find out what they need and how you can meet that need. It may be as easy as asking, “How can I serve you this week?” Or it may require a little more digging. If we excel still more in service over demands, we will emulate the heart of our Savior, Who came not to be served but to serve (Matt. 20:28). And in so doing, our unity in Christ will blossom into maturity.”

 

One of the best ways to love one another and obey the golden rule is by serving each other, by putting someone else before ourselves. Love is an action, and it is a choice. We can choose to put our love into action by serving one another daily.

In Kanat Yesmagambetov’s book, What’s Wrong with Western Missions?, he looks at (and addresses) some of the biggest issues that are keeping the Gospel from spreading in many nations.

Although there are many well-intentioned methods to spreading the Gospel and the love of our heavenly Father, they are often ineffective for various reasons. One thing in particular that Kanat examines is, what part does the Golden Rule play in sharing God’s Word.

Kanat begins by examining Luke 10:25-37 where an expert of the law seeks to test Jesus.

Kanat breaks down what is happening and how Jesus responded by pointing out that the lawyer came to Jesus “with a question, and Jesus, as usual, answers the question with a question. The lawyer gives an answer, and the Lord praises him. Not many people, including the disciples, could get a similar assessment. However, the lawyer asks another question, “And who is my neighbor?” This is the crucial question in the passage. It is not by accident that the lawyer asks this particular question.

The fact is that the phrase “love your neighbor as yourself” is taken from Leviticus chapter nineteen. We open the original source and see that this is the second part of the phrase, which reads in full, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD” (Lev. 19:18).

Studying the passages, we come to one conclusion: the neighbor is an Israelite. When speaking with the lawyer, Jesus expands the boundaries of the Pentateuch. If we additionally refer to Paul’s letter to the Colossians, we see that the New Testament erases religious, national, cultural, and social boundaries. But despite all this, the question “Who is my neighbor?” remains relevant to this day. Theologically, love has no limits. Practically, the borders of love can be fenced with barbed wire and guarded by dogs.”

How true this is! It is so easy  to say the words, “I love you.” But to live them out is much harder. We have to choose to love our neighbor as ourselves! And who is our neighbor? Everyone is! Either they are our brothers and sisters in Christ, or they are in need of the saving knowledge of Jesus, Christ. We are to be the example of God’s love to everyone.

 

Without Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, there can be no mercy… and no ultimate act of love. Desiré  Grogan demonstrates this as she takes the average, everyday believer and walks them through the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. In her new publication, Revelations from the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Desiré sets out to empower the believer in the pew with the most accessible tool to navigate and understand this last Book of Scripture, and that tool is the Bible itself!

Although many don’t see this final Book of the Bible as a love letter from God, it truly is.

When you love someone, you tell them and prepare them of what is to come. God gives wisdom and discernment… if we only ask and seek Him. There are many ways to love someone, and Desiré demonstrates this by pointing out how Jesus’ time here on earth and death on the cross was Him showing/bearing witness to His love for us and His dedication and love for The Father.

“The witness that secured His death was His witness to His heavenly Father and, more precisely, to the truth that He and the Father are One (John 10:30; cf. 8:58). As a testimony to Jesus’ singular qualification as the Father’s Witness, John begins his Gospel by affirming that “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (John 1:18). Jesus Himself confirmed that He was the Witness to His Father by what He spoke:

For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say (John 12:49-50).

In addition to saying everything His Father told Him to say, Jesus was the Witness to His Father by what He did:

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).

The biblical record also affirms that Jesus witnessed a good confession before Pontius Pilate (1 Tim 6:13; cf. John 18:36-37) and was obedient in fulfilling His Father’s plan of salvation, even to His death on the Cross (Phil 2:8). Jesus articulated the voluntary part of His sacrifice as being part and parcel of His witness and submission to His Father’s will:

The reason my Father loves Me is that I lay down My life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father (John 10:17-18).

 

Jesus, therefore, consummated the legacy of the prophets who preceded Him; who, as witnesses, received, proclaimed, and typified the revelations entrusted to them. Jesus, however, holds the singular distinction of being ‘The Witness,’ for unlike His predecessors, He personified, declared, revealed, and fulfilled His Father’s will.”

There is no greater act of love than sacrificing oneself for another (John 15:13). This is what Jesus did when He came to this earth, lived a sinless life, and sacrificed Himself on the cross for us. He loved us more than He loved even His own life, and He loved His Father by being obedient. Jesus demonstrated the ultimate act of love and demonstration of The Golden Rule through His death and resurrection.

Part of loving someone greater than yourself is the ability and choice to forgive them when they wrong you, it is the ability to let go of the past… even if it isn’t yours.

Sarah Marin Byrd’s newest fiction release, Shackled to My Father’s Sins, examines this idea of being bound to the sins of a father and whether one can truly escape. In this sequel to In the Coal Mine Shadows, Sarah follows the life of nineteen-year-old Katherine Paddington. She is finally able to see an end to her own misery when her Uncle Ben is jailed for the murder of his brother. In this sequel, Katherine knows she must start a new life after her Grandmother Mame and Grandfather Clint pass away, but will the coal mine shadows of her past control her future away from the hills of West Virginia? Will Katherine succeed in making a new life for herself in North Carolina, away from the lies and deceit of her forefathers? Or, will the sins of yesteryear haunt her and her cousin Benny forever?

“On the hill behind the homeplace where Mary Margaret Blackwell, “Mame,” lay six feet under the cold, black coal, there were no angry rumblings under the earth, no headstones shaking. Finally, there was true peace. The dark-haired son had forgiven his mama, a mother that had never hugged or cuddled him. A mother who never spoke the words, “I love you.” For the first time in his life, Ben Paddington felt a peace he’d never experienced.”

“Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

Cozy, Winter Reads!

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Book that belong on your bookshelf and your February reading list!

 

We’ve all heard of a runaway bride, but what about a kidnapped bride? Love’s Lost Star combines romance suspense and intrigue in a rosy-wrapped packageThe perfect Valentine’s Day month read for the novel-lover! The author, Caitlin M. Smith, is also featured on Suspense Sisters.

Cece Burbin thought she knew what love was: people using and
discarding you. “Beauty doesn’t make someone love you. What did it have to do with real
life? It was a lie—the master tool of manipulation. It tricked women into an illusion of safety
and secured their loyalty while the man did whatever he pleased. Soon, the woman hated
the man, and everything fell apart.” Love, to Cece, was a fleeting mirage.

 

 

The world is searching for answers right now, and sometimes finding answers that us away from the omniscience of GodGenesis of Original Intent takes Christians back to the beginning and God’s plan for humanity.

Genesis of Original Intent encourages Christians to align themselves with God’s Word and His plan for their lives, while reminding the individual of how we all play a part in the greater Body of Christ. “It was always about relationship; it was never about religious icons or empty rituals, or even about belonging to a religious organization. It is not about lighting candles or wearing crosses as jewelry. It is about belonging to a Person—the Person of Jesus Christ.

 

 

The Great Comission leaves some Christians terrified  – afraid of social discrimination or censure. The Ministry of The Unveiled Face lifts the veil from the Christian’s calling and presents it in understandable terminology.

The Ministry of the Unveiled Face grounds believers in the simple act of sharing Christ every single day. The meekness of the calling lies in the Christian being responsive and obedient to God’s prompting as he interacts with others.

 

In an era of aching hearts and minds, when all hope feels lost, there are books to draw us closer to God. For The Display of His Splendor is a book for such a time as this.

Professor Amilliah Kenya wrote For the Display of His Splendor for the generation that struggles with anxiety, depression, and emotional exhaustion. Christians are struggling in this world. Fear, anxiety, depression, and emotional trauma grip even the strongest souls. It’s easy to wonder where God is, and why He placed people in this world during this time.

 

 

In times of suffering and hardships, Christians look to heroes of the faith in reverence. But in reality, they were just humans, flawed as we are. David: The Godly Heart of A Sinful Man  dives into the mystery of King David, the man after God’s own heart, yet famous for his sins. Christians everywhere will be challenged and convicted by this account.

 

Science Fiction is a popular genre of entertainment, but Christians need to use discernment when engaging in it. Enter Conflicted Man, a sci fi adventure about a man on quest for the truth; he ends up finding the one, true Truth along the way. Christians looking for an entertaining, convicting read will find this book checks the boxes for them!

 

 

Looking for a pastor’s quiet reflection about his days of ministry in rural Alaska? Northern Roads is all that and more. The perfect winter reading book for your bookshelf.

Whatever books you are looking for, and in whatever format, Ambassasdor International has the books for you! Our hope and prayer this month is that you experience the love of Christ and read GREAT books that point your heart towards him. 

 

 

New Year’s Hope

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A New Hope

As we welcome in the new year, I find myself reflecting over the tumultuous past year. Although this past year was filled with many challenges, it was also filled with many blessings. It is important for us not to become so distracted by the difficulties that life can bring that we forget to acknowledge and thank God for the favor He shows us in the midst of a struggle. One word that has continued to speak to me and come up this past year has been the word “hope.” It can be so easy to lose hope in the midst of a trial or challenging circumstance, but the Bible tells us in Romans 5:3-5 that “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”

In our own ability and strength, we are not able to say or see this.

When we place our hope and trust in the things of this world, whenever something happens to upset us, we will not be able to maintain a joyful spirit and keep on hoping. But thank you, Jesus, that our hope is not found in this world or what it has to offer! Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” God is our hope. He fills us with His own strength so that even when everything around us may be changing or even falling apart, we can have comfort, peace, joy, and hope in knowing that He will see us through. It’s like the lyrics in the song Hope Has a Name by River Valley Worship say, “Hope has a name, His name is Jesus. My Savior’s cross has set the sinner free. Hope has a name, His name is Jesus. Oh, Christ be praised, I have victory.”

Hopelessly Hopeful

Our difficult situations may differ. For some, it may be dealing with the death of a loved one. While for others it may be dealing with severance in a marriage. Both are types of separation; however, one is a choice, and one is not. Sometimes, someone choosing to leave is harder than if they had passed on. Dr. Mollie Bond explores the idea of resting in God and seeking His path while in the waiting period of separation within her new book, Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation: 28 Daily Devotionals of Hope for Those Experiencing Marital Separation. It can be difficult knowing what to do. Should you reconcile or seek to go your separate ways? Instead of bombarding readers with opinions or condemnation, this book speaks words of hope and encouragement to the hurting heart with no judgment.

Dr. Mollie Bond describes her own personal experience within the opening pages of Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, “I was separating, long-term. The flight attendant called my name. I walked on the plane, holding in tears, as I passed my nurse friend who just smiled at me. I was on my way to a new start. Still, I wonder today, what if someone had told me in the prior months that there was hope for even me? That my life didn’t have to be like this? That God was close and that He cared? I knew I was bitter, but I just couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. There was no exit until I saw that nurse’s smile… a bit of hope. And that’s what I offer to you. A bit of hope, a smile when it seems like your life will never change.”

“My prayer echoes Psalm 20, especially the verses for today. When your heart bleeds, I pray He finds and heals the crack. I pray your church supports you or that you find a good group of people to support you.I pray God saves you and that He shows you that He’s got you, that there’s nothing to fear. We trust in God, and that’s good enough.”

Hope Amid the Pain

Sometimes, our circumstances are outside of our control and are not our choice or even the choice of another, they just are. Leslie McKee expounds upon this fact of life and how it pertains to the effects of dealing with chronic illness and how to continue to remain hopeful in her book, Hope Amid the Pain: Hanging on to Positive Expectations when Battling Chronic Pain and Illness. One of the biggest struggles faced by those experiencing chronic illness or pain is the feeling of being alone in their circumstances. We want to know that we are not alone. Within the pages of her book, Leslie seeks to show readers that they are not alone and show how it is possible to “Hang On to Positive Expectations (HOPE) even [in the midst of] the pain.”

“God promises to use all things for His good. For those living with chronic pain and illness, it could be hard to believe that’s true. But He sees the big picture. He offers hope for those who feel hopeless, comfort in times of trouble, courage to squash fears, and strength to take that next step.”

“Life is full of choices. You can choose to be unhappy with your situation, or you can grab on to hope and live the best life possible. It’s impossible to change the past, and you have little influence over the reactions of others. When you are living with chronic pain and illness, your life may often seem out of control. There will be some things you can do nothing about, no matter how hard you try. However, you can always control your attitude and perspective.”

“It’s easy to focus on how things didn’t go as planned and to get depressed. That’s a natural response to grief and loss, particularly in response to chronic pain and illness. However, Philippians 1:6 is a wonderful reminder that while you may not be where you want to be or thought you’d be, God’s not finished with you yet. You can be confident that God has begun a good work in you, and He will perform it until the day Jesus returns. Life may not be as you envisioned, but you can be certain that God has a plan for you. Be thankful for what you can do and have done instead of focusing on what you can’t do or haven’t done. Abide in the Lord daily. Like the Philippians, you are a work in progress – God’s beautiful creation. Nothing, not even chronic pain, and illness can change that.”

“Your plans may have changed as a result of chronic pain and illness, His calling on your life has not. As God’s children, we have no reason to settle for anything less than God’s best for our lives. Years of struggling with chronic pain and illness can take a toll on a person’s mind, body, and spirit. However, God is the Source of all hope. It’s never too late to begin expecting His goodness in your life. You are valuable and precious to Him. There’s no need to settle for anything less.”

Whether we are facing chronic pain and illness or not, these words are true for all of us. God is the Source for our hope and nothing (and no one) can take His place in our lives. We need to stand strong is His truth (the Bible) and His faithful promises over us.

Destination Hope

We face many struggles within the journey of life. Marilyn Nutter and April White discuss not only the difficulties of separation from a spouse (through widowhood), but they also discuss the struggle of dealing with chronic illness and pain in Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart. Marilyn and April seek to encourage their readers to see loss and hardship as part of life’s journey that defines us, and they remind us to continue to look to our Saviour, Jesus, Who is the provider of all Hope. This is our destination, our resting place, and the only place that hope can truly be found.

In life, we often “travel to unexpected places and live in plans we didn’t make or anticipate. Perhaps we temporarily visited those places and are now on another itinerary. Some find support to manage living in the new location, others find resolution and move on. Still, others struggle and wonder where and when the new road will emerge. Expectations continue to be unmet. For some, however, the unexpected place is permanent. There is no opportunity to leave or fix your loss. It’s not easy. The partly cloudy weather report is the daily forecast.

We all meet itinerary changes. Life seasons bring changes, but some are permanently life-altering. They are accompanied by lifestyle adjustments, changes in relationships, and perhaps, a struggle with identity. Emotions rise and fall, new challenges surface, and loss is present. Like wearing a lanyard for a group tour, loss can mark us and become our identity if we allow it.

In our journeys, we don’t deny where we are. We need to mourn our loss – our disappointments of where we were and wanted to be – but we can learn and grow. We can reach for hope and find our “Holland” [path we didn’t choose for ourselves] may offer something we would have never otherwise seen.”

Although we are not alone and many of us are facing the same (or very similar) storms, “we are not all in the same boat.” What we are going through, or the way things happen to us, may vary. So, what does this look like? “What is the name of your boat? Perhaps your boat has several names. Marilyn, a widow at retirement with grown children, understands grief and the loss of her husband. But her situation is different from a young widow with littles at home. A person who has lost her job and needs to relocate for work has a different boat compared to someone who finds a job locally. Playing financial catch-up from a falling stock market is different at age thirty than age sixty. Each different boat, however, whittles down to grieving over the loss of our former familiar life. The storm is not one size fits all. Losses vary in magnitude from person to person. When and how they occur in our life affects our perspectives. Even family members who experience the same loss, such as the death of a loved one, are impacted in different ways.” But we can be encouraged, because “whatever storm we endure, we can have hope.”

 

If you are hurting or finding it hard to press on and maintain hope in this journey we call life, I encourage you to read these books on finding hope in the midst of the storm. God did not promise us a life without pain or challenges if we follow Him, but He did promise to be there right beside us in every step of the way.

Stand strong, be of great faith, and continue to hope in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as we welcome in the coming year. I pray this year will be a year filled with rest and Hope in the promises of God.

 

Happy New Year from our team here at Ambassador.

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That’s What Christmas Is All About

-A Letter from the Publisher-

 

“O come, O come Emmanuel… Rejoice! Rejoice, Emmanuel has ransomed captive Israel.” What powerful words from a wonderful Christmas hymn. We have the opportunity each year to celebrate the fact that our Emmanuel, Jesus, came to this earth as a small baby to pay the ransom for us. Why would we not want to rejoice? How can we not gaze in wonder at the story of our Saviour’s birth? It can become so easy to lose focus during the hustle and bustle that the Christmas season brings with it that we forget why we are even celebrating in the first place.

 

In Terry Overton’s new Christmas book, Oddball Ornaments: The Story of Christmas, she explores the meaning of the season from a new and unique perspective, that of the ornaments.

They are ready to be hung after Thanksgiving (like they are every year), but when Grandma arrives with new ornaments, what will become of the oddballs? An excerpt from chapter 9 illustrates Terry’s unique way of weaving the story of Christmas into this wonderful book!

“Nutcracker described the beautiful scene he had discovered at the bottom of the tree. He told the ornaments about the animals, and the shepherds, and the kings. Then he talked about the family inside the little shed. And then he explained more about the Baby Jesus and said, ‘He is a gift from His own Father, God.’

‘What?’ Ballerina asked. ‘God gave people a present? His Son? He gave away His own baby?’

‘I know it’s hard to believe and understand. But God made all of the humans and the animals and, well, plants, fish, oceans, stars, and, well, everything. And God loves people so much that He wanted to show them by giving this gift.’” And what a precious gift He is.

 

 

Judy DuCharme shows another aspect of Christmas in her book, I Want a Water Buffalo for Christmas. Instead of focusing on the ultimate gift we have received at Christmas, she focuses on what we ourselves give in response. Judy demonstrates the idea of giving and showing our love to others, providing for those who are less fortunate than we are, and using the gifts that God has given us for His glory through the story of LeGory (a young Water Buffalo) and the journey he faces.

“And so it was that the baby water buffalo who had survived the vicious attack of lions, escaped the mighty crocodile’s bite, learned kindness and strength of character from his grandfather and his father, and mastered the ways of the farmer, was now an instrument of God to bless a family with little or no hope. LeGory brought love and provision from the God who loved him and loved Tuni and Dalia, because of the determination and sacrifice of eleven-year-old Emma who only wanted to give a water buffalo for Christmas. It was all accomplished through the work of Gospel Gifts. LeGory knew his journey had been planned by the One Who made him, and he wanted to do everything he could to help care for this family so God could teach them His love, and so they could help others.”

 

 

Helping, being there, and showing love for others is such a key element in the story of Christmas. It is important that we don’t get so wrapped up in gifts, packages, and bows that we forget about those we are spending Christmas with. In Life’s About Relationships, Dr. Don Woodard explores the importance of the relationships that surround us, the necessity of being truly present and focusing our time and energy into our family and those we love, and how we should be displaying and modeling this to our family.

“At the end of our lives, we will not say I wish I would have spent more time at the office or playing sports or seeking fortune and fame. We will wish that we would have spent more time with family, with those that we love. Money, possessions, and health can all fade away or lose their value, but two things are certain: our relationship with God, Who loves us and created us for Himself, and those special lifelong relationships that God sent into our lives to make our life more pleasant and interesting. When everything else is gone, these relationships will matter the most.”

“We can influence young people about good relationship behaviors, not by what we tell them, but by what we show them through our own relationship behaviors. I will never forget my fifth-grade Sunday school teacher, Mr. Lawrence Schaffer. One Saturday, he invited each pupil in our boys’ Sunday school class out to his house for a Christmas party. During the party, we played games, ate hotdogs and popcorn, and did stuff fifth grade boys do. Just imagine the conversations, ‘Batman is cooler than Superman because he has a cool car,’ or ‘John Wayne is the best ever because he shoots guns and gets to ride a horse.’ These were my normal topics of conversation when I was ten – very important stuff to know!

The thing I remember most about that Christmas party was the way Mr. Schaffer treated Mrs. Schaffer. He spoke politely to Mrs. Schaffer, never raising his voice, never cursing, or threatening to hit her. They spoke lovingly to each other, they smiled at each other, they laughed together, and without knowing it, they taught a fifth-grade boy what a marriage relationship can be. Through their influence and example, they taught me positive relationship behaviors.”

 

Never underestimate the power of the example you may be setting forth today, over Christmas as you are surrounded by those you may not often see every day. Your actions and how you celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, although they may be small or normal to you, could change someone’s life.

 

 

We weren’t meant to do it alone, we need relationships. But we also need to open our doors like the Shaffer’s did for Don and his Sunday school class. So how do we do this? How do we live out our faith during this Christmas season? Martin Wiles gives us a blueprint with practical approaches for discerning how to live out the Bible in today’s world within the pages of his book, Don’t Just Live… Really Live.

“Perhaps more than anywhere else in Scripture, real living is addressed and described in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). The teachings are demanding – and take a lifetime to master – but the rewards are bountiful. When mastered – even to a degree – life is simpler and more peaceful. Most of all, we experience the joy of knowing how to really live life. We’re not artificial but genuine. And we comprehend it’s not all about rules and regulations, but about a loving relationship with a loving heavenly Father through a magnificent Savior.”

“The first four beatitudes deal with inner principles that, if followed, will result in outward actions, which should be our goal. Realizing our spiritual poverty apart from Christ naturally leads to showing mercy. Those who recognize the horribleness of sin strive for purity. Not seeking retaliation or revenge results in peace. And striving to live by God’s standards will incur persecution.”

“Real living may involve rules, regulations, and traditions, but they do not produce it. Believing that it does results in building our life house on sand, and, in the end, it won’t stand. We experience real living by incorporating Jesus’ two greatest commands into our lives: love Him supremely and then others as ourselves. The first will always result in the second, and when we obey these two commands, we will fulfill all the other demands of God’s moral law. Abundant life will be ours. We’ll learn to be content no matter our circumstances, we’ll allow Christ to accomplish His plan through us, and we’ll store our true treasures in heaven where we plan to live eternally.”

~

As we close out this year, in keeping with the spirit of loving others and of Christmas, I want to thank all of our authors, past and present, for being faithful with the mission of furthering the gospel through the written word and using what God has given you to reach the lost, the broken, and the hurting. I especially want to thank those on the Ambassador team (staff) who work so hard each day to see each book completed. This past year brought with it many challenges, but each and every team member pushed through and persevered. Thank you.

I believe Christmas, as it brings in the closing of one year and beckons in the start of another, is the perfect time to consider all that we have to be grateful for such as family, friends, but most of all, our precious Savior, Jesus.

 

 

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and Mary gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. And behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests’” (Luke 2: 6-14).