Posts Tagged ‘authors’

The Race Parallels Christian Faith and Running

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The Race by Sammy Tippit The Race is Written by Sammy Tippit with Foreword by Gov. Mike Huckabee

For immediate release: Sammy Tippit started out his ministry walking across America, handing out Bibles from a wheelbarrow. Forty years later he found himself running his first marathon, collapsing at the finish line. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital where he learned he was the second man that day to have the same thing happen—only the other man died. “If I had called the shots, I would have said run when I was young and walk when I was old. But God’s ways are not our ways,” says Tippit, a resident of San Antonio.

The 60-something cancer survivor is not your typical runner. Once 60 pounds overweight, Tippit decided to share his story of transformation in a new book along with the stories of Ryan Hall, American record-holder for the half marathon, Charles Austin, the Olympic and American record-holder for the high jump and others. Tippit’s book The Race: Run Like a Champion, chronicles his journey into a healthy lifestyle, using God’s word as his source of inspiration. The Race highlights metaphors and wisdom for athletes from the Bible including:

  • The endurance metaphor isn’t in the Bible to say you need more hardships– it shows us how to live by God’s grace and power in the midst of adversities.
  • When you run according to your gifting, you may encounter problems along the way, but you feel a sense of joy and peace in the midst of the race.
  • A runner doesn’t become a champion overnight, and neither does a Christian become a spiritual giant instantly. We begin weak and grow strong. We start slow and develop speed.
  • Hills display God’s glory at a distance. But for a runner, those same hills produce a need for God.
  • God wants us to finish life’s race as winners, not losers. He longs to award us the crown of victory at the end of our lives.

 

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee wrote the foreword for The Race. As longtime friends, Tippit watched Huckabee lose nearly 100 pounds and was inspired by his commitment to get in shape through running and healthy living. “It showed me the roadmap of how I could do the same thing,” explains Tippit. “So when it came time to write a book I knew there was no one better than Governor Huckabee to write the foreword.”

To learn more about Tippit and The Race, visit HERE.

Five Things about Abby Banks of “Love Him Anyway”

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Abby Banks is the author of “Love Him Anyway” a powerful memoir about her son, Wyatt’s battle with a rare autoimmune disease. Here are Abby’s “five things”:

I love family movie night. Friday night is special at my house. It’s family movie night, and I look forward to it all week. We rent a movie, pop popcorn, shut all the lights off, and curl up under quilts on the couch. Each week a different family member gets to pick a movie. We don’t worry about cleaning up the kitchen or finishing the laundry. Friday is the one night of the week that is reserved for family time only. I’m trying to soak in every second of it before my kids figure out that I’m not as cool as they think I am. I’m expecting them to invite their dates to our family movie night when they get older. My ten-year-old currently agrees.

DSC_6298 copyI love minivans. I love driving a minivan. I realize that probably classifies me as being old and boring, but seriously, there is nothing I would rather drive. They’re comfy, convenient, and fit all my favorite people. All my son’s medical equipment fits easily in the back, and it’s the perfect height. I don’t have to hurt my back or strain to lift the kids in and out. I love that I only have to push a button to open and close the doors, and I can still open the sunroof and turn up the music to pretend like I’m young and trendy.

I was a liver donor. If you’ve already read Love Him Anyway, you know this about me already, but it’s worth repeating. At the age of 21, I became a liver donor for an amazing 9-year-old boy named Austin. God orchestrated the neatest series of events that allowed me to be an organ donor. It was none of my own doing. I had graduated from college a semester early. I had a job that allowed me the flexibility to make a quick decision. I was the right blood type, and I was young enough to hop in a car and head to Charleston, SC without fully understanding what I was getting myself into.

Becoming a little part of Austin was one of the greatest experiences of my life. That precious, redheaded boy gave me far more than I could have ever given him. God called Austin home not long after I donated my liver to him, and it was an honor for me to give my daughter his name. She was born exactly 9 years and one day after he celebrated his first day in Heaven. Her birth date is no coincidence, and I know she was meant to bear his name.

Hockey is my favorite sport. I’m a total sports junkie. As a little girl, I dreamed of being a sportscaster for ESPN. I watched it every day and soaked in as much trivia as I could. I was drawn into anything competitive, but hockey stole my heart. I love the speed, agility, and toughness of it. I was able to get an internship with the Greenville Grrrowl hockey team during college. I ended up spending six seasons working in media relations for the team. I loved every second of it, but the best part was when the Grrrowl won the 2002 Kelley Cup, the ECHL equivalent to the Stanley Cup. I even got my own championship ring.

I hate scary movies and medical dramas. I don’t understand the allure of scary movies and haunted houses. Fear is an emotion that I want to avoid at all cost. I certainly am not going to pay and willingly sit through something that’s sole purpose is to scare me. My husband, Jason, likes to say that people who love scary movies don’t spend enough time alone in the dark.Love Him Anyway

I can’t watch medical dramas either. I’ve spent too much time in a hospital, and they hit too close to home. My heart just can’t handle the stress. Instead of relaxing on the couch in front of the television, I find myself exhausted and mentally drained from medical dramas. I want entertainment to be as escape from reality, not a reminder of how difficult it can be. My television viewing primarily consists of sports, Disney movies, and comedies. Actually, that would be a lie. My television view currently consists of whatever the kids are watching. Currently, Mickey and the Roadster Racers is on repeat at our house.

“Love Him Anyway” Book Fair to Benefit Shriners

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Are you local to the Greenville area? We’d love to have you at our signing and discussion event with “Love Him Anyway” author Abby Banks! Join us at the Barnes and Noble on Woodruff Road on April 22, at 10am! Read more about Wyatt’s incredible story here, and find out more about the event on our Facebook page. Hope to see you there!1937145_149031518202_2464565_n

Love Him Anyway

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Five Things about Randy Blankenship, Sr., of “The Mystery and the Masterpiece”

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Randy Blankenship, Sr. is the author of “The Mystery and the Masterpiece,” an encouraging and convicting study of marriage and relationships.  Here are Randy’s “five things”:

New_Life_Staff_2015-108I am married to a triplet. This is my claim to fame. My wife comes from a very large family in our area. When she was born, triplets at the time were like sextuplets today. On her first birthday, people sent her pictures from a newspaper article featuring her and her sisters in the Los Angeles Times. For years they were featured as children in local fashion shows, school programs, etc. Everyone knows “The Fivecoate Triplets.” For a number of years they travelled and sang in ministry as “One in the Spirit.” And yes, on one occasion for each sister-in-law, I happened to put my arm around the wrong one! 

I am a Floridian living on the mission field in Indiana. When I was 2 years old, my parents moved me from Florida to Indiana. I suppose my dad did need work, but I’m still not sure I’ve forgiven them for this momentous life-changing event. However, like the salmon swimming upstream, I still have to return to the place of my birth at least once a year. As I type this, I have returned for my annual trek to Florida. The Mystery and the Masterpiece

I began formally teaching the Bible at age 15. Shortly after I felt led to full-time ministry, I had the opportunity to accept a number of speaking engagements at a very young age. By the time I graduated high school at age 17, I had already ministered in a number of special events over much of Northern Indiana.  I am now in the fifth generation in my family to be in ministry. 

The call to full-time vocational ministry is not hereditary, but God often leads families through generations. Now we have ministers serving in various capacities all over the world. My children are in the sixth generation, and they are all also involved in devoting their lives to ministry. 

Still single, at the age of 20, I planted a church in Ohio. After 4 1/2 years, felt led to pursue foreign missionary work, and met my wife on the way. We were in the Philippines in time for our first wedding anniversary. After returning, we planted a church together in Indianapolis before leading a state-wide church planting ministry, then returning to our hometown to pastor. 

I wanted to be a dentist. Hearing my parents regularly discuss the high price of dental care, I figured becoming a dentist would be a profitable occupation. I had my entire college and career life planned out, until I felt the direction of the Lord to pursue ministry . . . well, at least I didn’t have to take calculus, trigonometry, analytic geometry, chemistry, physics, etc. 

I met Ronald Reagan. In September of 1980, two months before being elected president, Ronald Reagan visited Kokomo, Indiana, which had been adversely affected in the automobile industry. I had the opportunity to shake his hand. I’m not saying that had anything to do with his election . . . but there is no way of knowing what might have happened had that encounter not occurred! 

Five Things About Sherry Matthews Plaster of “The Divine Deal”

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” Series. Author Sherry Matthews Plaster is the author of The Divine Deal, a great salvational resource for young adults. Here are Sherry’s five things:

The Divine DealI was six years old the first time the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. I remember getting out of bed to tell my mother. She tried to dismiss it at first; surely at six I didn’t understand what I was saying. After a few questions, we prayed together and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I was baptized shortly thereafter.

I had absolutely no desire to be a mother. I awoke one morning changed. Just like that. I wanted to be a mother more than I had ever wanted anything in my life. I was 25 years old. Without a husband and no prospects in sight, I began to pray. By 30 I thought that maybe it just wasn’t in God’s plans for my life. More than 10 years later, at 36 years old, my first child was born. My children are my greatest blessings.

I am not a writer; I never aspired to be. This book was solely written for my children. Or so I thought. Before having it bound into a book, a hired an editor to look it over for errors. It was she who told me it should be published. “It would be a shame if your children were the only ones to read this. Put it out there” she said. More than a year later I sought a second opinion and it was in seeking the second opinion that led to being published.20160903_175808

I am an aquaphile. Whether a lake, river, stream or ocean I absolutely adore being there. There was a small running creek behind the house where I grew up and I spent much of my time outdoors there as a child. The ocean is my favorite. The majestic beauty is calming and reminds me of the wonder of our Creator.

I am a night owl. Going to bed at a decent hour has always been a struggle for me. Whether it’s reading, watching television, doing laundry, praying or meditation, I enjoy the peace of night time.

Learn more about Sherry Matthews Plaster and The Divine Deal by visiting www.sherrymatthewsplaster.com.

5 Things About Author Cathy Harris

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Cathy Harris wrote the amazing living testimony  “Created to Live.” Here are Cathy’s “five things”:

I love watching childbirth. Ever since I had my first daughter naturally 7 years ago, I have been in awe of the childbirth process. I love learning about natural childbirth as well as teaching it. I have been a childbirth educator for the past 6 ½ years. As much as I love teaching, nothing compares to attending and being part of a birth. I love watching mothers become strong empowered women. I love watching fathers comfort and coach their wives in gentleness and confidence. I love watching babies be born wide opened and ready to take in the world. About a year ago, I had a chance to catch a baby for a couple having a homebirth. Due to a very fast birth, 9781620205716the midwife was not able to make it to their home in time for the birth. I was forced and delighted to jump in as the acting midwife to catch their squishy and cute baby boy. A process that might be scary or even gross to many people, is fascinating to me. When my kids get older and leave the house, I might just attend births just for fun.

 

I homeschool my kids. Homeschooling started out as something I was terrified to do. Now it is a delight and privilege. Of course, it is also a huge challenge. There are days I think about putting my kids on the school bus, but our incredible homeschool community helps me work through the hard days. We are a part of a community called Classical Conversations. We actually “go to school” every Friday together. Each of my kids have their own class and teacher. I have been blessed (or perhaps I am the only crazy one in the bunch) to teach the 4 and 5 years olds. Much of my time on Fridays is helping these young ones memorize and absorb new information in the following subjects: history, math, geography, Latin, English, science, and fine arts. Bottom line is, I pretty much make a fool out of myself in front of a few moms and 8 kids every week. We dance, sing, march, and even roll out our new memory work. It is a ton of fun. Unless God changes our course, we plan to homeschool our kids through high school.

 

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I love the arts. Singing, painting, and playing the piano were my past times. Before the days of snotty noses, diapers, homeschooling, and soccer fields, I spent most of my free time painting, playing the piano, or singing. I sang for several years on the church worship team and was a member of a few of the worship teams in the Atlanta International House of Prayer. I don’t get a chance to dabble in the arts all that much anymore. I guess you could say that home décor, chalk painting furniture, and writing have replaced the hobbies of the past. And, if I can sneak a ticket to a play or pop in a musical in the DVD player, I am a happy girl.

 

I am an introvert. Some people may find it strange for an author, speaker, and teacher to be an introvert. I love being around a lot of people, but I refuel in my alone time or with people who know me well. I would also much rather sit down with you and have deep conversation over coffee than mingle in a large crowd. I am not the life of the party at all. I actually tend to be very reflective, practical, and quiet. I am an ISTJ according to the Myers Briggs Personality Test. Funny enough this is the opposite from my husband in every way. I am an introverted (I) sensor (S) who logically thinks through everything (T) and loves discovering what is just (J) in every situation. Being spontaneous is a challenge. I make a list for everything that requires planning, and I have 4 white boards in our house that help me organize life. Some would say that I am boring, but I would say I am practical.

 

I love Missions. I love everything about missions. I love reading about it, supporting missionaries, and hearing about what God is doing all of the earth. I served as a missionary for 6 years before I got married through the United Methodist Missionary Society. Although I was not an overseas missionary, I was appointed as an associate director at the United Methodist Student Center (The Wesley Foundation) at the University of Georgia. I was also blessed with the opportunity to go on or lead college mission teams to Los Angeles, New York, Omaha, Guatemala, Scotland, and Israel. My husband and I also served as the Adventures in Missions Field Coordinators for a summer in Philadelphia. We hope as our kids get a bit older, we will be able to continue taking mission trips.

 

 

 

Catch Juana Mikels Inspiring Interview of Focus On The Family

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A handsome husband, a dream job, and plenty of money- so why wasn’t Juana Mikels happy? In a desperate attempt to find the peace and happiness she craved Mikels left it all behind. In Choosing Him All Over Again:A Story of Romance & Redemption, Mikels offers an intimate account of her search for Mr. Right, a journey that ended up leading her into the arms of Jesus, and ultimately back home to her husband.

Catch Juana’s two part interview with Focus On The Family October 25th & 26th — you can listen HERE

Can’t wait for the interview, Choosing Him All Over Again is available in print, ebook and audio format. You can also enjoy a FREE or $.99 Kindle edition Study Guide.

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Author Forum: How Do You Choose a Book Title?

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This is the fifth of a multi-part series by guest blogger Ivy Cheng tapping into the expertise of several seasoned Ambassador authors. The first post offered tips on dealing with writer’s block. The second post covered the influence other writers can have on your work, the third discussed managing a writing schedule within a busy life and last week’s post provided insight into starting a book project.

Although we always say never judge a book by its cover, it cannot be denied that first impressions are important. When you pick up a book, the first thing you see is a book’s title and cover. It is important to find a title that grabs the reader’s attention, makes an impact, and also reflect the book itself. That is a lot of expectations heaped on just a few words.

 

Juana M9781620202913-e1414700233650ikels – Author of Choosing Him All Over Again 

I was so honored to be a guest on Elisabeth Elliot’s radio program in 1997. We had begun a writing correspondence and she mentored me through her letters. She asked me to come on her program and tell our story. After we finished taping 3 days worth of programs, she said, “Juana, you know you are going to have to write a book. Call it, “Don’t Dump Him.” I was so busy with 4 young children, and my fourth child was born totally blind and partially deaf. Twelve years went by as I was a dyed-in-the-wool stay-at-home-mother and found motherhood absolutely a calling and delightful (nothing will ever surpass it, no book—no accomplishment—nothing. I left a six-figure income with Xerox in sales to teach my children at home. When we stopped home-schooling after 13 years, I began the manuscript entitling it, you guessed it, “Don’t Dump Him.” After I was blessed with an agent, we still kept the title the same as she shopped for publishers. We decided to reverse the title to make it a more positive statement flipping it to, “Choosing Him All Over Again.”  I’m glad we offer that alternative title, and in the end my publisher chose it. That honored my husband too, for he never liked, “Don’t Dump Him!”

 

From Driftwood to SapphireKathy Howard – Author of From Dishes to Snow and From Driftwood to Sapphire

That’s funny you should ask, because I have no process. Though they are not all published yet, by God’s goodness, I have written three books. All three were different when it came to finding a title. From Dishes to Snow was originally titled ‘The Little Red House,’ but that didn’t pop. Not until I was reworking a scene at the end of the book and the words just came out, did I realize that those words needed to be on the front cover as well. From Driftwood to Sapphire’s title came in the middle of writing it. I knew I wanted the sequel to have the same type of title, so I intentionally thought of driftwood and sapphire and did my best to work it into the story. The third novel’s title came before the first word was typed. Since it has not yet been published, I’ll keep its name a mystery for now. 😉 So, the process for creating a title? For me, there is none. The title shows up on its own time table.

Grace in the Middle

Wendy Duke – Author of Grace in the Middle

Choosing a title is definitely tricky.  I wanted the title to convey the message of the story, but also connect a stranger  to the story when he / she picks it up off of a shelf in a bookstore. I’m drawn to bold titles, lyrical titles, and memorable titles.  You want people to remember the name of the book when they talk about it or share it with others. And the title and cover have to tie so closely together; a strong or intriguing title with a cover equally as strong and intriguing is a powerful draw.

 

An9781620202692-197x306drea Rodgers –Author of The 20th Christmas

I always find that coming up with a title is one of the hardest parts of writing a book, what was your process for creating a title?

I really have no one to credit for my titles except God! Every other title I’ve come up with in my life was a struggle (and really terrible titles, haha), but The 20th Christmas were the words I saw when I opened my eyes after having the dream. A similar situation happened with Caged Dove–I was walking around my house with the laundry basket and that title just came to me. When I looked up Scripture about doves, I had chills–Psalm 55:6 fits my book to a T. I knew there was no better way to begin Caged Dove than with that Bible verse!

 

 

 

Are you ready to start writing your own book? Go and comment on our Facebook page and tell us all about it!

 

Author Forum: How Do You Start Writing a Book?

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This is the fourth of a multi-part series by guest blogger Ivy Cheng tapping into the expertise of several seasoned Ambassador authors. The first post offered tips on dealing with writer’s block. The second post covered the influence other writers can have on your work and the third discussed managing a writing schedule within a busy life.

I once had a friend who told me “everyone has a story, but not all of them can write it.” I think this is a very true statement. Everyone is unique in their own way, and everyone has a story to tell. However, not everyone has the time, patience, or skill to write their story. The ability to write an entire book requires intense devotion. It is a daunting task to sit in front of a blank screen and start writing a book. And so, we ask some of our authors what was the spark that made them write those first few words.

 

Juana M9781620202913-e1414700233650ikels – Author of Choosing Him All Over Again 

The short answer is it was a call from God. By that I mean, that I knew to write it was to be obedient to what He wanted me to do. Knowing that it was God’s will for my life with my husband’s full blessing gave me strength and endurance when the going got rough—and it did get rough. It took me a year and half to write the rough draft, another year and a half to get a Christian agent, then another two years to get a Christian publisher, and finally one year before I held the book in my hand. When the book finally arrived, I will never forget my husband’s prayer with me. We held the book in our hands, and he prayed that if one person could be brought closer to Christ or have a stronger marriage—just one person more complete in all the will of God—it would be worth it. So beautiful to hear the man that I left all those years ago to pray over Choosing Him All Over Again.

From Driftwood to SapphireKathy Howard – Author of From Dishes to Snow and From Driftwood to Sapphire

From Dishes to Snow was written after we decided to homeschool our girls. I wanted to do something that would share Jesus and hopefully make enough money to pay for the kids’ curriculum. I prayed over every writing day, never knowing what the characters would do or say. I had no idea what the plot would be, only that I wanted to use my family’s mountain house as the setting. As a child, I remember hiking, daydreaming about different stories involving our precious mountain. In 2013/2014, I was given the chance to daydream again, only this time, others were privy to those dreams as the story came alive on paper.

Grace in the Middle

Wendy Duke – Author of Grace in the Middle

Encouragement from other people motivated me highly, but I also just had a deep conviction that our story of pain and struggle could help someone else in their own difficult circumstances. I had flashbacks of sitting in doctors’ waiting rooms, alone and scared, and decided to write our story to help encourage people in the same shoes. This has been my greatest desire for this book: to help struggling families deal with the difficulties of having a child with an illness or other traumatic circumstances. King Solomon said our words have the power of life and death, and I wanted to use mine to speak life over people who need to hear life and light and hope.

 

 

An9781620202692-197x306drea Rodgers –Author of The 20th Christmas

My first book, The 20th Christmas, came to me in a dream. I’ve been writing stories since childhood and that had never happened to me before–but I started scribbling down what I remembered and a month later the manuscript was completed! My next book, Cage The Dove (coming this fall), was inspired by real-life events that I went through in junior high, so the story idea has been on my mind for over two decades. God gave me too many signs for me to put it off any longer.

Are you ready to start writing your own book? Go and comment on our Facebook page and tell us all about it!