Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tomorrow had Come



Tomorrow Had Come
by Jessica Kirkland

In every season of life, the Enemy would whisper the lie that I would “never make it” to the next. I believed it. Time and time again, I thought his words held power. As a young child, I never thought I would live to see my school years. Once I entered school, I never thought I would live to see the next day, next grade, or milestone in life. I listened to a very real enemy, even though I didn’t want to. Even though I came from a strong, Christian family, I felt powerless to stop the lies. Fear gripped me, stole from me, and taunted every careful step I took.

I gave my heart to Christ at six years old, yet fear still held me tight. Though I had renewed hope, the whispers and lies continued to flow and drown out truth through every season. When, I heard the words that burned a hole straight through, I was nose-to-nose with what appeared to be the sum of all my fears.

“Mrs. Kirkland, you have congestive heart failure. If your babies are born now, they will probably not live or be severely impaired.”

I was twenty-six weeks pregnant with triplets. In the beginning, I had been pregnant with quads, but had lost one child at 14 weeks. I never imagined we might all go meet Jesus on the same day. I mourned the thought of my husband walking through life alone. I grieved for the children that would either die, be disabled on this earth, or grow up motherless. And I burned with anger, not just because of the oxygen mask strapped to my face as I struggled for breath and life, but for twenty-five years of allowing Satan to tell me that I would never make it to tomorrow.

Tomorrow had come.

As nurses whirled around me, I prayed Acts 17:25 out loud, “…You give life and breath to everything, and satisfy every need.” I pleaded with the God I personally knew through a relationship with His Son, Jesus. I knew He had a plan for my life that was good according to Jeremiah 29:11. In my humanity, I struggled with the thought that death might be His plan for us on that day.

Today, we are parents to three healthy five-year-olds. You would never know they were born nine weeks premature. The joy that Satan has stolen from me in 30 years, through a spirit of fear, is great. I imagine if you strung each lying sentence end-to-end, they might wrap the globe. Yet, I have promised to tell others of God’s miracles in my life and do my part in setting captives free. Tomorrow had come, but so had Jesus, and it is He who has defeated the grave.

“For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7


Author Bio


Jessica Kirkland
Jessica Kirkland lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, Robb, and five-year-old triplets. She is an author and speaker whose greatest passion in life is to see young families grow deeper in their walk with God. Jessica's newest adventure includes launching Christian Apps 4 Kids, which seeks to draw kids closer to Christ one app at a time. A recent release is a book app that addresses fear and scary nighttime sounds called The Sounds of Night, designed for kids ages 2-8. It is currently available on iPad, iPhone and all Android devices. When Jessica isn't writing, you can find her cheering her boys on at the soccer field, or watching her little girl at the dance studio.

To find out more about her current writing projects,
connect with her at: http://www.christianapps4kids.com
or on her personal blog: http://www.jessicakirkland.com

To purchase The Sounds of Night at iTunes:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-sounds-of-night/id456046823?mt=8

To purchase The Sounds of Night in the Android Market:
https://market.android.com/details?id=pro.roar.thesoundsofnight&feature=search_result

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Planning Your Child's Birthday Party


SIMPLE GIFTS
By Sharen Pearson

As a mother of five and now grandmother of seven, I’ve planned my share of birthday events. I am a creative person, so my problem is “going over the top.” My expectations supersede those of the birthday child. So, I have to step back and say, “Whose birthday is it anyway?” And, therein lies the key to a successful birthday party.

I recently assisted with my grandson, Waylon’s party. He was reaching that big-boy age of 5 years. He knew what theme he wanted: Herbie the Love Bug. He wanted a backyard campfire and a cake with Herbie on it. Simple—Herbie, campfire, cake. Got it! My daughter complied. She invited a few families from church that Waylon knew well and was comfortable around. Since entire families were represented, parents were there to help with crowd control. Bowls of chips and dip provided a place to gather around as people arrived. Children scattered to play in the back yard, parents grouped to watch and chat. Easy, huh? Daddy lit a small fire in the campfire ring in the yard. More talk, more easy playing. The cake was a simple giant chocolate chip cookie with a frosting “Herbie.” Waylon thought it was wonderful.

Mommy announced that it was gift-opening time and everyone pulled up lawn chairs and sat in family groups. Waylon sat in the middle of the circle on the grass and guests watched as he opened each gift and thanked the giver. He received many nice gifts, but to everyone’s delight, a small, inexpensive VW bug toy car was his favorite. He opened it, raised it above his head as if it were a trophy and yelled in delight. Waylon slept with his “Herbie;” woke up and greeted it; placed it on the edge of the tub so he could see it. He had the birthday he wanted. Simple party, simple gift, simple fun!

Some suggestions to consider when planning your party:
If your child is old enough to have input, allow it.
For ages 1-5 years, simple is best. Simple decorations, simple food, simple games.
Invite only one party guest per age of the child. Young children are very intimidated by many children of the same age. Remember, “Whose birthday is it?”
If guests include family/friends with older children, add activities especially for them.
Home is the best place for children ages 5 and under. Big party venues are confusing, scary and do not position the “birthday child” as the center of attention as he should be.
Some traps that parents fall into:
Making the party so complicated that you, as the parent, no longer enjoy it. (Been there, done that.)
Allowing young party guests to get close to and grab for gifts as as the birthday child is opening them. (Admit it, you’ve seen this haven’t you?)
Spending too much money. (Guilty as charged.)
Preparing food for adults and not age-appropriate to the guests. (The only thing to show off today is your wonderful child)
Engaging in sleepover parties before the age of 9 years. (Children younger than 9 or 10 years often find sleeping at someone else’s home frightening and uncomfortable.)

Author Bio

Sharen Pearson
Sharen Pearson’s Goof & Giggle classes and materials continue to provide a quality Mom/Tot interaction. Widely popular, Goof & Giggle’s child-focused play plans are offered in various Arizona communities. She’s also created a variety of Goof Juice DVDs and filmed episodes of Baby D.I.Y. and written workbooks for BabyFirstTV. Arizona Midday (NBC) tapes monthly segments with Sharen to provide their audience with a variety of original and creative “easy to do” activities for babies and preschoolers. Sharen’s creativity reaches a combined audience over 200 million viewers worldwide. Goof & Giggle classes and products encourage green living, repurposing materials from around the house into affordable objects for play and learning. Learn more at: http://sharenpearson.com/

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Christian Publishing University Launched!

Christian Publishing University Launched!

CPU is offering a special promotion for
bloggers interested in learning more
about Christian Publishing

September 1 marked a giant step forward in the Christian publishing industry as a team of highly experienced industry professionals have launched a major new Web site—ChristianPublishingUniversity.com. Organized as an online university campus, the site is intended to become a one-stop clearinghouse of trainings, resources, and networking for both newcomers and veterans of the industry. It pulls together a wealth of valuable information that has never been assembled in one place before. Its purpose is to serve Christian publishers, editors, proofreaders, authors, composers, artists, photographers, retailers, pastors, church leaders, and many others.

Are you interested in taking a look at what is offered at CPU?
Keep reading for more information especially for bloggers--
and find out how you could win a Kindle!

A two-year project, the 150-page Christian Publishing University (CPU) site includes dozens of impressive features, such as numerous recorded classes and courses on publishing topics, links to several hundred publishers of Christian materials, 60+ Christian literary agents, a Christian store locator service, 780,000+ quotations, various bestseller lists, all the public and national libraries in America, and hundreds of affiliate organizations, websites, and blogs.

CPU also offers an extensive publishing dictionary, a huge library of downloadable documents and helps, a campus store of publishing-related books and products, an interactive social media student center, an industry master calendar of events, a blog that discusses current publishing issues, and much more.

Top Christian author, Max Lucado, who is often called “America’s Pastor,” praised CPU by saying, “The Christian Publishing University is a timely response to an increasing need. Christian writing needs to set the standard in published literature. CPU takes us in that direction. Aspiring writers now have a resource for guidance and instruction. I can envision this ministry as a blessing to so many people.”

CPU is supported by an advisory board of well-known Christian publishing industry leaders, such Dr. Paul Brownlow (CEO of Brownlow Gifts), Dr. Thelma Wells (CEO of A Women of God Ministry and former speaker for Women of Faith), Mark Sweeney (president of Mark Sweeney & Associates literary agency), Dr. Jim Underwood (professor at Dallas Baptist University and New York Times bestselling author), Dr. Terry Johnson (former president of Oklahoma Christian University), Dr. Helen Young (former professor, Pepperdine University), June Hunt (Hope for the Heart), Dr. Sheila Bailey (Sheila B. Ministry), and others.

Watch the preview video!

CPU director of communications, Mary Hollingsworth, bestselling author of more than one hundred Christian books and a 27-year veteran of the industry, said, “Christian Publishing University is a dream come true for our industry’s seasoned professionals, as well as for gifted Christians who want to participate in God’s mission of spreading His Word through the avenue of publishing. For the first time ever, an enormous storehouse of resources, trainings, networking connections, social interactions, and other valuable features can be found in one place.”

“So far, we’ve only scratched the surface. We’ll be constantly adding new resources, classes, and opportunities as we go forward. We have some really exciting expansion plans for the future,” Hollingsworth said.

“Christian publishing is as old as the Bible itself,” she continued, “and God’s wise man, Solomon, said, ‘Of making books there is no end,’ so we’re here to stay. Until now, though, it’s been a difficult industry to navigate for newcomers, because the information they needed to get started was scattered all over the Web, in a multitude of books, in hundreds of magazine articles, and in a myriad of professionals’ minds. It was incredibly hard to assimilate.

“At long last, by compiling so many resources in one place, CPU gives them a chance to learn much of what they need to know to join this great ministry of the Word. It gives them hope. And it gives publishing professionals a place to refer newcomers who want to join us. We’re excited about the service it can provide both to those in house at our publishing companies, retailers, and to up-and-coming industry participants.”

Unlike printed books which, by the very nature of printed materials, are somewhat out of date by the time they hit the bookstore shelves, the CPU website can be constantly updated and, as the Bible says, “new every morning.”

CPU is a membership site and is open to anyone who wishes to participate in its ministry. The annual membership fee is $39.99. As Hollingsworth noted, “It’s less than the price of one Starbucks latte a month and far more valuable in the long run.”

For more information and to enroll, visit www.ChristianPublishingUniversity.com.

Are you interested in finding out more about
Christian Publishing University?

For a limited time, bloggers will be able to use a one-month look-before-you-blog promotional code for full access to the website for free. This code is active for the entire month of October and expires on November 1. Enroll by using the code freeonemonth.

If you blog about CPU and decide that you would like to continue your membership, you will be eligible to receive a $24.99 one-year discount as a thank you. If you would like to take advantage of the first year special, you can renew after your free month by using the code savefifteen.

For each blog post you make about CPU, you will be entered into a drawing to win a free Kindle. The second prize will be a free membership for one year.

You must send your links to ajennings@tbbmedia.com by November 4 to be entered in the drawing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Documentary releasing today

180 Film Turns Opinions Around Regarding Abortion

New award-winning documentary is changing minds and saving lives


Dallas/Fort Worth, TX—What would you do if…? Thus begins the question being asked by author and film producer Ray Comfort in his new documentary,180. Titled to reflect the complete turnaround in the mindsets of all to whom the question is posed, the award-winning film shows eight pro-choice people (mostly college students) changing their stance to pro-life just moments after the question is asked in its entirety. It is Comfort’s hope that the documentary, releasing online September 26th, will go viral.

While skeptics of 180 (Living Waters Publications) say they can’t believe anyone would change his or her mind so quickly, Comfort accepts and even understands their disbelief, stating that he could hardly believe it himself when he first viewed the footage in the editing room. Initially, 180 was not the film he meant to produce. At the time, Comfort was taping interviews for a DVD to go along with a book on Hitler and the holocaust. In the course of the interviews, one question led to another, and the discussion led to abortion. Comfort explains, “It began with two male university students completely changing their minds about abortion when we asked them this one question. We realized it wouldn’t be convincing to have only males speaking on the subject, so we took to the streets, asking that one particular question, and found that six women changed their minds from pro-abortion to pro-life in a matter of seconds. It was amazing!”

Though it was not Comfort’s original intention to create a documentary specifically about the abortion issue, when he saw the direction the film was taking, he quickly recognized its potential to open the doors of discussion. “I have held up pro-life signs. I have printed pro-life literature and spoken against abortion in pulpits and in my books, but I have felt that all my efforts were almost futile—that is, up until now. In 180 we have a nation changer.”

A spokesperson for Living Waters, the production company behind the documentary, further explains the abrupt change this way: “There really isn’t that much to debunk because there is no argument against it. Its message is very powerful, eye-opening and watertight. It leaves no room for a comeback.”

Comfort adds, “Most of us know that we should be doing something to stop this horror, but the thought of protesting is a little unnerving, especially with the demonization of those who do so. But here is something each of us can easily do—we can give this DVD out. We can pass them out on the streets, leave copies on park benches or on seats in malls or give it to the checkout lady at the supermarket. This isn’t hard to do, and it will save lives—perhaps millions of lives.”

As to the rest of the question Comfort asks in 180? You’ll have to wait to watch the video to find out what it is. “For me to tell you what the question is,” he explains, “would be cheating you. You’ve got to see the facial expressions change. You’ve got to see the people, when they are asked that one question, change from one of a hard look in their facial expressions to one of a light going off, as they change their minds and realize how evil abortion is. Their thinking makes an abrupt 180 degree turn, all because of that one game-changing question.”

Although the film is just now being released to the public, an early edit of 180 was submitted for consideration and won a 2011 Telly Award.

The documentary is now available for free viewing online at www.180movie.com.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Carol Award Winners

Congratulations to all the winners!


Carol Awards:

Novella: A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky (Barbour - Rebecca Germany, Editor)

Short Contemporary: A Father for Zach By Irene Hannon (Love Inspired - Melissa Endlich, Editor)

Short Contemporary Suspense: Night Prey by Sharon Dunn (Love Inspired Suspense - Emily Rodmell, Editor)

Short Historical: Her Healing Ways by Lyn Cote (Love Inspired Historical - Tina James, Editor)

Young Adult: Anything But Normal by Melody Carlson (Revell - Lonnie Hull DuPont, Editor)

Long Contemporary: Never say Never by Lisa Wingate (Bethany House - Dave Long, Editor)

Long Contemporary Romance: Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson - Natalie Hanemann, Editor)

Mystery: The Camera Never Lies by Elizabeth Goddard (Barbour - Rebecca Germany, Editor)

Romantic Suspense: The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson (Summerside Press - Rachel Meisel/Susan Downs/Ellen Tarver, Editors)

Speculative Fiction: Predator by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan - Sue Brower/Dave Lambert, Editors)

Long Historical: Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren (Summerside Press - Susan Downs, Editor)

Long Historical Romance: Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa Melanie Dobson (Summerside Press - Rachel Meisel/Connie Troyer, Editors

Speculative: K├Ânig’s Fire by Marc Schooley (Marcher Lord Press - Jeff Gerke/C.L. Dyck, Editor

Women's Fiction: Beaded Hope by Cathy Liggett (Tyndale Publishers - Jan Stob/Lorie Popp, Editors)

Debut Author: Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes (Tyndale Publishers - Kathryn Olson, Editor)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New September releases

September brings a feast for fiction fans. Survey this buffet and choose what tempts you. There are a number of Christmas-themed novella collections which are always popular for gifting and getting yourself into the spirit. They might even help cool you down from this late summer heat! Enjoy!

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW FictionFinder website.

A Biltmore Christmas by Diane Ashley and Rhonda Gibson -- A Historical Romance from Barbour; Explore the luxuries of America’s largest home through the eyes of the fictional Bradford sisters

A Bride’s Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas by Erica Vetsch -- A Romance from Barbour. Hoping to leave the shadows of her shady yesteryears behind, Adeline Reid is focusing on her photography career. But when her ex-boyfriend’s compatriot in crime shows up in Dodge City her entire past is threatened by exposure.

A Harvest of Hearts by Laura V. Hilton -- Shanna Stoltzfus thought nothing could make her return home to her Amish family. She was wrong. But can anything make her give up her dreams and stay?

A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman -- A Historical Romance from Revell. Her heart is tied to a youthful vow . . . but can true love set it free?

A Log Cabin Christmas Collection by Margaret Brownley, Wanda Brunstetter, Jane Kirkpatrick, Kelly Eileen Hake, Liz Johnson, Liz Tolsma, Michelle Ule, Debra Ullrick, and Erica Vetsch-- General Fiction Historical from Revell. In a time of peril, can they find the courage to confront their fears and embrace a love that lasts?

A Marriage for Meghan by Mary Ellis -- Romance from Harvest House; An engaging story of one girl’s quest for independence and true love as social prejudice tests a community’s faith in a simpler world.

A Quaker Christmas by Laura Lee Bliss, Rachael Phillips Ramona Cecil, and Claire Sanders -- Romance from Barbour. Christmas is a simple matter among the Quakers of the historic Ohio River Valley, but can it be a a special time to welcome love into four households?

A Whisper of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- Historical Romance from Bethany House. Will Clay Selby be forced to choose between his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart to spend his life with a quiet, independent Indian woman who is not a part of the tribe?

Ashes to Honor by Loree Lough -- General Fiction from Abingdon. If only he'd answered that last call from the World Trade Center....

Belonging; Where the Heart Lives Series by Robin Lee Hatcher -- Historical Romance from Zondervan; Can two bitter pasts make one sweet future?.

Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis-- Historical General Fiction from Moody Publishers; A girl has become a woman while in captivity, and a stagecoach driver longs to take her to the home she barely remembers.

Christmas at Barncastle Inn by Lynette Sowell, Susan Page Davis, Darlene Franklin, and Janelle Mowery -- Romance from Barbour; Each Christmas the Barncastle family transforms its sprawling Victorian bed and breakfast into a fantasy world through time. Will its guests also discover that forgiveness is timeless?

Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon-- Thriller/Suspense from Revell; A woman who protects children. An ex-Navy SEAL turned police detective. A stalker with deadly intent.

Deep Cover by Sandra Orchard-- Romance from Love Inspired; Undercover Cops: Fighting for justice puts their lives--and hearts--on the line.

Dry As Rain by Gina Holmes-- General Fiction from Tyndale; Undercover Cops: Behind every broken vow lies a broken heart. A richly engaging story of betrayal and redemption, Dry as Rain illuminates with striking emotional intensity the surprising truth of what it means to forgive.

Falling to Pieces; A Quilt Shop Murder by Vanetta Chapman-- A Cozy Mystery from Zondervan; Not your usual Amish buggy ride!

Finding Angel by Kat Heckenback-- Speculative Fiction from Splashdown Books; Angel doesn’t remember her magical heritage…but it remembers her.

From This Day Forward; American Tapestries by Margaret Daley-- Historical Romance from Summerside Press; Following the War of 1812, an Englishwoman, stranded in South Carolina, pregnant and recently widowed, struggles to make a life for herself. Can a disenchanted American physician heal her wounded heart?

Hailee by Penny Zeller-- Historical Romance from Whitaker House; Can this unlikely pair come to terms with their pasts and face the future together?

Hidden in the Everglades by Margaret Daley-- A Thriller/Suspense from Love Inspired; Michael Hunt needs Kyra Morgan's help to keep his sister safe. It will take everything they have to escape the Everglades alive.

Love Finds You on Christmas Morning by Debby Mayne and Trish Perry -- Romance from Summerside Press; Two women receive marriage proposals in the same house— 85 years apart. Love finds a home on Christmas morning in two heartwarming holiday stories.

Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming by Miralee Ferrell-- Romance from Summerside Press; While war rages in Europe, Rebekah Hendricks dreams of life far beyond the family farm in Oklahoma. And when a telegram arrives in October of 1918, she believes God has provided her way of escape.

Naomi’s Gift-An Amish Christmas Story by Amy Clipston-- Romance from Zondervan; Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you'll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County.

Pirate of My Heart by Jamie Carie-- Historical Fiction from B and H Publishing; Forced to flee the only home she's ever known, Lady Kendra Townsend risks everything for a chance at finding true love in the wilds of a new America.

Remembering Christmas: A Novel by Dan Walsh-- General Fiction from Revell; Can one Christmas change a person's life forever?

Shadowed in Silk by Christine Lindsay-- Historical Romance from Whitefire Publishing; Neglected by family, Abby travels to India after WWI with her small son, only to be abandoned by her husband, a cruel stranger, and to fall in love with a man who can never return her love without offending God.

Surrender the Dawn by Mary Lu Tyndall-- Historical Romance from Barbour; You’ll be swept away in this seafaring romance between a plucky damsel-in-distress and a nefarious rake who’s selling out his country amid the War of 1812.

The Aristocrat’s Lady by Mary Moore -- Historical from Love Inspired; She was resigned to a life without love-until she met him...

The Christmas Belles of Georgia by Debra Ullrick, Jeanie Smith Cash, Rose Allen McCauley, and Jeri Odell -- Romance from Barbour; They were sisters once—identical quadruplets—given up for adoption at birth. Now each receives a letter advising her to claim her inheritance and the family she never knew. . .at Christmas.

The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund-- Historical Romance from Bethany House; Priscilla White knew God wanted her to be a missionary, not a wife. But the only way she can serve is to be married. Married in name only, her new journey will test her spirit. . . and the new longings of her heart.

The Healing; Kentucky Brothers Series by Wanda Brunstetter-- Romance from Barbour; Can Esther Beiler win Samuel Fisher’s heart, or has she already lost it to an English woman? How will God untangle star-crossed lovers when jealousies and misconceptions threaten to tear them apart?

The Wounded Heart; An Amish Quilt Novel by Adina Senft-- General Fiction from Faith Words (Hachette); When she's diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a young Amish mother must choose between obedience or following her heart.

To Have and To Hold; Bridal Veil Island Series by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller -- Historical Romance from Bethany House; Amid a time of growth and change for Bridal Veil, can Marshall and Audrey find a foundation on which to build a love to last forever?

Wings of a Dream by Anne Mateer-- General Fiction from Bethany House; While war rages in Europe, Rebekah Hendricks dreams of life far beyond the family farm in Oklahoma. And when a telegram arrives in October of 1918, she believes God has provided her way of escape.