Friday, January 30, 2015


 Please enjoy this celebration of salvation!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliot - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Stitch in Crime
Abingdon Press (January 20, 2015)
Cathy Elliot


Cathy Elliott is a full-time writer who lives in northern California and whose cozy mysteries reflect her personal interests from playing her fiddle with friends to antique collecting and quilting. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antiques and is several years into recovery from her eBay addiction. UPDATE: She backslid a while back, enticed to bid on a 1945 Singer Featherweight. (She won.) But now she’s back on the wagon. Except for the recent crazy quilt pillow purchase. She also leads music at church and enjoys time with her grandchildren.


Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds? When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.

My Thoughts:
Getting information out of Odette was like removing a molar with eyebrow tweezers.”  (p. 34)

Honestly, Thea winds up having to pull a lot of molar-sized pieces of information with tweezer-sized opportunities.  Cathy Elliott has created a true cozy mystery within the city limits of Larkindale.  Thea is chairing the first annual quilt show, and she really has her work cut out for her!  Both of the major opening events end rather catastrophically, and they totally side-track Thea’s efforts to ensure the weeklong event is successful.  In addition to that, her co-chair is also side-tracked with her East Coast sister, and Thea’s best friend suddenly isn’t quite so friendly.

Thea ends up chasing a lot of “leads” in the aftermath of each crime, and the town matriarch, Mary-Alice proves to be just the balance Thea needs to keep things in right perspective.  I have to say Mary-Alice was my favorite character.  I love the way she knew just how to encourage with Scripture and hope, even when folks were rather incorrigible.   I also loved Uncle Nick’s heart toward Thea.  The culprit will surprise you, though the reasons behind the crimes is pretty universal.  This is a very good blend of the human and the need for a solid spiritual Rock to stand on.

I have always been a fan of cozy mysteries, and this one was very well written.  I am happy to recommend this Quilts of Love book to everyone!  A Stitch In Crime is a great addition to this series!

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Stitch in Crime, go HERE.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Yancy Releases Promotional Video for Little Praise Party: Taste and See – Available on CD and DVD February 10th

(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) -- In anticipation of the February 10th release of Little Praise Party: Taste and See, Yancy has released a new promotional video, including testimonies from parents, pastors and recording artist Jaci Velasquez.

 “Little Praise Party started as a collection of songs for my local church to use,” says Yancy. “It’s been amazing to see how God has used those songs in churches and homes around the world.”

 Taste and See, the fourth release in the popular worship music series for young children, will be available on CD and DVD, featuring 15 easy-to-sing songs (plus two bonus tracks exclusively available at iTunes). The Little Praise Party series is available online and in Christian bookstores everywhere via Elevate Entertainment and Syntax Distribution. For church and classroom use, there is also a Church DVD available that includes all 15 songs plus the soundtracks, mp4 files and a group viewing license.

 “Hearing children sing God’s praises never gets old,” says Yancy. “And it gives me chills hearing their sweet little voices sing their love to the Lord. Music is a powerful thing. It’s an important tool that we have to use in our homes and churches to plant Biblical truth in the hearts of kids. It’s the very reason we started making Little Praise Party music.”

 Yancy’s Little Praise Party series engages kids from the very start with non-stop sing-along fun for the entire family. In addition to CDs, each project in the series has a companion DVD filled with exciting animation with on-screen lyrics to help visualize the words and stories portrayed within the songs. The popular Little Praise Party app, available in both iOS &  Android formats, features new videos each month in English and Spanish.

"I introduced my kids to Little Praise Party, from Yancy, and it’s really adorable listening to them sing their songs,” said recording artist Jaci Velasquez. "As a mom, my hope and my prayer is that everything that I’m putting into my kids is positive and good and encouraging and hopeful. Because whatever goes in, comes out."

 “We need to begin the process of passing on our faith and Christian values to our children at an early age,” says Yancy. “We really can’t start too soon. My heart and prayer is that this generation would Taste and See that the Lord is good.”

 For more than a decade, Yancy has been making music for Christian music fans of all ages. As a songwriter, she has penned songs with Third Day frontman Mac Powell, wrote the Jaci Velasquez hit “Something Beautiful” and Avalon's chart-topping “I Don’t Want To Go.” As an artist, Yancy has released radio-friendly pop/rock albums and multiple projects for kids and young adults, while sharing the stage with Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, Plumb and many more. Yancy also pens a monthly column for KidzMatter Magazine, and has written and produced the music and videos for Standard Publishing’s Vacation Bible School curriculum since 2012, reaching over 1,000,000 kids each year.

 For more information, visit

 Pre-Order Little Praise Party: Taste and See at iTunes:

Monday, January 26, 2015

23 Blast - now on DVD - Don't miss this film! Based on a true story!

About the Movie:
When a high school football star is suddenly stricken with irreversible, total blindness, he must decide whether to live a safe, protected life or to summon the courage through playing football to step back into the world.
23 Blast is based on the amazing, true story of Travis Freeman. A typical teenager growing up in a small town in Kentucky, Travis is a local hero on and off the field. In the prime of his youth, he is unexpectedly stricken with an infection that destroys his optic nerve; he becomes blind overnight.
Under the influence of parents who love him, a physical therapist who challenges him, a coach who inspires him, and a best friend who he cannot bear to leave behind, Travis shows us what true bravery is by competing on the gridiron, helping his team advance to the State playoffs. We follow Travis and Jerry Baker, his closest friend, from the time they meet on the football field as kids through high school. Jerry’s attraction to the dark side of teenage temptations threatens to pull the friends apart. It is only on the football field where they truly connect.
Depicting a story of hope triumphing over despair, of courage and faith overcoming fear and of victory prevailing over adversity, 23 Blast is designed to encourage and uplift audiences.
My Thoughts:
You’re not a gazelle anymore, you’re a pit bull.”  (Coach to Travis)

23 Blast is an inspiring and entertaining film!  It is well-made, and the characters are challenged to deal with life on a visceral level that was all must face at some time in our lives.  Travis Freeman’s life was forever changed as a highschool football player, when he contacted an infection in the locker room that stole his eyesight.  Travis was the star of the football team, and he and his friend Jerry made quite an imposing duo when they ran their trademark play, 23 Blast.  This film is made in honor of that friendship.

Travis had a coach and family that gave him the opportunity of a lifetime – to play on the highschool football team even after he lost his eyesight!  I had a hard time believing it too, but it really happened!  And 23 Blast tells this story in a way that will inspire and encourage everyone who sees it!  What meant the most to me, actually, is to learn that Travis Freeman went on to earn his PhD in theology, and now serves the Lord in full-time ministry.  He even has a cameo performance in the movie!  THAT is what inspired me!  Not only did he come back to play football, but he has gone on living life to the full even as an adult!
Please, add this film to your library!  Share it with friends!  Be encouraged and inspired!  There should be more films like this!  BRAVO!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Overwhelming Demand Brings Documentary of the Most Comprehensive Examinations of the Exodus Story Ever Documented on Camera Back Into Theatres Nationwide

DENVER – January 22, 2015 – Due to overwhelming demand for Thinking Man Films’ investigative documentary Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus,” Fathom Events has confirmed an encore presentation in select U.S. cinemas on Thursday, January 29 at 7 p.m. local time.

Crowds turned out to experience filmmaker Timothy Mahoney’s fascinating “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus” on January 19 to sold-out performances in numerous markets across the country.

Award-winning documentary “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus,” by filmmaker Timothy Mahoney, chronicles an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt as his team attempts to corroborate the biblical text. The film explores one fundamental question:  Is there any evidence that the Exodus story actually happened? Twelve years in the making, this provocative documentary reveals new or rarely seen evidence regarding the Israelites’ descent into slavery, their Exodus from Egypt and their ultimate conquest of the Promise Land.  Although many scholars and archaeologists deny the validity of the Exodus story for lack of proof, “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus” builds a case that sheds new light on the story.

Attendees will have the opportunity to gain more insight into the debate via the 30 minute pre-show when exclusive content will be shown in addition to an expert panel discussion moderated by journalist Gretchen Carlson, host of “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” immediately following the film including AnGeL Ministries founder Anne Graham Lotz, best-selling author and TV host Eric Metaxas, religious media commentator and serving the New York Archdiocese Father Jonathan Morris and speaker and radio show host Dennis Prager.

Tickets for “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus will be available on a rolling basis at participating theater box offices and online at  The event will be presented in select movie theaters around the country through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

“Our dedicated team, who has worked tirelessly on ‘Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus,’ could not be more thrilled with the overwhelming support our film has received across the country.   What started out as a crisis of my own faith led to an incredible journey of discovery,” said filmmaker Tim Mahoney. “By creating the January 29 encore presentation, Fathom Events has allowed the public another opportunity to experience the documentary.  The event will include the exclusive pre-show, screening and panel Q&A immediately following.   I feel the film presents compelling, newly recognized patterns of evidence for the biblical exodus.  We present both sides of the issue and allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions.”

“It’s no surprise that people showed up in full force for our first showing of ‘Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus,’ and we expect just as much excitement for this encore presentation,” said John Rubey, Fathom Events CEO. “Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney really knows how to grab the interest of audiences and keep them on the edge of their seats. If you missed the first showing or want to re-experience this powerful documentary, join us on January 29.”

Executive producer David Wessner adds, “Audiences across the country turned out for the film which was created to be an entertaining presentation that sheds new, important light on this ancient but most important story of the Exodus.  It is an origin story for not only Judaism and Christianity but also for the moral, ethical and judicial dimensions of western civilization. Now, the public has the additional chance to see what so many are talking about with the encore presentation.

Meteor 17’s Spencer Proffer, the event producer, stated, “This encore presentation serves as confirmation of how powerful the film resonated with the public. The topic is of interest across many demographics and proved such a success that Fathom immediately committed to this additional night.  I have done numerous Fathom Events with built in brand recognition.  This one is unique since it started with no pre-existing awareness and was built from the ground up.  It is testament to Tim Mahoney’s vision and the power of the subject matter.”

About Fathom Events
Fathom Events is owned by a newly formed entity called AC JV, LLC. Fathom is the recognized leader in the alternative entertainment industry, offering a variety of one-of-a-kind entertainment events in movie theaters nationwide that include live, high-definition performances of the Metropolitan Opera, the performing arts, major sporting events, music concerts, comedy series, Broadway shows, original programming featuring entertainment’s biggest stars, socially relevant documentaries with audience Q&A and much more. Additionally, Fathom events take audiences behind-the-scenes and offer unique extras – creating the ultimate entertainment experience for fans of all ages. Co-owned by the three largest movie theater circuits in the United States, AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), Fathom’s live digital broadcast network (“DBN”) is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live events to more than 750 locations in 171 Designated Market Areas® (including all of the top 50). For more information, visit

About Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus (film)
What is the validity of history found in the Bible? Is it fact or fiction? What does the hard evidence really have to say about the foundational story of the Old Testament: the Exodus out of Egypt? “Patters of Evidence: Exodus” is an in-depth investigation by documentary filmmaker Tim Mahoney searches for answers to these questions amid startling new finds that may change traditional views of history and the Bible.

Encouraged by several scholars, Mahoney decided to take a scientific approach. He began to look for evidence of the Exodus story wherever it might be found in history. This path took him in a completely new direction challenging the traditional views about the ancient past and the Bible. Ultimately, he was forced to make a decision, whether to yield to the giants of archaeology and give up the investigation or stick with an amazing pattern of evidence that matched the sequence of events recorded in the Bible.  For more information about the film, please go to

Thinking Man Films
Thinking Man Films and its publishing division, Thinking Man Media, are focused on creative development, production and distribution of engaging products for cinema, television, web and print.  The Company desires to gain a better understanding of significant and complex topics by exploring the world with those who are curious.  The company is led by Timothy Mahoney.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hidden Agenda by Lisa Harris - REVIEWED

About the Book:
His cover is blown. Now his enemies are on his heels and closing in.
Michael Hunt is alive--and on the run. Presumed dead by friends and family, the undercover assignment he's been working for the past eight months has just been blown. With a hit out on his life and corruption inside the Atlanta police department, Michael finds himself hunted by both the cartel and the law. His only hope is Olivia Hamilton--the daughter of the man who wants him dead.

This nonstop chase from Christy Award-winning Lisa Harris will leave you breathless.

My Thoughts:
We’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with at least two armed men after us, but I was reminded that God is still in control.”  (p. 127)

Michael Hunt has a very practical faith.  He has to as he serves his country as an undercover cop attempting to take down some of the most dangerous members of vast drug cartels.  In Lisa Haris’ latest novel, Hidden Agenda, she places the readers amidst imminent danger  time and time again.  Olivia Hamilton and her brother Ivan are compelled to act on behalf of Michael to save his life.  They never dreamed that in that one act of courage they commit themselves to a situation that opens a door upon the hidden evil that composes the underbelly of their lives.  It seems that once that door is opened they must fight for their lives every minute, because there are a host of people in legal and government positions that work for the drug cartel – they don’t know who they can trust!

The odds seem quite impossible throughout this novel.  One minute Michael, Olivia and Ivan seem to be a step or two ahead of the cartel, and the next minute it seems they have been swallowed by an evil so vast that there can be no way out other than through the next bullet that explodes into their world.  This is truly a heart-pounding book to read!  There are SO MANY hidden agendas, SO MANY layers of deceit and SO LITTLE time to sort through it all!  For you see, there is a grave danger at the heart of this novel, because the drug cartel is in the midst of a territorial war.  The stakes are MUCH larger than anyone imagins, and these drug lords are evil in ways that bar every resistance!

BUT GOD….the faith of Michael and others in the story is strong, practical and unshakable.  They must face romance, uncertainty, unforgiveness, guilt and a host of other situations while battling the drug cartel.  The readers watch them grow and stretch in their faith, and even though you never know who will survive from one page to the next (a lot of people lose their life in this story), there is that blessed assurance that lies beneath it all.  I think that is the reason I enjoy Haris’ books so much.  She infuses her books with truth even though every situation is pretty dire.  I thank GOD for that hope!

This book is the best of every element that I find irresistible in a novel!! I HIGHLY recommend Hidden Agenda!

About the Author:
Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 fromRomantic Times. She has sold over thirty novels and novella collections. Along with her husband, she and her three children have spent over ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women's group, and runs a nonprofit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves . . . the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice" (Proverbs 31:8).

When she's not working, she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa, visit her website at or her blog at For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Evangelism Study Bible - NKJV - Reviewed

About this Bible:
Evangelism can mean many things to many people. For some, it's something that requires special training or a calling from God. For others, it's something only done in a church building or arena. And for some, it evokes emotions of guilt and shame for failing to be a vibrant witness to unbelievers.

For more than forty years, EvanTell, Inc., an evangelism training and outreach ministry in Dallas, Texas, has focused on one mission: the gospel, clear and simple. Founded by Dr. R. Larry Moyer, EvanTell, Inc., touches millions of lives each year with evangelism materials, evangelism training, and outreach events. Now those four decades of experience in training believers to share the good news in a clear and simple fashion has been paired with the one essential tool for evangelism: God's Word.The Evangelism Study Bible provides all the tools needed for sharing the gospel in a clear, simple, and guilt-free way.
Using the highly regarded New King James Version®, The Evangelism Study Bible brings together a wide variety of resources, some never before paired with the text of Scripture. Users will benefit from:

• a brief, informative introduction to each Bible book, focusing on its contribution to evangelism
• more than 2,600 study notes pertaining to evangelism
• over 260 tips on practical issues in evangelism
• 125 in-depth articles on crucial issues
• 85 how-to features that provide hands-on advice
• 45 inspirational devotions
• easy-to-follow double-column format with explanatory notes
• helpful cross references
• biblical concordance
• full-color maps

The Evangelism Study Bible not only provides the training to explain and make clear the good news of the gospel, it also will motivate readers to evangelize out of grace rather than guilt.

My Thoughts:
Evangelism and Study Bible seem like mutually exclusive terms on one level, and on another level, they seem to be a perfect compliment.  I have enjoyed using this Bible, and I have been challenged and encouraged by the devotionals scattered throughout.  This Bible addresses topics that often prevent Christians from sharing the gospel.  The topics range from: “How to Answer Someone Who Wants God to Prove He Exists” to “How to Prepare your Children to Reach their Generation” and everything in between such as “How to Help Those Who have Given Up on God” and “How to Reach People Who Say, ‘I Know I’m Right.’”
All of this and much more is succinctly ordered and easily navigated.  There are footnotes galore, appendices, maps, everything to equip believers so that evangelism no longer intimidates nor frightens people.  This is truly a tool designed to equip us for the battlefield we must fight within until we worship at Jesus’ feet. 

Personally, I think this would be an excellent tool to share with a new believer!  Give them the tools to start and stay strong in their faith journey!  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blind Trust by Sandra Orchard - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Blind Trust
Revell (June 17, 2014)
Sandra Orchard


Sandra Orchard is a multi-award-winning author of mysteries and romantic suspense with Revell Publishing and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense imprint. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time . . . when not doting on her young grandchildren.


Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can't believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom?

My Thoughts:
Finding out I’ve been lied to and deceive by the people I thought I could trust hurts.”  (p.331)

I think Kate Adams has one of the worst set of circumstances I’ve ever read in fiction.  This poor woman has lost so much, and all of her losses stem from yet another set of circumstances that she has nothing to do with!  On top of all of that, there is a police detective, Tom Parker, that really wants to spend time with Kate, but he seems to be unable to unravel things fast enough to discover the danger that has threatened Kate’s family for decades.  Like Kate, Tom’s life is critically impacted by circumstances that are far-reaching and totally out of his control.

This novel has a very complex plot on some levels, but the relationships that move the plot forward have varying levels of difficulty as well.  The result is a novel that leaves the reader racing to the end of a chapter only to find more unanswered questions!   

My return to the town of Port Aster in Sandra Orchard’s Blind Trust was just as satisfying as my introduction to her work in Deadly Devotion.  The conclusion of this series hasn’t arrived yet, and readers get a sneak peek into book three at the end of this second book.  If you’ve been reading my blog anytime at all, you know I’m a huge fan of suspense novels, and Blind Trust is another very satisfying read I am happy to recommend!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Blind Trust, go HERE.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Bunny's First Spring by Sally Lloyd-Jones - REVIEWED

About the Book:
When a bunny is born in spring, he sees the world as green and new and full of hope. But as the seasons change, the bunny worries that the earth may be dying. In bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones latest picture book celebrating the Easter season and rebirth, nature speaks to the bunny, assuring him of something more. Award-winning artist David McPhail s whimsical illustrations reflect the beauty of the world around us as Lloyd-Jones inspirational text prompts readers to celebrate the changing seasons and the miracle of nature s rebirth."

My Thoughts:
And Yet – And Yet!” (p. 14 – Woodpecker)

Bunny’s First Spring is a beautifully illustrated book that tells the story of a Bunny’s first year in the world.  The bunny’s parents are ever-present to respond to their offspring’s exclamations as he experiences the changing rhythms of each Season.  From one Spring to the next, the young bunny remarks on the newness of Spring, the growing strength of Summer, the dying of Fall and the rest of Winter.   

The Fall and Winter changes frighten the young Bunny, and the earth around him tries to assure him that Spring will come again.  He takes refuge in the burrow with his parents until he learns that Spring does, indeed, return.  The earth is re-born each year.

Although this is published by Zonderkidz, there is barely any spiritual content.  There is a paraphrased quote from Martin Luther on the final page, but this book has nothing to do with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  So, this has nothing to do with Easter.  It’s a good book to use to teach toddler’s about Season’s of the year, but you will have to add a lot of imaginative content to this book in order to share the good news of the gospel found in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

It’s a beautiful teaching tool for toddlers, but look elsewhere if you intend to teach them the message of Easter.  You won’t find it here.

About the Author:
Sally Lloyd-Jones is a leading writer of inspirational books for children. She is the author of three bestselling children’s Bibles, including the Gold Book Award-winning Baby’s First Bible and, most recently, the Moonbeam Award Winner and ALA notable, The Jesus Storybook BibleEvery Story Whispers His Name. She has written many picture books for children, including the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller How to Be a Baby: By Me, the Big Sister. Sally was born and raised in Africa, was schooled in England, and now lives in New York City. She can be found at

About the Illustrator:
DAVID McPHAIL is the creator of dozens of wonderful books, including Big Brown Bear's Up and Down Day; Sisters; Mole Music, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year; and several recent Green Light Readers for Harcourt. He lives in New Hampshire.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Gospel Formed by J.A. Medders - REVIEWED

About the Book:
A call to Christians to be caught up in the powerful whirlwind that is the gospel of grace

Christianity is based on the foundation of the good news of the gospel. Yet how many Christians truly find their identity there? How many are thriving in a community clinging to the gospel? How many forget about the wondrous glory of Jesus? J. A. Medders is on a mission to help Christians remember that the power that raised Jesus from the dead is also the power for our everyday life in Christ.

Yet living a gospel-centered life does not always come easily. The biblical meditations in Gospel Formed help to kindle, or rekindle, the passion to live a grace-addicted, truth-filled, Jesus-exalting life by constantly driving the reader back to the power of the cross and the empty tomb. Funny, punchy, and theologically accessible, readers will be encouraged, challenged, and ultimately reoriented to the true North of Christianity—Christ Himself.

My Thoughts:
Recover the gospel: have a personal reformation by preaching the gospel to yourself.  You are justified, you are being sanctified, and you will be glorified.  You are forgiven and freed.  In Christ, you are greatly loved.  God has redeemed you.  Jesus calls you his friend and family member.  The Holy Spirit of God dwells in you, empowering you to live like Jesus for the glory of Jesus.  We need Jesus for everything.  Think about it.”  (p.82)

WOW!! This is one of MANY passages that point readers to Jesus!  What fire! What passion!  What TRUTH!!  EVERYGTHING – not  SOME things – centers around the redeeming work Christ completed on the cross, and we need to live every moment of our lives understanding the truth of that finished work!

Gospel-centered living is J.A. Medders’ message in his book, Gospel Formed.  This book is composed of brief chapters that are really meat and potatoes for the soul and spirit.  Each chapter is a challenge to view Christ in a new way, in a new area of your life, in EVERYTHING!  It has to be one of the most challenging, encouraging books I’ve ever read!

What REALLY excites me is that God is trumpeting this same message to a variety of pastors right now!  I just reviewed another book earlier this week looking at this same thing from a different perspective.  My own pastor is teaching this same message – we must FIX our eyes on JESUS and his redeeming work on the cross!!  For every breath we take, HE is the center!!

I HIGHLY recommend this book!  Be challenged! Be changed! Be Gospel Formed!!

About the Author:
J. A. Medders is the lead pastor at Redeemer Church (Acts 29) in Tomball, Texas. He has written for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Gospel-Centered Discipleship, Church Leaders, and more. To read more from J.A. Medders, visit 

Thursday, January 15, 2015


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 13, 2015)City of Peace Media is pleased to announce the digital release of the debut full-length album from south Florida-based worship band House of Peace. Into the
Great Unknown releases today. 

The 11-song project celebrates the band's credo of diversity through unity by incorporating a broad range of contemporary musical styles paired with ancient, time-honored theological themes. The result is a listening experience that is at once God-honoring, ear-pleasing and soul-refreshing. 
While frontman David Liscum wrote or co-wrote every song on the project, he is quick to point out that House of Peace is a band, and not a solo effort. Liscum is joined by an eclectic group of musicians including guitarist Jeff Maldonado, drummer Seadric Crawford, Ryan Horner on bass and Maldonado's wife Christine on percussions and background vocals. The band was initially featured on the City of Peace compilation project, I Stand With Israel, and Liscum later teamed with label head Yochanan Marcellino to pen "New Life," the song that would become the theme for the feature film The Identical starring Ashley Judd, Ray Liotta and Blake Rayne.

"David is hugely involved with our label and with our film company," says City of Peace Media's Jordan Marcellino. "He's a great guy with a wonderful heart and a true worshipper. These songs are responses to God's glory, God's change, God's touch, God's calling." 

Into the Great Unknown is an apt title for the project, according to Liscum. "It's about the journey we all go through with God, a journey of moving from faith to faith where you have to deal with a lot of unknowns. Sometimes, you just have to learn to let go."

Part of the letting go process involves bringing others alongside to help in the creative process, including Christian music uber-producer Ed Cash, who produced half the songs on the album. Cash, who brought his own flourishes to the project, admired the way House of Peace fuses deep theological insights with lush, accessible, contemporary melodies, and even connects with one of the great traditional hymns of the church. "It is a really beautiful picture of Jesus," Cash says. "I love the tribute it pays to the Old Testament, showing how Christ demonstrated His love for us by placing His blood on our hearts."

Into the Great Unknown opens with the lovely and encouraging "Passover Lamb," which draws imagery from the classic hymn, "Nothing But The Blood." The song segues effortlessly into the acoustic guitar-driven communion song, "Break the Bread." The celebration of the glory of God continues with the shimmering worship aria, "King of the Universe." The mood shifts to one of reverential awe on "New Life," as Liscum ponders the twists and turns of life. "I finally found what I've been searching for," he sings. "It's been there all the time, right before my very eyes!" 

Ethereal synths and thudding tom toms accentuate the engaging praise aria, "King of Israel." Acoustic guitars take center stage on the horizontally-directed song of encouragement, "Let Us Be One." The acoustic guitars remain, but the direction shifts toward vertical worship on the gorgeous song of adoration, "Praise Your Name Forever," which prominently features Christine Maldonado on BGVs.

The softly rocking "Glory to Your Name" continues the joyful praise theme, as Liscum exults, "Everyone will praise! Everyone will say, Glory to your name!" The band maintains its reverential prayerful posture while kicking up the tempo on the anthemic, "Rejoice." Engaging piano lines embellish the declaration song, "He Will Reign," before the project closes with the lush and evocative "One Child," the New Life Theme from the feature film The Identical, performed by the Chinese Symphony Orchestra.

While House of Peace is thrilled with how their debut project turned out, they insist their goal is really not about just producing a CD, but about producing disciples of Jesus.

"We are passionate about music and worship because we realize how powerful the combination is as a tool for righteousness," Liscum explains. "We're not just another Christian band with a CD to peddle. We are a worship band, but evangelism is always a component of what we do. We want to go into the great unknown and reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

House of Peace's new recording project, Into the Great Unknown, is available digitally from City of Peace Media. For information about House of Peace Worship Band and Into the Great Unknown, visit or follow House of Peace on Facebook at
About City of Peace Media and City of Peace Films:
City of Peace Media and City of Peace Films includes, but is not limited to, the following list of creative services: major physical and digital distribution, record production, artist management, artist development, music publishing, song development, art direction, graphic design, website development, music video production, film production and film development. City of Peace Media also consults in the following strategic areas: marketing plan development, public relations planning, radio promotion, publicity, advertising, touring and name branding. The primary focus of City of Peace Media and City of Peace Films is to provide a framework where music, films and video with "redeeming value" can be developed, produced and distributed worldwide, bringing a message of hope, love and encouragement to this generation

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Soul Painter by Cara Luecht - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Soul Painter
WhiteFire Publishing (March 15, 2014)
Cara Luecht


A Word from the Author:
I never planned to be a writer. In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer.

By day, I am an English Instructor at MATC, Marketing Manager for Degnan Design Builders, Inc., mother to four amazing children, wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband, and Worship Leader for Living Hope Fellowship in Sun Prairie, WI. In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction.

I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.

If you have a question for me, or if you are local and would like me to stop by your book club or writer’s group, please drop me a line via the “Ask the Author” tab. I always love the opportunity to meet with others who share my love of books.


Miriam paints the future…but can she change it?

Chicago – 1890

Miriam watches the people jostle their way below the windows of her warehouse home, never thinking to look up at her as she paints their faces. But Miriam's gift as an artist goes beyond a mere recording of what is: Miriam paints their futures. Only once was she wrong. One woman doesn't match the future Miriam saw. The bright girl was supposed to grow into a respected businesswoman. Instead, Ione disappears nightly into the shadowed alley next to the cathedral with the other prostitutes. Then one night, while walking through the city fog, Miriam finds Ione broken and beaten. Miriam is forced to open her home to the stranger whose face she knows so well and open her life to change she never could have foretold. Women are missing—some found floating in the river, some never seen again. The deacon from the cathedral is the first to help. Soon Miriam’s solicitor, Michael, aids her in rejoining society so they might uncover the evil at work in the corrupt city...and awakens feelings she had never considered before. Finally engaged with the world she has so long observed, finally stirred by love and friendship, Miriam realizes the responsibility of her gifting. No longer can she just paint what will be. She must now help Ione find the future she is meant to have...and find her own along with it.

My Thoughts:
Sometimes, I think God has plans for us we can’t even imagine.  Maybe, though, when we don’t have enough faith to see us how He sees us – through His grace – then He lets us borrow it from someone else.”  (p. 213)

Miriam spoke truth into a broken life with these words.  She had already brought life and light to so many lives at this point through both her actions, and her words that the landscape of her own life had changed dramatically!  Set in  1891, Soul Painter, is a story that took me totally by surprise.  Miriam and John’s characters seemed rather straightforward at first, but within just a few pages, it became clear that the depth of these characters was special, and their hearts were pure and true.

And then there is Michael.  Precious Michael.  I am so thankful for Michael!!  I never imagined the role he would play in this complex plot!  And I really never expected such a good mystery to unfold within the pages of this story!  The process of finding the culprit behind the evil threatening the community kept the pages turning at a rapid pace!  The resulting message of grace and mercy was SO POWERFUL!!  This book totally surprised me in every way!!  

I HIGHLY recommend Soul Painter to everyone! Romance, mystery, intrigue, and mercy all blended together in an unforgettable portrait of grace!!  I loved this book!! You will too!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Soul Painter, go HERE.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Welcome To Inspiration - Releasing January 20th! - REVIEW

About the Movie:
WELCOME TO INSPIRATION has a loving message of faith, family and fun. It speaks to planting seeds, discipleship, self-study, and hopes to spark a moving experience through cinema in the hearts of its audience.
WELCOME TO INSPIRATION follows a diverse cast of characters as they struggle in their lives. A young musician wishes to share his gift with a larger audience; a widow copes with the death of her soldier daughter; a small business owner sacrifices her freedom for the safety of a young runaway; a mechanic finds a family by finding his faith; and a man and woman strengthen their marriage by seeking the Lord’s wisdom. One main theme explored in “WELCOME TO INSPIRATION is that you too can live a life of irrefutable success if you learn and act upon the things that God has revealed to you!
We have to ask ourselves daily……Am I truly listening?
In moments of providence, our characters meet inspirational teachers like THE STREET SWEEPER, who openly share the Seven Revelations of Irrefutable Success at just the right moment. The revelations are Bible-based principles that point toward a life that is increasingly more spiritually fulfilling. True success is not so much about material gain as it is about finding true meaning in life. We’ve heard them before…“it is more blessed to give than receive, knock and the door will be opened“, but have we really explored them? As our characters struggle to find their way, they transform their lives by looking to the Lord for their path.
My Thoughts:
When you find what you’re looking for, it’s a beginning and not and end.  Follow Through.” (street sweeper to Austin)

Welcome to Inspiration is a movie with a timeless feel to it.  There are elements of the 21st Century – barely – but the cars, the buildings, the clothes….they were from yesteryear.  It really doesn’t matter though, because the truths that the Street Sweeper teaches this town are timeless.  He takes everyone back to the truths of the Bible time and time again.  He knows that only God’s Word can transform a life and the only “success” is found in a relationship with Christ through His Word.

I’ll be honest and tell you that this film was really old-school.  The acting wasn’t that great and the story line was small-town slow.  The random guitar player in the alley (Larry Crabb) was a scene that left me scratching my head, but otherwise the story line was pretty seamless.  This is a town filled with regular folks trying to make a living the best way they know how.  There are some with broken dreams and others with shattered hearts, but they are all looking for the comfort that only Christ can offer.  Thank the Lord that there are folks who are faithful to share that truth with the folks of this town.

The town of Inspiration seems slow and antiquated in many ways, but the truth this film shares is foundational for all of our lives.  I’m happy to recommend it to families and friends!  Take time to slow down and enjoy truth! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Look and Live by Matt Papa - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Bethany House)
Only One Addiction Can Set You FreeMatt Papa was a "professional Christian" in full-time ministry, ready and determined to change the world. All the while he was depressed, addicted to the approval of others, and enslaved to sin. But then everything changed. He encountered the glory of God.

All of us live in the tension between where we are and where we ought to be. We try our best to bully our desires into submission. And we all know, this is exhausting.

Are you tired? Stuck? Still fighting the same sin you've been fighting for years? The call in these pages is not to work or to strive, but to lift your eyes. You don't need more willpower. You need a vision of greatness that sweeps you off your feet. You need to see glory. 

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Look and Live.

My Thoughts:
Make your life one unflinching look at the glory of God in the face of Christ.  For that is why you exist.” (p. 133)

What a challenge Matt Papa sets before us in his book, Look and Live!!  I have been a Christian, by the grace of God, for many years, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a clearer explanation of what the Christian life should look like.  Matt doesn’t flinch when he talks about God’s glory, God’s sovereignty, God’s holiness and the number of ways we tend to replace the eternal, holy God with idols that will never satisfy or transform us in a way that enables us to submit completely to God’s will for our lives
His explanations and examples are crystal clear. If you are a believer reading this book, you will definitely be challenged and offered an opportunity to invite God to transform your entire world. If you are an unsaved person reading this book, you will be blown away by the gospel of Christ, and offered an opportunity to receive Christ and be changed for all eternity!

I’ve bled my highlighter dry.  I’ve written notes and exclamations galore in the margins of the book.  This is an amazing book!  The message:  LOOK FULL IN THE FACE OF CHRIST….GAZE….BEHOLD….and LIVE!!!

EVERY BELIEVER should read this book!  It is amazing!!  This was a TOTAL God appointment for me at this particular moment of life, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to read this precious message written by a transformed man!

About the Author:

Matt Papa is a minister, recording artist, and worship leader based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife, Lauren, and three daughters, Paisley, Stella, and Sofi.  He serves on staff as a worship leader at The Summit Church in Durham and is currently finishing a master's degree at Southeastern Seminary.

For over a decade, Matt has been singing, writing, and recording songs that are saturated with God's Word.  To Papa, a song is more than just lyrics and melody - it's a sermon people will remember. Learn more at

The great thing about this book is that there was a worship CD released with the same title that will allow you an opportunity to worship God in a fresh way!


Friday, January 9, 2015


Redemption and Rock 'n' Roll Combine in This Heartwarming 
Story About Faith, Family, Purpose and Identity
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 9, 2015) - Redemption and rock 'n' roll combine to create an intriguing backdrop for the faith-based feature film, The Identical. This powerful story about a young man's search for purpose and identity arrives on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, DVD, VOD and Digital HD January 13 from City of Peace Films, Capitol Christian Distribution and Cinedigm (NASDAQ: CIDM). It can be found at Christian retailers including Family Christian, LifeWay Christian, Mardel, Parable, Munce Group and Covenant Group, as well as Walmart, Amazon and more.
The Identical, which won the 
Nashville Film Festival Audience Award - U.S. Narrative, features an all-star cast, including Golden Globe nominees Ray Liotta (GoodfellasField of Dreams) and Ashley Judd (Dolphin Tale 2Divergent), as Reverend Reece Wade, a depression-era preacher who lives his faith, and his wife Louise; Brian Geraghty (Ray DonovanSeven Days in UtopiaThe Hurt Locker) and Amanda Crew (Charlie St. Cloud), as William and Helen Hemsley, the impoverished parents of twins who just want to do right by their boys; Seth Green (Austin PowersFamily Guy) as Ryan's friend Dino, who introduces him to the 'worldly' joy of rhythm & blues; Joe Pantoliano (The SopranosThe Matrix) as Ryan's employer and mentor Avi Hirshberg; newcomer Blake Rayne in the pivotal dual roles of Drexel Hemsley and Ryan Wade; and Erin Cottrell (the Love Comes Softly series) as Ryan Wade's wife.

The Identical offers viewers a compelling 'what if' story. What if twin brothers were born to a poor couple during the Great Depression? What if another young couple, a preacher and his wife who were unable to have children, agreed to take one of the boys and raise him as their own? What if one of the twins grows up poor, but achieves meteoric fame and fortune in the heady days that gave birth to rock 'n' roll? What if the other twin has the same musical gifts, but struggles between chasing fame and pleasing his parents? What if his ultimate choice uncovers the long buried family secret about his identity?

"The Identical intertwines meaningful themes of faith, family, fatherhood, forgiveness and finding your true calling in life," declares Focus on the Family's influential website. calls The Identical a "story about the restoration and the reconciliation of a family broken apart by culture, creed and tradition," and says "movie-going audiences will be drawn to this timeless tale of love, hope and redemption that speaks to all generations."

"Liotta is totally convincing as Reece. Opposite him Judd has her best role in years. The surprise of the film is Rayne. He seems to have been created to play this should latch on to him and make him a star," says Jackie K. Cooper of The Huffington Post. "This movie entertains--totally. Believe me on that." 
The Dove Foundation awarded The Identical its Dove "Family-Approved" Seal for ages twelve plus, calling it an "original and clever movie [that] entertains and should not be missed!"

The Identical DVD and Blu-ray features over 20 original songs, all produced and co-written by Motown legend, Jerry Marcellino, and the film's producer, Yochanan Marcellino. The CBA version of The Identical DVD features additional bonus material that is not available in the mainstream version.

The Identical is a redemptive movie about a young man, the son of a preacher, who rejects his father's desire for him to join the ministry and instead embarks on a career as a rock singer. As he struggles to pursue his dream and rise to stardom, he finds love, pain, success and failure, and ultimately uncovers a hidden family secret that reveals who he really is. It's a captivating story about a family restored, and a life discovered.

The Music of The Identical
The Making of The Identical
Behind-the-Scenes w/ Cast Commentary
Zaxby's Promotional Video
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailers

Price:               $24.99 (BD Combo) / $19.99 (DVD)
Street Date:      January 13, 2015                 
Pre-Book:         December 2, 2014
UPC Number:   677797005817 (BD Combo) / 677797005718 (DVD)            
Language:         English                          
Runtime:           107 minutes + 85 minutes of additional bonus materials          
Rating:               PG         
About City of Peace Films:
City of Peace Media and City of Peace Films includes, but is not limited to, the following list of creative services: major physical and digital distribution, record production, artist management, artist development, music publishing, song development, art direction, graphic design, website development, music video production, film production and film development. City of Peace Media also consults in the following strategic areas: marketing plan development, public relations planning, radio promotion, publicity, advertising, touring and name branding. The primary focus of City of Peace Media and City of Peace Films is to provide a framework where music, films and video with "redeeming value" can be developed, produced and distributed worldwide, bringing a message of hope, love and encouragement to this generation.

About Capitol Christian Distribution: 
Capitol Christian Distribution is the market leader Christian and Gospel music distribution and represents a diverse range of chart topping Christian films and books reaching the US Christian and general retail marketplace, and the international Christian marketplace. Since this distribution division was launched, Capitol Christian has had more charting titles annually on Billboard's Top Christian charts than any other Christian distributor and has been named Billboard Magazine's Top Christian Music Distributor 15 times since 1995. 

In addition to distributing Capitol Christian Music Group's fully-owned labels, which include Sparrow, ForeFront, and Credential imprints, as well as Motown Gospel and Worship Together, Capitol Christian Distribution has exclusive distribution agreements with Centricity Records, City on A Hill, City of Peace Records, Difference Media, Dream Records, Gaither Music Group, Green Hill Productions, Inpop, Hillsong, sixsteps records, Sonoma Music, Maranatha! Music, North Point Music, Spring Hill Music Group, Troubadour for the Lord, Universal Music Group, VSR Music Group, Advent Film Group, Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz, Cinedigm Entertainment, City of Peace Films, Creative Trust Media, Family Movie Night, Getty Music, Friends Media, Foreshadow Productions, Glorious Films, Guardian Studios/Bananas, Jellyfish Labs, Millennium Media Services, Pure Flix Entertainment,  Vertical Praise Productions, Wanderlust Productions, Whitestone Media, Worthy Publishing, Authentic Publishers and many more. Capitol Christian Distribution is a division of Capitol Christian Music Group, which is part of Universal Music's Capitol Music Group. For more information, visit

About Cinedigm:
Cinedigm is a leading independent content distributor in the United States, with direct relationships with over 60,000 physical retail storefronts and digital platforms, including Wal-Mart, Target, iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon, as well as the national Video on Demand platform on cable television. The company's library of over 52,000 films and TV episodes encompasses award-winning documentaries from Docurama Films®, next-gen Indies from Flatiron Film Company®, acclaimed independent films and festival picks through partnerships with the Sundance Institute and Tribeca Films and a wide range of content from brand name suppliers, including National Geographic, Discovery, Scholastic, WWE, NFL, Shout Factory, Hallmark, Jim Henson and more. 

Additionally, given Cinedigm's infrastructure, technology, content and distribution expertise, the company has rapidly become a leader in the quickly evolving over-the-top digital network business. Cinedigm's first channel, DOCURAMA, launched in May 2014, and is currently available on over 165 million consumer devices including Roku, Xbox and Samsung, with additional platforms currently being rolled out. Earlier this year, Cinedigm also announced plans for a Comic Con branded channel, in partnership with WIZARD WORLD, for launch in Q4 2014. The Company recently announced its third OTT channel via a partnership with The Dove Foundation. DOVE MOVIE CHANNEL will be a digital streaming subscription service targeted to families and kids seeking high quality and family friendly content approved by Dove. 

Cinedigm™ and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp™ are trademarks of Cinedigm [CIDM-G]