Wednesday, August 31, 2011

'Radical Islam: What You Need to Know' Released Nationwide

Author Urges Social Media Prayer Pledges as
10th Anniversary of 9/11 Terrorist Attacks Approaches

DALLAS, Texas—"Radical Islam: What You Need to Know," the latest book by author, educator and cultural apologist, Dr. Jim Denison, is now available at Christian bookstores and major bookseller websites across America.

art_book_denison_0811_300As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist acts approaches, Denison invites Christian readers to download a complimentary daily devotional and prayer guide, "Redeeming 9/11: Building God's Kingdom Today." He also invites readers to share via Twitter or the Denison Forum's Facebook wall their Prayer Pledge to engage spiritually in praying for our country.

"The global threat posed by radical Islam is greater than on Sept. 11, 2001," Denison said. "For every militant who dies in jihad, a thousand others seek to avenge his—or her—death.

"This book is a primer that tells Westerners what they need to know about this threat, why radical Muslims still hate us and what we can do about it."
Cost is $13.99 for "Radical Islam: What You Need to Know," which is distributed by Wesscott Marketing. The book is available as a trade paperback at,, Parable Stores, Munce Stores, LifeWay Stores, via Ingram and Spring Arbor Distributors, independent Christian booksellers, and

The "Redeeming 9/11" devotional and prayer guide, available at, contains thought-provoking examples from current events that tie into inspirational lessons from history and the Bible, all of which illustrate God's sovereignty, redemptive purpose in suffering and faithfulness to his people. The booklet concludes with a hope-filled call to join the Fifth Great Awakening spiritual movement sweeping the world today. Denison's commentary, "Redeeming 9/11 on our knees," ( offers guidance on how to use the prayer guide and how to participate in the Prayer Pledge.

As America prepares for the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, Denison asks Christians to pledge their prayers for our country. Those wishing to participate in the 9/11 Prayer Pledge may post their prayers on Twitter using the #911prayerpledge hashtag or on the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture Facebook page at

Denison cites Ephesians 6:12 as his reason for including spiritual engagement among suggested strategies for fighting the war on terror. He asks Christians reading his book to join him in daily prayer that Muslims will find hope in Christ. "The Bible says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms," Denison says.

"Radical Islam: What You Need to Know" (ISBN 978-0-9837857-1-2) begins with a look at Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader killed in May in a U.S. Special Forces raid in Pakistan, and examines the ramifications of bin Laden's death, including whether it was just. The book goes on to explain what distinguishes radical Islam from the rest of the Muslim world and addresses basic questions: "Where was God on 9/11?" and "How Do We Win This War?"

Denison briefly touches on basic Muslim beliefs before focusing on the two tenets that distinguish radical Islam. First, extremists contend the West has been attacking Islam since the Crusades and especially by supporting Israel. Since the Qur'an requires Muslims to defend Islam, jihadists believe they are required to attack us. Second, radical Muslims believe all Westerners are complicit in the ongoing siege of Islam because we elect our leaders and support our military. In their minds, killing us is defending Islam.
Faced with this worldview, Denison writes, both Christians and secular Westerners must act. He offers practical ideas on how to handle the threat, including praying for Muslims and supporting Christians from Muslim backgrounds.

Chapter 1 on bin Laden and his death, along with Dr. Denison's cultural commentary subscription, are available at

"Radical Islam" is the first in the "Unlocking the Truth" series of books offering a spiritual perspective on key cultural issues facing America. Denison is also the author of six books, including the most recent, "Wrestling with God: How Can I Love a God I'm Not Sure I Can Trust?" by Tyndale House Publishers.
James C. Denison, Ph.D., is an author, educator and cultural apologist, building a bridge between faith and culture by engaging contemporary issues with historical, scientific and biblical truth. He founded the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture (DFTC) in February 2009 and writes for The Dallas Morning News, contributing weekly to the "Texas Faith Forum." He currently serves on the board of the Baylor Health Care System and as chair of the advisory board for Dallas Baptist University. Denison is former senior pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church, a 10,000-member congregation in Dallas.

Denison's daily cultural commentary is made available worldwide to thousands of subscribers His faith perspective sheds light on topics ranging from same-sex marriage, to bioethics, to the recent turmoil in the financial markets.

Connect with the Denison Forum on Twitter @JimDenison ( and on Facebook at For more information,

Another's Faith Becomes Their Own

After witnessing the strong devotion others have for Jesus, many people have come to know firsthand the amazing grace and love found in Christ.
Experiencing a God who Changes Everything
Shaunak Gupta heard about Jesus Christ when he was just a boy, but the seeds of faith didn’t take root in his heart until he was grown and married.
After witnessing a miraculous healing upon his mother, Shaunak finally started to understand Christ. When he experienced healing for himself, after a developing pain in his leg suddenly vanished, Shaunak knew the God he heard about as a child was truly the real God. He decided then to commit his life to live for Christ.
His wife, Guna, grew up in the traditional faith and had never even heard about Christ. Jesus was foreign to her. But as she watched her husband pour over Scripture and draw closer to God in his prayer life, things started to change in their family—and Guna took notice.
Soon, the values and teachings of the Christian faith became deeply embedded within her. She found herself praying to Jesus and was surprised to see herself changing.
There was complete peace and serenity in my family,” she said. “Only the true living God could bring about these changes.”
Witnessing the Lord’s provision and the way He kept their family healthy and away from harm helped solidify Guna’s faith in Christ. She and Shaunak helped cultivate the faith within their own children, and they, too, are now active members in a local Gospel for Asia-supported missionary’s church.
A Perplexing Devotion
In a similar way, Devansh Singh watched as his son’s wife, Sadaf, faithfully prayed to Jesus Christ. He wasn’t a believer and would only pray to his gods and goddesses during certain months out of the year. But Sadaf prayed for everything. It didn’t matter what time of year it was, Sadaf constantly sought the face of her God.
This sort of lifestyle caught Devansh off guard; he was astonished yet perplexed by her devotion. Soon, her love for Christ began to rub off on her father-in-law, and he slowly began praying to Jesus.
After noticing how the Lord answered his prayers, Devansh set his faith completely on Christ and began a new chapter in his life.
Through his newly found relationship with Jesus, more family members began to surrender their lives to Christ. Now, he, Sadaf and the rest of their family worship the Lord in the local GFA-supported church.
Leading by Example
Living in a culture resistant to the Good News of Christ can make it difficult for missionaries to be effective in sharing the love of Christ. But, just like in the life of Shaunak and Sadaf, one of the greatest ways to reach people comes when believers live out their faith.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Author Helps Build Relationships with God Today by Teaching about the Past

ENUMCLAW, Wash., August 29, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Nearly half of Americans, 43.1%, reportedly attended church weekly or almost weekly in 2010, cites recent Gallup Poll results. Another article published by Gallup indicates a statistically significant correlation between emotional well-being and religion.

Author Dana Grubb has experienced those statistics firsthand in her own life. It's not religion, she says, but a relationship with Jesus that makes all the difference. A graduate of the University of Texas, Grubb earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture in 1990; the focus of her building efforts today is relational, not structural.

Grubb's new book, "Changed by Jesus" (WinePress 2011), delves into the lives of women in the Bible, specifically those who experienced a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The key, says Dana, is personal connection:

"This study helps women relate to the women in the Bible and they will see how women in Jesus' day struggled with some of the same things we struggle with and they can see how Jesus addressed those issues."

Among the women featured in "Changed by Jesus" are: the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, the widow of Nain and the crippled woman, the bleeding woman, and Mary Magdalene. Varying in social status, demographics, and culture, these women all share two things: suffering and the desire for change in their lives.

Change, says Dana, is what Jesus offers. "True, meaningful change can only come through a relationship with Jesus Christ and people need to look to Him in order to experience change in their lives."

In her writing, Dana seeks to bring women to the Word of God while providing insight and opportunities for personal reflection and application. It is her passion to see women grow spiritually and see how the Word of God can impact their daily lives.

Besides being a writer, Dana Grubb is a Bible teacher, homemaker, founder and president of Changed by Jesus Ministries, an organization dedicated to teaching God's word to women who desire a closer walk with Jesus. She and her family live in Texas.

For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview, please contact Josiah Williams by phone at 360-802-9758, by email at, or by fax at 360-802-9992. To purchase a copy of this book or call 877-421-7323.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Faiths challenged to face the reality of violence inside and out

The historic religions are ambivalent in implementing a respect for life, and ambiguous about survival versus broader moral instincts, says a leading commentator.
Oliver McTernan, a former Roman Catholic priest and broadcaster, and author of Violence in God’s Name, was speaking at the 2011 Festival of Spirituality and Peace in Edinburgh, in conversation with historian Owen Dudley Edwards and church historian Lesley Orr.
He noted that for a century and a half in its early history, Christianity was uncompromising in its rejection of violence and war. But with Constantine and the Edict of Milan, the desire to protect a growing religiously-based empire overcame the previous pacifistic impulses.
Tracing the history of institutional interests often sidelining spiritual ones within Christendom, McTernan said that there was a persistent counter-witness to the compromise with violence, focussing on practices like 'the truce of God' in the eleventh century, and figures like St Francis of Assisi.
But the majority traditions had often been permissive towards war and violence, said McTernan, who also pointed to parallel contradictions and problems within other faiths, including Hinduism and Islam.
Dr Orr amplified the theme by speaking about her research into the global phenomenon of violence against women, domestic and structural - including religiously sanctioned or permitted abuse.
A widespread initial response among Christians she initially spoke to in Scotland about this was that "this can't possibly be happening in the church", she said of her studies. Such reluctance to acknowledge the problem within religious bodies remains common.
The religions emerging from the androcentric, warrior cultures of the iron age were formulated around texts, as with the classical tradition, that inscribed these values and assumed a sacred and sanctifying role. A violent world is assumed and portrayed.
Ideologies of mastery and subservience, denial of the body and other systems of power and control often found a sacralised justificaction, both Orr and McTernan declared.
The reality of violence is much more evident to victims than perpetrators, who seek to disguise or excuse it, Orr commented. The 'entitlement' to use violence legitimated by religion and ideology needs to be challenged from within and without.
The reality is that too often culture shapes belief rather than the other way round, McTernan suggested. Leaders who are capable of rising above the mob and the norm are needed to turn the tide.
Dr Dudley Edwards pointed towards Quakers as an embodiment of an alternative Christian tradition that rejects violence - and includes many Anabaptists and others.
Jesus' statement that he came "not to bring peace, but a sword" was a clear reference to the social conflict leading to his violent death, not a justification of the sword, Edwards said. Indeed, the founder of the Christian movement's last statement before his crucifixion was a demand that his followers "put away your sword".
The discussion was co-sponsored by the Christian think-tank Ekklesia, which promotes active nonviolence and partners with a range of religious peace organisations, including Christian Peacemaker Teams ( and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.
Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow will tomorrow (Friday 26 August 2011) take part in a panel discussion on war and violence at the Greenbelt Festival, Cheltenham, at 8pm.
The full Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality and Peace programme is at:
* Spirituality Peace and News:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In The Eyes of a Suffering Child

By Carol DiPaolo
Special to ASSIST News Service

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK (ANS) -- Those eyes were sadly familiar to me. Empty. Hurt. Melancholy. Those big, brown eyes void of hope. The eyes of a dying child pleading for help to ease their pain and misery.

President Bill Clinton, Joey DiPaolo (age 14), and Carol DiPaolo, pictured at the White House in 1993

During the recent Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer's Conference in August (2011), I was eager to attend the evening service to hear ANS founder Dan Wooding give his Friday evening keynote presentation called "How to Become a Voice for the Voiceless".

I entered the dimly lit room and quietly found my seat. The presenter, Becky Spencer, was addressing the audience. Images of frail, sick, African babies and children filled the two large screens. It didn't take long for the pain in my heart to once again emerge, a pain I had neatly tucked away in the recesses of my mind and heart several years ago. I was looking into the eyes of children dying with AIDS.

The sad images on the screen that night are today's children dying with AIDS in Africa. The babies I held in my arms were yesterday's babies with AIDS in America. They were the border babies left to die in lonely hospital pediatric wards with no mothers to love them or hold them. The border babies in America were the tiny lepers of yesterday. With no medications to treat them, the babies I held in my arms longed to be put out of their misery and pain. Their healing came when God's mercy took them home to be with Him.

I didn't choose to become involved in the AIDS epidemic, to hold these dying babies, to cry for them, to fight for them. I was placed there by the hand of God.

Carol DiPaolo, Joey DiPaolo (age 16) AIDS Educators and Activists pictured in 1995
It began back in 1984 when my four-year-old son, Joey DiPaolo, had open heart surgery. During the operation, he received 19 units of blood; one of the units was contaminated with the AIDS virus. It was on Jun 21, 1988 that we discovered the terrible news that Joey had AIDS. Instead of providing life, the blood he received was a death sentence. Joey was only eight years old and was given one year to live.
AIDS was something you read about on the front pages of your newspaper with headlines like - "The Great Rock Hudson Dies from AIDS." I certainly was not expecting to hear that my young son would die from the same disease that Rock Hudson had, that homosexuals and IV drug users had. I was a Sunday school teacher, a home Bible study leader, a Christian mother. Sadly, it would be the Christians who would turn their backs on my family and who would greatly fear us.

Ironically, the people I detested most would be the ones to embrace us: the homosexuals, the people from the gay community, the people who taught me how to be my son's greatest advocate.

"What good can come from this?" I cried out to God. I didn't just touch the hem of His garment; I grabbed, tugged and pulled in desperation not letting go until I heard from heaven. Like a little child, He took me by the hand and walked me down a path I would not have chosen on my own. In looking back, it's a road I have been blessed to travel. The road twisted and turned through trials, tribulations and triumphs; a road that God used to show me his love, power and might.

Death for my son was almost certain with no medications approved to treat pediatric AIDS. The question was: when? Fearful that I would lose my eight-year-old son, I went on a 21-day fast. The word AIDS disintegrated into ashes falling to the ground and the word and name of Jesus grew until it overshadowed AIDS in the battlefield of my mind. Jesus was greater than AIDS. The flames of the trial would grow hotter.

Carol DiPaolo speaking at The Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation fundraising event - New York City, April 2008

In February 1990, Joey went into septic shock. Bacteria had entered his bloodstream. The doctors were certain that Joey would be dead within forty-eight hours. His temperature approached 107 degrees. His blood pressure was critically low. Blood oozed from every orifice in his body and his kidneys failed.

"If you love him, pray that God would take him," was the advice I received from the doctor in the ICU. At best, the doctors predicted that Joey would be brain-damaged and probably an amputee if he were to survive. At the end of the forty-eight hours, Joey's condition improved. Not only did he survive the event, he came out totally unscathed.

After the near-death experience, Joey decided he didn't want to keep his AIDS diagnosis a secret anymore. "If people don't like me, that's their problem. I don't have cancer. I don't have ITP (low platelet count with an unknown cause). I have AIDS and if people don't accept me, then, they really weren't my friends to begin with," was Joey's new motto. It was his life. It was his decision. I would support my ten-year-old son. Although he was young in age, he was strong and wise in character.

On September 11, 1990, the headline in New York Newsday read: "Now My School Knows I have AIDS." Alongside the headline was a picture of my son. This would mark the beginning of our public crusade in the AIDS epidemic. HBO portrayed a portion of our lives in a docudrama called "Blood Brothers -- The Joey DiPaolo Story." It aired in December 1992.

I stand in awe at the many doors God opened for both my son and me, doors that I could not have walked through in my own volition. From the White House where we personally met President Bill Clinton to the Playboy Mansion where we shared our story to a few hundred people, God led the way for Joey and me. Our journey took us from the East coast to the West coast in America sharing our story in schools, colleges, churches and other institutes. Our story had been told in thirteen European countries.

It's time for me to tell my story; a story from a Christian mother's prospective. If you take Jesus out of the equation, it's just another story. Without the Lord by my side, I would not have been able to stand strong in good times and in bad. I know my character. I am weak without Him. With the Holy Spirit leading the way, I was able to make decisions that kept my son alive.

I was able to have my son receive cutting edge medication that was not yet FDA approved. He opened doors for me to get my son enrolled into the largest government run research institute in America called The National Institutes of Health. Yes, it was a tradeoff. I handed my son over to science to become a "lab rat" placed on drug trials, but in return he received treatments that were not available to children living with AIDS at that time.

It is impossible for me to share my twenty-seven year journey with my son living through the AIDS epidemic since 1984. That's why I am compelled to write my memoir titled "The Promise - A True Story of a Mother's Journey Through the AIDS Epidemic". I have been greatly blessed and happy to report that my son is turning thirty-one on September 5, 2011.

Christina Petosa and Joey DiPaolo married April 16, 2010

He is living a wonderful life and remains in good health. On April 16, 2010, he married a beautiful girl named Christina. She is HIV-negative and works in the medical field as an ultrasound technician. Doctors told me that Joey would not live to reach the age of nine. He would not live for me to see his wedding day. It was a day I dreamed for. It was a day I prayed for. In His mercy, it was a day God granted me to see. What a great God we serve; a God of the impossible.

It breaks my heart for the children's images that graced the screen during the writer's conference. My heart aches for them. They are the tiny lepers of today. Like the boarder babies of yesterday, they don't have mothers to hold them, to feed and comfort them. Sadly, their mother's lives are snuffed out from the AIDS virus. The pandemic rages in third world countries especially on the continent of Africa. We are blessed here in America.

Carol DiPaolo and Joey DiPaolo (age 31) on his Wedding Day, April 16, 2010

We have access to medication, clean water and knowledgeable doctors, unlike our brothers and sisters in Africa. In Africa, families are being wiped out. Orphans, too numerous to count, are being left behind with no one to care for them. Mere children are becoming the heads of households looking after younger siblings. 

Many are sick themselves with AIDS or caring for relatives stricken with the disease. Many live in denial. 

They fear they will be shunned by their relatives and neighbors. Burdened with a deep dark secret, they live in hopelessness. In shame, they die alone.

I wanted to shout "Here I am Lord. Send me," but instead I sat silently burdened by the story their sad eyes told. If only I could hold them in my arms like I did with the boarder babies. If only I could whisper in their ears "Have hope. One day, this too shall pass." I'm not sure when their "one day" will come. For now, most of these children will find their healing when they go home to be with the Lord. Their sad, empty, melancholy eyes will be filled with joy when they look upon the glory of God.

What can we do here in America? How can we help? Remember them. Pray for them. Find a reputable organization that has a mission to children living with AIDS in Africa and give. A dollar goes a long way. If you have talents, perhaps in the medical field, donate your talent. Go offering a help that is much needed. Ask God what you can do to ease their pain, to bring hope to a dying generation. As for me, I know one day I will be holding a child in Africa in my arms and the same love I showed my own son, I will show them. I stand ready to go if He sends me. Until, then, I continue to walk hand in hand with my Maker excited to see where the road will lead me next. I fear not and can do all things with Christ by my side.

Carol DiPaolo was born in 1959, raised in Brooklyn and now resides in Staten Island, New York with her husband, Michael Ventarola. Carol has two adult biological children, two stepchildren, three grandsons and a granddaughter expected to arrive in November 2011. After discovering that Joey had AIDS, Carol became a certified AIDS educator, AIDS activist and public speaker. The government chose Carol in 1991 to be the only National Pediatric AIDS representative to assist medical researchers in developing a drug trial that virtually eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the U. S. Carol personally met with President Bill Clinton at the White House and other government officials on Capitol Hill. Joey DiPaolo and Carol DiPaolo were portrayed in a HBO docudrama titled Blood Brothers-The Joey DiPaolo Story that aired in December 1992. Carol brought a law suit against the Greater New York Blood Center that aired for ten weeks on Court TV. She won the landmark case on her son's behalf in 1995. In 1996, she co-founded The Joey DiP aolo AIDS Foundation, a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization. In 2000, Carol developed Camp TLC (Teens Living a Challenge), the first residential summer camp program for teenagers born and living with HIV/AIDS in the U. S. She and her son appeared on national television shows: Larry King Live, Montel Williams, Joan Rivers, Phil Donohue, Sally Jesse Raphael, Discovery, 60 Minutes, 48 Hours and others. Carol accepted Christ in 1979. Joey is 32 years old, remains in good health and was married on April 16, 2010 to a wonderful, non-infected young woman named Christina Petosa. Through trials, tribulations and triumphs, God has been faithful to Carol, Joey and her family. Her story will be told in a memoir titled: The Promise - A Mother's Journey Through the AIDS Epidemic. She can be contacted by e-mail at:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Two Bible Studies for Skeptics and Believers Alike:

Acclaimed Author Brings Bible to Life with Art, Humor and Community

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH (ANS) -- Margaret Feinberg, popular speaker and author of numerous books including Hungry for God and Scouting the Divine, has just released two new DVD Bible Studies. These Bible studies are particularly notable for the inclusion of artistic themes and an unusually strong emphasis on community-reaching a broad demographic with a personal approach for spiritual growth.

Margaret Feinberg

"Studying the Bible is more than something for 'religious' people and is more than something done in isolation," Feinberg says. "Through these studies, we're reminded the Bible was meant to be discussed in community, and its stories are powerful enough to speak to each one of us-wherever we are and whatever our circumstances might be."

According to a news release from Karen Campbell Media (, Pursuing God's Beauty: Stories from the Book of John (Zondervan, 2011), a six-session DVD series, is set in an artist studio and provides a creative and challenging exploration of "beautiful" moments from the life of Jesus. Using art, Feinberg incorporates pieces by Monet, Picasso and other modern artists to illustrate the beautiful truths of John's gospel.

Pursuing God's Love: Stories from the Book of Genesis (Zondervan, 2011) explores what the creation story tells us about God's love. This study is ideal for a diverse group to journey through this fascinating book of the Bible. And, the materials accompanying the six-session DVDs are designed to spark group discussion and exploration of central Biblical themes in a unique way.

In addition to the DVD studies, the participant guides for both Pursuing God's Beauty and Pursuing God's Love include experiential activities for groups to engage with the central themes of the studies. Each guide also includes discussion questions and valuable "After Hours" personal studies.
These materials set Feinberg's studies apart as strong resources for any group, no matter the background or familiarity with scriptures.

Biblical scholars and non-believers alike will be challenged, stretched, inspired and connected walking through these studies together.

Named one of the Thirty Emerging Voices of Christian leaders under age forty by Charisma magazine, Feinberg is a prominent Bible teacher and sought-after expert source on issues facing the church, the evolving religious landscape in America, and women in leadership as well as a popular speaker at churches and leadership events such as Catalyst and Thrive. In recent months, she's been a featured panelist on HLN's Prime News with Vinnie Politan as well as written one of the top five most popular news articles of the day for

About Margaret Feinberg

Cover of another of her DVD's

A popular speaker at churches and leading conferences such as Catalyst and Thrive, Margaret Feinberg was recently named one of the "30 Emerging Voices" who will help lead the church in the next decade by Charisma magazine and one of the "40 Under 40" who will shape Christian publishing by Christian Retailing, she has written more than two dozen books and Bible studies including the critically-acclaimed The Organic God, The Sacred Echo, Scouting the Divine (Zondervan) and their corresponding DVD Bible studies. She is known for her relational teaching style and inviting people to discover the relevance of God and His Word in a modern world.

Margaret and her books have been covered by national media including: CNN, the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Denver Rocky Mountain News, Newsday, Houston Chronicle,,,,,,, and many others.

Margaret currently lives in Colorado, with her 6'8" husband, Leif. When she's not writing or traveling, she enjoys anything outdoors, lots of laughter, and their super pup, Hershey. But she says some of her best moments are spent communicating with her readers (and viewers).
Join Margaret on Facebook or follow her on twitter: @mafeinberg and for more information visit

Pursuing God's Beauty DVD: Stories from the Gospel of John
Margaret Feinberg
September 2011
ISBN: 9780310428688
Participants Guide: $9.99, ISBN: 9780310428695
Pursuing God's Love DVD: Stories from the Book of Genesis
Margaret Feinberg
September 2011
ISBN: 9780310428220
Participants Guide: $9.99, ISBN: 9780310428237
To schedule an interview with Margaret Feinberg, please contact Karen Campbell at or616-309-4390.

Dan Wooding, 70, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 48 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. He now hosts the weekly "Front Page Radio" show on KWVE in Southern California which is also carried throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK and also in Belize and South Africa. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 200 countries. You can follow Dan on Facebook under his name there or at ASSIST News Service. He is the author of some 44 books. Two of the latest include his autobiography, "From Tabloid to Truth", which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel "Red Dagger" which is available this link.

A Professor Professes Christ in Libya

By Wayne Pederson
Special to ASSIST News Service

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (ANS) -- As I've been watching the incredible events in Libya, I've been thinking about an amazing man I met last year.

The uprising in Libya

He was a university professor in Libya. Even more amazing, he was a devout follower of Jesus and a university professor in Libya. Amazing, because by his estimate, there are only about 4,500 Christian believers in Libya. Most Christians have been either deported or put in prison.

95% of Libyans will never meet a real follower of Jesus. So as a Christian professor, he was a bit of an oddity among students and faculty.

Most people in that part of the world get their impression of Americans from American television and movies, such as Baywatch and Dallas. They think most Americans are rich, sex-obsessed alcoholics. And their impression is that American and Christian are synonymous.

Well, when the authorities discovered that my newfound friend was a Christian, he was immediately removed from his faculty position and plans were made for his deportation.

Cast of Friends

His loyal students and faculty friends, knowing he was a Christian, wanted to give him a Christian gift as a going away present. What do you give a Christian? Something American, right? They presented him with a DVD set of the TV series, Friends.

We chuckle at the irony, but it's really sad. Much of the world thinks of Christianity as an American religion. And they associate Christianity with American culture, which is, this is an understatement, greatly flawed.

So how can we effectively communicate Christ when our image is so tragically associated with Hollywood. We need to present Jesus of Nazareth, a mid-Eastern man who changed, and is changing, the world.

As long as we associate Jesus with American entertainment, or American politics, we create barriers to the real Jesus. Jesus is the God of the nations. The Savior of the world

Hopefully with the change in government, followers of Jesus will have freedom to live out their lives as Jesus commanded. But whatever happens politically, we know that in the end, Jesus prevails. Every tongue, every tribe, every nation, will worship and confess that He is Lord!

Wayne Pederson is the President of HCJB Global ( As a longtime media professional, Wayne Pederson has a passion for reaching the lost through technology tools. In past roles, Wayne focused on media ministry in local communities through his years with Northwestern College Radio and Moody Broadcasting. He has also taken a national stage, serving with National Religious Broadcasters, Christian Music Broadcasters and Mission America. Wayne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in Radio/TV Speech from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Theology from Free Lutheran Theological Seminary in Minneapolis. He has served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern College and Bethel University. Wayne is a founding member of Need Him Ministries and serves on the board of National Religious Broadcasters. Wayne is married to Norma Pederson, and together they minister around the world to HCJB Global staff and partners. Wayne and Norma have two children, Christy and Michelle. T hey also are proud to have nine grandchildren. His e-mail address is:

Monday, August 22, 2011

God Believes in You

By Rick Marschall
Special to ASSIST News Service

SWARTZ CREEK MI (ANS) -- Is it is possible that the world's problems are not so bad because people don't believe in God; but because Christians don't realize how much God believes in US?

I currently am reading Timothy Keller's book The Reason for God - rather overdue on my part -- and enjoying his manner of sharing the Gospel with his congregation at Redeemer Church in Manhattan. "Enjoying" is an insufficient description -- I am intrigued, challenged, provoked.

The book wastes no pages before listing Keller's responses to contemporary culture's main "problems" with what he calls his orthodox Christianity: hewing to scripture, stressing personal salvation, the centrality of Jesus. Many of the questions he confronts are variations of a basic challenge to the existence of God Himself. The challenge is not new; it has been asked by skeptics, non-believers, and anguished doubters throughout history. "How can I believe in a God who..." and the sentences end with questions about "allowing" sickness, "overseeing" brokenness and hatred, "watching Christians kill each other."

Keller brilliantly parries the arguments of those who claim a better, or "higher," morality than the Bible's; and who maintain that the natural state of the universe, and the universe's inhabitants, can admit to no God of any sort.

I would like to linger a moment at what I feel is a proper response to the traps and trappings of a culture that tries to wash God out of the fabric of society, which is a related topic. Many well-meaning Christians are seduced by the argument that we are so inferior to a Just and All-Powerful God that we must, therefore, feel inferior to an indiscriminate degree, and adopt inferiority in all manners. This attitude is not humility but error. It can make people insecure about their standing as children of God; it can make them susceptible to arguments for a more "logical" conception of God. And this, after all, is the oldest lie in the Book.

It could be that contemporary culture's problem is not a faulty belief in God, but a mistaken understanding that He believes in US. Of course I do not mean that He has abdicated His throne. But He believes that we can overcome, we can be more than conquerors, we are citizens of Heaven.

We can know this is true because, when we have accepted Jesus into our hearts, God does not see us any more in our sins. He sees Jesus instead, the Jesus within us.

God does not look upon our dirty rags. He sees the blood shed on the cross, under which we are covered.
God does not dither over our quirks, transgressions, and shortcomings. If we are truly repentant and are born again, He sees the Holy Spirit that lives within us. That is why God sent the Holy Ghost!

When we spiritually see God's viewpoint aright, we should be embarrassed ever again to do other than to boldly approach the Throne of Grace. Not to presume upon God, but to recognize our status as joints heirs with Christ!

How many Christians spend a lot of the their prayer life (or abandon it altogether!) reminding God over and over and over again of things He has already forgotten! For when we repent in the name of our elder brother Jesus, God has said he will throw our sins into the Sea of Forgetfulness.

Does God believe in US? The plan of salvation, the work of the cross, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, would be wasted if He did not! Strive to be worthy, and claim your inheritance!
Click: God Believes In You 

Rick Marschall is the author of 65 books and hundreds of magazine articles in many fields, from popular culture (Bostonia Magazine called him "perhaps America's foremost authority on popular culture") to history and criticism; country music, television history, biography and children's books. He is a former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney comics. For 10 years he has been active in the Christian field, writing devotionals; co-author of The Secret Revealed with Dr Jim Garlow. His biography of Johann Sebastian Bach for the "Christian Encounters" series (Thomas Nelson) was released in April, 2011. His history of cartoon Advertising, Drawing Power, will be published in July 2011 by the Marschall Books imprint of fantagraphics Books. In October his major biography of Theodore Roosevelt, BULLY!, will be publ;ished by Regnery History of Washington DC. He is currently working on a One-Year CDevotional for Tyndale House; and edits the the reissue of Harper's Weekly -- the Civil War Ye ars for NOVOink e-books. Rick is a former Director of Product Development for Youth Specialties. He is recipient of the 2008 "Christian Writer of the Year" award from the Greater Philadelphia Writer's Conference, and produces a weekly e-mail devotional, "Monday Morning Music Ministry." His e-mail address is:

Grief Journal Helps Those Experiencing Devastating Loss

By Nico Bougas
Special to ASSIST News Service

BRADENTON, FL (ANS) -- It was 10.00 on a Tuesday night when Beth Marshall's phone rang. The incredible shocking news that followed would change her world forever. Her amazing, full-of-life, fun loving mother was gone. In the months that followed Beth suffered through sadness and debilitating pain. It was her journal that gradually began to help her heal.

Book cover

"I started to see that I was getting better and stronger," says Beth. "I could see through writing that I was gaining strength."

Out of her sorrow, Beth created a grief journal. The simple book became a resource that she used through her position as the Care Ministry Coordinator for New Spring Church, a congregation of about 10,000 people based in Anderson, South Carolina. She also sent journals to many of the families of the victims of 9/11 in New York City and Washington DC. The incredible response and need Beth has seen for the journal prompted her to take it to the next level with the help of Ambassador International, a Christian publishing house based in Greenville, South Carolina.

"I've known since the beginning that the Lord had big plans for it," Beth says. "That's what has kept me going."

A Time to Heal: A Grief Journal is the book that has emerged out of her experiences and is currently available through major retail outlets.

After assisting passengers aboard Delta flights for 25 years, Beth Marshall hung up her flight attendant wings in order to help people dealing with major life changes at her church. Six years ago Marshall accepted the position of Care Ministry Coordinator at New Spring Church, a congregation of about 10,000 people based in Anderson, South Carolina.

Just about everyone experiences a devastating loss at some point, but as a culture, Beth says it's difficult to know how to reach out to those who are grieving. "We send flowers or offer food, but we don't do anything that really touches the deep pain of losing someone we love," says Beth. A Time to Heal is a book you can confidently give to someone who is walking through a season of grief. Although the book is full of Bible verses, Beth says it's not just for Christians. "It's for anyone who feels stuck in grief."

I asked Beth Marshall what it was about journaling that made it so therapeutic. She replied that in journaling you can be completely honest and write down your own thoughts without embarrassment or fear of what others will think or say.

"You can dig deep into the depths of your soul and dredge up all the anger, the sorrow, the regrets, and the frustration and let it all hang out. And from there you can take the attitude of the Psalmist in Psalm 43, "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

On the day of our interview she received the news that the book is being translated into Japanese so that those who have been devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami can use it as a tool for healing.

A Time to Heal is a journaling guide through a season of grief. The journey, bathed in timeless scriptures from God's Word, will lead the reader to reflect, write, cry and hopefully, one day laugh again. The goal is to look at grief as a journey, rather than a permanent destination.

A Time to Heal by Beth Marshall (Ambassador International).

Nico Bougas is the International Coordinator of Hellenic Ministries ( He has a master's degree in communication from Wheaton Graduate School and M. Div and D. Min degrees from Trinity Theological Seminary. He previously worked for Youth for Christ in South Africa and was Editor of In Magazine and Christian Living TODAY and now serves as Consulting Editor to JOY Magazine. He is the author of five books, the latest being, "Day Lighters - 365 Quick-fire Devotions to Ignite Your Day" -available as an e-Book from For further, information contact:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month

Author Shares from Personal Experience What we Can Learn from Children Diagnosed with Life Threatening Illnesses

By Michael Ireland
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

CHINO HILLS, CA (ANS) -- When a life-threatening illness strikes you or a loved one, the effects can be devastating. A new book tells the story of one family who chose to learn from their teenage daughter’s cancer, and decided to share those lessons and help others in the process.

Up until January 7, 2005 Ruthe and Michael Rosen enjoyed the “perfect life.”

Ruthe Rosen
Perhaps it wasn’t exactly perfect, but it was normal. However, things changed drastically overnight. Ruthe’s daughter Karla was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor at the age of 14.

They had no idea their lives would change so significantly.

Karla was in the middle of her early teen years with all the excitement, drama, mood swings, hormones, and changes those early years entail.

But then there were the headaches, that came suddenly and were so sudden and severe they would drop her to her knees in agony. After one episode they decided to go get a CT scan.

Then the phone call came. There would be no dance practice today. They found a mass growing on Karla’s nervous system.

For one year, Ruthe Rosen and her family did more than cope with the unimaginable, they embraced it.

In their love and faith they found the strength to be there for Karla in every way. Karla had brain surgery and was in and out of hospitals (one stay was for an entire month). She had several sudden emergency room trips, bouncing back and forth between doctors. She endured chemo therapy and radiation treatments daily, simultaneously.

Karla Rosen
For a while, Karla regained her spirit and even went back to playing on the soccer field. She amazed everyone. But after a year of hopes lifted and hopes dashed, 15-year-old Karla suddenly lost her fight and died of inoperable cancer.

In ‘Never Give Up’, Ruthe Rosen tells the story of how she and her family immersed themselves in the ordeal of taking care of her daughter. She discovered her daughters’ courage and unwavering optimism. She realized that although she was scared, she never succumbed to self-pity or despair, and because of her spirit and uplifting outlook, neither did the people around her.

Drawing upon the wisdom and personal experiences she acquired, she skillfully takes the mystery out of the many lessons to be learned from her daughter’s experience. She describes how to provide caring support that allows the family to maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives and sustain hope as they battle the most serious illnesses. She offers important and helpful guidance for those forced to face the reality of being a caregiver for a seriously ill family member.

Here are just some of the valuable insights from the book:

**Embrace the journey. Take one day at a time.
**In order to embrace it, you must first accept it. You don’t have to understand it all nor be able to figure it all out, but no matter how dark your struggle, embrace every single moment of it or you will miss the opportunity to find joy and purpose.
**Plan for your tomorrow, but live in your today.
**If you spend your time worrying about the if’s and what might’s instead of enjoying the right now’s it will rob you of your joy today. Sometimes you just have to say, “If it’s not happening and it’s not a fact, then I don’t want to talk about it.”
**Reserve the right to crash at any time. Embrace the crash when it comes.
**It is okay to be sad, mad, depressed, empty, lost…embrace it! Feel! Live it! Then get the heck out of dodge so it doesn’t consume you.
**Stare down your fears. Look them straight in the eyes.
**Don’t turn and run, because if you can find the courage to look it in the eyes, you have just accepted one of God’s greatest gifts of strength.
**Maintain a sense of normalcy and you will discover your new normal.
**Continuing the activities and the routines as best as possible for your other children allows them to still be kids and not bring worry and fear to them. Keep it real, and so you don’t lose yourself in the chaos of circumstances. When you find yourself experiencing rare moments of normalcy, don’t feel guilty, soak it up and enjoy it and give yourself the gift of not worrying about tomorrow.
**Just because life has taken away some of our choices, doesn’t mean it has taken away all of our choices.
**Make the ones still available to you. Sometimes being selfish is the most generous thing you can do you for a sick loved one.
**Even if something terrible is happening doesn’t mean you can’t laugh.
**Find humor in the moments that you can. True laughter shared with a loved one, no matter what the circumstances is never inappropriate.
**Expect days that you will doubt your faith. They will come.
**And when it happens, get your strength from what you know not what you are feeling at the time. Faith isn’t about believing everything will be all right; it’s about knowing you’ll be prepared when it isn’t.
**No matter what the percentage of the prognosis given to you by your doctor; living everyday with 100 percent hope is a choice. And just remember ….

Never Give Up.
Cover artwork for
Never Give Up

Ruthe Rosen’s purpose is to provide a message of hope and inspiration to those who are facing challenges in their lives.
“I want them to have confidence that they, too, can find purpose in their pain, and know that one day they will be happy again,” she said.

After Karla died, Ruthe Rosen and her husband Michael embarked on a mission to reach out to strangers who need help and return the kindness they experienced from the remarkable girl who refused to be anything but grateful.
They created The Let It Be Foundation, which helps families with children who have been diagnosed with life threatening illnesses or medical conditions.

The Let It Be Foundation provides such services as housekeeping, grocery shopping and meals, opportunities for family recreation and help in meeting the needs of siblings during difficult times. They live with their sons Brandon and Cole in Chino Hills.

Proceeds from this book will benefit the Let It be

Book Details:
Never Give Up: How to Find Hope and Purpose in Adversity
Ruthe Rosen
List $16.95
Trade softcover 186 pages
ISBN 978-1-879384-86-6
Published by Cypress House
Publication date September 15, 2011

** Michael Ireland is Senior Correspondent for ANS. He is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB UK, a British Christian radio station. While in the UK, Michael traveled to Canada and the United States, Albania,Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany,and Czechoslovakia. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China,and Russia. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International of P.O.Box 1649, Brentwood, TN 37024-1649, at:Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can make a donation online under 'Donate' tab, then look for 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' under 'Donation Category' to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.' Michael is a member in good standing of the National Writers Union, Society of Professional Journalists, Religion Newswriters Association, Evangelical Press Association and International Press Association. If you have a news or feature story idea for Michael, please contact him at: ANS Senior Reporter

Friday, August 19, 2011

Author Rick Lawrence Explores God's 'Sifting' to Discover Why We Suffer in this Life

DALLAS, Aug. 18, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Worn down by the troubles in your life? Overwhelmed by piled-up problems? Worried about others who are hurting? In his book, Sifted: God's Scandalous Response to Satan's Outrageous Demand, Rick Lawrence offers fresh biblical perspective on pain, based on a single Scripture snapshot: Luke 22:31-32. 

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." These two simple verses from Luke's account of the Last Supper launch a profound exploration of the meaning of trouble in a Christian's life. Suffering is inevitable, and if we're honest, the explanations commonly offered often just don't hold up or help very much. But Jesus' perfect metaphor of sifting provides fresh perspective on why we suffer and what the sifting process can reveal in our lives. 

Peter was to be "sifted like wheat" -- shaken hard, beaten, and finally separated from his false identity. Satan was the one causing it, but Jesus would allow it. Lawrence's verse-by-verse exploration offers insight, comfort, challenge, and a call to greater intimacy with the God who allows our pain because He wants us to know who we really are and what we can become.

If we believe that Christians are still sifted today, why do we so often judge those who are experiencing hardships? They must have done something wrong. God must be punishing them. But suffering is inevitable, whether it comes in the form of life-shifting catastrophe or the drip-drip-dripping of daily troubles. Sifted will encourage those who are facing trouble now and those who will face it in the future. It will encourage us to see our pain as a means to greater knowledge and intimacy with Christ. Lawrence offers a rigorously honest, deeply challenging, yet powerfully comforting exploration of the trials that beat us down, the good God who allows our troubles, and the incredible beauty the process of sifting can reveal in us. 

Rick Lawrence has been editor of GROUP Magazine, the world's most widely read resource for Christian youth leaders, for 23 years and is the co-leader of The Simply Youth Ministry Conference. He's a consultant to national research organizations and a frequent conference and workshop speaker.

Brian Jones' Hell Is Real Talks About Why Hell Matters, Even if You Don't Believe in it

DALLAS, Aug. 18, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Recently, the media has ignited in a brimstone blaze of controversy over the question of Hell, and the idea that's generating so much attention is that Hell isn't real, and even if it were, a loving God wouldn't possibly send people there. Is Hell real, or is it a concept that is misguided and out of place in today's Christianity? Many believe the answer to this question will have profound implications on the future of the faith, and important personalities on both sides of this question are drawing lines in the sand. 

Brian Jones, a pastor in suburban Philadelphia, can relate to this controversy. Jones had a secret he'd been hiding for years: He didn't believe in Hell. In Hell Is Real (But I Hate to Admit It) (David C Cook, August 2011), Jones relates that after seminary he came to the conclusion that "the Bible's teaching about Hell was inaccurate at best and hateful at worst. What I was taught as a child was a lie, and now that I was becoming a pastor I was sure I'd never perpetuate that ridiculous myth again."

But after an amazing experience that required him to rescue several people from an apartment fire, Jones began to re-think his stance on Hell. His uncertainty on the subject led him to Scripture, and as he studied God's Word, he felt an overwhelming sense of conviction. "What I discovered shocked me. I had always assumed that the Bible contained only a few scattered references to Hell. I was wrong; it is taught everywhere." 

Jones began writing Hell Is Real with the hope that he would humorously and transparently push readers into a head-on collision with what he calls "apocalyptic urgency," the all-consuming conviction that overtakes someone when they realize that Hell is real and it is within their power to help people avoid going there. The key to this apocalyptic urgency, according to Jones, is for Christians to realize that the largest need that faces mankind is the need to be saved from God's wrath, which results in a real, literal Hell. Without the urgency that a belief in Hell instills, Jones believes that the reason most Christians don't tell their friends about Jesus has nothing to do with not knowing how -- it's because they don't think they need to.

Leaderless leaders and followless followers

By Bill Ellis
Special to ASSIST News Service

SCOTT DEPOT, WV (ANS) -- In communities, cities, counties, states and nations there are leaders. We see them in churches, schools, businesses, in city and county government as well as in states and nations. Where there is no leader to follow, there is a lack of direction, purpose and goals.

President Harry S. Truman understood the meaning of leadership and defined the real leader as "A man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don't want to do and like it." Leon Tolstoy called the leader "The wave pushed ahead by the ship." The leader is the person who has already done what he wants everybody else to do. Beware of leaderless leaders. They are dangerous.

Donald McGannon noted that leadership is "Action, not position." The position can be bought, stolen or ruthlessly acquired, but eventually it becomes evident that no leadership qualities exist. It takes more than loud boastful talk or a controlled public relations campaign to produce a leader.

Being called a leader is far from being one. Arrogance, ignorance, lack of passion and unconcern will stymie any attempt to lead. During my brief life, I have seen this scenario played out many times and usually ending in unnecessary disaster. Large churches have been reduced in a short time to near nothingness because of an unqualified pastor. A thriving business, with poor leadership, can be led quickly to bankruptcy. A great school in the hands of an ignorant educator will soon be only a memory. A state or nation led by unqualified and arrogant leaders at the top will crumple in defeat and disgrace.

For every successful leadership, there must be quality followship. A leader is no better than those who will go with him. A follower is a supporter, adherent, disciple, member, devotee, fan and a believer in what the leader wants to accomplish. Leadership is no better than followship.

An exciting Jewish story in the Old Testament is about Saul being chosen as the first king of Israel. For the background and context of this story, that reminds all of us of some of the things happening to many nations in our day, it would be wise and extremely interesting to read in their entirety chapters eight through twelve of First Samuel. Underscore these words which account for King Saul's success and that of any leader, "And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched" (1 Samuel 10:26).

No leader has much of a chance of success with a team of anything less than valiant men and women giving intelligent, wise and courageous support. I recall hearing a newly elected senator speak to a select group of the country's leaders as he expressed his concern for the nation. "The thing that surprised me most about being in the Senate is the large number of second and third rate people who are members of that body."

Churches, businesses, schools, counties, states and nations are no better than the men and women who are elected to be leaders.

If we continue to do as we have been doing, we will continue to receive what we have been receiving. And that has brought us to the brink of disaster.

Nothing tottering on the cusp of insanity in leadership and followship can be expected to survive very long. We are the only one of the world's great civilizations still standing. Our present status is shaky. We must do better, a lot better, immediately, if we continue to survive as the strong and prosperous nation we have been for 235 years. We must, as a people and nation, make that choice. Nobody else or any other country can decide for us. We decide very soon. Our days are numbered.


Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist, and convention and conference speaker on every continent. He is the writer of more than 2,000 newspaper and magazine columns, articles and contributions to books. He is also a widely known motivational speaker and pulpit guest who utilizes enjoyment of life and just plain fun and laughter while speaking to high school, university and professional sports teams as well as to business and professional groups of all kinds. His keen understanding of human problems makes him a favorite speaker for youth, parent, and senior adult meetings. He is accompanied by Kitty, his wife, favorite singer, editor and publisher.

For information on becoming a subscriber to the Ellis Column for your newspaper or magazine, you may contact him at: BILL ELLIS, P.O.Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560 or by calling: 304-757-6089.