Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell

A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell has affirmed my love for this author. It started out with a list of characters for people who may get confused when reading the book. My heart sank a little when I saw the warning and the list. I find books with many characters to be too much for my brain. I get distracted and disinterested when I'm overwhelmed with who's who.

This book was not that way at all. First of all, it's written in a unique point of view which I found to be delightful. It's written almost as if someone is telling you the story, talking directly to you. Trust me on this, it works.

The thing that I noticed about this novel is that you can watch the characters grow. Each of the four main female characters is a new woman by the end of the book, very refreshing. Truly a lovely book, heartwarming and informative. My grandfather was an Italian immigrant during the time in which this story takes place so it was interesting to learn what some of his struggles may have been.

From the back cover:

In 1918 Boston, three seamstresses dare to dream of a better life.

Fiery Julietta pursues love recklessly.

Shy Annamaria falls for the wrong man.

Secretive Luciana's past endangers them all.

Drawn together amid the opulance of Madame Fortier's dress shop, will each find the fairy-tale ending she seeks?

Thanks, Siri, for this CLEAN READ!!

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for this review copy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Too Rich For A Bride by Mona Hodgson

I found this book to be very hard to read. It feels almost too simplistic. The characters didn't appeal to me and the story line felt bland. There were also an abundance of characters and I had to keep flipping back to remind myself who was who.

About the book:
With a head more suited to bookkeeping than a bridal veil, Ida’s dreams include big business- not beaus.

Ida Sinclair has joined her sisters, Kat and Nell, in the untamed mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado for one reason: to work for the infamous but undeniably successful businesswoman, Mollie O’Bryan. Ida’s sisters may be interested in making a match for their determined older sister, but Ida only wants to build her career.

Under Mollie's tutelage, Ida learns how to play the stock market and revels in her promising accomplishments. Fighting for respect in a man's world, her ambition leaves little room for distractions. She ignores her family's reservations about Mollie O'Bryan's business practices, but no matter how she tries, she can't ignore the two men pursuing her affections—Colin Wagner, the dashing lawyer, and Tucker Raines, the traveling preacher.

Ida wants a career more than anything else, so she shrugs off the suitors and pointed “suggestions” that young ladies don’t belong in business. Will it take unexpected love—or unexpected danger—for Ida to realize where her priorities truly lie?

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Press

Friday, April 22, 2011

Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

When I find myself in the company of an Ann Tatlock book I don't want to start reading it. I'll put it at the bottom of my book pile and wait and wait until I finally give in to the delicious read that I'm sure it will be. Ann never disappoints. She is one of the few authors that I anticipate a new book from each year. Her writing sets her apart and into a realm which others could only aspire to be.

Promises to Keep is, in my opinion, her best book yet. From the sweet cover to the beautifully written words to characters who come to life, this is one that you don't want to miss.

Roz is eleven when her mother packs the kids into the car and flees from her abusive husband. Roz doesn't understand why they had to leave Daddy and she misses him more than anything. Moving far away to a new life and a new house are scary for her. The morning that they find an old lady on their front porch-indulging in their morning paper-is the start of a new adventure as Tillie eventually comes to live with them. Roz starts school and makes friends with a black girl named Mara. Both girls have an ache in their heart for their fathers and they make a pact to get their daddies back.

Tatlock weaves the characters together in such a way that I found myself wanting to talk to them. Tillie is such a strong woman and is exactly what this family needed at this time. This book made me think of Romans 8:28.

If you want to learn more about it please visit this link to Bethany House. You can view the trailer for it and order a copy.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers.

Thank you, Ann, for this CLEAN READ.

Fashioned by Faith by Rachel Lee Carter

Fashioned by Faith by Rachel Lee Carter is targeted to tween-teen girls who want to be modest in their dress and still be fashionable. Rachel Lee Carter is a model with a resume that spans a couple decades. She shares how she's been able to take a stand for her beliefs (sometimes her stories are heartbreakingly courageous) and is a fine example of a Christian woman making an effort to remain unchanged in a secular workplace.

This book also addresses modesty in a fresh way. Rachel gives girls shopping hints and tips that will ensure that what they wear won't attract the wrong kind of attention from men. Each chapter has a He Says, She Says and HE says section. The He Says is what young men thing, the She Says are Rachels thoughts and the HE Says is what the Bible says about each topic.

Beautifully and honestly written, this is one book that I can't wait to share with my teen daughter. It even has a 45 day Bible study in the back of it. What an excellent tool this is!

Included are several full color pages of pictures of Rachel on various photo shoots. She is careful to mention that there are many aspects that go into what makes the perfect picture and the hours that it takes to capture the right shot.

Can you look great and still honor God?

International model Rachel Lee Carter chares her story of being modest in an often-immodest industry. Sure, we live in a skin-is-in society, but what do guys really think when girls follow those revealing trends? More important, what does God think?

Rachel has traveled all over the world and has worked for clients including CoverGirl, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, and many more. She touches on experiences that affect people in the fashion industry and issues that affect girls everyday--weight problems, eating disorders, acne, self esteem, modesty and more.

Rachel brings her experience from the fashion world to offer creative and practical suggestions that combine modesty and a great look.

You'll find out how to keep up with the latest trends while discovering what real beauty is.

This book was provided for review by BookSneeze and is available from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

To learn more about Rachel please visit her website.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble

Just when you think an author can't outdo herself someone like Colleen Coble breaks free from the mold that she's made a name for herself in and writes a series like The Mercy Falls series. The Lightkeeper's Ball is the third and final installment in this series that takes place in 1910 in Mercy Falls, California. If the cover alone doesn't woo you in then the story and setting will.

Coble is a master storyteller who is able to weave a tale of suspense and romance with a Christian theme like no other. Olivia Steward is among the ultra rich in New York society. With friends like the Astor family, she is being bred to marry into money to keep up her social standing. Her older sister, Eleanor is the first to be betrothed in an arranged marriage to Harrison Bennett, but when word arrives from California that Eleanor has died Olivia is sent to replace her. While making the trip Olivia decides to use her long-forgotten English title of Lady Devonworth and do some sleuthing on her own to see what really happened to her sister Eleanor. When Olivia meets Harrison she decides to continue the charade and get to know this man and see if he was behind her sisters demise.

With twists and turns, this book will keep you guessing until the end. Coble also brings back several characters from the first two volumes and it's fun to be reunited with them.

If you want to take a trip back in time, then you need to read the Mercy Falls series.

Thanks to the B&B Media Group for this review copy.

Thanks, Colleen, for this clean read!

Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer

Forget everything you think you know about Amish fiction and hold onto your seat!

Beside Still Waters is Tricia Goyer's jump into the Amish fiction market. A market which, I think, is full of books telling the same stories over and over with some name changes. Tricia has taken everything I think about Amish fiction and tossed it out the window. Beside Still Waters had me crying at the intro and ignoring all of my housework as I sat to devour this book in one day. I could not put this book down! Based on a true story, Beside Still Waters follows Marianna Sommer in her quest to be the perfect daughter and the perfect Amish girl. Marianna meets someEnglischers who cause her heart to long for more. More out of life and more out of her relationship with God. She begins to question every rule that she was ever taught and she starts to think for herself and pray to the God that she is falling in love with.

About the book: Marianna Sommer believes she knows where her life is headed. Nineteen years old and Amish, her plan is to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and live in the only community she's ever known. When Marianna's family moves from Indiana to Montana she discovers life and faith will never be the same. As she builds an easy friendship with local guy, Ben Stone, Ben not only draws her heart, he also gets her thinking about what loving God and living in community is all about. As Marianna struggles to find "home", she also encounters God in intimate ways.

About Tricia Goyer: Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-four books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSenseand Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

Thanks, Tricia, for this CLEAN READ! You can purchase this book here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

40 by Travis Thrasher

40 by Travis Thrasher has to be one of the darkest novels I've ever read. Tyler Harrison is nine months away from turning 40 and suddenly begins to experience hallucinations that rival a horror movie. He sees things that no one else does, he travels back in time and sees himself in near-death experiences that he doesn't remember ever really happening. All of this happens at about the same time that a man claiming to be an angel enters his life and tells him that he is going to die on his fourtieth birthday.

What happens next is a struggle for his soul. There are forces of both evil and Light that are warring for him. Unfortunately, this book focuses more on the evil than the Light. This book is littered with mild obscenities, which this reader finds out of place for a Christian novel. The first 4/5 of this book are so dark that I didn't want to finish reading it, but then in true Travis Thrasher style, he throws us a surprise that is mind-blowing and redemptive, it's sad that it took so long to get there though (at around page 375). I was also left a little confused by one of the women that Tyler was involved with. Laila is not actually a character in the book, but she's thought of and spoken of often. I didn't understand the reason for her.

There are a lot of obscure musical references in this book, too many in my opinion. I didn't even realize that the chapter titles were song titles until reading something about it in the discussion questions in the back of the book. Other than an occasional reference to U2, Michael W Smith and one of Taylor Swift, I've not heard of 99% of the groups that he referred to.

I did notice some references to some of his author books in this one (Gun Lake and Broken) and thought that was interesting.

Travis Thrasher has authored over a dozen books, of which I've read all but two. This one is not my favorite. You can see his other books here.

40 is being released on May 4th by FaithWords.

The author provided this book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

False Pretenses by Kathy Herman

False Pretenses by Kathy Herman is the first in a new series (Secrets of Roux River Bayou) by this seasoned suspense author. Kathy doesn't disappoint with this new volume and while the main characters are new, we're reunited with some favorites from her last series (don't you just love it when an author does that?).

Zoe Broussard is the owner of Zoe B's, a hip new restaurant in a bayou town, but Zoe is keeping secrets from her past and is trying to live the life she always dreamed of. When she begins to find anonymous letters that say, "I know what you did" she tries to make amends the only way she knows how to. Unfortunately there's a case of mistaken identity and the wrong she tries to correct is not what the letter writer is referring to. Now Zoe needs to face her fears and confess to her husband the truth that she's been hiding throughout their five year marriage. But can she do it before it's too late?

Kathy Herman weaves a tale of suspense and confession that will keep your attention while you try to finish this book in one sitting. This is the kind of book that you don't want to put down.

Thanks, Kathy, for this CLEAN READ! Can't wait to read the rest of this series.

This book was provided for review by The Amazon Vine program.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Grandfathers DVD

The Grandfathers continues the story of the Saint family and their work in Ecuador with the Waodani tribe after the murder of the missionaries who were trying to reach them as seen in the film The End of the Spear. This is more of a documentary than a movie, but the graphics and style are geared towards younger people. This would be a great film to show to a youth group because it captures your attention with real-life footage and action and yet gives a powerful lesson of forgiveness and grace. It takes less than an hour to watch and is one that the whole family can view together.

Narrated by Jesse Saint, grandson of Nate Saint, it chronicles the decades since that unfortunate day and shows how the seeds that were planted have come to fruition. The joy on the faces of the tribal elders is proof that they've changed their lives from their old ways (of the spear) to now serving the Lord.

This film has been awarded The Dove Foundation seal of approval.

Thanks to the B&B Media Group for this review copy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Reluctant Prophet by Nancy Rue

I fell in love with this book from the first line, "I found Jesus seven years ago, but until that Sunday morning, I didn't know what to do with Him." From there it was a ride that I didn't want to get off of. Forty-two year old Allison Chamberlain turned her back on the family business and fortune that went with it and spends her days driving a horse-drawn carriage through the historic district of her town. That is, until God nudges her to buy a Harley. She obeys and keeps obeying the nudges that she gets from Him until the life that she's been comfortable with is but a memory. This is a story of how one woman gets shaken up when she dares to give it all up for the Lord and how He uses her to change lives around her. What a fantastic book. Well written and easy to read, the characters come to life. Sometimes scary, it forces you to look beyond your comfortable neighborhood to the darkness that sometimes is just blocks away. This is the first I've read by this author and I've got to tell you that I've already ordered five of her other books. The first in a series, The Reluctant Prophet, is one that will cause you to reflect on your own Christian life and hopefully nudge you to do more. Highly recommended.
This book was provided for review as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Watch the trailer for this book:

Hang out with Nancy on her Facebook page for adults fans. You can learn more about her at her website, which is split into two sections. One for adults and one for teens.

Thanks, Nancy, for this clean read!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Missions of Mercy Series by Susan May Warren

The MISSIONS OF MERCY series by Susan May Warren & from Love Inspired Suspense

Clean, romantic suspense from Love Inspired Suspense (riveting inspirational romance)is delievered monthly to your door when you become a subscriber. Authors vary and sometimes include some of my favorites. Susan May Warren has been in my list of authors I can count on for a good story without any raunchy scenes for a long time. She's joined the Love Inspired Suspense family with her new Missions of Mercy series. Point of No Return is the first in this series and introduces us to Mae Lund and Chet Stryker. Mae is insistant on entering hostile Georgia (the country) to search for her missing nephew and finds herself being assisted by former flame, Chet. While not as riveting as I'd hoped, it is an interesting story line and holds a few surprises for the characters. Will Mae and Chet find Josh and will they find their way back to each other's hearts? You'll have to read this little volume to find out for sure. Pocket size and portable, this is one to keep with you so you can read on the run.

I found this title to be less than I've grown to expect from Warren. It didn't keep my attention and I actually dreaded reading it. It took me several days to slog through even though it's a pocket size book.

This is the kind of story I've grown to expect from Susan May Warren. Mission: Out of Control was fast-paced and had enough suspense to keep my attention and enough romance to melt my heart. I'd recommend reading this one over the other one in a heartbeat. I love the size of it also, easy to fit into my purse and carry with me for reading-on-the-run.

From the back cover:

Brody "Wick" Wickham is a former Green Beret turned security agent--with a 100 percent mission success rate. No way is his new assignment changing that. Even if it's protecting a diva American rock star while she's on tour in Europe. Except Veronica "Vonya" Wagner isn't just a beautiful celebrity used to having her way--she's the daughter of a U.S. Senator. And she's hiding a dangerous secret. When Wick discovers what's at stake, how far over the line will he go to keep them both alive?

Undercover Pursuit is the third in the Missions of Mercy series and is, in my opinion, the best of the three. This book had me captivated from the first sentence. Well written and engaging, this one had me concerned for the characters and I could not put it down. I whipped through it in hours. Enough suspense to keep me a little tense and enough romance to warm my heart. Susan May Warren has yet another winning series (even though I felt it was off to a slow start with the first book) to add to her list of winners.

From the back cover:

Operation Covert Wedding.
The only way to get security agent Luke Dekker to a wedding? An undercover mission as a groomsman. He'll bust the groom, a drug cartel heir, before anyone can say, "I do." Then Luke can escape all this love and romance nonsense--and the too pretty bridesmaid/agent assigned as his "fiancee" for the weekend. Until Luke discovers that sweet, vulnerable Scarlett Hanson isn't his contact. Isn't an agent. Isn't trained for the high-stakes mission now trapping them both. And worse, Luke's falling for her--which is not part of the assignment.

These books were provided for review by LitFuse.

Point of No Return:

Mission: Out of Control:

Undercover Pursuit:

BIG NEWS: Susan has a brand new shiny website! Check it out and drop her a note!

About the Missions of Mercy Giveaway:

Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her 3 book Missions of Mercy series!

Three heroes, all on missions of mercy, who discover that God not only saves us from evil, but from the darkness inside.

Point of No Return: Can God deliver us from our mistakes? This question is posed to Chet and Mae as they race to save Mae’s nephew from an evil warlord in the Republic of Georgia.More here.

Mission: Out of Control: Does God turn his back on us when we fail? Brody and Vonya discover the answer as they conspire to capture an international smuggler and free a child soldier from war. More here.

Undercover Pursuit: What if we deliberately sin and harbor bitterness in our hearts? Is there a rescue from the dark places inside? Luke and Scarlett find out as they work to protect a bride-turned-informant whose courage could dismantle a human trafficking web. More here.

To celebrate the series, Susan is giving away a Missions of Mercy Prize Pack worth over $200! One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new FLIP HD Camera

* The entire Missions of Mercy series

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. You may enter once per email, facebook, and twitter. The contest ends on May 31st. Tell your friends! Winner will be announced on June 1st at the Litfuse Publicity site and at Susan May Warren's website. (While you're there, check out her rockin' new website!)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Invisible World by Anthony Destefano

The Invisible World, Understanding Angels, Demons, and the Spiritual Realities that Surround Us by Anthony Destefano is an easy to read tutorial of the spiritual realm. If you are not well versed on the unseen then this may be a good book for you to read. I agreed with most of this book and thought the teaching on demons, the devil and hell were very informative. What I didn't agree with is that our "guardian angels" are able to talk to us and warn us about things. What the author describes as inner promptings and attributes to angels I've always felt was the Holy Spirit, God dwelling within us, that speaks to warn us or prompt us to do good.

What I did appreciate is how easy this book was to read and understand. I finished it in a little under two hours (two days worth of walking on the treadmill). Nothing in it was scary, nor was it meant to be. If you want to know more about the workings of the spirit realm then I suggest that you read this book. Destefano explores heaven and hell in this book. He also talks about how everything we do in this life has an eternal consequence.

Interview with the author: Anthony DeStefano, Author of The Invisible World

Q: The Invisible World is a book about understanding angels, demons, and the spiritual realities that surround us. In a world that is so visual, why tackle such a murky subject?

A: That’s really the whole point. What I tried to do in this book was attempt to render that spiritual world a bit less murky and a bit clearer for people. My hope is that, by doing this, these invisible realities won’t seem so unfamiliar in the future. And the more familiar they are, the easier it will be to understand them and to have absolute faith in their existence.

Q: What do you say to skeptics who believe the invisible spiritual world is just a superstition?

A: Quite the contrary. To me, the greatest superstition is what Deepak Chopra calls the “superstition of materialism.” That’s the superstition that says that everything in life—our ideas, our philosophies, our religions, our accomplishments, all our notions of honor and love and mercy and hope, all our art and music, all of the deepest mysteries of science and faith, all the longings of the human heart—is simply the result of the random dance of molecules in our brain! Now to me that is superstitious and a denial of logic! One of the great things about the invisible realm is that you don’t have to be a “religious fanatic” or the follower of some cult to believe in it. You can be a level-headed pragmatist. You can be a realist. You can even be a cynic. You certainly don’t have to check your brains at the door before entering this world. And you don’t have to be afraid that deep thinking is going to nullify what you learn there. This book is not merely based on warm-hearted anecdotal evidence. Everything I talk about in this book is based on solid theology, informed by common sense and logic, and backed up by biblical scholarship and the universal teaching of the Christian church over the past two thousand years.

Q: Unseen spiritual realities are rarely analyzed from a Christian point of view. What is the reason?

A: I think there are some Christian books on the market that focus on invisible realities, but not many of them are written in a way that speaks to the general public. In other words, there are books on God, the angels, demons, grace, etc., but unfortunately, most of them are heavy theological works that are rather long and dull. I think the reason for this is that Christians sometimes forget that theology can be exciting and compelling and wonderfully interesting for everyone—not just scholars, academics, and theologians.

Q: You’re not a priest or pastor; in fact, you’re a writer and businessman. How did you get in touch with this topic?

A: I think it is precisely because I am a practical person that I wanted to write about these topics in a way that everyday people could understand. As a thinking human being, I’m naturally interested in the ultimate questions concerning life, death, and the spirit. I think everyone is. After all, we’re all headed in the same direction down the same river. So I think it’s a very practical subject to be interested in because it concerns all of us. But as a practical person—someone involved in business and running organizations and hard work—I’ve been frustrated by the lack of books on these kinds of spiritual topics written in a no-nonsense, understandable way. Basically, I try to write my books in order to fill what I perceive to be a void.

Q: If we are going to explore the invisible spiritual realm, how can we tell the phony from the authentically supernatural? Is there a way to be sure about what is real and what is superstition or even fraud?

A: It’s very difficult because the topic is so subjective. That’s why, in my book, I don’t indulge in wild speculation or relate hundreds of anecdotes and stories that may or may not be true. I stick to what has been revealed in Scripture and the authentic teaching of Christianity over twenty centuries. I feel strongly that, if I didn’t stay within these parameters, it would be too easy to drift into the worst kind of make-believe.

Q: The Invisible World explores the existence of angels. Angels have captured our imagination in a special way. Why do you think that is?

A: I think part of the fascination is that, while angels are completely different from us, i.e., they’re pure spiritual beings, they are also right here with us on Earth, helping us, guiding us, and protecting us. In other words, we are intrigued by angels because they are powerful and wonderful creatures, but also because part of their job is to really get involved in our lives—to really “get their hands dirty,’’ so to speak, in the affairs of human beings. Angels are mysterious and strange and invisible, but they’re also our fellow creatures—and they’re essentially living part of their lives on earth in order to help us. So although they’re very far away from us, they’re also very close. It’s the proximity that is fascinating, I think.

Q: You also explore the idea of the devil. “The devil made me do it” is a cliché that people often use with humor. Can it be true? How does the devil actually tempt us?

A: Of course it’s true. The devil does tempt us. And the devil really exists. He is spoken about many times in Scripture. He’s not a “theological construct,” as some academics have theorized. He’s a real being. As far as how he goes about tempting us, as the movie The Exorcist correctly says, “The attack is psychological.” And moreover, it usually involves deception. Satan, says Scripture, is a liar and the father of all lies. Understanding lying is the key to understanding the nature of the Evil One and the nature of spiritual warfare. Think about it. If God is Truth, and the devil hates everything about God, then naturally the devil is going to want to mess with the truth. What could be more offensive to God than to get us to act in a way that completely contradicts God’s identity? What could be more insulting than for us to be persuaded to act in a way that is diametrically opposed to everything God stands for? That’s why the devil is always trying to deceive us. Not only is it an extremely effective tactic for trapping us, but it also mocks God at the same time. So deception is the foundation of all demonic strategy—it’s the devil’s modus operandi.

Q: If the devil and the demons are so powerful, how can we ever hope to combat them?

A: It’s very simple. In order to protect yourself from spiritual realities that are harmful or evil, all you have to do is unite yourself to God. Union with God is the ultimate and absolute defense mechanism against all spiritual attacks. In the presence of grace, evil runs, hides, flees. That’s a fundamental spiritual law.

Q: And how can we invite positive spiritual forces into our lives?

A: One of the very best ways is to pray. Prayer puts you in direct contact with the creator of everything, including the whole spiritual realm. It’s like being plugged into an electrical generator. Prayer is the great spiritual conduit. A super-highway to Heaven! Prayers go up to God, and he sends spiritual graces of all kinds down to us. The best thing he sends to us, of course, is himself!

Q: What was the biggest insight you had during your research for The Invisible World?

A: The biggest insight for me was that when you look at the invisible world from the Christian perspective, it’s actually much more interesting and provocative than when you look at it from all the fictional and new-age perspectives you see in the majority of books being published. As everyone knows, there are many books out there on paranormal activity and ghosts and goblins and all the subjects Hollywood makes scary movies about. But the simple, age-old Christian teaching on angels, demons, the devil, grace, God, and what’s going to happen at the end of the world are so much more exciting and eerie. And what’s more—they are true. They are not make-believe. And you can really believe them.

Q: How can faith in the invisible world help us live our day-to-day lives in the visible world?

A: If you only pay attention to visible realities, i.e., the world of the senses—then you are doomed to live only half a life. And the half you do lead is bound to be shallow and meaningless. Why? Because the most important things in life are invisible: love, honor, trust, faith, emotion, passion, philosophy, God. The hidden realities of life affect everything you do—whether you know it or not. They affect how you conduct your business, what kind of person you decide to marry, how you raise your children, how you look at suffering, how you face death. The invisible is the lens through which you filter all the experiences of your life. By learning about the invisible world, your life will become much fuller and richer and more balanced. Also, if you have a strong faith in the invisible world, then no amount of suffering—physical, mental, or emotional—will ever be able to destroy the profound inner sense of peace that you’ll experience on a daily basis.

The Invisible World: Understanding Angels, Demons, and the Spiritual Realities That Surround Us by Anthony DeStefano Doubleday Religion ~ March 15, 2011Hardcover/208 pages/ISBN 978-0-385-52223-6/$19.99

Thanks to the B&B Media Group for this review copy.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Are you compassionate and caring?

Are you a good listener?

Do you want to share the message of hope with others?

Groundwire needs you!

GW FB Logo.jpgTeens today can be overwhelmed searching for meaning amidst depressing hopelessness, negative self-image, and the pressure to be perfect. Groundwire, a current and innovative outreach, has become a ministry where teens find comfort, guidance, and answers delivered through multi-media communication. Groundwire leverages media and technology to meet teens exactly where they are — viewing, listening, texting, or chatting — and to invite them to voice their questions and struggles so they can find answers in the message of the Gospel.

The ministry builds its impact through broadcasting that strategically places television and radio spots on secular stations. Teens listening to popular radio broadcasts or viewing favorite shows on networks like MTV, VH1, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming, and Comedy Central are interrupted by direct spots. These spots catch their attention, resonating with where they are today. Teens responding to the broadcast messages are invited to visit Groundwire’s website where they can chat with a live spiritual coach available day and night, as well as find a collection of resources such as podcasts by Groundwire’s founder and executive director, Sean Dunn, and daily devotionals.

To meet the needs of hurting teenagers across the country, Groundwire is looking for additional online coaches. Are you interested?

FAQ’s regarding volunteer spiritual coaches

What is Groundwire?

Groundwire is an international ministry aimed at broadcasting hope to students all over the world by leveraging the most effective media formats. Their radio spots are heard on both mainstream and Christian stations and their TV commercials are aired on MTV, VH1 and the Cartoon Network among others. Each spot points their audience to the Groundwire website where spiritual coaches are available to answer questions, encourage with biblical hope and pray for chatters.

What is the Coaching Line? does not simply offer content, but conversation. The coaching line is an instant message platform that connects chatters with trained coaches in order to provide one-to-one real time conversation. Volunteers all over the world offer their time and talents in order to meet the needs of those searching.

Who is capable of being a spiritual coach?

Spiritual coaches are sold-out Believers who are committed to the Great Commission and love people. They realize that although they are not perfect, God can and desires to speak through them and they realize that technology offers amazing opportunities to minister to people all over the world. Coaches need to be over eighteen and willing to submit to a background check and go through the necessary training.

What are some of the needed qualities of a coach?

Compassionate, teachable, good listener, sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading, patient, resilient and authentic.

What type of commitment are you looking for?

The typical coach offers two to four hours weekly on line, however some offer up to ten. Coaches set their own schedule on a monthly basis and coordinate with team leaders to offer the line sufficient coverage.

Can I coach from home?

Once a coach has been trained and given their log in information they can offer support from any location with internet connectivity.

Who would I be talking to?

Although Groundwire media buys are aimed at youth and young adults, and the majority of chats are in that age range, chatters have ranged from eleven to sixty-seven years of age and from over one hundred countries. The issues are very diverse ranging from the extremely depressed and suicidal person to the fifteen year old who is struggling with relationships.

What does the training look like?

Training begins when an application is completed and returned to the Director of Coaching. From that point the majority of training is done online and consists of learning how to deal with the different types of conversations that might take place. There are a series of written responses that take place in email format and then an online mock chat as well.

What type of oversight is offered?

In order to protect the integrity of the Groundwire mission and message, layers of organization and accountability are built into our procedures. Coaches are encouraged and offered additional training on an ongoing basis. Each chat is read to protect volunteers from accusations of inappropriate behavior as well as to ensure a consistent message is being presented. Each coach is assigned a team lead that will act as a mentor in an ongoing manner.

How will this benefit me as a person?

Seeing God speak through you to comfort someone who is struggling builds your confidence. On top of that the skills and discernment you will discover as you serve the Lord in this type of face to face ministry translate into your everyday life and the other areas where you serve.

Let your audience know how they can become Groundwire spiritual coaches!

For more information or to get download an application, visit