• Creating a new mindset with the Bible

    We all have many unanswered questions concerning God and what is written in the Bible. Why aren’t things so straightforward? Why are they quite complex, we may ask?

    Malcolm Dunjey, the author of 136 Questions, published by Ark House Press, had the same questions, so he decided to put pen to paper on some topical and controversial subjects. Some of the discussions are formal, some casual – all focused on helping the reader understand some of the Bible’s many and great unanswered questions.

    Malcolm has written his book to help readers understand the scriptures and to give them an overview of some of the unanswered questions that arise.

    The author explains why it was so important to write this book. “I wanted to ask some questions which reflected on my varied background as a missionary, minister of the gospel and a medical doctor,” Malcolm told me.

    “The need for a book to be free of denominations and theology. My thinking was the book should be one-of-a-kind and unique in its conception and range of topics.”

    Christianity always provokes a number of questions and Malcolm discusses many topics that people are contemplating on a wide range of Biblical issues. In fact, 136 of them.

    Some questions deal with eternity; what that actually means and what awaits us. The author also looks at who God is, as this is a question many people are thinking about.

    His book covers articles on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, the future or fate of Israel, the trustworthiness of the Bible and examines if there are any errors in these topics.

    Malcolm also debates and examines what and where are heaven and hell, and the contentious issue of suffering, particularly relating to Christians. He also talks about Jesus, a blood sacrifice for sin.

    “Many people are not sure if the devil even exists or if there is a second coming and how this will manifest,” the author explains. “There is also the question of how God is portrayed in the Old Testament and then in the New Testament, as there appears some differences in how God seems to handle humanity, and suffering.

    “Is there sometimes the possibility of there being a hiatus between the Gods of the Old and New Testaments? Why did Jesus die? These subjects are often discussed and debated and often there are no finite answers.”

    “I think my treatment of all these topics is ‘one of a kind’, almost unique,” Malcolm maintains. “The range of topics is wide, covering most of our beliefs, but the answers are brief, succinct and nearly complete within my self-imposed limit of a reasonably small and attractive book, without being academic or stuffy. Each topic is introduced

    and peppered with searching and sometimes controversial questions, but I remain Evangelical in doctrine. I searched before I wrote but couldn’t find a similar work.”

    If you have questions about God and what is written in the Bible then 136 Questions can help you and give some answers.

    The book is available now globally.

    Lynn Goldsmith

     

    Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.

     

     

     

     

    Read More
  • Domestic violence and the grace to forgive a killer

    A story unfolds of a great tragedy, but it is also a story of forgiveness – sometimes a miracle in itself. There is a call to the judicial system to bring justice and righteousness in the midst of tragic circumstances.

    Tragically in 2013 and at just 22, Rekiah Lee O’Donnell fell victim to domestic violence from her ice addict partner. Nelson Lai took a precious life from this world, a beautiful young woman who should still be alive. Someone who had the world at her feet.

    The author, Kerryn Robertson, reveals her pain and heartbreak at the death of her daughter in her new book Rekiah’s Law, released by Ark House Press. Kerryn explains why it was so important to write about the tragic events. “Rekiah’s Law was written for a variety of reasons: both to help myself through writing and to help other people through the various topics covered in the book,” she said.

    “When such a tragedy happens, particularly if it’s the death of a loved one, you have trouble making sense of it. I felt compelled to write Rekiah’s Law as part of my healing process, because to make any sense of Rekiah’s death I had to know that I was helping others, and that her death was not in vain.

    “Because Rekiah died at the hands of her partner, I also wanted to write the book as a warning for others who might be experiencing domestic violence: to not only tell Rekiah’s story about where violence can lead, but to provide explanations of what domestic violence is and give information of where to go for help. My hope is that the book will also give understanding to family and friends of domestic violence victims, and to give examples of the warning signs to watch for.”

    The heartbreaking murder occurred when Nelson shot Rekiah in the head at close range. In his statement to the police he maintained he loved his girlfriend, but admitted he used to punch and threaten to kill her, and frequently wrongly accused her of having affairs with a number of different males. He fervently maintained this happened only when he was coming off drugs. It was also discovered he had previous convictions for attacking his partner from a previous relationship, who was the mother of his two children.

    When the matter went to court, Nelson, through his defence barrister, claimed he did not know the gun was loaded. He said he was not particularly aggressive towards Rekiah at the time and the gun was not pointed towards her. It was just a grave mistake that unfortunately ended in taking her life.

    The ending of this court case resulted in Nelson being convicted of manslaughter and not murder. The family was totally heartbroken at this verdict, and the light prison sentence of a maximum of nine years and five months.

    Kerryn explained, “The title Rekiah’s Law came about because of the injustice we believe we were served through the Victorian (Australia) justice system. One of the reasons for writing the book was not only for me to vent my frustrations at the legal system, but to create awareness of the injustices that occur in our court rooms and campaign to get laws changed for the benefit of victims and their families. I felt this was vital to bring to the attention of politicians, lawyers and families.”

    However, there is another side to this tragedy – the grace that enabled Kerryn Robertson to forgive Nelson for killing her daughter. This was the miracle – it was, of course, an extremely difficult thing to do. Not many people would come to this place of forgiveness, but Kerryn found the strength to reach out into the darkness and bring God’s light into an evil and heartbreaking situation.

    Because of her courage and faith the judge was immediately impressed, and commended Rekiah’s mother when she turned to Nelson during an earlier pre-sentence hearing and told him she forgave him. The judge did not think many people, including himself, could forgive their child’s killer.

    The author said she had included writings from her journaling in the years that followed Rekiah’s death, as she wanted people who are grieving deeply, to know that anything they are going through is okay, and that grief and the healing process never follow the same pattern. Everyone’s journey is different and it’s okay to take as long as you need, because life is never quite normal again after the death of someone close, particularly if it is a child or a spouse.

    Kerryn goes on to say, “From a faith perspective, I want to give readers a glimpse of what a relationship with God is like, and how faith is so important in giving you hope through the worst of times, and the peace that forgiveness can bring. I have said that losing a child is like losing a limb. Life will never be the same again, but you learn to live with it.

    “I made a decision early on that I was not going to let Rekiah’s death ruin my life and the lives of those around me, particularly my other children’s lives. I want people to know through reading this book that no matter what happens, whether it is teenage rebellion, divorce, adversity, death, injustice… all of which I have had to endure, that there is still hope for a happy future.”

    The book is available globally.

     

    Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.

    Read More
  • The Battle Within to Fight the Enemy

    Faith – the substance of things believed for but not as yet seen. The promises God has made to us in His Word and for us personally that we are believing for and need to fight for.

    Beryl Spencer, the author of the recently released And Then Came A Lion writes about the consuming faith and the battle we have to fight against the enemy to manifest all God has given us. The book, published by Ark House Press, is communicative and also contains teaching, particularly from the book of Ephesians.

    A key theme in her book is ‘faith that shuts a lion’s mouth’ and is more than a hope that ‘it won’t bite’, according to Beryl. A lion is a wild animal and will bite and we can be prepared for an enemy who, though he thinks he is a roaring lion roaming about trying to destroy, in reality Jesus rendered him as dead when He died on the Cross.

    “We need to learn to believe and live in that truth. Faith and fear cannot walk in tandem,” says Beryl.

    The author encourages God’s people to stay in the Word of God, which gives such a strong foundation. She previously conferred to many readers on faith: AW Tozer, Andrew Murray and Watchman Nee and felt compelled to share her knowledge.

    “As I was writing and preparing, I studied the lives of many of the great Generals in wartime and their strategies as well as other leaders,” Beryl explains. “There are powerful truths to be learned. I also read about the National Defence Systems (NMD) of places like the USA and Israel, who have the best in the world.

    “We have our own PMD (personal missile defence). It is the tested Word and the Spirit positioned to disarm any missile the enemy cares to hurl at us.”

    Beryl believed at one stage, like many people, that God would always protect His people. This is true to a certain extent, but there are actions we need to take. She discovered that we need to put on God’s armour, we need to stay in God’s Word and rise up in faith.

    Her heart is very much for the youth and the author knew they would need strong faith to overcome life’s challenges. Although she had read many wonderful books, she felt the need to write a book that would ground the truths of God’s Word in their hearts. “But above all I knew there was quite a bit of ‘hyper-faith’ and presumption and I knew they could be led astray by that. I talk about presumption in the book,” she states.

    “At the time I felt challenged to write And There Came A Lion I was leading a large country youth group and felt strongly they needed to have some foundations set in the Word. I started a series on Ephesians 6 based on ‘putting on the whole armour’. The youth loved it and I found some innovative ways to teach these Scriptures and I have incorporated these into my book.”

    The book is written in a communicative way rather than straight teaching, though it does teach to a small extent.

    “It actually grounds the Word of God in everyday life,” Beryl continues. “In His Word, God by His Spirit has given us all we need. It reaches out of the Word and into everyday life. God wants to direct us back to His Word for the answers. I wanted to share the authenticity of the Word and show God’s Word is alive and active and energising. It reminds us over and over that we can live victoriously in faith in the Word of God.”

    The book is available globally.

     

    Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.

    Read More
  • Author’s Story Shares Her Hope in Cancer, Death and Grief

    Every day around the world, thousands of women, hear those dreaded words: “I’m sorry, but you have breast cancer.” One in eight Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before they reach the age of 85. Lois Thompson is one of those women.

    When she heard those dreaded words: “Breast cancer,” for herself, what followed was a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and nine months off work for treatment.

    The foreboding, insidious force we call “Cancer” is on the increase. Most of us are affected by it in some way, either personally or watching someone who we know and love go through it. Our general reaction is: “it’s an enemy that must be fought.”

    Praise God, cancer patients and their support network don’t fight this enemy alone. They’re supported by an army of medical professionals and researchers, who help in the battle to conquer this enemy.  Today, 89 out of 100 breast cancer patients are termed “Survivors.” They live beyond five years of diagnosis. Most never have a recurrence or suffer metastatic breast cancer.

    In her book, Hope in Cancer, Death and Grief, Lois documents her own battle with breast cancer, and how facing death helped her to embrace life.

    The stakes are high!

    Most people want to live this life for as long as possible but we can become weary in battle.  When Lois’s eldest son died in a tragic car accident in 2002, in her grief, Lois just wanted to be reunited with him. But as she faced the reality of her own death, her heart and eyes were opened and for the first time, and she could see everything life and living had to offer. Cancer made her stop!  It forced her to decide and she decided to live. As she fought to defeat cancer, her enemy, Lois found cancer her friend! Lois is one of the many breast cancer hurdlers who say their life is richer, stronger and better for having jumped that hurdle.

    Hope in Cancer COVER final smaller

    Sadly, despite fighting cancer with all available spiritual and medical weapons, sometimes cancer, the enemy, wins. Lois again faced crippling grief, when her husband lost his battle against bowel cancer in 2011. Lois thought she had done enough grieving during her husband’s long battle with this old enemy. She had her Christian faith and family and seemed quite happy on the surface, but deep inside, she had once again lost the will to live. Lois lost sight of everyone and everything in her life. The pain of loss, we call grief, clouded her world.

    But God led her through those clouds of grief. Her husband had a full life, loving and serving Jesus, after the Lord saved him from suicide and alcoholism. God spoke to them through his Word. He gave them the scripture, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” (2 Timothy 4:7). For Pat, death was “gain,” as written in Philippians 1:21. As he waited in hospital for six weeks, at times impatiently, to enter his glorious destiny (Psalm 73:24 NLT), cancer became his friend as it carried him to his Heavenly Home.

    And then death was swallowed up by victory.

    “O Death, where is your sting?” O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

    You can read more of Lois Thompson’s story at: https://www.facebook.com/loisthompsonauthor

    Read More
  • Publisher launches pastor publishing division

    Global Christian book publisher Ark House Press has recently launched a new pastor publishing initiative.

    Ark House Pastor Publishing is specifically aimed at pastors and speakers who have the platform for selling books as they speak, but want to avoid the costs and headache of lugging books all over their nation, or the world.

    Just a few short years ago, the model for pastors as authors was to pay to print larger quantities in a country like China, and then have stock on hand to sell where the pastor was speaking. But with the costs of shipping books, carrying them on airlines, as well as to other countries, it quickly became apparent that the logistics outweighed the benefits.

    Matt Danswan, CEO of Initiate Media, said: “With the advent of digital printing, printing short runs of books and having them shipped to where authors are speaking is the new model.

    ‘This used to be too expensive to achieve, but in this day and age, and with the volume of book printing we do at Ark House, we have been able to secure pricing low enough to make this entirely possible for pastors.

    “Ark House offers its authors the full gamut of publishing services, but at the same time does not acquire the rights to a title. So pastors and speakers get all of our benefits, including global distribution, but at the same time they are not locked into a contract.”

    Ark House prints in key locations around the world, including the US, UK, Singapore, India, South Africa and Australia, which then also services New Zealand.

    So no matter where pastors reside, or are traveling to, stock is printed in the local market, as well as being delivered direct to venues.

    “One of the great benefits to our authors also is the fact that authors’ books carry the Ark House imprint, which is a recognized, respected Christian publishing house,” Mr Danswan commented.

    “And as our company supplies full e-book files as well, our pastors get all the benefits of being with a quality publishing house, but without signing away their rights.”

    For information visit www.arkhousepress.com.

    Read More
  • Digital agency re-launches

    One of the world’s leading Christian media companies has re-launched its creative agency for the Christian market.

    Initiate Agency is the new agency of Initiate Media, publishers of My Christian Daily, among other media assets. Initiate Agency was launched with the sole aim of helping Christian organizations with a range of digital services.

    Nicole Danswan, Art Director of Initiate Media, as well as Initiate Agency, said: “Over the years we have both developed and acquired a range of Christian products and services companies to help create a dynamic Christian marketplace.

    “All of our own company’s work has been done in-house under our immensely skilful team, and now we feel it is the time to make our talented team available to the greater Christian marketplace.

    “I am of the belief that many Christian organizations have the right message, but don’t package the message with the design required to engage their marketplace. In this competitive day and age, we need more than just a great message; we need to present it in a way that people will be open to it.

    “So all good communication in any organization starts with exceptional design. Every website we own, every Ark House book we have published, every magazine we own and edition published have all designed by our team and under my leadership.

    “The future is online, and many Christian organizations just don’t know who to partner with to really build a solid branding and subsequent digital presence. We aim to fill that gap.”

    Initiate Agency will also utilize the executive team on hand at Initiate Media, with Ray Curle heading up the Agency as Business Development Manager.

    For more information visit www.initiateagency.com.

    Read More
  • Author puts out a call to evangelism

    Australia has a distinctly Christian heritage, but today, mention Jesus in a Queensland school and you could find yourself in hot water.

    And earlier this year, Presbyterian pastor, Campbell Markham, and street preacher, David Gee, were hauled before Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination commissioner for preaching the gospel.

    Helen Devenish portrait smaller

    The latest Australian Census data shows a steady decline in the number of people professing a Christian faith and in an increasingly pluralistic society, it’s no wonder Christians are fearful about fulfilling the Great Commission.

    Helen Devenish is a Street Evangelist in the same town where Campbell and David are still waiting on the outcome of their court case.  But she’s still reaching dozens of locals every week with the gospel message, simply by starting conversations in her local coffee shop, walking through the mall or while stopping to help a mother struggling with her pram [baby carriage].

    Helen is an “evangelism expert” and she’s written a book about it called Let’s Go – Fearless Evangelism. In her book, Helen shares her experience of overcoming “Evangelism Anxiety” and some of the incredible stories of salvations and healings she has witnessed as she ministers to the homeless and the wealthy alike on the streets of Hobart.

    In a world that’s increasingly hostile to the gospel, Helen has five tips to help you overcome “Evangelism Anxiety” and answer the call of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).

    1. What will other people think about me? Get over it! That’s fear of man and it’s a trap to stop you from being who God created you to be. You should be much more concerned about what God thinks of you. “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe” (Proverbs 29:25).

    2. What if someone gets angry? It’s actually very rare for someone to get angry if you take a gentle, loving and kind approach. And most importantly, don’t be judgemental.

    3. What if I can’t answer their questions? You might be surprised to hear that not knowing all the answers is a good thing! It shows that you’re not proud and arrogant or think you know everything. And it’s a great excuse to follow them up. Just say, “I don’t know the answer to that question. Let me find out and get back to you.”

    4. How do I start a conversation with a stranger, without coming across as “weird?”Just be friendly. Say “hi” and ask a general question (ask God to give you a good conversation starter). Then gently, gradually find a way to bring up your faith in a general conversation. Look for a natural segue, rather than getting “straight into it.”

    5. Does it matter what I say? Yes, it does. Don’t chase a “quick conversion” from someone who doesn’t really understand what they’re doing. A lot of the younger generation don’t even understand what sin is. Explain sin and explain the remedy — Jesus on the cross. Explain that repentance means turning away from your sin and asking God to help you stop. It’s going to mean change, so explain how good God is and how He can help them through the change.

     

    Note: Helen Devenish is a Pastor, artist, evangelist, author and mother of 9. Find out more at www.lovehobart.com.

    Read More
  • On-demand Christian movie platform launches

    On-demand TV company Channel C has announced the launch of a new video on demand movie platform.

    Channel C Extra is a joint venture with Heritage HM, a global distributor of faith-based movies. Rod Hopping, Heritage HM Managing Director said, “We are so happy to partner with Initiate Media and their Channel C project to launch Channel C Extra.

    “With Initiate Media’s traffic and Channel C brand, coupled with our extensive collection of faith-based films, this is a smart, strategic partnership. We are really looking forward to seeing where this ends up.

    Matt Danswan, CEO of Initiate Media, said: “We have enormous respect for the team at Heritage HM, and together we hope to develop a Netflix-style platform for the faith film market.

    “Their commitment to spreading the word via film is inspiring, and together we see a great future in online movie streaming.”

    For more information on Channel C visit www.channelc.net. For more information on Channel C Extra visit www.channelcextra.com.

    Read More
  • The Former Violent Drug Addict Whose Life Was Turned Around

    Just over 3 million Australians use illicit drugs each year*.

    These statistics are disturbing and so is the reality of living with drug addiction.

    Mark Johnston used to be one of these statistics. A childhood marred by physical and sexual abuse left him feeling hopeless and desperate for a panacea to dull the pain. Drugs became his escape from reality but only succeeded in making his reality so much more unbearable.

    By 19, Mark had attempted suicide numerous times and was put into seven drug-induced comas. He was self-harming and prone to violent fits of rage. Helpless and afraid, Mark’s mother kicked him out of home and a family took him in.

    As he slowly recovered from addiction, they invited him to church, but he refused again and again. Until his uncle also come to live with Mark’s adopted family to overcome his own addition, and he started sharing the gospel with Mark.

    Mark ex drug addict smaller

    One day, Mark decided to open up a bible and as he read Psalm 72:14, he watched in amazement as the face of God looked up at him through the pages and said, “I’m going to rescue you from oppression, violence and fraud because your blood is precious in my sight.” From that moment, Mark picked up that bible like no other drug before, reading it with the same urgency and desire with which is used to inject drugs. It was the first book he had ever read in his entire life.

    Soon after his encounter with God, Mark entered The Transformations Discipleship Program on the Gold Coast of Australia, which really turned his life around. He completed the program in a little over a year, becoming a staff member of the program in south-east Queensland, where he helped pioneer a new campus.

    Today, Mark has a deep passion for discipleship, mentoring and recovery. He’s sober and clean from drugs. He has a Diploma in Ministry and he regularly shares his testimony in churches, prisons and schools. He’s also written a book, Marked by Mercy, to provide encouragement and hope to drug addicts like himself and their families.

    He is a living testimony to God’s mercy and restoration power.

    You can find out more about Mark at www.markcjohnston.com

    *2016 NDSHS Key Findings: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use-of-drugs/ndshs-2016-key-findings/data

    Read More