Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Africa Study Bible Project

There's a great new project underway and I'd love to share it with you. Currently, a Bible specifically created for the needs of African Christians is in progress. It all began in 2003 with African leaders, Oasis International and Tyndale House Publishers. Missionary statesman Dr. Danny McCain led an effort to evaluate the understanding of the Bible by English-speaking church members in Jos, Nigeria and the potential impact of having the Bible in clear, modern language using African vocabulary. Over the following years, the project moved forward through conversations with leaders throughout Africa, Bible experts at Tyndale, and the Oasis International Board. These conversations included ones with African Bible scholar, Dr. Tite TiĆ©nou from Burkina Faso, previously a member of the team that formed the vision for the Africa Bible Commentary. 

When Oasis President, Dr. Matthew Elliott, traveled extensively in Africa in 2010, he asked leaders from the continent how this Bible might bless Africa’s millions of Christians. He received a resoundingly positive response from seminary presidents, denominational leaders and academics across the continent. The consensus: it was essential that we create a study Bible to reflect the knowledge, culture and wisdom of Africa for the world, bringing insight to global Christianity. The project soon had a number of strong development partners:
  • Tyndale House Publishers, the world’s largest independent Christian publisher
  • Oasis International, a leading publisher for English-speaking Africa
  • More than a Mile Deep, a multi-language, multi-country African church and theological training organization
  • The Livingstone Corporation, independent developer of Bibles and Bible products and authors of the Life Application Study Bible, the world’s foremost Study Bible
  • Urban Ministries Inc., a liaison to the African diaspora
The following year, supported by these dedicated partners, the committee for the formation of the Africa Study Bible met in Accra, Ghana. Leaders from every region of Africa and 11 countries formed the final mandate for the project, making all major editorial decisions. Today, with the prayers and support of individual donors, development of the Africa Study Bible is bringing the promise of a readable and affordable Bible ever closer to the reach of African Christians.

Over 400 million Protestant Christians in Africa do not have a Bible written to meet the needs of their own cultures. As the Church continues its exponential growth in Africa, an exclusively Western perspective on the meaning of the Bible endangers the relevance of Scripture in the African context.

The Africa Study Bible, featuring Tyndale's New Living Translation, with the editorial (2,400 plus features, 350 writers and editors from 40 African countries and representing 50 denominations) is nearly complete, but they need help. Oasis International, the publisher of the ASB in partnership with Tyndale, is now working to raise one million dollars to print the first 100,000 study Bibles for Africa through private donations and a Kickstarter campaign.

Many people are working hard on the Africa Study Bible - writers, editors, artists, and project managers. It is a major investment. From start to finish, the average cost of the project budget is $50 a verse and an average of $1,260 a chapter. It's a huge undertaking and a very vital project. Would you consider giving whatever you can to this wonderful cause? Your gift would be greatly appreciated and would help launch this unprecidented project that will help spread biblical discipleship across a continent!

If you'd like to donate online, please click here.

If you would like to mail your gift, please make your check out to Oasis International Ltd and send to 209 E. Liberty, 2nd Floor, Wheaton, IL 60187.

Read some comments Africans have shared regarding their thoughts on the project:

“This Bible will carry the biblical message not only into the houses of people, but into their very hearts ...”
Hermie Van Zyl, PhD Retired Dean of the Faculty at Theology University of Free States, South Africa

“This Bible for Africa by Africans will … create a bridge that links biblical principles to daily living.”
Gladys K. Mwiti, PhD Founder and CEO of Oasis Africa, Kenya

“…will help the readers, preachers, and teachers of the Bible … present the word of God in a clearer form which will bring about the desired transformation in Africa and the experience of abundant life."
Most Rev. Daniel Okoh, PhD International Chairman, Organisation of African Instituted Churches (O.A.I.C.), Nigeria

To learn more about the project, visit their website by clicking here.

You can watch a video about the project here.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Free Ebooks from Aneko Press!

March 23 - March 27, 2016, Aneko Press is offering these free Ebooks for you! All you have to do is decide which ones you want and click on the link that corresponds to the book title you've chosen. Enjoy, and thank you, Aneko Press for your generosity!

The kings of Israel and Judah were in serious trouble with the Lord. Twelve years of worshiping Baal and golden calves, listening to Jezebel, and killing the prophets was catching up to them. Their earthly kingdoms were coming to an end, and the Lord would move quickly when he moved. What appeared to be harmless details to them was in fact rebellion in the sight of God. 

While the kings served the gods of this world, Elijah and Elisha did not. They were dedicated only to the Word of the Lord, and if the Lord didn’t speak directly to them, they didn’t move at all. And when they did move, it was with the authority of the Lord, resulting in dramatic calling down of fire from heaven, a three-year drought, people raised from the dead, and many other miraculous events. But did Elijah and Elisha take any glory? No, Elijah didn’t even accept Naaman’s token of appreciate – so completely was he relying only on the Lord’s provision. Your own life will be changed forever if you apply even one truth that the Lord reveals to you in this book. 

Click here to download your free ebook!

Many of us in the body of Christ are living below our privileges as sons and daughters of God. We yearn for more in our experience with Him but don’t know what’s missing. In A Widow’s Might, Judy Knox reveals the missing element and explains how to get it. 

Losing her husband due to complications following heart surgery could have been devastating. Instead, Judy’s ten weeks with him in the hospital ICU became a turning point, where she turned from her own strength to God’s. And when after fifty-one years, she suddenly found herself alone, she realized she was not alone at all. God was walking the path with her. 

Her stories illustrate these serious truths in a light-hearted way. Whether you’re a new believer or a seasoned Christian, the fresh insights in Judy’s message will energize your walk with God. 

Click here to download your free ebook!

Children around the world live in dire conditions without even the basic necessities of water, food, shelter, and love. They often suffer in silence, struggling just to exist among the unexplainable and irreversible conditions in which they find themselves. Many are so young they do not know what they lack – the love of a family and the comfort of a home. Survival is their only concern as they grow up in a world of adults who seem to have forgotten them or are so busy with their own survival that they really do not have time to care. 

These first person narratives are compiled from conversations with dozens of boys and girls in India. They put a voice to the suffering that they and thousands more like them endure every day. Children bravely share their stories of being caste bound, trafficked, beggars, witnesses to murder, unwanted, and of suffering great loss. Each child is a witness to his or her own story of survival. From their voices can be heard the desperate plea for someone to care, and if not for themselves, then for those even less fortunate whose voices have not been heard. 

Click here to download your free ebook!

To have found God and still to pursue Him is a paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religious person, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux stated this holy paradox in a musical four-line poem that will be instantly understood by every worshipping soul: 

We taste Thee, O Thou Living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still:
We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. Let A. W. Tozer’s pursuit of God spur you also into a genuine hunger and thirst to truly know God. 

Click here to download your free ebook!

Often disguised as something that would help him, evil accompanies Christian on his journey to the Celestial City. As you walk with him, you’ll begin to identify today’s many religious pitfalls. These are presented by men such as Pliable, who turns back at the Slough of Despond; and Ignorance, who believes he’s a true follower of Christ when he’s really only trusting in himself. Each character represented in this allegory is intentionally and profoundly accurate in its depiction of what we see all around us, and unfortunately, what we too often see in ourselves. But while Christian is injured and nearly killed, he eventually prevails to the end. So can you. 

Click here to download your free ebook!

In the Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB), the usage and context tends to define each key word so you won’t need to depend on theological dictionaries or reference materials. Careful attention has been made to properly translate the first usage of each key word, and through to the last occurrence. Then, as the word makes its way across the Old Testament and if we make the correct match with the corresponding Greek word in the New Testament, an amazing pattern emerges. The Jubilee Bible is the only translation we know of today that has each unique Hebrew word matched and mated to a unique English word so that the usage (number of occurrences and number of verses where the word occurs) sets forth both a very meaningful number pattern and a complete definition of what God means by each word. 

Click here to download your free ebook!

The Book of Daniel is a study, a commentary, of the book of Daniel in the Bible. Each verse and each sentence is dissected to unveil great prophecies which are coming to fruition today. It cannot be over-emphasized how relevant this book is to our current generation. The book of Daniel covers everything from the sorry state of today’s denominations, to corrupt governments who will not be changed before the end of the world as we know it. The author defines words and phrases typically ignored and expounds on the prophetic times and seasons well documented by Daniel. Many devastating things which will come to pass are clearly defined in this book. However, Daniel doesn’t stop here. We, the children of God, are shown the beautiful way of a true Christian’s life, as modeled by Daniel himself. We truly are blessed and must give all glory to God for His generous gift of salvation, through His Son, Jesus Christ. 

Click here to download your free ebook!

The book of Revelation should be of intense interest to today’s Christian. It describes not only the persecution that originates from Satan, but also announces the day when God will intervene and cleanse the earth. This is definitely something to look forward to if we are right with him. Not so much for those living for themselves. 

Sadly, many commentaries on Revelation ignore the need to have a clean heart in order to survive what’s coming. In this edition, we dig deep into the signs, the wonders, and the genuine Christian’s role in the soon-to-be-fulfilled book of Revelation. We even go back to the prophets to help clarify what is the most important message to Christians today. 

Click here to download your free ebook!

We were told it would be easy. We thought it was the best choice; but now we suffer with the consequences, the regular reminders, a sense of guilt, and a sense of shame. Through abortion, we now face the death of our babies, death by choice. We try to hide our choice and we try to escape the emotional pain. We seek forgiveness, acceptance, and consolation; yet, we find no solace. Our fears drive us into a life of secrecy, hiding our loss. We suffer a secret loss. 

My Secret Loss will: 
• Enable the reader to accept the truth about abortion 
• Provide permission and encouragement to grieve the loss of your baby 
• Validate your emotional and psychological harm that has been caused by abortion 
• Discover the path to peace, healing that is only possible through the saving grace of Jesus 

Click here to download your free ebook!

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Treasure Concealed, by Tracie Peterson - a book review

I'm not usually one to read Christian romance novels, so I was hesitant about reading my very first one. I wouldn't normally have purchased a romance novel but I received the book, A Treasure Concealed, by Tracie Peterson, as a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers in exchanged for my written review.

This book is the first in a series of books called the Sapphire Brides. The author sets the story for A Treasure Concealed in beautiful Montana during the aftermath of the gold rush days. As the story opens, Emily Carver is checking in on her terminally sick mother. I liked the author's choice of dialogue because it immediately draws you into the story and makes it easy to relate to the characters. Ms. Peterson uses very descriptive language to help set each scene and to describe her characters. I was impressed at the development of the characters as the story progressed.

In the book, Ms. Peterson weaves her story around good Christian morals and values. I enjoyed seeing how she used Biblical wisdom in some of the conversations between characters. To give you an example, the geologist, Caeden Thibault, who comes to town to survey the area is in Emily's mother's bedroom having a heart to heart talk with her. Emily's mother, Mrs. Carver, begins speaking to Caeden and tells him "God never is the one who walks away, Caeden. Only we can do that. Jesus promised to never leave or forsake us. Unfortunately, we can leave and forsake Him. I think if you take a good hard look at the situation, you'll find it's an easy walk back. He's waiting there for you, and I know He'll give you the answers you need." The author used a conversation between characters to speak Biblical truth and I found that very appealing.

Since this was a romance novel, a love story was at the heart of the book, but there was nothing of a sexual nature or anything unclean. I would probably not buy this type of book again, just because I don't really enjoy romance novels, but I would recommend it to those who do. The book is well written and the author took the time to do a great deal of research on Montana and mining before writing the book. I was impressed with her attention to detail.

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers for providing this complimentary copy for me to review. If you'd like to read the book, you may purchase a copy of it here.  I hope this review has been helpful for you and that you'll return again for more book reviews and information in the future.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Reasons to Believe - a book review

Ryan P. Whitson
Recently, I was given a complimentary copy of the book, Reasons to Believe written by Dennis B. Moles and Ryan P. Whitson, by Aneko Press. I was excited to receive this selection because it is a very timely book. Today, as people face such uncertainty in their lives, this book offers answers that will provide a reason for certainty and hope.

The authors of Reasons to Believe focused on ten very important questions about Christianity. Each question was answered in great detail and with careful thought. Scripture references were given to provide the reader with additional information. Some of the questions presented in the book include:
Dennis B. Moles
  • Is the Bible Trustworthy? 
  • Do All Religions Teach the Same Thing?
  • Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?
  • Why Would a Good God Allow Suffering?
These questions and six more are included in Reasons to Believe. Each question was well researched by the authors. Footnotes and definitions are included in each chapter as well as a conclusion and discussion questions. Many of the questions presented are ones I have asked myself over the years. To give an example of how the questions are answered in the book, I will expound on one question, Why Would a Good God Allow Suffering. 

The question, Why Would a Good God Allow Suffering, is presented in the book as being an age-old problem. The author says, this question is called the "problem of evil" and presents another question that relates to it, "If, as the Bible teaches, God is in control and loving in character, then why do evil and suffering still exist in the world? This question has served as the most compelling argument for atheism throughout human history and to this day has persuaded people to doubt God's existence." After presenting those questions, the author poses an if-then answer. He states "If there is no God, all that remains to explain the reality of evil (and the suffering that results) is the physical world. But mere bits and pieces of matter such as atoms, molecules, dust, and rocks have nothing to say about mortality, evil or pain. As a result, nothing is available to explain what is called evil. Yet this is not a satisfying answer because most people cringe at sights such as the slave trade or barbarous murder scenes from terrorist networks around the world. Most people know realize evil exists and are able to identify it, but without God it is hard to explain the cause of this savagery. For this reason, people who experience deep suffering usually look to God, either as the rescuer from their pain or as the one responsible for it." The author presents statements used to justify this way of thinking such as "God is not in control" or "God is not loving." But the author gives another viewpoint, too, and gives reasons the reader should believe. The author says "Acknowledging that evil exists and causes real suffering best explains reality and is a helpful tool for rationally believing God exists." After arguing both sides of the question, the author presents a solution to the problem by stating the truth and offering the Biblical content to substantiate his claims to the correct way to answer the question. At the end of each chapter, a conclusion and discussion questions are presented. 

The book, Reasons to Believe, would be a good book for small groups and Bible studies. It would also be a good book to use in preparation for sharing the gospel with others. By understanding common questions and gaining knowledge backed by Scripture, the reader would be well equipped to face challenging and poignant questions any time and any place. I would highly recommend this book. It was well thought out and well presented. It is easy to read and filled with great insight. 

If you'd like to purchase the book, you may purchase a paperback copy by clicking here.  If you'd like an ebook copy, click here

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