Wednesday, April 13, 2016


It's a lesson that is taught to us from the time we are born; if you play with fire, you're going to get burned.

Unfortunately, Sam Miller hasn't quite gotten the message.  And when his job as a volunteer firefighter brings him into the investigation of several barn fires that are suspicious in nature, the heat gets kicked up a notch.  Because the barns aren't the only thing burning.

Abigail thought it was bad enough being dropped off at the nearest bus station, kicked to the curb by her own family and left to live with relatives she'd never even heard of, much less met.  Her defensive posture is on high alert, and she is giving everything, and everyone, a second glance.

The problem is, she can't keep her eyes off of Sam.  And while she is at the top of everyone's list of possible suspects for the suspicious fires, Sam is drawn to the warmth that seems to be coming from deep inside of Abigail.  The warmth of her heart.

The Amish Firefighter is Book One of the New Beginning In Jamesport series by author Laura Hilton.  And while I admit to some bias (as her husband), I also believe that I can be fairly objective in calling The Amish Firefigher a real barn-burner!  The suspense grabs you from page one, and doesn't let up until the warm-hearted conclusion.

The Amish Firefighter has been positively reviewed in the latest issue of The Library Journal.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Africa Study Bible Campaign Is Getting Under Way . . . Will You Help?

Major Christian Organizations Partner to Launch Africa Study Bible Kickstarter Campaign Planned to Help Raise 1 Million for 100,000 Study Bibles

“The Africa Study Bible is a project that has almost unprecedented ability to positively influence the body of Christ in Africa, perhaps more than other single continental-wide project in the history of Christianity.”
--Dr. Danny McCain,
University of Jos, Nigeria

Wheaton, IL – Millions of English-speaking Africans know and love Christ, but for many, God’s word is hard to grasp. With nearly every full evangelical study Bible written from the viewpoint of the United States and United Kingdom, Africans have lacked a resource that connects with their unique experience, hindering discipleship. But that is about to change as major Christian organizations, led by Oasis International, are joining together to launch the Africa Study Bible (ASB), a six-year, cross-continental effort that has produced the first study Bible developed by Africans for Africans.

“With the ASB, we’re bringing the power of Scripture to Africa in a new and culturally relevant way,” says Dr. Matthew Elliott, president of Oasis, publisher of the ASB. “Under the leadership of an 11-member editorial board of scholars from across Africa, we’ve brought together 350 writers and editors from over 40 African countries, representing 50 denominations. This is an unprecedented project that will impact the global church.”

With the editorial nearly complete, Oasis, with the support of its partners, is inviting fellow Christians to join with them in helping get the ASB into the hands of Africans. With a goal of raising one million dollars to print the first 100,000 copies, Oasis is seeking private donors as well as launching a Kickstarter campaign, which begins April 18 and runs through June 16. Contributors to the Kickstarter campaign have the opportunity to receive incentives ranging from artwork prints to limited Italian leather editions of the ASB as well as all-expense paid trips to the launch of the ASB in the United States and in Africa.

“Our goal is to have the first run of the ASB available in Africa by the end of 2016,” says Elliott. “We already know of more than 100 million people in denominations and movements in Africa whose leaders want to use the ASB for discipleship so there is a lot of anticipation throughout the continent.”

Designed to grow the faith of African church members, teach them to evangelize their communities, and apply a biblical worldview to their society, the ASB uses the New Living Translation and includes 2,400 plus features such as application notes, stories and proverbs, touchpoints that link Africa and the Bible, learn notes that explain basic theology, and major theme articles that apply the Bible to key issues. Oasis plans to initially release the ASB in English with French and Portuguese translations in development. Oasis is also developing a full-featured app of the study Bible.

To support the effort, Oasis is partnering with Tyndale House Publishers to create the study Bible. Other participants include Campus Crusade for Christ, International, Willow Creek and Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), Scripture Union, Africa Leadership, TransWorld Radio, Moody Broadcasting, Center for Early African Christianity, PJA (Publications pour la Jeunesse Africane), MMD Global, The Livingstone Corporation, InSight Books, Urban Ministries Inc., and the Association of Evangelicals in Africa, with additional participants being added on a regular basis.

“We have seen the hand of God in amazing ways throughout the development of this project,” says Elliott. “In the words of our supervising editor, Dr. John Jusu, the content of the ASB is bubbling up from the cultures of Africa. The biblical truth is percolating through our own cultures and stories to create a rich and textured tapestry that Africans can claim as their own.”

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_______________________________________________ spokesperson bio
           Meet Matthew Elliott 

Dr. Matthew Elliott serves as president of Oasis International and project director for the Africa Study Bible. Oasis International serves areas of the English-speaking world where people lack access to affordable Christian literature and the Bibles needed to mature in their faith. In these countries, the measure of annual incomes is often in hundreds, not thousands, of dollars. The great needs of Africa, in particular, drive Oasis to concentrate on this continent, where the Church is experiencing significant growth yet printed resources are scarce. Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in New Testament at Wheaton College, as well as a Masters of Theology and a Doctorate of Philosophy in New Testament Studies from University of Aberdeen (Scotland). He was ordained at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois under Dr. Kent Hughes. He is the author of Faithful Feelings: Rethinking Emotion in the New Testament (InterVarsity UK/Kregel) and Feel (Tyndale House). Matthew, his wife, Laura, and three children reside in the Chicago area. For more information on Oasis and the Africa Study Bible, visit or

Contact: Debbie Lykins, 224-234-6699