Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Looking Out the Window: Meet Zeke Lam

Zeke Lam talks about his new book, SUBMISSION, and Submission Ministries. His ministry has led him all over the world.
Welcome Zeke. First, tell us About Submissioin Ministries.
This ministry exists simply to spread the love of Jesus Christ to the world. Our first book, titled SUBMISSION, released in mid November. As a “new” organization it is our goal to partner with other Christian ministries worldwide and allow the Holy Spirit to use us in whatever fashion will bring Him the most glory.
Thanks for introducing us to your ministry. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am 27 years old and have been married to my beautiful wife, Kathleen, for 6 years. We have three children (4, 2, and 2 months) that we love very much. I have been a minister since the age of 18 as a youth minister and evangelist. In addition to this, I operate a small business which constructs ornamental concrete such as flower pots, bird baths, etc. My family and I are passionate to see Christ glorified through our lives, and constantly seek to use our lives to share the Gospel. This has led our family all over the world. Our most recent “adventure” involved us literally driving to a town in Texas, renting an apartment, and seeking the Lord. Although we knew nobody or anything about the place, God gave us an entire church fellowship in 2 days! This turned into an incredible 7 month stay that is surely not finished yet.
Wow, a fellowship in two days is quite a feat. Some writers say reading as a child prompted them to want to write. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?
I only read as instructed by teachers or requirements related to school. This usually kept me in a book, but outside of that, I was not an avid reader as a child.
Why do you write?
First of all, writing helps me process thoughts and retain information. In addition to this, I write for the purpose of releasing the message God has placed on my heart. By putting it in written form, the message has the potential to reach people whom I will never get to meet personally. I greatly enjoy personal discipleship and relationships, but hopefully these words will impact lives around the world.

Tell us about your latest book.
SUBMISSION, heeding only His voice, focuses on addressing the need for solid Scriptural obedience. Using testimonies from the Word of God as well as a few personal experiences, my hope through this book is that God’s people will become more sensitive towards not only hearing His voice, but obeying it!
What inspired you to write this particular book?
Compromise is way too commonplace today. I have seen it in the church, in families, and in my own life. If revival is to take place in our society, God’s people must be willing to operate with the level of obedience and submission God requires. Mixing our opinions with God’s commands or desires is the very recipe for disaster. If we will fully release ourselves to Jesus Christ, and be willing to follow Him the way He commands, a shift will take place in our society! Ultimately, shortcomings in my own life with regards to submissions sparked this fire.
That's an interesting subject. What themes do you write about?
So far, my writing consists of topics related to spiritual revival in the lives of Christians.
Evangelism, discipleship, and encouragement appear to be a consistent theme.
What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
I can usually write anywhere that offers silence, but usually my writing occurs at the kitchen table.
Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
Finding time to write while managing the responsibilities of family, work, and ministry can be quite challenging. I never lose sight of the fact that my ministry is in my home. As the Holy Spirit opens doors and assigns tasks, I take them. However, I am careful not to allow my “service” to become a distraction to the fact that Jesus wants me, not what I can do for Him. My mentality is this: be an open and available vessel through which the Lord can move to accomplish His work. By doing this, I keep plenty busy and my relationship with my Lord and my family does not diminish.
Does your faith affect your writing? How?
Absolutely. I write to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ and out of love for the Church. Because of this, any topic I address will involve an aspect of urging the Body of Christ towards revival or presenting the Gospel message.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on the SUBMISSION series, which will hopefully materialize into several works focused on Biblical obedience.
Read What Zeke Writes about Preparing for Obedience Below
So often we cry out to God for His working in and through our lives. We beg for His will and plan to become clear to us day by day. In those quiet moments when we feel as if God has forgotten about us, our only yearning is His leading. In this condition of longing for His voice, it is absolutely critical that we prepare ourselves to respond when the call comes forth.
Preparing for obedience is about daily crucifying the desires of our flesh so that the works of Christ can be manifested in our lives. Galatians 2:20 states: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.” Why is this so critical one might ask? Often times, God may bring forth a call that does not come close to what you had in mind. He may ask you to sacrifice in ways you never imagined. He may ask you to do things you never thought you were capable of or comfortable with. If we do not prepare ourselves for absolute obedience, the call may come and we may not answer.
When we crucify any and all personal, fleshly desires and willfully submit to God’s purpose for our lives, we position ourselves for His glory. As we daily surrender to Him, His desires become our desires and we prepare our hearts to obey no matter what God asks of our lives. In this spiritual condition, we remain active and ready to respond to His call upon our lives.
Consider an athlete for example. Often times they know not when that BIG moment will arrive, but he or she must steadfastly prepare for that "such a time as this" moment. Are you daily preparing yourself for obedience? If not, one of two things will happen. 1) You will not hear the call. 2) You hear but do not have the courage to obey. God has a mighty plan for you! Prepare to respond to the call.
Faithfulness and intimacy with the Father is the only way to ensure that you and I remain in a condition that is prepared to obey His voice when it is our time to be used. Consider Abraham as you analyze and ponder this subject. Because he pursued a relationship with God, he was willing to offer his son as a sacrifice. Abraham could have rationalized in a number of ways. First, this was his son! Who could possibly slay his own flesh and blood? Also, Isaac was the promised seed. Sacrificing him had to appear contrary to God’s plan. Despite these two intense factors, Abraham prepared his heart to obey the command of his Father.
The question is not, “will God speak”. The question is, “will we obey”.
BIO
ZEKE LAM is the author of Submission, (http://www.amazon.com/subMISSION-heeding-only-His-voice/dp/193748100X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323527425&sr=1-1)
 a book that draws readers closer to the Savior. He is also the founder of SUBMISSION Ministries—a ministry devoted to seeing lost souls encounter God and live lives fully surrendered to the risen Christ. A graduate of Liberty University, Zeke’s deep passion for following Christ’s will has led him through many years of youth ministry and itinerant evangelism. Both of these experiences have enriched and fueled his desire to hand others the keys to a Christ-centered life. Zeke resides in Virginia with his beautiful wife, Kathleen, and a growing family of future world-changers.
Read more about Zeke and Submission Ministries at http://submissionministries.org/

Friday, December 23, 2011

Looking in the Window: Christmas Love



Luke 2: 11-12, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths lying in a manger.”


God sent Jesus to save sinners, because he loves us. Jesus suffered and died to conquer death for us, because he loves us. In Matthew the Pharisees asked Jesus, “…which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” He told them “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 36 – 39).
Christmas brings messages of giving, of our Savior, and of God’s love. There are so many different kinds of love. We love our friends, our fellowman, those in need, our spouses, and our children. God tells us to love our enemies. Where does it come from? How can we be sure it won’t run out? If we don’t have it, how can we get it?
I once heard a scientist had proven that chemicals in the brain produce love, but so far no one has isolated those elements or found a pill that stimulates defective chemicals to produce love that isn’t there. Even though sometimes it appears love can be bought or forced on someone, no one can dictate the feelings of another person’s heart. Love must be received and given. It was given that night in Bethlehem. We only need to accept it. Once we do, it lives inside us and spills over to others.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Looking Out the Window: Linda Weaver Clarke Book Give Away

Book Give-Away Dec 21 - 27: To win the award winning historical “sweet” romance novel, Melinda and the Wild West, leave a comment with your e-mail. U.S. and Canada. To enter the contest, visit http://lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.com/


ABOUT MELINDA AND THE WILD WEST
In 1896 Melinda Gamble—a very elegant, na├»ve young woman from Boston—decides to give up her life of monotonous comfort for the turbulent uncertainty of the still untamed Wild West. Driven by her intense desire to make a difference in the world, Melinda takes a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho, where she comes face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love. Awards: Finalist for “Reviewers Choice Award 2007”

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Looking Out the Window: Welcome Author E. A. West Blogging about Christmas and Autism. Read about Key to Charlotte, Her New Book












In her wonderful blog about Christmas and Autistics author E.A. West reminds us to keep the focus of Christmas where it belongs:  On Christ  
The holiday season can be stressful for anyone. Visiting family and friends, decorating the house, attending holiday parties, and shopping for the perfect gifts can wear anyone out. Now, take all of that holiday busyness and add in the extra challenges caused by autism. In that situation, holiday stress takes on a whole new meaning.
Autistics are known for struggling with social situations. A typical, uneventful day at school or work is enough to completely exhaust someone on the autism spectrum. A regularly occurring event, such as a weekly church service, can be completely overwhelming at times. I showed a brief glimpse into this in The Key to Charlotte. Although that situation was completely fictional, the emotions and thoughts shown are very real.
With all of this in mind, imagine being an autistic suddenly thrust into the midst of the highly social holiday season. Instead of peaceful, relaxed evenings and weekends to de-stress and prepare for the mandatory social interactions with fellow students or coworkers, you’re expected to go to parties, Christmas programs, and other events. The usual stress of shopping is increased exponentially by store aisles crowded with holiday displays and more shoppers than usual.
The simple act of putting up Christmas decorations can be overwhelming to some autistics. Routine and consistency are important to people on the autism spectrum, both children and adults. Putting a decorated tree in the living room, a few lights on the house, a wreath on the front door, and changing the centerpiece on the dining room table sound like small changes a person can easily adjust to. For an autistic, these small changes can be highly stressful. Instead of the familiar, soothing environment of home they now have strange, unfamiliar objects surrounding them. Some autistics will adjust more quickly than others, but all will have an adjustment period that likely causes them to feel stressed or insecure.
At this point, you probably wonder, “Can autistics enjoy the holiday season at all?” The answer: Absolutely! It just takes a little preparation and a lot of patience. Here are a few tips that can reduce the stress of the holidays for autistics and neurotypicals (non-autistics) alike.
Keep it simple. Many people treat the holidays as a time of excess in food, decorations, gifts, and activities, but all of this adds unnecessary stress that dampens the joy of the season. Keeping your holiday plans and preparations simple will reduce stress. Instead of trying to create a huge, professional quality, multi-course dinner of dishes you have never made before, set up a buffet-style dinner of family favorites with a few special holiday dishes. Be selective about what activities to participate in rather than trying to do them all. Put up only a few tasteful decorations instead of trying to outdo the Griswold family home.
Don’t wait until the last minute. A lot of stress is caused by rushing around at the last minute to buy gifts, prepare for a party, put up decorations, etc. If you start early, not only will it reduce your stress, it will also help autistics keep their holidays stress levels down by allowing them to adjust to a string of small changes spread out over several days or weeks rather than having to deal with a sudden mass of changes all at once.
Always have a quiet place available. Everyone needs a moment alone to relax now and then. By setting apart a room or other area of your house as a designated quiet zone for guests (and yourself), you’ll be doing autistics and your own stress levels a huge favor.
Learn to say no. Very few people expect everyone they invite to a party or event to show up. It’s okay to politely decline some invitations if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Instead of attending three holiday parties, two Christmas programs, and a holiday concert or two this week, pick the two or three events that are most important to you and say no to the rest.
Keep the focus of the Christmas season where it belongs: on Christ. Much of the stress caused by the holiday season comes from placing too much emphasis on the commercialized aspects of Christmas. If you return the focus to celebrating Christ’s birth, a lot of the stress from “keeping up with the Joneses” will fade away under the light of the true meaning of Christmas.


About Key to Charlotte
Charlotte Harris can't speak due to a quirk in her autistic brain, but that doesn't stop her from communicating with others. Unfortunately, it prevents her from achieving two of her dreams--to praise God through singing and to carry on a simple conversation with her own voice.
Zakaria Rush is the new Director of Children's Ministries at Charlotte's church, and he can't keep his thoughts off the partially mute blonde with a love for guitar music. Her innocence and love of the simple things in life intrigue him and make him long to give her what she wants more than anything: her voice.
Can Zakaria help Charlotte find the key to unlocking her ability to speak, or will his attempt to help her only lock away their chance for love?
Bio: E.A. West, author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she discovered the wonders of sharing her stories with others through writing. She picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. Her love of writing encompasses not only the romance genre but also a variety fiction and non-fiction styles.
Born and raised in Indiana, she still resides there today with her family and a small zoo of pets that includes the typical dogs and cats, and the more unusual African water frogs and a ribbon snake. Her interests are as varied as her critters. She has been known to carry on conversations about everything from politics and current events to gardening and theology. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her working on her latest knitting or crochet project.
Read more about E. A. and her work at
http://eawest.mcphitty.com/ and
http://thewestcorner.wordpress.com/