October Lineup of Guests

October 2, 2015 – First Friday In-Studio with Bette Nordberg – Join us afterwards as we continue the conversation over a late lunch at the Arbor Deli on the Crista campus!


More than a year ago, 50 Shades of Grey became a cultural phenomenon, and Bette began to ask the question, “How does culture shape a believer’s sense of right and wrong?” Those questions led to another. “Does God even care about married sex?” As she studied, she came to believe that He does, very much. Using Biblical truth, modern medicine and hard-earned wisdom, this frank study of married sexuality will help women to discover the secrets to lasting sexual fulfillment.

Bette Nordberg addresses matters of the heart head on: choosing our thought life, choosing purity and holiness. But she also shares about medical, chemical and physical matters that are seldom talked about so honestly and clearly. “Pure Sex, puresexwebGreat Sex” has shifted my thoughts on sex in a gentle way which has already been so great for my marriage, and so great for me as a woman. I have eagerly encouraged other married and engaged women from my church to read this very helpful and encouraging book! It is easy to read, yet packed full of useful information, with discussion/reflection questions at the end of each chapter. Highly recommended!

Author of 12 books, and currently working on 13, 14 and 15, Bette encourages women to trust in God’s faithfulness through her writing and ministry. Visit her at www.bettenordberg.com.

October 9, 2015


A crumbling statue. A torn tapestry. A discolored painting. 

Artisans can reclaim exquisite beauty from the broken, frayed, and hopelessly shattered—perhaps once thought beyond repair. But what about us? What of the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live?

In Tattered and Mended, readers walk through a gallery of reclaimed and restored art as well as broken and restored lives of those who have gone before us. With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Cynthia Ruchti shows how even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.

TATTEREDCynthia Ruchti tells stories “hemmed in hope.” She’s the award-winning author of sixteen books and a frequent speaker for women’s ministry events. She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors and books they love. She lives with her husband in Central Wisconsin.

October 16, 2015



When her father was murdered, Laurie Coombs sought justice and found it.

His murderer now serves two life sentences with no possibility of parole. Yet, despite the swift punishment of the killer, Laurie found herself increasingly full of pain, bitterness, and anger she couldn’t control. After coming to faith, she realized she was being called to seek something infinitely more difficult than justice: forgiveness.

This is an extraordinary true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God to change lives. The reader is swept along with Laurie as she undergoes the life-changing transformation of becoming a Christian. As she studies Scripture, seeing God redeeming losses and healing deep wounds time and time again, she starts to understand that her own healing would require her to love her enemy in a real, practical way.

Using her incredible correspondence with the man who killed her father, Laurie reveals a compelling journey of transformation, not only in her life, but in the lives of those whom many would call irredeemable.Letters-from-My-Fathers-Murderer-PK

Laurie A. Coombs is a passionate writer and speaker on the issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the hope that is found in Jesus. Her story was featured in Billy Graham’s new film, “Heaven.” She is a featured writer and blogger for iBelieve and Crosswalk. Laurie and her husband, Travis, make their home in Nevada along with their two daughters.

October 23, 2015


Lindsay HolcombIt’s perhaps a parent’s greatest fear – that at some point his or her child will become a victim of sexual abuse. The statistics are alarming: Approximately one in five children will become victims by his or her 18th birthday. Authors Justin and Lindsey Holcomb have responded to parents’ concerns by writing God Made All of Me, a resource for moms and dads who want to protect and educate their children.

Parents of young children themselves, the Holcombs regularly counsel victims of sexual abuse and are profoundly aware of the dangers kids face. They know a child is more likely to be abused by someone he or she knows than a stranger; 34% of assailants are family members, and 58% are acquaintances. “It is important to teach kids how to say ‘stop,’ ‘all done,’ and ‘no more,'” the Holcombs stress. “You can reiterate this by stopping immediately when your children express they are all done with the hugging or tickling. Your reaction demonstrates they have control over their bodies. If there are family members who have a hard time understanding, explain you’re helping your children understand their ability to say no to unwanted touch. For example, if your children do not want to kiss Grandpa, let them give a high five or handshake instead.”

Allowing moms and dads to approach this topic gently, God Made All of Me will help facilitate open conversations within the family. It will be a critical tool in every parent’s hand as they seek to fulfill their important role of shielding their children from harm. “We want to remind parents some people are looking to prey on our children. We have a duty to protect and prepare them for the world and to fight for them,” the Holcombs explain. “By talking with our kids candidly (and in god madedevelopmentally appropriate ways) about their bodies, we are setting up safeguards around them.”

Lindsey Holcomb is a former case manager at a sexual assault crisis center and a domestic violence shelter.  Together with her husband, they helped co-found REST, and they conduct a variety of training seminars on how to prevent, recognize and respond to child, sexual and domestic abuse. They have also written a number of books together, including Is It My Fault? (2014) and Rid of My Disgrace (2011).

October 30, 2015


According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than a quarter of a million babies are born to teen moms in the U.S. each year. Best-selling author Tricia Goyer has written Teen Mom: You’re Stronger than You Think because she doesn’t want one of them to fall through the cracks of the culture.

teen momEverything changes the day these young girls discover they’re going to be moms, and the pressures they’re under can be crushing. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reports teen moms are more likely to drop out of high school and nearly half of them live below the poverty line.

Tricia Goyer understands. Born to a single mom, Tricia found herself pregnant at 17, and she remembers what it felt like to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. “My boyfriend was out of the picture, and I faced raising a child alone with little education, no money and maybe, according to the world, little hope for my future,” Goyer admits. “Yet, I am not a statistic. And you know why I’m not a statistic? Because God doesn’t do them.”

Goyer has gone on to be an award-winning author and popular speaker. She’s also been the coordinator of a teen MOPS group for more than 12 years and has cheered on many young mothers — from all walks of life — through their journeys. “Every moment I’ve spent volunteering in these teen mom support groups is worth it. I
remember being the one who needed to hear about Jesus’ love and forgiveness. Somebody talked to me, and it cost them too. There is someone in your community who needs to hear too.”

While most young moms would never trade their children for the world, some days are just hard. Baby-daddy drama, dealing with their parents, and worries about the future slam them. They find their friends can’t relate to their little family, and some girls will begin to wonder if God has turned His back on them. In Teen Mom, Goyer
pours out her heart and provides encouragement to these young, single mothers, reminding them they can be the mom their children deserve — not in their own strength, but in the strength God provides.

In addition to encouraging these moms, Goyer says she hopes Teen Mom will equip church leaders, pregnancy crisis centers, counselors and anyone involved in the lives of young mothers to broach challenging topics such as purity, sexual abuse and bad boyfriends. Questions found at the end of every chapter will help them discuss these difficult issues, while giving teens a chance to open up and share their experiences.

Teen Mom ultimately serves to remind us all that every young mom is worthy of the love, forgiveness and hope for the future that can only come from God’s love.

USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of over 35 books, including the three-book Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and “Lead Your TRICIAFamily Like Jesus,” (co-written with Ken Blanchard). She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like TheBetterMom.com and MomLifeToday.com. She is the host of Living Inspired, a weekly radio show. Tricia and family live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children. You can find out more about Tricia at www.TriciaGoyer.com.

Podcast from Today’s Show 4/5…Panel of Publishing Industry Experts Help Those Who Feel Called to Write

Here’s the podcast from today’s show in case you missed it…please pass it along to anyone who might benefit!

panelFound some old pictures of me with Cynthia Ruchti and Chip MacGregor at the ACFW Conference and Kim Bangs at the Florida Christian Writers Conference!

WOW. What an experience this show was…interviewing 5 people at one time, on the phone where I cannot look them in the eyes, oh my…that was SCARY! But Lin, Chip, Cynthia, Kim & Clint made it so easy…I’m already hearing back from so many folks about how much they learned….I love that!

And for the record, as the pioneer of self/indie publishing in the Christian market, I must say that I agree with everything that was said…no matter how you plan to publish. Whether you intend to work towards a contract with a traditional publisher or go the DIY route, the information shared in this broadcast will help you produce content you will be proud of and others will be blessed by.


This Saturday, 4/5 – Feel Called to Write? What it Takes & How to Get There

Feel Called to Write? Join us this Saturday for a stellar line up of Christian publishing industry professionals!

I’ve been thinking about doing a show like this for months, and it finally came together over the last few weeks. After spending the last 22 years in publishing, I’ve always felt it important for potential authors to understand the industry, what it really takes to find an agent and/or publisher, how to learn or improve their craft, and how to have realistic expectations throughout the process. I believe this show will be a great resource for those of you who feel called but don’t know where to start, or if you’re already writing, how to move to the next level.

I’ll be introducing you to a literary agent, a book editor, a magazine editor, a novelist, and a couple Christian writers’ conference directors…we’re going to cover a lot of ground and hopefully give you some direction and practical helps.

Listen in this Saturday from 11AM to Noon PST on 820AM KGNW or streaming live on www.kgnw.com. Here’s my exciting line up of guests…spread the word…it’s really gonna be good!

writers image

Kim Bangs, Book Editor

For 24 years Kim Bangs has served in the Christian publishing industry. Beginning as an editor in the Children’s Curriculum Department at Gospel Light, she served as the Senior Manager for Acquisitions and Author Relations and was recently promoted to Publishing Director for Regal (the book division of Gospel Light).  In 2012 Kim was awarded Non-Fiction Editor of the Year by AWSA. She also can be found at several writer’s conferences throughout the year doing all she can to inspire and encourage writers to write their passion and keep pressing on. She enjoys baking, gardening, Disneyland and sports…but loves Jesus and His Church.

Chip MacGregor, Literary Agent, Author

When he was in first grade, Chip hurried home one day and announced to his mother, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a book guy!” He clearly could see the future —from high school literary magazine editor to writing bestselling books, from speaking at writing and publishing conferences to representing renowned writers, Chip MacGregor is a book guy. Creating MacGregor Literary was part of a natural progression.

Chip has a comprehensive knowledge of the industry—from book development to writing, acquisition to production, marketing to sales. He has secured nearly 1,000 book deals for authors with all of the major publishers, including Random House, Ballantine, Crown, Doubleday, Broadway, Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books, Hachette, HarperCollins, Avon, Viking, Penguin, Berkley, Jossey-Bass, Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, Baker, Tyndale, Broadman & Holman, Worthy, Multnomah, Revell, Harvest House, Waterbrook, NavPress, Cook, and Howard, among others. As an editor, he discovered Phillip Gulley, worked with bestselling authors such as Kay Arthur and Joyce Meyer, and helped craft books for some of the best names in publishing, including CBA luminaries Chuck Swindoll, Bruce Wilkinson, and David Jeremiah. He has also written more than two-dozen titles, including two books that hit #1 on the bestseller lists in their category, and he has been the collaborative writer on books with such authors as Howard Hendricks, Joe Stowell, Andre Kole, and Bruce Waltke. During his tenure as a publisher at Time Warner, he helped the company grow into one of the world’s biggest providers of religious books to the general market, as well as helping create Center Street, the “heartland publishing” initiative at Time Warner Book Group, doing books with the likes of Mike Huckabee and John Ashcroft.

Cynthia Ruchti, Author

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, speaking for women’s events and retreats, writers’ events and retreats, nonfiction books and devotionals, drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry. Her books have been recognized by RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Retailers’ Choice Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and Carol Award nominations, among other honors, including a Family Fiction Readers’ Choice Award. As of 2014, she has a total of eight books on the shelves, with more contracted for 2015 and beyond.

Lin Johnson, Magazine Editor, Conference Director, Author

Lin Johnson directs the Write-to-Publish Conference in the Chicago area (June 4-7) and teaches at writers conferences around the world.

She is managing editor of Christian Communicator, a monthly magazine for writers and speakers, and Advanced Christian Writer, a bimonthly newsletter for published authors. Plus she proofs and edits for Friends of Israel.

The author of more than 70 books, Lin specializes in Bible curriculum and is a Gold Medallion Book Award and an EPA Higher Goals award recipient. Her books include Everything the Bible Says about Money, The Smart Guide to the Bible: John, Encouraging Others, Christian Education: Foundations for the Future (co-editor), 2 Timothy & Titus: Fighting the Good Fight and 1 Timothy: Standing Firm (with John Stott), Mark and Ephesians (with N. T. Wright), and the Extracting the Precious series of Bible studies (with Donna Partow). She has also contributed to several books, including A Complete Guide to Writing for Publication and The NIV Quiet Time Bible.

She has a B.A. in Christian education from Cedarville University, a B.A. in Bible-theology from Moody Bible Institute, and an M.S. in adult and continuing education from National-Louis University. She is a former special instructor of Christian education at Moody Bible Institute and a current adjunct professor of writing at Taylor University.

Clint Kelly, Novelist, Program Coordinator

As a communications specialist for Seattle Pacific University and author of novels for both children and adults, Clint believes that his readers are wired for adventure and hunger for unique plots, colorful settings, and exotic locales.

Clint’s books feature real characters who laugh, cry, struggle, and question. They believe in something greater than themselves, they possess an insatiable appetite for exploration, and they know in the depths of their souls that good can overcome evil.

His novels include The Landing Place, The Lost Kingdom, and The Aryan for Thomas Nelson Publishers; Deliver Us From Evil and The Power and the Glory for Bethany House Publishing; Escape Underground for Focus on the Family and Bethany House Publishing; and Bruce the Spruce and the Christmas Goose for The Lights of Christmas attraction in Washington state. His nonfiction books include Dare to Raise Exceptional Children and How to Win Grins and Influence Little People. As a journalist and freelance writer, Clint has written on a wide variety of topics from dinosaurs to child rearing. He also serves as program coordinator for the Northwest Christian Writers’ Renewal. He and his wife, Cheryll, live in the Seattle area.

Recap / Podcast 12/28 – Bestselling Novelists on their latest Non-Fiction books, Lynn Austin and Cynthia Ruchti

Here’s the podcast in case you missed the show…it’s in two parts.

What an awesome time with Lynn Austin and Cynthia Ruchti. I originally did these interviews in June of 2013 when I attended the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) … I was in a little 10 x 10 curtained off area in the middle of a bunch of other media folks doing interviews, so that explains the background noise!! ICRS is a huge industry event for Christian publishers of books, music, and….hmmmm….I used to call it Jesus Junk….but you know, gifts, apparel, jewelry, bumper stickers, mints, and who knows what else!

Just a few hours after interviewing Lynn Austin, I attended the Christy Awards and watched as she was inducted into the Christy Awards Hall of Fame, as 16 out of 18 of her historical fiction titles had won Christy Awards. I especially loved her transparency about getting to a place in her Christian life where she felt stagnant, and how Jesus met her in the desert.  She really is a picture of serene grace…love her spirit! More about her at www.lynnaustin.org.

Presentation134With Lynn Austin at ICRS   and with Cynthia Rutchi at the ACFW Conference

And then my time with Cynthia was just so good. I have always been encouraged by this woman of God, and this interview was no different. Such profound wisdom to help us all address the extreme challenges we face due to the bad choices of others…and even if we’re not facing such hardship, chances are we know someone who is who we can reach out to and comfort with what we learn from Cynthia! More about her ministry at www.hopethatglowsinthedark.com.

This Saturday 12/28 – Lynn Austin on Finding God in the Desert & Cynthia Ruchti on Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Bad Choices

I am so excited to introduce you to my last two guests of 2013. They are both amazingly talented novelists, and both are sharing powerful non-fiction works.  I’ve had the privilege of serving on the faculty of the Write to Publish Conference at Wheaton Bible College with both of these gracious ladies. You will be encouraged by both their stories! We’ll be giving away 2 copies of each title, so be sure to listen and call in!

An Intimate Look at a Bestselling Novelist’s Journey to Deeper Faith

by Lynn Austin

As in her popular biblical series,
Chronicles of the Kings,
Austin brings the ancient Promised Land to life in Pilgrimage, her first nonfiction book.

“The opportunity to tour Israel came at a good time. For months my life has been a mindless plodding through necessary routine, as monotonous as an all-night shift on an assembly line. Life gets that way sometimes, when nothing specific is wrong but the world around us seems drained of color. Even my weekly worship experiences and daily quiet times with God have felt dry and stale. I’m ashamed to confess the malaise I’ve felt. I have been given so much. Shouldn’t a Christian’s life be an abundant one, as exciting as Christmas morning, as joyful as Easter Sunday?”

With gripping honesty, beloved author Lynn Austin shares an intimate look at her personal struggle with spiritual dryness in this deeply moving story of her search for renewal in the Holy Land. As she journeys throughout Israel, Austin turns to Scripture at each site she visits. Then with a fiction writer’s eye for detail, she seamlessly weaves personal events and insights from the Word as she finds hope, renewed faith, and a sense of direction for the future.

Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into a Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn’s latest novel is Return to Me, Book 1 in the RESTORATION CHRONICLES series. Her passions include reading, history and archaeology. She has visited Israel numerous times and once took part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. She has been featured in many media outlets, including USAToday.com, The Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly, and World magazine. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home near Chicago, Illinois. Learn more at LynnAustin.org.

Read an excerpt:

Pilgrimage: My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked by Lynn Austin
Trade Paper ISBN: 978-0-7642-1118-8; $14.99; 240 pp.
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4412-6219-6; $14.99
Available: November 1, 2013

lynn and cynthiaSurviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices
Cynthia Ruchti Encourages Readers to Cling to Hope, No Matter How Ragged it May Be

It’s one thing to live with the consequences of your own actions. It’s quite another to live with the outcome of someone else’s choices. Regardless of what has happened in your life, there is hope. In Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (Abingdon Press/July 1, 2013/ISBN: 978-1426751172/$15.99), Cynthia Ruchti offers an inspirational look into the lives of those who were dramatically affected by wrong or misguided choices, sins, offenses and crimes others committed.

Where is God when you are doing everything right yet, because of someone else’s actions, everything is wrong? Where do we find hope when it’s clouded by the ashes of other people’s choices? Ragged Hope is an insightful and hope-giving guide offering readers comfort and support, as well as encouraging them through whatever situation they may face, including the aftereffects of divorce, disease, drugs, drunk drivers, death, downsizing, disasters and bad decisions.

Ruchti, who has walked this road herself, assures readers that God is ever-present and offers unwavering love. There is hope, grace and a future in every circumstance—even (and especially) for those we did not cause but now live through. “How ragged is the hope you’re clutching? It’s no less valuable or essential than it was when it was new,” writes Ruchti. “Hope—true hope—is indestructible. It can be battered, but not extinguished.”

Ragged Hope’s dedication reads: “To the wounded, the worn, the wondering, and to those who let us see their scars so others can discover Hope’s hideout.” The book was written for survivors and for those who care about, counsel or long to make a difference in their lives. Vetted by professional counselors and caregivers, this is the one guide everyone needs to thrive, no matter what situation they may be facing.

After each of the 26 stories shared in the book, Ruchti includes reflection questions as well as prompts so readers can consider how to reach out to the survivors they know. Each chapter also ends with a scripture, offering hope and encouragement that God is with us, no matter what.

Other people’s choices don’t always have a life-changing effect on us, sometimes they’re merely annoying or mildly disturbing in the short-term. It doesn’t mean we don’t need grace to cope with their negative consequences. Ruchti gives readers perspective in these cases as well, interjecting humor as a relief valve when appropriate.

“When we stand in a muddle of misery someone else created for us, too weary to be creative, too worn down to embrace a trendy problem-solving technique or follow a seven-step plan to a new, improved life, we need an arm around our shoulder assuring us God hears, God understands, and He is not stingy with Hope.”

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, nonfiction projects, speaking events and a history of 33 years of on-air storytelling through The Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast. www.hopethatglowsinthedark.com

Her books have been recognized by Retailers’ Choice, RT Reviewers’ Choice, Family Fiction Readers’ Choice, ACFW’s Carol Award nomination, and other honors. In addition to Ruchti’s four previously released books, her novel When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Press Fiction) released in April 2013, followed by Ragged Hope, her second non-fiction release in July. Ruchti has also written articles for numerous magazines and industry publications and currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers.

Ruchti lives in Wisconsin where she spends her days diving into words, worship and wonder. It is her delight to serve on her church’s worship team and creative arts team. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. Cynthia and her husband have been married for 40-plus years and have three grown children and five grandchildren.

Don’t miss the last Always Faithful Radio show of the year! 11 AM CST this Saturday, December 28 on AM 630 KSLR or streaming live on www.kslr.com or www.iheartradio.com…and I will NOT be at El Jarro’s afterwards as the show has been pre-recorded and I’m out of town for the holidays!