Provoketive Magazine Is Looking For Writers

Posted in: Infos- Oct 06, 2011 No Comments

Civitas Press is starting an online magazine called Provoketive. The following is from the site. Sign up today!

About Provoketive Magazine: In a world saturated with people shouting at each other, it’s rare to find a place where people can engage in conversation with each other.  Provoketive Magazine hopes to change that.  We’re creating a space of rich conversation about life, faith, justice and culture without judgment.  Our desire is to provoke the reader’s imagination through conversation and open up spaces of dialogue, learning, and hope.

Current Categories:

  • Life: Business, Family, Growth, Humorous, Health, Sports, Technology, and World
  • Faith: Spirituality, Theology, Interfaith Dialogue, Spiritual Practices, and Questions
  • Justice: Social Justice, Gender Equality, Politics and Economics
  • Culture: Movies, Books, Music, Art, Poetry and Interviews

If you are a writer and want to participate with us in creating this rich space of conversation, we invite you to sign up today.

Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression Press Release

Posted in: Book Announcements, New Releases- Oct 03, 2011 No Comments

-For Immediate Release-

You Are Not Alone In Your Depression

Folsom, CA, October 1, 2011 – Depression is a very real experience for many people. The causes can be varied. Abuse. Chemical imbalances. Divorce. Rejection. There is no one reason that a person might suffer depression. However, one common theme is that it can leave the person feeling isolated and alone. Because of the stigma that is often associated with depression, people often remain silent about it, never knowing that the person next to them is going through the same thing, or has experienced it in the past. Instead, they hide away, believing that no one understands, that no one cares.

In Not Alone: Stories Of Living Wtih Depression, a courageous list of authors break their silence, boldly sharing their stories of depression, as they wrestle with awareness, acceptance, recovery, and post-depression.  The authors all tackle the lie that you must suffer in solitude. With humility and honesty, these stories give a glimpse into the depressed existence. While you will not find a cure for depression in these pages, you will find a sense of community. You will find words of hope. You will find that you are Not Alone.

This Civitas Press community project was the brain child of Editor Alise Wright. Alise shares, “Since 1997, depression has been a part of my life. And the first step toward healing for me has always been to tell someone what I’m going through. When I felt myself going down that path last fall, I shared my struggle on my blog, and the response surprised me. While I expected kindness, I did not expect people to say that this small confession was one that allowed them to be honest about their own experiences with depression. As people wrote comments and sent emails, I realized that what was healing for me was healing for many. Sharing your story connects you to a larger community and allows you to recognize that you don’t have to go through hard times by yourself. Through this realization, I decided to invite others to have a safe place to share their stories of depression so that they would have an opportunity to experience that healing and so that they could offer comfort to others at the same time. I decided to call it the Not Alone series because that was the phrase that was used most often in the messages that I received; people thanked me for letting them know that they were not alone.

It is my desire to see Not Alone be not only a book where those who have experienced depression can turn for comfort, but also a resource for those who have never gone through depression. People often are unaware of what it means to be in the grasp of depression and these stories give a glimpse of that feeling. I hope that this will open up dialogue about what it means to offer community for those dealing with depression. It’s a conversation that needs to be had, and I believe that this book is a step in the right direction. When people refuse to be silent about their pain, it allows those with the same pain to find a voice and it also offers those who want to help a practical way to give support.”

The contributors include: Matt Cannon, Laura Droege, Anonymous, David Henson, Laura E. Crook, Jamie Habermaas, Michael Doran, Samurai, Joy Wilson, Crystal Clancy, Joy Bennett, Travis Mamone, Misty Chaffins, Katie Alicea, Brooke Higinbotham, Joanna Ross, Mary Balfoort, Robin Farr, Jake Kampe, Jody Johnson, Kristin Tennant, Christina Shumway, Jeremy Myers, Megg Joosten, Chad Jones, Joe Sewell, Jean Anderson, Kyla Cofer, Chuck Larish, Melissa Binstock, Michael D. Russo, Leigh Kramer, Jenny Susa, Melody Harrison Hanson, Allison Carroll, Jason N. Wright, and Tamara Lunardo.

Not Alone is available online at the Civitas Press bookstore, Amazon.com and in bookstores.

About Alise Wright
Alise Wright is married to her best friend Jason and is the mom to four incredible kids. She loves writing, knitting, playing keyboards in a cover band, and eating soup. She writes about faith, family and friendship regularly at her blog, alise-write.com.
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New Community Project: Not Afraid: Stories of Find Significance

Posted in: Call For Submissions, Community Projects- Sep 07, 2011 1 Comment

Civitas Press is pleased to announce the next community project called, Not Afraid: Stories of Find Significance.  Not Afraid explores stories of people who have overcome fears and found their significance in the process. Alise Wright, editor for the Not Alone will be leading the project.

Alise says, “In the past two years, I’ve faced a number of fears. As I have looked at these fears in the eye, what I have found is that I must also look at my own self-worth. By facing and overcoming various fears in my life, I have found a renewed sense of significance. My hope is that through this project, people will come see how by beating their fears, they can discover just how valuable they are.

We are looking for real, honest stories of people who have face their fears and come through with a greater sense of their value. We encourage you to let it all out on the page, and share in detail both the external circumstances and the internal conflicts that arise because of it. When at all possible show – don’t tell. Give us the gritty details, the emotions, the conflict, how you felt, how you responded (good and bad), and what you learned, if applicable to your story. Although we rarely censor graphic content or language if it serves the story, we ask that you use discretion. We are NOT looking for self-help essays on solutions, professional opinions, or agendas.

Jonathan Brink, publisher at Civitas Press says this about the project, “Alise approached us wanting to do a second project, and almost instantly I knew it was a great fit.  Not Afraid is a project aimed at sharing inspiring stories, which is really what we are about as a publishing company. With the success of Not Alone, I knew it was in good hands.

Initial Submissions are due: January 31, 2012.  Publication is targeted for August, 2012.

For project submission information, authors can go here.

Run With Me: An Accidental Runner And The Power Of Poo Press Release

Posted in: Book Announcements, New Releases- Sep 01, 2011 No Comments

Accidental Runner Discovers the Power of Poo.

Folsom, CA, September 1, 2011 – Author Jennifer Luitwieler shares her insightful and often hilarious journey of accidentally running to stop the dog from pooing under her sewing table. What starts as a way to deal with the dog, ends up providing the space to confront some deep issues: from endlessly comparing myself to others, to competing with myself to be stronger, faster, and to pursue endlessly my own reasons and goals.

Run With Me, An Accidental Runner and the Power of Poo is about finding the unapologetic courage to confront who we are as humans. As women. As men. As parents. As spouses. As divorcees. As managers and employees. As people. And who we are, as a whole, are people created by a loving God to do good things. We are strong, capable, confident, intelligent, creative and amazing. Discovering the courage is the first step towards realizing the life we’re all seeking.
Jennifer states, “I did not set out to become a runner. I didn’t set out to become anything. I began running to house train a dog I don’t even like. The dog isn’t trained, but I am. For a while, I ran AWAY; away from dog poo, from lack of purpose, from mourning a life I wanted but didn’t try very hard to create. And then the shift came and I ran toward. Toward all the things that I had valued in my life but had overlooked. I wanted a career as a writer. I wanted to say yes every day to my husband. I wanted to be an alert and present mother. I wanted a rich experience with God. And so I ran toward those things.

My story, like everyone’s, is a series of missteps and divinely inspired decisions. We stumble our way through, seeking meaning and connections. Running as an activity gave me a sense of purpose. But more, it was a vehicle for recovering and discovering. Running gave me permission to seek, space to listen, and an open heart to hear.”

Run With Me is available online at Amazon.com, B&N.com and in bookstores.

About Jennifer Luitwieler
Jennifer Luitwieler is an award winning author, a speaker and a woman who chooses to run with her dog.  She is the wife of one hooligan, and mother of three school aged ruffians. She shares a house with two cats and The Dog.  She lives in Tulsa, OK but will always love her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.  Her love for sports, especially the Steelers, knows no bounds. She regularly writes for regional and online publications and has contributed to The Practice Of Love (Civitas, 2011).
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Not Alone Is Available For Pre-Order

Posted in: Book Announcements, New Releases- Aug 26, 2011 1 Comment

Not Alone: Stories of Living With Depression is now available for pre-order in the Civitas store.  Get your copy today.  The book releases October 1, 2011.

Englewood Books Reviews Down We Go

Posted in: Book Reviews- Aug 18, 2011 2 Comments

by Warren Hicks, Englewood Books Reviewer

Kathy Escobar, co-pastor of The Refuge, a missional church community in the Denver area offers here a primer (I know, it’s an old fashioned word) about how communities of faith can engage in practices that replicate the “downward mobility” that Jesus modeled in his life and ministry.   This volume is part spiritual autobiography, part journal of a real community of faith and part clarion call to individuals and communities that are trying to really follow Jesus. The author cut her pastoral teeth as a woman in the decidedly male world of an evangelical megachurch, but as many of us do after a time in ministry, she struggled with the disconnect between God’s work in the world, the cost of discipleship and the structures and organizational policies and politics that seem sometimes to be in opposition to one another.

The main strength of the book is Escobar’s clear and very readable writing style combined with easily digested chapters that include reflection and discussion questions at the end of each chapter. The writing is an accessible combination of scripture, personal reflection and real-life examples of what downward mobility is and how it is consistent with Jesus’ call upon us as disciples.

Part I of the book describes her call to a life of downward mobility that reflects the way Jesus lived his earthly life and places Escobar and her journey in that context. Part II is about the eight practices that she says characterize this ‘downwardly mobile Jesus’ kind of life and community. They are:

  1. Extending Love, Mercy and Compassion
  2. Welcoming Pain
  3. Honoring Doubt
  4. Diffusing Power
  5. Practicing Equality
  6. Pursuing Justice
  7. Cultivating Creativity
  8. Celebrating Freedom

“Staying the Course,” the third part of the book, gives practical examples of what she calls a “Beautiful and Hazardous” way of life.  I think this book is a natural read for pastoral leaders and congregations to read together to get areal-world idea of what being missional is all about as the Church continues to pursue God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation in the world.

Civitas Press Partners With Megan Tietz & Laura Oyer

Posted in: Author Announcements, Book Announcements- Aug 03, 2011 2 Comments

Civitas Press is pleased to announce that we are partnering with Megan Tietz & Laura Oyer for the release of their first book, Spirit-Led Parenting (working title).  Spirit-Led Parenting explores the tension of raising a child in a fresh way, when much of the parenting advice offered within Christian culture is based on “infant management” and promoting early independence. More and more new mothers and mothers-to-be are finding that this approach conflicts with the call of Christ-followers to serve those around them in love.

In the pages of Spirit-Led Parenting, women will find encouragement to follow hard after Christ in those bleary-eyed, sleep-deprived days of new motherhood, as well as companionship and comfort in discovering they are not alone on the gentle path of servanthood-inspired parenting. To the mothers who feel they can’t conform to the mainstream model, we offer an invitation to discover that there is another way.

Laura states, “Spirit-Led Parenting carries a message of comfort, validation, and community for new mothers.   In sharing our own journeys through the early parenting months, we hope that the lessons we’ve learned will serve as testimony of the peace and growth that can come from stepping off the beaten path and leaning on God’s example and guidance.”

Megan also adds, “The season of parenting our babies offers countless opportunities to draw near to the heart of Christ.  We share this message with compassion and empathy, believing that it allows women to be encouraged and empowered to flourish in their relationship with Him as they take up His call to gently parent the little ones entrusted to us.”

Spirit-Led Parenting is scheduled for release on March, 2012. You can follow Megan and Laura for updates on the book on Facebook, or on the Civitas Press Facebok Page.

About Laura: Laura Oyer met her husband, Mark, in preschool, married him sixteen years later, and now spends her days caring for their two children and pretending to keep the house clean.  Mark and Laura serve in leadership at their church, and she is part of her city’s Community Relations Commission.  Laura blogs at InTheBackyard.net.

About Megan: Megan Tietz is the creator of http://sortacrunchy.typepad.com/, a blogging community devoted to discussion and dialogue at the crossroads of the Christian faith and the practice of natural family living.  Thirteen years ago, she married her college sweetheart and now they are raising two of the sweetest girls you’ve ever met. They make their home on the windy plains of western Oklahoma.

Uncensored Prayer Book Review

Posted in: Book Reviews- Jul 27, 2011 No Comments

From Katie Kennedy

We’re always being told that there is a right way and a wrong way to do faith and religion. But Joy Wilson breaks down those barriers in her book, Uncensored Prayer, inviting readers to look at, and experience, prayer a different way. She encourages us to leave the mantras and censored relationships we have with God behind in exchange for a more honest, more fulfilling ways of relating to Him.

“This book is then about an invitation to engage in the practice of wrestling with God through uncensored prayer”
(page 11)

It’s okay to be angry with God, to question Him, to be honest with Him and ourselves, she tells us. She explains that our relationships with God don’t have to be defined by pre-written prayers or by pre-established ways of thought, that it’s okay – and even important – to wrestle with Him, to “take it to the mat”, as she says in her book.

What some may consider blasphemous, I consider brilliant.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s honest, it’s raw in that she even shows us some of her own wrestling, opening up herself – her pains, her struggles – and showing us the dynamic relationship she has with God. This is what people need to see. It’s okay, and *important* (haha, I can’t stress that enough), to open up and trust God enough to be our honest selves with Him. That’s how the real growth is made, where the real benefit comes from. It’s what makes all the difference.

I also love how this book calls into question the way many people I know believe about God. She portrays Him, not as some judgmental, wrathful Being, but as the loving, compassionate God I believe Him to be. She speaks of how there are no limits to God’s love, that “we are equal opportunity members of God’s family” (page 40). She speaks of God as a “jail breaker, rather than a jailer” (page 46), stresses the love and honor He already has for each of us. This, I believe, is so true, so huge, and I love that she does stress this, that it’s not about being good enough, but that it’s in recognizing how much He loves us *as we are*, now, already, even in our imperfect states. This is such a refreshing change from the other ways we’ve been expected to think about God, and I love how she stands in so great a contrast with those other ways of thinking.

This book is one that needs to be read by anyone and everyone who believes, in any way, in prayer, anyone who incorporates prayer into their way of faith and religious practice. This is definitely a side of faith that people need to know is available to them.

I’d like to wrap up this review by quoting, from the intro, a passage that kind of sums up the book in a way much better than I know I’m doing myself, lol. It’s a passage that really touched me, and it does well to give a real feel for the rest of the book. I quote :

“Wrestling with God is not about religion. Religion has nothing to do with this practice. Religion demands we bow our heads in subjection to a set of rules and regulations that tell us we’re not good enough for God. Wrestling allows us to lift our heads in dignity, as we embrace the unconditional love of God for us. We struggle with Him out of relationship, not duty”. (page 9)

– I received a copy free in exchange for review from Civitas Press –

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You can purcase Joy’s Book Uncensord Prayer at the Civitas Store | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Nook

Get 15% at the Civitas Store with coupon code: friends

Down We Go Book Trailer

Posted in: Book Announcements, Book Trailers- Jul 17, 2011 No Comments

Uncensored Prayer Press Release

Posted in: Book Announcements, New Releases- Jul 15, 2011 No Comments

Author proposes a bold and daring approach to prayer.

Folsom, CA, July 15, 2011 – In a world searching for honesty and integrity, author Joy Wilson is leading the way by proposing a bold and daring approach to prayer.  What would it look like to engage God in a wrestling match, and live to tell about it? In this bold and beautiful account of Uncensored Prayer, author Joy Wilson shares her insights and experiences of taking a radical risk with God.

In Uncensored Prayer, The Spiritual Practice of Wrestling With God, Joy invites readers to take the leap of faith into a simple idea: God wants to engage each of us in a loving, trusting, and ongoing dialog of restoration, unhindered by traditional structures. When we get real with God, the door opens wide enough for us to hear God’s suggestions, wisdom, and understanding.

Joy’s experience will both shock you and invite you into a radically deeper experience of spiritual communion with God, one that revolutionizes your prayer.

Joy states, “I have wrestled with God since I was a teenager, alternating between what I thought was the “right” way to pray and just plain yelling at him. The wrestling grew out of traumatic experiences with males who promised love but delivered wrath. I mistakenly thought God was one of them. I believed He heard my prayers, but didn’t answer them because I was at fault.

Over time, I learned God loves me as I am, warped, wounded, and precious. He and I laugh, cry, and occasionally scream together, wrestling in the dirt when that’s what I need, because I can’t do that with anyone else without offending them. God is incapable of being shocked or offended by anything we throw at him. He is truth himself, and values truth from us.

Uncensored Prayer is available online at Amazon.com, B&N.com and in bookstores.

About Joy Wilson

Joy Wilson and her husband, Bud, are two life-long hippies. They live in Bartlett, TN, with six cats, two dogs, and a timber wolf hybrid. She is an Outlaw Preacher and an active participant in Kairos Prison Ministry. Joy’s musical tastes include Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joni Mitchell, old scratchy-record blues, and the great classical sacred choral works. You can usually find her at home writing in long-hand, or intently reading history and mystery books. Joy has contributed to Not Alone (Civitas, 2011). You can find Joy on Facebook.

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