Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Stories of Faith and Courage from Prison by Connie Cameron

I'm thrilled to have Connie here today. Let your heart be blest as you read on. Connie's moving tale about her book and the passion she had while writing it, and now promoting it, will stir your heart.

She's also giving away a copy of her book to a new reader. Comment and leave you email address, and your name could be chosen!


Last week, the latest book from AMG Publishers hit the bookstores. “Stories of Faith and Courage from Prison” is a 365 day devotional about many aspects of incarceration. These moving testimonies of inmates, ex-inmates, loved ones of inmates, wardens, correction’s officers, prison pen pals, prison chaplains, and volunteers, will give a unique insight into prison life and hopefully spark an interest in prison ministry. Connie Cameron co-authored it with Jeff Peck, formerly of Prison Fellowship International.

“A female inmate wrote to me six years ago,” Connie said. “And when I wrote back, the timing of it ended up literally saving the inmate’s life.” She has been passionate about prison ministry ever since. As a board member of the Licking County Jail Ministries for four years now, she regularly goes inside the local jail and into prisons in Ohio ministering to hurting people. Sometimes she goes to prison with another woman from the board, and other times her husband Chuck accompanies her.

Three years ago God laid it on her heart to combine her two passions (inspirational writing and prison ministry) and write a devotional book about prison. That summer she attended a Christian writer’s conference and met the editor of AMG Publishers, a Christian traditional publisher. He was looking for the very book she was proposing about prison-related stories.

“I was elated!” Ms. Cameron exclaimed. After more than fifteen years of writing and longing for this very thing to happen, she received the call from her agent with the exciting news that a contract would be coming from that same publisher.

“It’s been more than a year of full-time work involved, oftentimes 14 hour days to meet the different deadlines, but at last it’s finished!” Ms. Cameron exclaimed. “I’ve had to read the book through many times before it went to press, and each time I was moved at much God cares about ‘the least of these’. It’s humbling, too, to reflect on how we can’t ‘out sin’ the love of God.” At 464 pages, “Stories of Faith and Courage from Prison” will have a first print run of 5,000 copies. Along with the marketing efforts of Connie and Jeff, AMG is also heavily marketing the book at venues all across the nation. An electronic book is being created of the devotional, as well.

The book endorsements include:

  1. Pastor Chad Hovind, author of Godonomics and Fast Track Bible;
  2. Carol Kent and Allison Bottke, both prolific speakers and authors, and
  3. Bill Glass, founder of Bill Glass Champions for Life Ministries, along with many others.
  4. Jim Harris of Alabama is a contributor and has also read the entire book. He said, I never knew all the different perspectives of prison ministry that there are out there. This book was an eye opener, even for someone like me who has been an inmate and is now in full-time prison ministry.”

She added that while most devotional books are geared more toward women, this prisoner book is aimed at both men and women. “I think it helped to have a male and female co-authoring this body of work. Our differences gave this devotional a nice blend,” she commented.

“While the approximately 2 million citizens behind bars will definitely benefit from reading “Stories of Faith and Courage from Prison”, it is also beneficial for the friends and loved ones of the incarcerated, including prison chaplains, those in prison ministry, pastors, employees of correctional facilities, and especially for those of us who struggle with prison ministry—which happens to be a lot of us,” Connie said. “Out of all the ministries there are in this world, I think jail and prison ministry is the one ministry the majority of people are uncomfortable with, including pastors. We are afraid of it. Some sadly view it with contempt, believing that “those people” are getting what they deserve. I think Jesus knew we would have difficulty, that’s why He referenced it so often in scripture. One of the most common passages is found in Matthew 25:31-46 and ends with, 'I was in prison and you came to see me.'
"The way we treat the least of these is the way we treat Jesus,” the co-author continued. “We also tend to lump all inmates into the extremely dangerous category, and that’s simply not the way it is. Many are our friends, co-workers and neighbors who are incarcerated for minor offences or drug and alcohol issues.”
Connie was interviewed on this blog a while back featuring her book, God’s Gentle Nudges. She also has a weekly inspirational column in five newspapers, and has been published in Chicken Soup books seven times, among dozens of other periodicals. For more information about her or how to order her books, please go to: www.conniecameron.com.






I give thanks ALWAYS for you, my dear readers and friends!
Blessings

 

4 comments:

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, this sounds like a wonderful book, Connie! Congratulations on its publication; may the Lord Jesus use it to lead many to Him, and set them free of whatever prison they are in--body, mind, or spirit.

Please enter my name in the drawing, and thank you!

Eddie Jones said...

"....saving the inmate’s life." Isn't this what we're all called to do? Speak God's words of hope and love those imprisoned by sin and trapped due to poor choices and unfortunate circumstances. Great job, Connie. Couldn't be prouder to know ya!

Anonymous said...

Connie - Congrats on releasing a devotional in a long overlooked area where people are hurting. Enter me as well. Max Lewis fellowshipessentials@josephmaxlewis.com

Anonymous said...

I would like to win this book! Thanks for the chance.
Maxie mac262@me.com