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10 questions with Richard Brunton August 25, 2017

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, Richard Brunton.
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Richard Brunton was a pioneer of the market research industry in New Zealand. He co-founded Colmar Brunton in 1981 and built the business into the country’s best known and most trusted research company. In recent years, he’s become more extensively involved in Christian ministry, including as a frequent speaker at Promise Keepers, and we at Castle Publishing have had the privilege of working with him on the two books he has published to date – The Awesome Power of Blessing (2016, now in its second edition) and Anointed for Work (which came out in June this year).

He’s been busy – but we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions:

How did you come to write your latest book, Anointed for Work?

I had felt throughout my business life that as a businessman I was a second class Christian – that I was engaged in the ‘worthless’ in order to give financially to the ‘worthy’. But I came to realise that work is a calling – that over 90% of us are called to the marketplace or the home. God has chosen a plumber to be a plumber not a pastor and He has chosen a pastor to be a pastor and not a plumber. It’s up to each of us to do what God has called us to do and to do it “as unto the Lord.” We are to work in partnership with the Holy Spirit for intimacy and  joy and satisfaction – ours and His. The outputs of such a partnership – with gifts of the Spirit – will be excellence, beauty and creativity, and God will be glorified. Yes, the gifts of the Spirit are for the marketplace and not just within the four walls of the church. It follows that if there is an anointing and an equipping for pastors then there should also be an anointing for those called into the marketplace or the home. So I’ve tested this out on hundreds, if not thousands, of people and I’ve found that the Holy Spirit is eager to anoint marketplace ministers as per Exodus 31.

In a nutshell, what’s the message of the book?

That work is where we live out the Kingdom to the glory of God.

How has the new book been received so far?

I’ve sold around 1,300 copies since June, with very good feedback.

You were involved in setting up one of NZ’s best known companies. What is one key way your faith informed your business success?

I brought love to work (via the Holy Spirit); through this we built a great culture that attracted and retained the best talent. In our business, people are everything.

What’s your number one tip for a young Christian person starting their career?

Strive for excellence in all you do, have a servant attitude and seek to help make the business great. Engage the Holy Spirit in everything you do – you walk in the Spirit to the degree that you talk to the Spirit.

How has your previous book, The Awesome Power of Blessing, been received?

This book has been and still is amazing – nearly 18,000 copies sold in New Zealand. Nearly every day I get a testimony or a book order or an invitation to speak. I’ve just printed 10,000 in Australia for Australia, am about to print another 10,000 in Swahili for East Africa, and French and Hindi translations are freely available on my website. All this in 14 months.

What is your ultimate dream for the new book, and your earlier book?

For Anointed for Work I want to see marketplace ministers acknowledged, anointed and equipped by pastors. For The Awesome Power of Blessing I want to see one million people around the world actively blessing their homes, spouses, children (especially the father’s blessing), workplaces and those that curse them. This can change the world.

What are you most passionate about?

Christians moving in the authority that Jesus won for them on the cross – in blessing, healing and deliverance. Too many Christian are waiting on God without realising that He is waiting on us. We are asking Him to move the mountain when He has authorised us to speak to it and shift it.

What’s next on the horizon for Richard Brunton?

Short term: Africa, Fiji, book sales, speaking, equipping the saints in blessing, healing and deliverance. Longer term: I don’t know – I’m on a Holy Ghost treadmill – He keeps moving and I try to keep up!

Head over to the Castle website for more information or to purchase Anointed for Work or The Awesome Power of Blessing.

Author feature: The Harveys August 11, 2016

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, 5. News, Maurice and Lorraine Harvey.
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Castle authors Lorraine and Maurice Harvey have done a lot in their lives – enough to fill four books (so far!).

The Harveys have been married for over 50 years – they married on the mission field in Africa – and during that time have been to many far-flung places.

Maurice is most famous for his work as the photojournalist for the United Bible Societies. He has visited 160 countries, territories and disputed territories – making him one of NZ’s most travelled people. His books Shooting the Globe, Reading the Funny Bible and Into the Great Unknown are packed with the stories of his adventures.

Lorraine has also been busy. As well as raising two children, she became a skilled Bible teacher, and over the years has been involved with Christian Women’s Fellowship and Christian Women Communicating International, amongst other Christian initiatives. Earlier this year Lorraine released A Handful of Streamers.

Lorraine and Maurice have been based in Africa, Fiji, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines and the UK. They now live in Auckland, New Zealand.

Castle is massively privileged to have worked with the Harveys. They are a prime example of the unassuming yet extraordinary Christian New Zealanders we love.

Mark Keown on Rhema June 15, 2011

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, Mark Keown, What's God Up To On Planet Earth?.
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Mark Keown (author of What’s God Up To On Planet Earth) appeared on Rhema yesterday – a really excellent interview with James Totton. You can listen to the interview (in four parts) here. You can ‘like’ Mark Keown’s book on this Facebook page. And for more info about the book and to purchase copies, here.

A few questions with: Mark Keown March 18, 2011

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, 4. Castle Distributed Books, Mark Keown, What's God Up To On Planet Earth?.
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Last year, Castle was involved with the publishing of an excellent book that outlines the Christian faith, called What’s God Up To On Planet Earth? The book is written by Mark Keown, a lecturer at Laidlaw College. Recently Mark’s book was picked up American publishing house Wipf & Stock. We chatted to Mark about his background, his book, and about the Christchurch earthquake…

Tell us your story…

I was bought up in a non-Christian home. I had no real God-consciousness until I was 13 when I met Christ at a school group in the Cook Islands. I made a commitment to Jesus but didn’t become a fully committed believer until 24. I was a school teacher at the time and began to share my faith wherever and whenever I could. I married Emma and we set out on ministry, which has included just about everything you can do in a NZ church! This included leading Presbyterian and Baptist churches. I remained passionate about the gospel and evangelism throughout, hence this book on the gospel. I am now lecturer in  NT at Laidlaw College, having joined the staff about 5 ½ years ago.

What’s the most rewarding thing about working at Laidlaw?

There’s nothing I enjoy more than studying the Scriptures and talking about them. I am paid to do  this, and love it. I love asking and trying to answer hard questions. I love discovering the social and historical setting for the Bible, it brings it alive. I love the people who stimulate my thinking every day.

How did you come to write What’s God Up To On Planet Earth?

The book is inspired by engaging in evangelism and thinking about the gospel. I wanted to work out how to tell the story effectively and clearly in today’s world. I came across the ‘five R’s’ of the gospel (Relationship, Rupture, Restoration, Return and Response) and thought this was a great framework for the gospel. I wanted to write something more substantial than a tract, without strong dogmatic positions on some things (e.g. the return of Christ), that I could give to family and friends. I had learnt the power of sharing the gospel in written form when I wrote a letter to my sister with the gospel in it, not knowing she only had a short time to live. Because of the letter she gave her life to Jesus and died in relationship with him. The book is a letter to the world in the hope that some will be saved.

In a nutshell, what’s the message of the book?

God is love and created humanity because he wanted to walk in eternal relationship with free beings forever. So he created us free to live forever with him. He gave us this world to enjoy, to build, to care for, and we are all created for love. The whole thing is corrupted but God is restoring the world. We are invited to join him in his great project of restoration, if we believe in Jesus.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of having the book out there?

There is nothing more exciting than hearing that the book is changing lives. I gave a copy to an elderly Greek ex-opera singer in Kavala Greece on my trip there last year. He wrote to me a few months later saying, ‘I do believe I have become a Christ.’ His way of saying that he had given his life to Jesus! A guy in my church is now reading it for the third time because he loves it so much. His brother is in some serious trouble in life and he has just given him a copy hoping he will read it and that his life will be changed. Today a student asked for a couple of copies because he gives them away to people as they are baptised. I am so thrilled when I hear such stories.

Christianity has to have an application in the real world, so how does the message of your book apply, say, to the situation that Christchurch has faced with the earthquake there?

I think it helps us understand why such things happen. Chapter 2 ‘Rupture’ speaks of a world created very good that has gone wrong. The Fall was not just where humans fell, but death and destruction entered God’s glorious world. As a result, such events continue to happen and will go on. The book helps us to find the solution, which is Jesus. Jesus is working for the restoration of every person and the whole world. We are to join in this. On one level the books tells us how to find the security that if something like this hits us, God is still with us and loves us and we will be ok. It also tells us how to be involved in helping in such situations. We can help build cities that can withstand such terrible events. When these events happen, we can be there to love and give hope. We can be the ones who are out there leading the healing of the city, helping rebuild it and the people’s lives. The message is that God is with us in the midst of suffering.

For more info or to purchase a copy of What’s God Up To On Planet Earth? visit the Castle website here.

10 (or so) questions with: Justin St Vincent November 23, 2009

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, 4. Castle Distributed Books, Justin St Vincent, Spiritual Significance of Music.
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Justin St Vincent is passionate about music and its spiritual implications. Early this year he launched www.musicandspirituality.com – an astonishing collection of interviews with a vast number of musicians and authors exploring the deeper meanings of music. In the finest traditions of the internet, these interviews are all available free. Needless to say, Justin’s website has become incredibly popular.

Justin has recently released an excellent new book The Spiritual Significance of Music (published by Xtreme Music) based on the material featured on www.musicandspirituality.com. We here at Castle Publishing have had the honour of working alongside him on this project. We talked to Justin about his book, and the interview will be featured in an upcoming edition of Challenge Weekly. But here, for your reading pleasure, is the uncut transcript of our discussion…

Your website www.musicandspirituality.com has grown into an impressive resource. Tell us how this project started.

The project began in March 2006 when I returned to New Zealand from Youth With A Mission at The University of the Nations in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. I was filled with a passionate desire to build a bridge between music culture and the Gospel. I started interviewing many musicians I admire and appreciate, and began collecting a series of intriguing interviews that developed into this epic project. Since then I’ve interviewed over 1000 people on their beliefs about The Spiritual Significance of Music. On January 1st 2009, I freely published everything online as PDF downloadable interviews, when after three days the website crashed with overloaded bandwidth usage. With over 180,000 website hits in a few days, it became clear to me that many people who love music also have a spiritual hunger to learn more about the dynamic relationship between music and spirituality. Since then over twenty new and exclusive interviews were being published monthly, and almost daily I received e-mails from people requesting a printed book. The Spiritual Significance of Music was a natural birth taking nine months from the mothersite: www.musicandspirituality.com

What can people expect to find on the website and in your new book?

The book and website embrace the diversity of music and spirituality. Like music, the book does not discriminate against spiritual background or religious beliefs, it’s just happy to have your attention. It will be challenging and controversial to many Christian readers. But how boring would it be if we all agreed? Imagine printing a book called The Spiritual Significance of Music, and only publishing the Christian Edition of the interviews. You would end up having a biased book that was extremely myopic in its scope, and dangerously unrepresentative. I couldn’t imagine a more pointless project than to feed a Christian marketplace with responses that all agreed with one-another, and essentially was “preaching to the choir”. Just as well from my experience no two Christians identically agree on the relationship between music and spirituality. That’s what makes this book so dynamic in its content and powerful in its message. We desperately need to be introduced to worldviews different from our own, in order to know the culture, know the Gospel, then translate. Some Christians may keep their faith in ivory towers, yet it is time we honoured the Great Commission, and participate in compelling missions that engage the world around us with the Gospel.

Did you meet most of the interviewees face to face? Which interviews particularly stand out in your mind and why?

As much as I’d love to meet most of the interviewees face to face, the reality is that studio recordings, tour schedules, and live performances take priority in their music career. In my experience, I’ve found asking questions on music and spirituality to be a deeply personal connection that is best left to e-mail correspondence. Then the interviewee can accurately articulate the response they want to share with the world. Imagine asking “what do you believe is the spiritual significance of music?” after an incredible concert at a noisy live venue, and then trying to record a response! Logistically, because this book is a text-based project, e-mails and letters were the best method of communication with all the authors and musicians. It allowed for more efficient and productive interviews. The interviews that particularly stand out in my mind are the ones I’ve shared with members of Dawn Of Azazel, Faith No More, Guns N’ Roses, and The Locust because they are highly supportive of this project, and have shared remarkable insights in their responses.

Throughout this project what would be the number one thing you have personally learnt about music and spirituality?

There is more to music than meets the ear. I’ve learnt something new from every interview. Each response has illuminated a unique voice sharing an intimate view of what they believe, and what they create. Their wonderful words are extremely personal, and I deeply cherish, honour, and respect each of the musicians and writers that have contributed to this epic anthology. God so loved the world that He blessed it with a way of communicating that speaks directly to the spirit. My hope is that every reader will also learn something new from every interview.

For you as a Christian, what’s it like interviewing a musician whose views on spirituality are not Christian?

I feel absolute peace and pleasure when I interview musicians whose views on spirituality are not Christian. It reminds me of the famous quotation from the film Chariots Of Fire when Eric Liddell, famous Olympian and missionary said, “I feel God’s pleasure when I run”. This project has continually reminded me of God’s eternal grace, divine mercy, and abundant love.

What would you say is the overall message of your book?

“We are the spiritual significance of music.” Music and Spirituality are universal languages with global appeal. Both have a direct influence and impact on the human spirit. I believe God has placed a spiritual seed within music that can point people back to Him.

What sort of feedback have you had about the material found on the website and in the book?

The feedback from this book has been positively overwhelming. Many people seem to resonate with the reoccurring themes that surface throughout the interviews in this book. I’ve also published online over 100 responses from this project, feel free to view here.

From a Christian perspective, what do you hope people will get from the book?

I hope people will consider that the spiritual significance of music is not exclusive to the Christian faith. From a Christian perspective, let’s not be misguided that we have the monopoly on the truth behind music and spirituality. The Bible has much to say on this, but in all honesty I find it extremely difficult to theologise music. I’ve been blessed by the new perspectives included within this book, and my hope is that people will be challenged and inspired.

Where to from here for you and this project?

The Spiritual Significance of Music is the first in a book series exploring music and spirituality. I probably have enough content for another ten books, but at this early stage, I’m taking one step at a time, and learning something new every day. My next project associated with the book will be a series of music compilations, published online, and freely available featuring “Song Stories” from some of the most visionary musicians throughout the world. Every song has a story, and this series will showcase songs by its makers, and the stories that inspired them.

The Spiritual Significance of Music retails for NZ$29.95. Contact us for more info or to order a copy.

10 questions with: Nancy McBride February 24, 2009

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, 4. Castle Distributed Books, Nancy McBride, Two Lives One Dream.

Late last year, Nancy McBride, with the help of some generous family and friends, published an autobiographical account of  Bible translation missionary life with her husband Sam in Papua New Guinea. The book is a really fascinating and touching story and well worth reading. Castle provided publishing services for the project and are distributing the book as well. We’re immensely proud to have been a part of the whole endeavour.

Nancy thought she was producing a book for a few friends and her grand kids, but Two Lives, One Dream has really taken off, and we are currently printing more copies to meet demand.

We chatted with Nancy about her life and the Two Lives, One Dream book project…

nancy mcbrideHow and why did you come to write Two Lives, One Dream?

I had always wanted to write something about our lives so that my children and grandchildren would have history to look at. I never expected to write a book to be published. I was encouraged to write it by Dave Bay, a close friend of Sam’s, and also by my brother-in-law, Jim McBride. I am now happy that they did but initially I had a hard time accepting that I could even possibly do it… but with the prayers and help of many, God brought it all together. I especially thank Dave Bay, Jim McBride, David McBride and Maurice Koch as they wrote the parts of Sam’s background. I really see it as a book to honour who Sam was and his life in Christ.

A lot of what you write about in the book, including stories about Sam, are very personal and close to your heart. What was the experience of writing about that like?

I found writing this book a very emotional experience as I re-lived what had happened during that time in my life but perhaps even more so because it was condensed into a small space of time, whereas living it was a gradual experience.

How has the book been received by people who have read it?

I have been amazed at how well the book has been received and been blessed by phone calls, emails, and letters I have received from all over the world telling me how it touched them.  I feel very humbled!

So, what would you say to others who are thinking of writing about their life experiences?

One of the comments I have been given over and over by people is that the book was easy to read and they just couldn’t put it down. Others have said it just flowed and wasn’t complicated. I guess what I am saying is if you write with too much detail people find it hard to follow. It is better to give them something that allows them to read it quickly and wanting more as people are so busy these days and don’t like to get bogged down in books. I am talking about the average person. When I wrote this book I didn’t know what I was doing and I have learnt a lot!

Also, be prepared for all kinds of emotional feelings to come up. Memories stir up lots of things but remember it is okay to have those emotions. It’s a good cleansing mechanism about the deeper things in you… which you may not have realised you had.

And your book becomes like your child and you become very protective about what you write and may even be offended when others try to help you see how to put it differently in a book. I sometimes felt like saying, “but you weren’t experiencing it, you don’t know the truth”. But they are helping to make it better and not criticising you. I had to learn that too.

Tell us a bit about your experiences as missionary. What was the ‘culture clash’ like when you (an American) married a Kiwi in PNG?

Because Sam and I met and married in PNG and were constantly living with people from all different countries and we were all experiencing life together, our marriage seemed normal without many cultural clashes.  Our family backgrounds were really quite alike. His family thoroughly seem to accept me and my family accepted him. I felt the differences when we came to live permanently in New Zealand though. I was the only American around where we were and it seemed then my Americanism came out stronger and I found the NZ and American culture clashes. Sam help me through those times.

What are some of your fondest memories of the time you spent in PNG?

There are so many that it would be hard to put them down but two that really stick out was meeting and marrying Sam there and having our first child being born there.

What do you most admire about the people you met in PNG, the people you grew up with in the USA, and the people around you in New Zealand?

In PNG, the Gimi people that we lived with taught us so much about the treasures of nature, about generosity and serving. There was no competition in their culture which is quite different from the western world.

I grew up in the US during a time when people honoured  God and His values. There I learned a love for God, a love country and a love for all nationalities.

In New Zealand  I’ve learned about going to the extremes of what it means to care for people… no matter what.

What would you say to others who were thinking about venturing out on missions?

From the young age of seven, I knew that God had called me to serve Him overseas. From that age I gave my all toward that goal. There were hiccups along the way but having the assurance of what God had called me to do helped me push through those times. Missionaries are just ordinary people and we are the same at home as we are abroad… changing countries doesn’t change you but it can bring out the worst in you!  God put us in the best place where He can work out His sanctification in us. But what a joy to serve where God wants you. Whether home serving the Lord in your work place, in your home etc or on the mission field He is wanting us to seek Him.

What was the most rewarding part of the ministry you shared with Sam?

Again there were so many rewarding times in the ministry, but four things stand out…

– When the old men in the village looked forward to Sam going to one of their houses each night after he had finished doing the translating of the Word each day, and checked it out with them to see if they understood what was being said.  They loved it and would be so upset if for some reason or other if  he couldn’t come to discuss it with them.

– When we came back to the village for a break and head men from different villages came to ask us what had we done to a man named Hutenu… he was different. We told them we didn’t know what they were talking about. Then we found out that he had accepted the Lord  into his life while going over and over the Word on the tape and tape recorder we had left him while we were gone from the village. What they saw was that he could walk through the bush alone at night and not be afraid… no Gimi would ever go anywhere alone.  They wanted what he had.

– Seeing the change that took place in Kabazo (one of our translation helpers) and his wife when she was near death and we prayed with them for the Lord to touch her. As we left to go back to our village they told how an angel appeared above the door of their house and they knew she would be healed… and she was. This, along with the Word Kabazo was translating with Sam, brought them to believe in the one true God.

–  When Abaroro, our head man, told us: “If I hear the English Bible it means nothing to me. It would be like eating sweet potato from a distant place. It would taste unfamiliar. If I hear it in Pdigin English, it would sound familiar
but I can’t really under stand what is being said. It would be like eating the sweet potato from the Fore (a neighboring tribe) but it wouldn’t satisfy my hunger. But when I hear God’s Word in Gimi it tastes so good and I get filled up and satisfied. Just like when I eat our own sweet potato, I get filled up and satisfied.”

What’s next? What dreams and hopes do you have for the next few years?

My next project is to finish a book for my grandchildren to show them how God speaks through the Word into every area of our lives and how wonderful it is to have a love for God’s Word. It is like a devotional book where I put a verse at the top of each page that God has made very alive for me during certain periods of my life when I needed encouragement, guidance, enlightenment, direction etc. Underneath each verse I tell the story of how God used that specific verse or verses in my situation.

I have spent many years very busy in church ministries and other things which have kept me occupied, and have recently felt to lay these things down so that I am free to reach out to my neighbours in love and friendship. I still have speaking engagements etc, but this is my main focus for this time. And I also want to be available to be free to visit my children and grandchildren. Only God knows what He has in mind for the future and that is okay with me.

For more info or to order copies of Two Lives, One Dream contact us.

10 questions with: Geoff Vause November 13, 2008

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, 36 Questions, 4. Castle Distributed Books, Geoff Vause.
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Geoff Vause is the co-author of an excellent new marriage preparation guide called 36 Questions. The guide, written with marriage mentor Rawiri Love, consists of two books – 36 Questions for Him and 36 Questions for Her – that help couples to clarify their thinking about their relationship. We asked Geoff 10 questions about this innovative new resource and some tips for marriage…

Geoff VauseHow did you come to write 36 Questions?

It was inspired when my daughter’s boyfriend called to ask for my blessing on their engagement. At the suggestion of Rawiri who mentors pre-marriage relationships, we sent a questionnaire. It was so well received by our daughter, her boyfriend and their friends that we realised there was a demand. So 36 Questions came about, with international photographer Frank Habicht, a personal friend, graciously allowing us to use his work to add to the design of the books.

What was the experience of co-authoring like?

Very enjoyable with Rawiri. I have attempted it in the past with a screenplay on one occasion and with a novel on another. There was no final result in both those cases. For some reason Rawiri and I mesh extremely well. I find him inspirational; he finds I can sharpen the focus for him in the written word. Rawiri is a speaker, I am a writer. It works. We hope to do more.

Tell us more about the images in the books.

I was looking for something that complemented the narrative but did not impose on it. I wanted black and white photography, I wanted humour and a slightly quizzical, even odd, parallel from the images. Something evocative. Frank’s work is excellent. Sahna Thomson (another daughter of mine) shot images to fill gaps and lean the idea a little closer to the narrative.

How have the books been received so far?

We have had an amazing response. We are seeing the books used, so we can see them subjected to real people and specific relationships. We notice that many parents are giving them to the young people in their lives.

What is the biggest challenge facing people about to get married?

Getting practical things in place despite the fog of passion. One is usually better at this than the other. Sharing the responsibility for their future and laying a foundation that helps that happen.

What do you think is the number one thing that will help a marriage last?

Communication and friendship. That’s two things. The ability in the couple to LISTEN to each other. It takes work.

Of the 36 Questions, what is the most important one?

That will vary for different people. For me, the most important question posed by the books is ‘will you read this book and answer the questions as honestly as possible?’ If the other party can’t or won’t do that, then you have a key issue right there.

Do you have plans for any more books like this?

Yes. We are allowing these books, which are also delivered as seminars by Rawiri Love, to ‘grow’ the next idea.

What is your ultimate dream for this book?

Acceptance by a wide cross-section of people at the early stage of relationship building, and having the books impact on their ability to talk and listen to each other.

Do you have a quick piece of advice for someone about to get married?

Don’t! Perhaps I should qualify that. Have a look at who you really are, and who your partner really is. Take a cold shower. Take another cold shower. TALK to each other. LISTEN to each other. Make your entry into the marriage covenant as deliberate and careful as possible. Listen to parental advice and mentoring advice. For older couples, have a very clear look at the extra baggage you carry. Above all – be honest with yourself and each other.

To enquire about 36 Questions, or to order copies, please contact us.

10 questions with: George Bryant September 19, 2008

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, 4. Castle Distributed Books, George Bryant, New Zealand Without God.
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At Castle we assisted prolific author George Bryant with publishing his latest book – New Zealand Without God? George has a vast amount of experience in public life, providing experience and credentials for this insightful and crucial new book. We asked George a few questions about his life, his new book and New Zealand…

George Bryant

I know you’re not one to let the grass grow under your feet – what are some of things you’ve done in your adult life so far?

I’ve taught and administered the teaching of teenagers for 37 years, involving the Principalship of a high school for 15 years. Also been a school chaplain and pastored a couple of churches. Have written some 20 non-fiction books and booklets. Involved in numerous community groups, played squash, tennis and golf, and watched too many movies!

What are you most passionate about?

Seeing individuals and societies reformed. We don’t have to put up with negative, bad things that happen to us or go on around us. I’m keen on seeing people healed – in the widest sense.

You’ve written a number of books, what is the most rewarding part of that process?

Actually seeing the final, printed product, after countless hours of work – just as an artist gains great satisfaction on viewing his or her finished masterpiece.

Tell us how New Zealand Without God came into being…

I got the idea standing in a cathedral in Southern Ireland. A great deal of money had been spent on renovating it. It did look great,  but only 60 worshipped there on a Sunday and they were mostly over 70 years old! Then I saw many abandoned or converted churches around Britain. The same thing was happening in NZ. So I set to wondering what NZ would be like without the influence of Christianity.

How would you summarise the message of New Zealand Without God?

NZ society has major, worsening social problems. The good influence of Christianity is slowly but surely disappearing. What is replacing it? If we want a better society we need to follow some basic core values. I analyse six of them.

How do you think people will be challenged by and respond to New Zealand Without God?

I hope readers will be personally challenged to do something constructive about the declining social, moral and spiritual values around them.

Is controversy a bad thing for a book to stir up?

No. It is good to get people thinking. Awareness of any situation is necessary before effective action can take place.

What do you see as the best possible outcome from people reading this book?

The best outcome would be for readers to accept the challenge of promoting peace instead of violence, replacing hate with love, arrogance with humility and commit themselves to working with others to improve the communities they live in.

What are the best things about New Zealand?

I would like to say ‘people’ but can’t. Although there are some really nice, caring people around so many are selfish, disrespectul, uncaring and violent.  The best thing about NZ is its beautiful God-given scenery and clean air.

Tell us about other book projects you’re working on…

I’m presently researching and interviewing people who have struggled against the odds through disability of some sort (physical, poverty, abuse, business failure…) – and not only survived but gone on to help their community. What motivates people to work through their pain and be ‘successful’?

To enquire about New Zealand Without God?, or to order copies, please contact us.

10 questions with: Nathan Shaw September 4, 2008

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, Nathan Shaw, Passion and Fire.
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Here’s a fascinating interview with Nathan Shaw, author of Castle book Passion and Fire.

Nathan Shaw

What do you do when you’re not writing books?

My time is mostly occupied with pastoring the church I oversee in Dunedin. I also do overseas ministry trips during which my main emphasis is teaching churches how to receive and work with the Holy Spirit.

What are you most passionate about?

I love the Holy Spirit. I was privileged to grow up in a charismatic Presbyterian church. However it wasn’t until I was 18 that I became hungry to know God in a deep and intimate way. This started me on a journey during which the Holy Spirit completely revolutionised my life. I love seeing people impacted by the Holy Spirit on a deep level. He is truly indescribable and I want everyone I met to know Him.

Describe the moment when you knew you had to write Passion and Fire…

The first book I wrote was about ministering to widows and the fatherless. God spoke to me clearly about writing the book but it was a completely unexpected topic. It has never been a topic that I emphasise in my public ministry. I was able to draw from my experience of ministering to widows and the fatherless but the most remarkable thing is that revelation flowed from my heart during the year it took me to write the book. It was during this time that I had a growing desire to write a book that was in line with my life message. It grieved me when I saw so many people in the body of Christ who desired intimacy with God but often failed to obtain it. The book grew out of a desire to help these people and to ignite passion for God within His church.

How long did it take you to put the manuscript together?

The original manuscript took about one year to write. However both of the manuscripts I have written have gone through major revisions before they were published. Chosen Books in the United States published my first book. The Editorial Director of the company was very gracious to give me many suggestions and guidelines to improve both of my manuscripts. Even after Castle Publishing agreed to publish Passion and Fire I did a major revision on one section of the book. The original writing took one year but the overall process took several.

In one sentence, what does Passion and Fire tell people about God?

It tells people that God is passionate about us encountering Him and knowing Him as a God of consuming fiery love.

In a media saturated world, what makes the written word and books important?

I think books are God’s idea. Even in heaven books abound. He chose to communicate with humankind through the writings of what we now call the Bible. Books have a permanency about them. God could not find a better way to record His eternal truths. The best books impact the world not only in their generation but also for many more to come. Much communication in today’s media saturated world is frivolous and relevant for only a fleeting moment of time.

What’s special about New Zealand?

New Zealand is an awesome country. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world. The scenery in our country always stirs within me a deep longing to know our majestic and infinitely beautiful God. We are a nation with a unique and very powerful prophetic call to impact the nations of the world. God has put a pioneering spirit in the very fabric of our nation. As one prophet has said, “Our greatest weakness is apathy. Our greatest strength in zeal.”

Are you planning to write more books in the future?

I am in the process of writing a book called Contending for the Supernatural. God always intended for us to know the supernatural realities of His nature. We can’t say that we truly know Him if we don’t embrace this aspect of who He is. A huge amount of work goes into writing a book. It is a constant battle to find the time and space to write. There are a number of books inside me waiting to be written. At times I find this very frustrating. Writing books is not a good occupation for those who are impatient!

What would you say to someone who might be thinking about reading Passion and Fire, and setting out on the journey of knowing God more?

Go for it! Passion and Fire is a book that can help you overcome some of the things that hinder and stop you with on the journey. It will also help ignite passion and hunger for God. If you do go on this greatest of all journeys you have the privilege of knowing that the Creator of heaven and earth is working on your behalf the whole way – He really wants you to know Him. Get around other people who are on the journey and hungry to know God. They will help ignite the passion and fire in your own heart. I am so grateful to the people who did this for me. It forever changed my life.

To enquire about Passion and Fire, or to order copies, please contact us.

10 questions with: Warren Payne May 8, 2008

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, Konnichi wa Kiwi, Warren Payne.
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Here’s an all new feature on the Castle Publishing blog – we will be bringing you interviews with Castle authors and other interesting people. First off we have Warren Payne, director of OMF NZ and author of the new Castle book Konnichi wa Kiwi about his experiences as a missionary in Japan between 1974 and 2000.

Warren PayneWhy did you write Konnichi wa Kiwi?

Over a period of two years I began to feel God was prompting me to write my story. Many people have continually asked how I was led to go to Japan, so when OMF gave me a three month Sabbatical it was a good time to start the project. However, when I began to write the content just came and within a couple of weeks the bulk of the writing was complete. I just felt so guided by the Holy Spirit it was a real joy to do.

What was the experience of writing the book like?

Exciting and yet in some ways a risk that some may not see the book for what it is: a reflection of God’s grace in my life.

In a nutshell, what is the message you hope people will get from the book?

If you allow God to guide you He will bless you more than you can imagine, so tell others what God is doing in your life.

What are you most passionate about?

Seeing people go into cross-cultural mission with God’s strong Call on their lives.

What is the thing you love most about Japan?

The people and the way everything is so orderly and planned.

What is the thing you love most about New Zealand?

The freshness of the air and the more relaxed lifestyle. A very multi-cultural society that is learning to live together.

What is the best thing about being a missionary?

Seeing people come to Christ and built into His local church. When you know you are doing what God desires for your life then cross-cultural missionary work is very exciting, challenging and fulfilling.

What was the hardest thing about being a missionary?

Believing that even when things are not always going as you would like that God is in control. Ministry with people is always a challenge.

What advice would you give someone thinking about overseas missions?

Please read my book, including appendix one! If God is clearly using you now among internationals ask Him if you should do that overseas. Pray for and about overseas mission work in a way that keeps you up to date. Allow God to speak and He will.

What is your dream for the book?

That God will get all the glory and that through the book many will hear God speak, respond positively to what He says then share their stories with others.

For more info about OMF, visit the OMF website. To purchase copies of Konnichi wa Kiwi, contact Castle Publishing here.