Okay, enough exclamation points and hype. For a long time I’ve promised to update the study guide, and I finally have. It is now available in PDF format here. It’s not an astounding change over the first Study Guide, but I have improved some of the study questions, based on my own experience leading a study of the book. Every time I look through a chapter, I come up with new questions and new ways to approach subjects, so the study guide is not the only way, or even the best way, to teach through the book. It will, however, hopefully give you a bit more to think about. And hey, it’s free!
We continue to receive reports of folks blessed by The Gospel Uncensored, both here and abroad, for which we are thankful.
Locally, we have heard of the book making inroads into a very law-based church, resulting in families deciding to leave that church. While I am not free to provide any further details, it is encouraging to know that the message of the Gospel is being spread through the book, bringing light into dark places.
We are also encouraged to hear that some individuals involved in prison ministry are having the book sent into the prisons (apparently they cannot bring the books in themselves, but can have them delivered there)!
And we have heard from folks who have chosen to use the book and the study guide (available for free download on this site or $0.99 at the Kindle Store) for Bible studies.
For that matter, I am starting my own study, beginning Oct. 27, going through the book. If you think of us, and those mentioned above, I am sure we would all appreciate your prayers. And if you’re in the Salem area and wish to join our study, please let me know.
This is, I believe, part 1 of 4 videos from the Publisher’s release event in Thailand.
Over the past few years, a couple of Ken’s sons helped start orphanages in 3 villages in the Tak province in northern Thailand (you can learn more about their organization, The Charis Project, at thecharisproject.org). Through relationships developed by Wayland and Aaron, Ken added Thailand to his speaking agenda.
Last year Ken visited, bringing some copies of The Gospel Uncensored, and was introduced to a publisher who asked to be able to republish it in Thai. Ken agreed, giving them the rights to publish it as they will. It was translated, and released toward the end of 2011.
The Gospel Unleashed
We had been hearing some reports from folks in Thailand that the book was being received quite well, and had even heard some amazing conversion stories of people who had been trapped in the recent floods with nothing to read but the book. However, Ken recently made another trip to Thailand, and came back with some even more amazing stories, including that the book is one of the best-selling Christian books in Thailand, exceeding all expectations.
The publisher explained to Ken that in Thailand, people are not readers. Very few books sell well, especially Christian books. Typically they will print a small run, and perhaps only sell 1/2 of that printing. In the few months that The Gospel Uncensored has been available, it has already sold out the first printing, and is now going into it’s 2nd printing!
The publisher was a member of one of the largest churches in Thailand, which also happens to be a very abusive, legalistic church. As a result of Ken’s teaching and the book, she left the church. She began sharing the book with others, and now about 2,000 people have left that church. As Ken put it, “we are now both loved and hated in Thailand.” (It is perhaps fortunate that my name doesn’t translate well into Thai—the closest they could come was “Alvin Goose.”)
Ken ran into people wherever he went who were familiar with the book. And, Aaron Blue told me that he was approached by someone who said they needed a study guide; he downloaded it from the site, and now that too is being republished in Thai. And, Ken has now been asked if he has any books on spiritual abuse that they could republish!
The book’s success in Thailand is a mystery, what I call a “God thing.” Obviously, there is a need there, and The Gospel Uncensored is filling that need. I never anticipated that the project would have such an impact; it just goes to show what happens when you do what you think you’re supposed to do.
Mac & Louise Jardine are missionaries in Thailand, who were the driving force behind the translation of The Gospel Uncensored into Thai. In their January newsletter, available in its entirely here, he writes:
Ken Blue has published a new book on grace, “The Gospel Uncensored” and Sukit has had it translated into Thai. Two families who were stranded on their second floors for many weeks because of the flooding read the book. One lady, Du, cried most of the way through with her old pain coming up. Another lady, Noy, experienced spontaneous deliverance when she repented for her Buddhist practices. Our friend, Pink, has been on the phone regularly with these ladies, talking, explaining, praying with, teaching them how to pray for themselves in their isolation…God has come!!!!
I never anticipated, as I worked on this book, that it would have an impact in a remote part of the world in the midst of a disaster. It just goes to show that when we hand over our measly loaves and fish, we can never know how it will be multiplied.
The 2001 International Money Changers Convention (that is, the International Christian Retail Show) is being held today through Wednesday (July 10-13) in Atlanta.
This year, The Gospel Uncensored is one of the books being featured at Westbow Press’ booth, which means it will be on display and will also appear in the ad materials being given away by Westbow at the convention.
My hope is that the very distinctive cover and the book title will cause prospective buyers to stop and take a look. Being Westbow is not a full-service publisher, it’s hard to say how good of a sales job they will do, but then, I am naive enough to hope that the gospel message is enough to make people want to carry the book in their stores.
My friend and neighbor Randy Butler will be there at the show, selling his own book “Reclaiming Heaven’s Covenant.” He promised to look Westbow’s booth and the book up and give me a report. I’m very interested in hearing what he had to say, not just about Westbow, but about his own experiences there.
I would appreciate your prayers this week as the show progresses. As we have no advertising budget, this show could be very helpful.
I’ll report after I hear what Randy has to say, and if I get any feedback from Westbow.
The Gospel Uncensored will be featured at the WestBow Press booth at the 2001 International Christian Retail Show Book Gallery (that’s quite a catchy name…), to be held in Atlanta on July 10-13. I wish I could go, but at least my book will be there. Besides being featured on their table, it will also be featured in their promotional handouts at the convention.
The “Show” is the largest gathering of independent Christan retailers in the world, it also draws large chain buyers, distributors, and other important folks. Hopefully one or two of them will notice The Gospel Uncensored.
As much as I dislike the commercial end of preaching the gospel, the fact remains that people won’t read the book if they don’t know about it. And while I don’t mind giving books away (of which I’ve done a lot), it would be nice to sell a few more.
As the day approaches, I’ll post reminders here and on Facebook so those who are so inclined can pray that the right people notice the book (the right people being those who will place large orders…).
Ken Blue is currently in Bangkok, Thailand, with his son, Aaron. Aaron, along with other members of the Blue family, works with an orphanage in Thailand that currently houses about 40 children who are Burmese refugees. You can read more about The Charis Project on their website, and follow them on Facebook.
After a visit to the orphanage, they will be teaching for another week and a half in the surrounding area. For Ken, preaching the “Good News to the Poor” is more than just a ministry name.
Ken is one of the most passionate and caring speakers there is—whether he’s speaking on grace, spiritual abuse, or any number of other topics, he always gives 100%. For more on Ken’s speaking ministry, visit his website.
As I’ve grown tired of waiting for Westbow to get the additional e-book formats distributed, I have started working directly with Borders.com and BookBrewer to get The Gospel Uncensored formatted for book readers other than the Kindle, including the Nook, Kobo, and iPad. These formats should soon be available through Borders.com, BarnesandNoble.com, as well as from the iBook store. I just need to work out some formatting issues. These formats will probably retail for around $9.99, the same as the Kindle price—although I’m going to see if reducing the price is an option.
Check back for more details.
I am looking for a few good bloggers or old-fashioned print writers to review The Gospel Uncensored—How only grace leads to freedom. If you are such a blogger/writer and would like a free review copy, please e-mail me with your name and address and I’ll send you a copy. If you know of such a person, please have them e-mail me.
All I ask is that you read it, publish a review somewhere, and if you would, post a review on amazon as well.
Please note that I have a limited number of promotional copies available, so if I run out before I get your request, I will send you a nice apology.
I am also interested in getting the book in the hands of key people—folks like Dobson, or Oprah, or perhaps your pastor. If you have any connections, let me know, and I may be able to get a free book off to these folks as well.