Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CTA Intl Annual Report

ChristianTrade Association International 

Annual Report to Members 

13 July, 2008 

Orlando, Florida USA 

(From a presentation by Sylvester Ejeh, Chairman, ChristianTrade Association International during the 

International Vision Celebration held during CBA America’s International Christian Retail Show) 




2007-2008 has been another miracle year for 

ChristianTrade Association International! We 

reached most of our important goals, expanded 

our programs, and ended the year with cash in the 

bank. Praise God! 


Two highlights deserve special mention: 

Marketsquare International and Marketsquare 

Asia. In 2007, CBA America announced it was discontinuing the January 

Advance convention. Immediately, international buyers—you!—began telling 

ChristianTrade you needed a January convention. So, we launched the first 

Marketsquare International convention in Toronto, Canada, and more than 300 

attendees participated. The convention was a resounding success. 


Marketsquare International 2009 will be 15-17 January at the Sheraton Gateway 

hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. It launches with a two-day Professional Bookseller 

Institute on 14 & 15 January. Please plan to join us! 


A second item of particular praise was the revitalized Marketsquare Asia 

convention. Thirty-five mainland China Christian booksellers received 

scholarships to this convention last fall. This September, more mainland Chinese 

Christian booksellers will attend—plus 30-35 publishers from that vast country. 

Marketsquare Asia has become a key convention for Asian buyers and product 

producers as well as for American and other international suppliers. 


Some changes for the coming year: 

 • The strongest support for Marketsquare Europe has been from Central 

and Eastern Europe—areas underserved by Europe’s major secular book fairs. 

So, in 2009, Marketsquare Europe will move 

east—possibly to Budapest, Hungary—timed 

just prior to the October Frankfurt International 

Book Fair. 

 • A series of three connected 

Marketsquare Africa conventions will be held in 

fall 2009: in Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; and 

Nairobi, Kenya. The last will be in cooperation 

with Media Associates International’s LITT- 

WORLD convention. 

 • Marketsquare Caribbean will not be held in 2009. Attendance and 

supplier participation has not been adequate to continue this event. 

Membership grew this past year. A significant new member recently joined: the 

Spanish Evangelical Products Association. SEPA represents Spanish-language 

suppliers, distributors, and retailers worldwide, and we’re so pleased they have 

chosen to identify with the ChristianTrade world. 


We published the third International Market Directory in June. A record number of 

countries—64—are represented this year. We thank God this powerful tool can 

connect so many member nations and suppliers to suppliers in other countries. 


One reason more countries are represented in the International 

Market Directory is because we have more member companies. 

The number of “direct” members—who pay dues directly to 

ChristianTrade—has grown. The number of nation members has 

decreased because several ChristianTrade nations now have 

fewer retail and supplier members. 

Finally, we praise Jesus for our solid financial basis. Though the association is 

just three years old, each year has ended with more reserves for future needs. 

Our ending numbers for fiscal 2008, which ended 31 May: 


ChristianTrade is governed by a board of directors elected by our member 

nations at the Annual General Meeting held at ICRS. Our mission is to support 

the growth of the Christian trade worldwide. We crave your prayers as we look to 

the Lord for His leadership in our association. If you have any suggestions or 

recommendations, please contact Jim Powell, our president, or any board 


For God is not a God of confusion but of peace

From "The Daily Verse"...

"For God is not a God of confusion but of peace."

- 1 Corinthians 14:33a

If you're looking for God to show you something clearly, don't over-pollute what He's showing you with the thoughts and reasoning of your own mind. God has given you a mind to use, and at the same time, He has given you the Holy Spirit to help, guide and discern what is of Him and what is of the flesh. Use both, but rely most on the unchanging nature of God to ultimately guide you in the way that you should go.

Monday, April 27, 2009

He Gives and Takes Away

I received this from my mom this morning.  Thought it was worth posting...

Concentrate on this Sentence  

'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.'   When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better.  Concentrate on this sentence... 'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'  Something good will happen to you today; something that you have been waiting to hear.  

Saturday, April 25, 2009

O MiniVan, Where Art Thou?

Olds We said goodbye this week to a family staple for over 7 years - our good ol' Oldsmobile Silhouette.  It drank it's last gallon of gas last week as we tried unsuccessfully to save it from an eventual broken head gasket.  The cost to repair was more than it was worth.  It was time to not put any more money into it.  On Friday, we sent it off on a tow truck on its way to a junk yard. 

It desperately tried to hang on to life until the very end when it refused to go into neutral as the wrecking crew tried to drag it away. Eventually, it caved and surrendered its will as it was driven off into the late afternoon sunset on Friday.  
Thanks for the memories, Oldsmobile. The many trips to Michigan, Florida, Texas, Atlanta and everywhere in between.  Not so many thanks for the many electrical repairs and the smelly floor mats.  We thought you had more life in you, Olds.  I guess it wasn't meant to be.  

Now, we're on the hunt for another van.  This one needs to carry 3 kids and the two of us.  We'll see what we can find.  Will it be the coveted Odyssey?  How about the next best, Sienna?  Or, it may be the outsider: a Kia or a Dodge Caravan.  We're actively looking now.  For now, though, we bid our former golden wonder goodbye and adieu.  Auf Wiedersehen, Oldsmobile.  It was a love-hate relationship with you.  But, being the eternal optimist, I choose to focus on all the good that you brought to us. 

Friday, April 17, 2009


Today I am grateful for all those things that go missing because their absence reminds me of how blessed I am to have had them at all. - Kate Nowak

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Wish I Was Rich

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.

Romans 8:7

Just this morning, I thought to myself, "I wish I was rich." The more I thought about it, the more I thought that, though it would be nice to live even more comfortably and have more nice things and be able to give away more than I do, my mind being set on such things could be part of my human resistance to intimacy with God. Let us be reminded, first and foremost, to set our minds on the things of the Spirit. From that will come blessings more valuable than anything our flesh could long for.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday (Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12)

Isaiah 52:13
The Sin-Bearing Servant
    13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; 
      He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. 
14 Just as many were astonished at you, 
      So His visage was marred more than any man, 
      And His form more than the sons of men; 
15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. 
      Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; 
      For what had not been told them they shall see, 
      And what they had not heard they shall consider. 

Isaiah 53

 1 Who has believed our report?
      And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, 
      And as a root out of dry ground. 
      He has no form or comeliness; 
      And when we see Him, 
There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 
3 He is despised and rejected by men, 
      A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. 
      And we hid, as it were, 
our faces from Him; 
      He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 
4 Surely He has borne our griefs 
      And carried our sorrows; 
      Yet we esteemed Him stricken, 
      Smitten by God, and afflicted. 
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, 
He was bruised for our iniquities; 
      The chastisement for our peace 
was upon Him, 
      And by His stripes we are healed. 
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; 
      We have turned, every one, to his own way; 
      And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, 
      Yet He opened not His mouth; 
      He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, 
      And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, 
      So He opened not His mouth. 
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, 
      And who will declare His generation? 
      For He was cut off from the land of the living; 
      For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 
9 And they made His grave with the wicked— 
      But with the rich at His death, 
      Because He had done no violence, 
was any deceit in His mouth. 
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; 
      He has put 
Him to grief. 
      When You make His soul an offering for sin, 
      He shall see 
His seed, He shall prolong His days, 
      And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. 
      By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, 
      For He shall bear their iniquities. 
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, 
      And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, 
      Because He poured out His soul unto death, 
      And He was numbered with the transgressors, 
      And He bore the sin of many, 
      And made intercession for the transgressors.

Taken from New King James Version - www.biblegateway.com

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dreams For My Daughter

AnthemBow It's the middle of the early morning - 3:30am.  The power is out and I'm listening to my 18 day old daughter breathe while she sleeps.  There are no other noises in my house to distract me because the power is out.  I can't see her face because there is no light and storms are approaching so it's covering the full moon that's supposed to be out tonight.  All I can hear is her breathing.  I become aware of the beautiful sound of a newborn's sounds: an occasional coo, a little stir, a slight snort from some small object in her nose or nasal passage and the quiet consistency of her breath.  Life couldn't be more simple than this.  

As I listen to her breathe, she calms my own breathing, brings me to peace and I become thankful for the simple things of life.  This moment, holding my little girl, I become aware of the dreams I have for my daughter.  As I close my eyes and hear her breathe, I begin to think on all of the things we're going to experience together.  I get a new start at being a dad. I hear from my friends that being a dad to a girl is totally different than fathering sons.  So, I'm interested to see the differences.  For sure, I'll post my experiences in this blog of fathering a daughter.  

What does God have planned for this little one?  I can only live in the now and experience it day by day, one moment at a time.  Some days, I will only hold her for a few minutes.  Other days, I may hold her and play with her for hours.  

I dream of being present in my daughter's life.  I want to just be there - active and engaged and interested in her life.  I dream of the moments when my daughter is 3 or 4 and telling her she is beautiful as she is doing her hair or after she's gotten dressed.  I want to tell her she is beautiful all the time.  I want her to know she is loved and that she has such high worth in my life.  

A friend told me yesterday that Mom's give value to their children and Dad's give identity to them.  (That's an interesting blog post alone and maybe I'll write about that sometime)  I'm asking God now what identity will I give my daughter.  I pray I will make choices that will help her have an identity that is healthy emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Spiritually, her identity is in Christ and that she sees a small picture of her heavenly Father in me, her earthly one.  I hope she will rest easy in who God made her.  I see her having tremendous potential and giftings and talents.  I see her being talented and gifted musically.  Her hands and fingers are unusually long compared to most newborns I've seen.  Maybe God made her to play piano and pursue music?  We'll see, but I want to encourage her in the desires of her heart and in the calling in her spirit.  I want to help her identify it and pursue it.  It's my job to help her as she grows in her journey of faith - to help her identify who she is, who God made her to be and what vocation she should choose.  

At the same time, it's not my job to pressure her to perfection.  It should not be a burden on her.  It should be easy and light - just as Christ's burden is light and His yoke is easy.  She is loved as she is and in what she eventually chooses.  I can't make her do something she's not ready to do or doesn't want to do.  I'm not going to push her, if anything, I'm going to lead her.  I'm going to lovingly serve her and lead her in the direction we both know she is to go.  

It will be an interesting ride.  Rather than plan out her entire life, I think I'll just enjoy the moment for now.  I will get caught up in her breathing.  I will be thankful for her right now.  I will be present with her now.  I will focus on making a connection with her.  I think I see her smiling at me and recognizing me and beginning to know me.  

I can't help but think that's really what my heavenly Father wants from me - to be known.  He wants me to draw closer to Him.  As I do, I will do the same with my little Anthem.  That's about all I need to for now.  I can handle that.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pacifiers, Mylicon, TV Remotes and Nose Suckers

I'm trying not to fall down the stairs lately...I have a special package in my hand - my 2 week old baby girl, Anthem.  It's 3am and it's time for Daddy to take over.  

Mommy has just finished nursing and Anthem is still awake and fussing.  So, I, being the hero, gallantly take her in my arms, try not to stumble down the steps and quietly make my way across the creaking hardwood floor onto my usual spot: the leather couch.  There HPIM1676
waiting for me, are my tools for the overnight: a pacifier, Mylicon (or generic gas relief) drops, my TV remote and my nose sucker.  All of this will get me through any problem I might have and keep me sane in the process.  

I watch a mix of Fox News, Golf Channel (The Masters is coming up!), ESPN, CNN or any of the local channels to see what's up in the world. 

A few switching of the sides of my arm or up on my shoulder, a few pacifier attempts, a couple of suctions of the nose, a rare diaper full of yellow stuff changing (thankfully) and maybe a mylicon drop or two and Anthem is asleep.

Usually, at around 4am, Anthem is finally in a deep sleep and I place her down somewhere comfortable.  Then, since I'm now wide awake, HPIM1680
it's time to check emails, write a blog entry, do some admin work or get done whatever needs to get done in my business.  

I'm actually starting to like this early morning routine.  If I can get to sleep by 9:30pm, I get almost 6 hours sleep.  A little nap later in the day and I'm good to go.  

I wouldn't change this opportunity for the world.  I love my little girl.