2018 Illumination Awards Press & Medalist Page

Congratulations to all of this year's medalists in the Fifth Annual Illumination Book Awards - "Shining a light on exemplary Christian books!"

Below you will find helpful links, as well as this year's official results press release.  


Today's Christian Books
Announcing the Medalists of the 2018 Illumination Book Awards

(Traverse City, MI) - Jenkins Group proudly announces the 5th Annual Illumination Book Awards, honoring today’s Christian books. This year’s winners are made up of self published authors and some of the most respected names in publishing, hailing from 26 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Winners reflect on topics as varied as Christian “radicals” to building new churches in a more secular time, from healing after addictions to spiritual coloring books. These authors have produced books to help those seeking guidance and illumination on a variety of issues.

Though Christmas is a month gone, the seasonal message “Wise Men Still Seek Him” seems especially applicable to Christian living and publishing. In his book Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil, Christopher James offers up hope for the church in a time of growing Nones, or those who do not identify with any church. James looked to the progressive city of Seattle, Washington and the rise of new churches there as a template for how the church can grow in these times of the seemingly dwindling faithful. “The church is born of God’s mission and exists as the first fruits of renewed human community,” he states. Embracing local identity and mission and engaging community life as a means of witness are two of the five threads James found at the heart of growing the community.

“Meditation is not new and it is not new age,” Robert J. Morgan wrote in Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation: Find True Peace in Jesus. While the church itself is important, so is keeping God in the heart and mind. “The only way to change your life is to change your mind, and that requires changing the lordship and leadership of your heart. When Christ becomes your Savior and Lord, He turns the light on inside you.” Morgan looks to the Bible’s references of meditation and offers reflection and guidance to those seeking peace in our often hectic and stressful lives.

“The first step involved a true confession and admission that I’d been beaten by alcoholism and that my life had become desperately out of control,” Holly Christine Hayes confesses in her book From Basement to Sanctuary. In the book, Hayes takes the reader along not just on her struggle to find sobriety, but in finding God again, too. She offers interactive questions to the reader to reflect on their own journey as they read, creating a book that is more than just a memoir; it is also a tool. “Although this book tells my story, my hope is that it would be much more than that. Because this is not my story at all--- this is God’s story. Each of us has a story.”

“My father explained to me that there were many ways to experience God, and never gave me the feeling that our religious denomination was better than those of any of my friends, or that their beliefs were less than mine,” Sarah Bowen reflects in Void if Detached: Seeking Modern Spirituality Through My Father’s Old Sermons. Bowen grew up in faith, but like many, drifted away after college. After her father’s sudden illness and death, she struggled with anger before finding her way back to her father’s sermons. Richard Murdoch’s reflections shared in the book are inspiring, thoughtful, and just as relatable today as they were when he originally delivered them. In a sermon from 1988, Murdoch muses on seeing Christmas decorations up on November 1st and how people think it is too early and needs to stop, but knows it won’t. “Why won’t we? Because deep down in our hearts, the order which we desire is a fantasy that we enjoy one in our minds... In real life, seasons bump into each other.”

“God doesn’t play favorites. He loves his children. All of them,” Ryan Casey Waller says. In Broken, Waller delves into the feelings of inadequacy we all feel in today’s age of projecting perfection from our appearances to our online personas. “We fake it with each another and pretend everything is fine, but we usually don’t do that with God. We tell God how it is.” This leads to feeling more alone, especially in our imperfections, when the reality is we are all flawed and need to rely on one another for help, as well as God. 

“In a time of Nones, the Illumination Awards medalists offer real connections to God through personal experience, thoughtful reflections, and joy in their faith,” says awards director Amy Shamroe. “Our awards shine a light on the books that enrich and inspire today’s Christians.”

To learn more about how the Illumination Book Awards recognize and promote the year’s best Christian books and the authors and publishers who make them possible, click here.


Illumination Awards medalist links:

Illumination Awards merchandise page: http://www.jenkinsgroupinc.com/store/index.php?p=catalog&parent=86&pg=1

  • Seals are available in rolls of 250 and 1000
  • You may order additional certificates with customized wording
  • Hi-res versions of the seal artwork are available for reproducing on book covers and promotional materials


Illumination Awards 2018 results page:

Illumination logo artwork:

Illumination Gold Medal artwork:

Illumination Silver Medal artwork:

Illumination Bronze Medal artwork:

Illumination Bookstore: http://www.independentpublisher.com/article.php?page=2283


Illumination Awards blurb:

“With the motto, ‘Shining a Light on Exemplary Christian Books,’ the Illumination Book Awards are intended to honor the best books published during the past year with a Christian worldview. Books have always been powerful tools for helping us understand Scripture and to explore various aspects of faith in a complicated world. How does one choose the "winners" from the huge array of new titles released each year? The Illumination Book Awards are designed to "shine a light" on the best of them.