Racine, WI — Nashville-based author and musician Mark Smeby recently wrapped up a 30-day cross-country promo tour to launch his new book, The Messenger: A Journey into Hope (BroadStreet Publishing, March 1, 2016) and the companion CD he created as a soundtrack to the book. Finishing the tour in Washington, DC, at the headquarters of Prison Fellowship International (pfi.org), Smeby performed a concert for the staff and announced a new partnership with the organization where he will be a spokesperson for their Children of Prisoners program helping to save suffering children whose parents are imprisoned in some of the poorest countries in the world.
“Mark has a true compassion for prisoners and their families. We’re thrilled to partner with him to help rescue children of prisoners around the world,” said Frank J. Lofaro, CEO, Prison Fellowship International/
A true spokesperson for hope, Smeby has spent the last 20 years visiting men on a weekly basis inside the walls of a Nashville prison. “The guys are always so appreciative, but I’ve heard so often, ‘If there’s anything you could do for my kids, that’d be awesome.’ The children of prisoners are the silent victims of their parent’s crime. This new partnership with PFI is an incredible opportunity to bring a voice to those who don’t have one.”
Addressing the issue of hopelessness in his work with PFI, as well as the new book and companion CD project, Smeby is committed to getting to the core of the gospel in every creative endeavor he undertakes. His daily radio feature, the Live Hope Minute, is currently heard on nearly 200 radio outlets around the U.S. and Canada. “I’m on a journey to more deeply discover what the gospel really is about. If you cut away all the extraneous, albeit valuable, religiosity, what does it all boil down to? I believe it’s hope. Waking up to how deeply they are loved by God, and how that love can be the fuel that guides us into truly remarkable, beautiful lives.”
Smeby has written an easy-to-grasp essay (available upon request) about how he believes hope is a posture, rather than an emotion, and how a life of hope should have three foundational elements:
1. Grounded in Faith — (Matt. 7:24-27) “My foundation has to be on something solid, or the winds of emotion and circumstance will continually toss me to and fro.”
2. Fueled by Love— “We need to be convinced how unbelievable and unconditional is God’s love for us (Ephesians 3:17-19, Romans 8:38-39), then we can be equipped to send that love out into the world.”
3. Guided by Vision— (Proverbs 29:18) “Whether it’s a grand vision of what you want to accomplish with your life, or it’s simply a vision for your week, or even just this next hour, a vision will help guide you.”
These issues are creatively addressed the new book, The Messenger: A Journey into Hope, an allegorical journey about climbing the mountain in front of you, whatever that may be, and the hope you discover when you are brave. The book tells the story of Thomas, a blacksmith in the Norwegian mountain village of Bergland, who has grown tired of going through the motions of day-to-day life. He’s driven to find a way to escape “life in the rut” and decides to climb the mountain that stands at the end of the village, basically a monument to the dangers and risks that lay outside what is known.
Smeby has crafted “Live Hope” —a stirring anthem which communicates his vision for hope in a bold, Josh Groban-esque, dramatic style. You can listen to and download the song here—feel free use it as a free download or for radio airplay.