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Book, speaking series teaches a fresh look at faith
0418GroundedFaith-Rothschild
Author and speaker Jennifer Rothschild

0418FreshGroundedAUD

Jennifer Rothschild talks about how to clean out your "thought closet."

Fresh Grounded Faith Conference
What: A seminar with Jennifer Rothschild, Mark and Katharyn Richt and Michael O'Brien of Newsong
When: 6 p.m. May 1, 8 a.m. May 2
Where: Blackshear Place Baptist Church, 3428 Atlanta Highway, Flowery Branch
How much: $44 general seating, $49 premier seating
More info: 800-859-7992

After being diagnosed with a degenerative vision disease at age 15, Jennifer Rothschild took the condition as an opportunity to spread her faith.

Since then, Rothschild said she has lived positively through her faith and began writing music. And when the introductions to her songs became longer than the songs, she said she began writing books.

"I began to detect early on that my deepest passion was to communicate," Rothschild said. "The natural outgrowth of that was to deepen the communication. ... I know, after looking back, that writing seven books is exactly what God had prepared me to do."

Today, Rothschild is the author of several Christian books and Bible study literature. She tours the country teaching women to value a close relationship with God with her Fresh Grounded Faith seminars.

Her books include the bestselling "Lessons I Learned in the Dark," "Fingerprints of God," "Self Talk Soul Talk," "Me, Myself and Lies" and her newest book, "Fresh Grounded Faith," which discusses ways to awaken your spirit.

But what exactly does Rothschild mean by Fresh Grounded Faith?

"My intention is that women will leave inspired and equipped," she said. "I want them to be able to experience something that is refreshing emotionally, spiritually and even physically - a chance to rest and get out of their routine. But then also equip them with practical tools to implement that inspiration so that they can live with hope."

Local residents can see Rothschild share her Fresh Grounded Faith message, along with guests University of Georgia football coach Mark and wife Katharyn Richt, on May 1 and 2 at Blackshear Place Baptist Church.

Rothschild has planned to talk about her life in darkness with limited vision.

"When I was 15 I was declared legally blind because of a disease called retinitis pigmentosa," said Rothschild, who lives in Springfield, Mo. "Yet the nature of the disease is that it is degenerative. So now I'm 45, and over the last ... 30 years, I have continued to lose retina, which means lose vision. And so today I have very minimal light perception, but for the most part things are dark."

Through her life, Rothschild said she has been given a platform to spread hope.

"My story could have been one of loss and despair," said the mother of two boys. "It's been a story of hope. It's been a hard story to live out every day, but it's been a story that has taught me tenacity and hope. And that's really the best way to redeem any loss is to give it away."

Longtime personal friends Mark and Katharyn Richt will be joining Rothschild during the conference to talk about their faith. Rothschild met Mark and Katharyn years ago when both families lived in Tallahassee, Fla. Mark Richt is now coach of the University of Georgia football team.

"We met when my husband was getting his PhD at Florida State, Mark was a ... graduate assistant on the coaching staff with Bobby Bowden there," Rothschild said. "That's how we first met and became very good friends and did weekly Bible studies together with another couple for I guess five, seven years. ... It helped us grow in friendship."

Added Katharyn, "Jennifer has allowed God to use her life to reach out to others ... and to embrace life while she's dealing with not being able to see. What we do normally requires so much more from her. She is solely dependent on God for every step she literally takes."

Katharyn said during the conference she will participate in a portion of the event called Spill the Beans, where the audience will ask questions of her and Mark.

"Mark is going to talk on Friday night and kind of give a testimony about his faith. ... (Rothschild will) use us to talk about our marriage and how it works with him being in his position," she said. "How God is the center and the thing that holds us together."

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