LOUISA – THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF MRS. ADAMS – by Louisa Thomas

LOUISA – THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF MRS. ADAMS – by Louisa Thomas

PENGUIN PRESS, PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, PENGUIN PUBLISHING GROUP.

9781594204630

PENGUIN PRESS

“Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams” is about Louisa Catherine Adams, the British-born American wife of the sixth President of the United States of America, John Quincy Adams (1825 to 1829).

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LOUISA ADAMS

Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams was born in London, England on February 12, 1775, to an American father and a British mother on the eve of the Revolutionary War. When she died on May 15, 1852, she had witnessed some of the greatest transformations of her time.

Louisa was smart and intelligent, outspoken and extremely well-read. She was an avid reader of the Bible; Plutarch, Milton, Pope, Dryden, Shakespeare, Dickens; Voltaire and Molière in French; newspapers, literary journals, novels, travelogues and histories. She was a prolific writer, writing diaries, two autobiographies, and letters to her family, commenting on political developments. It is extremely significant that her father-in-law, John Adams paid a glowing tribute to her, “Your journal is a kind of necessary of life to me. I long for it the whole week.”)

This is an illuminating biography of a woman who played a profound role in American history. As the wife of John Quincy Adams, Minister to Great Britain, Netherlands, Prussia, Russia, U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. President, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, her story is as interesting as her husband’s own – at times even more so, as she often had to act on her own and on her husband’s behalf, shedding light on American political life through her astute, spontaneous observations.

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LOUISA ADAMS AS FIRST LADY

Louisa saw more of the two continents of Europe and America than almost any other woman of her age and time. But irrespective of where she lived, she forever pressed her nose against the glass, unsure of herself,  and whether she actually looked in or out. Louisa had to invent her own identity and forge a sense of self. As America found its rightful place in the world, she found a voice for herself which still resonates, loud and clear. In this inspiring biography, Louisa’s extraordinary life is given its rightful due.

An intimate portrait of a remarkably strong-willed woman at a pivotal moment in history, this is a masterful work and a detailed, authoritative book. Louisa leaps to life on the page, observant, strong, compassionate and human. This is an insightful, compassionate portrait of a vibrant, strong-willed woman, an avid writer, and a clever political personality. “Louisa” is an authentic biography that paints a charming, vivid portrait of the sixth First Lady of the United States.

In this inspiring historical biography, Louisa Thomas successfully gives Louisa Catherine Adams her own voice. Great writing is an educative journey into the historic past, into the beating heart and living soul of a country discovering itself and who it really was. This is a biographical and historical narrative of the life of Louisa Adams; Louisa Thomas gives that life of long ago a living heart, and springs the real Louisa to life. This is a fascinating portrait of Louisa Catherine Adams, a complex and enigmatic woman and the extraordinary era in which she lived.

(Compiled by Miriam Jacob, based on historical sources from the Internet)

Queen Esther’s Reflection: A Portrait of Grace, Courage, and Excellence – by Ann Platz

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Learn how to make your home your palace, your work your court and your marriage a royal anointing by reflecting the excellence of character demonstrated by Queen Esther.

Author Ann Platz elegantly demonstrates in Queen Esther’s Reflection the lessons that are learned of heart, home and hope through the story of this noble woman of the Bible.

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Ann Platz is a noted interior designer, author, storyteller, and speaker. Working as interior designer for more than 30 years, Ann’s design work has been featured in Traditional HomeArt & Antiques, and Southern Living magazines. She is the author of 12 books, written specifically for women. She currently lives in the Greater Atlanta area.

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http://newhopepublishers.com/2010/08/queen-esthers-reflection-2/

Radical Christianity in Palestine and Israel—Liberation and Theology in the Middle East – By Dr. Samuel J. Kuruvilla

https://jts.oxfordjournals.org/content/67/1/390.extract

Radical Christianity in Palestine and Israel — Liberation and Theology in the Middle East.

By Dr. Samuel J. Kuruvilla,

Publisher: I. B. Tauris, UK.

 

Reviewer: Miriam Jacob
Publication: The Journal of Theological Studies
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date: 04/01/2016

 

Editors: Dr. Graham Gould and Dr. Katharine Dell.

The Journal of Theological Studies, Oxford Journals, Oxford University Press

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theological-studies

http://jts.oxfordjournals.org/

The Journal of Theological Studies, established in 1899, is published by Oxford University Press in April and October each year. It publishes theological research, scholarship, and interpretation, and ancient and modern texts, inscriptions, and documents.

EDITORS

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DR. GRAHAM GOULD

who oversees the articles and book reviews in non-biblical fields of study (including patristics, church history, and systematic theology).

Dr. Katharine Dell

(Director of Studies in Theology and Religious Studies, Reader in Old Testament Literature and Theology, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge and Fellow of St Catharine’s College).

I. B. TAURIS

ibtaurus logo

I.B. Tauris, founded in 1983, is an independent publishing house with offices in London and New York. Its declared strategy was to publish accessible works on international politics and culture. The company first specialised on publishing on the Middle East and now specialises in non-fiction books on art, history, politics and International Relations, the Middle East and Islamic world, religion, geography and environment, and visual culture (film, photography and contemporary art).

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.B._Tauris

GEORGE VI by Dr. Denis Judd

9781780760711

Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
ISBN: 9781780760711
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2012

George VI was not born to be king but he became King with his unexpected accession to the British throne in 1936. He was the prince who bore the brunt of weighty responsibilities when he bravely stepped into the breach to save the monarchy and restore the nation’s confidence during the most unexpected and unprecedented changes following the abdication of his elder brother, King Edward VIII.

King George VI occupied a most extraordinary position in the history of his country. He maintained public morale during World War II and the Blitz. His calm, dignified personality was a shining beacon of hope, comfort and reassurance to the nation. He was earnest, frank and reliable, a greatly loved and much admired monarch. His life was the triumph of selfless honesty, exemplary goodness, fervent understanding and compassionate goodwill. Kindhearted and benevolent at all times, he was good, honest and kind in the face of despair, triumphing over extremely overwhelming odds.

A great-grandson of Queen Victoria and King-Emperor of the Commonwealth and Empire, King George VI set staggeringly high standards for himself to emulate in his private and public life. Not surprisingly, his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II took after her father in this respect, having admired and respected him greatly. She is her father’s daughter after all and a chip off the old block. His selfless, deeply committed spirit was reflected in her personality when at the tender age of 21, on a worldwide radio broadcast, she announced, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great Imperial Commonwealth to which we all belong”. The Empire is gone but the Commonwealth is still here and Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth, did her utmost to preserve and keep the best traditions alive.

One of King George VI’s admirable qualities was his extraordinary power to adapt to his changing circumstances and to do his utmost to the very best of his abilities. He was not a great scholar but he was a quick learner. This proved to be one of his best and most admired traits. He knew to the hilt the peculiar limitations of his role and sphere of influence as a constitutional monarch.

Though born into great wealth and brought up in palaces, King George VI projected an entirely genuine image. There was no artificiality in him. He was a genuine person at heart. He never tried to flaunt his intelligence or parade his intellectual brilliance to an astounded world.

Denis Judd presents Prince Albert’s successful transformation into King George VI in this highly acclaimed biography of the father of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the world’s oldest reigning monarch and the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

Miriam Jacob

QUEEN VICTORIA: A Life – by Lytton Strachey

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QUEEN VICTORIA: A Life
by Lytton Strachey

Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
ISBN: 9781780760483
Publication Date: 30 Mar 2012

In this highly acclaimed, classic biography of Queen Victoria who, with her irresistible sincerity defined an entire era and etched her name into history by the power and strength of her personality, Lytton Strachey created a humane portrait of the iconic monarch whose unaffected simplicity, youthful vitality and deep conscientiousness won the hearts of her people.

Queen Victoria caught the vivid imagination of the admiring public, for the dazzling symbol of England’s amazing might rested upon her youthful head. As the Queen of England, the wheels of monarchy revolved around her in all its pomp and glory. She was an extraordinary character whose strong personality was clearly visible through the swirling mists encircling royalty.

Queen Victoria’s life shone in the spotlight of conscientious duty. She spent her time fulfilling her numerous public responsibilities and attending to family cares. Personal portraits of the Queen, Prince Albert and their nine children present her as a loving mother enjoying precious family time. The queen recalled fondly the evenings when she and Prince Albert dined alone and looked at their photographs together. “It was such an amusement,” she wrote in her journal. “Such an interest.” Her truthfulness and sincerity were applauded. There was a striking transparency in her truthfulness – not the slightest exaggeration of facts. Her letters were a spontaneous burst of expression. Her style was exactly suited to her thoughts and feelings. Her language had a very personal flavour.

Through her writings, Queen Victoria touched the heart of the public who instinctively sensed her irresistible sincerity. It was an endearing trait and people responded warmly to her. As she aged gracefully through two-thirds of the nineteenth century, Queen Victoria became a symbol of Time. Firm and tactful, dignified and gracious, she was a model Sovereign. One of her ardent admirers described her as “the pattern and paragon of womanhood.”

Queen Victoria was a woman with a heart, sharing selflessly in the sorrows of her people and in their personal bereavements and sufferings. Her tears of sympathy were mingled with her nation’s tears. She was quite undoubtedly the “people’s Queen.” In an age of democracy, Queen Victoria was one of the most democratic rulers of her day.

On 20th June, 1837, Queen Victoria acceded to the throne and died on 22nd January, 1901 after an illustrious reign of sixty-three years, seven months and two days, setting the first record for the longest reign in the history of the British throne, until Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain became the world’s oldest reigning monarch and the longest-reigning monarch in British history. 

In the most remarkable of all British reigns, at the end of the nineteenth century and the dawn of the twentieth century, Queen Victoria’s long and illustrious life finally came to an end. She made the “Victorian Age ” the most splendid era in the history of Britain.

Miriam Jacob

 

TWENTIETH CENTURY THEOLOGIANS by Philip Kennedy

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TWENTIETH-CENTURY THEOLOGIANS – A NEW INTRODUCTION TO MODERN CHRISTIAN THOUGHT

by Philip Kennedy

Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
ISBN: 9781845119560
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2010

“Twentieth Century Theologians” has the outstanding and rare distinction of being described by Graham Ward as “a tremendous achievement – colossal in stature, subtle in intellectual grasp and enviable in its scope.”

Philip Kennedy writes impressively with the undisputed authority, crystal-clear clarity and elegant exposition of an experienced Christian theologian as he brilliantly illuminates the exponents of modern theology in the historical context of their turbulent times. With great sensitivity, admirable lucidity and remarkable precision, he draws on the most influential thinkers to give an introduction to several Christian theologians from a kaleidoscope of backgrounds. He presents their ideological lives, the unique setting in which their thoughts originated, while skillfully presenting their theologies against the backdrop of the twentieth century, a time of rags and riches, of great technological advances and horrific violence. Philip Kennedy believes that true theology will always challenge injustice and try to change the world into a better place.

“Twentieth Century Theologians” gives a fresh new insight into modern Christian thought. It provides a clear-sighted  assessment of the central ideas of modern theologians in a biographical style. It depicts how the unique lives of the theologians profoundly shaped their theologies. It is an invaluable, progressive and all-inclusive resource as it examines a wide variety of theologians of different genders and backgrounds. Philip Kennedy’s deep, insightful thoughts, his penetrating and perceptive analysis of different theologians and diverse theologies as well as his comprehensive, in-depth studies of a panoramic range of historical contexts are extremely praiseworthy.

In a world delicately and precariously balanced between massive upheavals and scientific innovations, with even more obstacles to faith than in any other previous era and growing scepticism about religion in today’s materialistic world, there is an urgent need to reassess modern theologians sensitively to make a lasting impact on culture and society. “Twentieth Century Theologians” presents a golden opportunity “to study the great minds that gave birth to the most profound and far-reaching thinking of our times.”

Miriam Jacob

IN MY BOOK REVIEWS, THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE REVIEWS IS THAT OF THE AUTHORS.

CREDIT IS GIVEN TO THE AUTHORS OF THE BOOKS FOR FACTS STATED IN THE REVIEWS.

AS I WRITE REVIEWS TO PROMOTE THE AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS, I HAVE THEIR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART.

THAT IS WHY MY REVIEWS PORTRAY THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE AUTHORS.

IT IS THE BEST WAY IN WHICH I CAN PRESENT THE UNIQUE STYLE OF EACH AUTHOR TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOKS.

RADICAL CHRISTIANITY IN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL – LIBERATION AND THEOLOGY IN THE MIDDLE EAST by Samuel J. Kuruvilla

Radical Christianity in Palestine and Israel

RADICAL CHRISTIANITY IN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL – LIBERATION AND THEOLOGY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
by Samuel J. Kuruvilla

Bibliographic Info
Imprint: Tauris Academic Studies
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: Library of Modern Religion
ISBN: 9781848855519
Publication Date: 30 Sep 2012

My first review of this book is published in

“THE JOURNAL OF THEOLOGICAL STUDIES, OXFORD JOURNALS,

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, UK

https://jts.oxfordjournals.org/content/67/1/390.extract

The second review in this series is being published on this blog:

The International Centre of Bethlehem (ICB), ‘Dar Annadwa Addawliyya’ is led by Revd. Mitri Raheb. The ecumenical Lutheran ICB developed a contextual theology of spiritual liberation, around a theo-political praxis, with a politico-cultural contextualization to reshape the development of the Palestinians, and remodel their society in their context, by highlighting people’s narratives with service-oriented policies.

© Miriam Jacob

GOD LOVES BROKEN PEOPLE by Shiela Walsh

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God loves us, broken people, who open up our battered hearts to allow God to heal our personal sorrows and heartaches. When our carefully created glass houses crash down, we slowly start to carve a brand new world beyond the safe haven of those demolished walls.

We are broken lambs, who limp after our Shepherd. We do not know where He goes but we want to go with Him. Our personal brokenness opens up the way to the heart of God. We broken people know that God loves us, a heart knowledge that we dare to believe, and through such blind trust, a whole new awareness emerges from the shattered ruins of yesterday’s broken pieces.

The Shepherd loves us. We have no hope and no meaning in life apart from Him. We are not alone, we have never been alone, and we will never be alone. Our divine Shepherd is with us. He has always been there except that we will never know it unless and until we welcome Him into our hearts.

The dark little fingerprints in our lives leave not-so-easily-brushed-away smudges that only the Savior can wipe away clean from our slates. Let us bring the scarred, broken pieces of our lives to God and allow Him to do for us what only He can do. He can stitch together the torn fragments of our shattered lives into the most beautiful tapestry.

God loves us with a selfless, undying passion. He has committed Himself and His supernatural, omnipotent power to getting us safely home to heaven to be with Him forever. To God be all the glory.

© Miriam Jacob

FTC Regulations Compliance & Disclosure of Material Connection:

THOMAS NELSON has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, through BOOKSNEEZE Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

HOW HUGE THE NIGHT – by Heather and Lydia Munn

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HOW HUGE THE NIGHT

by Heather and Lydia Munn

Kregel Publications

ISBN: 9780825433108

Publication date: 3-9-2011

Growing up as a youth in war-torn, Nazi-occupied France, Julien Losier finds his very identity threatened by the horrifying and devastating effects of war. At the young age of fifteen, this can be extremely daunting for a teenager and can inflict huge psychological damage.

In “How Huge the Night,” Heather and Lydia Munn portray the unseen and unsung heroes of World War 2, as they grapple with hunger, racism and war, in a world not of their own making, struggling to come to terms with heart-searching questions about the goodness of God in the midst of conflicting ethnic tensions in communities torn apart by war.

The devastating horrors of war, the selfless heroism of adolescents triumphing in the face of overwhelming adversity and the significant choices they made are vividly portrayed as the authors deftly weave together the lives of ordinary people who promptly chose to focus their immediate attention on those in dire danger and protect them safely from harm. This historical novel, a most inspiring and compelling coming-of-age drama, will inspire people to reflect thoughtfully on the choices they make each day and the cost they have to pay to make those choices.

Miriam Jacob

FTC Regulations Compliance & Disclosure of Material Connection:

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, as part of every web or retail site review, the author or publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

BRANDED: Sharing Jesus with a Consumer Culture – Tim Sinclair – Kregel Publications

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Kregel Publications,

ISBN: 9780825438943

Published: June 2011

How do we share Jesus with a consumer culture? In “Branded: Sharing Jesus with a Consumer Culture,” Tim Sinclair boldly declares that sharing Jesus has absolutely nothing to do with mass-marketing and everything to do with being personally branded by Christ, permanently marked by our Savior. BRANDED is a clarion call to turn the Christian hourglass over, to make drastic changes in order to see new progress. It is all about branding Jesus and becoming branded by Him ourselves.

Tim Sinclair specifies that when it comes to sharing Jesus with the world around us, it is crucial that we acknowledge our own unique talents and abilities and use them effectively to reach out to people within our own circle and sphere of influence. As Tim states so clearly, there is no “one-size-fits-all” methodology. How do people see you? When they look at you, what do they see? Do they see love? When love is authentically lived out in a person’s life, it stands out brightly in today’s world. Do they see you as a lover of Jesus who cannot help but share Him? Do you speak about your love for Christ to the world?

As a Christian, you inadvertently advertise Jesus wherever you go. Tell your story with your own particular flair and style, boldly, confidently, as open and honestly as you can. Show the world how Jesus can make a striking and significant difference in your daily life. The story of your walk with Christ is your most powerful tool. Be a bright and shining example of the extraordinary power of Christ to transform a person’s life and make it totally new! Make those around you want to believe! Your own life is your greatest testimony! Remember the words of St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel at all times – if necessary use words.”

Tim Sinclair, a top-flight communicator in today’s hi-tech, consumer-oriented world, exhorts Christians to promptly sign on for a world-class marketing campaign for the Savior and to share their faith honestly in authentic ways for God’s glory.

Miriam Jacob

FTC Regulations Compliance & Disclosure of Material Connection:

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, as part of every web or retail site review, the author or publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

JONI & KEN: AN UNTOLD LOVE STORY by Ken & Joni Eareckson Tada

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Zondervan Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780310314691

Published: Apr 2, 2013

In their autobiography “JONI AND KEN: AN UNTOLD LOVE STORY”, Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada live out their beautiful lives for the whole world to see. Here is faith in action, a rare and treasured glimpse into the courageous lives of two faith-filled people who are faithful to God and to each other. Joni has traveled an amazing journey of faith across the tough terrain of life. Her remarkable resilience has birthed hope in millions of people worldwide. Theirs is a faith that weathers the worst of storms and endures the harshest of realities, a sort of sacrificial and unconditional love that only God can give in full measure. They have faced unique challenges, in which the normal stresses and strains of marriage were further complicated by the hurdles of quadriplegia, in a life lived for the most part, in the glaring spotlight of public gaze.

In this book, Joni and Ken have laid their lives open for others to read in the most vulnerable way. Their hard-won fidelity inspires people worldwide to conquer the obstacles of life, as they have so courageously done, for the glory of God. They are a truly selfless couple who bravely show the whole world that Jesus Christ is the answer to all life’s problems. They reveal what commitment really means, as they overcome their own personal challenges through steadfast commitment and continual surrender. Their amazing story also includes the greatest story ever told – how the Lord Jesus Christ conquered the horrors of the cross in the face of the deepest trials ever known to man. They bear a strong witness to the deep, inner strength that comes to us when we surrender our hearts and lives to the One who cares for us wholeheartedly. Theirs is a real marriage, with true, time-tested love and selfless commitment, between two very real people. They overcome their own personal struggles through a deep and steadfast commitment to each other and a full and complete surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is a beautiful love story for the ages and a very personal glimpse into a thirty year marriage, characterized by unimaginable challenges, as God prunes, purifies and transforms their lives by permitting trials for His glory. As we watch their trials turn into successes by the power of Christ, we get the grace to believe that our own sufferings only serve to draw us closer to Christ, shape us into His glorious likeness and make us faithful and fit for eternity. They have an unfailing love for the Lord and His work and for each other. They are loved worldwide for their groundbreaking ministry “Wheels for the World” which provides a free wheelchair and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to children and adults affected by disability. Theirs is an honest story of commitment, surrender and selfless love.

Here are two lives beautifully lived, and two hearts beating as one, for the glory of God. This profoundly powerful and eternal love story leaves an indelible impression upon our hearts. It reflects the highs and lows of Christian marriage with its struggles and triumphs, while portraying the unique challenges of a life of quadriplegia, with the price of fame and excessive ministry demands. What makes Ken’s and Joni’s marriage succeed are the rare jewels of love, tenderness, unselfishness and endless patience , powered with the presence and blessing of the precious Holy Spirit. This is a poignant and profound love story of hope and encouragement, inspired by God and reflecting His heart for marriage. Through the most intense adversity, their tender love and commitment to Christ and to each other is so inspiring and elevating, as they love, honor and cherish God as the very source and sustenance of their lives.

What a heart-warming love story that cries out to be told! It is both honest and unique, utterly penetrating and riveting, while being open and transparent, all at the same time. A God-given marriage portrays our Savior’s love for His bride, the Church. Joni and Ken embarked on their life’s journey in a marriage laced with love and hope amidst bitter hurts and hardships. In a gripping, challenging and hope-giving narrative, they open up the best and worst in their lives to portray the undeniable fact that God can use even the very worst trials in our lives for our own good and His glory.

Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada live out their faith on the world’s stage, in full view of the glaring spotlight, where every flaw is highlighted and nothing is secret. Here is a precious glimpse into the lives of two people who love Christ and each other. Theirs is a faith that triumphs over the worst odds. They inspire people to conquer the obstacles of life for the glory of God and the love of Christ. A truly selfless couple who firmly believe that Jesus is the answer to all life’s problems, Ken and Joni overcome their own personal challenges through complete surrender to Christ. They inspire us to surrender our hearts to the One who loves us wholeheartedly. Here is a unique love story for the ages as we watch their trials draw them closer to Christ and shape them into His glorious likeness for eternity. Their groundbreaking ministry “Wheels for the World” provides a free wheelchair and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to children and adults affected by disability. Here are two lives joyfully lived, two hearts beating as one, for the glory of God. This poignant, powerful love story will reverberate through the centuries as Joni and Ken display the rare jewels of love, tenderness, unselfishness and patience, anointed by the Holy Spirit. This is a story of hope reflecting His heart. Through intense adversity, their love for Christ shines through as their marriage strives to portray Christ’s love for His bride, the Church.

Miriam Jacob

I received this e-book free from THOMAS NELSON PUBLISHERS through their book review bloggers program.

FTC Regulations Compliance & Disclosure of Material Connection:

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, as part of every web or retail site review, the author has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A DIffERENT LOOK AT STRESS- WHO STOLE THE COOKIES? – by Dr. Alex Mathew

A DIffERENT LOOK AT STRESS

Sohan came in hastily as he always is and asked me to explain to him what ‘stress’ is. He sort of pushed me to tell him something about stress as he is very stressed out with some serious family matters. He had attended several lectures of mine on several topics. Despite knowing several aspects of stress as is known by most, what he really wanted was some counseling in his tight situation. He would never acknowledge that (the desire for counseling?) as he considered himself as a pundit in these matters. He is academically oriented and has been attending many courses in Counseling, Life Skills, Stress and Anger management. He was definite he wanted nothing by nature of counseling, but some straight facts about stress. I started out in a classical academic manner stating rather dryly; “Stress is variously understood as anxiety, hassle, oppression, pressure, burden, anger, apprehension, fear, disquiet, tension, weight, worry, restlessness, sadness, alarm, dread, tautness, trauma, affection, trial and so on” “That’s no big deal! Any decent Thesaurus will give all these, sir” I gulped my discomfiture and said; “That is true. These and many more experiences describe the physical and mental state of a person in stress. Some of the conditions would be very hard to be identified as anything specific. A sense of urgency and trepidation causing senseless reactions are also common in stressed state” “I agree sir” Sohan contributed “But a certain level of stress is necessary to face life effectively and its everunfolding events. It is a well accepted fact that physical measures to face up to stress are essential to make the organism to handle the situation either by tangling with it or evading it. It is also a fact that these physical stress preparations are involuntary such as increased secretion of stress hormones, increased blood supply to the major sets of muscles, decreased blood supply to the internal organs and skin, increased heart rate and breathing, dilation of the pupil and many other changes. As most physical changes are of an involuntary and of speedy nature, the organism does not take much time to react”. “Precisely, the problem with human beings is that they have the facility to prolong the stress experience by their cognitive facility. Their senses after causing the initial stress reaction physically gets the cognition roped in for planned handling of the situation. It is considered necessary for survival through deft moves”. “Stress is conceived by the senses and then it causes the emotions to mobilize hormones and that involves the body to take the needed action. In other words the reaction to stress generating stimuli, at its basic level is an action of the emotions- body combine. But then pretty soon the thinking and the intelligence part of the organisms join in. Even as this happens, ordinarily the physical reaction continues. If the physical reaction continues without the thinking process bringing in some thoughtful actions then we can conclude the reaction is un-thoughtful or irrational making normal stress into distress, further compounded by increased anger/ brooding/ sense of failure/rejection or hostility/violence/ regret/ remorse/self-pity and so on bringing on a pathological dimension to stress. In most cases intelligence will be called upon for guidance to arrive at the right decision regarding further action. How mature the decision will depend on the knowledge, belief system and experience of the organism. Making ordinary stress into a distressed sickening situation is not involuntary. The organism makes willful choices leading to it”. I generally do not talk at this sort of length to counselees. I would rather let them come out with their distress. But this was a different situation. Sohan came specifically seeking for information”. Sir, I understand; then decisions that generate and perpetuate stress are occasioned by the fineness and merits of the ‘knowledge-faith-experience’ trio of the individual. How the organism was able to interpret its earlier experiences in the light of its knowledge and faith has a formidable bearing on its present acts. Therefore in a way whether one should be stressed or not is by and large a choice, a statement not everyone will be comfortable with. Am I with you there?” “Let us take a slight digression here; whether one should do a thing or not do is an eternal quagmire. There would be strong objection to the statement that addiction and unhealthy distress are choices. As addiction is a choice, so is pathological stress or distress”. “Psychiatrists, psychologists and drunks would vehemently maintain that addiction is a disease. Yes, the addicted person is sick as addiction is maintained, but it was a choice or series of choices that brought the addict to the present status. And take it or leave it, only another willful choice can bring the person out of addiction. If he goes on with the fixation that, ‘I am sick and have no control over my sickness’, that only helps the person to continue in the habit. The same is true about pathological stress to a great extent”. “Do you imply then that though I am upset because of external condition and provocation, I can’t get over it because I do not want to?”

“Sohan, there is a simple easy step that can lead to peace of mind in a fraction of a second. That too is a decision, a decision based solidly in your value system; what you believe in, your creed by which you live and the determination to be honest to your values. It is said in so many words, but it is resident within you. You only need to refer to it before responding; as you respond, in love, not reacting in anger. You must know the essential difference between responding in love and reacting in anger. Absorb these words; love and gentleness; then place it facing anger and violence. Are they not easier as better choices?” I said this much because I dealt earlier with Sohan when he had an issue with his elder brother. Despite his knowledge and seeming understanding he has engaged a solicitor and wanted me to give him appropriate points to comfort his brother, who also had once come to me for some professional help.

Can a counselor give advice to escalate a situation?

What exactly is Sohan’s need of the moment?

There are no specifics in Sohan’s rendering.

He wants classical remedies.

What would you do?

Think

© Alex Mathew

WHO STOLE THE COOKIES?

PRAYERS FOR AN ANXIOUS HEART – Compiled by Barbour Staff

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PRAYERS FOR AN ANXIOUS HEART

Compiled by Barbour Staff

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

1 August 2015

Can you connect to your Creator? These inspiring prayers hug you close to God as you discover a deep understanding and love for Christ who loves you above all else. When our anxieties are too heavy to let go of, God gently asks us to hand them over to Him who cares so deeply for us. Give everything to God, talk to Him, praise Him and seek His will. Rejoice always, pray constantly and give thanks in all circumstances. This is God’s will for you. God will give you sure footsteps in your paths so that you will not slip and fall. Our Lord is always aware of you. He knows exactly where you are. He has a perfect plan for your future. God is our everlasting Rock whom we can lean upon and who catches us when we fall. He is our peace and strength. He answers when we call. In Christ we find rest for our anxious hearts. These prayers will guide you into the heart of God.

Miriam Jacob

MY MOTHER’S QUITLTS – by Ramona Richards

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MY MOTHER’S QUILTS

Devotions of Love, Legacy,

Family and Faith

by Ramona Richards

Worthy Publishing

8 March 2016

You will find your own lives reflected in the precious memories carefully woven into these quilts. God’s grace, love and faithfulness is stronger than the tightest bonds of generations. Here we slip back in time as the beauty of these quilts weave rich memories and poignant recollections to make the past come alive before our eyes. Here are heart-changing devotions for you to enjoy!

ANNA’S HEALING – by Vanetta Chapman

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ANNA’S HEALING

by Vanetta Chapman

Harvest House Publishers

1 October 2015

Anna’s Healing is by popular author Vannetta Chapman. These delightful Amish community stories of love and family speak  volumes of the miracles that happen when lives are lived in humble obedience to God and selfless devotion to each other. When a crippling tornado strikes the simple farms at Cody’s Creek, Anna Schwartz’s simple life is devastated beyond belief. She suffers a paralyzing spinal cord injury and is forced to live as a paraplegic. Three dedicated people hasten to help Anna through her worst days. Chloe writes for the local newspaper. Jacob is a worker at her uncle’s place. Ruth is her own grandmother, a committed woman with a strong faith and a selfless and compassionate spirit. One morning like any other, Anna suddenly finds herself instantly healed. How did it happen? Everyone’s attention is quickly drawn to this young Amish girl who has experienced an inexplicable miracle.

MIRIAM AND THE STRANGER – by Jerry S. Eicher

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MIRIAM AND THE STRANGER

by Jerry S. Eicher

Harvest House Publishers

1 October 2015

Miriam lives a carefree life as a happy school teacher in an Amish community. She had come to terms with the possibility that she might never marry. But that was well before a handsome young reporter came into her small world. Miriam found herself attracted to him. To complicate matters, widower Mose Stoll arrives in search of a bride. Mose has already met Miriam’s father and now wants to meet Miriam herself. If he likes her, he wants to marry her. Miriam, on the other hand, is determined to follows her heart and not her head. The price she will pay is excommunication. Her happy life comes crashing down with no imminent solution in sight unless and until God Himself intervenes on her behalf. Will Miriam find love at last?

LETTERS TO LOVE – by Soraya Lane

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LETTERS TO LOVE

by Soraya Lane

MONTLAKE ROMANCE

27 OCTOBER 2015

When Lila and her husband Gray are killed in a tragic accident, Bella, Lila’s sister becomes guardian to her two young nephews. Her bitter grief turns to unbelievable shock when she realizes that she is to co-parent her nephews with Gray’s best friend, Noah who has always driven her stark crazy. Bella is adamantly sure that the handsome, proud Navy Seal is the last person she would ever wish to share her life with. It is absolutely certain that they will never agree on anything as important as this. At this juncture, quite inexplicably, mysterious letters from Lila suddenly arrive, one after the other, in rapid succession. Letters that Lila had written before her tragic death, just in case such a dire situation ever arose. Bella and Noah reluctantly follow her instructions, and end up spending more enforced time together. It was the birth of an unexpected and most unconventional family. Will letters from the past unite them in this heartwarming story of bitter loss, inconsolable grief and family love? Read these poignant Letters to Love in this heartwarming book.

Miriam Jacob