iF@ITH by Daniel Darling – Review by Miriam Jacob


New Hope Publishers
ISBN-10: 1596692944
ISBN-13: 978-1596692947
December 21, 2010

iF@ith by Daniel Darling connects with God in the 21st century through an in-depth study of the real people in the Bible who instantly communicated with God, heart-to-heart, in a personally intimate way. How do we connect with God in the digital age of pixels, bandwidth, high-speed and warp speed, when “we are always plugged in and wired to the digital revolution”, with instant answers at the tips of our fingers? How do we restart our prayer life to open a high-speed connection with God? We live in a connected generation, moving at warped speed, through a maze of intricate data, traveling swiftly at the speed of thought. We send digital messages by email and receive instant, real-time answers in the blink of an eye. Reading iF@ith will activate your faith and set you on a unique road in this connected generation in which life explodes with data racing ahead at the warp speed of thought. Leap on board and surf with iF@ith. Your life will never be the same!

God certainly has a digital mission for this millennium. Where does prayer fit into the fast-paced and ever-changing scenario of today’s technological revolution, where  people are constantly plugged in and wired, with instant answers at their fingertips? iF@ith is Daniel Darling’s perfect response to the digital generation of which he is an integral part. Practical prayer refreshes your prayer life and opens an instant, high-speed connection with God. Do the centuries-old, time-tested truths of Christianity connect with the modern expectations of the digital era? “We are an always-connected generation, weaned on warp speed, raised on instant formula, with life revolving around our ever-expanding devices, exploding with data traveling at the speed of thought.” We send instant messages, emails and texts to people connected in the world wide web and get instant real-time answers in the blink of an eye. As we send and receive information , we get instant answers, one-on-one, person to  person.

With the advent of the internet and “the rapid acceleration of communication” at the click of a button, the lost art of letter-writing was duly revived in digital format as we strive to paint a digital masterpiece, carefully weighing the pros and cons of each word and the significance of every phrase used to embellish our artwork. Gone are the days when letter-writing was an exquisite art, duly executed on paper, with words dexterously painted like a portrait, every word significantly weighed to convey the most accurate meaning.

This is the fast-paced digital age of pixels and bandwidth, rebooting and opening high-speed internet connections, faced with the urgent need to be always-connected, racing on fast-track from high-speed to warp speed, as we struggle to cope with vast amounts of data transmitted at the lightning speed of thought. Digital messages by text and email demand instant, real-time answers, as we send and receive information to  communicate personally, one-on-one. Global communication makes gigantic leaps across oceans, spanning countries and borders, transcending time zones. It is as easy as the click of a button.”Nobody is ever out of reach, unavailable or offline.” You will see Jesus form deeply in you and discover Him smiling at you through the all-important missives of emails, text and chat messages.

In iF@ith, Daniel Darling enriches your walk with Christ through practical, revealing insights into the lives and times of biblical characters, those giants of faith who inspire our faith beyond the eye of reason. Faith is based on biblical fact. “The heart has its reasons of which reason cannot know.” Christ died for us and His undying love for us is the reason for our faith. “Love’s strength lies in love’s sacrifice and He who suffers most has most to give.”

Review by Miriam Jacob



Daniel Darling is the Vice President of Communications for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. He previously served five years as Senior Pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church in Gages Lake, Illinois, USA. He is a contributor to Leadership Journal, Gospel Coalition, and a variety of other publications. He has written several books, including his latest, Activist Faith. He blogs at www.danieldarling.com





Broadcasting Architecture Worldwide

Architecture Documentaries To Watch In 2017

Uncommon Sense: The Life and Architecture of Laurie Baker / Vineet Radhakrishnan

Forthcoming Release / English

Laurence Wilfred Baker (known as Laurie Baker) was a renowned British-born Indian architect and humanitarian. Alongside that, he was also an accomplished cartoonist, artist and innovative designer. Among other professions, he was also an architect. He once said: I think I am subconsciously often strongly influenced by nature, and much of nature’s ‘structural work’ is not straight or square. A tall reed of grass in a windy, wild terrain is a long cylinder or a hollow tube; tree trunks and stems of plants that carry fruit and leaves are usually cylindrical and not square. Curves are there to take stresses and strains and to stand up to all sorts of external forces. On top if it all, they look good and beautiful and are infinitely more elegant than straight lines of steel and concrete.”

According to Wikipedia,

ArchDaily is one of the most visited architecture websites worldwide, with over 500,000 daily readers and about 160 million page views per month as of 2016.


A Tribute for Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday

By Mark Greene, Executive Director, The London Institute For Contemporary Christianity & Catherine Butcher, Communications Director, HOPE


“The Servant Queen and the King she serves”, published by Bible Society, HOPE and The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity is a beautifully illustrated tribute for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, described by the Queen in Her own words, to portray the pivotal role of her faith and trust in Jesus Christ, in shaping her life’s work, offering us an inspiring, multi-faceted insight into a life well-lived for others.

Her Majesty is very grateful to God for His steadfast love and compassion, having witnessed His loving kindness and faithfulness throughout her long life and reign. The Queen relies deeply on her faith as a beacon of light to guide her safely through the storms of life, to bring her to a safe haven at last. Her Majesty’s authentic, religious beliefs, consistency of character, constant sense of duty and selfless devotion to Christ ultimately shapes all she does. There is a unique quality about her, a calm, ‘quietly held’ authority, a peace and serenity that marks her out in a special way. The Queen’s extraordinary contribution and exemplary life of service to country, commonwealth and global community makes her one of the most admired people in the world.

In the Foreword to the book, as she embarks on the threshold of her 91st year, the Queen reflects on a poem quoted by her father, King George VI in his Christmas Day broadcast in 1939. “I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied,’Go out into the darkness , and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.'”

This poem by Minnie Louise Haskins was handed to King George VI by his 13-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, thinking it might be useful, which it certainly was. The Queen’s self-effacing modesty did not mention this fact in her Foreword to the book. All that mattered to her then and now is how the poem helped others, strengthening the faith and hearts of millions worldwide. In fact, this is exactly what she did herself. She put her hand into the hand of God and He has not let her down. It was a clarion call to the simple faith and trust in God that marks the Queen’s own personal  life and long reign, time-tested and proven worthy in every way.

The Queen always looks up to God and out to her people. As we ponder upon her unflinching sense of duty, selfless devotion to God  and exemplary service to community, country and Commonwealth, we wonder what the unusual source of her inspiration, courage and strength is in times of joy and sorrow. The Queen herself answered this at Christmas in 2002. “I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and tough times. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right; to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God. I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.”

The abiding and enduring secret of the Queen’s successful reign lies in the humility of her heart when she requested the people of the Commonwealth and Empire to pray for her in the first Christmas Broadcast in 1952, as she dedicated herself anew to their service at her Coronation.






Compiled by Miriam Jacob

Graphics from Google Images

The Servant Queen and the King she serves

THE SCARS THAT HAVE SHAPED ME – How God Meets Us In Suffering – by Vaneetha Rendall Risner


“Vaneetha Rendall Risner writes with unique authenticity in a creative, compelling style that inspires readers to want to know more about her time-tested faith, selfless integrity and her deep and passionate love of a gracious God who never fails to satisfy her with His unfailing goodness. This inspiring book gives fresh new hope to those battling grief, loss and pain.

Vaneetha’s credible writing is firmly rooted in deep pain and suffering, in which her indefatigable determination to hold on to Christ played the greatest role in her life. She patiently endures suffering with amazing joy, grace, and perseverance. This transparent, truth-filled book gives a rare glimpse into her world and her loving God.

Vaneetha knows and understands. She has been in the valley of pain and despair and survived to tell the tale. There is no better voice than hers to convince us of the truth of Christ’s words. In either a sudden, unprecipitated crisis of daily life or a long, relentless, seemingly-endless struggle for perpetual survival, Vaneetha’s time-tested insights are purified and refined in the fire of adversity.

In the unfathomable designs of God’s plans, Vaneetha securely latches onto God’s reliable faithfulness, with a love that will not let go, whatever the consequences. Her faith helps us to weather the storms in our own lives with courage and strength as Vaneetha herself has walked difficult terrains and swam in deep spiritual waters. This vulnerable yet deeply hopeful book is firmly rooted in God’s faithfulness in suffering. You will glimpse a little of God’s light through Vaneetha’s eyes and hear His music through her ears.

Through this anointed, Spirit-filled book, Vaneetha gently guides us through the dark, lonesome, trouble-filled valley of tragedy, triumphantly laced with victory in God’s love. With rare grace and truth, she reveals the redemptive power of God in a dark world, inviting us to glimpse God’s glory in bitter times of struggle and strife. Instead of drawing us into her pain, with rare grace and wisdom, Vaneetha gently guides us through our own sufferings into the heart of God. She captivates us with the goodness of God in the midst of pain and suffering, inspiring us to dare to trust Jesus. This book is a loving gift to those who silently suffer, and to those who selflessly care for them.

Miriam Jacob






“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).



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.



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




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.

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.



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


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 Academic, Oxford University Press


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.


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).


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


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

Helena Rubinstein: The Woman Who Invented Beauty by Michèle Fitoussi


Helena Rubinstein: The Woman Who Invented Beauty – by Michèle Fitoussi

Helena Rubinstein: La Femme qui inventa la beauté – Translated from the French –
by Kate Bignold and Lakshmi Ramakrishnan Iyer

Gallic Books, Belgravia Books Collective
eBook ISBN 9781908313553,
London, 2013.

She invented beauty, understood women and created a revolution

Helena Rubinstein, one of the most extravagant and wide-ranging style-makers, built a cosmetics empire that spanned the globe. Her creative, professional and scientific approach to beauty coupled with innovative advice on skincare were an instant worldwide sensation. This visionary businesswoman and entrepreneur lived and breathed her own life’s work. Helena Rubinstein was a breathtaking, stunning original. She struggled, nearly gave up, and triumphed. This is her riveting, rags-to-riches life story, a vivid account packed with fascinating detail, the stuff that romantic fiction is made of.

A true heroine at heart, Helena believed in herself and in her extraordinary power to conquer the world. She turned all her disadvantages into strengths. Her character was forged in iron and steel. Driven by great courage, extraordinary intelligence and an indomitable will to succeed, she invented modern cosmetics, making them accessible to all. To Helena, beauty was a new power to assert independence. Her innate sense of marketing helped her to promote her cosmetics empire successfully. She constantly invented new sales techniques to set high professional standards, using creative advertising to her advantage.

Helena worked tirelessly. Work was her best beauty treatment. She believed in the energizing power of hard work. It kept her young, smoothing the wrinkles from her mind and spirit. She became one of the richest women in the world, amassing a fortune almost singlehandedly, by the power of sheer, hard work. She was a visionary and deserved her hard-won success. Madame, as everyone called her, became a billionaire businesswoman and a highly successful entrepreneur. She even acquired a royal title by becoming a princess later in life. Helena Rubinstein watched the dramatic democratization of beauty, the advent of consumerism and women marching towards freedom and liberty.

What is so interesting about Helena Rubinstein? First encounters are often mysterious. We do not know exactly how things happen. Mostly it is a matter of chance. A person’s story touches us in ways we cannot express. With her name boldly emblazoned on beauty products, the opening lines of her life story are dramatic enough. Born in 1872 in Kraków, Poland, she had seven younger sisters. Aged twenty-four, she sailed to Australia as a pioneer, armed with only a parasol, twelve jars of cream, and inexhaustible energy. She disembarked in Melbourne, in the heart of a foreign land, where she struggled, nearly gave up, then triumphed.

Helena Rubinstein became a sort of romantic heroine who despised the past. Her motto seemed to be ‘Onwards!’. She was a conqueror. Her character was forged in iron and steel. Helena set out to prove one thing alone: ‘Give a girl the right cosmetics and she can conquer the world.’ Her extraordinary and tumultuous life spanned almost a century and across four continents. Inspired by courage and imbued with intelligence and a will to succeed, she built an industrial and financial empire.

More impressively, she re-invented modern cosmetics, making them accessible to all. It was not an easy task for a woman. But she loftily disregarded disadvantages, often turning them into strengths. Her first beauty institute was opened in Melbourne in 1902, when Australian women obtained the right to vote. Helena was a strong supporter of women’s equality, which meant fighting for their rights and their liberation.

For Helena, beauty was a new power through which women could assert
their independence, using the assets at their disposal to conquer the world. Cosmetics existed before Helena Rubinstein but she was the visionary who created the science of modern beauty. Her extraordinary and tumultuous life spanned almost a century and across four continents. Inspired by courage and imbued with intelligence and a strong will to succeed, she built an industrial and financial empire. She lived through many eras and died in 1965, aged 93.

© Miriam Jacob

QUEEN VICTORIA: A Life – by Lytton Strachey


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





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







Radical Christianity in Palestine and Israel

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

Review by MIRIAM JACOB is published in




New paragraph added to the review 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 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



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


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


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.”

The Red Notebook – by Antoine Laurain


Sometimes only the Sublime can help us to face the Ordinary in life.

The story begins with a taxi dropping Laure off near her home, the lighted streetlamps casting an eery orange glow across the road. The light from the hotel opposite floods the pavement but nothing halts the snaking fingers of fear, ruthlessly clutching at Laure’s heart, like a bone-chilling burst of icy rain.

It was almost 2 am. Her handbag had been stolen, greedily snatched from her hand, after her assailant had shoved her head back into the metal door frame, causing her to bleed profusely, although she only discovers this much later. Her apartment keys, identity card, the vast bulk of her memories, and to her horror, what seemed her entire life, was lost in the bottomless depths of that handbag.

As her tears helplessly welled up, Laure shook like a leaf from pent-up fear and anger. At such an unearthly hour, caught between the dire distress and horrendous difficulty of trying to distinguish between the rational and the irrational, Laure decides to spend what remains of the night at the hotel opposite, across the road. The next day, the hotel staff find Laure lying unconscious in her bed, her head soaked in a pool of blood. She is taken to hospital, where she lies in a coma.

Gallant and heroic bookseller Laurent Letellier, out for a walk and not particularly happy with his own life, discovers a discarded, apparently abandoned handbag on a street in Paris, with nothing in it to indicate its owner. Suspecting that it was stolen, he takes it home, where among the contents, he finds a necklace with hieroglyphics on it, a red notebook, a signed book, and some assorted odds and ends.

Laurent opens the red notebook and instantly realizes that it is a woman’s diary. Unable to resist the persistent urge to read someone else’s diary, Laurent eagerly starts to read it,  only to discover the portrait of a kind, witty, extremely creative, passionate woman,  whom he feels he would really like to know. A strong impulse spurs Laurent on to locate this lady. Without even knowing her name, and with only a few items in her handbag to assist his search, how on earth is he to locate her in a sprawling metropolis city with a populace of teeming millions?

Even more determined to find Laure, Laurent tracks down the author of the signed book in Laure’s handbag, who unfortunately does not remember her name, but remembers what she looks like. He asks another author who reads hieroglyphics to translate the necklace in Laure’s bag. Laurent is ecstatic to learn that it is indeed her full name and he can now try to find her with all the imagination he can muster.

Much to his chagrin and dismay, he finds her in a coma in hospital. When he arrives, a man called William is there, apparently a colleague of Laure’s, who has been watching her cat. William obviously thinks that Laurent is Laure’s boyfriend, and he doesn’t contradict him. When William asks Laurent to stay at Laure’s house to watch her cat, he eagerly jumps at the chance, in a peculiar twist of destiny.

The real world slowly drifts in, like shadows flitting in and out, of Laure’s consciousness. Hearing the nurses talking, Laure realizes that she is in a hospital but she still does not come out of her coma.

Laurent stays at Laure’s house for many days, happily looking through all her personal photo albums, books, and collections. It helps him get to know her more fully, but it also makes him feel very guilty about the clandestine nature of it all.

When Laure wakes up from her coma, William is there, but Laurent had gone. When Laure eventually goes home, she discovers a note from Laurent apologizing for what he did. Far from being upset about it, Laure is deeply moved that he went through all that trouble just to find her. This inspires her to start her own search to find him.

Laurent is sadly melancholy and morose, and his daughter, Chloe understands why. Laurent has told her all about Laure. Chloe decides on an ingenious plan. A picture frame needs to be touched up. Laurent has told her that Laure was a framer in town. After going in and out of various framing stores, Chloe finally finds the one where Laure works, and tells her exactly where to find Laurent’s bookstore. Laure is stunned to hear this.

After many futile starts and stops, Laure finally gets the courage to go to Laurent’s bookstore. Approaching the counter, she creatively asks Laurent about an imaginary book, featuring a woman whose handbag was stolen, and a man who runs all over town to locate her. Quick as a wink, Laurent realizes that it is Laure, and true to the fairy tale, they fall in love at first sight and live happily ever after.

This book is creatively and imaginatively written, but its hasty ending gives one the impression of being a bit rushed, as the author wraps up all the loose ends to give a fitting conclusion.

Miriam Jacob

Clarion Call to Missions – Is It For Me? Mission or Missions – Which Is For Me?

There are missions to serve God, and there is mission, a personal commitment to God for people who answer His call. How do you know which one is for you? This makes the ultimate difference between a person with a fulfilled or unfulfilled future. Mission makes a personal commitment to God to serve Him through Missions, the scope of which encompasses the entire world, based on God’s call to every heart.

Mission – Is it for Me? How can I be sure that Mission is really for Me? What does God want me to do? Where should I go and what should I do? What preparation do I need? God guides us through a Bible verse or through circumstances with a poignant ‘tug in our heart’ about a particular person or situation.

The aim of Missions is to make Christ’s salvation known to everyone. It is all about His saving grace, a distinctive, spiritual and unique aim, affirming that all people need to have their sins washed and cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Our commission is to the mission field of the world, to all nations, to all people. The responsibility of missions lies with every member of the body of Christ. Any talent, ability and occupational skills can be used as an integral part of missions and mission work.

The command of Christ is a unique, personal and individual call to each person. “Go in My Name, and because you believe, others will know that I live.” When God calls us to His Kingdom’s service, He calls us personally by name into the glorious task of saving people for Christ, as part of His unique plan for the evangelization of the whole world. God’s vision is a world vision and He wants us to share in it. The Lord issues a clarion call to His people to get involved in world missions. Come and serve Christ and His cause. He waits for you with His heart of love.

Missionaries are God’s people, specially selected, chosen and marked out to serve in missions to build up His Kingdom. The love of Christ compels missionaries to serve God in missions, through unselfish lives of service, wholeheartedly serving others to please Jesus Christ and see His smile of approval.

Every person who serves Christ with passionate zeal, selfless commitment and a heart dedicated to His service is a missionary, some in full-time service and others in part-time service. All work to serve Him faithfully, with a single-minded vision , for His honor and glory. God rewards all who serve Him from His heart of love.

Missionaries are ambassadors for Christ, official representatives of the Kingdom of God, to show Christ to His people. Missionaries serve actively in missions to obey Christ’s command “to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all nations”, with a burning passion for souls, striving to establish Christians in the truth, constrained by Christ’s love to serve Him and feed His sheep, accepting God’s will wholeheartedly for their lives.

A missionary must be born again, willing to bear the cross, bold to preach the Gospel, zealous for His Master and putting Him first. Missionaries wait upon the Lord to reveal His will in their lives and obey it at any cost. “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” – Luke 9:62.

Missions is about world evangelization, a global task that requires a unique world vision. Every Christian is a missionary and a watchman for Christ. God’s marching orders must be obeyed instantly, His divine commands carried out faithfully. Each one of us has an important part to play in world evangelization. Every born-again Christian can serve Christ as a missionary.

Look around you and do the very first task for Christ that needs to be done. There is always something to do for Christ and His cause. The world waits with bated breath for you to do your part in world missions. Heed the mission call. Be a missionary. Open doors wait for you to enter. Allow God to open closed doors in His time. Complete the task assigned to you in your time.

Either go to the mission field or hold the rope for someone to join the bucket brigade to fight the fires of sin. Either fill up the buckets to throw water on the fire or pass the bucket down the line of spiritual firefighters. Stand in the frontline of missions or join the bucket brigade to fight the fiery, flaming fires of sin. Every Christian is a missionary for Christ.

Jesus gave us only one task – world evangelization. Those were His instructions and His orders, the one thing and the only thing left undone. Christ wants to establish His kingdom on earth but He waits for us to complete our unique task of world evangelization. How long will we keep Him waiting? Have you played your part in world evangelization? Go and do your part. Either go yourself, send someone else or send your words where you cannot go. hear and be saved. A missionary must preach for a sinner to be saved. Be the missionary or send a missionary. Complete the task at hand.

The most important work of the hour is to fulfill our Lord’s last orders. Jesus issued His marching orders. We are His army of soldiers, ready to obey His commands at a moment’s notice. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every person” – (Mark 16:15). This is the call to missions. Missionaries, arise and go! Hear the wake-up call. Your time is now. Tomorrow might be too late!

To those who heard God’s call, give yourself, your time, your money and your possessions to missions and to the causes around you. We have but one great task of world evangelization. If Christ is to reign in His Kingdom, we must complete the task at hand. He counts on us to do it. All God asks of you is to complete your assigned task in your generation. It is the one and only task Christ left His Church to do. You are the Church of Christ, bought with His blood. Arise for Christ!

Go out and follow the vision. Go where no one else has gone before. Do what only you can do, called for such a time as this. You, too, can be a pioneer. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth” – (Acts 1:8). Complete the unfinished task of winning souls to Christ. “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” – (John 3:16). God gave Heaven’s best when He gave up His only Son. What have you given for Christ? Is He not worth your very best? God’s only Son was a missionary. He died for you, to save you from your sins and give you a new life.

Miriam Jacob