Unwrapping the Names of Jesus
An Advent Devotional
by Asheritah Ciuciu
Moody Publishers, Pub Date 03 Oct 2017. ISBN: 9780802416728. PRICE: $11.99
Christmas is all about Christ Jesus. Let us prepare our hearts to celebrate Him.
In Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, author Asheritah Ciuciu guides us through an Advent devotional of Hope, Preparation, Joy, and Love. Each day’s reflection focuses on one name of Jesus. When you read this devotional in your own personal quiet time or in family worship during the Christmas season, you will be filled with a great sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus really is. As you focus on the person and character of Jesus, your heart will rejoice exceedingly and be filled with awesome wonder at the greatness of the glory of God. You will sing exuberantly from the depths of your heart in adoration and praise, “O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!” Let us recapture the joy of Christmas and imprint upon our souls the love and wonder of Jesus.
I am the WAY you are to walk;
I am the TALK you are to talk
I am the TRUTH you are to believe;
I am the LIFE you are to live;
You LOST your life to gain MINE.
You are crucified with Christ,
it is no longer you who lives,
but Christ who lives in you.
And you now live by faith
in the Son of God, who loved you
and gave Himself for you.
© Miriam Jacob
Flagging, floundering spirits
are revived in the labyrinthine landscape
of the sea of faith.
Faith has a face
transfused with wisdom,
tempered by suffering,
transmitting an air of the
most fragrant fortitude.
Faith has a fiery, far-away look,
an incredibly fast-moving brain,
and an extremely determined air
of dash and daring.
Faith has a flair for firmly believing
in the fruitful and ultimate fulfilment
of all God’s promises.
Faith is an inspiring breath of fresh air
in the dark, lonesome dungeons
of doubt and despair.
Faith struggles to persevere,
struggles to hope,
struggles to endure,
struggles to live.
a struggle with
© Miriam Jacob
When we come to the place of full retreat
And our heart cries out for God,
The only person whose heart ours can meet
Is one who has likewise trod.
Others may offer a word of cheer
To lift us from despair;
But above the rest, the one we hear
Is the whisper, “I’ve been there”.
© Charles R. Solomon
Imprint: Tyndale Momentum, Tyndale House Publishers.
Published: May 9, 2017. Pages 176.
ISBN:978-0-8423-1809-9. Price: $13.99
Originally Published: 1971
“Handbook to Happiness” is the foundational book for SpirituotherapyTM, Dr. Charles R. Solomon’s doctoral thesis in psychology and counseling from the University of Northern Colorado in 1972, for which he was awarded the degree of “Doctor of Education in Spirituotherapy.” This Bible-based approach to counseling or discipleship is also known as exchanged life counseling.
Spirituotherapy, a term coined by Dr. Solomon, is a spiritual approach to counseling in which the believer’s relationship to the cross of Christ is central to its goal. It is a Bible based program on the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration and the appropriation of the new life in Christ freely available to us.
In Spirituotherapy, the Holy Spirit is the Therapist who renews the mind and transforms the life according to Romans 12:2 – “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Dr. Charles R. Solomon is the Founder & President Emeritus of Grace Fellowship International (GFI), incorporated in Colorado, USA in 1969, to implement a spiritual counseling ministry to share the power of the Cross with hurting people. The first GFI office opened on February 1, 1970, in Denver, Colorado. The first branch office opened in 1975, and the first international office was opened in Argentina in January 1981. The first training seminar was conducted in Colorado Springs in 1972.
Grace Fellowship International (GFI) trains professionals and lay people on six continents to share the power of the Cross and see the Holy Spirit radically transform lives. Hurting people are led directly to the Cross of Christ – both for eternal life with Christ, and for the abundant life, here and now. God called Dr. Solomon in 1967 to pioneer the approach after God’s work in his own life in 1965, through the words of Isaiah 58:10-12.
“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.
Grace Fellowship International (GFI), originally established in Denver, Colorado in 1969, has now relocated to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It is a nondenominational corporation, whose allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the infallible and immutable Word of God.
The philosophy of Dr. Solomon’s counseling ministry is based on his theology, that many psychological problems rooted in spiritual problems can only be resolved by a faith union with Christ, crucified, risen, and active in the believer’s life, Galatians 2:20. Hurting people in desperate need are helped and healed by Spirituotherapy. This approach to counseling is commended for three reasons:
Biblical Counseling – “I am the Lord, who heals you” (Exodus 15:26). This refers to God’s healing power both physically and morally in obedience to his commands and statutes. A miracle happens when the Word of God is taught, applied, and obeyed. “He sent his word, and healed them” (Psalm 107:20). This is the pure and simple biblical basis of Dr. Solomon’s ministry. Hurting people are healed by the living Word of God.
Spirituotherapy is a balanced, beneficial approach to Biblical counseling, as attested by the “personal records of God’s faithful interventions” in the ringing testimonies of those personally touched and healed by God. “Handbook to Happiness” is greatly used by God to lead hurting people into victorious living, by the glorious healing grace of Jesus Christ.
The mission of Dr. Solomon’s Grace Fellowship International (GFI) is to teach how to live victoriously, disciple strategically, and counsel effectively, using a personal ministry model that simplifies with clarity, illustrates with diagrams, personalizes and demonstrates. Since 1970, GFI pioneers a Christian counseling model that applies the victorious life message of the New Testament to personal ministry, teaching how one can be equipped for Christ-Centered soul care ministry as a biblical counselor.
Grace Fellowship International (GFI), incorporated in 1969, began full time ministry on February 1, 1970. It now has a prominent presence on six continents, transforming lives in revival and sanctification, through the ministry of discipleship counseling and the printed page. Handbook to Happiness (Tyndale House Publishers) is the flagship book of the Exchanged Life counseling movement, synonymous with revival. Chapter 2 has been condensed into tract form, the Wheel and Line, and translated into 49 languages.
Dr. Charles R. Solomon received his B.S. degree from East Tennessee State University and his Master of Personnel Service degree from the University of Colorado. While employed with Lockheed-Martin Corporation as a senior engineer from 1951 until 1970, he began counseling part-time, under a contract with the Department of Labor, in which Lockheed-Martin was to hire staff for clerical work. His master’s thesis was based on the results of that program.
When Dr. Solomon earned a Doctor of Education degree in Spirituotherapy, Counseling and Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado in 1972, the state of Colorado formally recognized the new discipline of Spirituotherapy. Dr. Solomon’s doctoral thesis was published as the first edition of “Handbook to Happiness.”
Publisher: WaterBrook & Multnomah. Pub Date: 15 Dec 2015
ISBN: 9781601428424. PRICE $19.99
Jesus Speaks by Steven K Scott is a most inspiring Devotional with 365 Days of Daily Guidance and Encouragement, Straight from the Words of Christ. It will inspire you to spend time daily in His Word and sense His loving Presence. You will grow in your intimate relationship with God, as you understand the heart of Jesus. This beautiful book is a divine treasure-trove of comfort, encouragement, and wisdom. It will lead you into a true intimacy with Christ. I love Christ, and Jesus Speaks! I love Jesus more and more with each daily devotion I read in Jesus Speaks. I gain an intimate understanding of His heart of love, in His own words, in Jesus Speaks! Each devotion in Jesus Speaks is a daily love letter from Christ. It unites your heart with God’s love. You will listen to the voice of Jesus very closely. Jesus Speaks opens your heart to the deep, plumbless depths of God’s timeless Word. It gives you an eternal perspective. It grows your faith to know the truth which sets you free. It infuses His life into your life, as you surrender to His life-giving words. Listen to God’s love letter through the words of Christ, in Jesus Speaks. It transforms your heart to enjoy a true intimacy with God. It will guide you into the loving heart of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Come, Jesus Speaks, to You! Read it and be transformed into the image of God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
Harvest House Publishers, Pub Date 01 Oct 2017.
ISBN: 9780736970495. PRICE: $15.99
In Beautiful in God’s Eyes, with delicate sensitivity and inspired wisdom, Elizabeth George reveals God’s ideal, in the heart of the Proverbs 31 woman as she embraces the purest virtues of beauty: obedience and strength of character. She is beautiful in His eyes because she is obedient. The Proverbs 31 woman is a priceless treasure, her value a glorious gem, a sparkling jewel. Her loyalty is a solid rock on which she stands, unshakable and firm. Her contribution to God’s Kingdom is her selfless commitment, devotion and dedication. Her mission is like a spring of goodness, welling up in her heart as a fountain of joy. She has a most enterprising spirit. Her discipline is worthy to emulate. Her vision is a flourishing field of fragrant dreams. Her confidence is rewarded with success. Her diligence is a trait to learn from. Her mercy extends a helping hand to the poor and needy. Her handiwork is an exquisite tapestry of beauty. Her industry is a creative work of art. Her clothing is a wardrobe of admirable virtues. Her words are kindhearted and loving. Her family is an overflowing cup of blessing. Her adoration and praise to God is a crowning chorus and jubilant chorale. Her fervent faith is reflected in a reverence to her Creator. Her reward is to reap the fruitful harvest of a lifetime. I recommend this book for a perfect Bible study on the Proverbs 31 woman.
UNSEEN – The Gift of Being Hidden in a World that Loves to be Noticed – by Sara Hagerty
Publisher: Zondervan. Release Date: August 29, 2017.
In her spiritually uplifting and deeply enlightening book, “Unseen”, Sara Hagerty eloquently writes about the extraordinary gift of being unseen in a very noticeable world. Sara’s heart longed to be seen and understood. Yet, sometimes she felt unwitnessed, unnoticed and unappreciated. Struggling through her own personal spiritual experiences, Sara painstakingly confronts a peculiar moral dilemma when she questions her faith as to whether God who loves her when she serves Him in full-time ministry work, still loves her when she is unseen and does not do anything for Him.
How can we find contentment when we are unseen and unknown, hidden away from the glaring eyes of the world? Sara patiently explains that God is the only One who truly knows us and understands the priceless value of the unseen in our lives. As this insightful truth seeps into our hearts and souls, we realize that being hidden away in God imbues us with true freedom, inspiring us to help others in joyous abandon. Only when we give ourselves wholeheartedly and unreservedly to God can we live out what God intended and who He created us to be. As Sara beautifully writes with the heart of a scribe, “Maybe my seemingly unproductive, looking-up-at-Him life produces awe among the angels.”
Through a passionate exploration of her own personal life and the Holy Scriptures, Sara gives a crystal clear clarion call to us to offer all our unseen moments to God, in all the secret places of our lives, where God meets us with a radical love, the kind of unhinged love that surrenders everything at His feet. Unseen and hidden away in all our secret places, God invites us to share His life with this arresting question: “When no one else applauds you, when it makes no sense, when you see no results—will you waste your love on Me?”
As Sara struggles to come to terms with her doubts and fears, Christ weeps unseen for her and for a lost world that neither recognizes His presence nor cares about Him. As we lift up our faces to Him, dazzled by the radiance emanating from that most beautiful of countenances, He reaches out to us, smiling that most wondrous of smiles. Sara Hagerty heard His tender whisper, gently calling her to Him, through all the pain and loneliness of being unseen in a very noticeable world.
Each time Sara’s desperate heart broke in despair with the agony of being unseen in a world she did not feel she belonged to, Christ sought her, reaching out to her lovingly and engulfed her in His warm embrace. Through pain and perplexity, Sara found intimacy with Jesus. When life stopped for her, God met her at her greatest point of need. His Word and His whisper took on new meaning to her in the darkness of despair. Sara found God in the most unlikely places.
In the hustle, bustle and shuffle of life, Sara’s writings invitingly beckon us to God, who sees us, as we find our way back to Him. When we feel unnoticed and invisible, our hearts restlessly seeking to live in the fullness of life with Jesus, we feel His tender gaze upon us, the only one worth vying for. Sara’s exquisite writing leads us to the heart of Christ. Her poignant vulnerability assures us that there is a divine purpose in everything we do. Absolutely nothing ever goes unnoticed by God who loves us and delights in us.
Sara gives us treasured glimpses into her precious friendship with God. She makes us want to spend time with Him; to find our ultimate sense of fulfillment in His approval, and be content in His presence alone. Through Sara’s words, we hear His voice and see Him work His miracle of grace in our hearts. Sara’s life points us to Him. ‘Unseen’ inspires our hearts with the sterling knowledge that the most fruitful and fulfilling service to God is well off the beaten path, right in the heart of his will. There is divine conviction and confirmation in this true-to-the-gospel book. Let it revive your faith in the most eternally beautiful way.
With profound wisdom and humble sincerity, Sara urges us to turn away from the noise of the world and delightfully waste time with God, pampering Him with our love. “Unseen” give us a priceless gift, inviting us to realize the very purpose of our existence, created and redeemed to become fully alive in God. Unseen is just the compass we need to chart us into safe waters. Sara reveals the hidden beauty of abiding in the unseen. In a world that is programmed to be seen, we come alive in the unseen. As the heart journeys into hiddenness, we are ushered into new-found identity and intimacy with God.
In “Unseen”, Sara Hagerty reveals herself so vulnerably with a rare, winsome transparency. She teaches us to desire the praise of God and not the fleeting praise of man. As we are faithful to Jesus in all the hidden, secret places, Sara’s inspiring words give us God’s perspective and clarity of vision on the unseen worth of our daily lives. “Unseen” inspires us to be faithful, to see beauty around us and to rest in God’s sweet love each new day.
Reaching deep down into our hearts, Sara inspires us to ignore the clamoring world and surge into the sacred space of His sanctuary, to hear His voice alone, in quietness and confidence. We are safe and secure in the palm of His hand, hidden in His gaze. In this exquisite book, Sara skillfully combines the art of storytelling with the Gospel. Jesus wants us to live life with Him, not just for Him. When we enjoy the affection of Christ, we do not crave the applause of man.
Hidden away, unseen by the world, Sara gazed into the father-heart of God, who loves her more than life itself. Sara glimpsed His glory and felt His unconditional love for her flowing freely into her heart. Who was God when she was alone, unseen and had nothing to give Him? This ultimate, soul-searching question guided Sara to a quiet place where she met God and tasted His goodness. This book will set the world on fire for God. I recommend it to every person who wishes to know the unseen beauty of a life hidden in God.
Unseen will draw you closer to the heart of God than never before. Hidden within its pages is the key to the heart of God. You will be totally transformed, as you find your heart lifting up to God in praise and worship. Hidden away in the heart of God, you will know what it truly means to taste Christ’s love. I encourage you to read this deeply inspiring book for your spiritual edification.
Where Two Hearts Meet
by Liz Johnson
Revell, Baker Publishing Group. Pub Date: 18 Oct 2016.
ISBN: 9780800724504. PRICE: $14.99
Although food had such a strange, intoxicating and mysterious power, wielding it made Caden Holt feel significant at most times but vulnerable and fragile at other moments. Usually calm and collected in her lovely kitchen at the majestic Red Door Inn, on beautiful Prince Edward Island, executive chef Caden Holt felt competent until her boss requested her to show off the exquisitely beautiful island to a visiting travel writer to save the inn. Caden is compelled to confront a world outside her kitchen. Journalist Adam Jacobs, on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island, makes Caden wistfully wish that she was beautiful. He had an appealing easiness to his gait and demeanor. On assignment to uncover a story, he loves the island’s red shores and Caden’s delectable sweets. When Caden discovers that Adam is not what he appears to be, she realizes that apart from the dire possibility of his article ruining the inn’s chances for survival, he might also succeed in breaking her heart.
Readers will delighted to discover hope for the hurting, joy for the brokenhearted, and romance for the lonely at the enchanting Red Door Inn in an enjoyable tale of faith and finding truth. ‘Where Two Hearts Meet’ will melt your own heart. Liz Johnson transports her avid readers to the enchanting Prince Edward Island. She writes that God’s lavish grace overcomes our deepest regrets. With a captivating setting, ‘Where Two Hearts Meet’ is a perfectly charming and endearing story of love and healing that will help us to find peace, hope and enough grace to face every situation. Liz Johnson brings the characters to life in the story. That is the poignant beauty of a great writer. We can relate to Caden Holt at so many levels. She might be pretty unsure of her calling, but she certainly loves food passionately, and she loves to make people smile, as she serves them delicious food. This book will escort you away on an adventure somewhere out there in the world. Enjoy the journey and happy reading!
The Cherished Quilt
by Amy Clipston
Zondervan. Pub Date 29 Nov 2016.
ISBN: 9780310341963. Price: $15.99
Christopher Hochstetler still reels from his brother’s death, for which his father blames him. Chris desperately needs to get away. He decides to work in his uncle’s leatherworking shop. Emily Fisher, daughter of his uncle’s partner, Emily tries to be friendly to Chris and draw him out of his shell. But his cold frosty demeanor freezes her sincere attempts to build a new friendship. Longing for a fresh start, Christopher’s freshly wounded heart still grieves from sad memories of home. Making new friends is one of the last things on his mind. Having known the bitter pain that comes when we lose a loved one, Christopher wants to guard his heart from further heartbreak. When he sees Emily’s kindness, he tries to keep aloof and distant. However he steals glances at her during the day.
Christopher Hostettler starts off wrong with Emily Fisher. When he finally tells her about his tragic reasons for leaving home, her heart opens up to him and her feelings for him undergo a sea change. When Christopher compliments Emily on the quaint beauty of an old quilt, Emily decides to make one for Christopher as a simple gesture of friendship. Emily must guard her heart, as Christopher is not baptized. When a family emergency beckons Christopher home, Emily decides to finish stitching the quilt, in spite of her heartache, to send it to him as a Christmas gift. But when Christopher receives it, will he have the courage to follow his own heart? Tragedy might have cruelly torn Christopher’s world apart but Emily fervently believes there are enough pieces left to stitch together a beautiful patchwork quilt for a brand new beginning. Lacking self confidence after facing years of criticism from his father, Emily painstakingly helps Chris to regain his confidence, overcome his grief and conquer his guilt. As his birthday approaches, Emily wants to make him something special. After hearing the story of the quilt, he left behind at home, Emily wants to make him a beautiful patchwork quilt. Emily’s mother gives her fabric from her grandmother’s trunk.
The Cherished Quilt is a well-written, easy to read, standalone novel. Amy Clipston creates very likable characters, equally challenging to understand. It was good to see how Chris changes, thanks to friendship and love. The Cherished Quilt deals with grief, forgiveness, friendship and love. Chris cares for Emily, but there is something that he keeps from her. Can they overcome Chris’ secret, the one obstacle in their path, to have a happy ending? Will Emily be left with a broken heart? Open The Cherished Quilt and step into their world to find out.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Pub Date: 07 Feb 2017
ISBN 9780529118691. PRICE $15.99
A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman—Sarah Lantz always dreamed of the perfect home, the perfect husband, the perfect family. When she married Abram, she knew she was on her way to securing her perfect life. But all of that changes in one moment when an accident leaves her unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair, dashing all of her dreams. As Abram starts to transform their home, Sarah begins a transformation in her spirit, and she begins, once again, to see her cup as half full.
Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston—Down on their luck and desperate after they are evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O’Conner reluctantly take Chace’s Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadihaus located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.
A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid—Fifteen years ago, Thomas and Noreen King were blissful newlyweds. Young, naive, and in love, life was rosy . . . for a while. Then trials and tribulations rocked their foundation, shattering them emotionally, and soon, their marriage was in shards. All hope for restoring their previously unshakable union seems lost. When fire destroys their home, Thomas and Noreen are left to sift through the rubble. As uncovered items from the remains of the house shake loose memories of the past, Thomas and Noreen begin to draw closer and a flicker of hope—and love—is reignited.
Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller—Faith Miller knows that carpentry is an unlikely hobby for a young Amish woman, but she loves the work and it keeps the memory of her grandfather alive. So when her cousin asks Faith to build the cabinets in her new home, Faith is only too happy to take on the job, even if it is the most ambitious project she has ever taken on. The only catch is that she has to work with her ex-fiance, Silas. As they work to build Martha’s kitchen, can they put the past behind them and start to build faith in one another again?
‘An Amish Home’ is an anthology of four novellas with faith-inspired plot lines by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid and Kathleen Fuller. Here are four different stories by four different authors, writing in their unique style, with a wealth of Amish background knowledge. Although the four stand-alone stories are not interrelated, each story carries the common thread of redemption, forgiveness, and love. Each novella impacts our hearts by what the characters experience and how they rebuild their lives as they confront challenging choices in different ways. The choice to move on in faith is extolled. Each novella is unique, filled with hope. The stories resonate in the hearts of the readers, reflecting life with its joys and sorrows. All four novellas have heart-warming storylines with likable and lovable characters. The heart of the home and Amish family life is featured with beauty and grace. Each well-crafted story evokes heartwarming feelings of ‘Home Sweet Home.’ The characters leap off the pages into our hearts. They face different circumstances in life, but their perception of heart, home and hearth makes them appreciate their blessings, be grateful for love, and learn how to be content. The realistic issues in these novellas focus on loss, struggles, community, family, faith and love.
Four different authors write faith-filled, family stories, unique with conflicts, troubles and issues to deal with. Each heartwarming story comes with a unique take on the themes uniting them. Each author crafts a portrait of a couple in crisis in a heart-warming story of a struggle with faith and bitterness at the futility of life. These stories tug at your heart strings. Grief-stricken families agonize over their losses, as they wade through hurts to find love and happiness. God’s ways are not our ways. His grace is sufficient to carry us through the toughest times. ‘An Amish Home’ focuses on the daily struggles of life, love, faith and hope. Each author incorporates the importance of family, home and faith in God into their stories. Each inspiring page causes us to reflect upon our own lives. The themes of the four stories center on the home and family life, the hardships that couples face and the love and healing that comes from leaning on God. Each novella was well written in the authors’ own style, capturing well-researched information about the Amish.
‘An Amish Home’ will restore your faith in love and in God. The importance of faith, family and prayer are interwoven throughout all four stories. ‘An Amish Home’ is a collection of four different novellas from four different authors, each with a different story with different struggles, but with a common theme of home and family life. In each story, readers connect with the characters, to understand their struggles and relate to them. These are inspiring stories of love, faith, devotion, heartache and pain. In each story, the power to accept and overcome the challenges comes from the strength of home and family. Readers get acquainted with the struggles Amish communities face. Its authenticity relates to all, Amish or ‘Englisch’. Faith and love are the keys to unlock the door to ‘An Amish Home’ and find it truly ‘Home Sweet Home.’
An Amish Home – Four Novellas
by Beth Wiseman; Amy Clipston; Kathleen Fuller; Ruth Reid
Thomas Nelson, Pub Date: 07 Feb 2017
ISBN 9780529118691. PRICE $15.99
The Writing Desk
by Rachel Hauck
The Sound of Sleigh Bells
by Cindy Woodsmall
WaterBrook & Multnomah
In a tender, poignant glimpse into the Amish Migration West from Pennsylvania, Jan Drexler presents the heartwarming story of Mattie’s Pledge. When heart, home and horizon threaten to pull Mattie in opposite directions, which will she choose? Mattie Schrock is used to having her life uprooted. When her father relocated with his family from one Amish community to the next, Mattie always settled well into their new surroundings. Now as the Schrocks plan to move west, Mattie hopes to connect with old friends like Jacob Yoder, who always held a special place in her heart, although they had grown into different people with different dreams and visions. Jacob longs to settle down, while Mattie envisions life beyond the western horizon. When an Englisher tempts her to search for adventure in the West, will her pledge to Jacob anchor her to heart and home?
Jan Drexler weaves a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs into her writing. Mattie’s Pledge offers a revealing glimpse into Amish life in the 1840s, and into Mattie Schrock’s heart. In April of 1843, Mattie must make a choice about her life. Will she settle down in the Amish church or take off on a new adventure? Mattie’s Pledge is a historical romance with well-crafted, appealing characters and a good Christian theme. Jan Drexler weaves a beautiful storyline in her well-researched work. A compelling family story about difficult, exciting choices in life, Jan Drexler’s engaging Amish family share their joys and sorrows to embrace the adventure of life. Mattie’s unique adventure to the West begins with awesome descriptions of the journey in a Conestoga Wagon, traveling along twisting paths to achieve her goals. Moving from one community to another, Mattie Schrock knows how to adjust to different circumstances and situations. Yearning for new adventures and the chance to travel, Mattie has to decide between a new adventure in the West or the comfort of her own community based on a certain pledge.
With ancestry dating to the Amish immigrants in the 1700s, Jan Drexler’s special interest in this genre is well written and true to the Amish culture. Will the new land Mattie travels to give her a brand new beginning and a better life? Mattie struggles with her faith. The story deals with forgiveness in a very compassionate way. Mattie Schrock wants to move west to find her perfect destiny. She pledges not to leave her dearest friend, Jacob Yoder. But the pull is so strong to leave. Can Mattie keep her pledge? God is the main character. He alone knows the path to follow but Mattie ignores Him. The story was filled with hardship and adventure on their trek westward. MATTIE’S PLEDGE is a gripping story. Read it to find out why!
Right from the outset, the happiness of Alanna Connolly, a beautiful red-haired Irish singer, is ruined by brutal tragedy, when her Irish husband, Liam is unexpectedly killed by a horrific car bomb. A stunned Alanna does not know whom to turn to for support in her bitter grief. Oblivious to her deep sorrow, her hard-hearted father-in-law, Thomas threatens to take custody of the baby she carries, but Alanna is determined to cling onto the last legacy of Liam she has left in this world. Liam loved God and they used to pray together. Alanna clung to her precious memories as she struggled desperately to come to terms with her devastating heartache, unmitigable sorrow and agonizing pain.
When their manager, Barry offers her a marriage of convenience for two reasons, to gain her U.S. citizenship, and to escape from her father-in-law’s clutches, Alanna accepts his unusual proposal. It seems like the perfect solution to her problems but it is actually only a short reprieve. Alanna’s doubts surface when she arrives at Barry’s family home.
As if Alanna’s already existing troubles were not enough, Liam’s best friend, Jesse survived the car bomb. When he takes Liam’s place in their band, it is almost more than Alanna can bear. She never really liked Jesse and now she cannot seem to get away from him. This is when dramatic events start happening, one after the other in rapid succession. that could well cost Alanna her life – or the life of her unborn child. How can she find a way out of her troubles? Read the book to solve the mystery. This is a romance with a divine touch, a suspenseful tale of love lost and found.
In a psychological fiction novel as pure escapism from reality, Colleen Coble certainly knows how to get the reader’s rapt attention. The title “Because You Are Mine” seems to give the reason for the book’s dramatic events as they unfold one after the other. This is a book worth reading by a gifted and talented author, who skillfully crafts a multifaceted plot with intricate tangles, twists and turns, filled with characters revealing the stark difference between paranoid obsession and sacrificial love.
As we pray for our families and friends, God wants to hear our prayers for our own lives as well. He absolutely loves it when we come to Him for our needs and ask Him to help us to become the women of our highest ideals. The Power of a Praying® Woman is filled with personal illustrations, selected Bible verses and heartfelt prayers to help us to trust God with our deepest longings and personal needs. This book covers every area of our lives with prayer and helps you to maintain a right heart before God. Each chapter concludes with an anointed prayer. We will find renewed hope and Spirit-filled purpose for our lives with The Power of a Praying® Woman.
Stormie Omartian’s deep, in-depth knowledge of Scripture and candid revelations of her own struggles give reassuring guidance to those who seek God’s presence in their lives. We will learn how to trust God with the deepest longings of our hearts, pray when life threatens to spin out of control. This book will cover every area of our lives in prayer and help us to keep a right heart before God to build up our prayer lives. God longs for us to be in His presence.
This book helps us to deal with all the difficult issues in our lives and gives us applicable tools to use for our journey in Christ, which help us to stay on track and grow deeper. It is a powerful tool to help women of all ages connect with God. Stormie Omartian’s style of writing make her books inspiring. Her extremely practical, down-to-earth way of dealing with the many aspects of our lives with prayer and spiritual guidance is a tremendous blessing. This book is a strong Biblical foundation to teach us to pray with the right perspectives and attitudes, with steadfast faith in God’s awesome promises, as the author takes us deeper into Godly living. Stormie Omartian is an awesome prayer warrior, having gone through the bitter agony, torment and pain of innumerable severely traumatic trials.
The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a story of dreams deferred and hopes fulfilled – replete with Fisher’s mysterious signature twists. At home in Stoney Ridge, Ruthie Stoltzfus is lost in a bewildering sea of indecision about her future. Although she dearly loves her family, two questions gnaw at her heart constantly. Should she stay among her people, the Amish or should she leave to explore the stars on the horizon? Although ready and fully prepared to go, she just cannot put her foot forward to seize the moment and set the wheels of motion rolling to start her journey.
Meanwhile, Patrick Kelly, a young man on a peculiar mission of his own in Stoney Ridge, has come to convert to the Amish, adopt their language, customs and ways, while adapting to “everything Plain.” That transient thing called Time, to Patrick, is of the utmost essence. Every moment is to be cherished, as it will not come again but will be gone for ever. Ruthie is his Penn Dutch tutor. Ruthie’s defiant, next-door neighbor and former flame, Luke Schrock, cannot keep away from trouble, attracted to it like bees to honey or a moth to a flame. Rebellious and headstrong, Luke wants to win Ruthie back – if Patrick Kelly would not stand in his way. This is a book that will catch your attention, as Suzanne Woods Fisher unravels all the complicated tangles to set the record straight.
Celebrate each new day with encouragement and inspiration in this charming women’s devotional. You are a daughter of the King, beautifully created in His image. With over 180 readings, each inspiring devotional and accompanying Bible verse will make you feel perfectly loved. This beautiful devotional is filled with beautiful Scripture verses. All women are loved by God, beautiful in His eyes and wonderfully made in His image. This book that will speak to the hearts of people worldwide. Every woman is created by God’s design, fearfully and wonderfully made, radiating inner beauty from within. God made us, crafted in His glorious image and gifted with His sensitivities and longings. We reflect an unspeakable beauty. God sees it and He wants to show you what He sees in you, enhancing your beauty with His redemption and healing grace. Today, He rejoices over you. God wants you to know you are beautiful.
True to its name, in 3-Minute Devotions with Charles Spurgeon, compiled by Barbour Staff, we find inspiring wisdom and spiritual encouragement in these readings by the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon. This delightful devotional infuses power-packed inspiration into 180 three-minute readings. In Minute 1, we study a Bible verse; in Minute 2, we read through a devotional; and in Minute 3, we read a prayer to start talking to God. In three little minutes, spiritual renewal is at our fingertips. The timeless spiritual truth in the inspirational readings are just as relevant today as they were when Charles Spurgeon wrote them. The devotions will enhance and strengthen our spiritual growth. 3-Minute Devotions with Charles Spurgeon is a compilation of selections from Spurgeon’s sermons and writings, interspersed with short passages of scripture, to inspire one-on-one time with our heavenly Father. These 3-minute devotional readings will inspire and encourage you to deepen your relationship with Christ.
Uncommon is a blueprint, a bugle and a battle cry, issuing a clarion call to women to be uniquely different, and make a giant leap into an extraordinary life, full of perseverance, passion and purpose. Carey Scott highlights this point with Biblical heroines, who lived uncommon lives in the toughest circumstances, teaching us to live life God’s way, imbued by His strength. God asks us to be His beacons and shine His light into the world, in uncommon, exemplary, radical obedience to the One who is Himself extraordinary.
With vulnerable authenticity and uncommon boldness, this book empowers us to embrace our calling and lead others to God. Be uncommon and leap aboard the bandwagon of faith. Stand out in faith and neither give up nor give in. Let your faith shine to lead others to Christ. Praise draws us closer to God to get the strength to face the trials of life. Uncommon teaches us to live life uncommonly. Carey Scott addresses real struggles women face daily, like unconditional forgiveness and the courage to face the most difficult trials. Carey encourages us to live uncommon lives, to be kind, generous, loving and forgiving, to have faith in God to achieve the impossible. In each chapter is a personal reflection, stories from the Bible, Scripture, a personal challenge, and a prayer. It is a daily quiet time guide and daily devotional in the study of uncommon womanhood.
This book is true to its name. It is uncommon to surrender when the world calls you to conform. Carey takers us on a unique study of boldness in faith, to discover our own passion and be imbued with a renewed, revived and rejuvenated trust in God’s Word. It is not easy to be uncommon and to take the giant leap of faith to follow God’s path. We must live out our faith in such a way that it sets us apart, consecrated for God. We must learn how to be uncommon in every aspect of life. God is uncommon, and as we are made in His image, we are uncommon too. We must apply God’s word in every area of our lives and trust Him always. “Uncommon” fills us with God’s unconditional love, to inspire us to become the most uncommon women ever.
All who love Jesus long to experience intimacy with and service for Him. Like Mary, we yearn to sit at the Lord’s feet. Jesus tenderly invites us to choose “the better part” – a joyful life of intimacy with the Lover of our souls. that presses us into service for Him. Joanna Weaver shows us how to draw closer to our Lord, in ever-deepening devotion, strengthening our service with even greater joy. In music to our souls, with a heart that sings and a voice that rings out loud and clear, Joanna invites us to daily communion with Christ. With candor, humor, and passion, Joanna Weaver invites us to cultivate a ‘Mary heart’ that delights in top-priority time with God. The real-life story of the two sisters of Bethany is the story of our lives too. When Jesus and his disciples visited Bethany, Martha opened her home to him. Mary sat at the Lord’s feet, listening intently to Him, with eyes for Him alone. It is intriguing to have a Mary Heart in a Martha World. Welling up in our hearts is a passionate hunger, an unquenchable thirst, a fervent calling to love God the Father, to know Jesus Christ His Son, and the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit, in a deep heart-to-heart intimacy.
Martha was distracted by all the preparations. She asked Jesus, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” – (Luke 10:38–42). Martha is the Queen of the Kitchen, preparing a banquet fit for the Messiah. She is a party planner extraordinaire, a paragon of efficiency, “Where’s Mary? Has anyone seen Mary? Angry and frustrated, Martha finally found Mary, sitting at the Master’s feet. She had eyes only for Jesus. Martha interrupts Jesus, confident that He will take her side. Mary should help her to prepare the meal. Jesus gently rebukes her, telling her Mary has chosen “the better part,” which will not be taken away from her.
Mary and Martha are mentioned only three times in the Bible: Luke 10:38–42, John 11:1–44, and John 12:1–11. Mary took time to taste the love of Jesus. Faced with the same choice of work or worship, Mary chose “the better part,” available to both Mary and Martha, and to us too, regardless of our gifts, talents and personalities. It’s a free, voluntary choice. We can either take it or leave it. The choice is exclusively ours. Mary sees the joy and winsomeness in Jesus and is instantly drawn to Him. Jesus, the Son of God, drew Mary out into his circle of friends. He speaks with a voice like the sound of many waters. His magnetic words contain new life. Mary creeps closer, listening intently to Jesus. She is unable to move – except closer to Jesus. His words draw her into His heart. Despite her natural reticence, she kneels at his feet. His teaching reveals truth to her hungry heart. Mary allows Martha to serve while she listens to Jesus. She presses closer and closer to Jesus. Martha’s call is drowned by the call of her Master, the call to come, to listen and to be blessed.
Let us follow Mary to the feet of Jesus. He bids us to come. He can give us a Mary heart in a Martha world. Faith and trust comes only at Jesus’ feet. undergo a transformation right before our eyes: a holy makeover. The two sisters of Bethany are transformed. Martha becomes meek and Mary becomes courageous. God calls us to intimacy through Jesus Christ. At first, Martha opened her home but not her heart. She almost missed getting to know Jesus. Mary went all out for Jesus. God’s kingdom is a paradox. He desires companionship. “Be still and know that I am God.” He looks for people to pour his life into. We must draw closer to the Father’s heart. As we spend time with God, He gives us grace to lift the heaviest burdens. The “only one thing needed – the better part” is found at his feet. The gift of availability is what God cherishes most. Mary’s gift was availability. She sat at His feet. She was available for Him. A deeper friendship only requires a heart open and ready to receive. We must be lavish in our love, to be filled with His love, that flows out into service. Love starts at His feet.
Category: Historical Figure Biographies & Memoirs | European World History | Domestic Politics
Reviewer: Miriam Jacob
Queen Elizabeth II , great great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, graciously granted permission to Shrabani Basu to use the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. Sir Alexander Reid and Lady Michaela Reid gave Shrabani Basu complete access to the Reid Archives. Lady Michaela Reid , wife of the grandson of Sir James Reid (personal physician to Queen Victoria), discovered Sir James’ papers in the 1960s in Ellon Castle in Aberdeenshire. Her book, Ask Sir James, was critically acclaimed and reprinted by Eland Books.
Among royal biographies, “Victoria and Abdul” stands out in distinction, different from all others, due to its revelations of the relationship between Queen Victoria and her Indian secretary, Munshi Abdul Karim. The true historical facts must be revealed to all those who care. Queen Victoria defined an entire era and etched her name into history by her dynamic personality.
Shrabani Basu creates a very humane portrait of the iconic monarch. The Queen’s irresistible sincerity, unaffected simplicity and transparent truthfulness shone in the spotlight of conscientious duty. Reigning from 1837 to 1901, she became the second longest reigning monarch in Britain, for over sixty-three years.
At the height of the British empire, a young Muslim influenced its sovereign, reverberating in shockwaves across the royal court. For Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, Abdul Karim, a 24-year-old assistant clerk from India, arrived in England to be an attendant. The Queen, impressed with the tall, dignified young man, made him her Indian secretary, and most trusted confidant. Their discussions covered philosophical, political and practical issues.
The Queen titled Karim as ‘Munshi’ or teacher. In 1897, facing a near revolt in the Royal Household against Abdul Karim, the unprejudiced Queen Victoria backed Karim unconditionally, oblivious to all accusations against him.
“Victoria & Abdul” is a stunning piece of historical work, a well researched chronicle of the English court. Unrecorded in the annals of history, the startling revelations of this great relationship story of all time, survived destruction, languishing in obscurity for a hundred years, until Shrabani Basu unraveled its complicated tangles.
This book is highly recommended for public edification about the last thirteen years of the life of Queen Victoria, who shaped the ‘Victorian Age’ for posterity, making it the most splendid era in the history of Britain.
Directed by Stephen Frears | Screenplay by Lee Hall | Based on “Victoria & Abdul” by Shrabani Basu | Production company: BBC Films; Working Title Films | Distributed by Focus Features
Release date | September 15, 2017 (United Kingdom) | September 22, 2017 (United States) | Running time | 106 minutes | Country: United Kingdom & United States
Victoria & Abdul is an upcoming British-American biographical drama film directed by Stephen Frears, written by Lee Hall, based on the book by Shrabani Basu, and on the real-life relationship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim. The film is scheduled to be screened at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
The film is co-produced by Working Title Films and BBC Films, and co-financed by BBC and Focus Features. Focus handles the domestic distribution rights while Universal Pictures International handles all the other countries. Principal photography on the film began on September 15, 2016, at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shrabani Basu was born in Kolkata and grew up in Dhaka, Kathmandu and Delhi. She moved to London in 1987 and is a correspondent for the Kolkata-based newspapers Ananda Bazar Patrika and The Telegraph. She is also the author of Curry: The Story of the Nation’s Favourite Dish and the critically acclaimed biography Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan. She lives in London.
Sarah, wife of the Biblical patriarch, Abraham, waited for wonder in her wilderness. Weary and worn-out with endless waiting, she had given up all hope of ever seeing God’s promises fulfilled in her life. With rich insights and refreshing hope, this book transforms Sarah’s deep-rooted weariness into stunning, eye-opening wonder to see God’s sacred plans and purposes unfold in her personal wilderness of waiting. Sarah’s decades-long, wearisome wait for God’s promises to happen in her life is heartrending and utterly riveting. New hope springs up in her heart to see God at work, hemming her in with wonder, as she waited for God’s wonder-working power to unfold, when life’s trials hit home mercilessly, threatening to engulf and submerge her in its devastating deluge. Waiting for Wonder is all about hope in the midst of despair as we read Sarah’s passionate story of agonizing heartache, bitter struggle and seemingly endless waiting upon God.
God’s timing is not our own. We believe God when His promise is new but as the long, seemingly endless years pass by and nothing really changes, desperation strikes our hearts. Yet, as we are Waiting for Wonder, God calls us to experience the Wonder of Waiting. We miss the wonder of God’s plan when we struggle to wait. Abraham’s wife, Sarah knew what it meant to wait. God gives us strength to hope against hope and pray for the desires of our heart to be fulfilled. Waiting for Wonder takes us into the heart of God to ask questions and discover God’s answers, to appreciate God’s plan for our lives and refresh our spirits, to rekindle our hope and renew our trust in God’s promises, and to learn to wait for God’s time.
Rich spiritual insights in this life-transforming book will fill you with wide eye-opening wonder as you clearly see God’s divine purposes in your wilderness of waiting. Are you Waiting for Wonder? As you wait for God’s promises to be fulfilled in your life, fresh new hope will spring up in your life, when God hems you in with wonder on every side. This inspiring book touches our hearts as we are Waiting for Wonder from God. It is all about hope, faith, love and trust. The Bible’s real life story of Sarah’s bitter heartache, struggle and forever waiting on God turns into a precious lesson for us to trust Him with our lives. If God wants us to wait as Sarah did, we must learn the lessons she did. This engaging story inspires us to come closer to God, dig deeper into faith and trust even more deeply in the God who will never let us down. In today’s instant world, waiting is considered to be a waste of time. But in God’s world, waiting is a priceless treasure to be discovered.
In ‘Waiting for Wonder’, Marlo Schalesky’s deeply soulful and insightful wisdom is revealed as she passionately probes the unexplored landscape of Sarah’s wilderness journey, in the hollow canyons of the mountains and deep valleys of waiting, exposing the everpresent barrenness teetering at the precipice of doubt and despair. Sarah’s life is a silent testimony to how she fervently hoped against hope, trusting and believing in the endless years of waiting, that God would find a way out to illuminate the pure wonder of waiting, until He fulfilled His glorious promise to her.
Marlo Schalesky’s hard-won courage, wrested from the heart of despair, lights our hearts with love, inspires us with hope and illuminates our eyes to the pure wonder of waiting. Waiting for Wonder helps us to understand God, whose ways are not our ways, and trust Him still. Marlo sees very human people behind Bible characters, studying their lives for soul-transforming truth, saying it gracefully in all humility. Waiting for Wonder reveals Marlo’s devotion to the truth of God’s Word as she discovers wonder-filled moments of God’s grace. The spiritual truths in this book open our eyes in breathless wonder to see God in our waiting.
At the heart of Marlo Schalesky’s “Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God’s Timeline”, lies an important spiritual truth. In our waiting, God calls us to more. Waiting is hard and learning to wait well, even more so. At first, we all wait well, with new-found faith and hope, expecting God to meet us at our point of need, to answer our persistent questions and bring our fledgling dreams to life. But what happens in God’s timeline, when troublesome days turn into wearisome weeks, tiresome months, and seemingly endless years? Do we still wait well or flag in zeal and become discouraged? Waiting on God is where we all want to be. Though we believe God when a promise is new, it gets so much harder as the long years pass by with no significant changes. That’s when desperation strikes and plans backfire, causing tremendous pain and distress. In the midst of all this waiting, God calls us to more.
Studying the life of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who learnt to wait the hard way, we glimpse the character of God, as He works in the lives of Sarah and Abraham in their long wait for the child of God’s promise. Like them, as we wait for wonder, we wrestle with wonder. As Marlo Schalesky wisely points out, in our lives, God loves to redeem the deepest sorrow, the worst guilt, the most agonizing pain, transforming them into platforms for His glory to be revealed. When we are so deeply hurt that we feel the pain will never pass, so bitterly frustrated to see the fragments of our carefully planned lives crumble into dust, can we trust God to bring overwhelming good out of the devastation of evil. This awesome and inspiring biography of Sarah will encourage and refresh your soul as you wait for the God of all hope to reveal His glory in your life.
In ‘Waiting for Wonder’, Marlo gently dislodge deeply-wedged rocks of doubt and despair to transform our understanding of Sarah’s eventful life into the fullness of God’s glory. Gifted with the unique God-given ability to bring Biblical characters to life, portraying them as very humane people, Marlo sifts through their lives to glean rich gems of truth, revealing her selfless devotion to God’s Word, and her ability to discover life’s transforming wonder.
Waiting for Wonder ponders Biblical truths to reveal how God infuses wonder into waiting. Sarah’s life was filled with decades of promises still not come true, of desperate prayers of long, agonizing months turned into endless years. Sarah’s heart ached with the hope of a whole world blessed as she wrestled with the wonder of waiting. Who is this God of waiting who makes impossible promises, then asks Sarah and Abraham to wait, without even a glimmer of hope, and only the myriad stars to see in the silent sky? Who is this God of long intervals, painful delays, and yet-unanswered prayers?
To grasp the wonder of the God of the waiting room, we must find Him in the wilderness of waiting, where He seems most absent. Is anything too difficult for the Lord? He brings laughter when it seems too late. He is the God of wonder-while-you-wait. Sarah’s life is a soul-seeking journey of disappointment, doubt, and detours to discover God in the wilderness of life, believing in His commitment to bless all the families of the earth through her. Like Sarah, God calls us to wait for wonder, to laugh in the face of the impossible, to claim a blessing for the whole world, as we patiently wait for His time. Discover this God of waiting, of a whole world blessed through Sarah’s amazing life story, in “Waiting for Wonder” by Marlo Schalesky.
Marlo Schalesky is an award-winning author of 10 books, fiction and non-fiction, including “Wrestling with Wonder: A Transformational Journey through the Life of Mary” (Zondervan) and “Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God’s Timetable” (Abingdon Press). Over 1,000 of Marlo’s articles are published in Christian magazines, including Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and In Touch. A graduate of Stanford University, she earned her Masters in Theology, with an emphasis in Biblical Studies, from Fuller Theological Seminary. Marlo is the founder and president of Wonder Wood Ranch, a California charitable organization bringing hope to a hurting community through horses.
Wrestling With Wonder – A Transformational Journey Through The Life Of Mary – by Marlo Schalesky takes us on a unique, contemplative and eye-opening journey through the life of Mary, a blessed young woman chosen by God to rear the only beloved Son of God in His redemptive plan for mankind. Her humble obedience to God reveals her selfless commitment, in her journey from the manger of the Son of God to the cross of Calvary, on which He paid the supreme sacrifice by dying to save humanity. In order to know the why’s of Mary’s difficulties, we must know the Who, who took her and her Divine Son on that journey from the cradle to the grave. “I AM WHO I AM.” This is the striking truth at the heart of our faith. When we wrestle with all the why’s, we know who He is. He is perfect in all of His ways. As we wait for wonder, we wrestle with wonder. We struggle with doubts and grapple with distress. Through all our trials and difficulties, we find out who He is. His ways are good, acceptable and perfect. We cannot understand all the baffling why’s but God is our ever-present hope and anchor. Who is this God who calls us to complete surrender and fulfills every glorious promise and yet shatters every expectation of ours? Let us follow Mary on an illuminating journey of discovery to find our own journey in hers.
Sheba Journeyed Across the Desert with a Caravan of Riches,
Only to Find the Greatest Treasure of Them All. So Can You.
When it comes to famous queens of the Bible, we know the good one, Queen Esther, and the bad one, Queen Jezebel. Now meet the wise one, the queen of Sheba, who traveled to Jerusalem to test the mind and heart of a king. Her quest for wisdom will surprise you, challenge you, inspire you, change you. This wealthy royal from antiquity will show you how to live boldly, seek after truth, ask the right questions, encourage others, receive graciously, and honor the Lord above all. Shedding new light on this ancient Biblical role model, Liz Curtis Higgs unveils timeless wisdom for all who aspire to please the King of Kings.
REVIEW BY MIRIAM JACOB
The Queen of Sheba is one of the Bible’s most mysterious and captivating women. Here is Biblical history come to life. The epic wisdom of the Queen of Sheba is legendary, as her search for wisdom leads her to the One true source of all wisdom. This book opens our hearts to a journey of transformation, a veritable feast of rich truth, divine wisdom, and abundant grace. Liz Curtis Higgs’ avid description, graphic imagery and extensive research culminates spectacularly in a stunning blend of spiritual insight and practical application, culled from years of personal experience as a gifted spiritual writer. Every page sparkles with warm wit, insightful wisdom and Liz’s own unique signature style, as she breathes new life into this stunning account of the mysterious queen of Sheba. Her writing is a perfect blend of humor and insightful commentary. Liz has the intelligent mind of a Biblical scholar and the poignant heart of a talented novelist. Her in-depth knowledge of the Bible and personal relationship with the Lord gives her the ability to transform profound Biblical truth into practical application in daily life.
This book starts with tantalizing thoughts from the Queen of Sheba, written and signed in queenly style by “Sheba”, who is intrigued by reports of King Solomon, “blowing across the Arabian Desert like the fragrance of cinnamon on the night wind.” I like Liz’s apt choice of words and style. Only one man’s name resounds through the air: King Solomon. But the Queen of Sheba is a royal queen in her own right, monarch of the land of Sheba, well aware that a crown is worthless unless the sovereign has wisdom, tempered with sound judgment. King Solomon of Israel, worthy of his throne, rules his people with words of wisdom, not weapons of destruction. When he speaks, his words of insight are engraved on clay tablets for posterity, to ensure that his wisdom will outlive him, long after he is gone. Travelers bring the wisdom of King Solomon, impressed upon their hearts, to the Queen of Sheba, who is intrigued, wondering how Solomon learned these truths and who taught him? His father, King David, was a warrior-king; a poet in his own right. But Solomon surpasses David in wisdom. The Queen of Sheba is deeply inspired by King Solomon’s vast knowledge and wisdom. “When the Queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. – (1 Kings 10:1).”
The mysterious Queen of Sheba is one of the most fascinating and infamous monarchs in Biblical history. A wise queen of extraordinary boldness and clear-cut vision, she traveled far and wide, from the ends of the earth, to seek wisdom and to test the mind and heart of King Solomon. Her passionate quest for wisdom challenges and inspires us. This wise royal from antiquity boldly seeks after truth, asks the right questions, and acquires timeless wisdom to please the worthy King Solomon. “No other ruler merits the same attention” as the Queen of Sheba. Her unique search for truth is why this wise queen serves as a worthy role model. “She prized wisdom above power.” Her story in Scripture is short, yet inspiring— select verses in 1 Kings 10 and in 2 Chronicles 9. We marvel over the treasures to be found in God’s Word. The Lord’s name is rightly praised and we sense God’s presence. A changed heart is a wonder to behold. Even the all-wise King Solomon welcomed the brilliant Queen of Sheba.
This Queen of the Arabian Desert, the Queen of Sheba was true to her royal calling. All the deeds that truly matter: her words, actions, and motives, as recorded in Scripture, reveal a queen almost as wise as King Solomon himself. A fiercely independent woman, the Queen of Sheba was “at ease with herself and with her world”, ready and willing to venture into the unknown, in search of knowledge, wisdom, and truth. “Educated with royal care, in all the learning of her country,” the Queen of Sheba was always eager for more. Her caravan of camels always stood nearby, raring to go in search of adventure. The Queen of Sheba’s visit to Jerusalem was probably around 945 BC. An unmarried woman of royal blood, a virgin queen, the Queen of Sheba was alone on the throne.
What made King Solomon so renowned a celebrity in the tenth century BC? It was his amazing wisdom, “greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.” King Solomon’s praise was sung by everyone —“his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.” The world honored Solomon because of his unique bond with God, who was wisdom itself and the only true source of all knowledge. Solomon had a unique relationship to the Lord. The Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon and about his God, too. Solomon had amazingly great clout and importance only because of “the reputation of the Lord”. Everything he had was “due to the Lord’s name”. Our only purpose is to magnify the Lord’s fame and “sing the glory of his name.” That’s why Solomon stood out. From the time he was born, “the Lord loved him,” and Solomon worshiped the Lord. Did Sheba wish to meet Solomon’s God? Matthew Henry thought she was “religiously inclined” to know more about the God of Israel, the divine Teacher of the wise King Solomon.
The queen herself came in person to see Solomon. “From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom.” She was determined to investigate on her own, by undertaking a long and arduous journey of almost fifteen hundred miles, through the Arabian Desert, across Moab, past the Salt Sea, across the Jordan, through Canaan, and up into Jerusalem. Her mode of travel was by a caravan of camels—the “living ship of the desert” – in a journey of over two months. The Queen of Sheba was a bold and brave pioneer, noble and daring, enduring sandstorms and scorching heat, as her caravan traversed the wide sweeping expanse of sand dunes and trackless desert. The Queen of Sheba was a brilliant and well-versed diplomat, well-educated, socially adept and impressive. Her greatest asset was a heart that desired wisdom and an insatiable hunger for knowledge, “a restless longing after the True, the Good, the Beautiful, the Eternal.”
The Queen of Sheba desired attributes that capture the essence of the Almighty. She would put King Solomon’s reputation to the test, “the first reigning queen on record who pitted her wits and wealth against those of a king.”Wisdom is “an ornament of grace to the soul” that money cannot buy and skill cannot earn, costing time and effort. The Queen of Sheba had “a willingness to seek and sacrifice, to give whatever it takes to find answers to life’s questions.” She would test the king with hard “questions of very great difficulty”, “riddles” and cryptic “enigmas” which had definite answers. “A celebrated entertainment of the eastern princes” was to analyze the veiled meanings and allegorical language of riddles and enigmas. Did the Queen of Sheba know of King Solomon’s mastery in riddles and his superior skills? She was a talented opponent, armed with questions that “cloaked a deeper philosophical, practical, or theological truth” allowing her to display “her cunning and statecraft.” King Solomon claimed his wisdom from the God of Israel. The Queen of Sheba was determined to test Solomon and his God, in a bold and daring move, completely in character for such a brilliant Queen.
Reviewer, WaterBrook and Multnomah,
an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Red Carpet Premiere Announced to Celebrate Digitization of World-famous ‘Joni’ Film.
Occasion will recognize how God has used Joni Eareckson Tada’s
50 years in a wheelchair and the ministry of Joni and Friends
Originally released in 1979 by Billy Graham’s Worldwide Pictures, “Joni” tells the story of a young Joni Eareckson Tada, injured in a diving accident at age 17, and her journey of faith as she came to understand how her quadriplegia could be used by God to draw others to Him. Subsequently translated into 15 languages and shown in countries around the world, “Joni” is about to receive new life as it is digitized and Premiered at a Red Carpet event at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, California, on Aug. 6, 2017 – just over 50 years since her accident.
The premier is part of a celebration of God’s faithfulness to Tada through 50 years in her wheelchair. Joni and Friends International Disability Center is partnering with the church to host the event.
“Doing the movie wasn’t the smooth, easy process I thought it would be, but I learned a lot, including that the closer I got to Jesus, the more I found out who I was supposed to be,” Tada said. “It had always been my prayer that as people witnessed the struggle of a young girl coming to terms with her hardships and gaining trust in God, hundreds of thousands would embrace Jesus Christ for the first time. I pray this digitized version of the film will have the same impact on a new generation.”
The evening will begin with an invitation-only reception before the film Premiere itself, which will begin around 6 p.m. All attendees will have the opportunity to walk the Red Carpet as they enter the church.
“We are so excited and humbled to be a part of this special screening, and the occasion to honor all that the Lord has done through Joni and the ministry of Joni and Friends, far and above the original film’s release,” said Calvary Community Church Senior Pastor Shawn Thornton.
Joni and Friends President and COO Doug Mazza clarified the reason for the festivities surrounding the digitized film’s Premiere:
“While most people wouldn’t celebrate their 50th anniversary in a wheelchair, we see this event as a true celebration of Joni’s life, and all that God has accomplished through her ministry because of her 50 years as a quadriplegic. So we thought this timing for the ‘Joni’ digitization and Red Carpet Premiere couldn’t be better, and we wanted to mark the occasion with fanfare as well as recognition for others who have been used by God in disability ministry, including our great friend Pastor Shawn Thornton.”
Joni and Friends contracted with Fotokem to complete the digitization, and has exclusive rights to show the film for one year, before Worldwide Pictures assumes distribution rights.
“We appreciate our friends at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for their cooperation on this project, and look forward to seeing how Joni’s story will be further used to reach people for Christ,” Mazza added. “I have seen some clips of the digitized film and it is beautiful; I pray even more people will be able to view the movie and be impacted by this new, enhanced version.”
For more than 38 years, Joni and Friends has worked to accelerate ministry to the disability community around the world, offering a wide array of life-affirming ministries, including the Christian Institute on Disability; Wheels for the World; international radio and television programs filled with inspirational stories; and Family Retreats, where families affected by disability learn they are not alone. For more information, please visit http://www.joniandfriends.org/
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A. Larry Ross Communications
Melany Ethridge firstname.lastname@example.org
Imprint: WaterBrook & Multnomah,
Publisher: Penguin Random House,
Hardcover: $14.99, Oct 6, 2009 | 208 Pages ISBN: 9780307446534
Ebook: $9.99, Oct 6, 2009 | ISBN: 9780307458353
PUBLISHER’S SYNOPSIS –
This is a captivating story of two guarded hearts , the letters that unlock their secrets, and the surprise of healing grace.
Beth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store, and serving as contact of sorts between Amish craftsmen and Englischers who want to sell the Plain people’s wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fiancé.
When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work – including Lizzy’s dry goods store. But she doesn’t know if her bishop will approve of the gorgeous carving.
Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth shows her the woodworking, and after Lizzy hunts down Jonah, the artist, she is all the more determined that Beth meets this man with the hands that create healing art.
But it’s not that simple–will Lizzy’s elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love–or just more heartbreak?
About Cindy Woodsmall
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA bestselling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family.
REVIEW BY MIRIAM JACOB
Cindy Woodsmall is a favorite Amish Fiction author with such a gentle touch that she authentically captures the hearts of her characters. Cindy skillfully intertwines simple Amish life with the strength of loving the Lord. In “The Sound of Sleigh Bells”, Lizzy Hertzler delicately unveils the bitter heartache and turmoil her niece, Beth suffered after enduring deep personal tragedy. Beth, still in mourning and unable to move past her deep wounds, cuts herself off from any hope of happiness. No one goes through life unscathed, and Lizzy would do anything to see her niece healed, even risking Beth’s wrath to do so. Jonah, a gifted carver, holding the answer to Beth’s hurtful past and happy future in his hands, pursues a relationship with Beth to prove his heartfelt desire for Beth’s healing. God cares even more deeply for our happiness. He pours out His mercy, grace and love in unimaginable ways. As a result, we experience immeasurably enriched lives.
Amish customs, with a time for every season, permit a period of grieving, but Beth Hertzler, emotionally crippled by grief, could not move on. Life gave her a blow so great that it couldn’t be shared with anyone. One day, an exquisitely carved artwork on a shelf deeply moves Beth, striking a chord in her aching heart, too deep for words. The artist, Jonah, who suffered bitter blows in life, poignantly says, “…..some things in life are just that way. They demand more of you than you have, and even knowing you’ll lose, you have to attempt it anyway. Everyone is damaged one way or another …..some people’s scars you can see because they are on the outside….., others you can’t see because they are hidden within!” This captivating story of the healing and unconditional love of two closely guarded hearts touches us like few others can. Most of the storyline lies in Jonah’s letters, which hold the key to unlock Beth’s heart.
In “The Sound of Sleigh Bells”, Cindy Woodsmall portrays the uniquely personal struggles and deep conflicting emotions of her characters with passionate honesty. Past sorrowful circumstances kept Beth and Jonah unmarried. Their first meeting attracts both of them, but Beth’s buries her feelings, unwilling to get into a new relationship. Two baffling questions must be resolved before Beth and Jonah can move on in life. Can Beth ever overcome the devastating secrets that painfully control her life? Will Jonah ever get emotional healing from a devastating accident? The Sound of Sleigh Bells is a warm, tender and deeply passionate story with a unique theme of forgiveness and restoration that warms your heart like no other. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to get to the heart of true love, to find deep and lasting satisfaction.
In ‘Queen Esther’s Reflection’, Ann Platz portrays Queen Esther as a perfect role model of grace, courage and excellence for women of today. From charming hospitality and wisdom-inspired mentoring to extending grace and social graces to others, the young and attractive Esther is an amazing and incredible person to emulate. This inspiring book is a penetrating, psychologically uplifting, true-to-life story of the young Queen’s graceful beauty, inspiring wisdom, and faultless loyalty to her husband, King Ahasuerus as well as her selfless devotion to her people. Queen Esther was a courageous young lady who became the pride, joy and delight of the King of Persia. A remarkably self-composed and extremely level-headed woman, Esther was carefully trained in the art of good looks, exemplary manners, courtesy and palace protocol, acquiring precious skills that would stand her in good stead when she became Queen by an extraordinary act of God.
Ann Platz explores the godly nature of the beautiful Queen Esther and the profound influence she wields among women in today’s society, as an exemplary woman of faith, endowed with a stunning reflection of Christ-like values. With crystal clear clarity, Ann dwells upon her own well-bred upbringing and the social skills she imbibed in South Carolina as the daughter of the longest-serving state senator in USA. Ann Platz graciously instructs women on how to transform their homes into palaces, with the divine touch of a royal anointing, by reflecting upon the excellence of character reflected in Queen Esther’s life. In this book, the author elegantly teaches us the priceless lessons of a pure heart and a sterling character through the inspiring Bible story of this humble and noble Queen.
Queen Esther allowed herself to be gracefully refined and prepared exquisitely, by being taught and mentored to make her spiritually beautiful. Her rare grace and fragrance captivated the king to give her royal favor and propel her into her tryst with destiny. The ultimate goal of every Christian woman is to become a woman of grace and dignity like Queen Esther. We were all brought into the kingdom “for such a time as this” to fulfil God’s plan, purpose and design for our lives. Every woman can acquire the royal dignity of a princess or even a Queen in her own way, if she strictly adheres to Biblical principles like Esther did, to reap her glorious reward in the salvation of her people. I admire the author’s direct, matter-of-fact style and deeply appreciate the delicate sense of balance that she maintains throughout the book, paying special emphasis to Queen Esther’s courage, faithfulness and obedience to God.
This book penetratingly ploughs the depths of a woman’s soul. Ann Platz is frank and transparently open, deeply honest, scripturally sound and filled with wisdom and understanding. She is a fearless teacher of divine truth and righteousness, as she lives it out to the hilt in her own life. Through the pages of this revealing book, Ann takes us on our very own personal journey of faith, as she opens our hearts and eyes to the inspiring and truthful life of Queen Esther, painting a glorious portrait of a charming woman of grace, courage, and excellence, a perfect role model for our lives and times. This is an incredible book, divinely anointed by God, and a rare treasure to be read many times over, as Ann uniquely intertwines the poignant history of the Kingdom of Persia with the practical application of the spiritual truths from Queen Esther’s life, to teach us precious lessons to practise in our daily lives.
‘Queen Esther’s Reflection’ is a thoughtful and perceptive analysis of the anointed role Queen Esther played in God’s divine plan, and the priceless lessons of humility and grace every Christian woman can learn from Queen Esther’s honorable life. Esther’s experiences certainly apply to all women’s lives, especially pertaining to the aspects of gracious living. Queen Esther, a woman of exemplary courage in the face of indefatigable odds, is one of my favorite Bible characters. Her spiritual beauty, inspired by God’s grace and favor, produces an irresistible fragrance that draws people to God.
Ann Platz, a very gifted and multi-talented author, is a wonderful inspiration to women worldwide. Her graceful face and admirable traits of charm and courtesy are stunning proof of this. Ann applies her wisdom gracefully and practically, extracting precious life lessons from the ancient but highly relevant story of Queen Esther, to apply them very skillfully to the lives of women today. I am deeply impressed with her elegant, dignified descriptions about Queen Esther in this awe-inspiring book. Ann Platz is the perfect epitome of southern charm and gracious hospitality. A noted interior designer, author and speaker, she is deeply inspired and motivated to share God’s love and inspiration with all His people worldwide. ‘Queen Esther’s Reflection’ bears the hallmark of excellence and is stamped with God’s favor and approval.
© Miriam Jacob
In her book “Tested by Fire,” Kelley Latta unveils the most striking truths, as she helps us to discover the treasures hidden in God’s Word, until we come face to face with the most precious Treasure of all Treasures, the Lord Jesus Christ. Is the foundation of your life built on solid rock or sinking sand? Will it withstand the test of time? Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of the House that God built. Are you a member of His Royal Family? There is eternal life in God’s House.
Jesus Christ is our Rock; the solid foundation on which we stand. We are securely held within the safety of God’s Hand when we receive the lavish gift of grace poured out to us through His Son. We have to receive Jesus into our hearts, crown Him Lord of our lives, take up His cause voluntarily and relinquish all rights to our own lives, handing over everything to Jesus, the rightful owner of our souls. God gives us salvation through the gift of His Son, a gracious gift of life, a glorious gift of grace. This comes at a personal cost.
God wants us to lay down our will and embrace His Holy Will. He invites us “to live according to His plan in the safety of His protection.” If we allow God to write the story of our lives, He promises to give us the fruits of His kingdom. A glorious eternal future will be ours. May the light of Jesus shine ever so brightly in our hearts! May we hear His gentle voice whispering to us softly as He guides us through the tangled maze of life. Let us treasure the beauty of His life-giving Word as we get to know the precious Holy Spirit in a wonderful, soul-satisfying and “fruit-bearing relationship with the King of Kings.”
Seek God in His Word and He will give you a fruitful harvest. Your faith will grow into a ripe fruit for Christ. Lay the first stone to set a firm foundation in your faith-life. Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone, the bright Morning Star, the Light of Life. Let us build our faith on the firm foundation of Christ the Rock as an everlasting monument to the glory of the Lord. God speaks to us through His Son and expects us to obey Him wholeheartedly. Jesus Christ is the brilliant radiance of God’s dazzling glory. Let us not forget that “to the heart that desires to know Him, He will make Himself known.” Let us pray for the gift of His Presence in our hearts, to give us the strength to live a new life in Him. “He who promised is faithful and He will do it.”
God desires sweet fellowship with His children. He gave us His Son so that we could become His very own. The Divine Artist paints a vivid portrait of His love in His Word. Ask God to open your heart to the truth of His Word. The tender whisper of the Shepherd beckons us to safe pasture. To tap into the abundance of Christ, we must know Him intimately. Redeemed by the Blood of Christ, we are one with Him in perfect unity. God’s Word communicates Jesus to the members of His Body, the Church. God’s Word reveals His instructions to His people, to obey in order to receive His blessing. God’s Spirit will guide us in spirit and truth, taking what He hears from Jesus and giving it to us. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to us, His children and our Guide to His blessed Will. Christ, the Rock of Life meets us in His Word, the Book of Life, to give us new life in the Spirit.
© Miriam Jacob
3-MINUTE DEVOTIONS WITH ANDREW MURRAY
© 2015 by Barbour Books, an imprint of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
ISBN 978-1- 68322-130-2. PRICE $4.99
When Andrew Murray began his theological training, he experienced a conversion of heart and an inward grace by casting himself on Christ. Murray wrote to his parents, “Your son has been born again. … I have cast myself on Christ.” This became his life theme.
“May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence,” was his prayer. “And not a moment without the entire surrender of myself as a vessel for him to fill full of his Spirit and his love.”
Andrew Murray preached that the believer can expect to receive the fullness of the Spirit. “I must be filled; it is absolutely necessary. I may be filled; God has made it blessedly possible. I would be filled; it is eminently desirable. I will be filled; it is so blessedly certain.”
Murray interpreted the Bible for Christians to experience the grace of God, who did everything for people to live meaningful lives that participated in the life of God, to lead them into a fuller understanding of the work God has called them to do.
“God rules the world by the prayers of his saints, that prayer is the power by which Satan is conquered, that by prayer the church on earth has disposal of the powers of the heavenly world.”
A deeper spiritual life cannot grow without deeper daily devotion to God’s Word and to prayer. Andrew Murray was one of the best-loved and most widely read writers on the deeper Christian life. This pastor, preacher, and missions speaker witnessed remarkable spiritual revival on three continents.
If you hunger for God’s presence in a daily personal renewel, 3-Minute Devotions with Andrew Murray will satisfy you with an astonishing banquet of divine, spiritual riches. Here are his treasured insights on prayer to draw you closer to God. A daily scripture deepens your insight, with a brief prayer to focus your devotions.
“Time alone with the Lord Jesus each day is indispensable,” insisted Andrew Murray. As you satisfy your hunger for God in this inspiring devotional, you will experience the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. Faith will come alive for you in a way you never thought possible.
Compiled by Miriam Jacob
The Heart-Shaped Life Daily Devotional
Choosing a Life of Steadfast Love One Day at a Time
by Karen Moore
Imprint: Shiloh Run Press, Barbour Publishing, Inc., 01 May 2017,
ISBN: 9781683220091. PRICE $14.99
Here is inspiration for a Heart-Shaped Life. When we view the world through the ‘eyes’ of the heart each moment of every day, we will walk ‘heart first’ into every life situation and circumstance. As we allow Christ to fill our hearts with His Love, we will love God, others, and ourselves. “The Heart-Shaped Life Daily Devotional” by Karen Moore encourages you to live life to the hilt – “heart first” – giving you precious thoughts, prayers, and Scripture to inspire you to live a heart-shaped life, full of Love!
Karen Moore draws us into intimate moments with God in the empowering thoughts and revelations from The Heart-Shaped Life Devotional. Having witnessed life’s struggles and challenges, she has the right words to encourage and inspire us to live a heart-shaped life, filled with love. The quality time Karen spent time listening to God has shaped her heart and her life’s work. When we spend time with God, in His Word, and in His presence, He can mold and shape us to be more like Him. We realize who we are in God’s eyes and how to be kind and gracious.
The Heart-Shaped Life Daily Devotional transforms the way we view the world, one person at a time. It encourages and inspires us to walk hand-in-hand with the greatest Love of our life, God. Karen’s wisdom and precious heart is revealed on each page, to assist others in shaping their self-image to reflect who they are from deep within.
Karen inspires us to see the best in others, see them heart-first, through the lens of love. We only have one calling in life, to become what God designed us to be. It is a heart issue. The uplifting and life-shaping thoughts in “The Heart-Shaped Life Daily Devotional” will enrich our souls.
Karen Moore is a master craftsman with words. The Heart-Shaped Life is delicate and subtle. The author is also a pragmatist. This is reflected in her clear clarion calls to the reader to get past the ‘ordinary’ to the ‘extraordinary’, living life to the hilt with love, joyful exuberance, and godly abandon.
Compiled by Miriam Jacob
YOU ARE HIS – by Darlene Sala
Imprint: Barbour Books, Barbour Publishing Inc.,
01 Apr 2017, ISBN 9781683221449. PRICE: $16.99
Are you among the busy women who thirst for freshening, invigorating, revitalizing, restorative Living Water? In “You are His,” Darlene Sala exhorts you to come to Jesus just as you are. Let us fix “our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith”. When the storm overwhelms you, look to Jesus. Reach for His hand. Offer yourself to the Lord as a gift, “holy and pleasing to God”. You’ll be amazed at what He does with you. Write what is in your heart. Your words will be a prayer that God will listen to. Always give yourself totally to whatever you do. Give your undivided attention to the task at hand. “This one thing I do”. One thing at a time. Jesus was the master of this. He met each present need before the next one. Are you discouraged? Lift up your eyes to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Look up at the Lord. If you feel insignificant today, thank God for His greatness—and His care for you and me! The Bible is God’s instruction Book. In it, you’ll meet Him who designed you— and He can fix anything. His name is “I AM”. He is the God of your past, your present, and your future. You are God’s beloved daughter. You are His.
When Jesus Speaks to a Woman’s Heart
Inspiration for Your Soul
by Donna K. Maltese
Published: 01 Apr 2017. ISBN: 9781683221135. PRICE: $5.99
As women of the Way, the Truth and the Life, we have to keep ourselves happy and holy on the narrow road that leads to eternal life. “When Jesus Speaks to a Woman’s Heart” by Donna K. Maltese will assuage your spiritual thirst, uplift your hurting heart, and give you divine power and strength to pursue your spiritual journey with zeal and zest. Within this inspiring book, you will find encouragement and inspiration to help you to tide over the vicissitudes of life. As a woman, you are always on Jesus’ mind. ‘Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.” There is no miracle He cannot perform. Allow Jesus to speak to your heart and draw you closer to Him. Explore His presence in your life, His passion to save you, His passionate plea to win your heart, His supernatural power to empower you and His awesome plan to help you become who you are destined to be. This delightful book will inspire you in your daily walk with God. It will nourish and sustain your faith. You will get encouragement to face each new day, with a sweet and loving touch of Jesus especially for you. Christ speaks to your heart every day, in every circumstance and situation. Each devotion, rooted in scripture from Christ’s heavenly perspective, will make you feel perfectly loved and divinely blessed. May the Lord bless you, guard, and keep you; make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may He lift up His loving countenance upon you and give you His peace.
Compiled by Miriam Jacob
Choose Hope: 3-Minute Devotions for Women
Compiled by Barbour Staff, Barbour Publishing, Inc.
ISBN 9781683221746. PRICE $4.99
In today’s busy world, all it takes is three minutes to read and be inspired. “Choose Hope: 3-Minute Devotions for Women” is the perfect pick-me-up for today’s busy twenty-first century woman. This delightful devotional gives us comfort, encouragement inspiration and hope, all compactly packed into just-the-right-size readings. In all of three minutes, meditate on scripture in the first minute; read a short devotional reading in the second minute; say a prayer to start talking to God in the third minute. It is a unique, heartfelt devotional book to be inspired to get closer to God. We are here in this world only because of God, here on earth to worship God, and we can still do it even if we only have three minutes to do so. Let us keep our blessed connection with our Lord alive every day. God’s blazing light shines into our hearts after we read each devotion, giving us strength to face each new day. We will be grateful for all God’s gifts. This a wonderful devotional to give us hope and joy in life. When our hope is in God, we will be steadfast, our feet firmly planted on the Rock of Ages, to give us a safe and secure future. It is extremely reassuring to know that the answers to our prayers depend only on God, who rushes to help us the moment we ask Him, for any reason that we might need Him for. Soak yourself deep into the words of this life-giving devotional, to give you hope and encouragement. It is the most perfect gift for anyone who needs hope and joy in their lives.
1,001 PROMISES OF GOD
© 2017 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Compiled by Linda Hang. Print ISBN 978-1-68322-168-5
Imprint: Barbour Books, an imprint of Barbour Publishing.
1,001 Promises of God gives us God’s strength when we are overburdened with the disappointments of life, and our heavy hearts give up all hope for a promising and fulfilling future. These 1,001 uplifting promises for God’s children are specially selected verses from the Holy Bible. which has an answer for every problem we face. Here are 1,001 of Scriptures’ most inspiring, encouraging and uplifting promises in the Bible. It is the most perfect pick-me-up to start our days with joy. Christ’s love will fill our heart to overflowing and it will spill out to others. This inspiring devotional will strike a deep chord in our hearts, and we will know the liberating power of God’s truth to set us free to love and serve Him all our days. These 1,001 Promises for God’s children will give us hope in a hopeless world and help us to cling to God on the most difficult of all days. We will find God’s most uplifting guarantees included in these inspiring 1,001 Promises of God. Here are the most powerful promises from our Creator, to refresh our spirits and give us a renewed sense of Christ’s love, joy and peace.
The spiritual content in the Eagle Harbor and American State Flower Novella, “Love’s Violet Sunrise” by Naomi Rawlings is beautifully integrated, making the story inspiring and meaningful to readers. The two main characters, Hiram Cummings and Mabel Krause strive to secure the release of Dietrich, Mabel’s brother from jail by convicting the culprit who got him arrested on a false charge. This faith-based book by best-selling author, Naomi Rawlings has wide-spread appeal. The well-developed characters, intriguing storylines and surprise plot twists create a beautiful and captivating tale of enduring love that triumphs at all costs.
© Miriam Jacob
Pages: 1025. Imprint: Bello, Pan Macmillan, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., electronic edition: 26.03.2015. ISBN: 9781447279518. £8.03.
First published in 1983 by Michael Joseph.
© William Manchester 1983.
“The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932”, the first volume in William Manchester’s epic three volume series, is the definitive biography of Britain’s pre-eminent prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill, who was born when Imperial Britain was at the pinnacle of her power. Yet, a few years later, the British Empire hovered dangerously on the brink of a catastrophic new era. This impressive biography of the aristocrat, soldier, and statesman covers the first fifty-eight years, a period during which his courageous vision charted the course for Britain’s future, guiding the nation through darkly troubled times. Portraying the illustrious life of one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century, in one of the most brilliantly well-executed narratives in historical literature, William Manchester is undoubtedly one of the best biographers, a master in the literary art, who wields his pen dexterously with a flourish. It is extremely significant that the dynamic and versatile Winston Churchill perfectly complements Manchester’s engaging, insightful style. “The Last Lion” is a brilliant and inspiring testament of the history of Britain in the Victorian, WWI, and post-war eras.
In the first volume, the Preamble “The Lion at Bay” begins with the Allied evacuation of France in World War II – the “Miracle at Dunkirk”, a disastrous catastrophe of overwhelming proportions, that saw the French collapse, the Dutch hopelessly overwhelmed, and the Belgians surrendered. The trapped British army fought free to beat a hasty retreat to the Channel ports, to a fishing town, then named Dunkerque. Totally defenseless, there was no escape, for behind them lay the deep, turbulent sea. England’s greatest crisis since the Norman conquest, Britain found itself utterly alone. If the Germans arrived, all would be lost. The southern weald of England’s island was indefensible against armed forces, its southern terrain unsuitable for constructing strongpoints to establish uncontested beachheads. At Dunkirk, the two hundred and twenty-thousand troops were doomed to perish on the Flanders beaches. Only a handful of them might ever come home. The Royal Navy’s ships were wholly inadequate. At the crisis of the hour, King George VI was alerted that only seventeen thousand troops might be saved. The House of Commons was warned to prepare for imminent disaster. And that was when the miracle happened. Suddenly, out of the blue, from the silent streams and estuaries of Kent and Dover, came a strange fleet of an unusual kind – a flotilla of trawlers, tugs, scows, fishing sloops, lifeboats and coasters, full of brave civilian volunteers, ready to face anything. England’s gallant fathers were sailing courageously to rescue Britain’s bleeding troops. Even by today’s standards, it was miraculous. British soldiers and French support troops were delivered. A staggering total of three hundred and thirty-eight thousand, six hundred and eighty-two soldiers in all.
Winston Churchill was an embodiment of the Victorian standards of honour, valour, loyalty, selfless duty, and the supreme virtue of action; uncompromising, who could inspire people with heroic visions of what they could become. He was a leader of intuitive genius, who believed in his national destiny and the supremacy of people, a master artist who gathered history’s light into his prism and reflected it to his ends, an embodiment of inflexible resolution, adept at imposing his will on people. After waiting in the wings of time, his hour had struck. He was the man for whom the bell tolled. Sitting in Parliament for forty years, he had grown old in his nation’s service, enduring slander and calumny only to be summoned to salvage hopeless situations. A BBC bulletin stated: ‘His Majesty the King has sent for Mr Winston Churchill and asked him to form a government.’
Hitler was supreme master of Europe. No one had ever sat on such a immovable pedestal or stood upon such a towering pinnacle. The Führer declared: ‘The war is finished. I’ll come to an understanding with England.’ On the first day of the Dunkirk evacuation, a negotiated peace with Hitler seemed to be England’s only alternative,the only reasonable decision a stable man of sound judgement could ever take. But Winston Churchill was not a reasonable man, being as sound as the Maid of Orleans. He himself said: ‘It’s when I’m Joan of Arc that I get excited.’ He was like an Elijah or an Isaiah; a political prophet with deep insight.
To the War Cabinet, Winston Churchill concluded: ‘If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.’ He spoke courageously to the English people as no one had ever done before or is likely to do so again. His words became immortalized for ever: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.’ Churchill said: “Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous states have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. ‘Behind us,’ he said, ‘. . . gather a group of shattered states and bludgeoned races: the Czechs, the Poles, the Danes, the Norwegians, the Belgians, the Dutch – upon all of whom a long night of barbarism will descend, unbroken even by a star of hope, unless we conquer, as conquer we must, as conquer we shall.’
It was in the same vein as the language of the greatest poet in history and the greatest English dramatist & poet, William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616): ‘This England never did, nor never shall, /Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror.’ – (“King John”, Act 5 scene 7). Winston Churchill was fired by the conviction of one who had faced inner despair. To the demoralized and beleagered French, he boldly declared: ‘Whatever you may do, we shall fight on forever and ever and ever.’ When General Maxime Weygand asked what would happen if Nazi divisions landed at Dover, Churchill responded that they would be hit on the head as they crawled ashore.
Here are selected extracts of his speech ‘Never, never, never, never give in’ at Harrow School, London, England on October 29, 1941 –
“But we must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. It is generally said that the British are often better at the last. They do not expect to move from crisis to crisis; they do not always expect that each day will bring up some noble chance of war; but when they very slowly make up their minds that the thing has to be done and the job put through and finished, then, even if it takes months – if it takes years – they do it. Another lesson I think we may take, is that appearances are often very deceptive, and as Kipling well says, we must “…meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same.
“You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone,…. this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
“Britain, other nations thought, had drawn a sponge across her slate. But instead our country stood in the gap. There was no flinching and no thought of giving in; and by what seemed almost a miracle to those outside these Islands, though we ourselves never doubted it, we now find ourselves in a position where I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.”
When the boys sang an old school song, rewritten in his honour: “Not less we praise in darker days /The Leader of our Nation, /And Churchill’s name shall win acclaim /From each new generation. For you have power in danger’s hour /Our freedom to defend, Sir! /Though long the fight we know that right /Will triumph in the end, Sir!” Churchill suggested that ‘Darker’ should be ‘sterner’, provided his watchword was followed: ‘Never, never, never, never give in.’ “Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days – the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.”
Winston Churchill saved Western civilization, its redemption worth any price. “The Last Lion” refers to the lion in Revelation, ‘the first beast,’ with ‘six wings about him’ and ‘full of eyes within.’ Aged eighty, he said: ‘It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion’s heart; I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.’ He made light of it but it wasn’t that simple. Their spirits lay dormant and inactive until he became prime minister, when renewed, revived and rekindled by his enlightening words, they emerged as a people transformed, to the immense admiration of the whole world.
Churchill wanted to be where the action was and the bombs fell. A man of extraordinary personal courage, each battle made him expose himself to gunfire fearlessly. At sea in 1943, when a U-boat was in sight, he said: ‘I won’t be captured. The finest way to die is in the excitement of fighting the enemy.’ On second thoughts he added: ‘It might not be so nice if one were in the water and they tried to pick me up.’ When Averell Harriman said that the worst a torpedo could do to this ship . . . was to knock out one engine room’, Churchill grinned, ‘Ah, but they might put two torpedoes in us. You must come with me . . . and see the fun.’ It was his sense of humour in the face of war that kept him from being gloomy. At the same time, he called war a ‘dirty, shoddy business, . . . disguise it as you may.’ ‘You cannot gild it. The raw comes through.’
Winston Churchill viewed war as an incredibly big adventure. As a war correspondent, he reported the sad death of a peer in battle ‘for which the only consolation is that the Empire is worth the blood of the noblest of its citizens.’ In 1914, the diarist Frances Stevenson, noted that war filled the British cabinet with gloom, whereas ‘in burst Churchill, radiant, smiling, satisfaction upon his face. “Well!” he exclaimed, “the deed is done!”’ Lloyd George said that ‘Winston was radiant, his face bright, his manner keen . . . You could see he was a really happy man”. Elected to Parliament at the young age of twenty-five, Winston Churchill saw war as something to be conquered, not feared. War inspired him to give his very best to the nation. He was a true son of England’s soil, faithful to Queen and country.
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.
Compiled by Miriam Jacob
by Denis Judd
I. B. Tauris
George VI was crowned as King of the United Kingdom on 11 December 1936 and reigned until 6 February 1952. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth. Born on 14 December 1895, the thirty-fourth death anniversary of his great-grandfather, Albert, Prince Consort of Queen Victoria, he was named after him. In Queen Victoria’s view, the distinguished name was the hallmark of the lineage and bore the stamp and seal of her union with the Prince Consort. Successive generations of male royals bore his name among their names. The baby’s father, the Duke of York, later King George V, wrote to Queen Victoria (aged seventy-six) with some finesse, proposing to call him Albert after the Prince Consort. Queen Victoria, the baby’s Godmother, accepted it graciously with warmth and spontaneity. The baby prince was christened on 17 February 1896. Not born to be King, Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George, the second son of King George V, was second in line to the throne. He was born in 1895 at a time when Britain was the greatest world power, wielding far-reaching influence worldwide, her Empire far-flung, with the Royal Navy patrolling the seven seas. A focal point of imperial patriotism, at the heart’s core of a global imperial structure, the Royal Family were leaders of British society.
(The first paragraph of a review compiled by Miriam Jacob)
In “Sarah’s Smile”, Book 1 of The Daughters of Riverton Series, Dawn Kinzer teaches us to love and forgive. God’s love comes with the gift to forgive.
Sarah McCall (a heartbroken missionary-to-be, awaiting a call to leave for Africa) abruptly halts, as if before an invisible wall, as a tall figure is silhouetted in the sunlight. Her heart beat painfully, but it’s too late to flee. After ten years of being apart, a time to heal and bury her heartache, Reverend Peter Caswell, Sarah’s very own Lazarus, comes back into her life. Peter is still the same, yet somehow strangely different, his eyes piercing deep into hers. His decisions had cost them dearly. Sarah wants to meet his little girl. Peter’s eyes lit up at this. Mary was a lot like her – buoyant and high-spirited. The compliment by comparison and contrast stung Sarah, who once believed they would have children together. When Sarah first saw Mary, she instantly recognized the little girl with golden curls, whose eyes were exactly like Peter’s own. His precious little daughter, the living proof of Peter’s love for Lily. For a split second, Sarah wanted to hug her but she restrained herself. Mary’s blonde, curly ringlets bounced merrily. The child‘s angelic beauty and charm mesmerized them all.
From his sad look, even after two years, Peter still grieves his late wife. His marriage to Lily had brought Sarah bitter heartache, a lost, irretrievable past, to be buried forever. Used to city life and its metropolitan lifestyle, Peter could never convince Lily to visit his rural home in the country. Lily also found one of Sarah‘s letters to Peter, words of encouragement he never received after marrying Lily, a vivid reminder of who he‘d once been and who he hoped to be. Lily accused him of loving Sarah, and though he denied it, Peter had lied to himself, a stunning reality adding guilt to his heavy burden. Lily wouldn’t set foot in the same town as Sarah, and refused to allow Peter to go alone or with Mary. Peter’s sister, Ellie said that Lily made it very difficult for her to know either Lily herself or Mary , never giving them a chance to meet. Peter couldn’t persuade Lily to visit his family even for a few days. He never liked to talk about Lily either. Ellie tried to earn Lily’s friendship, but she always felt like an intruder. Sarah couldn’t even bear to hear about the life Peter had made without her.
Sarah longs to receive the letter to the African mission field, a call to set her free to do something noble and self-sacrificing with her life, a promise once made to her grandfather. Sarah was grateful her grandparents had taken her in when her own parents had deserted her. How could the debt ever be repaid? While Gram had a sour, demanding disposition, Grandpa Nels had showered Sarah with affection. Sarah inherited his gift for numbers and his accounting business. It helped to feed them before the Home Store was built. When her grandfather died, Sarah gave up her dream of making her own mark on the world.
Sarah fervently believed that despite anything she faced, God would never abandon her. She had promised God and her grandfather to share this truth with hopeless, lonely people. When she could leave Riverton, no one would stand in her way. Not even Peter. Sarah’s mind was firmly made up. She‘d waited years to begin a new life. Peter had made his choice when he married Lily, a high society, city-bred woman. Sarah would never fit the role of a pastor‘s wife. On the contrary, she loved to race horses across pastures, enjoy fishing or tramp through woods. Sarah was devastated when Peter abruptly went out of her life. No vows were made, but love was mentioned. Sarah nurtured it in her heart, though his letters became fewer as time passed. Peter had viewed her only as a friend. How else could he have married Lily? Sarah never returned to their favorite spot, unable to bear Peter’s loss, the place in her heart where she bid farewell to Peter forever.
Peter Caswell yearns for the past they once shared together. But could they share a future together, after their turbulent past? Can trust, once broken and lost, ever be restored? The den was a quiet place for Peter to prepare his sermons. At the sight of Lily’s photo on the fireplace mantel, guilt and regret filled Peter’s heart. The memory of the night Lily died haunted and taunted him mercilessly. How could Peter seek God‘s forgiveness when he couldn‘t accept it himself? He would have removed Lily’s photo, had it not been for his daughter. Mary missed her mother and needed to keep her memory alive. Peter was fond of his daughter. When he scooped her into his arms, swinging her around in a circle, Mary squealed. It sounded like music to her father‘s ears.
Abandoned as a child by her parents, Sarah strives to overcome a tarnished family history and the tormenting heartbreak inflicted by Peter, when he jilted her to marry Lily, which, try as hard as she might, Sarah just cannot forget. Meanwhile, however hard Peter tries to get on with his life, he simply cannot forgive himself for his wife’s death. Peter hopes Sarah still cares enough to give him a second chance at love. But there is stiff competition, as William, a charming newcomer, vies for Sarah’s heart, pursuing her affections to pull her away from Peter. William was a fine man but Sarah couldn’t get involved with anyone as she was leaving. She had to do something with purpose in her life, to make a difference in other people’s lives. She knew the importance of people hearing about God’s love for them. She also had to get away as she couldn’t risk being hurt again. Not by Peter or anyone else.
Rebecca Hoyt, Sarah’s childhood nemesis, expertly manipulates her way into Peter’s life, to add to Sarah’s scalding cauldron of woes. As far as Rebecca was concerned, it had been worth the long wait. Now she could get what she always wanted. Her whole life had been prepared for Peter’s return, all her hard work for this moment. Rebecca always knew that Peter would be hers one day. He held a special place in her heart ever since they were children. But however hard she tried to get his attention, Sarah had ruined it, standing in Rebecca‘s way, with her appalling tomboy manners, running off with Peter to look for squirrels or down to the river to fish. Sarah would do anything that her mother didn’t forbid as ‘unladylike’ to win the affections of Peter. Peter deserved a genteel wife whose family didn’t have a sordid past, an educated spouse and a good mother for his daughter. None stirred Rebecca’s feelings more than Peter. Rebecca could never have what she wanted most – a child of her own. Her parents knew her sad plight, but Rebecca kept the heartache a secret. Teaching helped to fill the aching void in her heart. Rebecca poured her life and soul into her students. Peter was educated, and having married into society, was accustomed to refined ways. She understood children, and his daughter needed a mother. Rebecca could be a proper minister’s wife. It was all for a purpose. Everything would work out. They were made for each other. She would brook no interference from anyone, doing whatever it took to win Peter. Rebekah might make a good choice, but unable to bear it, Sarah brushed the disheartening thought aside.
Will Sarah and Peter ever find their way to true forgiveness, for a second chance at love? Are their past mistakes too irreconciliable to make a life together impossible? Sarah had believed in Peter, but after his engagement to Lily, all her correspondence had stopped. Sarah didn’t deserve to be kept in the dark about his relationship with Lily. Peter couldn’t expect to go back to the way it was between them. Things had changed while he was gone. He understood. He spent hours on his knees praying for God‘s help to start over again. His wounds needed healing — even more than Mary‘s. Sarah appearing like an angel to the rescue, felt like a real answer to prayer. He missed her smile — the way he could talk to her about anything — the way she understood him and knew what was in his heart – even before he said it. She had never let him down. Peter hoped that Sarah would open her heart up to him again. He didn‘t deserve her love. But after seeing her, he fervently hoped that she might still care. They‘d been close once. Maybe they could rediscover what was lost. This was his heartfelt prayer.
Sarah’s Smile adroitly presents the affairs of the heart in bitter and passionate conflicts of love, heartbreaking secrets and second chances. Stepping back in the annals of time to 1902, the story’s appealing dialogue and distinctive descriptions are steeped in historical fiction, charmingly delineating late-Victorian characters, replete with the hurts of the heart and redeemable traits. The storyline passionately revolves around the Christian themes of trust, forgiveness, and the bitter consequences of lost choices.
Peter’s yoke of obedience to Christ and responsibility for people made him want to make things right with Sarah. His decisions had affected their relationship, and he had regretted it ever since. He hoped that his sermon in church that morning would help restore even a small part of what they had lost. It was Pentecost Sunday, the day to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, to symbolize the Holy Spirit descending like tongues of fire upon Christ‘s disciples. Sarah was the first to hear and support Peter’s decision to go into the ministry. He dearly wanted her to be proud of him. He didn‘t want to let her down. Sarah should be hanging on to every word Peter spoke. This was his first sermon in their church and the very first she had ever heard him preach at all. She‘d known about his calling since Peter was fourteen and she only thirteen. Neither had any doubt about what God wanted him to do. Peter spoke about forgiveness, swiftly drawing Sarah back from her memories to the pulpit. Shame and remorse for not paying attention swept over her. Had the sermon of forgiveness been directed at her? Sarah had forgiven Peter but she could not let him back into her life. She could not afford to risk being hurt by him again. For Sarah, vulnerability with Peter meant grieving afresh. But as she desperately tried to protect herself, she might lose out on God’s blessings for her life.
After the church service ended, joy and heartbreak almost suffocated Sarah. She should be singing God‘s praises. Wasn’t Peter fulfilling his calling what she had prayed to see. But she had asked God to let her be a part of Peter’s life. That prayer was unanswered. Emotional turmoil filled Sarah’s heart. In the deepest part of her heart, she wanted him back as her confidant, best friend, and more. When it was Sarah’s turn to greet Peter, he reached for Sarah‘s hand and grasped it with a strong, comforting grip. Her words stuck in her throat. His gaze didn‘t waver as he asked her to stay on for a few minutes. She agreed, wondering what could he possibly want here? Whatever he said that day would attract attention. Sarah waited under a tree and Peter’s sister, Ellie soon joined her, her glowing face flushed with excitement. Sarah hugged her. She told Ellie how Peter had asked her to stay for a few minutes. They needed to be honest about some things, their friendship too important to keep secrets. Ellie gave Sarah an understanding smile, knowing that she and Peter needed to talk at the right time. Living in the same town and attending the same church, they could never avoid each other. Ellie told Sarah how hard she had been praying.
This captivating, true-to-life, well-crafted story of love and forgiveness woven by real, refreshingly human characters, touches the heart at many levels. The author, Dawn Kinzer has an uncanny ability to immerse her readers in a heartwarming story with a remarkable ring of truth. Peter and Sarah remain alive in our hearts, making us feel their joys and sorrows as if we know them personally and share their lives intimately. There are precious mementos of those times – In Sarah’s world, a gold locket around her neck carries great sentimental significance. It was the only thing her mother left behind. The locket was empty, signifying her parents’ absence in her life and waiting for Sarah’s own family photo to fill it with love. Sarah’s late grandfather deeply respected missionaries and gave Sarah a copy of David Livingtone’s journals, which she still hugs to her heart. Symbolic of the times, Sarah’s grandmother enjoys tatting with a tatting shuttle and hook, to create delicate handmade lace to make lace doilies and edgings, as well as to embellish lace collars and cuffs on clothes.
Compiled by Miriam Jacob
from “Sarah’s Smile” and Dawn Kinzer’s website
“Home to Chapel Springs” by Ane Mulligan has the most perfect, picturesque, small-town charm anywhere. The people are dynamic and enterprising in their growth, smartness and ingenuity. Ane turns phrases with dexterity, making lavish use of in-vogue colloquialisms and fast humor, to drive her readers to laughter and tears, as the story lines twist and turn effortlessly, intricately spinning the beautiful tale of charming people who love God. This is an inspiring story of faith, with a touch of humor, a dab of mystery, silent heartache and poignant tears. We marvel at the peculiar quirkiness of the town’s people and take delight in the every day drama, mysterious intrigue, and lighthearted romance of their lives. Brimming with delightful humor, wit, intelligence, shrewdness, astuteness, cleverness, candidness, common sense, wisdom, sagacity, judgment, acumen and insight, “Home to Chapel Springs” entertains its readers from a dramatic, inspiring start to a flourishing, spellbound finish. Ane Mulligan is the perfect storyteller, an amazing author who knows how to create a charming novel for her readers to enjoy. Ane has a natural aptitude and sparkling wit to use words and ideas in a quick and inventive way to create dashing humor, wittiness, drollery, jokes, witticisms, quips and puns to delight her readers and render her novels unforgettable!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Bold, outspoken and fearless as Israel’s most powerful woman, Deborah has faith in God but cannot see the hidden potential in her own life. As an Israelite woman, the mundane tasks of life seem to be more than sufficient to occupy her time and energy. But God has a unique plan for Deborah. He calls her to deliver her people from the oppression and constant terror of Canaan’s armies for twenty years. Will her family understand and her people believe in God’s calling upon her life? Jill Eileen Smith’s impeccable research and imaginative storytelling brings to life the mystical figure of Deborah in an intriguing and inspiring novel, giving vivid voice to the woman at the center of Israel’s victory over Canaan. This is a tale of indomitable courage, determination, fearless strength and passionate faith that bears the utmost significance and relevance for all ages.
You must hold yourself to a standard of grace, not perfection, realizing afresh and anew that you can never do it all. Simplify your life, get organized and prioritize the priorities of life. You must give space to what matters most. Focus on your faith. God pours out His grace on us. Let your cup overflow. Embrace simplicity, celebrate joy.
What Makes a Great Woman Great?
Eric Metaxas tells the captivating stories of seven women who changed the course of history.
Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Maria Skobtsova, Corrie ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa — each of these world-changing figures follows the call placed on her life, doing so with remarkable feminine dignity. Teenaged Joan of Arc heard God’s command and led the French army to a mighty victory over the British. Hannah More played a crucial role in the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. Corrie ten Boom risked her life to hide Dutch Jews from the Nazis in World War II and somehow survived the horrors of a concentration camp, but her greatest feat was her forgiveness her tormentors years later. And Rosa Parks’s God-given sense of justice and unshakable dignity helped launch the twentieth century’s greatest social movement.
Eric Metaxas reveals how these seven extraordinary women achieved greatness, inspiring readers to lives guided by a call beyond themselves.
REVIEW BY MIRIAM JACOB
In “Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness,” Eric Metaxas presents a unique plumbline by which to measure ourselves. These seven women, true role-models for humanity, show us precious and valuable principles to build our lives on, although we can never aspire to reach their levels of greatness. Here is faith fanned in the fiery furnace of fire, courage in the excruciating crucible of suffering, seven women with the will-power to forsake comforts at all costs, with the sheer boldness to take incalculable risks, having sacrificial compassion for others, imbibing strong convictions to live for and to die by, filled with hope and inspiration.
This should be our heart’s cry – ‘If they could do it, so can do we! Here am I, send me!’ We need to be inspired by God, breathed into by the breath of God, needing the wind of God to blow into our sails. In Seven Women, the breeze billows and blows with the strength of gale-force winds. Through these seven extraordinary women, Eric Metaxas honors all women everywhere to be encouraged in being women and doing what God leads them to do. The unusually rare accomplishments of these seven women, spanning time and transcending the limits of circumstances, have indelibly shaped the world, making it a better place to live in.
A world-class biographer, Eric Metaxas, with his indomitable genius and inimitable gift of expression, portrays true moral greatness, in the lives of these seven great women whose inspiring lives will empower you to impact the world on a large scale. Plant one flower and it will multiply to fill the world with beauty. Who can count the untold millions of people whose hearts have been impacted by the lives of these seven incredible women? As you read these brilliant portraits of exemplary courage, each painted by the Master Artist with a personal vision of God and a voluntary conviction of self-sacrifice, how can you change the world? These seven women could and did, and evil trembled in their presence.
Seven Women inspires women to try to make a difference in society. Through this amazing book, Eric Metaxas encourages the world to reconsider its view of women’s greatness. Eric celebrates these remarkable people, remarkable as women and because they were women. In this inspiring book about women who lived up to their noble missions in the world, Eric Metaxas issues an urgent call to reawaken women to their God-given destiny, imbibed with the moral and spiritual qualities of great leaders. Each of these women delivered such a bracing clarion call to the spirit of their age that very few people could stand before them or match their unique powers. Each represented such a unique profile in courage and determination in their tryst with destiny.
In Seven Women, Eric Metaxas demonstrates his unusual and incredible gift for storytelling. He carefully draws the reader into an informative and historical narrative with a personal touch. With the skillful touch of a talented author, he infuses renewed moral and spiritual insight into these women from across the centuries. People will be greatly inspired by the incredible struggles that gave these women true greatness, the crucibles that refined their characters, sharpening the iron in their souls, and the simple greatness of deep faith of limitless depths.
© Miriam Jacob
NAL/Penguin Random House Publishing Group,
Published: May 12, 2015.
The Sound of Glass by Karen White reveals how discovering the life-shattering secrets of a Southern family changes Merritt Heyward who unearths them. Engulfed by guilt after her husband’s tragic death, Merritt hears that Cal’s family home is bequeathed to her. Facing an unpredictable life and an unforeseeable future, Merritt travels to find the hidden secrets of Cal’s past buried deep in the heart of his ancestral home. This mysterious legacy re-defines the priorities of Merritt’s life as she unravels the tangled threads of the family’s past to confront her own dumbfounded fears for the healing she desperately needs.
In this multilayered mystery of a multigenerational, multifamily saga with a multifaceted plot, Karen White, “the Queen of Women’s Fiction,” plumbs the subtle depths of humanity as she deals with the inexplicable facts of life and death intertwined with tragedy. Her sensitive, story-telling style and precise, to-the-point narrative is an intricate weaving of the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Her sweeping, commanding and powerful execution of the complex plot and storyline of this extraordinary classic is praiseworthy, right from the start to the poignant, heart-rending revelations at the end. Karen White paints a vivid, multifaceted portrait of a family rooted in strife with hidden secrets and enduring love that ultimately leads to courage and healing.
I like the precious words of wisdom in the story, with their rare power to illuminate and inspire the hearts of readers. Here are some of the brilliant facets of wisdom and knowledge, shining like the brightest jewels:
It is in utter darkness that we see the brightest light. We are tossed and turned in the fire of affliction by the turbulent waves and storms of life, bearing deep scars to show what we have suffered. With each scar we learn new lessons. We turn toward the light unflinchingly, unbelievably strong at the torn, jagged and broken places. We absorb the light and reflect it outward.
Our paths cross, our lives meander as the twisting rivers bring us back to the starting point. Nothing happens simply. Everything happens for a good reason. Life never gets any easier than this. We just get stronger as time goes by. We cross bridges in the heart of the storm. I will not be afraid any more. The heart bears a compass pointing toward home. The horizon trembles with new light. The darkness gives way to the light. I see the beauty and the good in unexpected places. And in ourselves.
Stars shine through the darkness to illuminate the hidden places. When you gaze at stars, you look back in time long gone. Starlight takes millions of years to reach the earth, so when you see the stars , you know how it looked like millions of years ago.
Courage is doing the one thing you think you cannot do. The glowing lights soften the darkness. It is never really dark. There is always light if you look hard enough. The darkness is illuminated by the soft glow of lights. A single light glows in the darkness. You are strongest at the broken places.
Complex, engrossing and emotionally rich, The Sound of Glass lingers in the heart long after the gripping, beautifully told story is over. An endearing must-read for all.
© Miriam Jacob
“A normal workday turned into a case of man versus plane, at a time when airport security was far less than it is today. Otherwise, it may have been the last story of my life.
I was on a business call as I awaited my flight when I looked up to see the boarding area completely empty. I ran to the gate. “I have to get on that plane. I have an important meeting and my video crew is already on board.”
“Your seat has been given to a standby passenger,” the attendant said. “The plane has already left.”
I looked through the large plate glass windows behind her at the runway. “Turn around and look,” I pleaded. “The plane is right there. I’ve got to get on it.”
“You’re too late. You missed it,” she said and walked away.
Where others would have conceded defeat, I was undeterred. I took a deep breath, pushed open the emergency exit door to the tarmac, and walked toward the runway as the alarm blared. I approached the small commuter plane, unsure what would happen next. I didn’t have to wonder long. The pilot barged out of the plane, straight for me.
His bewilderment was no match for my singular determination to board the plane. Minutes later, the standby passenger was escorted off. The video crew couldn’t believe what they had just witnessed. “Dude, you stared down a plane and it blinked first.” I found the open seat and started reading a book, victorious and oblivious to the havoc I’d caused for everyone on the flight. Against the odds, I had made it happen. Now let’s get this flight going.”
STARING DOWN A PLANE – THE STORY OF WITH – BY ALLEN ARNOLD
Lord, I worship and praise you.
I cover myself with the Blood of Jesus to protect me.
I surrender myself completely and unreservedly to You.
I fight against all the attacks of satan on my life.
I take refuge in the Living God.
I am covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for me on Calvary.
Lord, I worship You and praise You.
You are worthy to receive all glory and honor and praise.
My allegiance is only to You.
Thank You for loving me and sending Your only Son,
Jesus Christ into the world to die for my sins.
Jesus Christ bought me with His blood.
Through Him, You forgave my sins.
You adopted me into your family;
You assumed my responsibility;
You gave me eternal life;
You clothed me in the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.
I am now justified in Him.
In Him, you made me complete.
You gave Yourself to me in love.
Open my eyes to see how great You are.
I enjoy Your perfect provision for this day.
The Lord Jesus Christ won the victory for me on the Cross.
I am resurrected in Christ.
I am seated with Him in the heavenlies.
I recognize by faith that all evil spirits and satan himself are under my feet.
I declare in Your name that Satan and his evil spirits are subject to me.
I am thankful for Your Armor to protect me.
I put on the Girdle of Truth,
the Breastplate of Righteousness,
the Sandals of Peace,
and the Helmet of Salvation.
I lift up the Shield of Faith against
all the fiery darts of the enemy;
I take in my hand the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
I use Your Word against all evil forces in my life.
I put on Your Armor, and depend completely upon You.
Jesus Christ triumphed over all evil forces in Himself.
I claim His victory for my life today.
I reject all the insinuations, accusations, and temptations of satan.
I affirm that the Word of God is true.
I live today in the light of God’s Word.
I live in obedience to You
and in fellowship with Yourself.
Open my eyes and wash me clean.
Cleanse me of everthing that gives satan a foothold against me.
You are my Father, and I am Your child.
I welcome the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
By faith, I depend on You.
I die to my old self.
I claim the victory of the crucifixion of Christ to cleanse me.
I put on the new man and claim the victory of the resurrection
to live above sin.
I put on the new nature with Christ’s love.
I cast off fear and put on the new nature with courage.
I cast off all weakness and put on the new nature with strength.
I put on the new nature with its righteousness, purity, and honesty.
I trust You to apply this in my daily life.
I claim the victory of the ascension and glorification of Jesus Christ.
All principalities and powers are subject to Him.
I am victorious in Christ over all the enemies of my soul.
Blessed Holy Spirit, fill me and use me.
Come into my life, and cast out every foe.
Thank You for the expression of Your will for my life shown in Your Word.
I claim all the will of God for today.
Thank You for blessing me with all spiritual blessings
in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
You gave me a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I can live filled with the Spirit of God with love and joy and peace, with long-suffering, gentleness and goodness, with meekness, faithfulness, and self-control in my life.
This is Your will for me.
I won’t allow Satan and his evil spirits to rob me of the will of God.
I hold up the Shield of Faith against all the accusations, distortion and insinuations that Satan puts into my mind.
I claim the fullness of the will of God for my life today.
I completely surrender myself to You as a living sacrifice.
I am not conformed to this world.
I am transformed by the renewing of my mind.
Show me Your will and allow me to walk in all the fullness of Your will today.
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal
but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds,
to the casting down of imagination and every high thing
that exalts itself against the knowledge God,
and to bring every thought into obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
In my own life, I tear down the strongholds of Satan
and smash the plans of Satan formed against me.
I tear down the strongholds of Satan against my mind,
and I surrender my mind to You, blessed Holy Spirit.
I affirm that You have not given me the spirit of fear,
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
I break and smash the strongholds of Satan
formed against my emotions today
and I give my emotions to you.
I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my will today,
I give my will to You and choose to make the right decisions of faith.
I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my body today,
I give my body to You recognizing that I am your temple.
I rejoice in Your mercy and goodness.
I pray that You will strengthen and enlighten me.
Show me how Satan hinders, tempts, lies and distorts the truth in my life.
Enable me to please You.
Enable me to be aggressive in prayer and faith.
Enable me to be aggressive mentally,
to think about and practice Your Word,
and to give You Your rightful place in my life.
I cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ
and pray that You, blessed Holy Spirit, will bring all the work of the crucifixion,
resurrection, glorification, and Pentecost into my life today.
I surrender myself to You.
I refuse to be discouraged.
You are the God of all hope.
You proved Your power by resurrecting Jesus Christ from the dead,
and I claim this victory over all the satanic forces in my life.
I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with thanksgiving. Amen.
About Dr. Victor Matthews
In 1945, with a diploma in Bible from Simpson Bible Institute, Pastor Victor Matthews continued his education at the Grand Rapids Baptist Bible Institute where he remained in various roles for 45 years.
While teaching full-time, he earned an A.B from Calvin College and a Th.M from Calvin Seminary. In the mid-1960’s he completed the residency requirements for the Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) degree from Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary.
Dr. Matthews taught courses in apologetics, biblical studies and theology while personally mentoring numerous future pastors and church leaders and is perhaps best remembered for his exceptional ability to teach students to think critically and develop a Christian worldview. Students also remember him for his copious notes, extensive outlines and his “just one sentence more…”
Dr. Matthews was a quintessential teacher, a gifted pastor and counselor. He held a number of interim pastorates and spoke regularly at conferences, seminars and study groups.
In the late 1960’s, Dr. Matthews had a new vision for ministry. So began the Thursday Evening Bible Class. Attendance increased rapidly and before long grew to an average of 250 people. Dr. Matthews taught the class until his retirement in 1989. The Thursday Evening Bible Class continues today as a free gift of the Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.
Anyone who attended one of Dr. Matthews’ classes or Bible studies is familiar with his “study guides” or handouts, which provided a detailed outline of the material and the corresponding scripture verses and references. Many attendees and students have kept copies of the study guides and many have used them as a basis for their own teaching. Included on his website are over 400 of these study guides on a wide variety of topics.
Dr. Matthews wrote numerous church and ministry publications including Confessions to a Counselor, Growth in Grace and Personal Success: The Promise of God (included on his website).
He was also recognized as a leading expert on spiritual warfare due to his seminars and writings including his famous “Warfare Prayer.”
Dr. Matthews’ contribution goes far beyond what he has done in the classroom: it reaches to those who have been taught by his students, to those for whom he has spent hours counseling (and praying for) and to those whose lives have been changed because of his devotion to the Lord Jesus, his study of the Word of God and the personal example of his life.