Victoria & Abdul (Movie Tie-In): The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant – by Shrabani Basu

9780525434412 - 693 KB

Category: Historical Figure Biographies & Memoirs | European World History | Domestic Politics

Paperback: 352 Pages | Vintage BooksKnopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Penguin Random House, Aug 29, 2017 | ISBN 9780525434412. Price | $16.00.

Reviewer: Miriam Jacob


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.

Miriam Jacob

A Major Motion Picture, by BBC Films, Working Title Films & Universal Pictures International, releasing September 22, 2017, by Focus Features.


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.




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.



WAITING FOR WONDER – Learning to Live on God’s Timeline – by Marlo Schalesky – Review, Interview and Press Release


WAITING FOR WONDER – Learning to Live on God’s Timeline

by Marlo Schalesky

Publisher: Abingdon Press,

15 Nov 2016.

Paperback: 272 pages.

ISBN: 9781501820106. Price: $16.99

Ebook: 224 pages.

ISBN: 9781501820113. Price: $16.99


Marlo Schalesky 2016 - Copy

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.


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.

Miriam Jacob

Christian Book Distributors

Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God’s Timeline



Marlo Schalesky – Waiting for Wonder – press kit

Marlo Schalesky – Waiting for Wonder – interview





Wrestling With Wonder – A Transformational Journey Through the Life of Mary – by Marlo Schalesky


Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (October 7, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0310337409. Price: $9.25

Marlo Schalesky 2016 - Copy


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.



UNSEEN – The Gift of Being Hidden in a World that Loves to be Noticed – by Sara Hagerty

UNSEEN - Sara Hagerty

UNSEEN – The Gift of Being Hidden in a World that Loves to be Noticed –

by Sara Hagerty

240 pages, Publisher: Zondervan,

Release Date: August 29, 2017.

ISBN-13: 978-0310339977

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. She give us a priceless gift in “Unseen”, inviting us to realize the very purpose of our existence, created and redeemed to become fully alive in God. 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.

Miriam Jacob



It’s Good to Be Queen: Becoming as Bold, Gracious, and Wise as the Queen of Sheba – by Liz Curtis Higgs


Paperback: 320 pages. Imprint: WaterBrook and Multnomah,

Publisher: Penguin Random House, Publication Date: July 16, 2015.

ISBN-13: 978-1594155093. Price: $10.11


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.


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.

Miriam Jacob

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

A. Larry Ross Communications
Melany Ethridge

Note to Editors: For more information or to arrange an interview with Joni and Friends representatives, please contact:
Laura Brokke, Manager, Special Events , (818) 575-1775

THE SOUND OF SLEIGH BELLS – by Cindy Woodsmall

51jB-vJ1NuL._SX340_BO1,204,203,200_ - Copy

The Sound of Sleigh Bells

by Cindy Woodsmall

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


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.


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.

Miriam Jacob



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


81Z84Tkv81L - CopyQueen Esther’s Reflection:

A Portrait of Grace, Courage, and Excellence

by Ann Platz

Pages: 224. Publisher: New Hope Publishers, 2007.

ISBN: 9781596690127. Price: $12.99


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







TESTED BY FIRE – by Kelley Latta

33936123 - Copy

 TESTED BY FIRE – by Kelley Latta

Published by: Kelley Latta Ministries & Snowfall Press © 2012

 Publisher: Christian Book Services;

Imprint: Carpenter’s Son Publishing;

Revised edition (April 1, 2014).

ISBN-13: 978-1940262062


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





© 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


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.

Miriam Jacob


1,001 PROMISES OF GOD – compiled by Linda Hang – Barbour Publishing



© 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.

Miriam Jacob


LOVE’S VIOLET SUNRISE – by Naomi Rawlings


LOVE’S VIOLET SUNRISE – by Naomi Rawlings

An Eagle Harbor Novella

Ebook: 100 pages. December 19, 2016. $3.09

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

Love's Violet Sunrise (American State Flower)GOODREADS – Love’s Violet Sunrise by Naomi Rawlings



The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 – by William Manchester

18.7 KB

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.
Miriam Jacob

“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.



QUEEN VICTORIA: A LIFE – by Lytton Strachey


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


GEORGE VI – by Denis Judd


George VI

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)


SARAH’S SMILE – by Dawn Kinzer

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SARAH’S SMILE – by Dawn Kinzer

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

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“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!

Miriam Jacob

Home to Chapel SpringsHome to Chapel Springs by Ane Mulligan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Prophetess – Deborah’s Story – by Jill Eileen Smith


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.


Grace, Not Perfection – by Emily Ley


Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy

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.


A Spectacle of Glory – by Joni Eareckson Tada, with Larry Libby


God’s Light Shining through Me Every Day

You are unique, special and chosen. God created you to showcase His glory – and to show His love to everyone you meet each new day. After living as a quadriplegic for nearly half a century, and dealing with chronic pain daily, Joni knows from her own life’s experience how very important it is to glorify God in the toughest of circumstances. In this devotional, you will learn how to put God’s glory on display and live as a spectacle of His glory. You will find peace, joy, comfort and encouragement when you trust in Christ, who will lead and guide you every step of the way, every single day, all the days of your life. Your life is a stage set for you to glorify God. A Spectacle of Glory is breathtakingly beautiful and full of wonder, truth and honesty, signed with God’s wondrous heart of love and compassion. This devotional book is a rare jewel of a treasure to cherish every day for its limitless reservoir of divine wisdom. God will make you a spectacle of glory and a spectacle of grace.


The Angel Answer Book – by Robert Morgan

The Angel Answer Book by Robert Morgan is an excellent study of what the Bible says about angels.

Angels are intelligent beings created by God in His spiritual realm. Angel means messenger. They are created to serve and glorify the Creator. The Bible refers to angels as “ministering spirits, heavenly hosts and holy ones.” The Bible affirms the existence and presence of angels. They appear in the Bible naturally, personally, and frequently. Angels weave in and out of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. In the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, angels are involved in His birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and in the prophecies regarding His second coming.

Angelology is the theological doctrine concerning angels.

Martin Luther said, “The acknowledgment of angels is needful in the church. Godly preachers should teach them logically. … They should show what angels are. … They must speak touching their function. … In this sort ought we to teach with care, method, and attention, touching the sweet and loving angels.”

To learn about angels, there is only one authoritative, trustworthy source of information: the Bible.  The Word of God is our only infallible Book on the intriguing subject of angels. There are 234 specific passages about good angels. Another 278 times, God is referred to as the “Lord of hosts” (“hosts” are the angelic armies of heaven). Angels are referenced in thirty-nine books of the Bible — nineteen in the Old Testament and twenty in the New — and the range of angelic activity spans the Scriptures from Genesis 3:24 to Revelation 22:16.

Psalm 119:130 says, “The unfolding of your words gives light.” There are some things only God can tell us, and He has revealed them in His Word. Everything must be measured by the standards of scriptural truth.

Angels are portrayed in the Bible matter-of-factly as a normal part of His creation. In His world, angels exist. There is a spiritual zone where much unseen angelic and demonic activity exists.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “I do not know how to explain it; I cannot tell how it is; but I believe angels have a great deal to do with the business of this world.”

God using His angels to accomplish His will. Angels comforted Hagar in the desert, guided Israel through the wilderness, fed Elijah under the juniper tree, surrounded Elisha with chariots of fire, led Isaiah to spiritual commitment, directed Ezekiel into ministry, surrounded Jesus through every phase of His work, bore Lazarus to heaven, delivered Peter from prison, and comforted Paul aboard a sinking ship

To believe in the Bible is to believe in angels. Sometimes they appeared in human form or in superhuman splendor, either recognized as supernatural or as run-of-the-mill strangers, appearing in ones or twos or in multitudes, some with wings; others without, with feet on the ground or hovering in the sky, in three-dimensional reality or in a person’s dreams, visible or invisible.

In Revelation 18:1, an angel descended from heaven with such sun-like brilliance that the entire earth was illumined by his splendor.

When God made the cosmos, He created diverse life forms, humans – and angels. To God, angels are part of the diversity of life in heaven and earth, interplanetary creatures traveling instantly between dimensions of reality in the spiritual and physical realms. They are virtually everywhere – our celestial family.

In the Bible, angels treated realistically. Angels are active in Genesis, appearing at the gates of Eden, to Hagar, to Abraham, and to Jacob. The angel of the Lord accompanied Israel through the wilderness.

Angels are subservient to Christ, subject to Him. After His resurrection, Jesus resumed His full position and the prerogatives of His glory as He sat on heaven’s throne. Hebrews 1:4 says that He is as superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is superior to theirs. God commands all the angels to worship Him and describes angels as “servants.”

Angels are created by Christ, who is both God the Son and Lord. Angels hover worshipfully around the Lord Jesus at His birth, during His ministry, and prophetically at His second coming. They gaze in awe at Him, and long to look into His work and redemption (1 Peter 1:12).

They are “ministering spirits,” invisible with the ability to travel quickly, flying between heaven and earth, hovering in the skies, bridging the chasm between the spiritual and physical realms in the twinkling of an eye.

The term “ministering spirits” lies in the realm of mystery. Martin Luther said, “An angel is a spiritual creature created by God without a body for the service of Christendom.”

Angels have a great purpose. They are ministering spirits, sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. They are God’s response to our needs.


Be Confident in Your Calling – by Nathan D. Thomas


In “Be Confident in Your Calling,” Nathan Thomas writes with warmth, simplicity and an incredibly helpful spirit. The thoughts and ideas presented are excellent. The Lord has a certain plan and calling for each one of us. This book is a real encouragement and strength for every Christian. Jesus Christ is the answer to all our problems. He is our guide through life. Here is a book with very simple truths, filled with encouragement, insightful quotes, questions, and personal reflections.


5 MINUTES WITH JESUS – by Shiela Walsh


Here are profound life-changing truths for your fast-paced days. God offers you the gift of His presence as you spend time in His Word. With honesty and vulnerability, Sheila Walsh helps you find peace and perspective in the midst of your hectic life. Every day features a powerful devotion and Scripture to nourish you, sustain you, assuring you that God is with you and you are not alone. These five minutes with Jesus each day will give you God’s peace. You will realize that this precious time with Christ will become the most peaceful and meaningful moments of your entire life.


Miracle For Jen: A Tragic Accident, A Mother’s Desperate Prayer, And Heaven’s Extraordinary Answer – by Linda Barrick, John Perry


Miracle for Jen is the remarkable true story of a family who overcame tragedy and learned to trust God’s plan for their lives in a whole new way.

On the night of November 5, 2006, the Barrick family was driving home from church when their van was struck by a drunk driver. Fifteen-year-old Jen suffered multiple skull fractures and severe brain trauma and was not expected to survive the night. But against all odds, she did. As she lingered in a coma, doctors warned that if Jen ever woke up, she would be cursing and screaming in confusion due to her brain injuries. Instead, after five weeks she opened her eyes and began praying and praising God. Jen didn’t remember her middle name, recognize her parents, or recall that she had a little brother, but she remembered Jesus and every word to every praise song and scripture she had hidden in her heart before the accident. As any loving mother would, Jen’s mother Linda wanted God to heal Jen, make her like she was before. Normal. But a loving God had something else in mind — instead of making her normal, God is making Jennifer and the whole Barrick family — extraordinary, miraculous.


Faith: Believing in the God Who Works on Your Behalf – by Dr. Yonggi Cho and Dr. Wayde Goodall


“Faith: Believing in the God Who Works on Your Behalf” by Dr. Yonggi Cho and Dr. Wayde Goodall, is a divinely anointed book about genuine, prevailing faith, with time-tested spiritual insights into the deeper things of God, following the Holy Spirit with reckless abandon, teaching how to cross the “bridge of faith” between then and now, “to believe the implausible and attempt the impossible.” God bridges the delicate gap between the past and the present into a supernatural flow of His Spirit, in the secret place of prayer. “One thing I know, though I was blind, now I see.” – (John 9:25). When you experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, you walk by faith in the precious grace of God. You belong to Jesus, bought with His Blood. Faith in Christ transforms your life. As you walk by faith in Him, your faith grows to believe incredible miracles, supernatural signs and wonders. God will use you amazingly, giving you indefatigable courage well beyond the impossible.

These time-tested, spiritual truths will enhance your walk by faith, to believe in the impossible, dream God’s dreams, and let the Lord do what only He can do. “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” — which God has revealed through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:9–10). “Faith is more important than life itself because without it there is no fullness of life.” — Mother Teresa. By faith we see things happening when they do not exist yet. “Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.” – (Hebrews 11:1)

We have a “measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). Faith as small as a mustard seed, can grow into a huge tree (Matthew 17:20). Faith grows as we study God’s Word and dwell upon His goodness. The Holy Spirit gently speaks in quietness and confidence, giving us fresh hope. “Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Mother Teresa. Dreams Give Hope for Tomorrow. Our creative God gives creative ideas to open the door to circumstances to bless our lives. We carry dreams in our hearts. Successful People, with dreams and visions of the future, see what others cannot see, standing alone confidently. “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with success.” – Henry David Thoreau.

Aged seventy-five, Abraham received God’s calling in Ur. Abraham possessed his God-given dream in his heart. God answered his prayer and made him into the father of faith (Genesis 12–24; Romans 4). There are principles of faith and God-inspired dreams. When God speaks to you in thoughts, dreams, and visions, your life is transformed because Jesus Christ is in the equation. God is with you and you are competent in Christ. Like Paul, we declare, “But one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14). Although our dreams are not yet a reality, they give us vision to accomplish God’s will and His purpose in our lives. God-inspired thoughts can be turned into faith. Learn how to implement a strategy to work with God to bring a thought to pass. Your dream is not yet a reality. As you pray and study the Bible, you can set goals and ways to implement your goals.

When God spoke to Abraham, Abraham had a new dream in his heart for the future. This became a desire and he was filled with hope. Although he didn’t understand the dream, he believed what God had shown him. He trusted in God’s promise, a part of the dream in his heart. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8 ESV). By hearing from God and his God-inspired dreams, insurmountable faith arose in Abraham’s heart. His dream became a desire, and Abraham left Ur. By faith he walked away from the familiar to the unfamiliar, due to the God-given dream to receive an inheritance. When Abraham was ninety-nine years old, he had faith to have his own child. His faith came due to the promise God gave him. In the natural, it wasn’t possible due of his age, but with God added into the equation, his dream became a reality and Isaac was born. Abraham believed, trusting in God, believing God would fulfill His promise. He took his first step by faith and walked away from his past. Abraham did not weaken in faith when his own body was as good as dead or the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning God’s promise, but he grew strong in his faith, giving glory to God. (Genesis 4:19–20)

When we have faith and the dreams of the Holy Spirit, our hope grows as we step out in faith. Our faith grows as we see the evidence come to pass. Abraham prayed for a son. He was promised to have as many descendants as the stars in the sky. On clear nights, gazing at tens of thousands of stars, seemingly unending, his imagination grew, and hope, encouragement and the anticipation of the fulfilled dream filled his heart. When we have a God-inspired dream in our hearts, we trust that God hears our prayers, giving us wisdom and patience as He brings our dream to fruition. But this only happens in His time.



Lord, thank you for yet another day to glorify Your Name. Thank you for the privilege of praying for children. Cover them with Your Word that brings healing and deliverance. We pray that they will move around in the strength of Your love. In Your mighty name we believe that children will be healed completely. You shed Your Blood for us on Calvary to deliver us and heal us of all our infirmities. Thank you for calming our hearts with the assurance that children have been healed. Watch over their parents today. Fill their hearts with the peace and harmony that only You can give. Let them be sensible parents filled with the wisdom that You and only You can give them. Bless them O Lord with common sense at all times. Help them understand that You have entrusted these children into their hands to nurture, love and train with godly values for all eternity. Let them understand the magnitude of the trust and the task You have invested in them for these tender lives. We claim complete healing for children. In Your name alone, there is healing, deliverance and restoration. Let affliction never affect children again. Don’t allow the devil to attack our kids to drive them away from Christ. Cover the children with Your Blood to protect them. In the mighty and matchless name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Father, let families glorify Your Name. Make them Your ambassadors. Give parents great patience with children to pay attention to their needs. Let them sense what is bothering them. Give children good, sincere, honest friends at school and among neighbours, who will never hurt them or tell tales about them. Friends who tell the truth at all times. Let all godly values be inculcated in children. They belong to You and You are in charge of their lives. Control what they play on the computer and what they watch on TV. Protect them at all times and keep them in good health. Don’t let the devil attack our kids to drive them away from Christ. Cover children with Your Blood to give healing and deliverance. Amen.

Lord Jesus, we pray for children. Help them to grow up happy and content. Let parents love them and set a fine example of loving parents to them. Keep parents from uncontrollable anger and help them to correct children with love tempered with justice. Let parents be calm and composed to show great love and caring for children. Let children be very happy at home. Let there be no shouting or angry voices ever in the home. Allow children to grow up in the security of a loving and compassionate home. Have mercy on the kids. Let the home be filled with love and laughter. Don’t allow the devil to attack our kids to drive them away from Christ. Let children grow in the love of God. Let their characters become more and more like You. Let the family become more and more Christ-like each moment. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

© Sarah George


Activating the Power of God’s Word – by Kyle Winkler


In Activating The Power of God’s Word, Kyle Winkler describes how, deep inside in the very heart core of creation is a law stronger than the laws of nature, an unrivaled force, more powerful than gravity, a supernatural power that radically transforms everything it touches. It is the spoken Word of God. In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was formless and empty (Gen. 1:1–2). Then God spoke, in all His majesty- with a resounding declaration “Let there be…” thundering in all its supernatural glory into the dark void from the heavens — to chase away the darkness and light up the cosmos with creative life. This ground-breaking moment defined and established God’s spoken Word as the basis of creation, to hold everything together in time and space. He sustains all things by His powerful Word. — Hebrews 1:3. God’s Word keeps the planets silently spinning in their orbits and the seasons in their respective cycles. We marvel at the unique grandeur of God’s design and the sheer majesty of His awesome power. Most remarkably, God made this power accessible to everyone. The spellbinding reality is that we can activate the power of God’s Word to transform our lives forever.

The purpose of this book is to confidently assert that God’s Word spoken through you can and will accomplish the very same things it accomplished for the Biblical superfaith heroes. Through strategic declarations, you can activate God’s Word to transform every area of your life. The power of God’s spoken Word declares God-inspired destiny and gives perfect identity to what seems hopeless, empty or meaningless. It provides strength to get through insurmountable difficulties in the dark valleys of life. It is the spiritual basis to overcome life’s greatest obstacles and win every single battle of faith and spiritual warfare. The power of God’s spoken Word sustains you as “more than a conqueror” in the life of overwhelming victory that Jesus Christ died to give you (Rom. 8:37). God’s spoken Word is a powerful spiritual weapon to give abundant life in all its fullness. In Activating the Power of God’s Word, Kyle Winkler helps us to discover the supernatural power of declaration. You will receive biblical keys from the Word of God to make strategic declarations that will bring the supernatural breakthrough you are praying for.

Miriam Jacob


Anywhere Faith – by Heather C. King


In Anywhere Faith, Heather C. King helps us to learn about Abraham and his journey to an unknown destination. God called him out of a place called Ur and told him to go, without knowing where to go or how long it would take to get there. Everyone wants faith like Abraham, without counting the cost. In a moment of soul honesty and penetrating analysis, Heather realizes the worst nightmare scenario of not knowing where the road leads to or how long it will take to get there! We have to trust God wholeheartedly, instead of trusting in our own worthless plans. Abraham deserves superfaith status for his radical obedience and unquestioning faith that does not complain at any cost. Not only was he ready to follow God anywhere, but he also passed a greater faith test. Abraham and his wife, Sarah, waited for almost thirty years, from God’s promise of a baby, to the actual moment when they held their precious child of promise, Isaac, in their arms. When Isaac was finally born, Abraham was one hundred years old and Sarah was ninety. Isaac was a miracle child — a gift from God and the glorious fulfllment of the divine promise to Abraham that he would become the father of many nations.

God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to place his son’s life on the line. Years after Isaac’s birth, God asked Abraham to climb the mountain with his young son and build an altar, supposedly to kill Isaac as a sacrifice to God. God asked Abraham to give back the promised child. “How could Isaac possibly be both the promised son and a sacrifice?” Abraham did not question God or try to reason with Him. Instead, with his unquestioning, obedient faith, he did not stall at all. “Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, took his men with him, and his son Isaac. He cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him” (22:3). God called in the night, and early the very next day, Abraham did exactly as God commanded. In Hebrews 11, Abraham was willing to obey God in the most radical of ways because he knew God was able even to raise Isaac from the dead. While we might stall, question, and fight with God, Abraham simply believed in the impossible. God could raise Isaac up from death if He chose.

Are we ready to be used by God, to do only what He wants us to do, and go anywhere He wants us to go? Will we choose God over everything else? This is the wholehearted, selfless devotion God desires from us. He won’t settle for anything else. Even Abraham made mistakes, when he trusted his own plans and not God’s, when his faith broke down and he tried to take matters into his own hands. Our faith “superheroes” weren’t superhuman at all. When God called them, they responded honestly – sometimes telling God they didn’t know if they could do what He asked. Moses wanted God to send somebody else. Gideon worried about whether he heard God correctly. Elijah felt alone. Isaiah felt unworthy. Esther was terrified. When God calls us, we answer hesitatingly, afraid to get intimate with God, fearing that He might ask us to give what we cannot, terrified to move forward for fear of failure, or that the costly task might hurt too much.

A. W. Tozer said, “We can be in our day what the heroes of faith were in their day —but remember at the time they didn’t know they were heroes.” The faith heroes and heroines were regular people with perfectly ordinary lives, insecure and frightened, but choosing to obey God anyway. They followed Him in spite of fear, insecurity or questions. In Anywhere Faith, Heather C. King writes about dialogue, relationship and friendship with God. She explains how to respond to Him when He asks us to trust and obey. When God called men and women throughout Scripture to follow Him, and their answers in that moment of their calling revealed the honest truth about their heart condition and their faith condition. We love God and want to follow Him. We want to be “anywhere faith” Christians and pray like David Livingstone did: “Lord, send me anywhere, only go with me.” But we have struggles, or even excuses, that hold
us back. We want to be God’s friend like Abraham, but we have hidden away parts of our hearts from God, our Creator.

When we hide our hearts from God, our deep-rooted fears and insecurities weigh us down, chaining us to the darkness, and not allowing God’s light to shine into our hearts, to deliver and to liberate us. Let us give God the freedom to do His work in us. When we bring our needs to Him, He rescues us. When we feel afraid, He gives us peace. When we are unworthy, He clothes us in His righteousness. When we confess the painful truth that we don’t want to go, He reveals His sovereignty and grace to give us the strength and courage to undertake the journey. “The Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.” God knows the truth of our hearts because He made us. He has compassion on us. He wants to rescue us. He beckons us to bring Him our brokenness, to make us whole and holy. God invites us into His presence, promising that it will be worth any sacrifice, effort, or price we pay. Surely we can trust Him. “God is love” (1 John 4:16). He will never leave us: “Be strong and courageous. The Lord goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). With promises as trustworthy as this, can we resist Him any longer? Let us honestly tell Him the truth: “God, in spite of my fears, uncertainties and insecurities, I’m coming with You anyway! I’ll go with You anywhere, to do anything You ask me to do.”

Prayer by David Livingstone, missionary to Africa:

“Lord, send me anywhere,
Only go with me.
Lay any burden on me,
Only sustain me.
Sever any tie but the tie
That binds me to Yourself.”

Miriam Jacob

ANNA ANOINTING, AUTHORS, Michelle McClain-Walters

The Anna Anointing – by Michelle McClain-Walters


In The Anna Anointing, Michelle McClain-Walters explains how God pursues us, searching for those to answer the call to stand in the gap breaching God and our society. Someone must stand in the gap between God and man to cry for mercy and grace. God seeks people to take up the mantle of prayer to release healing, deliverance, and glory upon the earth.
In one of the darkest times of human history, God raised up Anna the prophetess. God releases the spirit of grace and supplication for seasons of prayer, to proclaim the revelation of Jesus to a lost world. Anointed by the Holy Spirit, we can become people who moves the Hand of God in our generation. There is incredible power in a consecrated life. With spiritual influence, we can become people of persistence, hope, and power, anointed to serve God.

God commissions an army of people to cry out with the knowledge of God’s glory. They will be watchmen on the wall until revival comes, to labor in intercession for the Holy Spirit to save lost souls and revive the church. These people will touch the heart of God as they cry out to be imbued with power to proclaim the saving grace of Jesus Christ to a lost generation. God awakens a worldwide prayer movement to release the power of His kingdom on earth.

God needs people to contend for the faith, to fight for deliverance while battling difficulties that hinder release. Anointed people of God will have a passion and burden to see generations walk in God’s plans and purposes. They pray for the advancement of the kingdom of God on earth, in a time of transition into the fullness of the glorious new covenant power to be implemented upon earth, in the splendor of God’s glory, manifested through miracles, healing, and prophetic ministry. The glory of the new covenant is the transforming power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. As part of the glorious new covenant, God will write His Word on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33).

In His sovereign power the Lord stirs nations and people to be His agents on earth. When the Lord wants tasks to be completed and His divine purposes fulfilled, He will awakens people to accomplish His will. The Lord commands an army to cry out in prayer intercession and spiritual warfare against the evil plots and schemes of the enemy of our souls, until revival and glory fill the earth. The Lord opened His armory and brought out the weapons of His indignation — (Jeremiah 50:25).

God calls us to be spiritual history makers, as He turns potential disaster zones into powerful revival centers, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He wants people to be agents of change before the throne of grace. He wants people to be intimate with Him, partnering with Him to be His chosen vehicles of blessing to the world. God awakens in people a deep thirst and desire to know His divine calling and destiny for their lives. All people are called to serve the Lord, for the glory of His Name.

Miriam Jacob





Daily Wisdom for Women 2016 – Barbour Publishing


God’s Spirit, who dwells within us, can start with a blank page. If we allow Him to take charge, He can bring new energy and sparkle. With God’s help, let’s start over fresh. Let Him set the goals that will bring glory to Him through the life we live.

Daily Wisdom for Women 2016 Devotional Collection,

published by Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Used by permission.







iF@ITH by Daniel Darling – Review by Miriam Jacob


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

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

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

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

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

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

Review by Miriam Jacob



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




Broadcasting Architecture Worldwide

Architecture Documentaries To Watch In 2017

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

Forthcoming Release / English

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

According to Wikipedia,

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



On Dec 29th 2016 “Uncommon Sense” was selected to ArchDaily‘s (the largest architecture website in the world) yearly exclusive and prestigious list of “Architecture Documentaries to Watch in 2017” making it the first Indian film to be selected to the list

Synopsis of the film:

Often called the Gandhi of Architecture, the Father of Green Building in India and India’s Architect for the Poor, Pritzker (Nobel Prize for Architecture) nominated British-born Quaker architect, Dr. Laurie Baker was convinced to come to India by Gandhi and lived on the fringes of civilisation with his Indian doctor wife in the remote Himalayas and forests of India for over 20 years helping the local people with medicine and building. At the age of 50, he returned to democratise architecture with his unusual simple yet powerful design ideas, making strong, green, beautiful yet cheap homes a reality for thousands in India who could never have otherwise afforded a house.

Filmed over 3.5 years and directed by his grandson, Vineet Radhakrishnan, this social documentary covers his remarkable life story, examines his pioneering socially and environmentally relevant building philosophies and how his radical, innovative ideas redefined the role that an architect and architecture can and should play in society.

Source: Vineet Radhakrishnan








The Servant Queen and the King she serves


A Tribute for Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday

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


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

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

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

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

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

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






Compiled by Miriam Jacob

Graphics from Google Images


Seven Women And The Secret Of Their Greatness – by Eric Metaxas


Hardcover: 256 pages, Publisher: Thomas Nelson,

Sept. 8, 2015, ISBN-13: 978-0718021832. Price: $24.99


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.


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


Helena Rubinstein: The Woman Who Invented Beauty by Michèle Fitoussi


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

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

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

She invented beauty, understood women and created a revolution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miriam Jacob




NAL/Penguin Random House Publishing Group,

ISBN-13: 9780451470898

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

AUTHORS, MariLee Parrish

Encouraging Thoughts for Women: Blessings – by MariLee Parrish


Pages: 192, Imprint: Barbour Books, Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 9781683222132. Price: $4.99

“Encouraging Thoughts for Women: Blessings” is an anointed devotional that gives Spirit-filled encouragement, inspiration and divine blessings to uplift your spiritual life. It is full of poignant, heartfelt readings to connect your soul to God, supplemented by inspiring prayers, memorable quotations that you will not easily forget, and precious Bible promises to uplift and inspire you. Here is the most perfect comfort and blessed assurance for you. This book is a great personal pick-me-up, a divine tonic to give you a heavenly boost. Try it and see. Your life will never be the same again. One look and your eyes will be opened to God’s wisdom and knowledge. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Revel in Encouraging Thoughts for Women. Bask in the glory of God’s Blessings and let it reflect in your life.

Miriam Jacob


JOURNEY INTO GRACE by Darlene Sala, Bonnie Sala, Luisa Reyes-Ampil


Pages: 321, Imprint: Barbour Books, Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc., Publication Date: 1 September 2017. ISBN 9781683222859. Price: $12.99

As we journey into grace through the unique challenges of life, allowing God to work His miracles in us, through the joyful moments and the painful trials, our journey through life leads us to the divine richness of His glorious Grace, in a life-transforming, personally intimate relationship with Him. This spiritual truth strikes at the heart’s core of the inspiring devotional, Journey into Grace. The 150 readings in the book explain various themes like the amazing power of forgiveness, learning to love, the discipline of prayer, and the complicacy of life’s relationships. It offers us precious quiet moments with God as we place our life challenges at His feet, confident of His guidance and help when we need it the most.

Miriam Jacob