Thursday, August 21, 2014

book review: Victory Through the Lamb

Victory Through the Lamb: A Guide to Revelation in Plain Language

Victory Through the Lamb: A Guide to Revelation in Plain Language
by Mark Wilson

  This is a deep study of Revelation by author Mark Wilson. Each chapter of Revelation is contemplated through a victorious view. The author has undertaken to carefully translate Revelation in his own words, since he knows Greek. I personally didn't find his translation unusually special. Nevertheless, it didn't look faulty either. But then I don't know Greek, unfortunately.
This book is for the dedicated reader. I found it a little difficult to get through. I know that those who are inspired to study Revelation will be especially interested in this book! As for the other reader, casually picking up this book out of curiosity, I don't think it will capture their attention. Yet it was a good book and I don't have any grievances with it, really. It just didn't captivate me with new information because I've heard quite a bit about Revelation. I did think it great that the author knows the region first-hand since he lives in Turkey! That always lends a genuine flair to a book!

Read more reviews here!

About the Author

Mark Wilson (D.Litt. et Phil., South Africa) is the founder and director of the Asia Minor Research Center in Antalya, Turkey, a country in which he and his wife Dindy have lived since 2004. He serves as Visiting Professor of Early Christianity at Regent University, Associate Professor Extraordinary of New Testament at Stellenbosch University, and Research Fellow in Biblical Archaeology at the University of South Africa. He is the English editor of the Turkish archaeological journalsAdalya and Anmed. He also blogs for the online Bible History Daily. He is the author and editor of numerous books, articles, and reviews including a commentary on Revelation (Zondervan), Charts of the Book of Revelation (Kregel), The Victor Sayings in the Book of Revelation (Wipf & Stock), and Biblical Turkey: A Guide to the Jewish and Christian Sites of Asia Minor (Ege Yayıları). Wilson is a member of twelve academic societies, including the Society of Biblical Literature, the Evangelical Theological Association, the Institute of Biblical Research, and the New Testament Society of South Africa. His particular research interests are the ancient Jewish communities, Roman roads, and biblical history in Turkey. He has been married to Dindy for forty years. They have four adult children, four granddaughters, and four grandsons.

“If you are looking for first-rate evangelical scholarship on the book of Revelation in clear, non-technical language, you can do no better than Mark Wilson’s Victory through the Lamb. Through his extensive training in biblical scholarship and his experience living in Turkey, God has prepared Mark in unique ways to help the church understand this final book of the Bible. Two contributions of the book stand out. First, Mark offers a fresh English translation of the Greek text of Revelation. And second, he unpacks the relevance of Revelation for Christians enduring persecution, both past and present. So much of what has been written on Revelation for the church actually prepares believers to escape tribulation when Jesus himself made it clear that we should prepare to persevere through tribulation (e.g., John 16:33). Victory through the Lamb presents the best of biblical scholarship in clear and powerful language. I will recommend it widely. Thank you, Mark, for your gift to the body of Christ.”
—J. Scott Duvall, Chair of Department of Biblical Studies, and Professor of New Testament, Ouachita Baptist University

“This is a great book with rich insights, and I am going to have to reread it! The two best compliments I can give a book or commentary on the book of Revelation is to say it is readable and insightful. This is very accurate of Mark Wilson's new book on Revelation. He connected so many different dots for me in a book that can be very confusing to understand. In every chapter I found myself saying, ‘Huh, never thought about it that way before.’ Mark's insights are driven by a deep study of the book of Revelation and its many connections with the rest of the Bible as well as from the perspective of someone who has lived in Turkey for many years and understands the nuances of the symbolism.”
—Jackson Crum, Lead Pastor, Park Community Church, Chicago

“Living in Turkey, the land to which the book of Revelation was written, Mark Wilson is well-placed to bridge the gap between ancient and modern readers. Emphasizing the themes of witness, tribulation, and victory, he shows how John’s call to faithful witness is as relevant today as two thousand years ago. The Lamb has been victorious, and those who persevere in loyal devotion to him will be victorious through him. Wilson has written a sane, readable, and relevant guide for all who seek to thus follow the Lamb wherever he goes.”

—Bernard Bell, Pastor of Biblical Studies, Peninsula Bible Church, Cupertino, CA

“In an age when many Christians prefer to deny Christian suffering and persecution while others face it as a daily reality, Mark Wilson brings a biblical perspective in his new book. Christians everywhere are called to follow Christ and share in his sufferings. The hope for the church doesn't lie in a better world but in the victory of the Lamb, who will return to establish the kingdom of God in all its fullness. Wilson successfully unravels the mysteries of the book of Revelation, challenges our thinking, and brings hope to those who are suffering.”
—Benjamin van Rensburg, Pastor, Union Church of Istanbul, Turkey

“In Victory through the Lamb, Mark Wilson draws upon his breadth of understanding of first-century history, his depth of understanding of the geography of western Anatolia, and his personal experience of having lived for many years in modern Turkey to illuminate the book of Revelation. For those of us who struggle to understand the often cryptic symbolism of this apocalypse, there is much to be learned from this volume. Even for those who might employ alternate interpretive frameworks from those suggested here, many illuminating moments will occur as they read Wilson’s book. The martyr stories at the beginning of each chapter aid in placing the reader into the correct frame of mind for interpreting Revelation. There is a reason, after all, that John's apocalypse has been such an encouragement for people suffering for the name of Christ throughout history. I heartily recommend this book both for those who will agree with its main conclusions as well as for those who will not.”
—Kenneth Berding, Professor of New Testament, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

“How rare it is for a biblical scholar to speak in the language of everyman, to unearth the treasures of his life’s work for all who are willing to see Scripture in new perspective. Mark Wilson has done just this. Writing for the non-expert, he shows us the book of Revelation in light of first-century history and the power of Old Testament imagery and so defies trendy interpretations to help us see what we are meant to see: a grand unveiling of Jesus Christ to the church of all ages.”
—Stephen Mansfield, President, The Mansfield Group

“Mark Wilson offers a refreshing voice to intimidating subject matter. His devotion to the western Turkey and his exploration of Revelation within the first-century Roman context make Victory through The Lamb both interesting and inspiring.”
—Jeff Manion, Senior Teaching Pastor, Ada Bible Church (MI)

The River of God book by Russell Stendall review

The River of God by Russell M. Stendall

In The River of God, author Russell M. Stendall begins with describing the river in the garden of Eden. The book moves on from there through the Bible and culminates in Revelation. The author wanted to give to the reader a sense of peace which only comes from the River of God, salvation. As true Christians know from experience, the only true peace and satistaction comes from God. 
I am impressed by the author's life long commitment as a missionary to Columbia. I was eager to read his book, yet I found it very difficult to get through. I continued reading with patience and an open mind but I just simply wasn't touched by this book. I found the point of the book hard to decipher. 
I will return to this book after a while and will update my review if my opinion changes in the future. 

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion of it. 

More about the book:
This world is in a state of constant unrest, but we must not be distracted from what God is doing now and in the future. God is patient, but soon He will restore His chosen people to a right relationship with Him, though this comes at a cost. All humanity will be affected. Your world will be changed in unprecedented ways and drinking from the River of God is the only answer. The River of God opens with the river in the Garden of Eden, defines God's plans through biblical prophecy, numerology, and typology, and culminates in Revelation with the pure river of life proceeding from the throne of God for His people. Are you ready to stand firm during the coming tumultuous times? Discover your strength in the waters that flow from the River of God

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Great cookbook review...Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen

Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen

I am so excited to have received this cookbook, ''the first major Peruvian cookbook published for a US audience''! Indeed, although my family and I have rather a collection of cookbooks from around the world, this is our first of the cuisine of any country of South America besides Argentina! I was absolutely delighted as I opened this new cookbook. Judging my the cover you may, as I did, assume that there are no colour photographs inside. What a surprise you will have when you open this book with it's cute 'tiled' cover and see the beautiful photos inside! True to Ten Speed Press tradition and quality, almost every recipe has a stunning depiction in color. The book is a great size- full of hundreds of amazing flavor-packed recipes. You are in for a real treat!
  As I read (yes, I read my cookbooks more enthusiastically than most girls do novels!) you will feel like you are not holding just a cookbook, but that in your hands you have a passport to a vibrant country. I learnt more about Peru in that time than if I had attempted to read a text book on it! This is the kind of cookbook I love. 
   When I consider the recipes in Ceviche, I think ''fresh'', ''colourful'', and ''healthy''. The first two chapters have plenty of fresh fish recipes. (no surprise considering the title, which is the national fish dish of Peru!) There are also chapters on meat, salads and desserts. 
Personally, living in the land-locked Midwest, I (sadly) won't have much use for the seafood recipes. I also won't be making many of the meat dishes shown since they involve mostly pork, lamb and fowl whilst I usually am limited to chicken and beef. However, the ''salads'' chapter as well as the ''desserts'' one. The salads and vegetable dishes are probably the most unique and beautiful I have seen yet! Their presentation reminds me of French dishes yet they have an exotic flair...I can't wait to surprise my family and friends with them! The desserts look very sweet but I am already inspired to try them with a natural alternative to the sugar...
Needless to say, you need to look at this book! You will be impressed.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

More about the book:
Flavor-driven and captivating, Peruvian dishes are unique and familiar at the same time. This cuisine combines native ingredients that are becoming increasingly popular in their own right (such as quinoa and amaranth) with Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese techniques and ingredients to create fresh, multicultural gourmet dishes that appeal to America's ravenous taste for ethnic food. From sizzling barbecued beef anticucho skewers, superfood salads featuring quinoa and physalis, and piquant 
ceviche to airy giant choclo corn cakes and lucuma ice dessert,The Peruvian Kitchen will be the first authoritative cookbook to bring the delicious dishes from Peru's lush jungles, Andean peaks, and seaside villages to US kitchens

book review: Home To Chicory Lane

Home to Chicory Lane (Chicory Inn #1)Home to Chicory Lane (Chicory Inn #1)

The story begins with Audrey and Grant Whitman, married for 35 years with 5 grown children. They have finally been able to make their dream of converting their large home into an appealing bed and breakfast! They are holding an open house as well as inviting all their children and their families back to the home for a special reunion. To Audrey's surprise, in the middle of the busy-ness, her youngest, Landyn- supposed to be in New York with her husband- shows up, pulling a U-haul! To everyone's confusion, her husband isn't even with her! What is going on? Unravel the family mysteries as you read this sweet, faith-based story. 
   Personally, I think of this book as a book for elderly women who have plenty of leisure time. Otherwise, I don't think it will really help the rest of us who have so much to do in life. The faith message wasn't enough to really leave the reader changed. It was like a Hallmark movie. Good points, and I loved how family and children were viewed highly, but not enough to really make an impact. 

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. More reviews available here
Home to Chicory Lane Deborah Raney

Review: The Best Party Book Ever! by the editors of faithGirlz

Best Party Book Ever!From invites to overnights and everything in between

By Editors of Faithgirlz! and Girls' Life Mag
Published by Zondervan

   I was interested in this book because I've been cooking and baking since I was a little girl and as for family has been doing those since before I was born! As of now, we still do eleven themed parties a year. Needless to say, we love coming up with ideas for decorating, foods to prepare, etc. etc. 
I was actually pleased with this book for girls. It was full of fun ideas for parties and get-togethers. There were examples as to decor, yet it wasn't overbearing, leaving the young hostess plenty of room for imagination! Menu ideas were given as well as actual recipes, found at the back of the book. These recipes are surprisingly real. I was expecting them to be full of store-bought mixes and such, but instead the authors wisely decided to create simple recipes the girls can make from scratch. Many of them could even be converted to ''healthy''! The parties in here are all fun and pretty. Very feminine. I can assure you your daughter, any young girl in your life, or even yourself will be delighted with the ideas presented here. The pictures are pleasant and bright. (and as an aside, the models have come a long way from models of 1990's craft books. ;) )
I appreciated all the ''hostess tips'' included in this paperback as well. After reading this book, your daughter will definitely know more about becoming a gracious hostess. There are tips for the reader as guest too. 

I recommend this book to every girl who loves (or wants to learn to love) giving parties or get-togethers!

I received this book through the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

more about the book:

Book Description

Let the celebration begin! Whether you want to throw the best birthday bash ever or you’re dreaming up a just-for-fun sleepover extravaganza with your friends, Faithgirlz! has you covered. Packed full of creative and crazy-fun ideas, this book contains everything you need to know to plan fifteen great get-togethers from start to finish. From holiday parties to secret garden soirees, cookie bake-offs for a cause to "glamping" slumber parties, you and your BFFs will get detailed how-tos and plenty of tips for designing cute crafts, décor, munchies, and more. Plus, clever ideas throughout show you how to turn every day into a special occasion! Have a blast from invitation to gracious goodbye - all on a crafty girl’s budget.

Book review: In the Land of the Blue Burqas

In the Land of Blue BurqasIn the Land of the Blue Burqas by 

As I read this book I was impressed by her love. Her humility. She really saw herself, her country (America) in the eyes of the people she was ministering to, and made haste to remove as many hindrances as possible. She dressed in a way befitting a woman in the Afghani culture (apart from the face scarf), and tried to adhere to as many innocent rules as possible. This is a must for a foreigner going into another culture. We cannot just barge into another country with our American ways, assuming we will be welcomed with open arms just because we're American. How arrogant.  Because this woman obviously cared about them and loved them, these Afghan people were more willing to listen to her explain the gospel! 
This book is very interesting; I was able to read it quite easily. It has many heart-touching stories. I wish it had more conversion stories, but I had to be content with hoping the people's hearts changed later on. 

I received this book from the publisher - Moody Press- in exchange for my review!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin historical fiction review

In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale #3)

In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale #3)

Always drawn to World War II books, I was excited to begin this historical fiction romance by Sarah Sundin.must say upfront that I am not a big fan of books which are primarily romances. I love good romance in a book, but I feel like the romance is just...overdone in romance novels! So when I say that I thought this book good is saying a lot. 

The third in the author's ''Wings of the Nightingale'' series, this book focuses on the third of the ''Nightingales'', flight nurse Kay Jobson. Although it is about characters from the previous two books, it is a great on its own as well. I hadn't read the first two in this series and was able to launch into these characters' world quite well.
Having grown up in a hypocritical 'Christian' family, Kay has a negative view of church and religion. This book is a wonderful story of how God can use His word, and his people to bring salvation to the most unlikely people.

Personally, I was intrigued by the deep message which was the spine of this romance. It is rare that you find a romance, even a Christian one which has such a life-changing message as this one. The author does a wonderful job of teaching that we have no control over our lives. I really related to the 'heroine'-Kay-in this book. Not in every aspect certainly, but in the aspect that she is used to controlling her life. When everything starts veering out of control, she feels at a loss. And sometimes, when we have reached the end of ourselves that is when God works in us. I loved that this book revolved not just around the romance, as too many romances do, but around faith and character development.
Although I would have preferred this book to have even more historical facts than it does, it is far beyond most romance-focused romance novels in that there is actually adventure in this one! It was quite an interesting read. 
I will add, however that it is for adults. And the end isn't spectacular. But I see the author's point. She did a good job finishing everything up.

Read more reviews here

I was pleased to receive this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Paris Kitchen cookbook review

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories

This picturesque book is my kind of cookbook! Full of lovely photographs and stories, it is definitely the coffee-table style. I love those kinds of books! I was especially intrigued by this title since I am French-Canadian and I was eager to see the impression the author got of my half-culture. (although French-Canadians differ from the French, there are similarities, especially in the realm of la cuisson!
The author of this book is from America. He moved to Paris and has been there for ten years. In my opinion, he represents French cooking perfectly in this book! I appreciated how he was open to criticizing their flaws as well as praising their culinary expertise. All in all, this book is the best of French cooking with a global flair! My kind of cooking. Take what you love from every culture and turn it into the best meals ever!
The warm-toned photographs alone are enough to make you want to read this book. 
The recipes are exciting! The stories are distractingly interesting.
I don't agree with all the author's views. In fact, I suspect I am very opposed to certain aspects of his lifestyle. But my review is about this cookbook, and I like it. I think the recipes are winners! I will agree with many of the other reviews I have read that this is not your easy 1-2-3 cookbook. Not a cookbook for beginners, or the easily overwhelmed. 
This is the kind of cookbook that inspires your entire meal menu just from reading the story preceding the recipe!

A collection of stories and 100 sweet and savory French-inspired recipes from popular food blogger David Lebovitz, reflecting the way Parisians eat today and featuring lush photography taken around Paris and in David's Parisian kitchen.

It’s been ten years since David Lebovitz packed up his most treasured cookbooks, a well-worn cast-iron skillet, and his laptop and moved to Paris. In that time, the culinary culture of France has shifted as a new generation of chefs and home cooks—most notably in Paris—incorporates ingredients and techniques from around the world into traditional French dishes. 
     In My Paris Kitchen, David remasters the classics, introduces lesser-known fare, and presents 100 sweet and savory recipes that reflect the way modern Parisians eat today. You’ll find Soupe à l’oignon, Cassoulet, Coq au vin, and Croque-monsieur, as well as Smoky barbecue-style pork, Lamb shank tagine, Dukkah-roasted cauliflower, Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce, and Wheat berry salad with radicchio, root vegetables, and pomegranate. And of course, there’s dessert: Warm chocolate cake with salted butter caramel sauce, Duck fat cookies, Bay leaf poundcake with orange glaze, French cheesecake...and the list goes on. David also shares stories told with his trademark wit and humor, and lush photography taken on location around Paris and in David’s kitchen reveals the quirks, trials, beauty, and joys of life in the culinary capital of the world.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review!

Monday, August 11, 2014

great book: Bible Revival

Bible Revival: Recommitting Ourselves to One Book by Kenneth Berding

Our country, and many others as well, is currently experiencing a Spiritual famine. We cannot turn a blind eye or deaf ear to the facts. And once we accept the truth, we must go further and discover the causes of this tragedy. Lastly, and most importantly we must remedy this terrible state by turning around and trying to fix what we have so grievously erred in. 

“Christians used to be known as ‘people of one book.’ Sure, they read, studied, and shared other books. But the book they cared about more than all others combined was the Bible. They memorized it, meditated on it, talked about it, and taught it to others. We don’t do that anymore, and in a very real sense we’re starving ourselves to death.” (16)

Bible Revival passionately explores why the Bible needs to be the single most important book in the Christian’s life—and how to make it so. Unlike most books about the Bible, Berding digs deep to uncover the motivations and distractions that keep Christians from engaging with the Bible as richly as it can. But he does more than just point out the problems; he lovingly offers solutions in order to learn, value, understand, apply, obey, and speak the Bible.

I found this such a convicting book! Chapter by chapter I was made to think about the truths contained in this little book and to examine my own heart. 

The truths in even such a small book as this are foundational to turning the state of our nations around!

The Blessings of Friendship Treasury by Mary Engelbreit

The Blessings of Friendship Treasury by Mary Engelbreit

In her classic whimsical style, artist Mary Engelbreit presents yet another keepsake book. This large hardback is full of adorable illustrations. I have always thought Mary Engelbreit's artwork to be most cheerful and joyous. You can tell that she finds joy through Christ!

Mary Engelbreit grew up studying the illustrations in the vintage storybooks of her mother’s childhood, and she developed a unique style that harkens back to those simpler times. Mary’s distinctive images have made her a celebrity to millions, who eagerly snap up gift items, calendars, books, fabrics, and more

This new book will delight all fans of Mary Engelbreit's unique artwork. It would make a perfect gift for a dear friend!
Each page is colorfully illustrated and features famous poems, sayings and Scripture about friendship. 

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Big Flavor Grill cookbook

The Big-Flavor Grill:No-Marinade, No-Hassle Recipes for Delicious Steaks, Chicken, Ribs, Chops, Vegetables, Shrimp, and Fish by by Chris Schlesinger, John Willoughby 

Yet another vibrant cookbook from Ten Speed Press! It seems like every cookbook I get from this company is packed with flavorful, make-able recipes accented by beautiful photographs!

Clearly experts in the realm of creating amazing flavors on the grill, the authors have created over 100 taste-bud awakening combinations of herbs and spices to make your grilling experience amazing!

The format of each recipe follows a simple plan of: Prep, Toss and Grill! Just 3 easy steps per recipe. 

From  Chicken Breasts with Maple-Soy Glaze and Peanut-Ginger Relish, to Spicy Curry-Rubbed Lamb Kebabs with Grilled Peaches, to Cumin Seed–Crusted Shrimp with Charred Corn Vinaigrette, to Grilled Chicken Skewers with Peaches, Smoked Paprika and Sherry Vinegar, I can guarantee you this book contains at least a dozen recipes which will rock your world. 
These guys know how to handle use the flavors!

I'm planning on using this book not only for grilling, but year-round, for baked/fried meals as well!

I was pleased to receive this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.