Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kylee and Casey

I had the privilege to photograph this awesome couple's wedding this last Saturday.  It was a beautiful day... warm and full of sunshine.  I wish them a happy marriage full of love, joy and children.

Share the Bounty, Finding God's Graace Through the Spirit of Hospitality by Benita Long

Share the Bounty
Finding God's Grace Through the Spirit of Hospitality
Benita Long

Long and her photographer, food stylist and artistic and floral design assistants, have compiled a book of menus set amidst pages of photographs and verses and quotes designed around the idea of hospitality and finding God's grace through such sharing food and comfort with guests.

The book is large and would be a beautiful coffee table book. The photographs are abundant and well done, although not quite how I would photograph them as a photographer. The book is divided into sections such as The Call, Prepare to Share and Three delightful Luncheons. Each focuses on an aspect of hospitality The recipes look good and are presented in an orderly manner that make them easy to read and follow.
Throughout the book, there are Bible verses and a variety of quotes from people throughout the ages. This is where I have the problem with this book. The book is titled in part... “Finding God's Grace Through the Spirit of Hospitality”, yet which God do they mean? There are quotes from ungodly people such as Yoko Ono, Led Zeppelin, Henry Nouwen, Ghandi and more. If this was billed as an inspirational book about hospitality, it might be okay. But... when we want to focus on God's grace, and the gospel (which is not presented in this book, but God's grace is not separate from the gospel), we are given an ecumenical view of hospitality; a view that includes Non-Christians who don't know God nor His hospitality.
Overall, this is a well presented book with doable recipes, nice photography, and a bevy of well meaning, but secular quotes scattered amongst Bible verses to inspire people to share God's grace through hospitality. I wish the authors would have kept to Biblical examples of hospitality, but since they did not, I cannot recommend this book wholly as a portraying a Biblical worldview about the subject. If you just want something inspirational, then it is a book that will satisfy many a woman's coffee table and dinner table.

I received this book from the publisher, and have given my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Voice in the WInd by Francine Rivers

A Voice in the Wind: 20th Anniversary Edition

Mark of the Lion , Book One

Francine Rivers

Tyndale Publishers

Step back in time to ancient Israel, Rome and Ephesus, and follow along with the story of Hadassah as she faces the destruction of Jerusalem under Titus, the death of her family and slavery. Hadassah is a Jewish/Christian girl who is a slave in a wealthy Roman household, where she serves a family (and ultimately God) with love and patience. Francine Rivers weaves a masterful tale with characters and circumstances that are uncannily similar of our day and age. It is not a shy tale, but one with vividly sinful and realistic characters, and a heroine who models the Christian faith steadily.

I read this book many years ago, and I loved it then and now. I liked that Rivers did not pull her punches with the circumstances of the human condition, the depravity of the human heart, and the mercy of God on sinners. Along with the story of Hadassah, as she faces life as a slave, she intersperses the story of Atretes, a German prisoner sold into the gladiator arena. The two stories intertwine at different times to create various facets to capture your attention. Love, hatred, greed, idolatry and more are addressed in throughout the story.

This book is not a book for young girls/women. There are adult themes and circumstances that are presented and should a teenage girl want to read it, I would suggest a parent reading it first and then with. Rivers presents a masterful work, that I would love to make into a movie. I wish I had the resources to do it.

Also, in this anniversary edition, the cover artwork is revisited and beautiful. They have included a map of the Mediterranean region, a page highlighting the previous covers, and a discussion guide.

I recommend the book to anyone who likes historical fiction and romance and wants more than the basic formulaic romances that are popular today.

I received this book for review from the publisher. The review was not required to be positive and is my own opinion.