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A brief and passionate call for Christians to make everyday connections with God.

A reverend offers a meditation on the core values of Christianity.

This latest work from Vu (Living for a Higher Purpose, 2017, etc.) seeks to reconnect the author’s target readership of practicing Christians with what he sees as the seven key demonstrations of God in their lives: peace, mercy, love, hope, joy, generosity, and faithfulness. In warm and inviting prose, the author examines each of these guiding principles and supplies examples drawn from his own experiences and from Scripture. Love is illustrated, for instance, by the story of a man named Matt. He visited his elderly veteran father regularly in a nursing home, even after his parent’s dementia worsened to the point where Matt sometimes left in tears. Hope is represented by the New Testament figure of Mary Magdalene, and joy by the Virgin Mary’s cousin Elizabeth. Vu focuses on Elizabeth’s reaction to the virgin’s pregnancy news. According to the author, invoking God’s presence through moments like these acts as a life raft that gives the faithful the courage to go on. He provides many examples of people searching for that raft, including Simeon and Anna (here inaccurately termed “prophets”), who waited steadfastly for the coming of the Messiah. “Anyone who demonstrates any sign of love knows God and comes from God,” Vu asserts in one of the many sentiments scattered throughout the book that will likely annoy atheists and even many moderate Christians. (The worst of these pronouncements is the old fundamentalist slur that without God to hold people “accountable,” they would instantly begin harming their neighbors.) But the author’s core audience will find his message of hope uplifting and his denunciation of the world’s cynicism comforting. His seven principles, he claims, are “a real indication of the presence of God.” And his extension of this link to things like service to community and acts of kindness should make those Christian readers feel very much included in the mercy he describes.

A brief and passionate call for Christians to make everyday connections with God.

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4575-6738-4

Page Count: 132

Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2019

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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