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An energetic, interactive guide that encourages Christians to love themselves in order to love others.

A short Christian meditation explores the nature of love and self-love.

“What is your definition of love?” Sandra asks in her nonfiction debut, laying out a call for embracing self-love as a foundation for pursuing a deeper bond with the Christian God. One big benefit of loving ourselves, according to the author, is that it allows us to “begin to accept ourselves for who we are in Christ.” We realize greater self-esteem when we welcome who we are, the book asserts, and “when we believe that we are entitled to greatness, purpose, and blessings, we demand it and receive it.” Each of the manual’s quick, clearly written chapters ends with a recap of its contents, a “proclamation” designed to help readers turn sentiments into actions, and a suggested activity to give form to those efforts. Sandra illustrates her points with quotes from Scripture and incidents from her own life and the lives of others, stressing the fine line between loving yourself and loving others in correct balance. “Love is bigger than you and me,” she writes. Loving someone means being “willing” to rank that person’s “happiness on the same level as your own.” And yet “love is helping one another without being abused; giving, but not being used!” This balancing act can sometimes be a problem for a philosophy of self-love, of course, as can be seen, for example, in that previous quote. Christians are explicitly instructed to love others even while being abused by them (Matthew 5:38-39, etc.). A similar difficulty arises when the author encourages readers to “celebrate your achievements. Acknowledge your feelings, forgive yourself, and then work on letting go so you can move on with your life.” There is a perennial conflict between modern self-help books urging self-love and Christian teachings advocating self-abnegation in service to others, and that clash isn’t solved or even addressed in this volume. What readers get instead is reassuring self-affirmation delivered in brisk prose.

An energetic, interactive guide that encourages Christians to love themselves in order to love others.

Pub Date: July 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4990-6218-2

Page Count: 52

Publisher: XlibrisUS

Review Posted Online: April 9, 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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