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Alejandra Vernon "artist & illustrator" (Granada, Nicaragua)

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The True Justice of a Just God: Discovering God's Redemptive Plan for Mankind
The True Justice of a Just God: Discovering God's Redemptive Plan for Mankind
by Lawrence A. Panarello
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.19
5 used & new from CDN$ 23.97

5.0 out of 5 stars A Wise and Wonderful Book, Sept. 19 2007
"The True Justice of a Just God" is an inspired work, that will fill you with hope and love. Exquisitely written, it has a simplicity and graceful beauty in its style that is a rarity in this age; it is a joy to read not only for the power of its thoughts, but also for the words chosen to express them. Lawrence A. Panarello explains scholarly subjects in a way that is easy to understand, and describes the many forms of justice in biblical times: The Civil Court or Tribunal, the Elders, and the Daysman, or mediator. In Chapter 4, the Book of Job (which is often a stumbling block for readers and the reason many find it the hardest book in the Bible to grasp), is commented on superbly, and Chapter 5, "The Promised Daysman," is about how Christ Jesus intercedes for us, and is our "defense attorney." In Chapter 7, we read how the Holy Spirit is our constant daysman and comforter, to guide us and be our "legal assistant" as we walk in an unbelieving world.

"God, being a just and loving Father, will see that there is a true, final, and ultimate justice that will last for all time." (page 67)

This book is slender but mighty, and you get a lot to think about and meditate upon. From the introduction, where Panarello speaks of God as "the perfect judge, full of compassion and mercies," who "has chosen to look upon the heart," to the epilogue, where it is stated that our eternal future is with God who is "light and in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5), one is inspired and made to consider how best to live a victorious life on earth, "with glimpses of the beauty of his presence and power."

"The True Justice of a Just God" also has a lovely layout that includes quotes that fit in with the spiritual theme by people like Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt, high quality paper, and a nice font size that is so easy on the eyes. This is a book that is instructive as well as encouraging, and would be a great addition to any Christian library.

Hear Him! the One Hundred Twenty-Five Commands of Jesus
Hear Him! the One Hundred Twenty-Five Commands of Jesus
by Peter Wittstock
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.39
17 used & new from CDN$ 7.62

5.0 out of 5 stars A Timely Book with a Profound Message, June 30 2005
Unique and inspired, "Hear Him!" is a scholarly work that will be appreciated by anyone who wants to understand in depth what Jesus told us, and by following those words, implement them to make the most of our earthly lives.
The introduction is lengthy, and explains how this book came about, the author's view of the modern world, and how best to live in it as a Christian. It has many quotes from theologians like Francis Schaeffer and John Knox, and expresses thoughts on marriage, as well as the church accepting new teachings "for the sake of private human interests," "faith vs. works," and whether the commands of Jesus are an "obligation or option." The introduction also has the "criteria for inclusion" the author used when choosing the commands that are part of the one hundred and twenty-five in the book, explained with graphics, and includes a list of the commands that were excluded.
The one hundred and twenty-five commands from the Bible are written in bold type (the New Revised Standard Version Bible is used), often with a Greek translation for better understanding, and then analyzed with great clarity by Peter Wittstock. His knowledge is equaled by his insight, and I was inspired as well as illuminated by his penetrating wisdom. There are many books on the market that analyze Scripture, but I found this one to be exceptional in its lucidity and purpose. Whether one simply reads one of the commands and meditates upon its meaning, or takes in several at one sitting, one will invariably gain discernment, and more invaluable than anything, the commands will bring one into a closer relationship with the Lord. The writing is profound, yet simple and easy to understand, and the book itself is of fine quality, with a nice large font size.
There is much of value in the back of the book, with a glossary, bibliography, command category index, and much more. Of very special interest is appendix A, a poetic revelation received by the author on the morning of September 11, 2001. It is intensely moving, with a searing reality that some would rather not face. I applaud the author for his courage, and for putting a lamp of truth in a dark place.

Amadeus (Widescreen)
Amadeus (Widescreen)
DVD ~ F. Murray Abraham
Offered by EntertainmentForLess
Price: CDN$ 10.89
18 used & new from CDN$ 2.61

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a mythical, fabulous portrait of genius, July 19 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Amadeus (Widescreen) (DVD)
Peter Shaffer wrote the "Amadeus" screenplay based on his play, which is a quirky, fanciful vision of Mozart and Salieri, and how God gave Mozart the gift of musical genius despite his character flaws, but bypassed Salieri, who tried to strike a deal with the Almighty, vowing pious devotion, if He would only grant him brilliance and fame.
F. Murray Abraham is marvelous portraying Salieri's pride and envy, and having to suffer the indignity of mediocrity; the part garnered him a Best Actor Oscar and a Golden Globe, among other awards, and as Mozart, Tom Hulce is stupendous, with his high pitched raucous giggle, fluffy wigs, and energetic appeal.
Others in the cast of note are Elizabeth Berridge, excellent as Mozart's wife Constanza, and Roy Dotrice as his stern father Leopold.
The biggest star of the film however, is the music...the glorious sounds of Mozart's operas, and his magnificent Requiem. Many of my favorite scenes are depicted, from the ballet music from "The Marriage of Figaro", to "Don Giovanni a cenar teco", as well as portions of "The Marriage of Figaro", "The Magic Flute", and much more.
Some of the great voices heard are Samuel Ramey (Figaro), Richard Stilwell (Count Almaviva / Don Giovanni), June Anderson (Queen of the Night), Brian Kay (Papageno) and Gillian Fisher (Papagena), though the parts on screen are played by actors, and not those singing.
Twyla Tharp's choreography is fresh and exhilarating, Miroslav Ondricek's cinematography is exquisite, and Milos Forman's direction imaginative and well paced.
As well as Best Actor, the Academy bestowed Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Sound, all well deserved.
Total running time is 160 minutes.

George W Bush on God & Count
George W Bush on God & Count
by Bush/Freiling
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars "out of the overflow of the heart, a man speaks", July 19 2004
This is not only a wonderful book, but a necessary one, to truly understand the mind of our 43rd president, and the issues that concern him, no matter what one's political persuasion. It is good to know from the source, instead of from the endless fountain of propaganda that spews forth from both sides of the aisle.
There is an introduction by editor Thomas M. Freiling, on how he went about compiling this collection of 34 speeches and talks that vary in tone and expression from formal to those with the cadence of a relaxed conversation, that read as though being spoken rather than written.
Each chapter is headed with the date of the speech, but not the place it was given, but some are obvious, as the one given in England in November, 2003, which is one of the longest, at 15 pages. Most of the chapters average 4-5 pages, and many touch on controversial subjects, like the rights of unborn children, and the current debate over stem cell research. "On Respect for Life" is a thoughtful analysis on the crucial questions that are a part of the complex issue of stem cells, and President Bush talks about both sides of subject, and why and how he came to his final decision, when he confronted the "fundamental questions about the beginnings of life, and the ends of science".
"On Cuba and Castro" from May 20, 2002, is another chapter that is important to read.
"On Justice", from July 2001, includes a welcoming address from Pope John Paul II, and is one of the eight chapters that pre-date the horror that changed our country, and President Bush's task in office. "On Resolve", from September 14, 2001, is a profound and moving chapter on those events, that is also life-affirming, and full of hope for the future.
As it is written in Matthew 12:34, "out of the overflow of the heart, a man speaks", and this is an essential book to read, if one wants to know the heart of George W. Bush, and the ideas that motivate him.

Love in the Afternoon
Love in the Afternoon
DVD ~ Gary Cooper
Offered by torontomediadvd_com
Price: CDN$ 38.88
12 used & new from CDN$ 24.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wilder's Parisian souffle, July 18 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Love in the Afternoon (DVD)
With two of Hollywood's most glamorous stars, and (despite the silly plot) a sharp and witty script, this film is an evergreen, and one I never tire of watching.
Audrey Hepburn is enchanting as the spunky "Thin Girl", a cello student who falls in love with a millionaire playboy bachelor, played with grace and charm (and quite a bit of humor) by Gary Cooper. Hepburn was 28 at the time, and looked younger, Cooper was 56, and looked perhaps older, but despite the age difference, their chemistry together sparkles and sizzles.
The romantic cat and mouse game played by Hepburn to intrigue and win Cooper's heart is all very innocent and sweet, and I always shed a few tears at the magical ending.
Maurice Chevalier as Hepburn's father, a private detective specializing in matters of love and deception is fabulous, and gets most of the funny lines, and John McGiver, as one of Chevalier's jealous husband clients, is also very amusing.
The b & w cinematography by William Mellor is exceptional, and how the camera loves Audrey, looking exquisite in an array of beautiful gowns. There is also a quartet called "The Gypsies", who serenade the lovers throughout the film with some terrific czardas, and the melodic song "Fascination".
Light, frothy, and thoroughly enjoyable, this is one of Billy Wilder's most delightful films, and it's a treasure for Hepburn and Cooper fans.
Total running time is 130 minutes.

Our Town [Import]
Our Town [Import]
DVD ~ Jayne Atkinson
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 60.90
8 used & new from CDN$ 3.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "there is something eternal about every human being", July 17 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Our Town [Import] (DVD)
Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize winning 1938 play is one of my favorites, and this in an exquisite production of it. Paul Newman as the Stage Manager, in one of his most memorable performances, leads a superb ensemble cast. So much of this play is mime...cooking on the invisible stove, eating the imaginary breakfast...and the actors flow through the movements so easily, one almost sees the missing objects.
Wilder's play, which was inspired by Gertrude Stein's 1925 "The Making of Americans", draws one into it, with the actors sometimes talking directly to the viewer; it has a simplicity and charm that make it stay fresh even when one knows the words by heart.
The time is the early 20th century, in Grovers Corners, New Hampshire, and centers on the Webb and Gibbs families, who live next door to each other, and especially Emily Webb (Maggie Lacey) and George Gibbs (Ben Fox), who fall in love with gentle glances and sweet words. Lacey and Fox are luminous, and capture the heart of this lovely play.
As their parents, Jayne Atkinson and Frank Connors are marvelous as Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs, as are Jane Curtin and Jeffrey DeMunn as Charles and Myrtle Webb.
Originally produced for Connecticut's Westport County Playhouse, the show later moved to Broadway, where it garnered Paul Newman, 78 at the time, a Tony nomination.
Directed by James Naughton, this is a splendid performance of a perfect, and quite profound play; it is a keeper, and one that will make you smile, and sometimes weep, over and over again. Total running time is 120 minutes.

The Greatest Story Ever Told (Special Edition) (Bilingual)
The Greatest Story Ever Told (Special Edition) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Max von Sydow
Offered by DVD Monkey
Price: CDN$ 29.99
17 used & new from CDN$ 2.10

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a majestic, beautifully filmed epic, July 15 2004
This film is often compared with the 1961 "King of Kings", and "Jesus of Nazareth", but this one is by far my favorite of the three, because of the exquisite beauty of it, and Max von Sydow's powerful portrayal of Jesus; his performance has a strength and boldness that is lacking in the other two, and therefore for me much more believable. Sydow was only known to fans of Ingmar Bergman's films at the time, having starred in the Swedish director's "The Seventh Seal" among others, and was a surprise choice to play Jesus, and a good one. He does a marvelous job, and I especially like the scene after Lazarus has died...it is brilliant, and very moving.
George Stevens' vision of the story has a stark majesty, and is taken at a leisurely pace; it is also quite verbal, with some of the major events in the gospels not pictured, but spoken of instead.
Filmed in Arizona and Utah, the cinematography by Loyal Griggs, who took over from William Mellor when Mellor passed away during filming, is glorious. There are scenes that have the composition and balance a fine painting, with extraordinary detail, often framed by doorways or windows, and it's a film I never tire of just looking at. Graphic artists should make a point to see this film, as there is much that can be learned from it. Alfred Newman also wrote a lovely score (with a little help from G. F. Handel) which adds to the aesthetic appeal of this film.
In the huge star-studded cast, some performances are truly memorable, like Claude Rains as a bitter and devious Herod, and Jose Ferrer excellent as his son Herod Antipas; Charlton Heston's ferocious, wild-man John the Baptist is impassioned and perhaps more like the actual Baptist than some of the tamer portrayals.
With its huge budget (over 20 million in 1965 dollars) it was a critical and commercial failure when it was released, but it has had a long life, and is being watched today while some successful films of the mid-'60s quite forgotten, and will continue to be appreciated by everyone who likes Bible epics. It was however, nominated for 4 Academy Awards: Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Color Cinematography, Costume Design, and Original Score, losing out in all those categories to "Doctor Zhivago". There is "artistic license" taken with the story, but overall, it is a reverential, fairly accurate telling.
Total running time is 196 minutes.

The Apocalypse - DVD
The Apocalypse - DVD
DVD ~ Richard Harris
Offered by extra_mile_4_you-ca
Price: CDN$ 39.95
7 used & new from CDN$ 29.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a feast for the eyes and food for the soul, July 12 2004
Ce commentaire est de: The Apocalypse - DVD (DVD)
Set in 90 AD, this film gives us insight into the lives of Christians who lived under the domination of Roman rule. Emperor Domitian is in power (played with ample dementia by Bruce Payne), and his goal is to kill every living Christian who does not denounce God and give allegiance to Domitian alone, who has claimed himself god over all things.
The imagery in this film is fantastic; Giovanni Galasso's cinematography is full of rich color, and a feast for the eyes; there are portions that are like liquid works of art, and I never tire of watching them, in fact, several viewings are needed to fully appreciate the creative magic of the photography. The brilliance of the palette reminds me of the heyday of Technicolor, with its opulent reds, greens and blues.
The great Richard Harris is the apostle John, and it is one of his last appearances on film. Harris, who was so terrific starring in the cable television Bible Series production of "Abraham" in 1994, has less to do in this film, but with his weathered face and fabulous voice is wonderful. The attractive cast that surrounds him is excellent, with Vittoria Belvedere, Benjamin Sadler and Ian Duncan in the leads. Christian Kohlund is also impressive as Quintus Maximus.
The lavish sets and authentic looking costumes lend credibility to a film that is largely about John's visions, and are a good contrast to the "New heaven and new earth" of the beautiful, light-filled revelations given to the apostle.
Kudos to director Raffaele Mertes who directs with the eye of an artist (he was cinematographer for seven of the other Bible Series productions and director for "Esther"), and another great talent from the same series of films is the award-winning composer Monsignor Marco Frisina, who for this production was also Biblical Consultant, as well as giving us an atmospheric, lovely soundtrack.
Total running time is 96 minutes, for this marvelous telling of the apostle John's final days on the island of Patmos.

The Secrets of the Vine - DVD
The Secrets of the Vine - DVD
DVD ~ Bruce Wilkinson
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 142.40
7 used & new from CDN$ 61.51

5.0 out of 5 stars on being pruned and abiding, July 11 2004
Ce commentaire est de: The Secrets of the Vine - DVD (DVD)
This series of four sessions teaches some profound truths based on John: 15, "I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser", and how Jesus symbolically used the grapevine to illustrate His words. "Secrets of the Vine" was Dr. Wilkinson's second book in his "Breakthrough Series" (the best-seller "The Prayer of Jabez" was the first, "A Life God Rewards" the third)), and he demonstrates on a vine that is part of the set just how a vinedresser trains and prunes the vine for optimum fruit, and compares God's discipline and pruning (though they may feel the same, are quite different), and how God uses each for opposite purposes.
The fruit of the vine symbolizes "good works", and the set also includes four big baskets, that contain from zero grapes to brimming with clusters, and the four "Sessions" are on how we can get from the empty basket to the destiny God has in store for us, and have a life overflowing with goodness by following His will.
Dr. Wilkinson has inspired me in my walk with the Lord, and I find his series of films a great help. Biblically based and put forth in a format that is well organized, these Sessions can be heard repeatedly, with more to be gained with each viewing, and are excellent for personal use or a small study group.
Total running time is 229 minutes.
"I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

Pederecki: Violin Concerto
Pederecki: Violin Concerto
Price: CDN$ 21.28
7 used & new from CDN$ 12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars total brilliance, July 11 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Pederecki: Violin Concerto (Audio CD)
Though I somehow always think of Penderecki as a composer of vocal works, here his voice is the violin, in one of the most astounding pieces for the instrument I have ever heard. It has mystery, drama, and intense beauty, and rather than six separate movements, it stretches from mood to mood, segueing into them. My favorite is the transition from the fifth to the sixth, with the orchestra sounding more like the rumblings of nature than instruments.
The concerto was dedicated to Anne-Sophie Mutter, who was the soloist in the enthusiastically received first performance in 1995. The extreme difficulty of the concerto must be daunting for a violinist, but Mutter's technical mastery equals her sensitivity and artistry. Of special note is the 5th movement cadenza, which is enthralling.
Like most Penderecki works, this is a composition that gets better with every hearing; one has to get to know this piece, for it to reveal the full magnificence of its soul.
The Bartok Sonata # 2 takes us into far different territory: Angular, harsh and energized, it's a whirl of virtuoso technique and dynamic sound. Lambert Orkis on piano counterbalances Mutter's violin, producing varied tones and rhythms.
Anne-Sophie Mutter has been an award-winning soloist with major world orchestras since her teens, making her Berlin debut with Karajan and the Philharmonic when she was only 15, and her wide range of repertoire is impressive. Penderecki writes of her in the liner notes, that he was inspired by her "...sublime art of interpretation". The Penderecki was recorded in 1997, the Bartok in '95. The sound is excellent and total playing time is 58'01

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