Friday, November 25, 2011

Journey To Christmas

Why should you watch this documentary? 

Visually this documentary is stunning! The sights and sounds are authentic, the tour is spectacular, immerses you into the culture, and one can really visualize what Christmas is truly about.
I appreciate that the documentary is not biased and has individuals of different backgrounds that contribute to the Christmas story each with a unique way of thinking.
I also enjoyed the bit of history and insight that is provided throughout the documentary of the different places shown. However, it is also the failure of doing this point well that might drive you away from enjoying this documentary (explain below).

Why you might not enjoy this documentary?

To complete the point I made about the history and insights in this documentary, I am glad that it is somewhat contained in this documentary, however, if you are looking for detailed historical analysis, this is not the documentary to watch. 
If you don’t like reality television shows, this is also not the documentary to watch. They have interviews (kind of like in survivor) where they have the people sit and talk about the experience and such. This is somewhat annoying especially if you are watching this documentary purely for a Christmas insight and to gain knowledge – I know the people I watched it with were annoyed at the “reality t.v.” feel.
The biggest reason you might come away disappointed after watching this documentary (as is the case with me) was the lack to biblical and spiritual content. It is interesting that though the documentary is about Christmas, the amount of actual scriptures read regarding Christmas was minimal. And spiritually? I did not come away enlightened or “blessed.”


If you would like a stunning view (tour) of the holy land, you won’t be disappointed. You will feel immersed in the culture, you will see the sights, hear the sounds, and could even smell the smells (with a little imagination).  This documentary provides a different view of Christmas and moves away from the commercialization of Christmas that the North American society has made the holiday to be. But ultimately, spiritually it does not contain much depth.  
I received this DVD free from Tyndale House Publisher for the purpose of providing my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Voice New Testament: Step Into the Story of Scripture

The Voice New Testament: Step Into the Story of Scripture by Thomas Nelson is truly a one of a kind bible translation. I have read plenty of Bible translations, King James, NKJV, NIV, NLT, RBS (Russian translation), and most recently The Message, from Genesis to Revelations. Unfortunately I only read the New Testament of this translation, but I hope to one day soon read the Old as well.

It is truly one of a kind reading experience for it presents the Bible to the reader in a form that we are all familiar with. We all watch movies, shows, and some perhaps read plays; well reading this translation creates a similar experience. The Voice is written as a narrative, it provides background information and fills the readers in on the gaps (some contextual, some from Old Testament, etc.) so the reader is never lost. But it is the actual writing itself that is so beautifully, and well written in my opinion. It is simple to read but never losses the initial intent of what is being said.

In the beginning the authors point out the reasons for writing The Voice and how exactly it was created. They do a beautiful job putting all the pieces together to actually give the reader a FRESH experience, read the Bible in a way like never before. As the authors point out this is both a word-for-word and thought-for-thought translation of the bible. It never twists or manipulates the words and is ultimately an exciting, simple, pleasant and informative way of reading the Bible.
In my opinion I believe EVERYONE should own and read a copy of this translation. It has improved my understanding and has given me a new way of thinking but some subjects. I highly recommend it.
Note: This Bible was given to me by the Thomas Nelson Publishers for a honest review. 5/5 stars!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Runner’s Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Life’s Journey…On and Off the Road. By Dana Niesluchowski and David R. Veerman

The Runner’s Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Life’s Journey…On and Off the Road. By Dana Niesluchowski and David R. Veerman
I was really looking foreword to receiving this book. I was not disappointed. I love running, but I’m a fairly new beginner at the sport. I didn’t know techniques, equipment or anything… All I knew was how to put on my shoes, head band and out the door I went. I lacked the motivation to do it continuously, and when I did go out running I tried to put my thoughts on God and wholesome things. With my background I thought this would be a perfect book to read!
At first I thought “hmmmm, this book does not seem to be telling me anything I don’t already know” but that was not the case at all as I kept reading. The training tips are wonderful and encouraging. The best part is that this book motivated me to actually get out and run. Every time I read this book I wanted to go running.
The book others stories, training tips and advice, weekly logs, plans and put’s a spiritual component into each chapter. Although the authors went light on the spiritual aspect, nonetheless it was a pleasant little add-in to each section and tied in well with what the authors were communicating.
This book is meant to be read as a devotional, a weekly one (one chapter a week) not per day (although you can). I would recommend this book for anything seeking motivation, tips and advice, and a little change from the usual running experience. I have already passed it on to other friends and recommended it to all runners, I found it very helpful book and definitely received a physical as well as spiritual blessing from it.
Note: Tyndale Publishers provided me with this book for an honest review and opinion.