Appetizers are the entrance of a meal. They are light in flavor, but stimulate your hunger. In Spanish we have a saying that literally translated is “Food enters through the eyes” meaning that the appearance of a meal helps the appetite. The English equivalent would be “The sizzle sells the steak”.
There are three big turtles in the house where I live which have occasionally found upside down; it is a hopeless and despairing situation, a terrible no-win position and if remained overturned, it could be fatal for the turtle.
The words in the cover “moving beyond defeat” and the image of the turtle stuck on its back invites your attention and makes you want to continue with the next dish.
Depending on the culture, salads can come before or after a meal and sometimes even go alongside the meal. So in this menu the author, Amy Hernandez, is the salad. How many times in life one has the opportunity to read a book in the author’s home? I precisely did that with this book. I don’t know Amy, she is my friend Joel’s wife. They have served in Mexico as missionaries and are now in Dubuque, IA involved with Emmaus Bible College and the local church. What I admire about Amy is the honesty with which she shares her own struggles. You can find her, contact her, ask her questions and more in her blog: Here.
This is the heaviest, heartiest and most important and substantial dish on a menu. This is the content of the book. The idea of presenting Amy’s book as a four course meal came from seeing and tasting in each chapter different ingredients for food which main purpose is to be nutritional and satisfying, but nutritious food is not always tasty and full-flavored and they don’t have to be, but a good cook will know how to mix and balance the ingredients so that the final product may be healthful and of great gusto.
Amy has prepared a very solid meal. She will talk about weaknesses, suffering, justice, the flesh, the mind, the heart and the many hidden, unnoticed, sometimes overlooked, some other times unrecognized sin in our lives. She will encourage you “to eat up” the whole plate in the section where she puts the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in truth, love, prayer and with gifts in our lives.
It concludes the meal. It consists of sweets and for that reason, the favorite part of the meal. Proverbs 16:24 says “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Some bitter compounds are good for you. Life itself gives us plenty of those; defeat is one of them. It is nice to find someone who has tasted the bitter flavors and brings sweet words of encouragement. Amy’s book’s summary says it best: DEFEAT ISN’T WHERE IT ENDS; DEFEAT IS WHERE REAL LIVING BEGINS.
This is a meal I want to repeat, a recipe I will be using over and over for the need for healthy food will not end as long as I keep walking in the Christian life and growing and strengthening myself in the Lord.
Amy and Joel Hernandez with me in their home.