Thursday, September 9, 2010
What do The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews, Storm Warning by Billy Graham, and my pastor's sermon on Noah have in common? Maybe you can see the connections.
The Boy Who Changed the World introduces children to the "Butterfly Effect." In this delightful narrative, one boy's decision to change the world is traced back through the lives of three other people in previous generations to see the way their decisions affected him. I shared it with my 10-year-old granddaughter who enjoyed the stunning artwork by Philip Hurst and who was fascinated by the connectivity in the lives of the four men. If you have a child or grandchild between the ages of 6 and 11, this is an excellent book to share with them.
Storm Warning, on the other hand, reaches into the future. Billy Graham used the book of Revelations as a backdrop for this up-dated version of his book first published in 1992. While based on Revelations, the book contains more material on our responsibilities to prepare for the coming storm than it does about the prophecy in Revelations. Billy Graham skillfully weaves in personal memories of fulfilling his destiny as God's voice to the lost world. He presents his vision on what we need to do to meet the needs of our generation against the background of the approaching storm. If you buy just one book by Billy Graham, I suggest that this would be the one to add to your library.
The sermon about Noah emphasized the faithfulness of God to protect Noah from the destructive storm He would pour out on a society in absolute rebellion against Him. That Noah's ancestors - from the fall until the flood - remained faithful to Yahweh was a miracle. Noah's commitment and witness in building the ark is equally miraculous. What was it about Noah and the generations in his family before him that made such a difference? First, it was the initial decision to follow God and not society's example that each person made. Next, that decision was followed – every day – by choices that reinforced it.
I'm sure that you can see the connection between these three very different messages. Each one spotlights a unique part of a single concept: Today Matters; Make Good Choices. Storm Warning calls us to prepare for the battle ahead. The thunderheads of chaos loom over us. Lest we become discouraged, we have the example of Noah to show us that steadfast obedience in the face of resistance finds its reward in shelter beneath God's protective wings. Lest we feel hopeless and think that nothing we do can make a difference, the message near the end of The Boy Who Changed the World will call us back to reality: "…every little thing you do matters: what you did yesterday, what you do today, and what you do tomorrow. God made your life so important that every move you make, every action you take, matters…"
Today Matters. Make Good Choices.
(Thank you, BookSneeze, for free copies of The Boy Who Changed the World and Storm Warning to review.)