Friday, December 01, 2006

Check It Out!

Doing book reviews was always a big reason I decided to blog. However it seems I failed to get really started in that regards. Then after reading many of the book reviews by fellow bloggers I felt somewhat ill prepared to properly give a review.

People read books for all sorts of reasons. For some reading opens up doors of knowledge and learning, while for others reading gives them an enjoyable pastime whereby they can escape into a fantasy world of their imagination. As a young boy I loved to read adventure novels as well as anything to do with the outdoors, military, or cowboys. I was greatly intrigued by military history and loved reading through books detailing great wars of the past.

Within the heart of every man is a longing for adventure and excitement. Sadly, many of us pass the days cooped up behind desks, or chained to endless menial tasks. Our yearning for this adventure wains as we age but there is always a quiet longing lurking in the heart. God has designed men this way, and while these desires have been greatly abused throughout history, nevertheless God is still looking for men who will step out in faith and trust Him to lead them into the unknown.

For many of us who grew up as church kids or were raised in christian homes, we thought of the christian life as a docile and passive existence where we attended the meetings and were good quiet little members of society. So when I began to read "Rebel with a Cause" I was immediately drawn to the adventurous lifestyle of Franklin Graham. Even after Christ saved him, Franklin was still willing to risk his safety to reach people with the gospel, and bring much needed relief through meeting physical needs.

I had always though of both Billy and Franklin Graham as simply evangelists who never really knew what the average man went through, or for that matter ever exposed themselves to hardships etc. But as I read this book, I gained a whole new sense of respect for Franklin and his ministry, Samaratin's Purse.

While this book definitely doesn't rank as a theological book, it nevertheless meets the most important requirements for any sound theology; that of presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ to lost sinners. I was impressed that Samaratin's Purse makes sharing Christ the main reason for their endeavours and ministry. From what I can gather, they have not simply become another christian humanitarian organization that gives but neglects to preach the message of Christ, rather, their desire for the word to be spread is evident in their condition of accepting projects.

A very interesting concept I read about was something that the founder of World Vision, Bob Pierce, called "God room". I will let Franklin explain:

From India we went to Katmandu, Nepal, and Iran. While traveling with Bob, I learned many of life's lessons. But the lesson Bob taught me that stands out above all else is what Bob called "God room". "What do you mean?" I asked him once when he started talking about "God room". He gave me a glance that was close to disgust, almost as if to say, "Don't you know?" He took a deep breath and sighed before he said, "'God room' is when you see a need and it's bigger than your human abiities to meet it. But you accept the challenge. You trust God to bring in the finances and the materials to meet that need. "You get together with your staff, your prayer partners, and supporters, and you pray. But after all is said and done, you can only raise a portion of the resources required. "Then you begin to watch God work. Before you know it, the need is met. At the same time, you understand you didn't do it. God did it. You allow Him room to work."

Is that not the essence of faith? Allowing ourselves to go beyond what our eyes can see and by faith accept the challenges the Lord puts in our path? God wants to be glorified through our lives, but we must be willing to let Him have control and the ultimate say. This concept lit a fire in me as I began to see more the practical working of faith.

This book is a personal look into the life of one of America's most famous Christian families, and yet it is more than simply a autobiography. I found it to be faith challenging as I was presented with situations where christian men were willing to step out by faith, and allow God to be magnified while bringing the gospel and food and clothing to impoverished souls.

I would strongly encourage you to get this book and allow your faith to be stretched. May we all be willing to ask, "Lord what do you have for me?"

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