When Julie Ferwerda sent me her book One Million Arrows to read for a blog tour I was excited by the subject and thrilled that the proceeds from the sales would go to international orphan ministry!
The book perfectly addressed some questions my husband and I began asking a few years ago: "What is my family here for? As believers, is parenting a more significant and eternity-impacting role than we've given it credit for? Are we satisfied with happy, well-adjusted, even ambitious kids who happen to love God, or is there something more?"
I got about half-way through the book and began wishing I'd taken notes as I was reading because there were so many good points and ideas presented that I couldn't remember all of them, but I guess I'll just have to re-read it!
The "mission" talked about in the book is "being Jesus to the hurting, empty, hopeless world in your own individual way. It's really not about us. We've been called beyond ourselves for something bigger."
And the arrows? "An arrow of God doesn't have to be in full-time ministry, but is always focused unwaveringly on bringing the love of Jesus Christ into every aspect of the journey throughout his or her life. "
After reading the line, "Instead of raising channel changers, I most definitely want to raise world changers." I sort of wished I had a plasma TV on the wall (which I don't) just so I could get rid of it and instead hang a large, framed version of that quote in the spot where the TV once hung.
The stakes are really are so high, "The Enemy wishes nothing more than to coax our kids, if not into rebellion, into pursuing passionless, insignificant, and potentially empty lives."
And the scary part is that many Christians are lulled into believing their kids are fine and on the right track when in reality they have not internalized what it really means to love and follow Jesus. Julie points out, "I've encountered many kids from nice Christian families, great youth groups, and even Christian schools who care very little about God's plan for their future. . . To fill their need-for-speed, many of our kids bury themselves in gaming, social networking, TV and reality shows, graphic movies, and other forms of mind-numbing amusement, often at the expense of meaningful family relationships or selfless contributions in the lives of others."
And we all know kids absorb so much more what they see us as parents do than what we just tell them to do, so I was glad to see that point addressed, "But we can hardly sit back and think that our kids are the only ones singled out for such grand plans. How will they know unless we teach them from our own habits and experiences? How will they catch it unless we model it for them consistently?"
Being a person on the waiting list to adopt a child from Ethiopia, I loved when Julie posed the question, "Have you ever considered raising more kids? . . . As parents using our gifts and abilities for the mission, what could we accomplish by investing in one more child (or even a few) in order to effect change that carries into other countries and even continents?"
I'm not going to elaborate because you'll just have to read it yourself, but the part in the book about "Jesus Math!" is absolutely priceless and something I know I will reflect on often!
I'll leave you with one more thought-provoking quote from the book: "You and I are possibly the only chance this world will ever get to actually see Jesus."
Thank you Julie for writing this book, for allowing me to read it, and for challenging and inspiring parents everywhere! I am confident your book will help create many, many "arrows" in the hand of God.
Click here to buy the book.
Find more Thankful Thursday here and Things I love Thursday here.