Hebrews 12:1-2

"..let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." - Hebrews 12:1-2

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nearing Home - Book Review

Billy Graham is known the world over for his decades of preaching the Word of God to millions of people during thousands of sermons delivered at small revival tents, large churches and arenas and stadiums filled to capacity. He has offered advice and counsel to Presidents and has become an icon of modern Christianity. In his book "Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well, Mr. Graham takes a look back at the life he has lived and offers advice and encouragement to readers young and old.

Being in my mid-thirties, I am certain that I do not fit the target demographic for this book. I do not doubt that many of my peers would not pick up this book to read it, when there are so many other books on the shelf that are being written by the current group of up-and-coming, popular, mostly young pastors and theologians. While this is understandable, and there is a lot of great content being generated by that group, it is unfortunate that the words of a man who has lived a life dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ might be overlooked.

In this book, we get to hear the heart of a man who is fondly recalling not only events in his life but one who is also pleading for others to learn from his own mistakes. We get to hear the humility of a man who fully understands that he is far from perfect, but knows that he is loved by God. We get a glimpse into the frailty that comes with age and the heartache that is generated by the loss of so many loved ones. We get to see a man who is calling us all to live in the here and now, fighting our sinful nature and sharing hope with the world, all the while anticipating the joy that will come when we are called home to Heaven.

I would encourage anyone at any age to read this book. While it is geared more toward the older generation, there are many wonderful sections that are directly applicable to people of all ages. For those of you who, like myself, do not have a grandfather to listen to share the Biblical wisdom they have gained through their life experience, I would wholeheartedly recommend taking a couple of hours to read through what Mr. Graham has penned.

A Brief Excerpt:
"Christians are not to be preoccupied with death; God has put within each of us a will to survive. But neither are we to shrink from death or act as if we must fiercely resist it until the breath. The time may well come, in fact, when life's burdens and pains overwhelm us so much that we will welcome death as a friend - and that is as it should be. If we know Christ, we know that Heaven is our true home, and (like the saints of old) we are "longer for a better country - a heavenly one" (Hebrews 11:16). Remember that one day everyone will be facing old age. I can recall as a young adult worrying about my parents as they aged. I always try tried to give them the respect they earned and deserved, and I was cautious not to insult them by suggesting that they could no longer make important decisions about their lives. A fine line sometimes separates preserving your parents' dignity and ensuring their well-being." -- from pages 66-67

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