5.29.2010

One Million Arrows

 Will the world change our children...or will our children change the world? Time is short and lives are at stake. Right now, God is inviting our families to become part of a bigger story—a vision that will engage hearts to make a radical difference. One Million Arrows is an inspirational call to raise our kids to impact their culture, community, and world for Christ. If we want our kids to discover their purpose, if we want them to live with passion for the Kingdom, if we want our family to go down in His-Story, accept the mission...and leave a mark for eternity.

As a mother waiting to bring her baby home from Ethiopia, and as a youth pastor's wife, I found this book completely indispensable! I settled into bed with it the night after it arrived in the mail... I couldn't put it down, and within 48 hours I had devoured it. It struck something in my very core and several times John glanced over at me and said, "good?" because he could hear me trying to stifle my sniffles. (I get slightly embarrassed when books make me cry ... and this one did!) It resonated with all my hopes and dreams for my children and the kids in our Youth Group. There were several times that I wanted to set the book down and weep just out of sheer longing. When I finished, I spent a long time crying out to God and begging Him to capture the hearts of our youth and our future children... to set their hearts on a mission! To call them to a mission that would glorify Him and reach out to the world to make a God impact. I begged God to use me... to show me how I can be a part of that...

One of the biggest things I took away from this book is that you're never too young! The concept of "when I grow up..." is far too prevalent in this country. There are many kids out there living their lives for the glory of Christ and making a huge difference for Him! I wish I had read this when I was younger. I think we laugh at children's dreams too often and it crushes their spirit. Reading this book grew my passion for never belittling the aspirations of a child and never dismissing it as silly, unrealistic, or too big. Every talent God gave us can be used, even at a young age, to do His work! After reading this book I've made a more concerted effort to listen when the youth tell me about things they're interested in. I try to always encourage those interests and gifts, and then pray that God would show them how to use them. This book showed me the potential of these teens... not when they grow up, but RIGHT NOW!

One Million Arrows also inspired me to further invest myself in, what the author calls, the mission... God's work on earth. When I first started reading I thought, "I'm not doing too bad. We're in full time ministry, and we're reaching out and adopting a baby from Ethiopia... not too shabby." By the time I put the book down my heart was broken because I knew that I didn't really get it. The last couple weeks have been a molding time for me as God has shown me over and over that being a part of His Mission means going deeper, farther, and harder... I'm not there yet... not even close. But my heart has a burning desire! One of the things we've been praying for Tucker (our little guy waiting in Africa) is that he would grow to have a heart for the Lord and he would serve Christ all his life. I had thought of so many things to share with him... so many stories about other amazing men of God to encourage his walk. What I hadn't thought of (though it seems so simple and clear) is that none of that will matter if WE don't live the mission. He will learn from us... his mom and dad. We have to live it out... and not just a little! We have to fully and completely immerse ourselves in God's mission everyday and bring Tucker with us. We can't leave him on the sidelines to watch while he grows up, and then when he's 18 send him off and say, "okay, now you try!" We've got to include him in it from day one! He won't have to go out on his own to give it a try because he should be living it every day from the beginning. With this new vision I can't wait to see what he does!

I'll leave you with this excerpt from the book... one of my favorites... and then I HOPE that you will order your own copy today. (ALL proceeds from the book sales go to international orphans ministry!) You won't be sorry... and you'll also never be the same!

     On his tour called "The Better Questions," Christian musician Todd Agnew told a story about going to India and seeing all the poverty and how it totally changed him. When he came back from the trip, he asked himself, "Why does God allow this kind of suffering?" After praying and studying the Bible on this topic, he came up with "the better question":
"Why do I allow suffering?"
     People get all bent out of shape at God, wondering why He isn't solving world hunger, or giving destitute people homes to live in, or giving people clean water to drink, or keeping people free from curable diseases. The fact is, God's children - you and I - are His ambassadors on this earth. We are His hands, His feet, His heart, His food, and His money. You and I are possibly the only chance this world will ever get to actually see Jesus.
p.98, One Million Arrows
©2009 Living By Faith

16 comments:

Jim and April said...

wow girlfriend...you sold me on the book by your writing! I definitely want to get this one soon! :0) Thanks so much for the info!

Kristin said...

Wow Lauren.....that was an awesome post and makes me really want to read this book now! That last quote is something that I really believe and God has been showing me over and over.......that He HAS given us every way possible to ensure these horrible things don't happen to His children, but WE keep allowing them to happen because we are content with keeping everything for ourselves.

It's so funny that before I came closer to the Lord this past year, I never once would've thought about the suffering of others. I was so naive and that was something that other people dealt with. God has really opened my eyes to it all.

Thanks for the book review....I'm getting myself a copy!

Kristen said...

Wow, that sounds like a terrific book. Once I read the books on my Kindle it will be the next one I get!! Thanks for sharing!

Muthering Heights said...

This sounds like such an amazing book!

He & Me + 3 said...

He has given us so many resources to help and do our part to stop the suffering. It does sound like a wonderful book. I am finishing up crazy love and then I will have to get that one. Thanks for sharing.

Kim said...

Cannot wait to read it!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
Kim

Anna Baur said...

wow! that book sounds amazing...and definitely inspiring. As the wife of a music pastor, I've realized how even when you're living in full time ministry, your heart can check out sometimes. It is so VITAL to remember the passion and power of our God for His people!! And it is so true that we are called to be his hands and feet...serving and going out into the world for His glory!!

Missie said...

Sounds like a really awesome book!

Warren Baldwin said...

Excellent review, both in terms of what the book says and how you engaged it personally.

I've read 1/2 of Julie's book. When I finish it I plan on doing a review, too.

Did you get the email about my book?

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

wow - sounds like an excellent read. thanks for sharing it... i most definitely need to read this!

Natalie said...

Amen, sister! I loved it, too! I reviewed it last week and couldn't say enough about it either. We are sharpening arrows...

I also loved the Todd Agnew quote as well - had that one underlined. I'm sure it is especially poignant to you as you await sweet Tucker's arrival.

Great review, Lauren!

Natalie at Mommy on Fire
http://www.mommyonfire.com

Alicia said...

Wow, this sounds like a book I need to get for myself!!

Katie said...

Awesome post. I need to be humbled daily to be reminded it is not about me and that I have a much bigger purpose to fufill and it is not my own. Sounds like a great book. We are trying to be a different kind of family. Finding it hard to find others to step out of the boat to come along side of us. Hoping God gives us strength, direction and wisdom. It will saden you how many people will not get your adoption plans. That is really discouraging and hard for me since we could have our own but choose to adopt to help His kingdom. So many christian don't get it??

Joyeful said...

Wow!! I've read quite a few reviews on this book and I'm going to order it right now!! God is always impressing on me that I'm raising little soldiers for his army and sometimes it feels like I'm not doing enough for Him. I just want them to love Him with all their hearts!!! But first, I have to do that and I have to show them what that looks like!

Amy said...

Wow. It sounds like a life-changing book! I think I need to pick up a copy!

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Sounds like a great book.

My husband and I have always said that our goal in raising our kids was to raise them up to love and serve the Lord. It didn't matter at all what career they chose, as long as they were loving and serving the Lord.

We had no intention of "raising up missionaries" ... we didn't tell our children that they needed to be missionaries. However, by the example that we set, by the books that we read, our children grew up with a desire to serve the Lord overseas.

4 of our 5 oldest children have ministered in Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Haiti, Senegal, The Gambia, India, Bangladesh, Germany, Czech Republic, and Jordan.

Simply amazing ... the places that the Lord has taken our children.

Can't wait to see what His plans are for our next 7 children. :) Whether serving the Lord overseas, or in more traditional careers here in the States ... our goal is still for our children to grow up with a deep love for the Lord, and the desire to serve him through their daily lives.

At this point, we have 6 young adult children, loving and serving the Lord. I can't wait for the day that we have 12 adult children (and who knows how many grandchildren) living their lives in service for His Kingdom.

Think I'll go order that book ...

Laurel :)