Billy Graham and Me by Steve Posner and Amy Newmark (Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing)
The subtitle says it all: “101 Inspiring Personal Stories from Presidents, Pastors, Performers and Other People Who Know Him Well.” It collects stories about how people met Billy Graham and got to know him. However, this book is much more than just a listing of notable characteristics of the well-known evangelist by a variety of people. Larry Ross, the primary spokesperson for Graham, has led out in making a valuable contribution to the life and history of this widely known preacher.
In his foreword, Ross tells his own story of meeting and working with Billy Graham. Then he discusses Graham’s life as one of humility, integrity, authenticity and leadership with love. The stories in 101 chapters that follow come from people from all walks of life and reinforce those character traits, while adding some special ones individually. The entire volume amounts to a summary of Billy Graham’s life. It serves as a supplement to Graham’s autobiography, Just as I Am, as well as The Preacher and the Presidents by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. Billy Graham and Me is highly recommended for those who know and love Billy Graham—America’s 20th century prophet.
Ed Spann, retired dean
College of Fine Arts
Dallas Baptist University
Courageous Teens by Michael Catt with Amy Parker (B&H Publishing Group)
Michael Catt, executive producer of the films Courageous, Facing the Giants and Fireproof, has teamed with Amy Parker to write Courageous Teens. The book encourages students to develop “hearts of warriors” as they follow Christ.
The authors divide the book into four parts—courageous faith, courageous leadership, courageous priorities and courageous influence. Each begins with a short script involving a teen. Within those sections, chapters focus on individual aspects of courage. Examples include leading on all levels, being a humble hero, making choices and facing criticism. Each segment ends with a set of questions guiding the reader to “think courageously.”
Scripture and Bible characters anchor material the writers sprinkle liberally with good advice, memorable quotes and interesting stories. Some originate in the film Courageous, but others spotlight such diverse Christians as Gen. Stonewall Jackson, C.H. Spurgeon and a Navajo known as “Lady Moses.”
Viewing the film Courageous would be a good prelude to using Courageous Teens in a youth Bible study. Although the chapters may be a bit wordy for nonfiction targeted to a generation raised on sound bites, boys especially should find the book engaging.
Kathy Hillman, second vice president
Baptist General Convention of Texas