The Miracle of You by Cleere Cherry Reaves — Book Review

Beautifully illustrated by Vejandra Barajas, this children’s book is a delight to the eyes, and young children will enjoy familiar scenes that include nature, family and other children. There is plenty of diversity in the people depicted. However, I do have some issues with the content. Of course, ever child is a miracle, beloved by God and by their parents. But should we be telling our children that they are God’s “greatest” miracle? Or even the “favorite” miracle in the lives of their parents? This makes me a bit uncomfortable, even though the listeners will be preschoolers.

In addition, along with the natural creations such as the ocean, animals, the moon and stars, the author calls planes and ships “creations” in a way that places them all in the same category. These are human creations, although it is God who gives us the ability to create. Possibly this was Ms. Reaves intention, but if so, it wasn’t clearly spelled out.

VERDICT: 2 STARS. I wouldn’t purchase this one due to the questionable theology.

For more books for children see these posts:

When I Talk to God, I Talk About You–by Chrissy Metz and Bradley Collins–Book Review

The Creator in You by Jordan Raynor–Book Review

God’s Great Love for You by Rick Warren–Book Review

Breakthrough–Movie Review

A friend recommended this movie, so I checked it out of the local library.  Honestly, I expected it to be rather sappy — one of those Christian feel-good movies, implying that all you have to do is get enough people praying, and God will be manipulated into doing whatever you want.  Well, I am surprised to say, I liked it!

Chrissy Metz (of This is Us) did an excellent job portraying the mother of John Smith, a young man who fell through the ice of a Missouri lake.  After spending at least 20 minutes in freezing waters, and 45 minutes or more with no pulse — he is revived after his mother, Joyce, prays for him.  Transported to another hospital, a specialist informs the parents that their son will probably not survive the night, and if he does, will have little brain function.  Joyce insists that those around her son remain positive, and that everything possible be done to maintain his life.

After a wrenching scene in which Joyce realizes she has been pridefully insisting that she is the reason her son is still alive, she surrenders to God’s will and His plan for her son and her family.  Yes, there continue to be prayers, but with the understanding that God is always in control.  Miraculously, sixteen days later, John walks out of the hospital, mind and body intact.

Throughout the film, the Smith’s pastor, Jason is a constant support and presence, because “that’s what shepherds do.”

Of course, the very pertinent question of “why me?”  is raised.  Why did John survive, when others do not?  The answer, rightly, is unknowable.  After all, God is God and we are not.

Breakthrough will make you feel good.  It’s based on a true event, and reminds us that miracles are possible.  However, it did not imply that we, through any pious or deserving action on our part, can influence God’s decision.  We are in His hand.

VERDICT:  5 stars.  You’ll enjoy this movie.  It was an honest portrayal of a Christian family coping with crisis — and one that has a happy ending.

For other reviews of Christian films, visit these posts:

God’s Not Dead & God’s Not Dead 2 –Movie Review

Film Review — The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel

Tolkien–Movie Review

What God Has Done

“The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away saying ‘Return to your home and declare how much God has done for you.’…”Luke 8:38-39

This was part of our Bible study on the book of Luke this week.  After Jesus healed a demon possessed man, he in effect, sent him back to his home to become a missionary.  He didn’t have any extensive instruction or education.  All he had to do was tell others what Jesus had done for him. It reminds me of another similar story in the book of John.  Jesus heals a man who has been blind since birth.  The man is brought to the Pharisees who try to manipulate him into saying that Jesus is a sinner. Exasperated he tells them,

“…One thing I do know;  that though I was blind, now I see.”  John 9:25

As witnesses, all we need to do is tell about our own life and how Jesus has changed it.  We don’t have to be eloquent or persuasive.  We don’t have to worry about the outcome;  that’s up to God.  We just have to state the  facts about God’s action in our life; and it can be as simple as this:  “I was blind and now I see”.