Nov 1, 2010

The Life Book by Carl Blunt

In today’s divisive culture-war society, when news stories about separation of church and state thrive with controversy, one cutting-edge Christian ministry is having remarkable success spreading the Word of God. What makes it remarkable? They are doing it by distributing Bibles in public schools—legally.

Carl Blunt is the president and CEO of The Life Book Movement, a Christian mission centered on Blunt’s own contemporary, youth-oriented edition of a portion of the Bible called The Life Book, a unique presentation of Scripture designed to engage high school students with the truth of God’s Word. The Life Book presents a brief overview of the Old Testament and the Book of John using an interactive format with honest student comments and real-life questions in the margins. Readers are drawn into the only story that can change their lives forever.

Founded by The Gideons International as an innovative strategy to reach high school students with God’s Word, The Life Book Movement works in collaboration with churches throughout the country to provide the books for free to high school students. Blunt’s organization brilliantly threads a separation-of-church-and-state loophole by getting his publication into the hands of Christian high school students and having them pass the books out to classmates at school—a practice that is entirely legal, as long as the books are not distributed by school staff or other adults. Blunt says, “It’s like we’re helping students smuggle God’s Word into a closed country (public high schools) to reach an unreached people group because studies show that only 4% of today’s teenagers are Bible-believing Christians.” The goal is to ensure that every student in every high school in the United States has an opportunity to receive the gift of The Life Book. This approach presents a phenomenal opportunity to impact a generation with the good news of Jesus Christ.

The Life Book Movement is best described to students as a week-long mission trip to their local high school. Local churches work together in targeted areas to ensure The Life Book is offered to every student in each chosen high school. All churches involved receive the books at no cost from The Life Book Movement and provide the books, along with some evangelism training, to the students in their youth groups. The students then spend a week passing them out to their friends and classmates at school. One student who received the book said, “I got one today. I read it in almost every class today. I like it. It’s pretty neat and other people asked to look at it and then asked where to get one.”

Flying under the radar since its inception last fall, The Life Book Movement is rapidly closing in on distribution of more than 300,000 copies in public high schools across 21 states and even the British Virgin Islands. A quiet success, indeed, but extremely ambitious, The Life Book Movement has an ultimate goal of distributing The Life Book to nearly 18 million high school students when all is said and done. And, so far, the outlook is extremely promising.

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A tiny little book about 4 inches square and just over 100 pages, The Life Book can easily be tucked into a pocket or purse, always ready to pull out and share with others.  There are four sections - the story of God and people; the story of Jesus coming to earth (the book of John); a chance to make a crucial decision about your life and your future; and a special section for everyone who has ever wished they could sit down with God and ask Him about problems in their life.

In the first few pages of the book four students and one adult are introduced, along with a short story about each of them.  They have unique writing styles, and they are easily identifiable in the hand written notes throughout the entire booklet.  Dylan, Taylor, Pedro, Vanessa and Uncle G. leave comments and questions on each of the pages, and reading these inserts is almost like listening to them in person.

A quote by Pedro says,"I kind of realized something the other day after watching how my friends act. All they care about is what other people think. I hate to admit it, but I guess I'm kind of like them. It's like I let everyone else's opinion run my life.  Doesn't really make sense now that I think about it. It's still hard.  But I'm thinking about finding some different friends that pressure me to do good stuff instead of bad stuff. Not sure if that's the answer, but I think it'll help."

I love the message of hope presented in this book, in a way that teenagers and young adults can easily relate to. The final section has questions about relationships and sex; friends and peer pressure; self image/self-esteem; and depression/worry.  There are relevant scripture verses to guide young people if they are struggling with common issues so prevalent these days.

I believe The Life Book will have a huge impact in the lives of many.  I want to do my part to spread this awesome little book filled with hope ... into the lives of young people in my world and beyond.

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of The Life Book from The B&B Media Group in exchange for my honest review.

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