Lynne Farrell was introduced to my Community Bible Study large group gathering last week. We happen to attend the same church where she teaches. Given the size of our church, we had never crossed paths. What intrigued me about Lynne was the journey surrounding this book. The contents of 40 pages had taken years to complete and had ultimately become a lesson in obedience to God. The obedience, more than being published, had become the focal point. Motives were constantly evaluated and self erased from the pages at every appearance. As a reward for the obedience Lynne’s father’s initials form the name of a main character. One could also say that the publishing of the book is also a reward for obedience and diligence.
Through circumstances that could not have been orchestrated by man, Lynne mentioned to her friend Kathy Dache’ that she needed to find someone to do the pictures to make the book come alive. Kathy then replied that she was, in fact, an artist. The collaboration resulted in the charming and beautifully illustrated Bennie’s Forever Gift.
Bennie and his grandfather, Eldee (L.D. being Lynne’s father’s initial), are bikes in the town of Spokesville. Bennie tells the story as a loving memorial to the knowledge he gained from the relationship with his beloved grandfather who was “the wisest bike I ever knew.” Eldee is described as smart, kind and generous. He was the Mr. Fix-it for the whole town. His dream had been to be a parade bike, but his talents where for making things and others better. This was all the design of The Great One who had made each bike unique.
On a ride through the forest Eldee marvels at the wildflowers he picks. These are gifts! The world all-around showed the ways The Great One offers gifts. Gifts are given freely as a sign of love. But there is a better gift - The Great One wants to be your friend.
Bennie’s 8th birthday and the gifts he received become the analogy for grace and the forever gift – accepting a friendship freely offered. All Bennie needs to do is choose to accept this gift. The forever gift is not just for this lifetime and Eldee explains that as he wears out he has nothing to fear. When his time in this world is over he will get to live with The Great One in His home.
My almost 4 year old son who loves his bike and loves books was entranced. And so begins the conversation with your child all from the story of a tricycle and his loving grandfather. The message is simple, yet so clear. Included in the message from the author is a website to learn more about The Forever Gift - www.benniesforevergift.com.
I want to leave you with Lynne’s own words: I encourage you to consider your own calling. What is the Lord asking you to do to further His Kingdom? If you are saying, "I can't do that!", ask Him to soften your heart so that you can be part of His work. You will truly be blessed by your obedience.
Just in time for Christmas, you can also purchase the book from this website. The print and e-book versions of Bennie's Forever Gift are also available at Amazon.com. This is an affiliate link if you feel like helping a sister out a little. J
BUT…. Lynne has graciously offered a signed copy of her book to one of my readers. “Offered” seems a little innocent. I actually went over to her, told her that I loved her story and wanted to share it with you. I asked outright if she would give me a copy to review and pass along. It’s a win-win in my book. So here’s the deal. Just leave me a comment so I know you were here and that you want a chance to win.
All comments must be received by 9PM Eastern Time on Friday, December 14. Unfortunately, this is open to the US only. Good Luck.
All images are courtesy of Lynne Farrell