The Power of Books

Two events occurred this past week that bring to mind the power of books. On July 25, Tim LaHaye died, and six days later, at precisely 12:01 am on July 31, the eighth Harry Potter book was released.

LaHaye, of course, was the creator and co-author of Left Behind, a series of 16 books published between 1995 and 2007 that became the bestselling series of Christian fiction books in history, with 80 million copies sold to date.

The first Harry Potter book was published the year the last Left Behind novel was released. In the nine years since, more than 450 million Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide, making J.K. Rowling’s iconic books the bestselling general fiction series of all time.

For its part, Left Behind had an enormous impact on Christian publishing and bookselling, showing that fiction books with biblical themes could find a wide audience, while bringing new customers to Christian bookstores at a time when the retail landscape was changing. Harry Potter encouraged a new generation of readers and spawned countless films, ancillary products, even a theme park.

That’s pretty powerful stuff, and it all started with two series of books.
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Do You Flee From Pain or Face It?

Pain is something I work hard to avoid. It hurts and seem only a negative. A pain in my legs after exercise means an injury. A scratchy throat is the beginning of an illness. A broken heart represents losing at love.

Even though pain is not fun, there’s positive that can come out of it. The pain in my leg is my body adjusting to a new workout that’s making me stronger. The scratchy throat is due to long phone conversation with my loving mother. And the broken heart was God’s separating me from a bad choice until the right one came along.

My survival instinct many times causes me to flee pain.

Growing up adults repeatedly shared the famous quote, “When the going get tough, the tough get going.” However, the only “get going” I wanted to do was away from the pain.

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