There is a book I recently read that turned out to be a real surprise packet. A Full House of Growing Pains has 80's and 90's nostalgia written all over it for fans of hit shows "Growing Pains" and "Full House". It is the story of Barbara Cameron who is the champion mom of four children, two of which were teen stars in the late 80's/early 90's (Kirk and Candace Cameron). It traces the journey of Barbara and her husband Robert raising four kids in LA LA land and how they kept them from being poisoned with the vanity and delusions of grandeur that just ooze out of Hollywood. I say champion mom because I find it hard to fathom how a family with two TV stars is able to come out of the Hollywood mill with egos in check and marriages intact.
This book is a great gift for unsaved friends because it feeds their voyeuristic curiosities as they get the inside scoop on the inner workings of Hollywood. It also provides valuable pointers on raising children and immunising them from the hedonism and selfish indulgence that plagues western cultures. This is great to learn because our current "global economic crisis" has it's origins in these greedy practices. But the "surprise packet" I mentioned earlier is the best part of the whole book. Those of you who know me know that I have a stable full of "hobby horses" and my favorite one to ride is the passion and purity of the Gospel. I have met Barbara and knew that God had graciously saved her, but her Gospel presentation at the end of the book just grabbed me. I really didn't expect it to be that good - but it is! This is the major reason why I am recommending this book as a gift. The Gospel presentation is neither cliched nor corny. It is passionate, biblically sound, heartfelt, and a genuine testimony of God's transforming work in saving a lost sinner - and I can never hear enough of those. Barbara has a clear understanding of the Gospel, a subject that confuses "America's pastor" (I can't say his name but his initials are Rick Warren). What's more, she's even preached open air - there must be some sort of law against being that cool.
Barbara Cameron - I award you five stars and a big cyber hug!