What inspired you to write My Friend Jesus?
As the mother of two children, I understand that growing up isn’t easy. Today, more than ever, children need to be informed, encouraged and reassured that God is real, that He personally loves them, and that He has a unique purpose for each of their lives. It is in direct response to questions about God and Jesus posed by my daughter and son when they were young that I have written this biblically-based gospel for children. The word gospel literally means “good news,” so you could say that My Friend Jesus is good news for today’s kids!
Describe My Friend Jesus.
My Friend Jesus is, quite simply, the story of Jesus – who He is, why He came to earth, and how we can personally know Him today. It’s written in fresh, clear, easy-to-understand language for children of all ages and all denominations. It’s not preachy. It’s not dry, dusty or boring. When I was writing the book, I imagined the voice of an everyday mom talking with her child, tenderly, lovingly – and with a little bit of humor, too! I love that the book is also written for children who may be hearing the story of Jesus for the very first time.
What makes My Friend Jesus different from other books about Jesus?
My favorite thing about My Friend Jesus is that it’s not just another book about Jesus, but a book that through a special prayer at the end of the book, actually introduces the child to a real friendship with Jesus. This prayer is tender, gentle and not forced. It is the natural conclusion to the book’s narrative about the good news of God’s love for His children, freely available through a personal relationship with the living Jesus.
Why do you emphasize knowing Jesus as a friend?
Of course, Jesus is many things. He is our Lord. He is our savior. And, as we know from the Bible, He is also our friend. At the beginning of the book, I include the beautiful and quite remarkable scripture where Jesus tells us, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends… I have called you friends.” (John 15:13, 15 NIV) Isn’t that amazing? The Lord of the universe calls us His friends!
Because My Friend Jesus is written for children, I wanted to emphasize this unique nature of Jesus as our ultimate friend. After all, when you stop and think about it, isn’t this – a friend – what every person, at every age yearns for? And when I say “friend,” I’m talking about a real friend. A friend who is faithful. A friend who is all-forgiving. A friend you can trust. A friend whose presence makes you feel deep-down good inside. A friend who will laugh with you and cry with you. A friend to whom you can call out anytime, anywhere, and know He will be there…
This is the friend I’ve come to know and love in Jesus Christ. And this is the friend Jesus I hope my children and grandchildren, and – through My Friend Jesus – children of all ages everywhere, will come to intimately know and love as well.
What are your hopes and dreams for My Friend Jesus?
I absolutely love the thought of a mom or dad snuggling up with their child, My Friend Jesus in their hands, reaching the prayer at the end of the book, and tenderly sharing that special moment when their child actually invites Jesus into his or her heart.
For the young reader, I love the possibility of My Friend Jesus being one of those special books that creates an unforgettable private reading experience – where years later the child will be able to look back and recall the exact life-changing moment when he or she asked Jesus into their heart – not only as their savior, but as the greatest friend they will ever know.
Is the book illustrated?
Oh my goodness, yes! It is beautifully illustrated with new original art by Alida Massari, a wonderful Italian artist. The pictures are gorgeous… bright, fresh, colorful, tender, winsome, inviting, and engaging. Alida has truly captured the book’s spirit of God’s abundant love and friendship for His children. Kids will love it.
Who needs to buy My Friend Jesus?
Oh, that’s easy! Everyone who has a precious child in their life will want to buy and share My Friend Jesus because it is a book that will make a powerful positive difference in that child’s life. By “everyone,” I mean every mom, dad, grandparent, godparent, aunt, uncle, sibling, friend, Sunday school teacher – everyone! My Friend Jesus is truly a “gift that keeps on giving” in that it offers little ones the priceless, eternal gift of a personal relationship with God, through knowing Jesus.