52 Little Lessons from "It's A Wonderful Life" by Bob Welch is quite simply....a wonderful little book. There are probably few people who have not seen this classic 1946 film by Frank Capra. The fictional Bedford Falls is a small town whose inhabitants are a part of our culture and revisited each December. Mr. Welch uses the hero, George Bailey (Jiames Stewart), quiet with an inner strength Mary (Donna Reed), forgetful Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell), mean Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), helpful angel Clarence (Henry Travers)...along with a multitude of other unforgettable characters to teach simple life lessons we can learn from each.
Of course, I read this book quickly, but it is one that could and should be savored slowly. In fact, there is one lesson per week that the It's A Wonderful Life aficionado can use as part of a time of reflection and application to one's own life. The memories evoked as I read each short chapter brought with it a visual of the film that re-enforced the lesson being shared. This is a delightful little book that is sure to be a hit with anyone who loves this timeless tale. There were a few tidbits of trivia included in the stories that I enjoyed. My one complaint was that I would have enjoyed even more...but that is not the purpose of this book. It is written from a Christian worldview, but not overly preachy. It is simply a reflection of what the reader can learn and even a non-reader will enjoy this visit with familiar friends.
"Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends." ~ Clarence
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"It's full of romance, that old place. I'd like to live in it." ~ Mary, on the night she and George throw rocks and make wishes at the old Granville House.
This is the quote from Chapter 19, titled " Don't look for What is, but for What May Be" in the book, 52 Little Lessons from It's A Wonderful Life by Bob Welch. In this chapter, the reader is reminded of how vastly different George and Mary view their world; for George at 12 years old working the soda fountain he informs Mary where Coconuts come from, "Tahiti, Fiji Islands, the Coral Sea!" Mary has no idea where they come from, she just wants chocolate ice cream while George wants to go exploring.
But here's the thing about Mary Hatch: She knows what matters. She has keen insight. Imagination. Initiative. Intuition. Perspective. And, when you boil it right down, wisdom. And what it all seems to tell her is this: the grass isn't necessarily greener somewhere else. Why not, instead, take what you have right now, right here, and make the most of it?
We first see that in the soda shop scene. Forget the ice cream. Forget the Fiji Islands. What Mary wants, among other things we can assume, is to grow up and marry George Bailey. It may only be puppy love, but when Mary whispers into George's bad ear, "I'll love you till the day I die," we're witnessing the initiative of a young woman who knows something good when she sees it. Never mind that this model comes with its deficiencies; the kid can't hear out of one ear since he jumped into that icy pond to save his brother. Despite George's weaknesses, Mary sees something special in him. Mary sees potential in things where most see only weaknesses, like God does with us. He doesn't care as much about where we've been as where we are going. About what we look like now as what we might look like in the future. About the defeats of yesterday as what might be our victories of tomorrow. With Him, all things are made new. Even decrepit folks like us." (pg, 74)
This book takes readers back to their favorite Christmas classic and teaches us through the movie, It's a Wonderful Life, how God wants us to learn things through His word to make us better people. I am so excited to share this treasure with you through my review and since there are 52 lessons captured in this book, there is one for each week, but I had to read them all. Such classic lines are quoted to open each of the chapters, and we are taken back to specific clips in the movie to see things we didn't know were there, little nuggets of pure Godly wisdom that when applied can change our perspective on things much like how Mary Hatch views the Granville House that is abandoned and in a state of complete disrepair. George doesn't even want to live in it as a ghost but Mary sees the potential of what good be.
We are reminded that it's far too easy to focus on how bad things look instead of simply changing our perspectives and seeing the greatness that is there instead. Mary's ability to take what life has given her and she makes the most of it. Quite simply, Mary teaches us that the best things in life are simple things that surround us, especially when coupled with our imaginations. Then we can exploit those things for goodness. And with God's help, to make it more than anyone else could have imagined.
I received 52 Little Lessons from It's A Wonderful Life by Bob Welch compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review and HIGHLY RECOMMEND this one to anyone who is a fan of It's A Wonderful Life. There are such amazing things tucked inside this wonderful book, fun movie facts, and life lessons that are bound to keep the Christmas spirit going inside us all year long. I easily rate this as a 5 out of 5 stars and will definitely keep this one near me all year long for reference and a constant reminder of what is good in our lives everyday if we are simply willing to find it.
My family loves It's a Wonderful Life and have already gotten so much out of the movie, that I was excited to read this book. It is, in some ways, a devotional book, though weekly. (52 lessons = 52 weeks) It seems designed to make you relate to a spiritual truth and think on it in terms of how it is played out in the movie. Some chapter titles are, Look for the Best in Others, All that Glitters is Not Gold, Prayer Changes Things, etc. Plus, there are some nice tidbits about the movie.
If you are a fan of It's a Wonderful Life, you will probably enjoy this book. While it can be repetitive (some of the lessons seem the same, just with a different illustration), it is still a fun book and can easily be a good discussion starter for a small group.
I received this book free from Booksneeze and was not required to write a favorable review.
Bob Welch has complied 52 lessons from the famous movie that is watched and loved by many families each Christmas in his book, "52 Little Lessons from It's a Wonderful Life." This is a must-have for anyone whom enjoys this movie and for anyone needing a reminder that each person is special and is of used of God.
Book Description from the publisher:
Do you pay a visit to Bedford Falls every Christmas? Does December feel incomplete without a reminder that "no man is a failure who has friends"? If George and Mary Bailey are annual guests at your home during the holidays, you already know that It's A Wonderful Life is far more than just a festive seasonal film. It's a reflection of what we can be when we're at our best and a reminder that our lives can change everyone around usÃ¢â¬âfor better or worse. Revisit the defining lessons in Frank Capra's 1946 classic, and discover new dimensions of the film you've seen time and again. What can you learn from Mary's quiet contentedness? Does George's selflessness make you rethink your own priorities? And how about Clarence's dogged commitment to his assignment? Join author Bob Welch for a close-up of the characters and themes that shape this beautiful story. You'll be reminded that life's most important work is often the work we never planned to do and that God can use the most unlikely among us to get the job done.
It's quite straight forward, but nicely put together. If you love the movie, you'll enjoy this book. If you plan to watch the movie with kids, this would be a great guide to character-building talking points. Each chapter begins with a simple title that presents the lesson in a straightforward manor, such as Underdogs Matter, Actions Speak Louder Than Words, People Respond to Honorable Examples, and People Can Change. Following is a quote from the movie. After this, Welch shares a lesson centered around this quote, including information from the movie and life examples.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.