Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Illustrated Bible

If we ever have a fire, the first thing I will grab to take with me is my Bible.

I got my Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, New International Version, on October 7, 1983.  I know because I wrote the date in it.  Some folks don't like to write anything in their Bibles, but over the years I have written sermon notes and insights in the margins and quotes on all the blank pages at the front and back of my Bible.  I've underlined in red, green, black and blue,  and even tried my hand at drawing simple illustrations.  (Those drawings -- they were a big mistake.)

The delicate leather cover of my Bible wore out years ago, so I found an ad for a company in Idaho that recovers Bibles and now my beloved Bible is swathed in the sturdy brown hide of some rugged animal, giving it a rather austere appearance.  But you can bet it will never wear out.

Once in a while I read the Bible for the comments I've penned in it.  Occasionally passages are dated, acting as a kind of spiritual journal for me, such as 2 Chronicles 20, which has encouraged me through the past three summers.  Written beside Micah 8 I have a quote attributed to Dr. C. Door Demaray, the former president of Seattle Pacific College.  He said, A person isn't humble until he expresses a need.

Whether this was my own insight or someone else's I don't know, but in Mark, chapter 8, where we read about Jesus feeding the four thousand, I have written, The disciples had all they needed to feed the crowd -- they had 7 loaves and they had Jesus.

Years ago I heard Paul Reese speak and jotted down his three points at the beginning of the book of 1 Peter.  Here they are:
1. Trouble should be taken for granted;
2. Trouble does not last;
3. Trouble should not be wasted.

There it is, written in my Bible, a reminder of how the words of Scripture apply to life in the 21st century.

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