When I showed my mother the new Bible I got for Christmas (part 1 if you haven’t read it) she mentioned needed a new Bible. Mom still carries the same Bible that Dad gave her back in the late 1980’s. She keeps it in a cover which may have been replaced a time or two. The Bible inside is over 30 years old and has pictures, newspaper clippings and notes from grandkids stuck in between the pages here and there. She wanted to know if my new Bible was a “real Bible” or something else. I knew exactly what she meant. That comes from spending a lifetime with a KJV only husband/preacher.
I mentioned yesterday having a shelf full of Bibles. Many of those are KJV including the Bible I was given by Sammy Allen (local Gordon County residents will recognize that name) on June 19, 1988. It was the first night of Jubilee at Maranatha Baptist Church and “Brother Sammy” was there to kick it off. I was saved that night at the age and 12 and he had several Thomas Nelson KJV Bibles with him for sale. He handed one and told me I could have it on the condition that I read it. I carried that Bible through middle school, high school and college, retiring it from service only when A.J. Waters and the House of Prayer presented me with a new Scofield Reference Bible as a college graduation present.
A full bookcase is a fine thing for a library, office or pastor’s study. But half a dozen Bibles arranged neatly on a shelf and never being read is an impractical waste. When Mom said she needed another Bible I knew I had quite a few on a shelf not being read. That KJV from Thomas Nelson started out with a red leather cover that faded to pink over time and eventually to whatever washed out color it is now. I read it all the way through more than once over the years; I taught Sunday school from it in the early 90’s and was preaching from it when I announced a call to the ministry. But I’ve had a few Bibles since then. If Mom needed a Bible to read, why keep that one in a museum collection? I did the right thing and took her to my office. We looked at Dad’s giant Scofield which is too big to carry anywhere (even though he did). I showed her my grandfather’s Bible and a couple of others. But I knew ahead of time which one I was giving her.
I was ordained as a minister at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Silver Creek, GA back in March of 2004. My pastor at the time, Mike Jones, had already asked me what version of the Bible I would like to receive at the ordination service. We were new to full time ministry, serving as state missionaries in Kentucky, and I had recently been introduced to the English Standard Version (ESV) by Michael Spencer. Mike Jones presented me with a thinline ESV, bound in black, which I carried on a regular basis for the next nine years in Kentucky. I preached from it in chapel, led BCM, taught Sunday and preached as pulpit supply as well as reading through it from cover to cover a few times. We “came home” in 2012 and visited a few churches before joining Trinity in Calhoun, where I was soon active in Sunday School, helping with church youth, preaching on a regular basis and eventually leading men’s ministry (still referred to as Brotherhood in some areas). After 15 years of regular use my trusty Thinline was looking worse for wear, the spine held together with some very distinguished looking black duct tape if I say so myself. Continue reading
Jimmy Humphrey makes a bold prediction for 2020: 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February and yours will too. He says it’s because people don’t understand human nature. I believe the desire to make resolutions stems from the same thing that makes religion popular. Continue reading
I began reading Our Daily Bread in print many years ago. Maybe not before the internet but before blogging caught on and social media became a thing. We’ve been linking the Our Daily Bread daily devotional (in the left-hand sidebar) for a few years now and occasionally share images and recommend special products and promotions.
ODB recently rolled out a daily video devotional. Click here to watch today’s video and enroll via email. It’s just another way to add a little dose of God’s Word into one’s daily routine.
This will be our second discussion on 2nd Peter 2. And no, I didn’t make a mistake. Noah and Lot are used to represent times that God was able to save even during a time of judgement. God knows those that are his and he is able to save the just and punish the wicked. Continue reading
There is a lot to learn from reading the Bible but a few predominant themes run through the whole book. One lesson we learn that is reinforced many times is that God knows what he’s doing.
…the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment… 2 Peter 2:9
I sometimes puzzle over statements people make such as looking for God. It’s our nature to make things more complicated than they are or should be. God is not hiding. He has not put up boundaries and obstacles so that only a few are able to succeed. The Hunger Games, the Labyrinth, Survivor, American Ninja Warrior; the Kingdom of God is not like any of those things. The Apostle Paul, speaking to a Greco-Roman audience, often made analogies to the sporting world and athletic competition. He talks about competing according to the rules in order to not be disqualified (2 Timothy 2:5) and to the Philippians he says that he presses forward toward the prize (Philippians 3:13-14). The prize is Jesus and he wants you to win! Continue reading