Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dad's Bible

One morning I went to our basement before church, not even sure right now for what reason. It was only a few months ago, but other posts clambered for attention and I needed to take a picture of Dad's Bible.
The Book stared at me from the bookshelf with his books on commentaries and other Bibles. I reached for it, as a connection to his faith. He loved the King James version. I looked to see if he had made any notes in margins or underlined verses.
Only notes on paper from the BBC- Be A Better Christian- Sunday School class taught by Barb and Bob Hettrick, good friends of my parents, gave me inklings of his thoughts. Barb told me later how Dad would not cut up scripture of old Bibles for a project they were doing. He honored the Word of God by not allowing himself to do that.
I thought as I handled Dad's Bible, he read this every day. I heard last night, "To be ignorant of the Word of God, is to be ignorant of Christ." My dad knew Christ. He knew the Word and he lived it.
That Sunday, the Gideons spoke in church. Dad was a Gideon, a group who gets Bibles into people's hands. Another Gideon speaking at church on Bible Sunday twenty four and a half years ago, when I was pregnant with Katie, inspired me to get back into reading the Word every day. The Bible is powerful, as Hebrews 4:12 states, " For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
The Gideon both days spoke of examples of getting a Bible into a person's hand, then heart, that changes lives. 
Last night Pastor Bernie Elliot, the director of our Assembly of God's National Teen Bible Quiz traveled from Pittsburgh to speak to the youth about quizzing. He inspired them to not only read God's Word or memorize it, but to live it. He spoke of how his moment of reckoning came when he had a half sawed off shot gun in his chest. Yes, your life does flash before your eyes when confronted with death. I watched this man worship and pray before he spoke to the teens, his heart humbled before God. He told of the power of prayer and how Bible Quiz is growing more this past month with people joining him in forty days of fasting and prayer for this ministry than at any other time in his thirty six years of ministry. He is busy setting up kids in teams to study and quiz around the country and getting calls from Africa. At sixty five, he is nowhere near stopping. The energy fueled by an awesome God.
My daughter, Katie, affected by the influence of her years of quizzing, had the heart to revive this ministry. It has always been on my heart, but I prayed for the right time. The pastors at church were praying. Pastor Bernie prayed Hermitage would become involved again, all about the same time. In fact, Pastor Bernie prayed about our teens, when ten minutes later, our youth pastor messaged him on Facebook to come speak to our youth group.
We have two teams. I'm excited for the study. I love working with teens. I love to see the miracles that come from this ministry, the answered prayers, the honoring of God. Kids reading the Bible many more hours than they would have otherwise, hearing the Word in quiz matches and tournaments on Saturday mornings, and hiding It in their hearts are some of the blessings.
The love of the Bible instilled in me early in life,  not only from Dad, but I think of Jack Stevenson, too, Reverend Hatch, Barb Hettrick, Edna Wencil, and so many others makes me keep my commitment of reading it every morning. I stretch myself with memorization. I read and listen to commentaries and lessons on this Book. I pray this next generation will catch the love of God's Word and Him.
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