Being the daughter of a minister and raised in the church, I have quite a few Bibles.
I have lost the normal, brown, hard-cover NIV that I received when I was baptised at age 7. But have another copy of the same Bible that I got at 13. It is autographed in the front cover by the members of 4Him. I loved them. The back cover has a list of scriptures we discussed at the Southern Christian Youth Convention…whatever year that was. Circled in that list is 1 Timothy 4:12. That used to be my favorite. I says, “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young. Instead, set an example for the believers in speech, life, love, faith and purity.” That was a favorite for a long time because it spoke to me where I was. I was young, but my parents expected me to be an example to those around me regardless of who they were or what their age.
Somewhere in a box in the garage is a white leather Bible that zips up. That one is OLD…
Of the Bibles sitting next to me at the computer table, the next one chronologically is a Zondervan NIV Study Bible that my dad gave me on 2/9/1994. His note inside the front cover says, “from mom and dad on your sixteeth birthday. If you are in the word the word will be in you.” There is also a picture of Josh Kennedy and I taped in the front cover. I think it is from one of our birthdays or maybe even a graduation party. We were really good friends. I miss him. I’ve actually written a scripture in the front of this Bible. 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
This Bible is the most worn of all my Bibles. I used it faithfully until 2 years ago (when my dad bought me another Bible…we’ll get to that). There are entire sections of this Bible falling out. I carry it in a case where it is zipped into its own compartment as not to lose those sections. This one is full of bulletins from over the years. I cleaned out the case last week and recycled a lot of the bulletins in it (but kept a few). Eventually, I may clean out this Bible but for now, it speaks volumes to my life. One of my favorite underlined verses comes from an SCYC held in Stone Mountain, GA where Rich Mullins led worship. He had us get out our Bibles and underline Exodus 3:5b – “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” He went on to explain that God was among us, making that auditorium holy ground. He then asked us all to take off our shoes and worship on that holy ground. It had an impact on me. If you ever see my kick off my shoes during worship in church (happens very rarely due to my self-control) it is because I’ve been led into that “place” of worship where God is really present and I can feel Him. I have to remove my shoes, because I am standing on holy ground.
There are so many verses underlined in this Bible, I don’t have room to share them all with you. I can’t help but notice Matthew 6:25-34 entitled “Do Not Worry”. This section stands out to me because it was preached about on August 19, 2001. I wrote in the margin: Divorce final, no $$, grandma in the hospital, no job, overcommitted and tired. I wrote there again on July 20, 2003: No $$, but have a scholarship to attend school full-time, Grandma dead, Grandpa in TN… I wrote again on 11/16/03 after which I direct the reader to turn to the back of the Bible. I wrote again no 12/15/04, 10/9/05, 01/08/06, and 9/3/06. It is interesting to read my thoughts on those days of my life…
I think the oldest bulletin in this Bible (which has obviously been cleaned out at somepoint) is from Towne South Church of Christ on January 12, 1997. I sang on a worship team there with my two childhood best friends, Michael Lease & Eric Woolard, as well as Shannon Wagner. It was fun to sing in four part harmony all the time. Man do I miss that! Anyway, the bulletin includes an announcement for the Super Bowl Party held by TSCC that year (Jan 26) in their “new” building. It didn’t even have interior walls yet. I have a picture of myself from that party. No heat in the building, but instead those huge heat fans were set up. It was a great night. I still remember it.
The next Bible is The New American Standard Bible “The Student Bible” issued to me as a textbook at Roanoke Bible College (now Mid-Atlantic Christian University). It has a card in it from Debbie Lockhart telling me she’s thinking about me and referring me to read Psalm 121. That scripture became a great comfort to me when I flew into Haiti a year or so later. A bookmark that says “Teach me YOUR ways” is tucked into Ezekiel. It is from the Women’s Retreat at Parham Hills Christian Church on January 19, 2002. In Mark, I find that picture from the Towne South superbowl party. I’m huddled closely with Megan Lease. There are lots of Towne South bulletins in this one. On April 27, 1997 our Worship group (called the “Young Quartet” sang “There is Still Power In The Blood”. I apparently also used this Bible when I worked with Campus Crusades back in Richmond. In a Crusades meeting on 10/2/98 I underlined Colossians 4:2-6. Verse 6 says, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.” Interesting that I turned to that one. I’m currently in a Bible study of women at First Baptist Church on Mondays. We are doing a study called Conversation Peace – it talks about our speech and taming our tongue.
I also have a Serendipity Student Bible (NIV) that I bought when I was the Youth Director at Parham Hills Christian Church. I job I’ve always regretted letting go. I loved being the Youth Director. In the front of this Bible are quotes I like by famous and not-so-famous people. I have a quote by President Ford that says, “Your best friend is the person who helps keep your dream alive.” and a quote by my dad (9/24/00) that says, “If you look at God through your circumstances, He will look small and far away. If you look at your circumstances through God, He will draw near and be close.”
I love this Bible because it has discussing questions all through it (which I used in youth group meetings). They are deep and my teens really thought about them. It also includes a picture of the PHCC YOUth t-shirt we were designing with our theme scripture: Acts 4:29 – “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” I wanted those kids to speak God’s Word with BOLDNESS!
And finally, my least used Bible of all time (used only for cross reference and when I need a neat wording for Praise Team on Sunday morning) – my copy of Eugene Peterson’s The Message. There is only one bulletin (01/26/03 – Baby Dedication) and just one thing underlined. There are a few pictures from a youth trip tucked in, but that is all. The underlined? Jeremiah 29:11-12 (my favorite)
I love old Bibles. Someday, I hope to inherit at least one of my dad’s or my mom’s. My dad has my grandpa’s and I love that one, too. It connects me to a great man of God. What does your Bible say about you?