Young people, young Christians, young pastors: “Read! Read! Read some more!”

“Write this down,” said God to Moses and various prophets, as recorded in Holy Scripture.  If He wanted His story written, God surely intended it to be read.

I’m a reader.  I’m sure my mind exaggerates, but as a preteen, I recall feeling that I had read all the books in the Winston County Library in Double Springs, AL.  Furthermore, in those days, public libraries had bookmobiles–trucks equipped with small libraries, which made the rounds of the rural countryside.  It was a great arrangement.

Both my sons are avid readers; my daughter not so much. The reason:  We read constantly to our boys when they were little, but our daughter came to us from Korea when she was five. Sadly we missed those most influential years.

The sharpest people you know are readers; the dullest never crack a book.  My parents both read constantly. There was never a time in my growing up years when we did not take the newspaper, and sometimes more than one. In 2007, when God took our Dad the family had to cancel a half dozen subscriptions to magazines he was taking.  He was nearly 96.

At the moment, my bedside table holds books on Herbert Hoover, Leadership in Turbulent Times, The Battle of Britain, and the history of the Natchez Trace.  Six months ago, the list would have been composed of all westerns, and a week or two later several crime or mystery novels.  In my “office” (which looks a lot like our breakfast room!) to the left of the laptop are three study books on Revelation.  We are running over with books around here.  And I love it.

In her book, Leadership In Turbulent Times, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells how several presidents came to develop their gifts for influencing others and leading the nation.  Early on, with Abraham Lincoln, there was a love for books. She writes:

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If I were reading the Bible for the first time

If I were just beginning to read the Bible, I would expect it to be difficult.  After all, if the God of the universe puts His thoughts into a book, it makes sense for some of it to be beyond us.

If I were reading the Bible for the first time, I’d get a modern more readable translation.  How to do that? Go to Lifeway Christian Stores and spend an hour checking out all the versions.

If I were reading the Bible for the first time, I’d enlist a great friend or two to take my occasional phone call so I could say, “What does this mean?”

And, if I were reading the Bible for the first time, I would do this:

–Move to the New Testament first.  This means ignoring (for the moment) the first two-thirds of the Bible.

–I would begin reading at Matthew chapter one and read large portions each day.

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