Daily Gratitude Year Four-Day 310: Today, I am grateful for my favorite book... my Bible. I love books. Of my books... it is the that one continues to challenge me and change me. (Text my journal prompt #8: What book are your most grateful for?)
I adore books. I am a fiction fan. Books have been my mode of travel since I was a small child. No cable TV in the country. With only siblings for playmates, books transported beyond the corn and bean fields and broadened my understanding of everything from Egyptian hieroglyphics to sailing ships.
For my birthday, the year I turned seven, I was in second grade. Mama Ina Mae had found a vintage Nancy Drew book (the blue linen like cover) at a garage sale. It was my introduction to mystery books and teen reads. I was hooked. I never realized until high school how much information had been woven into her stories. A mystery unfolding is still a favorite genre. Reading a good book can still grow us.
I have read books that I have found challenging and life changing. Og Mandino is on my short list of people I want to meet in heaven. "The Greatest Salesman in the World" is his best known work, but my favorites are "Mission Success", "The Greatest Miracle in the World" and "The Christ Commission". Each one has lessons for growth with a story that sucks you into a world you don't want to leave, and you re-read them to revisit old friends.
I can honestly say that although I grew up reading my Bible and learning scriptures, but it wasn't until Jill and I spent two years working through the "The Story" with our teens at church that I really discovered that the scriptures are full of every single genre. Oh yes! Every one. Every "short story" is a part of the "big picture". God loves us and seeks our return. He sums up his expectations in these simple instructions:
Love me with all your heart,soul, mind and strength.
Love your neighbors. All of them. This includes every man, woman, child, religion and race. No exclusions.
The first book, Genesis, begins with the love story. Before it is over there is murder and mayhem. God seeking a relationship with a creation sounds crazy, but with all time and eternity in his hands, he has the time. He wanted more than rote worship or obedience from fear. He wanted more than another something he could control.
So... God made us in his image and breathed his breath into us... our soul breath as I have come to think of it. We don't have to follow his rules, obey and love him. We are the only creation on the planet that can choose or reject him. Gutsy, right? Crazy love. Adam and Eve make some big mistakes, but God longs to redeem them...and their children... so the story continues.
Creation cost God his breath. Redemption cost him his blood.
Every book of the Bible is full of something unique or something that supports the other books. It ends with the final mystery of a prophecy. Revelation will unfold. It is unfolding.
Bible journaling has helped me dig a little deeper. I "color" in my journaling Bible and it comes alive. Earworm is singing, "Word of God speak, let it fall down like rain."
Today, I am grateful for my favorite book... my Bible. I love books. Of my books... it is the that one continues to challenge me and change me.