Saturday, January 30, 2010

30 JAN 10: Project Rebound

(BLOGGER'S NOTE: You may find the following item humorous, serious, or a little of both - but we offer these thoughts from time to time, as we keep a seventh-day Sabbath.)

A friend of mine wrote online recently she's preparing a "Kindle room" in her home. No, not a kindergarten -- a Kindle room. I'm old enough to remember when these things were called studies or libraries....

Call me old-fashioned, but I'm not ready to read e-books. Regular books with pages are good enough for me. You can underline key points, jot down notes along the way - and verify quotes to your friends, without having to worry about a battery dying.

Last Friday night I tried an unusual rebuilding project with one of my books. The book is only 15 years old, but I've worn it out so much that some pages have come completely loose. Yes, I consider this book a real "page-turner" - especially since some people want you to turn the pages back and forth constantly.

The first step was to make the pages as flat as possible, so they could all stick together. Since the front two-thirds of the book was fine, I used two rolls of tape to weigh down the back section. I suppose I could have used something heavier - but sitting on the pages would have made the rest of the process very awkward.

With the pages flattened, the back cover was placed on top -- and then the converted redneck in me came out. I used several strips of overlapping duct tape to bind things together. Imagine my surprise to learn the next day at church that duct tape comes in designer colors now - perhaps even a matching brown.

What 15-year-book did I consider worthy of this much care and attention? A hardbound New International Version of the Bible. The last two decades have brought eye-opening doctrinal changes and challenges in my Christian walk - and this "good book" received a good workout. If I hadn't dropped it off the bedside a couple of times, it might be in better shape....

That two-thirds of the Bible in good shape -- that's called the Old Testament. I hear local ministers complain often about others who ignore or throw out that section. Yet in the past two months, my pastor has asked the congregation to turn to the New Testament 22 times out of 28 - so Jesus still seems to come before Moses.

I used to take this hardbound Bible to church every week - but I stopped doing that in 2001, because I could tell it was weakening. I have an NIV Study Bible especially for services. And in the wake of this week's State of the Union speech, I'm now prepared to follow Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. If a preacher goes off-course, I'll mouth the words "simply not true."

But now that you've seen this, I have to ask - what shape is YOUR Bible in? Have you worn it out, the way I have? If you study it for guidance and wisdom on a daily basis, you might. If you only use it to cover an annoying coffee ring on the living room table, you probably won't.

In a way, the Bible is like a lot of other books. It's only valuable and worthwhile if you open and read it - and the Bible especially is valuable if you apply what it says. Read a portion of it, if you haven't in awhile. It might, uh, kindle something good inside you.

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