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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Old Friends

Depending on your theology I became an apprentice of Christ in 1966 or 1973.  Since things begin to change in 73 we will go with that one.  One of the first things I did after trusting Christ was to drive from the Base (Craig Air Force Base) over the Edmund Pettus Bridge into downtown Selma.  I went to the Christian bookstore and bought a Bible.  It was a first edition of the New American Standard version.  It has no notes or comments in it.  The editorial comments on the content of the pages is at the top of the page.  There is no concordance, there are only side column cross references.  For the next three years I dove into that Book.  I marked all over it.  Made notes, highlighted it, wrote questions with which I was struggling on the back blank end sheets.
Bibles we have studied for a long time become rich memorials to our relationship with Christ
In 1976 the cover fell off.  A couple with whom I went to church who were attending seminary at Southwest in Ft Worth, took it and had it rebound in bonded black leather.  I got it back about nine months before I left the Air Force to move into the basement of the Nav rep in Birmingham.

Jenny and I were married in 1978 and went on staff with the Navs.  I led Bible Studies and spoke from that Bible until I finally retired it around 1985.  Galatians and Revelation were falling out, it was literally falling apart.  I went through three other thin Bibles in the years since and my daughter gave me a really nice one a couple of Christmases ago.  I have never marked in another Bible.  To this day I still know some passages by where they fall in that Book.  Last year I found a man in Shawnee, OK who rebound both Jenny’s Bible and this old friend.  The cover is new.  The edges of the pages are worn and tattered.  But the notes and highlights (some of which are washed away from the effects of the Bible getting soaked during hurricane Fred – another story) are still there.  Working through its pages during the past year, has been like getting reacquainted with an old friend after a long separation, but picking up – you may know the feeling – right where we left off.