Today, when I got home from work I had a sudden idea. I thought it would be fun to show all my cyber-Loofrin friends the inside of my Bible. That probably sounds funny and maybe a bit strange, but my Bible is very personal to me and I have worked very hard on it. I have never liked seeing pristine clean bibles, particularly if they are often read. I've never understood it when I flip through someone's bible and not see a single solitary note or underlining. I have always held to the "read, mark, and inwardly digest" aspect of Bible study. The first picture is from page 1898 of the Concordia Self-Study bible. It is James 1. I read James often, there is something about the book of James that really speaks to me. I probably should of scanned in James 2. That has some serious highlights, notes, and underlines.
Reading the bible is more than just sitting down and reading. It is one of the lines of communication from God to me, and my notes, underlines, arrows, and highlights are my way of conversing with him. They also are "landmarks" or "road signs." When I go back and reread a particular section I often reread the comments I left the last time I read. This helps me remember what I was feeling at the time or what I was thinking. And sometimes its good to reconnect. Call it a "journal" if you will. My father keeps a daily journal, he has for the last 53 years. Every day, religiously. I don't necessarily keep a daily journal, but I do keep write these notes as a reminder and a marking of being there before.
The next picture is the inside front cover of my Bible. I call it the "collage." It is mainly things I've picked up along the way. The "peace be with you" and the figure in the upper left corner came from a bulletin from a church service. The little purple sign came from some one I worked with at camp my first summer. It says: "The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you." I don't know if you can read the little hand written not on the far right side near the top. It says "we are Jesus action figures." Someone said that in a Bible study I attended one time and I thought it was just kind of cool. I think we were talking about missions or something along those lines. The "GIVE CALLHOON DA BALL" refers to a fireside nighttime devotion I gave one summer. The hand written note next to it says "Christianity is more about a full heart than a crowded head." That is a quote from Rev. Richard Noak who was the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Klein, Texas. See that yellow PC? That doesn't mean "politically correct," but it asks me if I'm meant to Preach Christ or Plant Corn. When I was stuggeling with the "call" a pastor friend told me a story that asked that question? Are you supposed to Preach Christ or Plant Corn? I ask myself that daily.
Yes, you do see duct tape, I duct taped the binding of my Playbook because it was getting weak and frayed...
Under the PC is another hand written note that says "To be saved... is nothing more than to be delivered from sin, death,and the Devil and into the Kingdom of Christ and live with him forever." That is a quote from page 439 of the Book of Concord (the Tappert edition). I just thought that was a beatiful way of looking at salvation. Again, a nice neat package. Something I can wrap my brain around.
The little hand written note under "calhoon" says "Do you have faith in your faith? Faith is as faith does." Next to that is W5H of ChiRoh, or the "who, what, when, where, why, and how of Christ." That is something I came up with one day to explain to myself how faith works and builds. An example: as Christians we fall into the Heb. 11:1 aspect of faith. We believe what we haven't seen. As we grow in our faith we understand Who Jesus was, Where He did his ministry, What He was (i.e. Christ/Savior), When He lived (2000 years ago), Where He did his ministry, and How He willing gave Himself as a sacrafice for us.... but, at least for me, its the WHY that I always struggle with. . Because of the "why" I have the John 15:18, 19 written on the first end page it says:
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
I also have John 17 written there, too:
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
One of my favorite quotes I have in here is the one in upper left hand corner. It says "The news of the Gospel is too good not to be be true." Rev. Norb Fernhaber said that one day in sermon. That just struck me as an amazing thought.
The things written there mean different things to me for different reasons. Down in the lower left corner is this phrase, I got it from the movie The Hurricane: "Hate put me in this prison; love is going to bust me out." I though that was a great Gospel message.
The other thing I want to point out is the yellow box in the right side. It has the verse Jerimiah 29:11-14:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”This verse helped me get through a serious faith crisis at one point in my college career.
So, my Bible is mine. I have made it my own.
I'd love to read about your playbooks and how you use them. Blessings