flashthoughts

Archive for May 2012

I came home from work on Wednesday, May 23 and there it was – a box sitting on my desk just waiting to be opened. I could hardly wait to see what was inside. I carefully cut the tape on the box so as not to damage the contents. I opened the flaps of the box and there it was, the very special book I had been waiting to receive. My sweet friend, Tammy, had told us about this book. She received one as a Mother’s Day gift from her husband. She told us how she and her husband had actually written part of this book. In fact, reading what  she wrote about it in her Facebook post is what got me so interested in it.

I am talking about the NIV Bible Across America. Have you heard about it? Did you know when it was making the tour across America? I did not. I had not heard – or maybe I should say I don’t remember hearing – anything about it until Tammy told us about it. This Bible celebrates the 30th anniversary of the most popular Bible translation of all time according to what was written on the cover box that it came in. In fact, let me share with you what else it says on that box: Covering over 30,000 verses, 90 cities and nearly nine months, the Bible Across America tour was an undertaking of Biblical proportions. With God’s blessing and the help of tens of thousands from coast to coast, we’ve successfully created the world’s first handwritten copy of the NIV Bible.

Yes – you read that right – HANDWRITTEN! This tour went all across America, including making a stop at the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama, and I honestly don’t remember hearing anything about it! The tour started September 30, 2008 and anyone and everyone was invited to come to their tour stops and write a verse of the Bible – young and old alike.

But all the above are simply facts about this Bible. Other than being handwritten, what makes this Bible so different to me? It’s not like I don’t already have an NIV Bible and several other translations as well, for that matter. I ordered this Bible, mainly, because I just had to see for myself the handwritten verses. I was not expecting what I received. I didn’t receive the unexpected when I first opened the package and saw this new Bible. Oh, it was ‘neat’ and ‘interesting’, just as I thought it would be. The night I received the Bible I didn’t really have time to do much more than skim over what was in it. Of course, I took time to find the two verses that my friend, Tammy, and her husband, Jim, had written but that was about the extent of it.

Sunday morning I got this new Bible out to use. I wanted to read over the verses that would be included in our message Sunday morning. As I started reading, THAT is when I received the unexpected. I was truly ‘mesmerized’, for lack of a better word, by the handwritten verses. Suddenly, I realized what a treasure I now had. Reading the handwritten verses caused me to be overcome with the realization of how the ORIGINAL Bible came to be – it, too, was HANDWRITTEN on scrolls! Yes, obviously I knew this already. It’s just that all of a sudden, it was no longer ‘head’ knowledge. It became HEART knowledge and I began to be so overwhelmed by it all that I don’t even know where to begin to try and describe it. It’s one of those things that is truly impossible to explain. It’s something you would just have to experience for yourself.

So, what makes this Bible different? It’s true that I was caught up in how ‘cool’ or how ‘neat’ it was. Yes, it has many inspiring stories of several of the people that wrote verses in it and what it meant to them to be able to do so; but, only when I opened it up and started reading the handwritten verses did it come alive for me! All the things that have been and will be said about it being so wonderful are true. However, if you want to experience what I think can only be described as one tenth of what the people felt that wrote the original scriptures, I highly recommend that you get your hands on one and begin reading. I pray that, when you do, the verses you read – the same verses you’ve read like me probably a million or more times before – will suddenly be more real than they ever have been.

I’m sure you can find it in several places but, if you want to get an INCREDIBLE deal on this Bible, click here to go straight to a GREAT deal on it at Christian Book.

You will NOT find a better way to spend $15.99 in my opinion! In fact, this is ten dollars less than what they had it on sale for just a couple of weeks ago when I ordered it! So, get your order in fast if you want one, because I’m sure that they won’t last long at this price!

If you order one, I would love to know what you think about it and what happens to you when you receive it and begin to read it. Would you be so kind as to leave me a comment below and let me know if you order one? Then come back and tell me if it had any affect on you. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

Love y’all!

“Little did I know the work God was doing that would put the cherry on top.” I took that line from the facebook status of a very good friend (with her permission) because it truly sums up how our service went this past Sunday (April 29, 2012).

In our church, an announcement is made when we are planning to have a Baptism Service. It is usually made a few weeks in advance to give the Pastors time to meet with the baptism candidates and, according to their age, their parents. Just such an announcement was made a few weeks ago and this past Sunday was the day for our Baptism Service.

We had SIX people that were going to be baptized. Here’s a picture of them – this was taken just before they were each telling why they were being baptized.


This particular service, we had five from our Children’s Church getting baptized. The age of these children is the reason the Pastors like to have time to counsel them, along with their parents, to be sure the children understand what they are doing and why. It’s not just something they do ‘because their friend did it’. I LOVE this about our church because you can be sure that these children know and understand exactly what they are doing and what their decision means.

However, something was different this time. After the baptisms, Pastor Gene spoke from Acts 8:26-40 where Philip explains to the Ethiopian eunuch the good news about Jesus and, as they were traveling and came to water how the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” He then asked if there was anyone in the service that day that had never given their life to Jesus to do so as he had us all close our eyes and he led in a salvation prayer.

Then, the Pastor did something that he’s never done before. He told everyone in the congregation that it had been on his heart all week to do this – he opened up the service for anyone else that wanted to be baptized. He told us if anyone had just prayed that prayer for the first time or if maybe someone was there that had given their life to Jesus but then had walked away and had not been living for Him and now was coming back to Him or if there was someone that had maybe been baptized as a baby or had been baptized before but didn’t really understand what they were doing – he gave several different scenarios – and then he turned to the baptistry on stage and said ‘Look, here is water. What is preventing you from being baptized?’ He did ask that, in this situation, each one be 13 years old or older in order to respect parents.

There is absolutely no way to describe in words the filling (and that is NOT ‘feeling’ misspelled) of God’s presence in the sanctuary that morning and there were four more that came forward to be baptized. The reason my friend made the reference about God putting the cherry on top? She and her husband’s youngest son was one in the group baptized that morning. What they had no way of knowing was that one of their older daughters would be one of the four that went forward stating that she had walked away from God and was doing this to show that she was coming back to Him!

Still one more amazing thing? Another of the four that came forward was the sister to a girl that was baptized during our last baptism a couple of months ago. Her mother said she had been asking lots of questions since then and for her to go forward on her own was a HUGE thing. Why? Because she is autistic and very frightened or intimated to be in front of a bunch of people. So for her to go forward on her own and want to do this, her mother KNEW it was nothing but God!

{If you would like to see the baptisms, I have posted the videos on my facebook page here. This will actually take you to the photos page  but you can just click on ‘VIDEOS’ and it will take you to the videos of the baptisms. Word of warning – my camera was having a day where it would just decide to quit recording all on its own, so some of the videos are cut short and one video is in two parts.}

It was truly a wonderful day and God’s presence was felt in a way that, sadly, is considered rare these days, but that’s a post for another day. I hope you will choose to watch the videos and let God use them to bless you.

Love y’all!


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