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by Amanda Murray on March 5, 2014
Several years ago I went to a conference that helped educate people in the field of camping how to better serve their guest. I met a vendor there that sold customizable curriculum. I had no interest in his product but really enjoyed our conversation. He was an older man whose kids had all grown up and now have kids of their own. He told me a story that caused a change in my life. It was a simple story that was not intended to influence me but I pounced on the wisdom that came from it. He told me that he was big on writing notes in the margins of his Bible. After several years of using a Bible he would get a new one. As an adult, his daughter remembered her dad’s old Bibles and asked if she could have one. One day he got a phone call from his daughter with a question about something he wrote next to a text in his old Bible. She read him the text over the phone and read his note that said “What the heck does this mean?” His daughter then asked what he meant by that? The man in his conversation with me starts to laugh and delivers his reply like a punch line. “I think I wrote that because I didn’t know what the heck that meant.”
I offered up a courtesy laugh but was more mesmerized by the cool relationship he had with his daughter through scripture. How as she read scripture, it was almost as if she was reading with her father there through his very candid comments and questions. When my wife’s father past away early in life, one of the most valued possessions to his kids was his old Bible with all his notes.
Seeing how precious this Bible was to my wife’s family, together with the story from the salesmen at the conference, I decided I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to interact with my children through God’s word. I bought a Bible when my daughter was three that I will give her when she turns sixteen. It is my Bible right now and I use it whenever I am studying or just going to church. I write notes to every verse I study. I write thoughts, fears, questions and answers that have been revealed. Some day my daughter is going to see, through these notes, the trail that I traveled as I sought the Lord. She is going to read the scriptures deeper because I read them deeper. She will not just glance through and take things out of context but dig and know what scripture is saying to those that read it. I am not the holy spirit interacting with God’s word but I am a father communicating to my daughter as she reads scripture. It has changed the way I study scripture and I hope this story helps you as well.
He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments. -Psalm 78:5-7
You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. – Dueteronomy 11:19-21
John Morgan is the Summer Camp Director – Texas Site at Sky Ranch. He is dad to 3 and can usually be found fixing (cars, homes, computers, you name it)!
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