Saturday, September 4, 2010

Aha Moments ~ In the Margins

I have a number of Bibles to choose from, but my favorite is a dark green, King James Version that my parents gave me for Christmas in 1973. (Yes, that is a very long time ago.) It's the Bible whose pages and margins are all marked up. I’m not sure there is a single page that doesn’t have something written on it.

Whenever I find myself in the midst of a difficult place in life, the first thing I reach for is this Bible. It's never failed to lift my spirits. As the Lord ministers to me through certain Scriptures, I underline the verses, often scribbling the date in the margin. There are also a few notations of sermons I've heard preached, who preached them, and when. And there is a reason for it all.

It is this—the notes in my Bible, and the underlined Scriptures—that are a source of strength and comfort during life’s storms. Coming across marked verses and dates in the margins becomes one of those “aha” moments. God, I know you’ll get me through this storm in one piece, because you got me through that hurricane in 1999. See, it’s right here in the margin. It was this very Scripture that kept me afloat—the same one I have uncovered again today.

Before long, I’m rejoicing in God’s faithfulness, certain, beyond a single doubt, that I will survive the current storm, and all the storms that may follow. The proof is in the margins.

I’ve been reading from my old green Bible for almost 40 years now, and I can echo the psalmist David when he said, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” It is powerful and life-changing. It can unravel the mysteries of life and soothe the troubled mind. It is the only thing that will last forever.


Taken from the book, Home Improvement:9 Steps to Living a Joyful Life, by Dayle Allen Shockley. All rights reserved.

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Linking up with blogging friends, Charlotte and Ginger, over at Spiritual Sundays, where exciting things are happening.
 
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29 comments:

  1. Oh, yes! My favorite bible has dates and notes in the margins also. Now I have to go get it and see what the Lord has for me today. Thank you.

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  2. I relate to this so well. And sometimes, I like to drag out an older Bible just to see what I might have written.

    Last Sunday, I looked over at my sister's Bible as we opened to the passage. That particular page was SO MARKED UP. It was the most beautiful sight you can imagine because it was a variety of blue and black ink and even some pencil markings, all neat and tidy just like her. There's no telling how many times she has read and studied that passage.

    I think, if a person wanted to "know" my sister, he would get a good glimpse just by looking at that page.

    Long winded way to say that I love this post and relate so well.

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  3. Oh I know just what you mean, though I have a story about that. I too had one all marked up and full of my thoughts and aha moments and I left it on a church pew (a church we were visiting on vacation once) and didn't discover that I had until HOURS AND HOURS later when we had traveled on to the next state and I went to open it that night before bed. It was late so I couldn't call until the next morning. When I did no one had turned it in and I left my number, address etc. in the advent that it was found. I never got it back....I like to think that someone somewhere was able to use it for their good, but boy oh boy did it take me a while to recover from that. Now I use a journal to the side when I have my devotions. The journal (journal's now) NEVER leave my home so I won't lose my thoughts again(haha) and my bible travels with my in my purse. It still has a mark or two. Old habits are hard to break. Have a wonderful week-end...BLESSINGS

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  4. I relate...thank you for reminding me that i have a few in the closet that i need to read this weekend.... ~victoria~

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  5. Dayle - what a priceless treasure you have. It's such a comfort to be able to look back at times where God has shown us a particular truth or made His presence known during difficult times.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  6. Oh I just LOVE this post! It speaks right to the heart! I have markings all thru my Bible too...first time I read it in blue, 2nd time red, 3rd time purple...to the point that I had to buy a new Bible & start all over again! But I SOOOOO love when you say, "the proof is in the margins"! I gotta do as you do, note the date & situation to refer to in the future when the next trial comes...b/c we all KNOW they come, and come, and come....
    PHENOMENAL post! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. Isn't amazing how reading God's Word lifts the spirit? Nothing else does that. It is miraculous. I have been a Christian for 41 years now, and I cannot ever get over how my relationship with God doesn't get old or stale or ho-hum. It just keeps getting better.

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  8. A most beautiful post. Your bible is such a treasure. My Liturgy of The Hours prayer books are highlighted, marked and holds treasured notes and cards over the years. Each year the readings seem to ring something new. I sometimes like to just hold it, pressed to my heart.

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  9. Dayle,
    I once purchased a bible from a thrift store because I wanted it for a bible study and wanted to mark in the margins. While I was thumbing through it I saw the previous owner had marked the whole chapter of Revelation! He probably had a bible study on it and now I have used that same bible for many bible studies. I have just started putting dates and places of the studies in the margins, too.

    ~Jean






    ~Jean

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  10. So true, Dayle. I read mostly provers and psalms as they speak to me most clearly. Both are so good for inspiration. Thanks for the reminder. Susan

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  11. I love writing in my bible, and then later reflecting on that time in my life! Happy Spiritual Sunday!

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  12. Another wonderful post, Dayle. Thank you for sharing your Aha moment with us. I don't think there could be a better one.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  13. Your post today puts a smile on my face. I like the Aha moment thought. I too have had many of them as I looked back over notes in the margins of my Bibles. Thank you for this good post. Have a great weekend.

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  14. I just love this post, My Bible is all filled with notes and underlines, so I can relate...
    Joy & Blessings,
    Virginia

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  15. This is so good. I love the thought of the proof of God's faithfulness being in the margins of your Bible... Wonderful!

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  16. Nothing like The One with the notes in it! That's one reason I don't like having to get a new one. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.
    Karen

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  17. I wish I would have more marks in the margins. But I love when I go to a scripture and I have it highlighted. I was there before and I'm sure I will be there again.
    God Bless,
    Ginger

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  18. this is precious! i love writing and marking on my Bible... and i soo love going back there and realizing id been there before..:)

    Blessings,
    Ruth

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  19. Me too. I have marks....notes...dates....prayers...thoughts in my favorite bible...Sometimes when I open it...it reminds me of where I was at and what He did...love this post.

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  20. Oh Dayle Sweetie...
    A beautiful share this morning. I was 13 years old when my sweet Moma and Daddy bought me my first grown up Bible. My Moma wrote to me, "Fear not tomorrow dear daughter for God is already there." I still write in and carry this beautiful Bible today. It was touched by my sweet Moma in writing and I cherish it every day of my life.

    I have written in it many times, from revival speakers to regular Sunday lessons many things I wish to remember. Many dates, and sometimes I laugh to myself when I have gone back to mark a page, only to find several other marks already there.

    Have a beautiful week sweet friend. Country hugs and much love, Sherry

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  21. I'm your newest follower :) I love all of your photos. I found you through Sarah @ Gentle Recovery. Can't wait to see what is yet to come.

    Thanks, Kristen
    alltheproofineed.blogspot.com

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  22. Making notes and highlights in our Bibles shows we are responding to the Word. All mine look that way. I love your blog. Thanks for sharing and God bless. Please feel free to visit me at my blogs.

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  23. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I'm so glad I did. I've enjoyed travelling through some of your archives. Thank you for so openly sharing your thoughts and faith.

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  24. How wonderful to have these reminders of God's provision for you. I have my bible from the 70's too and I haven't looked at it in a long time. I'm off to find it now! Have a great day!

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  25. I have a few of those favorite Bibles as well, with all my favorite encouraging and comforting Bible verses underlined - from different seasons of life. In fact, the first three times I switched Bibles I would go through and re-underline them and those times are still highlights in my memories of joy-filled days remembering and being re-blessed by the awesome Word of God in the various births, deaths, crises, etc. recorded in each. The last time I switched - to a larger print Bible - I chose NOT to do that in order to have a different and fresh "new" experience re-exploring God's Word from scratch and that was wonderful as well.

    It never fails to astound me how God's Word really is new every morning - and totally exciting as well! Thank you for some delightful family memories. :)

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  26. Mine is like a diary with all my dates in the margins.
    Great post!

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  27. This is hands down my favorite SS post this week! I LOVED all of it. I totally relate! To quote Beth Moore, the Bible has RUINED me for the things of this world. It's the most exciting book I've ever read. It's astounding how highlighted scriptures can be made new again, and speak in a different way for a different season. It is a living book! Thanks for sharing this post!
    Carrie

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  28. My Bible kind of looks like yours. I have thought about getting a new one... one with larger print. But I just don't want any other Bible :)

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle