Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Some people struggle with whether or not to mark in their Bibles. I am not a copious underliner or notetaker, but if something is clarified for me in a new way, or a verse jumps out at me, I have no qualms with writing on the tissue-thin pages. As I read through my Bible, I treasure another kind of mark as I come across them: the occasional scribble applied by a toddler wielding a pen, still uncertain about the rules about where exactly it can be used. When I see them, I am reminded about that sweet short time of their lives and mine, which has now passed. I am heartened because I know that the marks were applied when they picked up my pen that was left in my open Bible beside my journal or Bible lesson that was likely abandoned when they woke up sooner than expected or something else distracted me. Although I do honor the Bible as God's holy word and give it the proper respect, in our home the Bible is not a dusty family relic that records births and deaths. It's a book that is well-read, frequently studied and carried to church and to Bible study on a regular basis. So, just like faith-in-action, it might result in a few stray marks.

As a Christ-follower, in following the law, there are things that I avoid. There are things that I have given up. This list of have-nots seems daunting to some, but I've come to realize that abstaining is much easier than what God has called me to do:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Matthew 22: 34-40

Amidst my shortcomings, my life is marked by one who is pursuing Jesus. In the first couple of weeks in our BSF lessons, we've looked at an overview of the book of Matthew. I was taught about Matthew's purpose in writing these words as inspired by God. I was taught about the importance of seeking to be a disciple of Jesus. Can I honestly say that is my purpose--to become more like Him in all things? Am I glorifying Him in all things?

I'm sure gonna try.


Stephanie said...

I love those little stray markets. I write in the margin who the culprit was and the date. Sappy, I know.

I'm looking forward to attending BSF next year. Ellie isn't old enough for their program yet and I can't afford to pay a weekly babysitter. But next year I will be there!

Angie said...

I have scribbles in mine too. What a great idea Stephanie! Guess I'm a sap too.

LOVE your blog, Jennifer!

Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings said...

While growing up, my Mother made it a statement of the year so to speak that one does not write in their Bible.

Well I am hear now to tell you that apparently I didn't listen because my Bible is wrote in, scribbled in, highlighted in, roughed up on the edges a little, and if you look close enough, you may find a cracker crumb in there somewhere.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

I underline verses that jump out at me...things I want to ingrain in my soul.

Katrina said...

So true - the "do this" commands give me SO much more to work on than the "don't do this" commands.

And I love the stray marks in you Bible...evidence that your Bible is used and left out, to be discovered by an exploring child.

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

I have made it a goal to scribble, underline, write, make notes, etc in 3 bibles by the time I die. One for each of my kids.

I have a Bible that was grandmas with writing and notes in is priceless to me.

I even fill in the pages in the front and back with love notes to my family. I just seems so special to me.

Missed your blog Jennifer---I'm still computerless and cant' check in often :(

Appliejuice said...

Well said. It is hard to love the Lord with ALL your heart, soul, and mind. It is even harder to love your neighbors as yourself. These are commandments we must work hard at. :)

I also have scribbles in my Bible. I have even dated them. My son will be 14 in a few days and his art work in my Bible was done when he was 3. So sweet. :D

Veronica Mitchell said...

Loving those neighbors sure is hard. But that's where we show if it's the real thing, isn't it?

My grandmother wrote prayers in her Bible, but they were so honest, and so often about her kids' troubles, that my aunt destroyed it when she died to spare her sister's feelings. Such a loss.