I was watching The Gaither's a couple Saturdays ago. They were honoring Billy Graham by having a Homecoming at the Billy Graham Library. The music, as always, was terrific. I didn't see the entire program, but there was a little clip -- an interview with Billy Graham -- that stuck in my mind. He was sitting by the fireplace in his home and Gloria Gaither was visiting with him about Ruth -- the love of his life and someone I admired greatly. As beautiful picture after beautiful picture of Ruth and their family clicked across the screen, there was something Bill said that caught my attention. He said that Ruth had many Bibles that she marked up, and she read many different versions of the Bible. I thought to myself, "I've only really ever read one particular version of the Bible (NAS), with the exception of The Way, which I first began to read when I was 13 years old."
The Message//Remix (The Bible in Contemporary Language). Today, it came in the mail and I immediately sat down to read a familiar passage, one that my daughter asked me about just the day before -- Proverbs 3.
Good friend, don't forget all I've taught you, take to heart my commands. They'll help you live a long, long time, a long life lived full and well. Don't lose your grip on Love and Loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God's eyes and the eyes of the people. Trust God from the bottom of your heart, don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go, he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! ~Proverbs 3:1-12After reading through the chapter, I read further. And further. I was listening to a familiar story, but it was not the same person who always tells it. Someone else was narrating it with his especial voice -- fresh and invigorating, yet gentle and sincere, honest and truthful, full of hope and understanding. I felt like the narrator could be one of my own grown-up kids telling me back the story that is written in his heart. I like thinking of it that way.
I'm excited about my new Bible. I plan to mark it up and make it my own, just like my old tattered Bible. I figure I'll flip back and forth between the new Bible and the old one to compare and to ponder. I'm reading with great expectation. I wonder if Ruth ever read The Message?