I'm a big fan of carrying my Bible with me everywhere I go. I used to have this teeny, tiny little ESV version I carried in my purse as a reference for all those spur-of-the-moment occasions when I needed to look up a Bible verse or perish. But then I got old . . . er, I mean I got glasses.
And now I can't see the teeny, tiny little words in that teeny, tiny little Bible anymore. Enter the fabulous world of smart phones.
My first smart phone was a small, pink Blackberry. I had a committed relationship with that phone, partly because I could tweet from it, but also because I could use it in place of my carry-along Bible. It was a pretty simple version back then (as was that phone), but it filled the void in my purse where the teeny, tiny Bible once lived, and I was happy.
Since then my phones and the Bible apps available to the smart phone-loving world have become much more sophisticated. And I'll be the first to admit that I love being able to reference an entire library of commentaries and versions of the Bible at the swipe of a finger. Long gone are the days of blowing the dust off the hard copies on my shelf and, dare I say, looking things up by hand??
I've even been known to leave my trusty ESV at home on Sunday in lieu of the pretty little mini iPad I got a few months ago and it's even prettier Gussy case (man I love that thing). More and more often I see people down the pew from me doing the same thing—pulling out their individual smart-devices to study the Word.
But something happened the other day that has me carrying my "real" Bible to church and Bible study once again.
My grandmother died. And on the day of her funeral my mom handed me one of the most precious treasures I've ever had in my possession—her Bible.
Inside, the pages are filled with notes that capture how the Word of God was living and active for her throughout her life...
"Scripture, believe it or not, is right. We will believe or be damned."
As I held it in my hands and read her secret prayers for her grandchildren written out, her bold declarations of truth, her faith in the God who saves . . .I knew . . .
I had nothing of this magnitude to pass on to my own children and grandchildren. And I wouldn't if I continued to take notes on my iPad every time I studied the Bible.
Now there are a few solutions to this problem for those of you who just don't want to give up your smart device. And in the spirit of full honesty, I probably won't give mine up 100%. But receiving a gift like my grandmother's Bible has certainly changed the way I look at what I'm passing on to the next generation. If that concerns you too, consider trying these things (thanks to my Facebook friends for your suggestions):
1. Write your thoughts in a journal. When a verse strikes you while reading on your iPad next time, something that might've caused you to write in your Bible before smart-phone days, write it in your journal instead.
2. Don't like to hand-write things? Start a private blog journal just for you where you record your thoughts about what you're learning.
3. Buy a small spiral bound index card notebook and write down verses to memorize on the front, and what they mean to you on the back.
4. Try journaling your way through an entire chapter of the Bible (thanks Tammy Skipper for that idea!) Write one verse at a time in a notebook and then process each verse.
I think it's safe to say that most of us want to leave a legacy for our kids. We want them to understand who we are, know the things that were important to us, maybe even know some of our struggles. What better way than to give them this glimpse into our hearts?