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Sharon Kinsey's Blog

Each week, as I prepare for our Wednesday morning Bible study, I line up all my materials on the table top next to my computer. Reference books, articles from my files, several hymnals (we always sing a hymn/song related to the day’s topic), and, of course, a Bible or two. I have a relatively new copy of the Common English Bible, my own trusty, well-used copy of the NRSV, and my mother’s Oxford NIV Scofield Study Bible, copyright 1967. She kept it on the table by her comfortable chair. Its red leather cover is worn now, the gold leaf engraving is fading, and the binding is pulling away from the spine of the book. When I page through it, she has penciled in notations and underlined favorite verses. Tucked among the pages, I’ve found little hand-written prayers she’d jotted down on thin paper – she always found it difficult to pray in front of others without having something written down.


But the greatest gifts she left me are the seven pages of notes written on the first and last pages of the Bible. She had lovely handwriting, but as her arthritis became painful, her writing was a bit shaky. It was still quite easy to read, but a testament to the toll that the aging process had taken on her body. My mother was a cradle Presbyterian and was always in a Bible study when I was growing up. But when she moved from Pennsylvania out here to Indiana, her Wednesday morning group became very important to her. The leaders changed, and folks dropped in and out, but the core group of friends were there to hug each other, ask about families, and then get down to the business of studying the words of our Lord as part of their deep commitment to congregational life. 


I still think of the Wednesday morning group as my mother’s Bible study. Two of her friends are still there every week – they understand why I always bring chocolate to sweeten our time together (my mom grew up just outside of Hershey, PA). It has been a precious connection to her. I always say that her faith was resolute. She spoke about Jesus and prayed to Him every day. She sang hymns while she did dishes. And she kept her red leather Bible beside her. So here are just a few of the many things she wrote on those pages:


“It is a personal relationship with Christ that brings joy to the believer’s life.”


“A child of God ought to have real joy, the joy of the Lord in his life.”


“Jesus Christ – Believe in me! Obey me! Abide in me!”


“Joy is the flag of the heart when the Master is in residence.”


Her last entry reads: Read and read and read Isaiah 40:31. It is such a comfort in my old age. Life does get hard sometimes and if I remember what Isaiah said in verse 31 – I immediately feel I can go on. Thank you, Lord!


But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” --Isaiah 40:31


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