It's OK to read the Bible

Photo by Adrian Pingstone/commons.wikimedia.org<br>Early editions of the Bible were handwritten in Latin. Even with the many printed English editions today reading the Bible may seem intimidating.  I was introduced to the One Year Living Bible, and I decided, once and for all, that I would read this easier-to-decipher, paraphrased edition, no matter what.

Photo by Adrian Pingstone/commons.wikimedia.org<br>Early editions of the Bible were handwritten in Latin. Even with the many printed English editions today reading the Bible may seem intimidating. I was introduced to the One Year Living Bible, and I decided, once and for all, that I would read this easier-to-decipher, paraphrased edition, no matter what.

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart; for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts." (Jeremiah 15:16)

My dad, and consequently I, grew up in households where the Holy Bible was not read, lest we of uneducated stature regarding languages and customs of biblical times misinterpret God's Word. Although I had meagerly attempted to read the Bible throughout earlier years, every effort opened floodgates of doubt and fear that invariably sent its covers slamming shut. It was not until 1991, when my mother passed away, that I was introduced to the One Year Living Bible, and I decided, once and for all, that I would read this easier-to-decipher, paraphrased edition, no matter what. I'm grateful for the "no matter what" because it has changed my life, radically and eternally, and His Word has truly become the "joy and rejoicing of my heart".

Upon my father's last visit with me, I eagerly showed him the Bible text I had been reading throughout the past year. His response should not have surprised me: "Oh, no, Dianne. Don't you know we're not supposed to read the Bible on our own?"

Now I knew he loved the Lord and was faithful in his religious practices; nevertheless, my assurance, "Dad, it's really okay," held no impact. Two weeks later cancer took him from us.

About three months following his death, I took heart from this dream: my dad had gathered the family in the basement of the church where he and his siblings had worshipped in their youth, where he and my mom had been married, and where my siblings and I had been baptized. In my dream, his smiling family sat around a long table, and my dad, with uncharacteristic joviality, presented each one of us with a copy of, yes, you guessed it, the Holy Bible.

Have I read God's Word today? Why not?

Shall I implore the Holy Spirit to open my heart and grant me discernment?

Shall I find a knowledgeable and godly mentor for confirmation as I study?

Lord, today I choose to learn more about you, you who have called us by name and who loves us enough to have died for us.

You may e-mail Ms. Wilson by visiting www.pensepublishing.com