New Bibles are a wonderful and terrifying thing. LOL I've had the same Concordia study Bible since the days I started seeking God and attending church regularly again at a LCMS student ministry at Michigan State.
While I have wandered from those Lutheran beginnings, I kept that Bible close since I had gotten in the habit of marking the date near Scripture that was significant at the time along with notes, thoughts, and such. The last 20 years of my life are in that Bible.
Dates from 1988 show me struggling with my new commitments to God and a dating relationship that was taking some inappropriate turns. Verses marked around 1991 show my need for God as I got laid off from my first post-college job and went home, tail between legs, broke after returning my birthday presents for the cash to pay my rent. 1993 brought verses that showed my struggle again with another relationship. 1997? Verses about giftings and finding one's call in God's will as I embarked on my new teaching career.
Then came verses marked as I struggled to understand what God had planned in my life in terms of long-term commitments. I was just hitting 30 years old and wondering why God had brought me through the last 10 years to that point alone. I sincerely looked into missionary work since - being single and certified to teach - I would find traveling alone easier.
The new millennium brought meetings and orientations with a missionary group I was interested in and my "date notations" reflected that search. However, midway through that year, God dropped a bombshell on me. I met DaHubby. LOL And, by the end of 2000, I see possible verses marked for our wedding in 2001.
The next four years grew increasingly dark as we struggled to conceive as newlyweds. The verses I marked then eventually took on a very desperate, seeking, and pleading tone. There are verse marked with praise as Flicka then Pojke arrived in our lives. And, the verses I've marked since their arrivals are more haphazard and scattered as I've struggled to balance being a mom and being a disciplined reader of the Word.
And, that brings me to the end of 2008. It has been 20 years since that brand new NIV study Bible was plopped in my lap by some very good friends - one who is now a missionary in Russia and another who is a LCMS pastor near Chicago.
My new Pentecostal leanings have changed what I'm looking to get out of my Bible reading. I find myself frustrated being a NIV reader in a KJV/NKJV church family! LOL I also want to dig deeper - academically as well as spiritually. While I LOVE Concordia's notes and concordance, I was wishing for something to help me make Scripture more personal as well as with a little more Pentecostal flavor.
I couldn't find just one Bible to do that so I ended up with TWO! LOL For Christmas, I received a NKJV New Spirit Filled Life Bible AND an Amplified translation. And, while I haven't written in either of them yet, I already feel the "jolt" of a changed perspective. The Scriptures I've read before several times are taking on a new twist, showing new meaning to me. The Spirit Filled one uses some very basic "word wealth" to open up the original Greek meanings to me. And, as a good rookie Pentecostal, where did I dive in at?
The Book of Acts.
May the Lord reveal to me greater understanding and may these books become another 20 year testament to God's greatness and all that the Lord has brought me through like my Concordia does now!