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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

A Day at a Time: 20,000 What?

By Scott Harrup

Mar. 25, 2012

My first-grade journey to literacy had barely progressed beyond the adventures of Tom, Betty and Susan when Mom gave me my first “real” book — Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This wasn’t a “Golden Books” condensation for kids, but a Classic Press Inc. English edition of the groundbreaking 19th-century French science fiction classic. I attribute much of my love for science fiction today to that fortuitous, though unlikely, choice of a gift.

Prior to Verne, my reading homework included such prose pearls as, “Tom said, ‘Mother! Mother! Is Susan here? Is Susan at home?’” The opening sentence of 20,000 Leagues? “The year 1866 was signalised by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten.” It required the better part of two years to complete the book, with “phenomenon” and many other words expanding my vocabulary.

My original, well-thumbed volume remained in Koindu, Sierra Leone, when a family tragedy during our missionary ministry forced us to return to the States in 1975 with a few hastily filled suitcases. In 1998, my brother Blake found the same edition in a used bookstore and gave it to me for Christmas.

Mom not only prodded my personal reading, she regularly read to Blake, Obie and me. Most significantly, she regularly read from the Bible or from various collections of Bible stories. With our family’s multigenerational loyalty to the King James Version, I was the recipient of a large KJV study Bible somewhere around the fourth grade. Its Elizabethan cadences further polished my vocabulary and elocution.

In the ensuing decades, that Book — whether KJV, GNT, NASB, NIV, The Living Bible or The Message — has done far more than nudge me onward in the joys of reading. It has shaped my soul. It has pointed me to eternal life. It has given wisdom for decisions large and small.

This issue of the Evangel invites you to discover, or discover again, the timeless message and life-changing influence of God’s Word. And don’t just discover it for yourself — point a young reader you know to its pages.

Scott Harrup
Managing Editor

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