Vantage Point: This Old Bible
By Ken Horn
Dec. 8, 2013
When I spoke at my sister Ellene’s funeral in August, I took to the lectern an old, beat-up, zippered Bible, the very first I ever owned. It shows the evidence of its age. The zipper broke long ago; the binding soon followed; it’s been taped and is threatening to fall completely apart. But the Bible looks this way for a very good reason.
The inscription in the front reads, “To Kenneth from Ellene, July 13, 1955.”
Twelve years older than I, Ellene was the first in our family to commit her life to the Lord — in a garage Sunday School classroom that had curtains for walls and a flannel board as its main attraction. Soon my other sister, Pat, followed. Later, my sisters invited our mother to the church that met in the house adjoining the garage. It was there my mother accepted the Lord as Savior.
When I came along, Ellene wanted to make sure I would know Jesus Christ just as soon as possible. So, when I was 5 years old Ellene explained the plan of salvation and knelt with me in my bedroom against a repurposed red kitchen chair. I prayed “the sinner’s prayer” ... and it stuck.
It took longer for my dad to become a Christian, but eventually he completed the circle.
Years later, Ellene’s husband died at a young age, and she declined spiritually. For more than 20 years Ellene was distant from God. During most of that time, whenever I was on the road I carried that old Bible. It accompanied me to more than 40 countries, and every time I used that Bible, I prayed God would bring Ellene back to himself.
Several years ago, Ellene called to tell me she had recommitted her life to Christ. We soon had a family reunion. When we held devotions together, I pulled out the old zippered Bible and shared this story.
Ellene was taken from us unexpectedly this past summer. But we were spared the grief that would have come had she not regained a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ.
I think some of that had to do with the Bible Ellene gave me when I was a child. That little Bible has come full circle. The seed my sister planted bore fruit that returned to her.
Never give up. Never quit praying.
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