God’s Word

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalms 119:105 NLT

Growing up in Kansas City, my family attended a few different churches. The churches seemed good enough but, today as I reflect back on them, I don’t remember being challenged or taught to study God’s Word everyday or even at all.

So, as a kid, when I would grab the old black Bible off my shelf, and open it, I really had no idea where to begin or what in the world it was saying. It all seemed so confusing and so, I left that Bible on the shelf and let it collect a thick layer of dust.

I still have that Bible. It’s in a wooden box in my basement. That Bible was given to my mom and dad from my grandmother on my dad’s side. It’s pretty cool, today, when I go through that box and pull it out, and flip through the pages, because I think of the attempt at leaving a legacy of faith my distant family must have wanted to leave my family.

Fast forward to 1983, and my next door neighbor, Mrs Marshall, decided to send my best buddy and I to a Christian camp, all expenses paid. It’s how she wanted to pay us for mowing her lawn. At first, I was like, uh, I’ll just take the cash, thank you. But she insisted!

The camp she wanted to send us to was Circle C camp in Kansas. I think it was through Campus Crusade ministries. She tried to explain to us what would happen at the camp, but all I heard, was there would be girls, mini-bikes and a pool! So, I ran home and asked my mom if I could attend. Mom was a little skeptical, but in the end, she allowed me to go.

At that camp was the first time in my life that I witnessed a Christian use God’s Word to share the actual good news of the gospel. I couldn’t believe this guy had even memorized several key verses! I remember being amazed at his expertise and passion as he shared God’s word with us.

One of the exercises we were led to at camp was being in a small group with a camp counselor. I still remember my small group leaders name, it was Whitney Watson. He was a heavy set guy, and hilarious!

He also knew the Bible really well, and I remember thinking, what is it with these people. Why do they all know this book so well, and I don’t. I remember feeling intimidated, but at the same time curious and challenged to begin knowing what God had to say to me from His Word.

The third day at camp, the leader of camp shared the good news of Jesus with us again, and then asked if there was anybody that wanted to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Man, I sprinted down the aisle! I remember being so fired up to invite Christ into my life and begin this journey of walking with Jesus.

Whitney Watson, on the last day at camp, gave me a Bible. It was an orange copy of the New Testament and Whitney wrote me a word of encouragement. He wrote, “Matt, this book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.”

Amazing wisdom from a young camp counselor that loved God and wanted to see young men and woman just walk with God.

Over the years, I have tried to find Whitney, but to no avail. I’m sure he’s out there somewhere sharing the good news of the Gospel with someone. I hope he is.

Those are some fond memories for me. And I’m thankful God used my mom and dad, my grandmother, Mrs. Marshall and Whitney Watson to lead me to Christ using God’s Word! God had a plan and as I reflect back on His plan to save and restore my heart even as a 13 year old, I’m still amazed at His pursuit of us using simple loving people as his missionaries, and His Word.

Today, I know God’s Word. I’ve spent countless hours studying it and memorizing key verses that sustain my heart and is truly a lamp that lights my path as I walk with Jesus.

This last month, my older brother who became a Christian later in his life, began to read one book of the New Testament every day for 30 days in a row. I have never done that, and decided to do it with him. We are currently reading the book of Galatians every day. And it has been a tremendous exercise in allowing God’s Word to soak deeply into my heart.

I’m sure Whitney Watson would be proud!

So, I pray you pull your Bible off the shelf, dust that thing off. Dig in. If you haven’t read God’s Word in awhile, start with the book of John, and consider doing what my brother encouraged me to do, read every day.

Because, I promise, your heart will be strengthened as you read and hear from the creator of the universe.


2 thoughts on “God’s Word”

    • Awesome Z! I hope and pray you do, brother! God will speak deeply to your heart! Look forward to golfing with you soon! Bumble

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