From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’s name is to be praised.
Hi James and Ellen –
This is grandpaa. Grandpaa completed yesterday something that he began doing years ago. To do what he just finished doing, grandpaa used a Bible that he and grandmaa had given to your dad. Your dad used the Bible during the three years that he went to a boarding school in Bolivia. Grandpaa first changed every verse in the Bible into a three word phrase. He used small notebooks that he could carry around in his shirt pocket to write the phrases. He used a different notebook for each book of the Bible. After he had finished shortening each verse in the Bible into a three word phrase, grandpaa began making an expanding outline of every verse in the Bible. He first put the names of the books of the Bible on a piece of paper. He cut the paper into slips each with the name of a book of the Bible. He then put the sixty-six slips of paper into a small, turned wood receptacle that he and grandmaa had bought in Bolivia. He then had grandmaa take one of the slips out of the wood container. Grandpaa started out doing outlines on ten verses a day. It would take him sometimes more than an hour to do the ten verses. His fingers from writing so much would really be hurting after he had finished the ten verses. Grandpaa began a number of years ago doing just five verses each day. Each time after grandpaa was done outlining the verses of a book of the Bible, he would have grandmaa take another slip out of the turned wood piece. This would be the book of the Bible that he would do next. Grandpaa went through yesterday morning the last five verses in Acts. Grandpaa learned a lot about what the Bible says through amplifying in outlines each Bible verse. He was happy yesterday though when he was finally finished outlining the entire Bible. He was also kind of sad as he liked doing what he was doing in going through the Bible.
Ever since grandpaa and grandmaa have been back in Guatemala, grandpaa has thought about what he would do next after he was finished with building an outline for each Bible verse. When someone not long ago gave him a CD that has the entire Bible on it along with footnotes, word search and dictionary, grandpaa decided that he would read through the Bible again using the CD. Grandpaa last night put all the chapters that are in the Bible on pieces of paper. Grandmaa cut each piece of paper into slips of paper with each slip having the name of a book of the Bible on it and a chapter number. Grandmaa then put the 1189 slips of paper in a small empty, plastic ice cream container. After mixing up the slips of paper, grandmaa took out one of the slips. It was Ephesians 1. Grandpaa’s hope is to write a one page devotional on each chapter of the Bible. He is going to include in what he writes experiences that he and grandmaa, grandpaa’s dad and ma, your dad and aunt Lynn have had along with experiences that others who grandpaa and grandmaa know have had. Grandpaa is also going to choose one verse from the chapter that he thinks would be a good verse for you to think about and he will include the verse in what he writes. Grandpaa is planning to send what he writes to your dad and ma so that they can read to you what he has written. Right after he has sent what he has written to your dad and ma, grandpaa will have grandmaa take out another slip.
The first eight months or so that grandpaa and grandmaa were in Bolivia, they helped to start a church. Even though he did not know or speak much Spanish his first years in Bolivia, grandpaa was often asked to teach from the Bible. Ephesians became one of the books of the Bible that he often taught from in church. Carnival celebrations take place the three days right before Lent. Ask your dad what Carnival is like. A group each year from a couple of churches where grandpaa and grandmaa lived in Bolivia – just to get away from all the Carnival’s revelries, would spend the three days over Carnival at a campground. A couple of months before Carnival the third year that he was in Bolivia, grandpaa badly injured his left arm. When he saw in his motorcycle’s left mirror a taxi about to cross in front of him to go down the street which he was about to pass, grandpaa turned his motorcycle right resulting in the motorcycle falling over on its left side right after the taxi brushed alongside of it. When grandpaa put his left arm down to try to keep himself from hitting the pavement, the muscles in grandpaa’s left elbow were torn loose plus a bone in his left elbow was chipped. During the surgery to reattach the torn muscles in his left elbow and to remove the bone chip, the doctor accidently cut a nerve in grandpaa’s left arm. Grandpaa after the operation could not move his fingers on his left hand or lift his left arm. It was several days before he could begin to move one of his fingers. Grandpaa had to go to a rehabilitation place five times a week for six weeks for the kind of help that he needed to get his left arm to function again. One of the things that grandpaa remembers about this time when he first started to do rehab was that because his left hand had no strength, his left hand had to be tied to a large wheel which he had to turn. When Carnival arrived, grandpaa was asked to teach on Ephesians at the camp where the churches were going. He had to teach with his left arm in a sling. Grandpaa was glad last night when grandmaa told him what the first chapter of the Bible was that he would write about because the chapter is from one of his favorite books of the Bible. There are topics in this chapter – such as predestination, redemption and adoption, which you will contemplate on someday. The verse that grandpaa would like you to think about now is verse 19 which says “and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,” Grandpaa and grandmaa are thankful that they personally know God’s great power. This power that God has is not like being super strong. This power is to know that as you trust in God, that God can do whatever He wants to do through you to glorify Himself.