I’ve always had a strong affection for books. Even when I was a child, I would ride my bicycle the dozen or so blocks to the library several times a week. It is this affinity for books that lured me into Barnes and Noble yesterday.
As I elbowed my way through the throng of seasonal shoppers, I wondered:
- How many of these people revere the holiday but never adhere to the Savior?
- How many serenade the season, but never offer an accolade to the Almighty?
- Has the citadel of Christmas moved from the manger to the mall?
Celebrating Christmas without Jesus is like going to the goat’s house for wool—you might have the semblance, but you’ll never have the warmth.
From the time I first learned to read, I’ve had a love for books, and an article I read in WSJ Online, reminded me of the importance and great benefit of reading.
The author, Jeanne Whalen, believes that reading just 30 minutes a day will:
• Improve your ability to concentrate
• Reduces your stress levels
• Deepen your ability to think, listen and empathize
Whalen isn’t alone in touting the benefits of reading:
• The Journal of Neurology cited a study of 300 elderly people that suggested regular engagement in mentally challenging activities, including reading, can slow the onset of memory loss.
• Developmental Psychology (1997) showed a correlation between a student’s first-grade reading ability and his 11th grade academic achievement
As I read this article, I thought of the promise and encouraging words that God spoke to Joshua (1:5-8): “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Mark Twain once said: “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” It is to your advantage to take time to read. I have often been blessed by reading a good book, and every time I read The Good Book, I am doubly blessed.
I conclude with a statement made by David Josiah Brewer (1837 –1910) who was an associate justice of the Supreme Court for 20 years: “No nation is better than its sacred book. In that book are expressed its highest ideals of life, and no nation rises above those ideals. No nation has a sacred book to be compared with ours. This American nation from its first settlement at Jamestown to the present hour is based upon and permeated by the principles of the Bible. The more this Bible enters into our national life the grander and purer and better will that life become”