What Am I Grateful For Today… Books and Reading

36 In the fourth year of Judah’s King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Take a scroll and write in it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah, and all the nations from the time of Josiah until today. Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I intend to bring upon them, they will turn from their evil ways, and I will forgive their wrongdoing and sins. So Jeremiah sent for Baruch, Neriah’s son. As Jeremiah dictated all the words that the Lord had spoken to him, Baruch wrote them in the scroll.Then Jeremiah told Baruch, “I’m confined here and can’t go to the Lord’s temple. So you go to the temple on the next day of fasting, and read the Lord’s words from the scroll that I have dictated to you. Read them so that all the people in the temple can hear them, as well as all the Judeans who have come from their towns. If they turn from their evil ways, perhaps the Lord will hear their prayers. The Lord has threatened them with fierce anger.” Baruch, Neriah’s son, did everything the prophet Jeremiah instructed him: he read all the Lord’s words from the scroll in the temple.

In the ninth month of the fifth year of Judah’s King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, all the people in Jerusalem and all those who had come from Judean towns observed a fast for the Lord in Jerusalem. 10 Then Baruch read Jeremiah’s words from the scroll to all the people in the Lord’s temple; he read them in the chamber of Gemariah, Shaphan the scribe’s son, in the upper courtyard near the entrance of the New Gate of the Lord’s temple. 11 When Micaiah, Gemariah’s son and Shaphan’s grandson, heard all the Lord’s words from the scroll, 12 he went down to the scribes’ chamber in the royal palace. There he found all the officials meeting together: Elishama the scribe; Delaiah, Shemaiah’s son; Elnathan, Achbor’s son; Gemariah, Shaphan’s son; Zedekiah, Hananiah’s son, and all the other officials. 13 Micaiah told them all the words he heard Baruch read from the scroll before the people.

14 Then all the officials sent Jehudi, Nethaniah’s son and Shelemiah’s grandson, and Cushi’s great-grandson, to Baruch: “Take the scroll you read to the people and come with me.”

So Baruch, Neriah’s son, took the scroll and went to the officials. 15 They said to him, “Sit down and read it to us.” So Baruch read it to them.16 When they heard all its words, they were alarmed and said to Baruch: “We must at once report all this to the king!” 17 Then they asked Baruch, “Tell us, how did you write all these words? Did they come from Jeremiah?”

18 Baruch replied, “He dictated all the words to me, and I wrote them with ink in the scroll.”

19 The officials then said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah had better go and hide. And don’t let anyone know where you are.”

20 After leaving the scroll in the room of Elishama the scribe, they went to the king’s court and told him everything. 21 The king sent Jehudi to take the scroll, and he retrieved it from the room of Elishama the scribe. Then Jehudi read it to the king and all his royal officials who were standing next to the king. 22 Now it was the ninth month,[a] and the king was staying in the winterized part of the palace with the firepot burning near him. 23 And whenever Jehudi read three or four columns of the scroll, the king would cut them off with a scribe’s knife and throw them into the firepot until the whole scroll was burned up. 24 Neither the king nor any of his attendants who heard all these words were alarmed or tore their clothes. 25 Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, but he wouldn’t listen to them (Jeremiah 36:1-25, Common English Bible).

I enjoy reading. I can’t say I have always enjoyed reading. That would be an untrue statement. I can say, however, I have always enjoyed a good book. For the most part, the books I truly enjoy are novels, biographies, history and books on some form of Christian living. I love a good book I just don’t want to put down.

As a pastor I have a books. I have quite a number of books. I collected books over the years I wanted to read. I collected books I enjoyed and books I didn’t enjoy as much. Most of those I didn’t enjoy so much were required reading in college or seminary. And, I kept most of them.

I really don’t know how many books were in my library. I do know that having enough shelf space in my study for all my books was a real challenge. Several years ago the denomination started paying for our moves. Moves were based on weight. The heaviest two categories of my belongings were my tools and my library.

I got my first iPad the day they hit the market. It didn’t take long after that before I bought my first ebook. With that I was hooked. After a couple of years reading on my iPad I got frustrated when trying to read outside in bright light so I bought my first Kindle. Today I have more than 1000 ebooks. Even with all those books, my Kindle weighs the same as the day I bought it.

Shortly after that first iPad, I culled through my library. It was moving time and I gave away about two thirds of my hard copy books. They were books I felt pretty certain I would never use again.

I am grateful for books, but mostly I am grateful for the ability to read. In the last couple of years I have had a couple of times that reading has given me difficulty due to some eye issues. I wasn’t blind, I wasn’t going blind but reading was difficult. It is in times like that when you realize how much you take a simple activity like reading for granted.

Today I am grateful for books and reading. Without either, my job would be more difficult and I would be missing so many people, places and things books and reading have brought my way. Reading has given me joy and I am thankful.

That is what I am grateful for today. What about you? What are you grateful for today? Write it in your journal and share it with someone you know or someone you don’t.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


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