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Mom’s Old Bible

by Jerry B. Jenkins

Late one night several years ago, I took a good look at my mother’s Bible. The crumbling cover and dog-eared pages brought back memories of bedtime prayers. I thought of Mom when she was Mommy.

An inscription from Dad dated the Bible from before my birth. Mom’s maiden name, Bonita G. Thompson, was barely readable on the cover.

Two references were penned onto the dirty first page. One—John 3:5—was unmistakably written by my oldest brother, Jim. The backward scrawl reminded me of the years when the old Bible was passed around, carried to church and claimed as “mine” by three different boys. Mom didn’t often get to carry the Bible herself while we were growing up, but we frequently found her reading it at home when we came in from paper routes or baseball games.

On another page is an inscription from Dad. “To Bonnie, in loving remembrance of October 21, 1942 – Your devoted Red. Matthew 19:6.” He had been nearly 19, she 16, when they were engaged. World War II and his 32 months in the Pacific delayed their marriage until December 1945.

Scanning the pages, I noted several of Mom’s markings, countless underlinings of promises and passages that look to heaven.

The penciled markings had faded, and the inked jottings had bled through to other pages. But the evidence remained of well-listened-to sermons and cherished hours alone in the Word.

On the final page, she wrote “Psalm 37:4,” referring to the verse, “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

That last inscription is framed by the doodling of youthful hands. One of the desires of Mom’s heart was that her little boys would grow up and do something more profitable with those once-small hands.

Mom’s first desire, she often told us, was that her four sons would make decisions to trust Christ. We have all done that.

Mom seemed to always delight herself in the Lord, a continual encouragement to do something constructive with the hands that scribbled in her Bible so many years ago.

Mom’s old Bible reminds me of her hands—hands that held, spanked, mended and wiped tears; hands that produced a magic knot in the shoelaces on my three-year-old feet.

Mom’s hands turned the pages of her old Bible for me until I learned to read it myself. Eventually she turned them for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, passing along her love for the Word to yet another generation.

Today Mom delights herself in the very presence of her Lord, and her old Bible has become another evidence of her legacy of faith.

Jerry B. Jenkins’s books have sold more than seventy million copies. Twenty-one of his titles have reached the New York Times bestseller lists. His phenomenally bestselling Left Behind series inspired a movie starring Nicolas Cage. Jenkins has been featured on the cover of Newsweek and his writing has appeared in Time, Reader's Digest, Guideposts, and dozens of other periodicals. Jerry is a member of the Colorado Authors Hall of Fame and serves as Chair of the Creative Writing major at Colorado Christian University. He owns the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, coaching thousands of aspiring writers in both fiction and nonfiction. Jerry and his wife, Dianna, have three grown sons and live in Colorado. More information can be found at


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