Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bibles and Backpacks

This weekend in Texas, if you buy blue jeans for school, you will not pay sales tax. What a deal. Would you like to purchase something else without sales tax? Year round, you can buy tax-free Bibles in Texas, also tax exempt in Florida, Massachusetts, and Missouri.

A leader in Bible distribution is The American Bible Society: “to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so that all people may experience its life-changing message.”

The ABS formed in 1816, in New York City and early presidents included a Supreme Court chief justice and a New York City mayor. By 1817, the society gifted Bibles to the military crew of the USS John Adams. To this day, getting Bibles on battlefields is primary work. During Civil War years 1861—1865, Bibles were sent to the North and South armies.

Between 1940-1945, World War II, ABS provided more than 7.4 million scriptures to those serving in the U.S. armed forces. In 1991, they presented camouflage covered, compact Bibles to 300,000 serving in the Persian Gulf.

Early on, the society placed Bibles in hotels, and by the 1850s on steamships and railcars. Throughout the years, the society added Bibles to time capsule projects at World’s Fairs.

One of their major functions is translating the Bible into native languages. Within two years of formation, in 1818, the three letters of John were printed in Delaware Indian with English parallels.

For decades, the society has kept abreast of current technology, using slides, motion pictures, and radio and television broadcasting. Today, ABS at offers Bibles and even downloads to cell phones.

Who will most influence your children this school term? The Weekly Reader poll, a leader in surveying teens, questioned 1,100 teens between the ages of 12-18 about influencers in their lives. Many, 67.7 percent, believe their parents to be the most significant role models. After parents were teachers, coaches, siblings and religious leaders.

Many school book purchases will be made in the next few weeks. Parents, each student could also use “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). A Bible in a backpack is a good idea. Traditional book or text on a cell phone screen, your children can have God, the best influencer of all, at their fingertips.

Do you have a favorite Bible? If so, how long have you had it?

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