When a “Nothing Book” becomes a “Something Book”
By Jill Skalicky
A “Something Book?” What’s that? I asked that question many years ago, when a friend told me she was adding to her “Something Book.” This is how she explained it: starting with a blank notebook that had side pockets, she would jot down ideas, thoughts, concerns, etc., on the blank pages of the notebook. She would also cut out newspaper and magazine articles of interest to slip into the pockets of the notebook. Brochures and pamphlets were resources she collected, as well, for information and inspiration. Then, when she was asked to speak at either formal or informal gatherings, as she often was, she had a ready source of ideas. More than anything, she wanted to be an informed adult who continued to learn long after her formal education.
The idea of a “Something Book” appealed to me, so little by little, I would clip, fold, and mark articles on various topics, and set them aside to save. No edifying theme was “off limits.” Human interest information- family dynamics and relationships- consumed the lion’s share of the data I collected, although political, medical, and incidental information were not ignored.
Adding to this notebook was not regimented, and sometimes, it would sit for months with nothing new added. Recently, I purged the desk drawer that contained these materials. Some had yellowed with age. Still, I found some encouragement in the things I had saved for my “Something Book.” Following is a sample:
- About Dads- According to documented studies, the one factor that most clearly determines the well-being and future success of children is whether they grew up with a father in the home. 70% of long-term prison inmates grew up fatherless. What a powerful statement this is, about how important “Dad” is to his family! The moral: Eph. 6:4 says, “Fathers…bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
- About the Annual Physical Exam- A task force in Canada recommended against the annual medical exam more than 35 years ago. The US is re-thinking current guidelines, based partly on excessive costs. The moral: “Conventional wisdom” is often wrong. This is especially true when man disagrees with God!
- About Quarterback Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks)- He said, “Every opportunity I have, I try to learn something.” The moral: Keep on growing!
Statistical? Yes. Trivial? Perhaps. Outdated? Maybe the idea of a “Something Book” is outdated, when one considers the quick access of information available through internet connections on the device resting in a pocket or purse. I asked one of our teenage granddaughters what she thought it meant to be “old-fashioned.” Her response was interesting: “It means you ALWAYS want to live in the past and NEVER change things.” Well, I dodged that bullet. Though I still have a “flip-phone,” and think in terms of hand-written correspondence, I also have a tablet! AND my husband has a smart phone, plus, we gave up our land line years ago. Good enough!
Though I will still cut out printed articles that I wish to send to family or friends, I will not continue to fill the “Something Book” with information as I did in the past. There is, however, one clipping I intend to keep. To paraphrase, the name of the article is “You Think, God Says.” It goes something like this:
“You think, ‘It’s impossible.’ God says, ‘…The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
“You think, ‘I’m too tired.’ God says, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28)
“You think, ‘It’s not worth it.’ God says, ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…’ (Rom. 8:28)
This article contains over a dozen phrases like these, with Biblical references for each one, answering discouragement, fear, confusion, insecurity, and other issues. This is worth keeping.
What I know I won’t change is the use of my King James Bible, despite countless other “versions” that come and go, as the culture embraces modern philosophies and fads. (2 Tim. 4:3) 2 Tim. 3:16 speaks of the value of God’s Word, for which I am so thankful. Sound preaching of Biblical truth brings the peace and assurance we need in this volatile world. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and for ever.” (Heb. 13:8)
One closing comment: My hard cover King James Bible is ALWAYS fully charged, and NEVER needs a battery!