Way back in my very first column for this newspaper, I briefly mentioned how I have a stuttering problem called “the clutters.”
When I had seen a speech pathologist 10 years ago, she basically told me the speech impediment was a by-product of being shy.
When I want to say something, there is this split-second anxiety I have which causes my words to get jumbled up in my head.
I do believe it is something I can overcome, but for now it is certainly a hindrance when I wish to communicate with others.
Several months ago, the leaders in our church announced they wanted everyone to try and invite back all of our fellow members who had — for one reason or another — stopped coming to church regularly.
They said if you could make phone calls, sign up for that.
If you can’t make phone calls, sign up for writing letters.
If you aren’t good at writing, then pledge yourself to praying.
This notion that there is something out there for everyone to do really got me thinking.
Just because I might not make the best preacher or speaker doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways for me to be a witness and spread God’s word.
It’s 2013. There are millions of ways for people to communicate now. There is absolutely no reason for me to tell myself that I have no way of being a witness for Christ.
Working for a newspaper, I have been blessed with this opportunity to write a column to share with our readers locally.
I always make sure to share this column on Facebook and Twitter for everyone I know outside of the Tri-County, as well.
With the design skills I learned in college, I have been able to help out the church by making flyers and handcards for various events we have hosted.
And just this past week I decided to start my own blog online to share my columns, daily devotions, Christian music and any other thing I find worth sharing.
If you want, you can check it out at hallthingsconsidered.blogspot.com.
Romans 12:6 tells us, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith.”
These are just a few examples of things you can do. But there are countless other ways we can be a light for the Lord if speaking isn’t our thing.
If you know a trade, there are always opportunities to help our neighbors who might need home improvements — or maybe just a home period.
If you have a nice voice, join your choir at church or maybe sing a solo every now and then for your congregation.
You never know the difference you could make in someone’s life.
So if God has given you a talent, you should take any opportunity placed before you to use it in His precious holy name.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit his blog at hallthingsconsidered.blogspot.com
THE BIBLE TRANSLATION THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
Below is the text from one of the articles I received in the mail from reader Mary McKnight who lives at the Christian Health Center. Thank you for sharing this, Mary.
By Rich Lowry
Four hundred years ago, King James of England commissioned several dozen scholars to update and improve on prior translations of the Bible into English. Their handiwork — known as the King James Version — put an indelible stamp on the English language and on the Anglo-American mind.
The task took roughly six years. Initially, a typo appeared on average once every ten pages of text. One edition was called the “Wicked Bible” when the word “not” was accidentally left out of the admonition, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
Typographical struggles aside, the translation was inspired and came to seem almost unimprovable. It culled from prior English translations, forging a synthesis that rose at times to the level of poetry.
All of this gave it a majestic lift that swept away all competition in both England and America. One historian has written that “its victory was so complete that its text acquired a sanctity properly ascribable only to the unmediated voice of God; to multitudes of English-speaking Christians it has seemed little less than blasphemy to tamper with its words.”
An archbishop of Dublin scandalized a conference of clergy in the 19th century when he said of the King James Version, “Never forget, gentlemen, that this is not the Bible.” They needed reminding it was only a translation of the Bible.
The ascendant King James Version had a profound influence on the language. As Alister McGrath writes in his book In the Beginning, “It did not follow literary trends; it established them.” It made commonplaces of phrases that we have forgotten are biblical in origin: “to fall flat on his face,” “to pour out one’s heart,” “under the sun,” “sour grapes,” “pride goes before a fall,” “the salt of the earth,” and on and on. Without it, McGrath reckons, “there would have been no Paradise Lost, no Pilgrim’s Progress, no Handel’s Messiah, no Negro Spirituals, and no Gettysburg Address.”
The mere act of translating the Bible from Latin into the vernacular was a victory for freedom.
Visionaries like John Wycliffe championed an English version of the Bible in the 14th century when even the clergy didn’t read it much. A proto-Reformation figure, Wycliffe was posthumously declared a heretic, his remains dug up and burned. William Tyndale, whose translation would become the basis of much of the King James Version, had to flee England and was eventually arrested by the authorities, tried for heresy, and burned at the stake.
The availability of the Bible in English, Bobrick notes, fostered commercial printing and a culture of reading. It created space for people — ordinary people, needing no official sanction or filter — to read and think about their faith and life’s profoundest questions. Ultimately, that undermined the authority of, to take another phrase from the King James Version (Romans 13:1), “the powers that be.”
“Free discussions about the authority of Church and state,” Bobrick argues, “fostered concepts of constitutional government in England, which in turn were the indispensable prerequisites for the American colonial revolt. Without the vernacular Bible — and the English Bible in particular, through its impact on the reformation of English politics — there could not have been democracy as we know it.”
The translators of the King James Version stated their “desire that the Scripture may speak like itself, as in the language of Canaan, that it may be understood of the very vulgar.” In a cultural triumph difficult to imagine 400 years later, it not only found a wide audience, but elevated it.