Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Visit To El Shaddai's...And Ancient Treasure!

   A few days ago, I had driven into Vancouver to visit a Christian bookstore operated by a friend of mine, Mica. El-Shaddai's Bookstore has been operating West Broadway for the last several years, and has decided to close down and liquidate their business. I have known Mica for a couple of years now, and she has been a faithful and encouraging friend, blessing the lives of everyone who walks into her store. I decided to see if I could help her liquidate, wondering if there might be any interesting books that I might be interested in.  I did not expect to come away with what I did.

   As I was browsing through the store, I noticed the items displayed behind the store window, and decided to take a closer look. As I walked out on to the sidewalk to get a closer look, my heart suddenly skipped a beat as I recognized something familiar on the upper display shelves. Propped against a display stand was a replica of "The Resolution" document from the movie "Courageous" that I had seen earlier this year! I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and I knew I had to have it. So I hurried back in and took it off the display shelf.

The Resolution
Designed to be a replica for personal use, this is an 8" x 10" frameable print, inked on premium acid-free paper, with foil detailing and beautiful lettering. It even has blank spaces on the bottom for the man's signature and date, and two witness's signatures and dates.  I can't believe I found something like this, and that too on sale! I feel so blessed!

I have decided that I will keep this as carefully as I can till the day I get married. One day, if the Lord wills, I will have the tremendous privilege of signing this document in front of the woman that I desire to marry and serve, and we will mount this on the wall of our home. I will do this, because I really want to live a courageous life. Until then, I will simply surrender my life and character to God, to be molded into the kind of man that will be able to live the principles of The Resolution with all my might by the grace of God.

   In addition to this, I also found Billy Graham's newest book, "Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well". I bought this for my only surviving grandfather whom I hope to see in India next month after many years. Looking at the words on the back of the book, I thought this would be a wonderful and  fitting present to give him: 

Nearing Home, by Billy Graham
"Growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life," says Billy Graham, known by many as God's Ambassador. "I would have never guessed what God had in store for me, and I know that as I am nearing home, He will not forsake me the last mile of the way."

In Nearing Home this man of faith-now in his nineties-explores the challenges of aging while gleaning foundational truths from Scripture. Billy Graham invites us to journey with him as the considers the golden years while anticipating the hope of being reunited with his wife, Ruth, in his heavenly home that eclipses this world.

"When granted many years of life, growing old in age is natural, but growing old with grace is a choice," says the author. "Growing older with grace is possible for all who will set their hearts and minds on the Giver of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ."

   Like Billy Graham, my grandfather is now in his nineties, and I felt that the message of someone else his age would be very meaningful for him. Through the fervent, prayers of my mother and witness of many people over more than two decades, he finally gave his life to Christ at the age of 88. Since then, I have heard that he has read the Bible cover to cover - not once, but twice. This will be the first time in my life that I will be meeting my grandfather as a believer. I'm really looking forward to it.

   From El-Shaddai's it was off to another bookstore in downtown Vancouver specialising in antique books, where I was looking for something very specific, and very special. Like El-Shaddai's, I found more than I hoped for.

Ancient treasure!
 The red book on the far right is what I was actually looking for - an old service and prayer book. This one is an old edition of "The Book of Common Prayer," used in the services and liturgy of the Church of England. It was authorized by Queen Elizabeth I and printed in 1571, which makes it 442 years old! I have gradually started using it in my daily devotions and prayers, and will soon start looking out for other such books.

The little black book is a translation of "The Imitation of Christ", by Thomas A' Kempis. One of the great classics of Christian writing, my parents had a copy of it in our home when I was growing up. Having never read it, I wanted a copy of my own, so I was overjoyed when I saw it! This one is dated from 1909.

   I stumbled across the other two quite by accident. The orange book is titled "The Footsteps of Saint Paul" and is a carefully researched volume on the life and times of the Apostle Paul! I thought it would be invaluable to my endeavour to study the book of Romans. This copy was printed in 1856. The slightly green book on the far left is a history of the city of Jerusalem, titled "Jerusalem: A Historical Sketch", and was published in 1924.

So much to read!
   I will be keeping and using these very carefully. Hopefully, the material in them will be helpful to me personally and worth quoting from on this blog. Maybe it's time to buy some gloves to handle them with :)

   That's all for now. I have some thinking and praying to do. See you in the next post!
- The Wisdom Seeker