Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet, The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
– Acts 8:26-40
“We might not have Spider-Man’s acrobatic flips,
We might not have Batman’s “BLAM,” “POW” hits,
We might not have Doctor Strange’s magic tricks,
We might not even have Superman’s gravity defying lift,
We might not have the Flash’s lightning fast kicks,
We might not have Wonder Woman’s invisible ship,
We might not have Black Canary’s sonic piercing lips,
We might not have Professor Xavier’s telepathic grip,
But we have God’s gifts and a heart to lift
The world out of evil’s grip.
We were born for such a time as this;
We are ordinary heroes.”
– Dan Stanford, the poem Heroes, preface to Losing the Cape
The Scripture describes the Eunuch as reading. He was eagerly seeking to learn.
The poem summarizes my latest completed book. I read every day, because I am eager to learn.
I just finished reading a very entertaining book, Losing the Cape, by Dan Stanford (copyright 2018). I have read a few mystery novels along the way, but my two previous Christian study books were The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip Yancey (copyright 1995), and The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life, by Charles Stanley (copyright 1992). The last two recently purchased at a used book clearance sale.
Each of the three books could easily be quoted from nearly every page. I recommend all three books.
Will I quote a lot from them? It depends on how the Holy Spirit directs as I move forward.
Question for other bloggers: In your personal study, do you keep a sheet of paper from a memo pad stuffed into each book, providing a page and paragraph for each thing that you find worth quoting as you read something? Am I the only one? Of course, the memo pads are these things that you are inundated with from every type of charity imaginable. You give to one charity, and they sell their mailing list to the rest. In the photo, I stuck the page out at the top of each book. Too many notes to count.
My only problem is that past books have been set aside and forgotten. I have picked up a few and reread all the quotable quotes. The feeling in my gut ranged from “Why did I want to quote that?” To “That is a good quote, but I am not feeling it right now.” We grow. That’s why we study in the first place. But I have not removed the memo pad sheets. I never know when I once turn a corner and I am faced with a problem that the old book addressed. Then I can go back to the quotes and know exactly why I should write about them. When the feelings are visceral, when they make your body feel ill at one moment or tingling in another moment, the Holy Spirit guides you to learn more and share what you have learned.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.