|The Coal Basket Bible
The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.
One day the grandson asked, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?”
The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.”
The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.
This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was “impossible to carry water in a basket,” and he went to get a bucket instead.
The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.
At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, “See Papa, it’s useless!”
“So you think it is useless?” the old man said. “Look at the basket.”
The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different. Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it was clean. “Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.” That is the work of God in our lives. To change us from the inside out and to slowly transform us into the image of His son.
Take time to read a portion of God’s word each day, and remind a friend by sharing this story.
“Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply, Speak Kindly, Leave the Rest to God
I wish that there was a church that still played the old hymns like we enjoyed many years ago. Everyone today has the contemporary style modern music. I admit you do see more young people at those churchs (including mine – Waterford Wesleyan Church) but on many Sundays as I look around people are not singing along with the songs. I think the songs should be more interactive with the congregation singing along with the music. Yes, I know they can’t please everyone like me but it seems to me that once in a while they could throw us old times a bone and do a traditional hymn.
People in the old days had more and better Christian values and part of it was that they were more involved in church instead of football and movies and games etc. Singing in church to the old hymns is part of what made us more faithful to Christ- we were participating on some level even if it were only singing in church.
I know God doesn’t care how we dress in church but I liked the old days when we put on dressier clothes to go to church instead of wearing jeans, sweaters, shorts etc. But I admit that as long as they go to church God accepts them no matter how they dress.
Something else that is different today is that many or most churches no longer have a podium where the preacher stands to give the sermon; today they just kind of wander around with their micropone. I am open to the wandering routine as it is less formal then have a podium and people like it better. On a lighter side I remember in the church I grew up in (St John Presbyterian, Tampa FL.) one Sunday the Preacher got wound up and slammed the podium to accent something and you could see men’s heads popping up all over the place.
I have always loved this song and really really love the way Tennessee Ernie Ford sings it. I hope you enjoy it!