I am excited about our theme for this new season for The Anchor — encouraging women with Hope and Light! I recently returned from a trip to Washington DC and a visit to the Museum of the Bible that helped shed some light on this topic.

I was blown away by the facility and the incredible information and exhibits for visitors to learn and experience. The museum is dedicated to the history, narrative and impact of the Bible, and it is astounding! I learned some interesting facts that really stood out to me:

Part of the Dead Sea scrolls at the Museum of the Bible

  • Over one million copies of the Bible are sold each year.
  • The full Bible has been translated into 532 languages and partially translated into 2,883 languages.
  • There are 66 total books in the Bible. There are 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.
  • Nearly 8 in 10 Americans regard the Bible as either the literal word of God or as inspired by God.
  • The Bible takes place across three continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe.
  • The Bible is the best-selling book in history, with total sales exceeding 5 billion copies.
  • There are 93 women who speak in the Bible, 49 of whom are named. There are approximately a total of 188 women mentioned in the Bible.

I was struck with an epiphany of what it means to be encouraged with hope and light. It became so clear to me as I delved into the Bible exhibitions and read up on the history and purpose behind this most amazing book. The words of the Bible are intended to bring HOPE and LIGHT. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a LIGHT on my path.” (Psalm 119:105) The words of the Bible promise to be a light and bring hope as we walk our journeys in life.

Light shining through a Tiffany stained-glass window at the Museum of the Bible.

I like the analogy of God’s word as like a light. That analogy makes me think of a flashlight. When you take a flashlight out into the night, you don’t usually think, “I can’t see all the way, so I’m not going to start!” Instead, you take a step into the space that the flashlight reveals, then you have light enough for the next step, and the next and the next and you can stay on the path.

In our lives the Lord illuminates one step at a time as we come to Him and read His word.

My visit to the Museum of the Bible got me thinking about the huge impact the Bible has had on my life. I remember receiving my very first Bible when I was 12 years old. It was the day I committed my life to Jesus and asked Him into my heart. I began to read my Bible every day. I was strengthened and encouraged every time I read it. I have continued to read it daily from that most significant day. As I look back on my life, I have found the Bible to be a treasure trove of truths that has grounded and anchored and guided me every step of the way, bringing light into the darkest of valleys.

I have always tried to set a time aside each day to read the Bible. When I was a young mother and busy with my children, I decided to carve out a special time for them to also learn the importance of reading their Bibles (and also get a little quiet time to myself 😊).

I encouraged them to find their very own secret place where they could read their Bible and meet with Jesus. I would set the timer for 10-15 minutes and was amazed at the excitement and enjoyment we each experienced. Your children are never too young and we are never too old to begin to read the Bible. The light of God’s word is sure to brighten your life in every way.

In the biggest storm of my life, walking the journey of cancer with my daughter Karina, the truths of the Bible brought indescribable hope and light to our darkest days. She shared a verse from her Bible the very first day she was diagnosed with leukemia: “But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!” (Psalm 66:19-20) We experienced the promise of the Lord’s unfailing love and strength in so many ways each and every day.

At the end of my visit to the Museum of the Bible, I made a stop in the gift shop. It was full of unique treasures, books and apparel. At the check-out counter, I was pleased to find two tiny pocket Bibles that I bought for my precious granddaughters. I can’t wait to send these to them and pass on the good news. I envision my granddaughters using them in their time with the Lord and of course with their dolls and toy animals.

Tiny pocket Bibles from the gift shop — I can’t wait to send to my granddaughters!

We have the greatest news to share and want to get the WORD out — literally the word of God, Jesus and the Bible — to everyone! I hope you are able to make a visit to the Museum of the Bible in the near future to be inspired. Most importantly I hope you will be spurred on to immerse yourself in the word — the Bible — that brings hope and light and truth and pass it on to those around you!

With hope and light,

Catch up on last week’s journal entry!

Preparing to Gather