No Penguins

Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Take Time To Be Holy"1 (Lyrics)

"Look at that!" A petite engineering student was pointing to Penguin Press's thick History of Canada on my bookshelf. "I didn't even know we had penguins in Canada!" she said. "And they have so much to say about them!"

I couldn't think of any face-saving way to explain that she was looking at the publisher, not the title. I'd spent most of the morning with some university students boxing up the last of the stock from my former bookshop.

Meanwhile, their student leader was just piling books into boxes, like so many bricks, reneging on our agreement for him to show me each volume before packing it away.

"Ah, they're just books!" he said, dumping in another armload. "We don't need them anymore. We've got tech!"

Well, there are books and then there are BOOKS! I reached in quickly and rescued an illustrated Alice in Wonderland, and — was that a copy of The Iliad that he'd just dumped in? I knew that if I asked what happens when tech is down, it would just resurrect an old argument that they'd expect from someone my age. It wouldn't change anything.

But at the heart of all this is the Bible to consider. On-screen could never content me. I need one to hold in my hand and make notes as I listen to God's voice in the text. Recently, I bought a new translation to go with many others, feeling actual excitement as I found content summaries for each book! What a splendid scholarly help for a story like Job.

Someone said, "What is for me, won't go by me." Often, a verse jumps out at me when I open my Bible. I write it down and put it where I can see it. As a believer, I need to know what God says about living a life full of hope and strength with His help.

How do you read your Bible? How often? We need to pay attention to Psalm 119, which contains so many reasons to read Scripture every day:

Psalm 119 (MSG) – Teach me from your textbook on life … the inner meaning of your instructions (vv.124-125); These words hold me up in dark times (v.50); Your words are so choice, so tasty (v.103); With your instruction, I understand life (v.104); By your words I can see where I'm going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path (v.105); Put me together again with your Word (v.107); Every word you give me is a miracle word (v.129); Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning (v.130); My life's an open book before you (v.168); And there's lots more!

Prayer: Dear Father God, how grateful we are for the depth of meaning in Your eternal Word, which has endured through all generations despite regular attempts to stamp it out and disregard its truth. Help us to turn to You in Your Word and find the renewal of our hope and strength today. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Wise words, Rose.

    Beautiful devotion. Blessings always.

    Rose, I wish I’d been there to handle each book with respect. God’s Word in my hands is the best.

    Thanks for reminding me of psalm 119, Rose. It has lots to encourage us to read our Bible. God bless!

    I’m with you on this one, Rose. My Bible is full of notes and comments that wouldn’t be possible in an online version.

    Dear Rose,
    Thank you for another of your very beautiful and informative writings. You certainly have a very precious gift from our Lord in presenting devotional writings. Many blessings as you continue these writings.

    From one bibliophile to another, I loved this, Rose. Your melding of verses from Psalm 119 was wonderful. Yes, technology has its place and has brought much benefit to the world. But as I sometimes say in jest, “As long as I can still go to the library, I can die happy!” Thank you for this emphasis on the value of reading the Bible.

    I so appreciated your words today. I have been God’s child since 8 years of age and can’t imagine life any other way. He is my constant friend.
    The Bible in my hands is a great comfort. God knows what is most needed and I am thankful He’s my anchor.

    Amen Rose. I LOVE books: their feel, their shape, their smell, the mysteries, the wisdom, the hope within so many of them and especially the life within the Bible. They are so much better than silver or gold. Gems to be treasured. I read a lot online, but the bottom line is that there is nothing like holding a real book in one’s hand, especially the Bible, as it’s like holding a little piece of the Living God.

    Good morning Rose
    We are indeed thankful for the word of God which has endured for so many hundreds of years and in which so few people seem to be interested at the present time.
    Just as a foot note, I learned last week that there are penguins in New Zealand, which live in the bush and have their young ones there.
    Thank you for writing.

    Dear Rose,
    Once again your forwarded devotional has struck a chord with me!
    Your bookshelf.. mine is full of “old friends”! Nothing online can quite compare to having them in my hand as I read.
    Your Bible.. mine is also notated, underlined, and must be held to feel its weight in my life!
    As we do try to adapt to this “techy age”, as we must, may we never forget the great underlying faithfulness our God supplies, wherever and however we experience it!
    Thank you for your sharing.

    Thank you Rose, I am 1 of many children. My mother used me as her helper for my younger brothers. She needed help and used me which has given me a servant heart. I ache as a mother would. Am on my own as my husband passed several years ago.
    It’s been a couple of months since my brother passed and it still feels brand new.
    I respect that you offer comfort to many. God finds a way to healing from diverse avenues. You are a gift from our Lord today.

    Thank you for writing another special devotional, Rose. I look lovingly at the big basket of books that I read to our children and to the grandchildren when they spent a week with us every summer without their parents. Part of the requirement during that week was that they find a book and read for an hour each day. There are wonderful photos of them doing that. One is on top of a car reading; another is lying down on the bed with his head draped over the side of the bed…I guess he was reading as he was holding the book. We have one great grandchild whose first birthday is coming, and his present will be a book!
    (Texas USA)

    Good morning, Rose!
    I loved your devotion today and it spoke to my heart and my head! I have always loved the beauty of books, and I can imagine the “horror” you felt when you glimpsed some of those books going by the wayside.
    I was an elementary teacher and loved to bring personal books into the classroom. My husband died recently and I was cleaning out the garage and found those boxed books that I couldn’t remember what had happened to them! What a joy! In this sad season, those books were a ray of light (just as they were intended to be at this time.)
    I appreciate all your devotions, Rose, so keep them coming! God richly bless you as you share!

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us! Blessings.

    From one bibliophile to another, Rose, I loved this. Your way of melding verses from Psalm 119.

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