The guidebook

At this point, David had attended church for the first time. In his mind, this meant he was starting down the path of becoming a “Christian”. After all, isn’t that what Christians did? Go to church? He figured that was what Christianity was all about.

But the reality was that David didn’t know anything about being a Christian. What he needed was an instruction manual. After all, what better way to learn about something than read the rules and regulations! he thought. What he needed was a Bible. The instruction manual for Christians, he reasoned.

He didn’t have a Bible, so he called up Arnie to get some advice. Arnie suggested two versions: The New King James version (more formal) and The Living Bible (plain English). David asked his secretary to contact the local Christian bookstore to inquire about these Bibles. The secretary told him the Bibles were not available and had to be ordered.

But that wasn’t true. What actually happened was she went to the bookstore and purchased both Bibles on behalf of the staff. On May 12, 1983, the staff gave Pam and David the Bibles as early anniversary gifts.

Later that night, David picked up the New King James Bible and started to read. Having been raised a Jew, he’d had years of religious training all the way through high school. The Old Testament (starting with the Pentateuch) seemed to be familiar territory, so he decided to begin in the book of Matthew, in the New Testament – completely new material for David.

But the New King James language was a bit daunting. The formal language seemed “too godly”. So he handed it off to Pam, and picked up The Living Bible.


Each night, the couple would read their Bibles. Pam read the New King James, and David read The Living. The Living version was easier to digest, and David was getting through four, five, even six chapters a night. After about five days, he’d gotten through the whole book of Matthew. He then progressed on to the book of Mark. One night he turned to Pam with a key observation:

“This Jesus person was very special. He did things that no one else ever did. He healed the sick, He made the lame to walk, He gave sight to the blind, and He even raised the dead back to life. I think that the Jews who were alive during that time missed it. Jesus really was who He said He was. If I had been with Jesus in those times, I would have accepted Him.”

What did I just say?! he thought. If Jesus was the Savior of the world back then, He is still the Savior of the world today. If the Jews missed that truth back then, they are still missing that truth today!

He turned those thoughts over in his mind.

Where does that leave me? What am I going to do about this Jesus?

I think I believe in Him!

My parents are going to kill me.

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