(Photo : Courtesy of New Life Vision Church)
(Photo : Courtesy of New Life Vision Church)

I like books. Even now, when I go to the bookstore to buy a book, my heart beats. I get excited when I go back home with a new book. The reason for this is because I look forward to the meeting with the new book. Reading a new book is like having a new encounter. Life is an encounter. New encounters provide new knowledge, information and experiences. It opens up a new world.

It was God's grace that I became fond of books. I have enjoyed indescribable benefits from books. I discovered that there are roads in books. Through books I was able to resolve many problems that I faced. Through books, I learned something that I had not known before, and I was able to know more clearly of what I already knew. Books helped me not to be frustrated when I failed. A book was a good friend who helped me stand back up again after my failure.  

While reading books, I met people who stood back up again after failure. I met people who had overcome many obstacles and had won victory. I met people who soared without falling at the end of the cliff. I became a dreamer through books. I learned how to fulfill my dreams. I learned how to heal my frustrated dreams. I also learned how to help others fulfill their dreams. I learned the secret of contentment through books. Through books, I learned discernment, judgment, insight, and foresight. I learned how to make good relationships with people through books. I learned how to make good choices. I learned how to overcome conflicts through books. I learned how to set and achieve goals through books. I learned how to accomplish my task through books. Through books, I learned how to grow people and leave them behind.

One day I asked, "Why do the people in our country dislike books?" I thought about a reason why they don't read books. And the reason is that they studied too hard before going to college. It is because they thought of studying as a test preparation. So, after the moment of graduating high school, they seem to stay away from books. Another reason is that they have not properly experienced the taste of books. The taste of books means the taste of writing. It means the joy of learning from books. The taste of writing means the joy of deep enlightenment experienced while reading a book. Those who know the taste of books have experienced the benefits of reading. So, they keep reading.

I cherish friendship. So, once I make a friend, I try to cultivate the friendship for a long time. The key to good friendship is honor. Honor means to value the other person. Friendship deepens when we value each other. As we experience, we cannot build good friendship by despising or contemning one another. Building friendships with books is the same principle. When we honor and cherish a book, it provides us with the treasure-like knowledge and the wisdom we need.

As we get older, we see that good friend are precious. Good friends are important because good friends make our lives beautiful. It is because a good friend helps us to be better. The Bible says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17). A good friend maximizes our potential. It makes our lives more beautiful, glorious and luminous. Good friends help us to have more intimate fellowship with God. They help us live in harmony in the body of Jesus Christ's church.

To love a book, we must learn how to read. Goethe said, "I have spent eighty years trying to learn how to read, and I have not learned yet." I still learn and refine how to read books. Our church has an educational program that teaches us how to read. It is a "Reading Facilitator" training program. The "Reading Facilitator" class teaches us how to read and write. I would like to recommend it to those who want to learn how to read and to benefit from it. I also recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to write.

The reason that I like books and continue to learn to read them is to read and understand the Bible well. The Bible is the book of books. The Bible is the Word of God written with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Bible contains all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom that we need. The understanding we experience while reading the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit is the best understanding. It seems like the new year just started yesterday, but it has already been a month. We should make the most of our time. Please stay close to books. Stay close to the Bible. It will be a blessed year.

Joshua Choon-Min Kang from Pastorate