My dear father passed away December 2007 at nearly 92 years of age. He left a legacy of love for the Word of God.

My father (Ivan Bowen) loved to memorize the Scriptures. During his life he never slept very well but it never bothered him. Instead of worrying that he couldn’t sleep, he would go over and over the Scriptures he was memorizing.

I also loved to memorize the Scriptures and as a young person used the Navigators System. My father and I edged each other on. We would recite to one another the Scriptures we were learning and check one another out. We did this at home and when we were traveling. My father continually asked me to recite the Scripture I was currently learning to him, or to repeat Scriptures I had learned. This is a secret my father knew. Revising is one of the biggest assets to Scripture learning. It is easy to learn a Scripture and forget it. You have to keep revising it and going over and over it. My father would revise His Scriptures in the hours of the night when he couldn’t sleep.

My father never stopped memorizing the Word of God as he got older. No, he intensified. He started learning chapters. He was doing this in his late eighties—and he put us all to shame. When he preached the gospel, which he loved to do, the Scriptures flowed from his lips.

After my mother passed away (January 1999), who didn’t like to fly, he came to stay with us from New Zealand for about six weeks every year. Each year he celebrated his birthday with us and I would write a poem for him.

Can I share with you the poem I wrote for his 87th birthday? You’ll have to read a little more about him before you get to the Scripture memory part…

He’s turned eighty-seven, will that slow him down?
It would be just as impossible for a fish to drown,
Or a dolphin to make his house in a tree,
Or a chimpanzee to live in the sea!

You will never find him twiddling his thumbs
Or sitting in a rocking chair eating plums!
He came for a holiday but he never sits still
Or mopes around popping a pill!

He arises each morning eager to work
And lookout if anyone tries to shirk!
He’s cleared the undergrowth, knocked down trees
And burned huge fires when there was no breeze.

He works hard in the garden, digging and weeding,
He’s repaired raised beds ready for seeding,
Whenever he finds a job that needs doing
He gets stuck right in without any wooing.

He joins us for walks up hills and down dale,
Walking for an hour every day without fail
Through the beautiful woods of Primm Springs, Tennessee
Where the redbuds and dogwoods are flowering with glee.

He’s the toughest man for his age you can find
And a fall down the stairs he doesn’t mind!
He somersaulted twice down the stairs if you please,
Crashing at the bottom with great expertise!

But instead of lying there in a state of shock
He jumps right up as though he’s never had a knock!
“There’s nothing the matter with me,” he declares
After joining the air force down the stairs!

He also went caving with Howard, Levi and crew,
Walking in ankle deep water without going blue!
At eighty-seven years old, what else will he do?
Is there an adventure that would be something new?

He lays awake many hours throughout the night,
Which he does not consider a serious plight,
But instead fills his mind with the Word of the Lord,
So during the night he never gets bored.

In memorizing God’s Word he puts us all to shame,
Learning chapter after chapter, ready to proclaim.
“Recite us a chapter,” we ask in a while.
“Which one would you like?” he replies with a smile.

“The words of David, Jesus, or perhaps you’d like Paul.”
We can take our pick from over twenty chapters or more!
He has already learned Second Peter, chapter three
In the short time he’s been with his daughter, Nancy!

Who will take up the challenge and follow his lead
To memorize chapters of the Bible, God’s living seed?
Who will start right away, one verse at a time?
Reviewing it over and over, line upon line?

If you talk to Granddad, he’ll tell you where to begin
And you’ll start a habit that will keep you from sin,
You’ll gain solid convictions and divine inspiration,
You’ll follow Granddad’s footsteps for a new generation.

What about my mother? Joyce Bowen loved the Scriptures too. She never came from her bedroom without first having her Bible reading. As she got older and didn’t have the responsibility of family, she had more time to spend in her favorite book. My loveliest memories of her are going into her room in the morning and seeing her sitting up in bed reading the Word. And of course she always had a new revelation to share with me from what she had been reading. She loved to talk about the Scriptures. That was always the most important topic of her conversation.

What a heritage I received from my parents. What a privilege to come from a Word-loving home. I pray that this heritage continues down the Bowen/Campbell generations.

Editress of Above Rubies

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Email Nancy

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