Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 5, 2018

Once Upon a Time We Made a Life-Changing Discovery

Bible Study at Berachah

R. B. Thieme Jr. (Bob) – Born April 1, 1918; Died August 16, 2009

“12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Open the Word of God to ………”

When Bob Thieme got up to teach he opened every Bible study with the verse above and would then add, open the Word of God to, whichever book and verse would start the study on that occasion.

We were never to forget that Bible study was the way God spoke to us and was the tool God used to shape our lives for His service. At that time Berachah had a practice of giving a small hardback copy of the King James Version of the Bible with the Scofield Study Notes to each family that joined the church.

One of my memories of Bible study at Berachah was the rustling sound of many hundreds of pages being turned all over the church as Bob would read from the Bible, we all had the same version of the Bible; I’ve never heard that sound again since those days, it was a precious sound.

A Bit More History

While I was working as a paid soloist at St. Paul’s Methodist Church my wife was attending Berachah Church and getting some intense Bible teachings. On Sundays, after church, my wife would tell me about the two Bible studies that morning and I longed to share in that experience with her.

Fortunately, Bob Thieme was absolutely devoted to teaching the Bible and taught every night of the week except for Saturday and Sunday nights. As I recall, he taught at Rice University on Monday night, the University of Houston on Tuesday night and the remaining nights of the work week he taught at Berachah.

The challenge for the congregation was Bob’s practice of teaching a different book of the Bible each of those nights at Berachah. If you regularly missed one of those nights you were missing an entire book of the Bible and that was an intolerable thought.

Bob was a tireless workhorse of a teacher and inspired us to try and attend every Bible class he taught. By God’s grace, the Holy Spirit had filled us with a deep desire to learn the word so we were both willing to pay the price required.

The Big Step of Faith

Remember, at this time I was still a full time student at the University of Houston and working almost full time to support my family. My wife was raising our son and was expecting our second child and now, in addition, we had chosen to immerse ourselves in the study of the Bible and had little time for anything else.

As with most students our finances were always in a precarious balance but the Lord had blessed us and by His grace we were making ends meet. The money I earned as a paid soloist was an important part of our family’s income although only a part as my major job was as an audio high fidelity salesman at Audio Center on Westheimer in Houston.

Going to Berachah was a thrill as we were learning so much about what the Bible had to offer. Before Berachah neither of us had a clue about the riches to be found in the pages of the Bible; going to Berachah and listening to Bob open the word of God was like going from darkness to light, what an amazing and life-changing experience that truly changed us forever.

Our desire to study together on Sundays was getting greater and greater the more we learned; it finally reached a point where we felt we had to step out in faith. I was to quit my job at St. Paul’s and we would go together to Berachah on Sunday mornings and it would free up my Wednesday nights as well for Bible class.

The money from my soloist job appeared to be vital to keeping our budget intact but we grew to believe the word of God was more important than our budget so I resigned as soloist at St. Paul’s.

I still don’t know how God worked out the details but our budget did not fall apart and we didn’t have to declare bankruptcy. Finally we were both able to attend Berachah together on Sunday mornings as well as most weeknights.

What followed was an amazing time of growth in the Lord, our experience at Berachah Church shaped the balance of our lives.

A Plea for Angelic Assistance

Being as enthusiastic as we were about Bible study we always sat on the second or third row right in front of Bob; we didn’t want to miss a thing!

At this particular service Bob was teaching on the doctrine of the guardian angel and by this time our second son, Keith had been born and we were on occasion carrying two boys along with the diaper bag, two Bibles and two notebooks, and my wife had her purse as usual.

Now remember, we were on the second or third row right in front of Bob when my wife leaned over to me and said, “I wish one of our guardian angels would carry the diaper bag.” Maybe it was the general state of our exhaustion but for some reason her comment caused us both to laugh, fortunately we were able to muffle our laughter but our bodies were shaking as we struggled to retain some semblance of composure.

While Bob was used to seeing us in that general location he did glance down as he noticed our struggles. After the class we apologized to Bob and tried to explain what had happened but if he saw the humor in the situation he didn’t let on. Needless to say neither of us has forgotten that episode and it is a rather pleasant reminder of a wonderful time in our lives.

Having been so greatly blessed by that journey of Biblical discovery I still long to share that wonder with others and hope others may discover the joys of Bible study.

Bob was a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and inspired me to attend; unfortunately financial reverses stopped my early efforts to attend but by God’s grace I was able to go back after I retired from the home building business and finally graduated in 2009.

God’s way is a wonderful adventure and I invite all to share in it. For more on Bible study I encourage you to visit “God’s Second Greatest Gift.

This brings the series on my life to a close for now; any series that starts with “Once Upon a Time” can only end one way:

“And They Lived Happily Ever After!”

“Higher Ground” – Art by Adele Bower ©


Responses

  1. Precious love story between you, Adele and our amazing loving Lord!!! Love it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Linda, we have been blessed as we have followed the ways of our Lord.

      Like

  2. David, I love your story today!! Thank you so much for sharing!! Demonstrates how are Great God is in the business of capturing hearts: He captured Bob’s, He captured yours and Adele’s and He captured Kevin’s and so many more in the Bower family and because of the excitement and commitment of these captured hearts, He captured countless others. What a story…what an amazing God!! To God be the glory!!

    Sending love to you and Adele…Elaine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Elaine, my captured heart rejoices in sharing the love that God showers on the world; we truly live in the age of grace!

      Like

  3. Yay! What a good story it is too. I clearly remember going into Bob Thieme’s office (I guess I was about 6 years old) and making my profession of faith to him. He scared me a little bit, but not enough to deter me from my mission. I love you dad 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love you too, precious daughter! I had forgotten about that event and thank you for reminding me; a special time for all of us.

      Like


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