On my Bruce Atchison's books page a few years ago, I've mentioned the day that I was thrown out of a vacation Bible school because I couldn't read the microscopic print in the Bibles that the pastor handed out to us students. His callous action deeply hurt me. I had a keen interest in Christianity but my poor vision and lack of proper magnifying glasses thwarted my attempts to read sacred scripture.
When I did acquire a large print New Testament and a decent magnifying glass, I eagerly read it from cover to cover. Not only did I read what people formerly read to me but I learned much. One fact which touched me deeply was that many of the apostle Paul's letters were written in prison. I felt thrilled that I could finally read for myself what these early saints wrote. I began thinking of these people as friends rather than distant historical figures after reading their epistles.
I took a Bible correspondence course in 1979 and bought a large print King James version of the scriptures. As I rested between patrols while on guard duty at the bank, I read through the entire Old and New Testaments. The course also filled in the background regarding the culture and history of the Middle East. All those strange sacrifices that I'd formerly heard about began to make sense as I studied the Word.
Through friends, I heard the scriptures on cassette tapes. These were nice but I wasn't able to pinpoint individual verses as the numbers were left out of the reading. Though I enjoyed listening to God's Word, something was missing.
Bible Seeker, a free downloadable program from Lockette.com filled in the missing connection between hearing and reading scriptures. It let me not only read verses but copy and paste them into documents. Many of the scriptures quoted in how I Was Razed, my memoir of how God led me out of a cult and into the truth, were copied from Bible Seeker. Additionally, the program helped me learn the spelling of names and terms used in God's Word. If I didn't understand something, I could easily proceed letter by letter or word by word so I could get the gist of the passage. Better yet, Bible Seeker's functions are screen reader-friendly, allowing sight-impaired folks like me to study the Bible for free.
Bruce Atchison is a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of How I Was Razed, Deliverance from Jericho, and When a Man Loves a Rabbit. He lives in a small Alberta hamlet with his house rabbit, Deborah.