Class 46: “The Power of Reading” (Part 3)

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Today, we will continue our study titled, THE POWER OF READING.

Allow me to begin with a quote from Maya Angelou. She said, “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his needs, is good for him.”

Now, please pull out your text and your digital study guide or follow along on the screen. First, I will read a portion of the corresponding letter from the book, Letters to Young Black Women. Then we will proceed with this lesson:

Why you should read:

• Reading helps you to think (as opposed to the television which dulls your mind).

• Reading helps you to write and speak better.

• Reading increases your vocabulary.

• Reading takes you places mentally that you may never be able to go physically.

• Reading helps you to become a more educated person.

What you should read:

• The Holy Bible

• The Christian classics

• A good grammar book

• A World history book

• An American history book

• An African-American history book

• A book on etiquette

• A book on personal hygiene

• The classics by both black and white authors

• A good daily newspaper or news magazine

• A pocket dictionary

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Now we will discuss three more reasons you should read:

1. Reading can improve your ability to focus and concentrate.

In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, people’s attention is pulled in a million different directions at the same time. In fact, our attention spans are said to be decreasing as the years come and go. In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds. Fast forward to 2015, and the average attention span has decreased to 8.25 seconds. Within the span of any given ten minutes a day, the average person will check their Twitter timeline, view Facebook updates, text a friend or coworker, check their email, work on a task, read 3 sentences of something, chat with a family member, and monitor their smartphone. All of this activity will happen in a short amount of time. Why? Because we have so much to do? No. Because we don’t focus on one thing at a time. When you read a book, your focus in on what you’re reading. Amazingly, everything else going on comes small compared to the book in front of you. If you take time to read on a daily basis, you will improve your ability to focus and concentrate on many other important tasks in life.

2. Reading offers a sense of peace and tranquility.

Reading a good book brings with it a calming effect and a sense of relaxation. No one really reads a book in a hurry. When we read, we choose to focus our minds on what we are reading and allow it to transport us into another world. Reading brings a tremendous amount of peace and tranquility. It quiets the soul and stills the mind so you can hear what is being read across your mental ear. Many famous people have attested to the fact that reading helped to take them to a place of calm when chaos existed around them. Studies have shown that reading certain books can even improve one’s mood and help cure low to mild mental illnesses.

3. Reading helps you to engage yourself in an ever-evolving, global conversation and think tank.

We learn about history not from being there, but from going there. Books are the way we learn about our ancestors, how we came to be, and what happened in the world before we were ever thought of. Even God Himself wrote a book and placed in it everything you will ever want to know about Him. Books communicate the past, inform our present, and inspire our future. Books cut across racial, cultural, ethnic, geographic, social, and class lines to tell us about a world much bigger than our neck of the woods. Books let us enter into the lives of other people in an inconspicuous but fully engaged manner. Through books, you can learn about and build on the global conversation on some of the most important topics facing our world.

Someone once said, “Be as careful of the books you read as of the company you keep, for your character will be influenced as much by the one as the other.”

In our next class, we will continue our study, “THE POWER OF READING”.

—LET’S PRAY—

Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.

God bless you and keep you until we meet for our next class.