"It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing."
- Thomas a Kempis
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
"Hotel Bibles: are also called "Gideon Bibles" after Gideon International, a group of male missionaries and Christian businessmen who took it upon themselves to provide this work to hotels across the nation.Excerpted from this article by Emily Upton. As they say, read the whole thing.
Here’s how it all started. In 1898, John H. Nicholson stayed at the crowded Central Hotel in Boscobel, Wisconsin. The place was so crowded that he had to share a room with another person named Samuel E. Hill. They got to talking, as you might do if you were sharing a room with a stranger, and discovered that they were both Christians. That evening, they prayed together and talked about creating an association of traveling Christian businessmen.
In 1899, they put the idea to practice. Adding another to their number—William J. Knights—the men headed a meeting at a YMCA with the purpose to create an association of men who wished to achieve “mutual recognition, personal evangelism, and united service for the Lord.”
Initially, the three men mentioned above were the only people in the association because they were the only people who actually attended the meeting. Hills was named President, Knights Vice President, and Nicholson took on the roles of both treasurer and secretary. With that done, the men decided their new organization needed a name, and what better way to come up with one than to pray to God to lead them to the best one? The prayer apparently worked, or Knights simply had an epiphany, because not long after the prayer he directed the other two men to the Old Testament story about Gideon and declared, “We shall be called Gideons.”
I know there may be some who downplay the impact of the Gideon Bible placement in hotel rooms, but I can think of many a time where just seeing one of these has been an encouragement to me. Every time I stay in a hotel I look for the Gideon Bible; there's something uplifting in this bound reminder of the faithful brother who took the time and expense to place it there.