|At age thirty-two I
became born-again. It was then my wife asked me to help her with
Sunday School. In fact, it was that project that lead me to Christ.
I began the project agnostic; but, over the course of
about two months, found His way.
Carol had wanted a teaching tool to help the
little child learn about Christ. However, she wanted something a bit
different, but didn't know what. At that time, I had recently
stopped wedding photography. It seems I came home with a headache at
the end of every wedding reception. The lowlight from dimly lit
halls and the constant squinting to focus was wearing my eyes out. I
finally gave up wedding photography as a part-time business in 1981.
About that time, I got my son interested in stamp
collecting. As with Carol's situation, I needed a subject to keep
his interest. I turned to cartoon characters on stamps, generally
Disney characters along with the other well knows like Bugs Bunny
and many others. This type of stamp collecting was called 'topical'
stamp collecting. Rather than collect one country's stamps, you
collected stamps (regardless of their country) according to the
topic. This is also known as thematic collecting
The topical list is endless - railroads,
airplanes, mountains, birds, space exploration (astronauts),
specific sports, famous Masons, etc. Cartoon characters were the hot
topic for youngsters. My son loved it.
When Carol brought up her idea, I remembered
reading about the collectors of religion on stamps group. Theirs was
a broad field encompassing thousands of stamps. Among the types of
stamps would be stamps showings Popes, churches, famous paintings,
angels, people mentioned in the bible, etc. However, I knew there
were collectors of 'The Life of Christ' and began putting together a
nice set of stamps.
A problem came about when it was time to put these
stamps into an album. While you can go out and buy an album for U.S.
stamps, you couldn't for special topics. A U.S. Stamp album would be
something like a coin album. You'd have a page with printed versions
of the stamps on it. You'd put the stamp over the corresponding
But with topical collecting, there was nothing
like that. I was able to find some blank stamp pages. They merely
had "The Life of Christ" at the top of each page with a decorative
My 'fun' project then became a huge challenge. I
didn't know the first thing about religion or the Life of Christ. I
had never attended Sunday School or Church. I had never read the
bible. My only exposure was in the early years of school before the
atheists and liberals took over society and kicked God out of
school. I can remember each morning when someone would lead the
class in the 23rd Psalm and another would read any other Psalm they
wanted. We would also sing a hymn.
I began reading the bible and watching religious
TV shows. Putting together a nice bible library, I often visited
Peter & John's Trustworthy Bookstore on Liberty & Rolling Roads in
Baltimore County. This bookstore was an extension of Arlington
Baptist Church. While no longer there, it was my favorite bible
bookstore. I began collecting bible commentaries and bible study
aids. I also bought a few different study bibles with different
My 'fun' project became hard (and expensive) work.
For me to put together an album about the life of Christ, I needed
to learn about Christ. Furthermore, just reading the bible didn't
answer all of my questions. While each Gospel tells their own story
of Christ's life, often I didn't know the order in which events
occurred. It was then I turned to another type of bible to put
everything in the correct order (The Reese Chronological Bible). I
also got a book detailing the 'harmony' of the Gospels, which fully
told the life of Christ. However, even that wasn't enough.