Eleven years ago, an editor asked me to interview then Appalachian State football coach Jerry Moore about his faith.
During the interview, Moore told me about a friend who’d given him a book called Words of Wisdom — a 31-day devotional that only includes text from the Psalms and Proverbs. It’s broken down into daily readings of five psalms and one proverb.
Working through it in a month means he was able to read all 150 psalms and all 31 proverbs. And he’d been doing so for years. He even taped pictures of his relatives and friends throughout the book so he could remember to pray for them.
“When I get up in the morning, I’ll pour myself a cup of coffee and I won’t read a newspaper,” Moore said. “I won’t watch the news. I won’t read a flyer that may be laying there. I won’t read anything until I’ve read my five psalms and one proverb. I haven’t been a hundred percent, but I’ve started nearly every day that way since 1989.”
He went on to give the book to hundreds of his players. In each one, he inscribed the following F. B. Meyer quote: “Let the first moments of the day, when the heart is fresh, be given to God. Never see the face of man till you have seen the King.”
Imagine my surprise when he offered to send me a copy (it had a different title, but essentially, it’s the same book). And I got a little teary when I opened it and saw the Meyer quote, written in Moore’s handwriting. Coach Moore also had my first name engraved on the cover in gold lettering.
The one name you won't find on or in the book? Jerry Moore’s.
I’ve been going through a dry patch in my private worship recently, so I pulled the book down and began working my way through it. I’m a week into it and it's having its way with me, offering refreshment and correction, and leading me into a spirit of worship.
If you’ve never gone through the psalms and proverbs in a month, give it a try. You don’t have to order Words of Wisdom to do so. You can use your own Bible or an online version.
If you’re interested in reading the entire story about Moore, here's a link: ASU coach relies heavily on the word.
Lee Warren is a freelance writer and editor who has written twelve non-fiction books, one novella and hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines as well as edited more than 50 books that currently appear in print. He's a fan of NASCAR, baseball, tennis, books, movies and coffee shops.