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Thank you, King James

May 2011 | by Lyn Davies

Thank you, King James

James Hastings
Day One Publications, 160 pages, £6, ISBN: 978-1-846252-32-7

This is the gripping yet harrowing story of the life of Robert Hicks. It is a remarkable account of how the King James Bible came to the rescue of a boy from the slums.
    It begins with a prologue, which is a 3-page summary of the whole book, then 11 chapters, an epilogue and an update on his family.
    He suffered abuse of every kind from his parents and was labelled ‘retarded’ at school, mainly due to the fact that he was tongue-tied. This problem could have been corrected in infancy if he had been taken to the GP as a young child, and so saved him from many unpleasant situations.
    When, at the age of 15, he had corrective surgery, the doctor gave him some advice. ‘Your tongue has become flabby and weak with lack of use. I suggest you read out loud while writing the words down. That will help. Find a book, a large book, and copy it out by hand’.
    After a terrifying search of the house, the only book he could find was a copy of the Bible. So begins the turnaround in his life as he enters the working world. Despite further personal setbacks, by the age of 18 he became an ambitious shop floor manager, introducing sales initiatives and promotions, unheard of in the early 1960s. He worked for Tesco and the Co-op.
    He married and had 4 children. His growing concern, however, was to make the Bible more accessible to all. He worked with Scripture Union and Ladybird to produce a children’s Bible, but then he left to set up his own company.
    He was able to distribute 100 million Bibles, Gospels and Bible selections around the world. You may recall a Millennium Gospel being produced and distributed — this is the story of how it came about.
    We may not entirely agree with some of the initiatives that he has had connections with, but it has to be recognised that this man has been greatly used in promoting the reading of God’s Word.
    He has the certainty that whatever sadness and tragedy enters into one’s life, God’s Word brings comfort and peace, joy and solace, certainty and truth. ‘If God can use me, he can use anyone’.
Lyn Davies
Thirsk

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