I was born in 1976. That makes me, roughly, 29 years old.

Throughout my life, any trinket-type thing my father ever saw that had 1976 on it, he would get it for me. With 1976 being the Bicentennial, there were a lot of trinket-type things floating around in the year of my birth.

I have “1776-1976”-adorned plates, mugs, cups ... random things like that. But the coolest thing he ever got me was an old Bible. It was printed in ’76 and is pretty decorative.

Recently, I was thinking of things to have in my office to make it more “me.” Along with photos of the family, I have a “132” in stained glass that a friend made me and an aerial photograph of Fulton County Stadium hanging on my wall.

I thought the Bible would be a perfect addition to the office feng shui. So, I brought it to work and set it on my counter. I like the cover, so I left it closed.

A friend walked in two different times and mentioned how much he liked that Bible. The second time he asked if he could open it to his favorite verse. I loved the idea.

He opened it to Matthew 17:20 and read it to me. I asked him what he would say to the inevitable “well, why can’t I move that mountain?” question. It’s a question that has popped into my head every time I’ve heard that verse.

I didn’t ask him to try to stump him. He knows the Bible as well as any man I know, and I genuinely wanted to know his answer, as I figured it would be a good one.

He didn’t disappoint.

He told me he didn’t think “mountain” was literal and how there are many parables in the Bible. He then went on to explain what he thought a few mountains might be, using himself as an example. I tipped my cap to him and will forever use his answer if posed with my own question.

I told him I would leave the Bible open to that verse until the next person came in and moved it to their verse, and it would stay on theirs and so on.

A few days later someone else walked in my office. She saw the Bible and said when she was younger, she would open it to a random page, point to a random verse, and see how it pertained to her at that moment.

She proceeded to do exactly that. She landed in the Old Testament, read the verse and immediately was able to tell me how that verse did apply to something that was on her mind and how she now knew which way she was going to go on the matter.

I regret that I didn’t take note of what verse it was, to add to my list. But I didn’t.

Late last week, another buddy walked in and sat down and started thumbing through it. We talked about a few different verses, but he landed on Proverbs 18:14. I had never heard this verse before, but I knew as soon as he read it, I had to write this column.

“A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” I couldn’t think of a much more appropriate verse for this friend of mine to share with me, and this line of work we’re in.

That’s the verse my 1976 Bible sits open to right now, waiting for the next person to come in and teach me something important.

Toby Nix is a Newnan writer, guitarist and investigator for the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. He is the author of two books, “Columns I Wrote” and the newly released “A Book I Wrote.” He can be reached at tobynix@yahoo.com.

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