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In my sister's house where I did so much growing up, we had a kitchen pump that fed off our cistern. The leathers in the old pump were dry and thus could not hold the air they needed to draw water up the long tube to coax the air that moved between them.

Thus we had to prime the pump.

We all kept a small, clean pail of water at hand; we would pour a dipper of water into the pump, to soak the leathers, and from the tumbler we could draw up gallons of water for cooking and, of course, replenish the pail for the next priming.

The word primer is usually pronounced "primmer" but can be pronounced "prymer." Actually primmers are prymers. Their glory is that they approach a subject from the elementary beginning and tell you "how to" get the issue moving. Further, primers are short; they don't try to be comprehensive, they just try to be introductory. They are the first tumbler by which the entire cistern is made accessible.

"Preaching That Connects" (Zondervan, 159 pages, $10.99) is a primer on preaching. ...

July/August
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