The Gospel according to Mark

Is it wrong to say I found the book of Mark a little dry? It is wonderful to have the stories of Jesus told to us several different ways through the Gospels of Mark, Luke, John and Matthew, but I have in my notes from a year ago that I thought it was the driest version of Jesus’ ministry on earth. When I researched this a bit I learned that the Gospel of Mark was written by John Mark who was not a close follower of Jesus but who hung around Peter and sort of wrote down Jesus’ story through what Peter (an apostle) had to say about Jesus. It is the shortest of the gospels (which basically means, the good news), and the first. Mark’s gospel, some say, was meant to remember verbatim in order to recite or to use as a sermon, which explains its dry, straightforward quality. Which makes this post equally dry and straightforward. I put a link to the video I watched about this in my bio. I find this scholarly stuff really interesting. If any of this information is incorrect, I apologize, as it was gathered from the video. 🙂

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The book of Samuel

I have no authority to teach you. You might disagree and that’s ok.

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“Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” -1 Samuel 17:28

This is David’s brother speaking to him. No one knows anything of our hearts except God. We don’t know much of David at this point, but we know the sound of anger and probably jealousy in his brother’s voice, because David answers with, “Now what have I done?” David, however, does not let criticism stop him, he keeps on with his plan to follow God’s voice. People will always put intent on your motives, but you mustn’t get downhearted, especially when you know in your heart they are wrong. Only you and God can see your innerworkings and all your life up to this point. People will always judge you from the outside, but God looks within. I will add that it is the same for God, we mustn’t judge God based on another’s human interpretation. Even me, if I have ever said an untruth, I would beg someone to correct me, and I hope I would react with humility. We, you, know instinctively the truth of God’s word because His word lives in you and your soul will feel synchronized when you hear and see something that has pure God in it. So, follow this and let no one stop you from being your true good self and doing what you know is right. Remember, God is love. That is ALL.

‘Backpacking’ with Robert Louis Stevenson in the Cevennes Journals

Finished this yesterday. Sometimes an unread book on my shelf will call me, and I know that I am meant to read it then and there. This is one of those books. The Cevennes Journal of Robert Louis Stevenson is the elongated version of Travels with a Donkey. The editors here have let all of Stevenson’s omitted texts remain, so you get a better sense of his journey and thoughts all around. If you don’t like travel essays read it for the anecdotes of his donkey. The relationship with his travel donkey Modestine is hilariously tragic.

The trail he took is a well known backpacking trail now in France (I have tagged its location for you above). I would love to hike this trail someday but for now, in the Spring my husband will take us backpacking up north for a weekend. So this book was a good way to train myself to write travel essays as I would like to journal our hike. In the back of this book the editors have published all of Stevenson’s original notes to himself. Notes that would later tie into his essays. Quick glimpses such as, “children singing on path,” or “lady with enormous hat,” would eventually be added into his essays in great detail once he had a moment to rest. Brilliant! .

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The Book of Acts

“Because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of Jesus.” —Acts 8:16

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Like most babies I was baptized a couple months after I was born. Was this so I didn’t go to purgatory or hell if I were to die? Or was it just for tradition’s sake? I don’t know. I’ve always felt God was close to me since I was little—like a trusted friend I could tell my problems to. But it wasn’t until I worked the soup kitchen at a church in Detroit recently that I really felt baptized in the Spirit. God went from living outside of me to living IN me in one day. I’ve been back to the soup kitchen every month since. Christ lives with the suffering. If you want to see Him, feel His presence, experience the Holy Spirit, go be with and help the suffering. Any living sufferer will do—this could be nature, animals, water, humans—Whatever touches your heart and makes you weep, but try to see God’s face in your work. For me, I found that my soul is drawn to the homeless. Search your heart for your calling. God is calling for your REAL baptism this way. The lay theologian, William Stringfellow, once said, “care enough to weep.” I will take this a tad further and say IF you care enough to weep, maybe you’ve found God’s call for you. And that is the voice of the Holy Spirit which lives in all of us. Awaken it! .

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The Story of One Hundred Operas

I love opera. Unfortunately no one I know really likes it as much as me. I was sure I would weep like a baby when the curtain went up on La Boheme at the Detroit Opera House. Then I saw Carmen and was enchanted by the cigarette girls. Like rebellious nymphs and sirens they sing: “ in the air we follow with our eyes the fragrant smoke as it rises to the skies….lover’s pretty speeches are smoke! Their transports their vows just smoke!” This song they sing, La Clouche de Sonne, is so good! If you are ever walking on a lit street in the dark and it is gently snowing, do yourself a beautiful favor and play this song for yourself. It seems to know the rhythm of snow. You’ll see the truth of man’s history fall and turn and advance right before your eyes. It’s a remarkable thing. This little book is useful if you frequent operas. It gives a quick summary of each act and where and when it takes place. You can prepare yourself for the performance this way. But…If you can’t get to the opera, every opening night of a new opera at MIchigan Opera Theatre is recorded live and played live on WRCJ radio. You can download the app and listen from anywhere in the world. It’s like home to me all the hosts are familiar to me by voice and name as I’ve been listening since its beginning. .

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Proper Mourning by Me 🦉

One more year brings a greater distance from those with whom I spent so much time. .

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My little creation was completed in 2017/2018 and received a 5/5 for reader appeal, plot structure and pacing from a Writer’s Digest judge. As with other art forms, writers grow and perfect their craft over the years. I have learned so much since I clicked the publish button on this work. If anyone out there is considering writing a book, just do it! …And I would love to answer your questions! .

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I have placed a copy in the free library on the paint creek trail park entrance. If you live in the area and happen to pick it up please consider writing a review on Amazon and kindly pass it on. The more reviews the more readers will find my book based on how the algorithm works. Thank you all for following my blog thus far. Have a wonderful new year. Yay to a fresh start!

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.her is a link to its amazon page if you’d like to check it out! Proper Mourning by Brianne Turczynski

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The Railroad Question by William Larrabee

The Railroad Question by William Larrabee is a book I purchased not only for its beauty but for its subject matter. The question tossed around in this book, which was written in 1895, was whether railroads should be privately owned or owned and regulated by the government. The author declares from the start that they should be owned and maintained by the government. That if privately owned they will eventually lose their main purpose as being a service to the people.

I’ve had this book for a while now, and I’m realizing that I think it might be signed by the author himself who was once the 13th governor of Iowa. I compared the ink to a receipt I have from around the same time (1890’s) and the ink is in the same condition. If it’s not signed and noted with a personal dedication page (pictured) then why is it signed twice under his picture—eh?These are little mysteries I try to solve in my free time. 😁

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Need advice!!

Help! I think I’m going to give up on this. Should I or no? I made it 183 pages, and I just don’t care about any of the characters and James is not articulate enough for me to really know what is going on 100% of the time—I don’t like his writing style, if it’s a tree say it’s a tree for gosh sake. I need advice—What do you think?? Should I stick it out another 200 pages? I’ve been trying to choke it down for a month!

The book of Psalms

With my Bible readings I also read one psalm every day. For an introduction to the Bible this would be a good start—just read one psalm every day. The book of Psalms is a collection sacred songs and poems glorifying God. Most of them are written by King David, but my favorites are those written by the Sons of Korah. The Sons of Korah only wrote 12 of the 150 psalms. Their psalms are that of pure, genuine, humble, and beautiful praise of God. They rarely ask for anything from God except a call for Him to rescue them from an unjust world—much different from David’s psalms which, many times, ask for vengeance and violence against his enemies. I noticed the change in tone right away as I’m sure you would too. These speak to me and give me great comfort and my soul feels great peace.

My favorite verse…

“As the deer pants for streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, my God.”

-Psalm 42:1

Also this…

“God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble

therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging.” -Psalm 46:1-3