Part of my Lenten devotion was to be more intentional with meditation and prayer. Was able to start reading this last night. Looking forward to getting into it more! It always takes me about a week to think about what devotion I will take into Lent. I’m always coming to the show late after thinking and thinking…maybe I’ll give up chocolate, cheese, wine…but in the end I chose to add rather than subtract. So I got up this morning at 5am to do morning meditation. With all the different schedules I’ve had to get used to lately this is the only time left for silence. Sacrificing sleep won’t kill me but rather, in this case, help me live!
A well known recommendation from poet Rainer Maria Rilke. It fell out of circulation for a while because Jacobsen’s prose was difficult to translate. This translation, however, by Tiina Nunnally has won awards and so far it’s been an enjoyable read and so incredibly deep. This was Jacobsen’s masterpiece written after he was diagnosed with chronic tuberculosis which he knew would eventually kill him. So it is a story of a soul really, a soul’s journey from childhood into adulthood pondering questions of immortality.
Another book I bought during quarantine after attending a zoom class offered by the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan about reconciliation after apartheid. I am very inspired by the work of @desmondtutu and his message of peace and forgiveness. I know this won’t be the last book I’ll read featuring him. 💕
Jan Ruusbroec was a Flemish mystic of the Middle Ages. This book is only an introduction to his work and life. He was a man who only wrote when the spirit moved him to do so.
He would walk into the forest to be alone often taking a tablet with him in case the spirit moved him to write something. I wonder if he was more of a nature mystic? 🤔 Some of his work still exists and is included in this book. 💕
You can see I marked Isaiah 55: 9-13. I also placed some leaves from that Fall season two or three years ago that my daughter gave me.
But that little pen mark by verse 9: I marked it years ago when I first ventured to read the Bible. I thought these markings would distract me, so I made them as small as I could, but I love coming across them! They are precious, and I wish I would have marked more verses like this. That person I was a couple years ago (we should always be growing) found something sweet and significant in these lines. And now my attention is drawn again to them as it was my reading today, and I have spent all morning meditating on these verses (Lectio Divina), and it was a joy!
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19)
I’m so glad I am ending my year-long Bible sessions with a letter from Paul. His work is such a pleasure to read, so beautiful and profound. I like Paul’s verse on hope, that we are called to it. Hope is a powerful feeling. It can take us from the depths of despair if we don’t have any to total elation if it is restored to us. Isn’t having Hope then like having God? Is God hope itself in addition to many other beautiful and good things? And along with the hope God gives we must carry gratitude. I think the two are inseparable. When we lay our hope in God’s hands, therefore surrendering our will, we make ourselves vulnerable and equally indebted to God when God delivers us from despair. Thanks be to God!
Thank you for staying with me through this journey of the Bible! Check out my story every day as I post my past posts of the books if you’d like a concentrated look or follow #fridaybiblepost!
True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness and turned many [to a union with God].” (Malachi 2:6)
There is no doubt that to know God better, is to finally have peace. I never knew true peace in my life until I began to intentionally spend more time with God. I begin every day with study and meditative prayer. I take at least two walks a day to be in nature (my dog needs it too). And these walks helped me get into a routine with prayer because I used my walk time for centering. As I did it more I loved it so much I now incorporate prayer into my study time too. This has made me more receptive to love and mercy. But there are no words that could convince anyone, you simply must try it. Get out into nature with the intention of seeing God, and increase your prayer life (can start simply with gratitude), and see what happens–I’m guessing your spirit will fly and true peace will be yours.
“…’Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’…” (Zechariah 1:3)
Zechariah is another prophet. He and the prophet Haggai (see yesterday’s post) are both trying to encourage the people to complete Jerusalem’s temple, but the people keep getting distracted by other things. Sounds a lot like when God calls us to do something, but OUR plans take over or we are sidetracked and veer off God’s path. Zechariah was there to herd the people back to finish what they started.
Kind of like me finishing these Bible posts for the entire Bible. I said I was going to do it, so here I am finishing what I was called to do. Now there are only two posts left until we’ve done them all! Whether they helped you or not I’m thankful to all of you who have supported me in this endeavor. I enjoyed this journey probably more than anyone else. 🙃And I do encourage everyone to read the Bible, especially if it’s something that is nagging you–that might be God calling!
Not only is it a great goal to read the whole thing, but it is also great protection against people who use the Bible as a way to spread hate and fear. If you’ve read it, you can set many people straight (including yourself) and possibly inspire with your knowledge of Christ as love and mercy. It is better than sitting back allowing the world to fester in its own lie (fear and hate), as I did for so many years, almost to the point where I started to believe the lie myself. Get back to building that temple inside of you! 😄
“Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it…” (Haggai 1:7)
Go up into the mountains. Go to the high places where God dwells—the high road, the humble road, the merciful road, bring back wisdom from this “place” and live in that wisdom and pass on that wisdom so the people will see God through the work of your hands and heart.
“Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you never again will you fear any harm” (Zephaniah 3:14-15)
The last books of the Old Testament are the writings of prophets. The first part of Zephaniah is filled with terror, but then there is, of course, hope with faith in God. I look at a lot of these prophesies for cities and nations on an individual basis, in other words, instead of cities and nations, the words are speaking of an individual, of me, of you. And this book reminds me a lot of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. God said he would not destroy the towns if there was a good soul to be found within the city. This is the same of us. If there is just one good bit of us that is seeking God, (love), then we cannot be destroyed, because God lives in us. God won’t allow our complete destruction because it would be like destroying God. God wants to transform us, and many times God uses the pain we carry to do this. Have hope for the good bits, try to increase them, and look to the God within you.