The Book of Romans

These are my contemplative thoughts, you might disagree and that’s OK!

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“The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17

Faith in Latin is fides which was one of the highest and most honorable virtues in Ancient Rome among the people involved in public affairs. Fides was a form of trust and an unwavering reliability in someone. But this virtue was considered the foundation of partnerships. Now if we are to take Paul’s quote here which was originally stated in Habakkuk 2:4, and apply it to the term ‘fides’, we could easily change the verse to: the righteous will live by an unwavering partnership with God. The minute we turn our gaze to God, He turns his gaze to us. We both act as a mirror—with Him being the real image we are supposed to reflect. Swipe 👉to see two mirrors reflecting on to infinity—an unwavering, undistorted image as long as the original image remains undistorted.

Even if we sometimes feel He has left us, He has not. His gaze is on us and is unwavering so long as we always keep Him the main focus of our hearts, which, if done with love, should help us through all things in our day to day life.

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The Book of Ezra

I thought time in quarantine would allow me moments of quiet reflection, new creative projects, and the ability to find myself, but instead I seem to be lost. The anxious energy of the world is such that it has penetrated not only my home but my peaceful mind and spirit. The darkness has sought out and found all but one small flickering, spiritual light in me. And it is with this last bit that I am writing to you.

Ezra appears in Chapter 7 of 10 of his own book, the book of Ezra. His greatest dilemma seems to be ridding God’s holy nation of “pestilence”, the intermarriage of God’s holy people with pagans. But if we take out the human factor, (because we ought to love our neighbors, and I won’t get into Ezra’s mindset here) and look at this with allegory in mind, as we too are fighting a plague, these few chapters teach us that we must rid ourselves of all that separates us from God or may influence our retreat from our deep knowledge of His existence. We are indeed living a nightmare. I feel like I’ve been fighting and clawing my way back to God and to hope and to light. And I feel this fire in my heart, like anger, and a yearning to take up arms against evil and death, if only in prayer, to defeat, with my own will and diligence, this darkness that seems insistent to take God’s hope away from me. The darkness is taking over my creativity, my bright, colorful mind, and the bright, colorful people of this earth. Though I have not failed to notice the earth, in this northern hemisphere, is very much alive with hope and new life right now, I will pray for hope’s revival in the hearts and minds of the people. I will weep and pray like Ezra for the resurrection of peace. And I will rebuild my own temple of light, brick by brick, with the hope that its light will be a beacon to those who may need it.

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The book of Joshua

I have no authority to teach you about these stories, you might disagree with me and that’s OK! 👇👇👇

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I enjoyed reading Joshua. It’s filled with action, and I especially loved the story about Rehab the prostitute, an unexpected hero in worldly terms.

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In this book, Joshua takes the reins after Moses dies and leads the Israelites on the rest of the journey to conquer the promise land. They are able to do this if they keep God close. He will help them achieve their freedom. Much like what I spoke about last week in freedom from whatever may be oppressive in our lives, but now Joshua must finish the job Moses started. We are called to teach our children (younger generations) well to remain always with a sense of what freedom means and how it can be achieved: with God’s help or living in the Spirit of Love and mercy. We do not need to lean on our “parents” forever as someday we will have to be responsible for our own beliefs and actions and discern whether or not what we’ve been taught is even good or right.

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The book of Deuteronomy

I have no authority to teach you about the books in the Bible. You might disagree with me and that’s OK. 👇👇👇

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“Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordon to posses.” -Deuteronomy 11:8

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In Deuteronomy we hear from Moses himself about the journey into the promise land. But if we take this from a symbolic viewpoint, we see that he is telling that the journey is hard even for the ‘chosen’. Hardships and sacrifices will surely come when we decide to truly follow a holy path—not perfect, but living in the Holy Spirit, recognizing God’s presence in our own being. People will try to make ‘war’ against you when you live this way, because naturally you will become a more gentle and tender person. They might not think you’re fun anymore. They may try to make you feel like you’re lame or boring because you won’t join in with the gossip or masochistic recreation (whatever that may be; little acts of hate can damage the soul). We might have to kill many relationships that are damaging in order to truly follow a new clean path and live in the Spirit—“the land that we are trying to possess”. We may have to cut ties with relationships that may be unheathly and fight against what we’re trying to obtain in a clean mind, body, and spirit. We may have to cut ties with those who fight against a new ‘us’ even if it means cutting ties with parts of ourselves.

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The Book of Numbers

*I have no authority to teach you lessons from the Bible, I only hope you will find something useful. You might disagree with my interpretation and that’s OK!

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“When you cross the Jordan in to Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places.” –Numbers 33:51

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OK verses such as the above are what gives God a bad rap. It sounds violent and scary and seems to advertise war. But I will tell you that you must not look at the surface for the meaning in scripture, people that do often miss the truth and can interpret wrongly. Go deeper and this verse takes on a different shape entirely: Before your spirit can settle in peace with God and with yourself, drive out all things that are holding you back from a true and pure existence—all that you consider an ‘idol’ should be destroyed. For me, for a long time, my ‘idol’ getting traditionally published. I prayed and prayed for this to happen. But it wasn’t until I read this verse and saw my own folly in holding that goal on a pedestal of importance over many other things, and asking myself exactly WHY I wanted my books out there (was it for selfish reasons, or was my goal to help people?), that I was able to give up the idea and decide instead to be happy no matter what happened to all my books, poems, essays and dedicate my writing to the purpose of GOOD. Once I did this I found a publisher. Call that whatever you like, but I know where this gift came from. Have faith and hope that God will show you the way, but we must be patient and trust Him with all our hearts. That’s what I think anyway.

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The book of Leviticus

*Disclaimer: Again, I have no authority to teach you, if you disagree with my thinking that’s OK!

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It’s Friday which means I’m sharing our next book of the Bible! I will say Leviticus and Numbers (I will talk about Numbers in two weeks) are two of the hardest books to get through because they, to me, are a bit boring. But the book of Leviticus, written by Moses, shares with us one of the most important and relevant verses. One which speaks profoundly to our present time and political atmosphere:

“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” –Leviticus 19:33-34

Not only can this be applied to our own U.S. border, but also to when you get introduced to your future in-laws, or a newcomer in the neighborhood, workplace, or religious organization. It is one of two important verses I have noted from this book. Most of the book is filled with strict instruction on how to keep the sabbath holy and ourselves holy. It feels very primitive to me. Some might find this interesting, but I was rather bored. Yet I see where it is an incredibly important addition to the Bible itself. Next week I’ll share thoughts on Galatians.

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The Gospel of Matthew

Disclaimer: I have no authority to teach you about any of these wonderful books, so if you read on, please take what I say lightly. As a writer I find the Bible an interesting home for allegory, I could decipher every line for a lifetime of endless fun for me, but for you, I can only communicate what I learned. Perhaps you disagree and that’s OK!*


“‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” He said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, so he cried out, ‘Lord, Save me.'”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand & caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why doubt?'”
-Matthew 14:28-31

Doubt is a very dangerous emotion, and can indeed make us sink. We can feel on top of everything, then if we allow doubt to enter our minds, our moral sinks like a stone in water. The wind here can represent persecutors in any form–people at work attacking us, our friends, our family. It could be an obstacle in the way of our success, addiction, or our own phobias. Peter took his eyes off Christ for a moment and noticed the wind–his body began to react (a fight or flight scenario), and he began to doubt. But if he had total faith, he would have stayed afloat. Sort of like Peter Pan which could have very well been written based on this story from the gospels. “PETER” needed a happy thought to fly. If you are a Christian that happy thought is Jesus and his perpetual guiding hand of comfort and safety.

Amen.

Bible Book Reviews! EXODUS today!

I have no authority to teach you about any of these wonderful books, so if you read on, please take what I say lightly. As a writer I find the Bible an interesting home for allegory, I could decipher every line for a lifetime of endless fun for me, but for you, I can only communicate what I learned. Perhaps you disagree and that’s OK!

Exodus is the story of Moses trying to convince the Pharaoh to release the Israelites so they can worship in the wilderness for three days. The word ‘wilderness’ to me is very significant, but I won’t talk about that today. My first notes on this book are below… “Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.” -Exodus 5:2 *First, you should understand my thinking that there are two lives we live. One life we live in the world (as a consumer for ourselves), one life we live in the spirit (a giver to others). We can choose to live in one life more than the other.* “To me Pharaoh represents the ‘world’ which constantly distracts us & pulls us away from God (life in the spirit) in every news report, in every advertisement, in every new ‘this’ and new ‘that’. We are perpetually distracted by a world that asks with blatant indifference, ‘who is the Lord?’. Moses here wants to ‘free’ the people who wish to live in the spirit, today we might think of this freedom as a freedom from addiction, freedom from selfishness, freedom from guilt, from arrogance, from pride and cynicism. The world perpetuates all of these qualities by making us blind to what is TRUTH & LOVE. 💕💕💕

Tune in Every Friday for Bible talks!

Anyone who has ever wanted to read the Bible but felt too overwhelmed by the task can check out my feed for a quick summary and discussion of the books. I will share what I thought with quotes etc. I am not a fundamentalist, I look at much of the Bible allegorically. You’ll see what I mean come Friday! We will start with Genesis.

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The Bible has been the source of inspiration for many authors in the past—Steinbeck, Maugham, Harper Lee, just to name a few. As a writer, and a person of faith, I felt it was in my best interest to read the whole thing.

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Also, this is a safe space. I do not discriminate age, sex, gender, ethnicity, religion, or skin color. ALL are welcome! These posts are meant to deliver to you some peace.

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P.S. I will not be going in chronological order! 😀

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Today I review the Bible

A couple weeks ago I finished the Bible. I read it in a year, taking an hour every morning to read three chapters. I filled three notebooks of my thoughts—arguments and extensions—of what I thought everything meant.

There are 4,200 religions in the world. That is almost as many as there are languages spoken. Proof that God speaks to us all differently, in the ways only we can hear Him. Of the four most popular religions, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism—the very center of all of their teachings is love. It is important that we understand each other through love, because that is TRULY what these religions teach us whether you’re black, white, brown, red, or blue, whether you are gay, straight, trans, etc., love should be EVERYTHING! 💕

It has been said in my family that my beloved great Grandpa—even in passing he is still my hero—saw a vision of the Blessed Mother twice. She spoke to him in Italian, and he never told anyone what she said. He prayed to her every night and had this small painting (pictured)of her praying by his bedside. It came with him from Italy and is over 100 years old. I have it now and remember him always.

The Book Wisdom of Solomon is considered an apocryphal book meaning it did not make the cut into some Bibles, but I think it’s beautiful so, there you go. .