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.

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 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

The book of Judges

“Then the Lord raised up judges who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.” –Judges 2:16

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Judges is one of my favorite books of the Old Testament. In this book, God raises up 12 judges over the course of 325 years to help keep the Israelites on the right path. I enjoyed this book because it helped me realize that I too had judges raised up for me in my life to help guide me. When my great grandpa (my grandmother’s father) died, I went 12 years before another person ‘passed through’ my life to lead me further to God. And I was lucky to have the perpetual guidance of my mother and grandmother. My other grandpa (my mother’s father) was a born again Christian and had a very aggressive approach to evangelism, but his wrong way guided me also, because I didn’t want to be like that. Since, I have thought much of my judges, and I give thanks to/for them and pray for them—which, to me, is basically any time I think of them with pure love and gratitude and meditate on their well-being with the knowledge of God’s presence(in this way many of us have ‘prayed’ without realizing it was prayer). Let us all give thanks to those who may have been our guides in the dark.

The book of Hebrews

“As has just been said, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” -Hebrews 3:15

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In the verse above it is referencing Deuteronomy where the Israelites rebelled after they heard the voice of God. Sometimes we do this too. We hear a voice or He guides us—we feel His hand on us but we deny that it is His hand or His voice or that miracles still exist. Then the touch dies away or we get caught up with the things of this world and we forget He is there waiting for us to listen. This verse is telling us to listen this time and not shut the voice out.

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#bibleverse #biblejournaling #christianity #religion #episcopal #episcopalchurch #hebrews #bookstagram #book #bibliophile #bookphotography #writers #writersofinstagram #readersofinstagram

Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Said to be the calming pastoral voice for Robert Louis Stevenson, The Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne was a Presbyterian minister in Edinburgh, Scotland in the early 1800s. Although very passionate in his vocation to ‘Save’ individuals and bring them to Christ, almost obnoxiously so, M’Cheyne’s writing is beautiful and his love & passion for his “flock” is felt throughout his work. One thing he writes that stuck out to me was that we should not just read scripture but try to FEEL the words we are reading. I thought this was very good advice. This work is edited by his good friend Andrew Bonar.

The entire work is a compilation of letters, full sermons, his memoir and his ‘Daily Bread’ calendar, which gives a bit of scripture to read everyday. Some quotes of his I have collected are below…

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“One gem from that ocean [the gospel] is worth all the pebbles of earthly streams.”

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“You know that a lighted lamp is a very small thing, and it burns calmly and without noise; yet “it giveth light to all that are within the house.”

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“Pray that you may pray to God, and not for the ears of man. Feel His presence more than man’s.”

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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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