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. 💕💕💕

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The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Finally finished this! Took me two months!! 🙄 Mostly because every time I picked it up I fell asleep. It didn’t help that I had Ennio Morricone film scores circling in my mind, as I’ve been listening to his arrangements with Yo-Yo Ma on repeat for two weeks. So that music perpetually in my head coupled with excessive imagery and a lack of stimuli completely relaxed me to dozing off in the middle of every chapter. I LOVE Virginia Woolf but this, being her first novel, just wasn’t as compelling as her other work though there were hints of her brilliant style throughout. .

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Pictured is the 1975 London Edition from Hogarth Press—her husband’s press that he owned until 1946. .

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The Life of St. Teresa of Avila by Herself

Just started reading this. The Life of St. Teresa of Avila by Herself. Heard she was very hardcore—visions and mystical occurrences. She was born in 1515 in Spain. She was a Christian mystic, like the monk Luis de Leon (I reviewed his work about a month ago), a category of Christianity under which my own theology falls. The definition has changed some since the sixteenth century. So here goes nothing. ✍️🧐 I’ll review it when finished!! .

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The Dewey Decimal Files

No book review today, but I wanted to share with you an old relic… remnants of the Dewey decimal filing system!! 💕 An archaic method of finding book call numbers before computers. A system which almost turned me off books forever! I remember I was in second or third grade when the librarians showed us how to use it, and I thought, if this is what I’ll have to do when I become a grown-up then find me Peter Pan pronto, because I never want to grow up. 😘 .

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Bible Talk: Brief intro to Genesis

Enjoy these pictures of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit!

Part of Genesis is a lesson about diversity & inclusion.

It is 50 chapters. I have 20 pages of notes on it, but I will try to explain what I got out of it to the best of my ability. I hope I can do it some justice. I hope my words make sense. 😬☕️

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FIRST SENTENCE of the BIBLE:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” -Genesis 1:1-2

And at the end of each day, God saw that what he had accomplished was good. …………………..

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If you’re going to love others, love them with all your heart. If you’re going to work with others, work with all your heart. If you are going to help others, help with all your heart. Feed others with all your heart. Share with all your heart, etc.. You get it. .

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I put the words “(with)others” in there, because it is one way we can incorporate God into the conversation without mentioning His name.

But also, anyone can be a saint when they don’t have to interact with people. It is how we treat each other that really tests our patience, our courage, our strength, & our generosity, we change and grow this way. First line again: “Now the earth was formless and empty.” We too are formless and empty until we interact with other creatures/people and allow ourselves to be tried and tested (change and grow) by the interaction. Only then can we truly find love, find ourselves, and find God. 💕

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There are so many lessons in Genesis. We’d really need a whole week (or more) to discuss them all, and I know most people don’t read everyone’s posts. Consider this a basic summing up. VERY BASIC! If anything the creation story is about diversity and inclusion. .

Pictured is a portion of a Gwen Frostic poem.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Gearing up for our Bible talk on Genesis tomorrow? Here’s something…

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Not a favorite of mine, because it did not bring me joy but rather left me with the darkness of humanity. It is Steinbeck’s allegorical retelling of the book of Genesis. Featuring twins Cal and Aron. One good, one bad.

Question: What is east of Eden?

Answer: The land of Nod, where no purity exists.

More tomorrow on Genesis!

Absalom, Absalom! By William Faulkner

⭐️⭐️ Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner. Did anyone like it? Anyone? I felt as if I were in that dark shuttered-up parlor the whole time with that old woman character—like for real. That’s how the story was, very dark, not in feeling but rather in what I could see of the story and what I couldn’t. I had to excuse myself more than once from my usual reading spot to hide in a closet or my bedroom only to come away with the slightest gist of Faulkner’s meaning from one paragraph! One paragraph!! The lucidity if the story was as muddy as the window in this picture. (I’ll wash it later). I hated the whole experience. I’ll be honest. But Faulkner accomplished what he set out to do. I admire him for this, as his goal was to make the reader feel lost as they try to navigate the truth of a family’s history based on three 😬different stories told after the fact. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that is how I remember it. Please comment below if you have any thoughts on this terrible, yet, brilliant piece. 😄

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I bought this 1951 copy in Brooklyn from a street vendor at which point my brother says, “oooh Absalom, Absalom!, I’ve heard that’s a hard one. He doesn’t use a lot of punctuation.” He was right. I couldn’t resist the vintage Modern Library cover art though.

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