Saturday, February 25, 2006

back

blogged here yesterday but it's gone AWOL

I've been on holiday.
Forgot my reading plan, so simply picked up the Bible each day for two 30 mins sessions.

Guess what I'm slightly ahead of target. (grin)

I loved the psalms, and want to go back and take them and Proverbs more slowly
and Isaiah is WONDERFUL - food for my soul.

be blessed all of you :)

Edited to add. I didn't have the RC bible with me so wisdom and Sirach are unread. I'll come back to those later. Maybe between OT and NT - or if in Tallinn then, (with only NIV) I'll take them ever later.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

still here...

Just a post to say I'm still here. I'm about a week behind, in Psalms, but I'm haning in there, and glad I'm doing it. Hoping to catch up in the next week or so, at least a little!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Waning

My enthusiasm has been dampened by family sickness over the last 2 weeks, and I'm finding it hard to feel as inspired about reading Sacred Scripture amidst feelings of nausea, if I'm honest.

I'm not behind yet, but that's only because at one point in my reading I read about 50 pages in one day...now if I read two I give myself a pat on the back :(

Nonetheless, in spite of children vomitting and scaring me silly with soaring temperatures and in spite of them being thoroughly generous and sharing their bugs with me.. I have found some verses to treasure. I had to laugh out loud the other day when I read this;

Psalm 105:23

Then Israel came to Egypt;

Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.

I have to remember...it's all good!

Do I know what I'm reading?

It doesn't seem that we are many in here anymore :(

I'm struggling big time, too. Missing three days in a row due to guests and then all kinds of busyness - including the whole family going through the pukes - has made it soooooo difficult to resume the reading habit. I'm still 3 days behind, although at the worst it was four, maybe almost 5 days.

Anyway, I'm about half way through the Psalms, and I honestly can't say that I'm enjoying it. Just reading through like a machine, because I "have to". The words and the message aren't "sinking in" - not at all, actually.

I don't think the Psalms fit in this fast phased reading, because they're prayers. They're cries for the Lord, and reading them fast, all in a row, makes me feel like a manic-depressive mental case: From the deepest downs to the utmost highs!

Oh, well, it's just this one time, so maybe I'll survive, after all. But it sure doesn't make me happy *blush*, so I won't do this again, not with the Psalms.

For now, I'm trying to catch up a little bit every day. To read 2-4 pages extra. But honestly, managing even with the "obligatory" daily chunck is a struggle!

Hope all of you silent ones haven't given up the whole thing...

-e-

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Proverbial Proverbs...

Getting into King Solomon. I comment on it over at the Big Dunk.

Love+
Rachel

away for a week

I'm a bit behind and finding it hard to get back into the swing of this.
Bible packed though, and hoping to read at least the rest of the Psalms and Proverbs, but if it's peaceful who knows what might happen!

I've also packed a novel for light reading and two books on the Eucharist for my studies in case we get snowed in, or I get a day bymyself in the cottage.

No computer access there, so expect a quiet week from me!

be blessed

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I'm alive

Sorta. It's been a tough few weeks for me. I didn't even try to keep up...but now I'm getting back at it. I'm seriously behind, having just read Ruth, but I'm going to keep going even though I know I won't probably catch up or finish in 90 Days.

Silent in here...

After preparing for guests and then entertaining them for the whole weekend I've fallen seriously out of the reading routine. I'm having real trouble into getting back to the reading.

Yesterday I started reading Job and it really scares me that according to the schedule I should be far away with the psalms already.

Well, maybe I'd better get to work instead of whinig...

-e-

Although I liked my detour into the Apocrypha I must say I'm really really happy to be back in my familiar NIV (The Bible MaryBeth gave me with the Apocrypha in it is the New American Bible (RC version) and I'm not sure if that's the reason but many of the Historical names are different which caused some confusion for me.

Anyway I'm back in the NIV, and almost - but not quite- back on track for the 90 day reading plan.

I was on chat to eija and said I was going to bed early to read - and I did. I read about half of Job and this morning lay in bed while everyone else in our family were bustling around and read the second half.

It's an amazing book, and I especially liked reading it fast as it's one long story.

I could relate to Job's anguish and dispair, and his anger too. I smarted at the easy answers from his religious friends. At the end all of Job's friends and Job himself are silenced - not in an awful way but by the wonder of God.

As they bow down to God's supremacy, all is restored. It's wonderful.

No the human in me (the woman) rebels a bit because I don't think giving me a new husband or other kids would replace the first. ever. but to dwell on that is to miss the whole point.

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away - but still we bless Him, praise Him and bow down before Him in worship.

I've been reading a book called brokenness by Lon Solomon. If you don't understand suffering, or if you, like Job, think it's all too much - then this book is for you. It's an amazing little book. Easy to read and yet so deep. Full of truth and light, and it brought life to me.

So if you haven't got enough to read with the Bible readings just now, so out and buy or borrow that book. You'll be glad you did.

Lorna xx

Sunday, February 12, 2006

a bit stuck

I've been reading 1 Maccabees (apocrypha) and hope to get through 2 Mac too today and then back to the NIV and wisdom books.

I really enjoyed Tobit and Judith was good too, but not quite as good. I made the mistake of reading NIV Esther and then comparing it to the RC version (which includes the letters and the prayers and more background info)

Anyway I'm a few days behind and next week looks awfully busy so we'll see how it works out. Looks like I'll have some extra reading to do when away on holiday the week after and that's ok.

How is everyone else doing?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Speed Psalter

It is said that the desert Fathers read the psalter every single day. Catholics do it in a week... Anglicans in a month. Our schedule is in something like 4 days and I am loving every bit of it. I am surprised, actually, that it has so much nuance and meaning in such a quick reading. But I think reading the psalms in their actual context, which I have never done before, is revealing unexpected nuances.

Before, all the war stuff was so uncomfortable and seemingly out of context that the only way I could cope with it was to make into a kind of metaphor for my own struggle with sin. The enemy, then, became my own 'jerk nature'. It was, indeed, helpful to read it that way. But now, having read the history of King David and the struggles of the Judeans and the Israelites, the war stuff actually takes on a completely different and literal meaning. And that enhances the meaning of these songs, rather than diminishes them. You can really hear David's anguish, triumph, joy and thanksgiving. It is remarkable.

I LOVE the psalms.

And talk about it a bit more at The Big Dunk.

Xerxes and Vashti

Make no mistake King Xerxes was a nasty bit of work. We studied a bit about him during our OT characters course at seminay last spring, I'll dig up my notes if I can find them later!

What strikes me as I begin reading Esther is this:

Queen Vashti has done wrong -.. for they [all the women] will despise their husbands and say King X commanded queen V to be brought before him, but she would not come ... and this very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility ...will respond in the same way to all the king's nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord." (Esther 1: 16-18)


Vashti's crime? - she chose not to come when the King wanted to parade her around "wearing her crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles" (who had been eating and drinking heavily during a seven day banquet!)

Her punishment? to be banished forever

Moreover
the king sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household. (Esther 1:22)


And Esther became this tyrant's queen.

lovely? I think not.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Busy...

Starting from yesterday, until Sunday I think I'll be too busy to do the readings. Ouch... That means I have a huge chunck to do next week!!!

Anyway, I just read a few chapters of Nehemiah (here at work *blush*) and somehow I really love that book! I've never read it before, but there's just something that makes me want to dig in deeper.

-e-

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

a short detour

After reading the historical books Erza-Nehemiah I've taken a slight detour (it'll last 3-4 days I think) into the apocrypha (deuterocanonical books)

Today I read -for the first time of my life - the lovely story or Tobiah and Sarah. ukok write more about it - and so much better than I could - over here

and in a day or two I'll put some thoughts of my own together about these books, but for now I want to say that I loved my first reading of Tobit. It is a love story, and it gives Glory to God. Tobit was a righteous man and in many ways I think he's an architype of Job before God sent suffering his way. Tobit also suffered and yet never lost faith in God.

Be blessed

Edited: No-one's posted since this so I thought to add
a) I read Judith today. I loved this quote (Judith 8:17 - so while we wait for the salvation that comes from him, let us call upon him to help us and he will hear our cry)

b) nah forget it. Just a rant and it isn't really necessary. More hugs and blessings, Lorna

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Loved Job

And am moving on to the psalms. Here is a link to my blog about it: The Big Dunk

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Moving experience

Having said about the problems I had with reading all chapters about sacrifices, I had a very moving experience this morning. I`ve written about it on my blog

isn't solomon's prayer great?

I share my thoughts on this over here

Be blessed!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Thoughts on Tobit

I'm finally loving my Bible reading with more than a fleeting passion!

God Bless.

Friday, February 03, 2006

:(

1 Chronicles.
sigh

all those names and geneologies. I know they are important but oh they are SO boring to me. I pressed on and read the whole boring book because I wasn't sure I could face it over three days.

There were some great verses here and there, but I found it really repetitive and going over 'old stuff' from 1,2 Sam and 1,2 Kings.

Hoping 2 Chronicles is a bit better. a quick flick through makes me hopeful. a bit!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

double portion

I forgot all about the Bible reading on Tuesday so had a double portion to read yesterday - which brought me through Elijah and Elisha.

I wrote a bit about Elisha and his anointing here

It isn't all smooth sailing but yesterday I got a lot done, perhaps because I prioritised Him? At the beginning of the year I also thought I'd read the office each day (which isn't part of my church tradition) but I've found myself slipping on that score and didn't even take the office with me to Tallinn, so still a lot of room for improvement but it's all about grace right and yeah one day at a time.

Getting priorities right is never easy, at least for me. I constantly drift and have to haul myself back. I've appreciated having this on-line support from you!

EDITED to add
It just struck me as I was reading 2 k 15 that ofcourse the prophets fit in with this stories but aren't mentioned much - for example (I think) Jonah and Amos fall into this time slot but aren't mentioned. It would be useful sometime to read the bible in sort of chronological order. I have seen that kind of Bible advertised but never held one in my hands.

Have any of you read the Bible like that? Would you like to?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Still plugging away

So as not to duplicate my most recent blog post about my Bible reading thus far, I'll simply link to it instead,

It's all good, but it's not always easy, this much I know.

God Bless :)

Did you know?

This is a crosspost from my blog the invisible:

The Bible is such a fun book! Today I found a verse that really made me chuckle!

They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.
(2 Kings 10:27)


*grin*

-e-

Stuck

I think I may have given up on the Bible in 90 days.I am a good week behind myself (and I didn't start till 7th Jan, which puts me behind some of you anyway) . When last I looked, I had just finished Joshua,- and I can't imagine I'll have made any progress without actually noticing, somehow! Given the heady excitement of running the parish on my own for a month, while Wonderful Vicar spends time with the Church of South India, I don't forsee being much more regular in my reading for quite a while. Could one of you give me a good reason not to abandon ship at this point??? I don't want something that is self-imposed to become an unreasonable burden, but fully realise that my always dubious relationship with the Bible will not be helped if I give up when I've actually got a blogging community to keep me at least vaguely on track.
I will at least take The Message with me to Venice next week. Who knows, perhaps waiting for budget airline flights may turn out to be just the answer to reader's block. I'm definitely not experiencing this as a spiritual process to date, but rather an educational, "this-is-quite-interesting" sort of thing. I do know, though, that expecting the unexpected is a pretty good fundamental premise in encounters with God, so my mind is still open, I think/hope.

Bogged down by details

I`m still reading, have got to 2 Samuel, but I`m getting tired of reading of the numbers of men going into numerous battles, and must confess I am tending to skip over those detailed bits.
It makes me wonder a few things -
Did they really count those thousands and hundreds of men who went every time there was a battle?
What did they do with all the people who were killed? – were they buried or just left lying afterwards for ever where they fell?
What about the women and children of all those who went off to fight – what did they think about it?
What did they do while the men were fighting?
What about the hundreds who`s husbands, fathers, sons were killed in battles, how did they survive?
It came to me that there is practically no reference to women at all. But there must have been women and girls and children too.

Finally

In Chronicles I am finally beginning to see inklings of the God I recognize. The prayer of David in Chronicles 1 and the prayer of Solomon in Chronicles 2. How beautiful they are. It makes me realize that most of what we have read so far has been the writings of historians or observers. Only rarely do we get a sense of the character's own feelings about something. But these two prayers speak to the personal relationships that David and Solomon have with God. They speak to love and mercy. Mercy was the thing that seemed to be missing from the bible so far... and Solomon speaks of it so beautifully. So eloquently. One section especially struck me...

2Ch 6:36 "When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to a land far off or near,
2Ch 6:37 if they take thought in the land where they are taken captive, and repent and make supplication to You in the land of their captivity, saying, 'We have sinned, we have committed iniquity and have acted wickedly';
2Ch 6:38 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been taken captive, and pray toward their land which You have given to their fathers and the city which You have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Your name,
2Ch 6:39 then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, their prayer and supplications, and maintain their cause and forgive Your people who have sinned against You.


For there is no man that doesn't sin...

And yet, we are asking you, God, to forgive us. Solomon asks that when we turn back to you, you take us in your loving embrace.

So here we have it. Sin and forgiveness for the first time. Amen.