Categories
Humor the real self

Dried apricots

My New Year’s non-resolution was to get up early enough to have time to write before I start work. You know, like serious writers are supposed to do…if you read all the books…(which I don’t).

I’m doing quite well with Part A – getting up early. For me, this is almost a miracle.

No, it is a miracle.

Part B has been another matter. I thought Part B had to do with this blog and my other blog (piano music) or maybe even a new blog I have in mind. It hasn’t turned out that way.


I’m an introvert whose life is way too busy. One generation before me, one just even with me, and two behind me – that’s a lot of people right there. No way am I missing out on all that fun. No way am I turning into an old codger.

(Codger – haven’t thought of that word in a long time.)

Where does an old potential-codger introvert, surrounded by generations of people, find a little nook in the space-time continuum to put one’s feet up, stare off into the distance, and realize how many muscles are knotted up and pinpoint exactly where they are?


I eat a lot of dried apricots – helps me keep my potassium from going low. (I get mine from Trader Joe’s – by far the best place I know of for dried fruit.) Some are soft and sweet and some are hard and don’t taste like much.

I become the second kind. When I don’t have time to myself. To just be and just do whatever my dried apricot soul feels like being and doing.


That’s what Part B has turned into.

And the surprise I wasn’t expecting:

my soul has been feeling like writing emails to people in those generations around me, connecting with them in new ways about what is going on in their lives;

praying for them much more than I ever had before

(and, alas, for people like Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, who I don’t even like to include in the same paragraph);

and just thinking about them and letting joy happen.


That’s it. My New Year’s non-resolution, unbeknownst to me and not part of my plan:

Make a little nook of space and time to let joy happen.

Grace and peace to you…

dw

Categories
the Bible

Does it translate?

“The Bible makes no sense to me.”

I think this is a common experience of all who read the Bible or who have tried and eventually put it down. If this is you, you are in good company.

Remember, the only reason to read the Bible is to know Jesus better. He is as committed to making a connection as you are. More committed. So as you reach for him, he is reaching for you.

Both of you want it to translate.

Pick a translation that reads naturally to you. Don’t struggle with an old one. If a voice in your head (or in your ear) says you should read the King James Version – heaven help us – just don’t. Period. Unless early modern English is your native language. Which it isn’t. So, none of that.

One recent translation you may want to try is called The Message by Eugene Peterson.

You might want to pray briefly and simply before you read. Something like “Jesus, I want to know you more. Help me hear what you have to say.”

Pause your reading when it feels natural. Don’t feel the need to read some prescribed amount every day. (Although there is nothing wrong with that, either.) It will translate better if you don’t feel pushed or rushed.

When you read a passage you don’t understand or that troubles you, that’s okay. Jesus has a lot to teach every one of us.

Hang in there with your thoughts and feelings. Trust that Jesus hears you, right where you are.

Maybe risk a little conversation, formulating what words you can. Listen for a response – thoughts or feelings that are new.

See, you are praying!

Grace and peace to you…

dw

Categories
prayer the Bible

Resolved to read?

Did anyone out there make a resolution to read the Bible in 2021?

(If you want, you can try out this fancy poll.)

I want to share a few thoughts over the coming weeks about the Bible and the experience of reading it. Not that I’m an expert or anything: I’m not. But maybe my experience could be a help to you.

And yours to me.

So this could be kind of a discussion, if you like. What do you think?

There are two things I want to start with – to me they are really important. The first is where I’m coming from about the purpose of the Bible and of reading it; Jesus says it better than anyone:

“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you…

Peterson, Eugene H.. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language . The Navigators. Kindle Edition. John 5:39-40

There are all kinds of reasons for reading the Bible, but for me this is the one that matters: to bring us to Jesus. That’s what I want to focus on.

The second thing I want to mention today: are you familiar with Mary Oliver’s poem Praying? (If not, you can read it here: Praying – a poem by Mary Oliver – it’s by far the most popular post on this blog.)

What does this have to do with reading the Bible? Everything. Reading the Bible is a way to pray. Come to it from where you are, with what you have and what you lack. Just be yourself. Just come.

Jesus says, “Here I am, right here. Just come on, the way you are, so we can be together.”

Grace and peace to you…

dw