eastwind journals 96 By Bernie Lopez firstname.lastname@example.org
1- HOW TO PRAY WITH THE BIBLE
If you pray every morning, and are getting tired, or thinking God may be getting tired of your repetitive prayer, find new ‘creative’ ways of praying, such as reading short Bible excerpts as meditation points. This document gives beginners a proper background on the Bible to start you off. The power of the Internet has made Bible reading so easy, as shown in no. 5.
01 There are two essential steps in Bible-praying a) short prayer-meditation, b) reading of lengthier events or anecdotes. In both, reading must be followed by meditating or internalizing what you read, and juxtaposing it to your present lives, your work and relationship problems, your family life.
02 a) short prayer-meditation. There are prayer areas in the Bible which can form the staple of your daily prayer. These can be, for a beginner, the Books of Psalms, Proverbs, and Isaiah, to start with. You can graduate to discover other books later, like Ecclesiastes and Jeremiah. You can read sequentially or randomly one to two-minute excerpts from these prayer areas. Because the Bible is so thick, you can start discovering books you like slowly as you keep using it. You need not take a course.
The Psalms, for example, has 150 songs or psalms, enough to keep you going for six months of daily prayer. It is enough to read half or one song and meditate on its message, and juxtapose it to your present-day life. Others prefer to read two to three songs. It is up to you, how much time you have before your daily grind.
The trilogy books of Psalms-Proverbs-Isaiah, are found one after the other. You can download these three from the Internet, and get a master printout you can carry with you instead of a heavy Bible. You can also email this to your friends as your apostolate in spreading the Word of God. Remember that sharing your prayers is a more powerful prayer than just praying on your own. Don’t think only of yourself. Make it a habit to have an apostolate of sharing, by forwarding prayers to friends.
03 b) reading of lengthier events or anecdotes. After the staples or prayer readings, you can read Bible stories, for example, the life of Jesus, His words, precepts, parables, homilies or sermons. A good start would be the four Gospel books – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They are found one after the other in the New Testament.
04 Use a yellow marker to highlight inspirational texts so that you can go back to them later on. That is all you need as a beginner. You are on your way as a daily Bible reader. Do not forget the essential – you are praying and talking to God, and juxtaposing all the problems and gems of your daily life and offering it to Him.
05 One last point is using the power of the Internet to easily search for items in the Bible, copy-pasting portions you can email to friends as an apostolate. Go to the Bible website– http://www.biblestudytools.com/exodus/16.html It is so easy to use. There is a search box at the top-left where you can place keywords. Place the word ‘manna’ and click ‘search’, and a listing instantly is given of all portions of the Bible, Old and New Testament, which contain the word ‘manna’. You can search for chapters, e.g. Psalm 103 or verses Psalm 103:5-7. This powerful tool can make you discover the Bible faster.
There are many versions of the Bible, so choose one you like. If you have no preferences yet, you can start with the popular New International Version (NIV), King James, Good News, etc. Go to a small drop-down box at the top right and click your choice. Go through several versions so you can select one you like. Some use archaic language, some modern.
You can click a button and LISTEN instead of READ the Bible. You can listen to the Bible while working, eating, driving through heavy traffic, or before going to bed. On the top left, below the search box, is an icon giving play-pause-wind-rewind. Turn on your speaker and click the speaker icon next to it.
Finally, after you search and read a chapter or verse, there is a portion at the bottom saying ‘view in parallel’ and ‘compare translation’ which can relate the chapter or verse you just read to other versions and other related events.
2- MADONNA FOUND ON OCEAN FLOOR (video)
Bohol is an island in the Philippines, scene of a recent devastating earthquake, a prime global tourism destination. A local tourism promoter posted a Youtube video about a statue of our Lady in the deep off Bohol. He said it was placed there to stop dynamite fishing. Realizing the powerful footage could draw him his own viewers, an Indian posted it again, falsely claiming it was found off Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean during the search for the missing Malaysian aircraft.
Pope Francis commissioned the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima to be sent to Bohol after the earthquake, the whereabouts of which is not known after the millennium storm Yolanda (Haiyan). The footage seems to be giving a message – that we need to pray more in this era of continuing disasters. Watch this video.
Oh, Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us who have recourse to You. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
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