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AWAKEN THE SPIRIT — The Sacred Texts of Jesus —

Jay Jeffries 1




GENESIS: THE BEGINNING SCENT Light some incense as you read; heighten your senses and explore the Sacred Texts of Jesus. Let this book take you through, with new eyes, a spiritual guide to humanity.

Image- Joel McKerrow of Fingerprint Photography


© 2010 JJ Solutions Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.” ( 4


PROLOGUE Wherever you look in today’s world, the Christian sacred scriptures are the best known of all the holy writings, and the most accessible to all the world’s peoples. They have been translated into more than 2,000 separate languages, and are an all-time best-seller. It’s not hard to see why. Their descriptions of human nature and our search for personal meaning and spiritual connection ring a bell with anyone who stops to think about their own life. This is the whole human story just as it is, with the ups and downs of our everyday struggle portrayed in vivid detail, as the heroes of faith celebrate the good times and come to terms with their own shortcomings. There is no aspect of life that is not included. Personal relationships, politics, food, and community—it’s all in there, and all connected to the divinity that is located at the heart of all things. Some writings even provide space for atheists and cynics to voice their frustration at how hard it can be to discern the divine in the chaos that surrounds everyday life. Then at the heart of it all is the story of Jesus, who is the Bible’s central manifestation of the sacred. He has no time for those who maintain religion without feeling or heart, for that usually leads to hypocrisy and judgmental attitudes. By contrast, his message is one of inclusivity, diversity, openness to all people—and above all, divine love. This both encourages those who are on the spiritual journey to stick with it, while challenging us to wonder if there might be more that we yet have to discover. Savour the journey!

John Drane


Humility Obsidian (APACHE TEARS) “May I walk humbly amongst the peoples of the world, willing to learn from those I meet.” – Community of Hope A journey must start with humility if we are ever able to see past ourselves and into the truth of the journey. Start the journey of reading this book with humility. Put all preconceptions aside and come free of judgment.


Image: Marcus Tabart of ‘tabART’



The cosmos is so intimately connected to the creator.


AN INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS ‘THE BEGINNING’ Simeon Payne The Sacred Texts is a collection of

As you read the text, enter into its


texture and rhythm. Some themes or


words are prominent and are repeated

Genesis comes from a Hebrew word,

ENQDLOG@RHR (MSGDƥQRSchapter, it is

(The original language of the text)


and means beginnings or generations.

action follows. Light overcomes darkness,

Genesis provides the Sacred Texts with a


backdrop or setting. It orients us to God.

that the creation “is good”. We discover

Why, is the key question to bear in mind when reading Genesis. Why did God create the universe and create us? What does this tell us about God? Is the Universe and all reality a mistake, or something wonderfully planned? Is there ultimate meaning? What makes humanity

a God who delights in what has been made. Lastly, we discover that we are the high point of this creation. Humans are created with special attributes that connects us to this creator, and also have responsibility to look after what has been made.


The text also questions some of today’s

should we relate to our environment?

ideas about God - does God represent

Genesis gives us a foundation to answer these questions, and helps us to understand why the world isn’t always a nice place today. Understanding Genesis is central to making sense of the rest of the Sacred Texts of Jesus.

Image: Adrienne Joy

goodness? Is God above all things, without competition? Is creation itself a god? Is God distant and remote? Does God control the cosmos? So, welcome to Genesis! May you delight in the text and experience the pleasure that God has for all creation.


As you read through the Sacred Text you’ll notice the style LVGLƱHUHQWWRPRVWRIWKHPRGHUQGD\ERRNV7KLVFDQPDNH it hard to see the passion in the creation and feel the spiritual SUHVHQFHRI*RG/HWPHHQFRXUDJH\RXWRUHDGVORZO\DQG OHWWKLVDQFLHQWZLVGRPVHHSLQWR\RXUVRXO$V\RXUHDG ‘The Beginning’, it might help to visualize a time before all time and see each event in your mind as it happened so long DJR%HSDWLHQWZLWKWKHWH[WDQGORRNEH\RQGWKHZRUGVRQ WKHSDJHDQGVHHNDVSLULWXDOFRQQHFWLRQZLWKDOLYLQJ*RG

THE CARETAKERS Oh, how the human race has taken for granted the gift of light, of water, of soil and of all creatures. Oh, how we have abused and rejected. We have gotten ourselves lost, and we have disconnected from this great earth. 10

Image: Joel McKerrow, ‘Fingerprint Photography’



THE STORY OF EARTH’S CREATION In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

BARREN Allow the image to draw you into the barren and empty landscape.


Image: Kath Bottern


Then God spoke, saying, “May there be light,” and light came to be. And God saw that the light was good. Then God created a division between the light and the darkness. He called the light day and the darkness night. So came the evening and morning of day one. And God spoke, saying, “May there be space between all the water, and a dividing of the waters and the waters,” and that’s what happened. God made the space and [He] divided the waters that were under the space from the waters that were over the space. And God called that space the sky. And God saw that this was good. So came the evening and morning of day two.


GOD CARES FOR HIS CREATION (A SACRED SONG OF KING DAVID) Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind; He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers. He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters were standing above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled, at the sound of Your thunder they hurried away. The mountains rose; the valleys sank down to the place which You established for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass over, so that they will not return to cover the earth. He sends forth springs in the valleys; they flow between the mountains; they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; They lift up their voices among the branches.



He waters the mountains from His upper chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works. He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine which makes man’s heart glad, so that he may make his face glisten with oil, and food which sustains man’s heart. The trees of the LORD drink their fill, the cedars of Lebanon which He planted, where the birds build their nests, And the stork, whose home is the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the shephanim. He made the moon for the seasons; the sun knows the place of its setting. You appoint darkness and it becomes night, In which all the beasts of the forest prowl about. The young lions roar after their prey and seek their food from God. When the sun rises they withdraw and lie down in their dens. Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until evening. O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions. There is the sea, great and broad, in which are swarms without


number, animals both small and great. There the ships move along, and Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it. They all wait for You to give them their food in due season. You give to them, they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good. You hide Your face, they are dismayed; You take away their spirit, they expire and return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground. Let the glory of the LORD endure forever; Let the LORD be glad in His works; He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the LORD. Let sinners be consumed from the earth. And let the wicked be no more. Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD! -Psalm 104




Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.

Image: Steven Hallam


Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a third day. Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.



Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.


THE EVER-GREENS A connection to Earth that radiates peace and harmony. 20

Image: Joel McKerrow, ‘Fingerprint Photography’



3GDM@STQ@KVNQKCHRL@FMHƥBDMS 6DB@MEDDKSG@SVDSQTKXřADKNMFŚ@LNMF the forests, mountains and rivers. The human connection with nature can be extraordinary and Genesis is the story of God’s connection to our living world. It was written in response to earlier Middle Eastern stories about creation. These stories involved a family of gods—one of whom defeats a dangerous chaos serpent that lived in the sea and divided its body to make the earth - and humanity, who are the God’s slaves. Genesis denies this story, and upholds that there is only one God who is responsible for all creation and God and humankind are partners in caring for our natural world. We are shown a caring God, who subdues the destructive chaos of creation, @MCSGDMƥKKRSGDD@QSGVHSGSDDLHMF@MCUHAQ@MSKHED 'TL@MR@QDSGDOHMM@BKD of this and are made in God’s image. God invites us to continue this creative, nurturing work. These days we know that human activity has harmed the environment, and it is tempting to want to blame others for this. Christians are sometimes accused of being the culprits and some critics think the root source for today’s devastation starts with the command in Genesis to, ‘subdue the earth’. Sadly it is true that some who claim to follow the Sacred Text have exploited the earth, but that is not what the text actually teaches. The command to ‘subdue the earth’ is not about ripping the world apart. It is about humans, being wise guardians by subduing destructive forces and acting in protective and nurturing ways so that the earth can bring forth fruit to sustain life. The paradise image is of a natural garden—not a strip mine or deforested wasteland.


As the story continues you will learn that environmental destruction is caused AXGTL@MRDKƥRGMDRR 2DKƥRGMDRRHR@SSGDGD@QSNEVG@SSGD2@BQDC2BQHOSTQDR call sin. It breaks the relationship between humans and God, and between humanity and creation, resulting in the environmental mess we see today. In sending Jesus, God starts to reverse the impact of sin, and the way that it destroys every relationship between God, humanity and the earth. The Christian 1st century writer Paul wrote to the early Christian community in the Greek city of Corinth, and explained that in Jesus, God was healing the world. He realised that this was a saving event for all creation. In another letter, Paul anticipates that all creation was longing ‘to see the sons and daughters of God so it too could be freed from destruction’. &NCHMUHSDRTRSNQDSTQMSN'HL &NCV@MSRTRSNRSNOADHMFRDKƥRG@MCSN protect and nurture His creation. God wants harmony, not environmental BG@NR BNMƦHBS@MCCDRSQTBSHNM

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”



BEING OF ME God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Image: Joel McKerrow, ‘Fingerprint Photography’





Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food�; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven. Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Image: Todd McGaw








A PSALM OF HAGGAI AND ZECHARIJAH Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light! Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created. He has also established them forever and ever; He has made a decree which will not pass away. Praise the LORD from the earth, Sea monsters and all deeps; Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; Mountains and all hills; Fruit trees and all cedars; Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and winged fowl; Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; Both young men and virgins; Old men and children. Let them praise the name of the LORD, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven. And He has lifted up a horn for His people, Praise for all His godly ones; Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him. Praise the LORD! -Psalm 148





The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.



REVEALING A PSALM OF DAVID The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course. Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat. The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. -Psalm 19


THE GREAT DANCE Inspired by a vision of the Three—Father, Jesus and Spirit, all delighting over creation and all that they had made in love. This dance is one of complete joy; the colors which they are in and of themselves, are the foreground for their divine painting of creation. This painting portrays the relationship of interconnectedness and mutual indwelling of the Three—God, Jesus and Spirit. If one were missing, the dance would be incomplete. But it is a circle of joy, love and creativity which is not static, but ever moving, ever evolving, ever loving. May we hear the music and join the dance.




Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.


The imperfections and scars left on humanity



THE FIRST ACT AGAINST GOD Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ ” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”

Image: Adrienne Joy


GROUND COVER What lies beneath the ground cover? What lies beneath the leaf of you? What do you hide and cover? What do we really know of you? Push back the life of ground cover. Show us your ground beneath.


Image: Anne Coad


The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”


RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN By Simeon Payne Freedom is something we all deeply long for, without the constraint of unrealistic demands and responsibilities. Arguably, we also need degrees of restraint and self-control, since chaos would reign if we all lacked self-control. This story in Genesis brings all of these issues to a head. It highlights for us the decision that we all need to make. God’s gift to us is freedom in our lives on his earth—but freedom entails choice. Will we choose to obey God or ignore God? Will we choose to live in a harmonious relationship with God and everyone else, or not? Sadly humanity chose—and continues to choose - to ignore God. The results are startling and sad. Relationships are broken. It is not uncommon to see women and men no longer living in the kind of harmony they were made for. Although we can love, we often experience dysfunctional relationships. Our deepest desires are often unmet. The text starts with what VDKNMFENQŕVGNKDMDRR@MCG@QLNMXŔATSSQ@FHB@KKXƥMHRGDRVHSG@KHDM@SHNM AQNJDMMDRR  blame and despair. .TQKHUDR@QDNESDMITRSKHJDSGDLDRRNESGHRƥQRSE@LHKX %QNLNTQHMSHL@SDQDK@SHNMRGHOR to our working lives, all parts have dysfunctional elements that require far more than any RDKE GDKOANNJB@MƥW  ESDQ@KKHSV@RSGHRQDKH@MBDNMNTQRDKUDRSG@SFNSTRHMSNSGHRLDRR HMSGDƥQRSOK@BD Genesis confronts us with an honest appraisal of all that is wrong with us and our world. We cannot pretend otherwise: we are the problem, and the cause is spiritual because we no longer walk intimately with God nor follow His advice. Kicking us whilst we are down is not what this chapter is about. There is a profound sense of hope in all of this. God takes the initiative to reverse the mess we have gotten ourselves into. It is God who goes looking for the hidden Adam, and this opens up the great theme of the whole Christian writings. It is God who comes looking for us. God wants to restore this intimate relationship, and as the story unfolds, God personally visits us in Jesus. This event ultimately begins reversing the ugliness we read here.



BROKEN AND STITCHED 3GHRRG@SSDQDC@MCAQNJDMQNBJQDƦDBSRSGDAQNJDMMDRRNEGTL@MHSX  The blue ceramic captures our beauty trapped within. The wire appears to hold things together but it is an illusion. The wire has ensnared our inner beauty. Let your imagination cut the wire. Allow your beauty, in all its forms, to be expressed. Let the large rock sit as a reminder: that you are a part of something bigger than yourself to which you are intimately joined. You are not alone and not without aid. Genesis 1-3

Art: Marian Bosch Photography: Marcus Tabart of ‘tabART’


DESPAIR (A SACRED SONG OF KING DAVID) Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised. For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the LORD. The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, “There is no God.” His ways prosper at all times; Your judgments are on high, out of his sight; As for all his adversaries, he snorts at them. He says to himself, “I will not be moved; Throughout all generations I will not be in adversity.” His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is mischief and wickedness. He sits in the lurking places of the villages; In the hiding places he kills the innocent; His eyes stealthily watch for the unfortunate. He lurks in a hiding place as a lion in his lair; He lurks to catch the afflicted; He catches the afflicted when he draws him into his net. He crouches, he bows down, And the unfortunate fall by his mighty ones.



He says to himself, “God has forgotten; He has hidden His face; He will never see it.” Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up Your hand. Do not forget the afflicted. Why has the wicked spurned God? He has said to himself, “You will not require it.” You have seen it, for You have beheld mischief and vexation to take it into Your hand. The unfortunate commits himself to You; You have been the helper of the orphan. Break the arm of the wicked and the evildoer, Seek out his wickedness until You find none. The LORD is King forever and ever; Nations have perished from His land. O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, So that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror. -Psalm 10



Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.


Image: Joel McKerrow ‘Fingerprint Photography’



DAYS OF TROUBLE My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud; My voice rises to God, and He will hear me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness; My soul refused to be comforted. When I remember God, then I am disturbed; When I sigh, then my spirit grows faint. You have held my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of long ago. I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders: Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again? Has His loving kindness ceased forever? Has His promise come to an end forever? Has God forgotten to be gracious, Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Then I said, “It is my grief, that the right hand of the Most High has changed.�


I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. Your way, O God, is holy; what god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples. You have by Your power redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. The waters saw You, O God; the waters saw You, they were in anguish; the deeps also trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth a sound; your arrows flashed here and there. The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook. Your way was in the sea and Your paths in the mighty waters, and Your footprints may not be known. You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron -Psalm 77


ALONE They took a bowl of light and tried to mix in a pinch of darkness. They hoped the light would remain the same. However, you can not mix darkness with light or the DNA is changed and the light that once was, is no longer so bright. So now you can see, that darkness can never exist with light. …or so they thought.

Image: Joel McKerrow ‘Fingerprint Photography’



Looking back, it is interesting to see the “coincidences” that led me SNSGDOK@BD(ƥMCLXRDKESNC@X ,XROHQHST@KINTQMDXG@RDLAQ@BDC many philosophies and eastern religions along the way, but when my two children started to ask questions I found none of these teachings were understandable to them. The meditation classes I attended at the Buddhist temple didn’t allow children in, so I took them along to the local church so they could receive spiritual teachings. At this time I did believe in a universal God. I became close friends with the minister’s wife. We spent many an evening sharing our stories and exploring spiritual questions together. She encouraged me to go on a spiritual retreat run by a Christian woman, and I went mostly to keep her happy and check out the Christians at close range! I had no idea how transforming this time VNTKCAD !DENQDC@VMNMSGDƥQRSC@X VDF@SGDQDCSNFDSGDQENQBG@ODK  While I watched the sun rise and listened to the angelic singing of the women around me, tears ran down my face and I just knew that a new era on my spiritual journey was about to be unveiled. Words cannot explain the feeling of unconditional love and inner healing I encountered that weekend. It was truly amazing. We explored the Sacred Text together, shared food, stories, jokes, and sisterhood. (MRSD@CNERSTCXHMF@OGHKNRNOGX (V@RDWODQHDMBHMFƥQRS G@MC@ living faith, one built on the teachings of Jesus. Many times over the weekend I felt an overwhelming supernatural presence of love and peace settle on me. I felt it was God pouring love and healing energy into my very soul.



.MSGDK@RSDUDMHMFHM@B@MCKDƥKKDCBG@ODK(L@CDSGDCDBHRHNMSNETKKX embrace this new enlightened way of living. I wanted to let go of all the KHLHS@SHNMRNESGDO@RS@MCNODMLXGD@QSSN@KKNV&NCŗR2OHQHSSNƥKKSGDUNHC and guide me from now on. 3G@SV@RMD@QKXƥUDXD@QR@FN @MC(@LMNSSGDR@LDODQRNM(TRDCSNAD  Forgiveness comes easily, because I know all of my negative actions and SGNTFGSR@QDENQFHUDM +NUDBNLDRD@RHKX@R@MDMCKDRRRTOOKXƦNVRHMSN LD @MCOD@BDƥKKRNTQGNLD LNRSNESGDSHLD@MXV@Xʖ3GDBGHKCQDM@QD blossoming and have a deep contentment not often seen in kids who have had to go through divorce. I watch with overwhelming gratitude as they apply the teachings of forgiveness and love shown by Jesus to all of their relationships. I still believe in the one loving God, and now I believe God came to earth in the person Jesus of Nazareth to show us how we should be living in peace and really caring for each other and the planet. Most of all, I see that the teachings of Jesus, as told in the sacred writings, transcend gender, culture, race, geographical and political boundaries. Quite simply, they work globally. I believe they will ultimately unite us all.




SINCERITY AMETHYST “May I perceive with wisdom and live with integrity as I journey in the search for truth.” —Community of Hope

Image: Image: Marcus Tabart of ‘tabART’


Awaken the Spirit - The Sacred Texts of Jesus