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#2374 - Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - Editor: Jerry Katz
In this issue is an article from Susan Dane's website: http://www.susandane.com. The article speaks about how to read biblical scripture and could be applied to the reading of anything you see on the Highlights. For example, this passage from the article below makes a lot of sense: "Dont bring your understanding to the page. Dont recognize verses with a yep, yeah I know this one. You actually dont. You arent the same person who read that verse, even if you just read it 5 minutes ago! And until God speaks to us, whatever we know about it is old hat. It has no power to effect root change in our life." I've known Susan for 7 or 8 years. Susan's teaching may be summarized in this nugget from her website:
PRINCIPAL POINTS OF THIS TEACHING
This site is for people who are tired of exciting inspirations that sooner or later wear off. Tired is good. Tired is where Spirit starts to live its life as us.
GUIDELINES FOR READING
By Susan Dane
Taken from www.susandane.com
Please feel free to share this with a friend who might be looking for inspiration
Here are some thoughts on how to read a Scripture in a transformative way. I hope you find them helpful. What we see on the page has so much to do with how we read it.
Although my most extensive studies have been in the King James Version of the Bible, and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, I use this same approach in everything that I read of substance, and it is equally applicable to Scriptures of any denomination or teaching.
When we listen to a great symphony, we dont talk at the same time. We dont have a running discourseWow, listen to those trumpets. I just knew the violins would be this beautiful. Theres that theme again. I remember the last time I heard this symphony performed, Isnt that Mary-Annes daughter on First Oboe? and on and on. If we do, we end up missing the music!
Instead, we just listen. We leave our day behind-- at the Symphonic Hall entrance, or at the first drop of the conductors wandand we step into the world of the music.
Listening to Scripture is very similar. To hear its voice, we need to meet scripture on its terms, not ours. This means we have to stop translating it down into our minds ideas about it, stop grasping it, getting it, manipulating it, and applying it to all our problems, Like great music, Scripture asks us to leave our day and all our problems at the door, and instead, to come into the magical, wondrous world of Gods making. When we do thiswhen we actually do thiswe are surprised to discover that all those problems we thought were -so-consuming, all those problems we were sure we had to take our inspirations to, all the problems we thought we were responsible for fixing--in the light of inspired vision they are changed, diminished, gone, healed.
This is Gods way of meeting the human need. When we yield, we dont need to doctor. God doesnt fix. He erases.
Here are some specific suggestions on how to listen to Scripture, and how to silence the great talker who can rarely keep his or her mouth shut even when God Himself is trying to speak to us!
Go slowly. Take it word by word. Literally! Sit with the first word before you move on. Where are you going in such a hurry? Its not as if youre going to get done with the Book. In fact, if you can get done with it, this is a sure sign that the book is not Scripture. We can never finish Truth.
the text. Work it through and through by
asking yourself questions, such as: (and you will find
a. Why does this verse start with this word and not the next?
b. Why did the author add an and and another clause? Why not just end the sentence?
c. Why does this verse follow the previous?
d. Why did the author even include it?
e. What is so vital about this word to the meaning of this verse, or indispensable about this verse to the meaning of this passage?
When you start asking these questions of the text, dont fill in the answers. Wait! Sometimes Ive waited weeks for an answer. I will take a verse and keep it in thought throughout the day, questioning and listening for something other than my own not so ingenious mind to answer.
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