Sphygmograph

fragility—this faint blueness that rivers up the wrists

vulnerable & powerful, the same

that tenderness, that quaint, that faint of pulse & flutters that find themselves

exposed, throbbing

what is the rate, the force, the variation?

what is your exquisite triviality?

—the forest thick, the wilderness screaming I wander this sweet portage ever so quietly

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Joshua 1:8,9

“This book of the Law should not depart from your mouth, and you must read it in an undertone day and night, in order to observe carefully all that is written in it; for then your way will be successful and then you will act wisely. Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and strong. Do not be struck with terror or fear, for Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go.” 

“8 Пусть эта книга закона не отходит от твоих уст. Читай её вполголоса день и ночь, чтобы в точности исполнять всё, что в ней написано. Тогда ты будешь успешен на своём пути и будешь поступать мудро. Не велел ли я тебе: „Будь мужествен и твёрд“? Так не страшись и не ужасайся, ведь твой Бог Иегова с тобой, куда бы ты ни пошёл».”

Read God’s Word the Bible Daily

So, how’s this going? So far—SO GOOD! 

It’s only a few days in, I know. But already I have come to love my time alone with Jehovah’s word each day. Seriously, I love the thematic reading schedule. I look forward to starting next week’s rotation because there are parts I am literally excited to get back to. I am taking time to watch the videos entitled “An Introduction to…” just to be reminded again of the Bible book writer, their timeline, the book highlights, the geography of the book’s location. Tho we have relatively recently read much of this in our scheduled weekly readings, I find, with the weekly readings, the purpose is different, so I have gotten different things out of those readings. This schedule, I’m really truly reading for just myself. I’m listening to it with a different ear, one that is seeking out what Jehovah is saying to me with this. I know we are supposed to do that with our weekly reading too, but perhaps because I do that while doing meeting prep, it is a little too hurried, or maybe because we have all the highlighted points & scriptures & a general theme to the evening’s material, I focus mostly on just those things, sometimes finding a point that’s off topic & wondering if it’s worth sharing. Anyways, the point is, my daily Bible reading is really just for me & the things I feel, think, worry about, am preparing for, with my life in mind, my family in mind, including my spiritual family. 

So far I’ve completed all the scheduled reading for this week: The Law: Genesis 1-3; History: Joshua 1-5; Psalms: Psalms 1,2; Poetry: Job 1,2; Prophecy: Isaiah 1-6. Out of these I surprised myself & today’s reading, Isaiah 1-6, has been my favourite so far. It is the prophetic judgement warning against Judah, written in poetic format, with rich detail & scathing words. It feels like just yesterday we covered this in our weekly reading, yet I loved it & still found it fresh to read. 

Each day I’m making detailed notes for myself in a little journal, writing down thoughts & recording scriptures in handwriting I want to memorize; highlighting the scriptures I want to memorize on my jw app tagged “memorization” along with underlining them in my hard copy study bible. I’m also highlighting scriptures I just find inspiring & beautiful or powerful. Today’s reading, read in ‘an undertone’ was inspiring & just a delicious read. You really get the sense of Jehovah’s strength & justice from the imagery. This is why the New World Translation is so amazing to read—this is how The American Standard reads at Isaiah 5:18-24:

“18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, and sin as it were with a cart rope; 19 that say, Let him make speed, let him hasten his work, that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it! 20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! 22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink; 23 that justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! 24 Therefore as the tongue of fire devoureth the stubble, and as the dry grass sinketh down in the flame, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust; because they have rejected the law of Jehovah of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”

This is how The New World Translation reads: 

“18 Woe to those who drag along their guilt with ropes of deception And their sin with wagon cords; 19 Those who say: “Let Him speed up his work; Let it come quickly that we may see it. Let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel take place That we may know it!” 20 Woe to those who say that good is bad and bad is good, Those who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, Those who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those wise in their own eyes And discreet in their own sight! 22 Woe to those who are mighty in drinking wine And to the men who are masters at mixing alcoholic drinks 23 Those who acquit the wicked for a bribe And who deny justice to the righteous! 24 Therefore, just as the tongue of fire consumes the stubble And dry grass shrivels in the flames, Their very roots will rot, And their blossoms will scatter like powder, Because they rejected the law of Jehovah of armies And disrespected the word of the Holy One of Israel.”

See how easily the New World Translation reads. The meaning is exactly the same but the English is so current a child can understand what is being read. I honestly can’t imagine the amount of time it would take for an average young person to understand even the American Standard (one of the other ‘modern’ English translations) reading of that scripture. The King James is even murkier. It feels to me, the bucking by religious leaders to translate into modern English is no different than when they burned, for heresy, those early translators taking the Bible from Latin to English—they hate that people can read and get the sense of it without them. They want the Bible to seem bulky & clouded & difficult. Then, no one will read what it actually says, and they can keep lying, stealing & acting like gods & pretend to be so wise & all-knowing when the knowledge within the Bible, from God to humans, is free for the taking. You do not need a degree or years at a theological school or to earn a title to understand it & know the true God. 

I am so thankful for pure worship & this organization for giving me a Bible I can read & understand. I’m thankful they encourage you to look for yourself at other translations, even easily providing them for you, to consult & see, that this translation says the same thing, but in clear, modern English. 

In Russia last month, the New World Translation was banned. It is illegal for someone just like me to sit and read this bible, be it on my phone, tablet or in paper format. 

Well, “woe to those who say what is good is bad”! Or shall I quote it via King James? 

” Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Or perhaps, in Russian? 

“Горе тем, кто называет добро злом и зло добром, кто выдаёт тьму за свет и свет за тьму, горькое за сладкое и сладкое за горькое!”

I love reading Jehovah’s word the Bible & I know he will strengthen & embolden the friends in Russia to keep going until the wicked one’s roots rot & they scatter like powder. Jehovah’s enemies always end up the same way—humbled, one way or another. 

With all this in mind, new tag on here, “biblical texts & quotes” for the ones I particularity like or want to attempt to memorize. 

And perhaps, I’ll share them in Russian, because, you never know that someone who needs them might not just find them at the right time. 

Thematic 

So September has officially begun & I am so excited (& a little apprehensive) about what this new school & service year will bring. 

For the first time in nineteen years I will not have any preschoolers at home with me at all. All my kids are in school or done school. 

Life keeps changing, so must I, tho I don’t easily. ‘Mid-life me’ is ready for tea & baking & knitting & ripening into something of a ‘granny’ sort without the grandkids. But, ‘Jehovah’s servant me’ sees a door of opportunity opening. I am still a mother of five. Life is never slow or dull, never as quiet as I thought it may be with my youngest being six, but I suppose when they all start back at school on Tuesday I’ll know how loud or quiet my life really will be. 

Last year, my goals of learning guitar & taking more walks & getting more personal study time in, all panned out reasonably well. I didn’t expect how little time morning kindergarten actually affords a mother, & I’m fairly certain seven hours per day with no little kids home won’t be as many when all is said & done as I think it is. There is still laundry, cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, cooking, baking & if time, breathing to be done. 

This being duly noted, I have set some bigger goals. I love the ministry. I actually do. Our congregation territory is diverse & shockingly fruitful. Even last week I got an amazing new call with a young guy, maybe twenty or so, (why does everyone under thirty look twelve) humble & reasonable minded, strong spiritual need, respectful of his family’s faith (Roman Catholic, they were gone to church when I got him home, not often that people are at church anymore) but completely not impressed with Catholicism. He is delving into Genesis & Exodus & completely cannot stomach the ideas of evolution, & believes the Bible has the full explaination of why the earth is how it is now, and is trying to understand where we go from here. It was a wonderful conversation. I used only the Bible, that had been my goal that day, no literature—just Teach the Truth. This was perfect for this initial call because he really truly respects the Bible. It stands on its own in his mind. He actually said it was so strange I had shown up at his door that day because he had just been trying to learn how Genesis connects to our day. Anyways. Great start and look forward to seeing the progression. 

Meeting spiritually hungry people of all ages in the ministry is why I love the ministry. The appeal to people of all backgrounds, ages & kinds is obvious, and if Jehovah can use me to find sheeplike ones, I’m in. 

So, I’ve set my personal goals. I’ve looked at my life and attempted to find an achievable & balanced approach to both home & ministry. These goals, are not for public display. They are private, between Jehovah & I, and he will teach me where I can go, & perhaps, where I am limited. I am willing to accept both. This week’s Life & Ministry Meeting was perfect for self reflection, goal setting, & inspiration. 

But, one goal I am willing to share is my new daily Bible reading goal. 

Over the years I’m fairly certain I’ve read the Bible several times over. I’ve set the goal before to read it cover to cover in a year, and discovered somewhere in one of the Chronicles, I’m going to fail. Seriously! Anyone who’s done these books knows what I’m talking about. Parts of the Bible are literal lists of names. It’s historical. A genealogy. All serves a purpose, but thick & slow, like reading mud. I mean, if the whole Bible was like Psalms & Proverbs I’m sure we’d have all read it cover to cover uncountable times. Point being, I’m going to attempt something new: a Thematic cover to cover reading. 

Broken up so that one day of the week for each, The Law; History; Psalms; Poetry; Prophecy; Gospels; Letters—this seems doable. I’m actually really looking forward to this. It feels like I could truly enjoy the skip around. I’m kind of like that in life, variety keeps me from losing my drive due to boredom. 

So my main goal is yes, to read the Bible, cover to cover, over the next year. But my secondary goal in this is to find ‘gems.’ Spiritual gems. The kind we’ve been taught to look for in our weekly Bible reading. I’ve loved the new format of our mid week meeting. It has taught me so many new things about teaching & preaching & our organization & Jehovah, but more than that, it’s taught me that just because I did things this way or that, changing how we do things, is good. Changing focus & our entire motivation or way of being, is productive. I am not reading the Bible in a year for any purpose other than to improve my day to day mind set; to practice what I preach; to improve myself; to draw closer to Jehovah. If I can set goals & accomplish them in small, manageable pieces, it helps me set new goals, manage my time & energy, & the joy of fulfilling set goals is a very personal thing, only you & Jehovah have real joy in these little individual goals. He sees you work hard for them, & you & he alone see how he helps you with them. I want stronger faith. It’s been a main aspect of the fruitage of the spirit I’ve been working on for some time. Daily Bible reading with the goal of reading the Bible in a year is going to inevitably help me with my faith. That I am looking forward to. 

My focus this coming year is family & faith. To keep my kids moving forward in their own relationships with Jehovah; to get this home functioning a little smoother; caring for the physical health of my family & myself; using my time & energy for things that I am proud of—study, prayer, meditation, meal planning, cleaning, organizing, ministry, family worship, learning guitar, knitting, exercise, baking…it’s an endless seeming list. But I’ve come up with a tentative yet flexible schedule, haphazard as it may seem. What a busy life. I’m just so thankful I’ve this circumstance to focus on these things. I’m so thankful for this family. I’m so thankful for Jehovah’s patience. I’m truly looking forward to focusing on the inner workings of myself via daily Bible reading. It’s a small thing but such a big thing all in one. 

New Age Retrograde 

Promoting my daughter’s little beginner business: New Age Retrograde—Jewelry featuring unique vintage & antique book illustrations. 

Many of these are sold already but you can track down her wares at New Age Retrograde on both IG & FB. 

Go check out her stuff. If you like something claim it quick. 

Custom orders taken & she will hunt for the images you’re looking for. For added “charm” each piece also has a well thought out embellishment hand made in house to compliment each image. 

Every image is hand cut from a vintage or antique book.

Travel Journal Jewelry

Sarah is still off work from her surgery so now that the school year is done this seems to be what she’s focusing on. She’s collecting older antique & vintage dictionaries & turning the images into pendants and adding her own homemade embellishments. I think they look really good. Hoping to build an inventory for Etsy or to rent a table at a local Farmer’s Market. 

Entrepreneurials, that’s what I’m calling the post Millenials. They have been raised by genX & yet have the internet at the fingertips to gain skills & to market themselves & their skills. Love it. 

Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

7. The day becomes more solemn and serene

When noon is past: there is a harmony

In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,

Which through the summer is not heard nor seen. 

As if it could not be, as if it had not been. 

Thus let thy power, which like the truth

Of Nature on my passive youth

Descended, to my onward life supply

Its calm,—to one who worships thee, 

And every form containing thee,

Whom, Spirit fair, the spells did bind

To fear himself, and love all humankind. 

(verse 7 of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Hymn to Intellectual Beauty)


We gaze these years when young

With some angled eye, tipping. 

But see, this exquisite loveliness;

Our spring was a turmoil and summer

A hard sweat heap of exhaustion & strange open torn agonies—
And then comes the Autumn. 

We lie down, where once we ran, 

And the sky opens up above us. 
I will stay here, breathing in, ever so quietly, waiting—

Watching these winds, watching the young

As they run

Waiting—for that is what autumn is

The realization of inevitabilites & a soft, shaky breath in, loving all

This tranquil fired beauty

Before you go.