My passion for the Bible began when I eight or nine years old, somewhere in there, when on occasion my dad would take me to synagogue, where he sang. I remember watching the men in synagogue pray the words of scripture, murmuring and weeping, lovingly touching and kissing the Torah, and I wished I could read what they were reading.
Imagine, then, my wonder when I was given a Bible of my own!
I read the whole book, from preface to concordance, with transcendent joy knowing these were the very words of God. I understood probably more than I realized, but also a lot less, too. And it still amazes me that when I open a fresh chapter, there are still new things to find.
I continue in that passion today, to teach, counsel, mentor, and train in God’s word and Spirit through retreats, Bible studies, and online classes. I retired as a teaching leader of a Bible class of 350-500 students from 2003 to 2013, and in 2018, then retired again as an area advisor and mentor to eight Bible classes and five prayer groups in the Maryland area with BSF, International.
But, I am still teaching! I serve on the pulpit teaching team of my church, New Hope Chapel, Arnold, MD, while attending Portland Seminary, working towards a Masters in Theological Studies. I have a few sidebars too, working with others on bringing forth fresh bread from the Bible’s oven.
I am also a long-time “armchair archaeologist,” and joined the Board of Directors for the Biblical Archaeology Forum in 2013. I participated in two excavations, Tel Kabri and Tel Akko (and hope to go back). Another part of biblical passion is in the healing work of counseling, and have been serving as a lay counselor, a ministry team member, and Board member of The Lay Counselor Institute since 2012.
If you would like to see what I’m filming now, come visit my YouTube channel
If you’d like to see what I’m writing now, come visit my author’s page on Amazon
And I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line any time at GraceandPeaceJoanne@gmail.com
The purposes in the human mind are like deep water, but the intelligent will draw them out.Proverbs 20:5
And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13:13
Whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces enduranceJames 1:2-3
Myers-Brigg – INTJ (Same as C.S. Lewis and Jane Austen)
Favorite Book – I’d rather say favorite authors—Ursula Le Guin, Harry Ironside, A.W. Tozer, but even there, each time I write down a name, ten more appear in my mind’s eye, of people who have changed my life through their books.
I do keep returning to two seminal works: “ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church” (Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost) and “The Practice of the Presence of God” (Brother Lawrence). I am not the same person after having read those books.
Why I Started a Blog – I used to be a moderator on Theologica (a now defunct forum) and really miss the deep discussions we had there, among the diverse Body of Christ, running the gamut of all three branches of Christendom. God’s book is written in story, poetry, plays, axioms, autobiography, letters, comedy, allegory, and song. It is a conversation piece, and I’m eager to learn from everyone here.
Inspirational quote(s) – “’Don’t know,’ said Button Bright.’” (The Road to Oz)
Theological Interests – ecology, gender, mental illness, organic church
Hobbies – Reading, making music, writing, archaeology
Denomination/Tradition – Trans-Denominational, with Organic Leanings