Digital Readers Club
On 9/15/2018 we launched our new ministry initiative: the Digital Readers Club. The heart of this weekly gathering is meant to be like an after school book club. We meet every Saturday at 7pm EST for a one hour meeting!
1: sign up above (link won't appear if you've already registered)
2: receive a weekly email with an Excerpt of the Book of the Month which corresponds with the chapter to be covered at the next meeting
3: have exclusive access to a DRC Voice and Text Channel on the Zen Space Discord server, https://discord.gg/bNqUFVW
- Fellowship - 10 Minutes
- Reading - 20-30 Minutes
- Discussion - 10-20 Minutes
- Questions and Answers- 10-20 Minutes
Current Book of the Month:
Yahushua Christ: Infancy Childhood And Lost Years
Reading of the Week
IN the history of the twelve tribes of Israel we read there was a certain person called Joachim, who being very rich, made double offerings to the Lord God, having made this resolution: my substance shall be for the benefit of the whole people, and that I may find mercy from the Lord God for the forgiveness of my sins.
2 But at a certain great feast of the Lord, when the children of Israel offered their gifts, and Joachim also offered his, Reuben the high-priest opposed him, saying it is not lawful for thee to offer thy gifts, seeing thou hast not begot any issue in Israel.
3 At this Joachim being concerned very much, went away to consult the registries of the twelve tribes, to see whether he was the only person who had begot no issue.
4 But upon inquiry he found that all the righteous had raised up seed in Israel:
5 Then he called to mind the patriarch Abraham, How that God in the end of his life had given him his son Isaac; upon which he was exceedingly distressed, and would not be seen by his wife:
6 But retired into the wilderness, and fixed his tent there, and fasted forty days and forty nights, saying to himself,
7 I will not go down either to eat or drink, till the Lord my God shall look down upon me, but prayer shall be my meat and drink.
IN the meantime his wife Anna was distressed and perplexed on a double account, and said I will mourn both for my widowhood and my barrenness.
2 Then drew near a great feast of the Lord, and Judith her maid said, How long will you thus afflict your soul? The feast of the Lord is now come, when it is unlawful for any one to mourn.
3 Take therefore this hood which was given by one who makes such things, for it is not fit that I, who am a servant, should wear it, but it well suits a person of your greater character.
4 But Anna replied, Depart from me, I am not used to such things; besides, the Lord hath greatly humbled me.
5 I fear some ill-designing person hath given thee this, and thou art come to pollute me with my sin.
6 Then Judith her maid answered, What evil shall I wish you when you will not hearken to me?
7 I cannot wish you a greater curse than you are under, in that God hath shut up your womb, that you should not be a mother in Israel.
8 At this Anna was exceedingly troubled, and having on her wedding garment, went about three o'clock in the afternoon to walk in her garden.
9 And she saw a laurel-tree, and sat under it, and prayed unto the Lord, saying,
10 O God of my fathers, bless me and regard my prayer as thou didst bless the womb of Sarah, and gavest her a son Isaac.
AND as she was looking towards heaven she perceived a sparrow's nest in the laurel,
2 And mourning within herself, she said, Wo is me, who begat me? and what womb did bear me, that I should be thus accursed before the children of Israel, and that they should reproach and deride me in the temple of my God: Wo is me, to what can I be compared?
3 I am not comparable to the very beasts of the earth, for even the beasts of the earth are fruitful before thee, O Lord! Wo is me, to what can I be compared?
4 I am not comparable to the brute animals, for even the brute animals are fruitful before thee, O Lord! Wo is me, to what am I comparable?
5 I cannot be compared to these waters, for even the waters are fruitful before thee, O Lord! Wo is me, to what can I be compared?
6 I am not comparable to the waves of the sea; for these, whether they are calm, or in motion, with the fishes which are in them, praise thee, O Lord! Wo is me, to what can I be compared?
7 I am not comparable to the very earth, for the earth produces its fruits, and praises thee, O Lord!
THEN an angel of the Lord stood by her and said, Anna, Anna, the Lord hath heard thy prayer; thou shalt conceive and bring forth, and thy progeny shall be spoken of in all the world.
2 And Anna answered, As the Lord my God liveth, whatever I bring forth, whether it be male or female, I will devote it to the Lord my God, and it shall minister to him in holy things, during its whole life.
3 And behold there appeared two angels, saying unto her, Behold Joachim thy husband is coming with his shepherds.
4 For an angel of the Lord hath also come down to him, and said, The Lord God hath heard thy prayer, make haste and go hence, for behold Anna thy wife shall conceive.
5 And Joachim went down and called his shepherds, saying Bring me hither ten she-lambs without spot or blemish, and they shall be for the Lord my God.
6 And bring me twelve calves without blemish, and the twelve calves shall be for the priests and the elders.
7 Bring me also a hundred goats, and the hundred goats shall be for the whole people.
8 And Joachim went down with the shepherds, and Anna stood by the gate and saw Joachim coming with the shepherds.
9 And she ran, and hanging about his neck, said, Now I know that the Lord hath greatly blessed me:
10 For behold, I who was a widow am no longer a widow, and I who was barren shall conceive.
AND Joachim abode the first day in his house, but on the morrow he brought his offerings and said,
2 If the Lord be propitious to me let the plate which is on the priest's forehead make it manifest.
3 And he consulted the plate which the priest wore, and saw it, and behold sin was not found in him.
4 And Joachim said, Now I know that the Lord is propitious to me, and hath taken away all my sins.
5 And he went down from the temple of the Lord justified, and he went to his own house.
6 And when nine months were fulfilled to Anna, she brought forth, and said to the midwife, What have I brought forth?
7 And she told her, a girl.
8 Then Anna said, the Lord hath this day magnified my soul; and she laid her in bed.
9 And when the days of her purification were accomplished, she gave suck to the child, and called her name Mary.
AND the child increased in strength every day, so that when she was nine months old, her mother put her upon the ground to try if she could stand; and when she had walked nine steps, she came again to her mother's lap.
2 Then her mother caught her up, and said, As the Lord my God liveth, thou shalt not walk again on this earth till I bring thee into the temple of the Lord.
3 Accordingly she made her chamber a holy place, and suffered nothing uncommon or unclean to come near her, but invited certain undefiled daughters of Israel, and they drew her aside.
4 But when the child was a year old, Joachim made a great feast, and invited the priests, scribes, elders, and all the people of Israel;
5 And Joachim then made an offering of the girl to the chief priests, and they blessed her, saying, The God of our fathers bless this girl, and give her a name famous and lasting through all generations. And all the people replied, So be it, Amen.
6 Then Joachim a second time offered her to the priests, and they blessed her, saying, O most high God, regard this girl, and bless her with an everlasting blessing.
7 Upon this her mother took her up, and gave her the breast, and sung the following song to the Lord.
8 I will sing a new song unto the Lord my God, for he hath visited me, and taken away from me the reproach of mine enemies, and hath given me the fruit of his righteousness, that it may now be told the sons of Reuben, that Anna gives suck.
9 Then she put the child to rest in the room which she had consecrated, and she went out and ministered unto them.
10 And when the feast was ended, they went away rejoicing and praising the God of Israel.
BUT the girl grew, and when she was two years old, Joachim said to Anna, Let us lead her to the temple of the Lord, that we may perform our vow, which we have vowed unto the Lord God, lest he should be angry with us, and our offering be unacceptable.
2 But Anna said, Let us wait the third year, lest she should be at a loss to know her father. And Joachim said, Let us then wait.
3 And when the child was three years old, Joachim said, Let us invite the daughters of the Hebrews, who are undefiled, and let them take each a lamp, and let them be lighted, that the child may not turn back again, and her mind be set against the temple of the Lord.
4 And they did thus till they ascended into the temple of the Lord. And the high-priest received her, and blessed her, and said, Mary, the Lord God hath magnified thy name to all generations, and to the very end of time by thee will the Lord shew his redemption to the children of Israel,
5 And he placed her upon the third step of the altar, and the Lord gave unto her grace, and she danced with her feet, and all the house of Israel loved her.
AND her parents went away filled with wonder, and praising God, because the girl did not return back to them.
2 But Mary continued in the temple as a dove educated there, and received her food from the hand of an angel.
3 And when she was twelve years of age, the priests met in a council, and said, Behold, Mary is twelve years of age; what shall we do with her, for fear lest the holy place of the Lord our God should be defiled?
4 Then replied the priests to Zacharias the high-priest, Do you stand at the altar of the Lord, and enter into the holy place, and make petitions concerning her, and whatsoever the Lord shall manifest unto you, that do.
5 Then the high-priest entered into the Holy of Holies, and taking away with him the breastplate of judgment 1 made prayers concerning her;
6 And behold the angel of the Lord came to him, and said, Zacharias, Zacharias, Go forth and call together all the widowers among the people, and let every one of them bring his rod, and he by whom the Lord shall shew a sign shall be the husband of Mary.
7 And the criers went out through all Judæa, and the trumpet of the Lord sounded, and all the people ran and met together.
8 ¶ Joseph also, throwing away the hatchet, went out to meet them; and when they were met, they went to the high-priest, taking every man his rod.
9 After the high-priest had received their rods, he went into the temple to pray;
10 And when he had finished his prayer, he took the rods, And went forth and distributed them, and there was no miracle attended them.
11 The last rod was taken by Joseph, and behold a dove proceeded out of the rod, and flew upon the head of Joseph.
12 And the high-priest said, Joseph, Thou art the person chosen to take the Virgin of the Lord, to keep her for him:
13 But Joseph refused, saying, I am an old man, and have children, but she is young, and I fear lest I should appear ridiculous in Israel.
14 Then the high-priest replied, Joseph, fear the Lord thy God, and remember how God dealt with Dathan, Korah, and Abiram, how the earth opened and swallowed them up, because of their contradiction.
15 Now therefore, Joseph, fear God, lest the like things should happen in your family.
16 Joseph then being afraid, took her unto his house, and Joseph said unto Mary, Behold, I have taken thee from the temple of the Lord, and now I will leave thee in my house; I must go to mind my trade of building. he Lord be with thee.
AND it came to pass, in a council of the priests, it was said, Let us make a new veil for the temple.
2 And the high-priest said, Call together to me seven undefiled virgins of the tribe of David.
3 And the servants went and brought them into the temple of the Lord, and the high-priest said unto them Cast lots before me now, who of you shall spin the golden thread, who the blue, who the scarlet, who the fine linen, and who the true purple.
4 Then the high-priest knew Mary, that she was of the tribe of David; and he called her, and the true purple fell to her lot to spin, and she went away to her own house.
5 But from that time Zacharias the high-priest became dumb, and Samuel was placed in his room till Zacharias spoke again.
6 But Mary took the true purple, and did spin it.
7 And she took a pot, and went out to draw water, and heard a voice saying unto her, Hail thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee; thou art blessed among women.
8 And she looked round to the right and to the left (to see) whence that voice came, and then trembling went into her house, and laying down the water-pot she took the purple, and sat down in her seat to work it.
9 And behold the angel of the Lord stood by her, and said, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour in the sight of God;
10 Which when she heard, she reasoned with herself what that sort of salutation meant.
11 And the angel said unto her, The Lord is with thee, and thou shalt conceive:
12 To which she replied, What! shall I conceive by the living God, and bring forth as all other women do?
13 But the angel returned answer, Not so, O Mary, but the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee;
14 Wherefore that which shall be born of thee shall be holy, and shall be called the Son of the Living God, and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.
15 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age.
16 And this now is the sixth month with her, who was called barren; for nothing is impossible with God.
17 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be unto me according to thy word.
18 And when she had wrought her purple, she carried it to the high-priest, and the high-priest blessed her, saying, Mary, the Lord God hath magnified thy name, and thou shalt be blessed in all the ages of the world.
19 Then Mary, filled with joy, went away to her cousin Elizabeth, and knocked at the door.
20 Which when Elizabeth heard, she ran and opened to her, and blessed her, and said, Whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come unto me?
21 For lo! as soon as the voice of thy salutation reached my ears, that which is in me leaped and blessed thee.
22 But Mary, being ignorant of all those mysterious things which the archangel Gabriel had spoken to her, lifted up her eyes to heaven, and said, Lord! What am I, that all the generations of the earth should call me blessed?
23 But perceiving herself daily to grow big, and being afraid, she went home, and hid herself from the children of Israel; and was fourteen years old when all these things happened.
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