Woodburn pastor publishes devotional on Mark
A local minister is hoping to share with a wider audience his personal reflections on the Bible and God.
Will Robertson, pastor of Woodburn Fellowship Church of the Nazarene and a Woodburn resident, has published a book called "When We Listen: A Devotional Commentary on Mark."
The idea for the book originated on Robertson's blog that he has maintained for nine years. On the blog, Robertson writes insights on his Bible reading that day, going through a book of the Bible at a time.
"Somebody said you ought to put this in a book," Robertson said. "I thought that's actually a really good idea. So I chose Mark because it's the shortest of the Gospels. I reformatted it so that it's more accessible and user friendly."
The book does not read like a group of blog postings but is organized by devotional, divided into three parts: "Read with me," which is the Scripture (sometimes constituting an event, sometimes just a couple verses of Jesus' words), "Listen with me" is the meditation written by Robertson, and "Pray with me."
"The whole premise of the book is God still speaks to his people, the primary way being through words of the Scriptures," Robertson said. "You have to have your spiritual ears open, you have to go into it expecting God to speak. If you do, God will use those words to go into your heart."Robertson said each devotional is what he himself would meditate on after reading the Scripture, and what he believed God was saying to him.
"Every one of them is intensely personal for me; these are things God specifically communicated to me," he said. "But other people have said, 'Wow, God really used this in my life today, God really spoke to me in this Scripture.' Read my meditations ... on what God says to me and use that as a springboard as to what God might be communicating to you."
The Scripture is presented in the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation.
The book, which is the second written by Robertson and designed by his son Will E. Robertson, is available at Amazon and Eagerpress.com for $17.99, but will be available for $15 this weekend at Robertson's booth at the Taste of Woodburn event in the Downtown Plaza.
Robertson said he plans to do more books like this, with Matthew, a much longer Gospel, up next.
"My goal is to finish up the Gospels," he said. "It would be great to do the whole New Testament. And if I live to 117, well, I'll do the rest of the Bible as well!"
He said not everyone has to agree with all he writes in the book, but it's a way to encourage anyone to reach out to have a relationship with God.
"This is not just for Nazarenes; it's for anyone who wants to interact with God on a more personal level," Robertson said. "That's the thing, we see God in heaven and we're down here and interaction is rare, if at all. But according to all I read in the Bible, God is hungry for interaction with his people. God still speaks but only those with their spiritual ears open can hear. ... I think if more people in our city and country started listening to God and developed the knack for hearing his voice, that could change everything for the better."