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Passion project helps Marlene cure her insomnia

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Author Marlene Warren (Photograph supplied)

What do you do when you cannot sleep? When Marlene Warren encountered the issue, she started reciting scripture at bedtime.

What started out as a simple relaxing activity to combat insomnia, morphed into a passion project that culminated in the publication of a book: Just Relax, Recite and Rest: Scriptural Meditation from A to Zzzz.

“I never set out to write a book,” she said.

“This all started one night when I was tossing and turning and couldn’t get to sleep. I decided to try and remember Bible texts that I had committed to memory. The exercise really calmed me down and allowed me to meditate on God’s word. It also helped me to relax and get to sleep. Over time I started to recite the scriptures in alphabetical order.

“I was doing this for years and it became a bit of a spiritual habit and passion of sorts. I began to do it while I was travelling or waiting at the doctor’s office. Any situation where I needed to pass the time, I would recite the scriptures. I carried my notes with me and started to compile these into topics.”

It led to the publication of Just Relax, Recite and Rest, in November 2021. The book is a collection of scriptures arranged in topics and listed in alphabetical order. Topics range from creation to eternal life, with several in between.

“It’s the word of God and it’s a compilation of themes from the Bible and scriptures to accompany them, all in alphabetical order,” Mrs Warren said.

“I chose several topics and went through the entire Bible to see what the Bible said about each one. I then found Bible verses that started with the each of the letters of the alphabet that resonated with me.

“If you look at the topic of love, for example, you will see a list of scriptures starting with the letter A and going right through to the letter Z.”

Author Marlene Warren (Photograph supplied)

While it was never her intention to write a book, after years of compiling scriptures she realised there was potential to create something out of the hobby.

“One day I started to wonder what I would do with all this. I heard the Lord say, ‘Publish a book’. I didn’t know anything about publishing a book but felt deeply impressed to pursue it.

“I had planned a cruise for my birthday but due to the pandemic we had to cancel it. When I received my money back the Lord told me to use it to publish the book.”

Following these spiritual directions, Mrs Warren contacted TEACH Services, Inc, an Adventist publishing company based in Georgia, for assistance with publication.

“I sent them a manuscript and they were excited about the book idea, as this was a project they had not done before.

“I had no idea how much of a learning curve it would be to get the book completed. There was a lot that I needed to learn, but my husband, Cranston, and my children were very supportive through the entire process.”

A retired primary schoolteacher, Mrs Warren is a faithful member of the Midland Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hamilton Parish. She hopes that her book will help readers memorise scripture so they are to be able to pull on it whenever they need a word from God.

Her desire is that it will also be used as a companion to reading the Bible, and a guide to navigate through some of the themes in the Bible.

“I didn’t want the book to just be focused on getting to sleep, I wanted the text to be an inspiration. I pray that people use the text to meditate, even one text a day, and see what that text means to them and ask God to reveal what message He has for you personally,” Mrs Warren said.

“I hope these meditations encourage Bible reading and further study and ultimately direct hearts to know and love Jesus Christ.”

Just Relax, Recite and Rest is available at Brown & Co and The Adventist Book Centre. The book can also be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Mrs Warren will host two book signings next month – at the Adventist Book Centre on Wednesday, June 1 from 11am to 1pm, and at Brown & Co on Friday, June 3, from 12pm to 2pm.

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Published May 21, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated May 23, 2022 at 8:06 am)

Passion project helps Marlene cure her insomnia

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