Featured

Literature & Spirituality

Literature is defined as “imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value.” Spirituality is defined as “the quality or state of being concerned with religion or religious matters.” The purpose of this podcast is to examine how these two subjects intersect with one another and how they relate to our lives.

Listen now on the following platforms:
iTunes | SoundCloud | Stitcher | iHeartRadio
Overcast | Google Play | Spotify | TuneIn

Advertisements

Spirituality as Quest, Part 32; Reading a Story, Part 36 (Literature & Spirituality #36)


Our Passage from the Word of God today is 2 Corinthians 1:13 which reads: “For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end.”

Our quote today is from C. S. Lewis. He said: “Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: “Literature and Spirituality” by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Mark Ray Schmidt, and “Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing” by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase any one of these books from our website.

Our first topic for today is “Spirituality as Quest, Part 32” from the book, “Literature and Spirituality” by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Mark Ray Schmidt.

Today, we will continue reading a selection from Augustine’s “Confessions.”

This selection is from Book 8 – The Grace of Faith / Chapter 5 – The Inner Conflict

Thus I came to understand from my own experience what I had read, how “the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” I truly lusted both ways, yet more in that which I approved in myself than in that which I disapproved in myself. For in the latter it was not now really I that was involved, because here I was rather an unwilling sufferer than a willing actor. And yet it was through me that habit had become an armed enemy against me, because I had willingly come to be what I unwillingly found myself to be.

Our second topic for today is “Reading a Story, Part 36” from the book, “Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing” by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.

Today, we will begin reading the fourth part of William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily.”

So the next day we all said, “She will kill herself”; and we said it would be the best thing. When she had first begun to be seen with Homer Barron, we had said, “She will marry him.” Then we said, “She will persuade him yet,” because Homer himself had remarked – he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elks’ Club – that he was not a marrying man. Later we said, “Poor Emily” behind the jalousies as they passed on Sunday afternoon in the glittering buggy, Miss Emily with her head high and Homer Barron with his hat cocked and a cigar in his teeth, reins and whip in a yellow glove.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

Spirituality as Quest, Part 31; Reading a Story, Part 35 (Literature & Spirituality #35 with Daniel )


Our Passage from the Word of God today is Ephesians 3:4 which reads: “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.”

Our quote today is from Frederick Douglass. He said: “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: “Literature and Spirituality” by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Mark Ray Schmidt, and “Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing” by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase any one of these books from our website.

Our first topic for today is “Spirituality as Quest, Part 29” from the book, “Literature and Spirituality” by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Mark Ray Schmidt.

Today, we will continue reading a selection from Augustine’s “Confessions.”

This selection is from Book 2 / Chapter 7 – Grace That Keeps and Heals

“What shall I render unto the Lord” for the fact that while my memory recalls these things my soul no longer fears them? I will love Thee, O Lord, and thank thee, and confess to Thy Name, because Thou hast put away from me such wicked and evil deeds. To Thy grace I attribute it and to Thy mercy, that Thou hast melted away my sin as if it were ice. To Thy grace also I attribute whatsoever of evil I did not commit – for what might I not have done, loving sin as I did, just for the sake of sinning? Yea, all the sins that I confess now to have been forgiven me, both those which I committed willfully and those which, by Thy providence, I did not commit.

Our second topic for today is “Reading a Story, Part 35” from the book, “Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing” by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.

Today, we will continue reading the second part of William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily.”

So the next night, after midnight, four men crossed Miss Emily’s lawn and slunk about the house like burglars, sniffing along the base of the brickwork and at the cellar openings while one of them performed a regular sowing motion with his hand out of a sack slung from his shoulder. They broke open the cellar door and sprinkled lime there, and in all the outbuildings.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

Spirituality as Quest, Part 30; Reading a Story, Part 34 (Literature and Spirituality #34)


Our Passage from the Word of God today is Isaiah 29:12 which reads: "And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned."

Our quote today is from Ernest Hemingway. He said: "All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was."

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: "Literature and Spirituality" by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi (yaw a-do yam-fi) and Mark Ray Schmidt, and "Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing" by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia (joy-ya). If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase any one of these books from our website.

Our first topic for today is "Spirituality as Quest, Part 30" from the book, "Literature and Spirituality" by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi (yaw a-do yam-fi) and Mark Ray Schmidt.

Today, we will continue reading a selection from Augustine's "Confessions."

This selection is from Book V – A Year of Decision for Augustine / Chapter IV

Yet, O Lord God of Truth, is any man pleasing to Thee because he knows these things? No, for surely that man is unhappy who knows these things and does not know Thee. And that man is happy who knows Thee, even though he does not know these things. He who knows both Thee and these things is not the more blessed for his learning, for Thou only art his Blessing, if knowing Thee as God he glorifies Thee and gives thanks and does not become vain in his thoughts.

For just as that man who knows how to possess a tree, and give thanks to Thee for the use of it – although he may not know how many feet high it is or how wide it spreads – is better than the man who can measure it and count all its branches, but neither owns it nor knows or loves its Creator: just so is a faithful man who possesses the world’s wealth as though he had nothing, and possesses all things through his union through Thee, whom all things serve, even though he does not know the circlings of the Great Bear. Just so it is foolish to doubt that this faithful man may truly be better than the one who can measure the heavens and number the stars and weigh the elements, but who is forgetful of Thee “who hast set in order all things in number, weight, and measure.”

We will continue reading a selection from Augustine's "Confessions" in our next episode.

Our second topic for today is "Reading a Story, Part 34" from the book, "Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing" by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia (joy-ya).

Today, we will begin reading the third part of William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily."

She was sick for a long time. When we saw her again, her hair was cut short, making her look like a girl, with a vague resemblance to those angels in colored church windows – sort of tragic and serene.

The town had just let the contracts for paving the sidewalks, and in the summer after her father's death they began the work. The construction company came with niggers and mules and machinery, and a foreman named Homer Barron, a Yankee – a big, dark, ready man, with a big voice and eyes lighter than his face. The little boys would follow in groups to hear him cuss the niggers, and the niggers singing in time to the rise and fall of picks. Pretty soon he knew everybody in town. Whenever you heard a lot of laughing anywhere about the square, Homer Barron would be in the center of the group. Presently we began to see him and Miss Emily on Sunday afternoons driving in the yellow-wheeled buggy and the matched team of bays from the livery stable.

At first we were glad that Miss Emily would have an interest, because the ladies all said, "Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer." But there were still others, older people, who said that even grief could not cause a real lady to forget noblesse oblige — without calling it noblesse oblige. They just said, "Poor Emily. Her kinsfolk should come to her." She had some kin in Alabama; but years ago her father had fallen out with them over the estate of old lady Wyatt, the crazy woman, and there was no communication between the two families. They had not even been represented at the funeral.

We will continue reading the third part of William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily," in our next episode.

Let’s Pray

Dear friend, influential English writer, poet, and professor J. R. R. Tolkien said: "There is a place called Heaven where the good here unfinished is completed; and where the stories unwritten, and the hopes unfulfilled, are continued." If you wish to go to this place called Heaven, let me show you how:

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Until next time,

God bless you!


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

Spirituality as Quest, Part 29; Reading a Story, Part 33 (Literature & Spirituality #33)


Our passage from the Word of God today is John 8:8 which reads: “And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.”

Our quote today is from Madeleine L’Engle. She said: “A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: “Literature and Spirituality” by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Mark Ray Schmidt, and “Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing” by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase any one of these books from our website.

Our first topic for today is “Spirituality as Quest, Part 29” from the book, “Literature and Spirituality” by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Mark Ray Schmidt.

Today, we will continue reading a selection from Augustine’s “Confessions.”

This selection is from Book V – A Year of Decision for Augustine / Chapter 1

Accept this sacrifice of my confessions from the hand of my tongue. Thou didst form it and hast prompted it to praise thy name. Heal all my bones and let them say, “O Lord, who is like unto thee?” It is not that one who confesses to thee instructs thee as to what goes on within him.

Our second topic for today is “Reading a Story, Part 33” from the book, “Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing” by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.

Today, we will continue reading the second part of William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily.”

So the next night, after midnight, four men crossed Miss Emily’s lawn and slunk about the house like burglars, sniffing along the base of the brickwork and at the cellar openings while one of them performed a regular sowing motion with his hand out of a sack slung from his shoulder. They broke open the cellar door and sprinkled lime there, and in all the outbuildings.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

Spirituality as Quest, Part 28; Reading a Story, Part 32 (Literature and Spirituality #32)


Our passage from the Word of God today is Psalm 119:105 which reads: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

Our quote today is from Vera Nazarian. He said: "Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light."

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: "Literature and Spirituality" by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi (yaw a-do yam-fi) and Mark Ray Schmidt, and "Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing" by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia (joy-ya). If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase any one of these books from our website.

Our first topic for today is "Spirituality as Quest, Part 28" from the book, "Literature and Spirituality" by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi (yaw a-do yam-fi) and Mark Ray Schmidt.

Today, we will continue reading a selection from Augustine's "Confessions."

This selection is from Book II – Augustine's Sixteenth Year / Chapter 7

"What shall I render unto the Lord" for the fact that while my memory recalls these things my soul no longer fears them? I will love Thee, O Lord, and thank Thee, and confess to Thy Name, because Thou hast put away from me such wicked and evil deeds. To Thy grace I attribute it and to Thy mercy, that Thou hast melted away my sin as if it were ice. To Thy grace also I attribute whatsoever of evil I did not commit – for what might I not have done, loving sin as I did, just for the sake of sinning? Yea, all the sins that I confess now to have been forgiven me, both those which I committed willfully and those which, by Thy providence, I did not commit. What man is there who, when reflecting upon his own infirmity, dares to ascribe his chastity and innocence to his own powers, so that he should love Thee less – as if he were in less need of Thy mercy in which Thou forgivest the transgressions of those that return to Thee? As for that man who, when called by Thee, obeyed Thy Voice and shunned those things which he here reads of me as I recall and confess them of myself, let him not despise me – for I, who was sick, have been healed by the same Physician by whose aid it was that he did not fall sick, or rather was less sick than I. And for this let him love Thee just as much – indeed, all the more – since he sees me restored from such a great weakness of sin by the selfsame Saviour by whom he sees himself preserved from such a weakness.

We will continue reading a selection from Augustine's "Confessions" in our next episode.

Our second topic for today is "Reading a Story, Part 32" from the book, "Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing" by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia (joy-ya).

Today, we will begin reading the second part of William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily."

So she vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell.

That was two years after her father's death and a short time after her sweetheart – the one we believed would marry her – had deserted her. After her father's death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all. A few of the ladies had the temerity to call, but were not received, and the only sign of life about the place was the Negro man – a young man then – going in and out with a market basket.

"Just as if a man – any man – could keep a kitchen properly, "the ladies said; so they were not surprised when the smell developed. It was another link between the gross, teeming world and the high and mighty Griersons.

A neighbor, a woman, complained to the mayor, Judge Stevens, eighty years old.

"But what will you have me do about it, madam?" he said.

"Why, send her word to stop it," the woman said. "Isn't there a law? "

"I'm sure that won't be necessary," Judge Stevens said. "It's probably just a snake or a rat that nigger of hers killed in the yard. I'll speak to him about it."

The next day he received two more complaints, one from a man who came in diffident deprecation. "We really must do something about it, Judge. I'd be the last one in the world to bother Miss Emily, but we've got to do something." That night the Board of Aldermen met – three graybeards and one younger man, a member of the rising generation.

"It's simple enough," he said. "Send her word to have her place cleaned up. Give her a certain time to do it in, and if she don't. .."

"Dammit, sir," Judge Stevens said, "will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad?"

We will continue reading the second part of William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily," in our next episode.

* * * * * * * *

My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Literature is defined as "imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value." Spirituality is defined as "the quality or state of being concerned with religion or religious matters." The purpose of this podcast is to examine how these two subjects intersect with one another and how they relate to our lives.

Dear friend, influential English writer, poet, and professor J. R. R. Tolkien said: "There is a place called Heaven where the good here unfinished is completed; and where the stories unwritten, and the hopes unfulfilled, are continued." If you wish to go to this place called Heaven, let me show you how:

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Until next time,

God bless you!


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

Spirituality as Quest, Part 27; Reading a Story, Part 31 (Literature and Spirituality #31)


Our passage from the Word of God today is Jeremiah 30:2 which reads: "Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book."

Our quote today is from S.I. Hayakawa. He said: "It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish."

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: "Literature and Spirituality" by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi (yaw a-do yam-fi) and Mark Ray Schmidt, and "Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing" by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia (joy-ya). If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase any one of these books from our website.

Our first topic for today is "Spirituality as Quest, Part 27" from the book, "Literature and Spirituality" by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi (yaw a-do yam-fi) and Mark Ray Schmidt.

Today, we will continue reading a selection from Augustine's "Confessions."

This selection is from Book II – Augustine's Sixteenth Year / Chapter 6 – The Anatomy of Evil

What was it in you, O theft of mine, that I, poor wretch, doted on -you deed of darkness – in that sixteenth year of my age? Beautiful you were not, for you were a theft. But are you anything at all, so that I could analyze the case with you? Those pears that we stole were fair to the sight because they were thy creation, O Beauty beyond compare, O Creator of all, O thou good God – God the highest good and my true good. Those pears were truly pleasant to the sight, but it was not for them that my miserable soul lusted, for I had an abundance of better pears. I stole those simply that I might steal, for, having stolen them, I threw them away. My sole gratification in them was my own sin, which I was pleased to enjoy; for, if any one of these pears entered my mouth, the only good flavor it had was my sin in eating it.
And now, O Lord my God, I ask what it was in that theft of mine that caused me such delight; for behold it had no beauty of its own – certainly not the sort of beauty that exists in justice and wisdom, nor such as is in the mind, memory senses, and the animal life of man; nor yet the kind that is the glory and beauty of the stars in their courses; nor the beauty of the earth, or the sea – teeming with spawning life, replacing in birth that which dies and decays. Indeed, it did not have that false and shadowy beauty which attends the deceptions of vice…

Thus the soul commits fornication when she is turned from Thee, and seeks apart from Thee what she cannot find pure and untainted until she returns to Thee. All things thus imitate thee – but pervertedly – when they separate themselves far from thee and raise themselves up against thee. But, even in this act of perverse imitation, they acknowledge thee to be the Creator of all nature, and recognize that there is no place whither they can altogether separate themselves from thee.

What was it, then, that I loved in that theft? And wherein was I imitating my Lord, even in a corrupted and perverted way? Did I wish, if only by gesture, to rebel against Tåçhy law, even though I had no power to do so actually – so that, even as a captive, I might produce a sort of counterfeit liberty, by doing with impunity deeds that were forbidden, in a deluded sense of omnipotence? Behold this servant of thine, fleeing from his Lord and following a shadow! O rottenness! O monstrousness of life and abyss of death! Could I find pleasure only in what was unlawful, and only because it was unlawful?

We will continue reading a selection from Augustine's "Confessions" in our next episode.

Our second topic for today is "Reading a Story, Part 31" from the book, "Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing" by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia (joy-ya).

Today, we will continue reading the first part of William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily."

They rose when she entered–a small, fat woman in black, with a thin gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing into her belt, leaning on an ebony cane with a tarnished gold head. Her skeleton was small and spare; perhaps that was why what would have been merely plumpness in another was obesity in her. She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue. Her eyes, lost in the fatty ridges of her face, looked like two small pieces of coal pressed into a lump of dough as they moved from one face to another while the visitors stated their errand.

She did not ask them to sit. She just stood in the door and listened quietly until the spokesman came to a stumbling halt. Then they could hear the invisible watch ticking at the end of the gold chain.

Her voice was dry and cold. "I have no taxes in Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris explained it to me. Perhaps one of you can gain access to the city records and satisfy yourselves."

"But we have. We are the city authorities, Miss Emily. Didn't you get a notice from the sheriff, signed by him?"

"I received a paper, yes," Miss Emily said. "Perhaps he considers himself the sheriff . . . I have no taxes in Jefferson."

"But there is nothing on the books to show that, you see We must go by the–"

"See Colonel Sartoris. I have no taxes in Jefferson."

"But, Miss Emily–"

"See Colonel Sartoris." (Colonel Sartoris had been dead almost ten years.) "I have no taxes in Jefferson. Tobe!" The Negro appeared. "Show these gentlemen out."

We will continue reading the second part of William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily," in our next episode.

* * * * * * * *

Dear friend, influential English writer, poet, and professor J. R. R. Tolkien said: "There is a place called Heaven where the good here unfinished is completed; and where the stories unwritten, and the hopes unfulfilled, are continued." If you wish to go to this place called Heaven, let me show you how:

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Until next time,

God bless you!


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.