First Fifteen

Ron Oltmanns

How you start the day sets the course and tone for the rest of the day. Spend your first fifteen minutes of the day listening to God and responding in a personal way. This podcast will show you how and teach you in an easy to follow process.If you are getting started in a relationship with God, trying to have a quiet time or seeking guidance at this point in your life, you're in the right place.In fifteen minutes (or less) you will listen to God's word for you, reflect on it and learn to pray to God as well as carry that word with you through the rest of your day. What a perfect way to get started!Get started listening and subscribe to this podcast to hear more from God's word and grow in your relationship.Additional resources at https://word-of-prayer.com

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In Our Own Eyes (Judges)
Sep 19 2022
In Our Own Eyes (Judges)
The eyes are a window to the heart. Unless we're striving to do what is right in God's eyes, things are not going to go well for us! That's the message in the book of Judges as part of our series on praying Bible stories. Season five is focused on listening to and praying Bible narratives.  In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word and turn it into prayer.We listen to part of Judges 2 in today's episode. It reveals a pattern that repeats over and over in Israel's early history of living in the land God promised them.What is that pattern? Israel forgets God's works and miracles and the terms of the covenant relationship they have made with him. They go after other gods. Hostile people in and around the land of Canaan come against Israel. They suffer and fall prey to them before crying out for relief and rescue. God raises us a leader (called a Judge) who will lead Israel in victory. God's blessing is with the people...until they repeat the pattern all over again by forgetting God and disobeying him. In the book of Judges there is a lot of dark and wicked things recorded, things that violate God's law and show the depths to which his own people have sunk when they do what is "right in their own eyes" (Judges 21:25). They clearly need a King to rule over them and show them what is right. So do we. When we see the patterns of sin and addiction, disobedience and living for ourselves, there's hope for rescue. It requires repentance and turning back to God. We weren't created to just do what we think is right in our own eyes. We needs God's eyes on us and showing us what's truly good. Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture from Psalm 1 demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show
In Our Own Eyes (Judges)
Sep 19 2022
In Our Own Eyes (Judges)
The eyes are a window to the heart. Unless we're striving to do what is right in God's eyes, things are not going to go well for us! That's the message in the book of Judges as part of our series on praying Bible stories. Season five is focused on listening to and praying Bible narratives.  In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word and turn it into prayer.We listen to part of Judges 2 in today's episode. It reveals a pattern that repeats over and over in Israel's early history of living in the land God promised them.What is that pattern? Israel forgets God's works and miracles and the terms of the covenant relationship they have made with him. They go after other gods. Hostile people in and around the land of Canaan come against Israel. They suffer and fall prey to them before crying out for relief and rescue. God raises us a leader (called a Judge) who will lead Israel in victory. God's blessing is with the people...until they repeat the pattern all over again by forgetting God and disobeying him. In the book of Judges there is a lot of dark and wicked things recorded, things that violate God's law and show the depths to which his own people have sunk when they do what is "right in their own eyes" (Judges 21:25). They clearly need a King to rule over them and show them what is right. So do we. When we see the patterns of sin and addiction, disobedience and living for ourselves, there's hope for rescue. It requires repentance and turning back to God. We weren't created to just do what we think is right in our own eyes. We needs God's eyes on us and showing us what's truly good. Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture from Psalm 1 demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show
Into the Promised Land (Joshua)
May 8 2022
Into the Promised Land (Joshua)
What is the secret to standing strong in faith? We see a specific truth about that in the book of Joshua. Season five is focused on listening to and praying Bible stories or narratives.  In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word and turn it into prayer.We look at four readings from the book of Joshua that tell the story of Israel entering into the land God promised them. First there is a new leader before Israel. With Moses' death, Joshua and chosen to lead the people into the new land. Joshua 1:1-11 gives the charge to Joshua for how he is to lead.In the book of Joshua the people of Israel end their wanderings in the wilderness. Their first victory comes in capturing the ancient city of Jericho.  Just as God delivered them from Egypt by crossing the Sea of Reeds, they now enter Canaan by crossing the Jordan River. Victory is turned to defeat when sin among the ranks takes hold. Joshua 7:1-13 reveals Achan's sin and shows how it must be dealt with before there can be any more conquests.  As the victories continue, Israel takes over a number of Canaanite cities and the land must be divided among the tribes. Joshua 18:1, 8-10 shows how this happened at the place of the holy tent, the tabernacle at Shiloh. In the final chapter (Joshua 24:14-15, 23-28 ), Joshua gives his charge to Israel to purify themselves, choose God and throw away the idols they have been carrying for generations. The challenge is to continue strengthening our faith and take courageous steps to rely on God alone.  After reading these passages, we pray them and practice seeing God powerfully at work delivering us from our enemies, calling out sin, giving us our inheritance and binding us to him in a covenant of love.Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture from Psalm 1 demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show
The Law, Again (Deuteronomy)
Apr 3 2022
The Law, Again (Deuteronomy)
God gave the Law to Moses at Mount Sinai. So why did Moses repeat the law again to the children of Israel in Moab 40 years later? We find out in today's episode.Season five is focused on listening to and praying Bible stories or narratives.  In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word and turn it into prayer.We aren't looking at any specific laws in this episode. Instead we consider the story of why Moses gave the law again and the final events before Israel entered Canaan. We listen to Deuteronomy 1 and 34, the first and last chapter of the book, to get a sense of the story taking place.  Israel and Moses are camped in Moab just east of the Jordan River looking across into the land God has promised them, Canaan. Moses won't enter with the people; instead he dies and God buries him in an undisclosed location in Moab. It is up to Joshua to lead the people to take possession of the land and to live by God's law in it.  We pray this passage and learn to see the mercy of God giving us a second chance and a second hearing of his teaching. Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture from Psalm 1 demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show
In the Wilderness (Numbers 14)
Jan 31 2022
In the Wilderness (Numbers 14)
In the wilderness is where God leads, provides, judges and forgives. God gives the Law and tests his people in the wilderness.  After Genesis (actually Exodus 13) all of the the action in the next four books of the Torah/Pentateuch happens in the wilderness. Today’s episode is one story from the wilderness that shows God's nature, the people's failure and how to pray in the midst of this. Season five is focused on listening to and praying Bible stories or narratives.  In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word and turn it into prayer. Numbers 14 is our focus in this episode. It happens a year after the exodus from Egypt and right after 12 spies are sent into Canaan to prepare for taking the land. Most of them bring back a good news/bad news report that is tilted toward discouraging the people. You can read the important background in Numbers 13.   In Numbers 14:1-19 the people complain, grumble and want to pick their own leader and head back to Egypt. Joshua and Caleb speak up and encourage faith, but the people won't hear it. God contemplates starting over with Moses, but he pleads for God to be merciful and act according to his nature. Numbers 14:18 echoes Exodus 34:6-7, which is the most quoted passage in the Old Testament.  We pray this passage and learn about how to stay faithful in the wilderness. Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture from Psalm 1 demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show (
Out of Egypt (Genesis 37-Exodus 18)
Dec 19 2021
Out of Egypt (Genesis 37-Exodus 18)
Jesus spent time in Africa as a baby, and when the time was full scripture says, "Out of Egypt I called my son."  The meaning of that phrase has a deep resonance that reaches back to the prophets (especially Hosea) and then further back to the prophet Moses.  One of the great stories of the Bible is how God's people came to live in Egypt, slide into slavery and oppression, then see a mighty deliverance from Egypt by God.  Today’s episode is about the story of God bringing Israel out of Egypt.  Season five is focused on listening to and praying Bible stories or narratives.  In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word and turn it into prayer.  Genesis 37:2 begins with, "These are the generations of Jacob."  But the very next word after this is Joseph, and in the following chapters Joseph's figure is central to the story.  We've already heard about Jacob in the previous 10 or 11 chapters of Genesis (go back to the previous episode of First Fifteen if you haven't listened to "How Jacob became Israel"). The last 13 chapters of Genesis (37-50) talk mostly about Jacob's sons (see Gen 35:23-26), and they show the remarkable story of how the entire family of Jacob came to live in Egypt.  Exodus begins by naming the sons of Jacob again, but several generations pass and even though their numbers have increased greatly, Israel is reduced to slavery.  430 years pass (Ex 12:40), and God raises up a deliverer named Moses. After God visits plagues upon Egypt, Moses leads the people out of Egypt.  These 31 chapters make for an epic story that takes several hours to read.  It's well worth the time to listen to it; on this podcast, though, we listen to a biblical summary of the events found in Psalm 81.  We take a closer look at the events that happened in Genesis 37-Exodus 18 and also the deeper meaning of this great story.  Much like the cross for Christians, the story of deliverance from Egypt is fundamental to Jewish identity and is retold every year in the celebration of Passover.      Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show
How Jacob Became Israel (Genesis 32-33)
Nov 22 2021
How Jacob Became Israel (Genesis 32-33)
How do you deal with someone who is slippery? You're not sure you are getting the full story from them or they seem to have other motives or intentions. Some people are pretty good at plotting and planning and getting the better side of a bargain. This might even describe you!  One of those people in the Bible is a man named Jacob. Today’s episode is How Jacob became Israel.  Season five is focused on listening to and praying Bible stories or narratives.  In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word and turn it into prayer. Jacob lived a life blessed by God, but he spent a lot of time and effort trying to get more.  He outmaneuvered his older brother Esau and tricked his own father Isaac all so he could have more of God's blessing.  God appeared to him in dreams and he knew from personal experience that God was looking out for his good. Yet he still grasped to get the upper hand.  After 20 years with his father in law Laban, God tells him to return to Canaan. Despite having great wealth and a large family, he was still afraid of his older brother Esau. Today's episode shows Jacob wrestling with his fears about Esau and his doubts about getting the full blessing from God without resorting to elaborate schemes. In Genesis 32-33, Jacob emerges with his name changed to Israel and more importantly encountering the face of God. Take a closer look at Genesis 32:9-12 and Jacob's prayer. In the midst of his elaborate schemes to ensure his safety from his brother Esau, he learns that God is really in control and he doesn't have to grasp or devise his own blessing.  God is working  in this and he has a better plan.    Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show (
The God Who Sees Me (Genesis 16)
Oct 26 2021
The God Who Sees Me (Genesis 16)
The Bible is full of surprises. There is an overarching story that God is directing, and yet he chooses to write it with human characters.  Even when they go “off-script”, God’s story will get told, with extra twists and turns included. In season five we're learning to listen to and pray Bible stories or narratives.  In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day. Abram and Sarai were promised great blessing by God, but they also struggle to fully embrace God's timing and methods of working.  Often other people get caught up in the consequences, whether Pharaoh, Abimelech or in today's episode Hagar.  Sarai takes an active role in this chapter of the story much like Eve in Genesis 3.  Hagar has a similar experience to Hannah in 1 Samuel 1-2 (see the early episodes of season 5).  Through her difficulties, she comes to realize that Yahweh is the God who sees me (El Roi) and her son is named God hears (Ishmael), a name very similar in root and meaning to Samuel.    Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show (
Abram's Big Blessing - (Gen 11:27-12:20)
Sep 20 2021
Abram's Big Blessing - (Gen 11:27-12:20)
When things are going well people sometimes say “I have been so blessed!”  Before the blessing comes, though, how do you act, how do you talk, how do you behave?  How we act before we receive the blessing shows something revealing about our character.  In season five we're learning to listen to and pray Bible stories or narratives.  In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day. Abraham's faith is famous, and three great religions are called "Abrahamic" because they trace their origins back to him (Judaism, Christianity and Islam).  How Abram's faith begins is a fascinating story told in Genesis 11:27-12:20. Abram and Sarai are promised great blessing and a land that their descendants would enjoy...even before they had any descendants.  Some of the early steps they took after arriving in that land (Canaan) and sojourning in another (Egypt) show that they struggled with how to trust God for the blessing he had in mind for them.    Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show (
The Big Story of the Bible
Aug 20 2021
The Big Story of the Bible
Stories draw us in.  It's hard to resist listening to a good story that is well told. Stories hold our interest.  What's less obvious is that stories shape us, inspire us and teach us important truths. There is great untapped power in the stories of the Bible. As we learn to pray them we can grow closer to God and experience a growing faith too. In season five we're learning to listen to and pray Bible stories or narratives.  We plunged into the beginning of the story of Samuel first then turned back to Genesis to the beginning of it all.  On today's episode we zoom out to take in the overall storyline of the entire Bible. In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day. The story that God reveals in the Bible can be summarized in six parts: 1. Creation and the royal task (Genesis 1-2) 2. Rebellion and the unravelling (Genesis 3-11) 3. God’s covenant with Israel (Gen 12-Malachi) 4. Jesus and the Kingdom of God (Matthew-John)5. The Spread of Jesus' Kingdom People (Acts-Jude)6. The Victory and Return of the King (Revelation)  The longest part of the story that covers the most books of the Bible is #3, which we can detail in three movements:  3. God’s covenant with Israel (Gen 12-Malachi)     A. God choose Israel to bless the nations (Genesis 12-Deuteronomy)     B. Israel’s royal failure (Joshua-2 Kings)     C. Israel’s exile and the prophetic, covenant hope (Ezra-Malachi)How does this help us to pray? The bigger storyline helps us see that this is a God story.  It starts with God and he is active in it (even when that isn’t obvious). Prayer orients us properly toward God.Second, it’s a moral story about our freedom and failing as humans. In prayer we align ourselves morally with God; we choose him and his ways and acknowledge he is good. Third, this is a covenant story. God makes promises and acts to protect us within a loving relationship.  Prayer is built on God’s promises and is a primary way to grow or strengthen our relationship with God.Finally, it’s a kingdom story. God of course is King and he reigns over all. Jesus came as King, and the Church's ultimate destiny is to reign with God in his Kingdom. In prayer we acknowledge these truths and we pray in expectant hope for God’s kingdom to come in fulness and power, for justice and righteousness to prevail, and for the return of our King. Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show
Towering Pride (Genesis 11)
Aug 3 2021
Towering Pride (Genesis 11)
What's the tallest building you've ever seen up close?  In Genesis 11 there was a city and a people who decided to build a tower to heaven.  Why they did it and what it meant has a deeper meaning than just a story with a moral about towering pride. In season five we're learning to listen to and pray Bible stories or narratives.  We started in the middle of the story at 1 Samuel 1-3 before turning to beginnings in Genesis.  In all the plot twists and different settings, with the growing list of characters we've seen that God is creating the world and shaping human destiny toward his ultimate purposes.  He meant for humans to rule over creation and fill the earth according to his goodness.  People from the beginning decided to go their own way, to make a name for themselves,  and that sad story gets repeated over and over through the generations with few exceptions.In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day.  The story of the tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9 is pretty distinctive.  It's the last story of the universal history in Genesis 1-11, and it's set between two genealogies in Genesis 10 and 11:10-26.  We need to be careful not to mis-read the story by missing the larger context.  After Noah and the flood, the action shifts to his three sons and their descendants.  No one individual is called out, but mankind shows their tendency to disregard God's will and to instead pursue what seems right and good to them.  Three key terms or words in this story stand out:  "name" (shem in Hebrew, see 11:4 and 9), "scattered" (see 11:4, 8 and 9), and "all the land (or earth)" (kol eretz in Hebrew, used 5x in these verses).  The tower of Babel shows a people united in pursuing a human agenda that God opposes.  God ends up scattering the people and confusing their language into many tongues.  The story of Babel forms a clear contrast with the story of Abram that follows it starting in ch. 12.  Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show (
It All Comes Flooding Back (Genesis 6:9-9:29)
Jul 19 2021
It All Comes Flooding Back (Genesis 6:9-9:29)
The Great Flood and Noah’s Ark is a universal story, a familiar tale to many people regardless of their background or religion.  In the story of the Bible it is a prominent marker on the path that shows us what God is up to in the world. It also tells us a lot about humans. In season five we're learning to listen to and pray Bible stories or narratives.  In Genesis 1-2 we heart about God creating the world in an orderly way and calling it good.  He meant for humans to rule over creation according to his goodness.  People from the beginning decided to go their own way, to know good and evil on their own apart from God's clear teaching, and that sad story gets repeated over and over through the generations with few exceptions.In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day.  The story of the Flood in Genesis 6-9 is crucial for several reasons.  Noah is one man who is righteous, and God uses him to teach us about what a covenant means and the extent he is willing to go to bring hope and second chances to a seriously broken world.  Noah is not perfect, and sin continues to trip up humans even after the flood, but God is working to bring about his plan for humans to have a relationship with him unhindered by sin.This is one of the longest sections of scripture or readings we've ever had on our podcast.  You can also read the story yourself in Genesis 6:9-9:29 if that helps you stay alert and focused.Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show
Live Long and Prosper! (Gen 5:4-6:8)
Jul 6 2021
Live Long and Prosper! (Gen 5:4-6:8)
“Live long and prosper.” The line  from Star Trek’s character Spock is a sentiment common to all human cultures.  Most people who enjoy any kind of quality of life desire to have a long life.  What the Bible says about that challenges our common assumptions.In season five we're listening to Bible stories and learning to pray them.  We started in the middle of things with the beginnings of the story of Samuel before turning back to the very start with creation and how the first couple chose to go their own way, to know good and evil on their own apart from God's clear teaching, followed by their sons engaged in a murderous power struggle with sin.In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day.  We are focusing on narratives or stories in this season.In a previous episode of our podcast we talked about Genesis 5 and emphasized the first few verses and Adam's part in the story when we talked about praying a family tree in Genesis 5.  Listen to the podcast here. The end of chapter 5 mentions Noah and shares some important notes that highlight the stories to come in Genesis 6-9 about the Flood.  One of the words used repeatedly in Genesis to mark a new section of the story is toladoth (generations or family).  In fact, Genesis is divided into ten parts by these sections. 1:1-2:3  Bereshith – In the beginning1) 2:4-4:26  Account of the heavens and the earth 2)  5:1-6:8  Family history of Adam and his descendants3)  6:9-9:29  Family history of Noah and his descendants 4)  10:1-11:9  Family history of Noah’s sons Shem, Ham and Japheth5)  11:10-26  Family history of Shem and his descendants 6)  11:27-25:11  Family history of Terah and his descendants7)  25:12-18  Family history of Ishmael and his descendants8)  25:19-35:29  Family history of Isaac and his descendants9)  36:1-37:1  Family history of Esau and his descendants10) 37:2-50:26  Family history of Jacob and his descendantsConnect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show (
The Plot Thickens (Genesis 4)
Jun 6 2021
The Plot Thickens (Genesis 4)
Murder. Intrigue. Outrageous behavior.  Those sound like elements of a crime story.  It’s actually part of the story in the first book of the Bible, Genesis 4.  In season five we're listening to Bible stories and learning to pray them.  We started in the middle of things with the beginnings of the story of Samuel before turning back to the very start with creation and how the first couple chose to go their own way, to know good and evil on their own apart from God's clear teaching.In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day.  We are focusing on narratives or stories in this season. From a good God creating the world to mankind's exile from a garden of paradise, we have a narrative about beginnings that includes the effects of disobedience and sin.  When a simple story gets more complicated, we say the plot thickens.   That's what happens in the story of the first two brothers, Cain and Abel and the fallout from sin and the spiral of violence.  Sin leads to death as God told Adam back in Genesis 2, and now man himself is making it happen in an awful way.  Genesis 4 has two main parts:  the story of the first two brothers in which Cain murders Abel, in vv. 1-16, and the descendants of Cain contrasted with a third brother named Seth in vv. 17-26.   One of the wordplays in Genesis 4 that we emphasize is Cain being called a fugitive (na`) and a wanderer (nad) on the earth, and then later he is sent out east of Eden to the land of Nod (wandering).  What is God telling us in this story?  We explore a few messages, one underscoring the seriousness of sin and the need to master it (seen in Cain's life), as well as the spiraling into aggression and violence that Lamech's life shows.  Contrast this with the note about Seth and his son Enosh and the fact that humans at this time began to call on God's name, and we can see that there is an ongoing choice between darkness and deciding good and evil for ourselves, or call on God's name and deciding to serve him.  After this story continue the Genesis narrative by praying the family tree in Genesis 5.  Listen to the podcast here.Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15 Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show (
Picture This! (Conversation on Narrative 2)
May 28 2021
Picture This! (Conversation on Narrative 2)
Most good stories have a strong visual component, and the stories of creation and beginnings in Genesis 1-3 are no different.  In this conversation we explore how the first couple is portrayed imaginatively in art as an extended meditation on the imagery of creation and the fall.   In season five we're learning to pray the most common type of scripture: narrative or stories.  They make up almost half of the Bible so it's important we learn how to read and pray this very common type of Scripture.  In our regular episodes we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and learn to pray to God as well as carry that word with through the rest of the day.  We use the entire Bible to do that and not just the psalms, prayers or "uplifting" parts of it that seem suited for devotionals.  On today's episode we take time for a conversation between Ron and Angela about the imagery of the early stories and how they have been imagined through the ages. Make sure you follow or subscribe to this podcast to hear more from God's word.Angela found a series of reliefs with images online that picture creation.  These come from the Orvieto cathedral or Duomo di Orvieto ( aka Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta ) in central Italy.  Six reliefs of creation are on the outside of the church just left of the entrance.  You can see them at   or on the travel channel by Rick Steves here. The Action Bible is a great resource for visually engaging with Bible stories, both for older children and adults who are young at heart.  See our review of this book on our Youtube channel.Want to go deeper into reading narrative parts of scripture?  We recommend these four short videos done by The Bible Project to get you further into reading, understanding and praying Bible stories:   Plot,  Setting,  Characters, and the Bible as Ancient Jewish Meditation Literature.We use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsSupport the show (
The Fall (Genesis 3)
May 17 2021
The Fall (Genesis 3)
The goodness of creation and the close relationship that man and woman shared with God gets severely tested and ultimately changed because of a series of decisions.  Genesis 3 takes us from the ideal state of "everything was good" to a serious rupture in the relationship.  What happened?  Is there any hope?    In season five we're listening to Bible stories and learning to pray them.  Our focus today is the very human story of how the first couple on earth used their freedom and choices to go their own way, to know good and evil on their own.In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day.  We use the entire Bible to do that and not just the "uplifting" or inspirational parts of it.  On today's episode we listen to Genesis 3 as a rival to God's voice appears in the garden and small actions with big consequences unfold.Many of the words used in Genesis 1-11 are important even beyond the immediate context of the story and get repeated later on in the stories of the Bible (either verbatim or in echoes).  We’ll return to this point in future episodes.   In this reading, pay attention to the words and themes used repeatedly:  life (and death), seeing (and hiding from sight), and eating.The wordplay in Genesis 2 between the Hebrew word for man, adam, and ground, adamah is carried over and continued here, as well as the  word for woman or wife, ishshah.  In fact, the woman is named a second time at the end of Genesis 3:  she is called Eve , which means "life".  This reading of Genesis 3 is based on a fresh translation from the Hebrew original so we can  ponder what it means before we pray a prayer to God shaped by this passage.This passage is traditionally called The Fall, and we are concerned with identifying the themes and recognizing patterns that intersect with our own lives. Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show
In the Garden (Genesis 2)
May 11 2021
In the Garden (Genesis 2)
If "In the beginning" is the perfect way to start a story of creation, why not have a flashback and tell the story again but with a close-up camera angle?  That's what Genesis 2 does, touching on some of the common themes already introduced, but advancing the plot and conflict further by zooming in on the human scale of things in a garden.   In season five we're listening to Bible stories and learning to pray them.  They make up almost half of the Bible so it's important we learn how to read and pray this very common type of Scripture. In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day.  We use the entire Bible to do that and not just the "uplifting" or inspirational parts of it.  On today's episode we listen to Genesis 2:4-25 and hear about God creating the world, but from a different perspective than Genesis 1.Genesis 2 gives us a different view of the creation story, a ground level perspective that focuses on the human actors.  We're striving to let the story speak to us with its own logic and power as God teaches us about his purposes in creation. Some of the themes of this chapter are goodness and relationship.  There is an interesting wordplay between the Hebrew word for man, adam, and ground, adamah.   It is repeated so many times it can't be just a coincidence.  Then at the end of chapter two the other word for man or person, ish, is used in contrast to the word for woman or wife, ishshah.  Listen to this fresh reading of Genesis 2 from an original translation from the Hebrew original and then ponder what it means before we pray a prayer to God shaped by this passage.The first three episodes of season 5 focused on 1 Samuel 1-3, and Angela Oltmanns has written a month-long series of family devotions based on 1 Samuel.  Get a copy of the book 1 Samuel: How to Be a Child After God's Heart on Amazon (or the ebook).The Action Bible is a great resource for visually engaging with Bible stories, both for older children and adults who are young at heart.  See our review of this book on our Youtube channel.Want to go deeper into reading Genesis 2?  We emphasize reading the scripture as meditation literature, and we recommend a short video done by The Bible Project to get you further into practice: the Bible as Ancient Jewish Meditation Literature.Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns and Angela S OltmannsWe use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show
In the Beginning (Genesis 1)
Apr 30 2021
In the Beginning (Genesis 1)
"In the beginning" seems like the perfect way to start a story, even better than "once upon a time".  This is especially so if we're telling a true story about things that really happened that answers some of our deepest, most basic questions about where we came from and our place in the world.  In today's episode we are reading Genesis 1 together and going back to the beginning.  In season five we're learning to pray the most common type of scripture: narrative or stories.  They make up almost half of the Bible so it's important we learn how to read and pray this very common type of Scripture.  We also need to grasp the overall storyline of the entire Bible.In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day.  We use the entire Bible to do that and not just the "uplifting" or inspirational parts of it.  On today's episode we listen to Genesis 1:1-2:3 and hear about God creating the world. Genesis 1 has become a battleground even though no fighting or military action is described.  A modern, scientific viewpoint seems to contradict Genesis 1, and a number of people have criticized this account of how the world began for various reasons.  While we acknowledge those debates do influence how we hear this story, we're striving to let the story speak to us with its own logic and power as God speaks creation into existence.  Listen to this fresh reading of Genesis 1 from an original translation from the Hebrew original and then ponder what it means before we pray a prayer to God shaped by this passage.You can follow up this podcast by reading Genesis 1 in another translation or version of the Bible.  I also encourage you to read one of the Psalms that speak about creation:  Psalm 19, 33, ,104 or 148.  Make sure you follow or subscribe to this podcast to hear more from God's word.Angela Oltmanns has written a month-long series of family devotions based on 1 Samuel.  Get a copy of the book 1 Samuel: How to Be a Child After God's Heart on Amazon (or the ebook).The Action Bible is a great resource for visually engaging with Bible stories, both for older children and adults who are young at heart.  See our review of this book on our Youtube channel.Want to go deeper into reading Genesis 1?  We recommend two short videos by The Bible Project to get you further into reading, understanding and praying this essential Bible story:  Genesis 1 and the Bible as Ancient Jewish Meditation Literature.We use a four step process for reading/hearing, meditating, praying and then living out scripture demonstrated here.Additional resources at the show (
Stories that Shape Us (Conversation on Narrative 1)
Apr 23 2021
Stories that Shape Us (Conversation on Narrative 1)
Do you live a storybook life?  Most of us don't.  In fact, our daily routines and happenings often seem so ordinary to us that we seek excitement, adventure or escape through songs, movies or stories of other people that attract us (or at least distract us).  But the truth is, you are living out a story whether or not you are aware of it, and the things that happen in your life become elements of your own personal story.    In season five we're learning to pray the most common type of scripture: narrative or stories.  They make up almost half of the Bible so it's important we learn how to read and pray this very common type of Scripture. In our regular episodes we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and learn to pray to God and carry that word through the rest of the day.  We use the entire Bible to do that and not just the psalms, prayers or "uplifting" parts of it that seem suited for devotionals.  On today's episode we take time for a conversation between Ron and Angela about how to read and pray Scripture stories especially in the family setting.1 Samuel 1-3 introduces several parents and children: Elkanah and Hannah and their son Samuel along with Eli and his two sons Hophni and Phinehas.  The story helos us notice the contrast between Eli's two wicked sons and young Samuel growing up in Shiloh under Eli's supervision.  One natural question is how is faith formed in children (or deformed by adults making their own choices)?  Ron and Angela reflect on that in light of their own experiences and offer some guidance about  intentionally sharing stories from the Bible with young people.Make sure to follow or subscribe to this podcast.Angela Oltmanns has written a month-long series of family devotions based on 1 Samuel.  Get a copy of the book 1 Samuel: How to Be a Child After God's Heart on Amazon (or the ebook).We also have a study based on the stories of Elisha called Spirit of Elisha: A Double Portion for Moms on Amazon (the ebook is here).The Action Bible is a great resource for visually engaging with Bible stories, both for older children and adults who are young at heart.  See our review of this book on our Youtube channel.Want to go deeper into reading narrative parts of scripture?  We recommend these four short videos done by The Bible Project to get you further into reading, understanding and praying Bible stories:   Plot,  Setting,  Characters, and the Bible as Ancient Jewish Meditation Literature. Connect with us on one of our social channels:Twitter  @WordofPrayer15Instagram @WordofPrayer15 Facebook Page at Word of Prayer 15.Support our show with your purchase of one of our products:Etsy store WordofPrayerAmazon Ron Oltmanns Additional resources at the show (