Swinging Freely with God

I made a swing for our granddaughter, Madeleine, when she was a little child. The swing hung from the limb of an oak tree in our backyard.  I noticed something: when I wasn’t careful about how I was pushing her, the swing would get away from its nice, clear movement back and forth, and would begin to swing crooked and twisted.   Then I was careful to push the swing so that Madeleine would swing evenly.

Moses wants God’s people to obey what God wants. When they did this, their lives went along evenly and smoothly. When they didn’t, they got all twisted. What do you need to do be sure that you are swinging freely with God?

The Saturday passages follow the reading list that Jewish people use in their synagogue worship throughout the world. They are taken from
“The Torah,” the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy that are read each year beginning with autumn.

Deuteronomy 28:7-14

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

In Heaven Now!

Some religious teachers in Jesus’s time didn’t believe in life after death.  They would argue with Jesus; Jesus responded in words from this reading.

If you and I stay close to the Lord and follow God’s plan of love, then we will be both children now—and children of heaven when we die.  When we “die” to our preferences for life and live in God and God in us, we’re in heaven right now!

Luke 20:34-40

Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This being Year C,
the third year in the cycle, we generally read from the Gospel of Luke.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Brought Up on the Bible

Listen to the encouraging words of St. Paul that follow the thoughts of yesterday’s psalm.  Timothy and other disciples were being bullied by others. Paul reaches out to his dear young disciple, to tell him what Haggai said to his listeners from the reading this past Monday:  “Take Courage!”

It’s a joy to bring these readings from the Bible to you and your family.  If you follow this or a some other regular plan of reading the Bible each day, then you’ll turn out to be just like Timothy, who became a fervent disciple of Jesus in his adult life.  You and he will have something in common: being brought up on the Bible!

 2 Timothy 3:12-4:5

Thursdays are dedicated to the letters of Paul, other letters,
the Book of Acts, and the Book of Revelation.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

What To Do When Trouble Comes

The great King David has moments of fear when he sees his enemies rise up against him.  Yet he knows what to do when this happens.  He just doesn’t sharpen his arrows and practice with the slingshot that killed the giant Goliath.  Instead, he turns to God for help.  

Just like Solomon yesterday, his father David is a great model for prayer when you and I feel others trying to make trouble for us.  Take David’s prayer, if there is anything like that going on in your life.

Psalm 140:1-8

Wednesdays are devoted to the reading of the Psalms,
one a week across the three-year cycle.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

A Temple for the Holy Spirit

Three thousand years ago, Solomon received a message from God through his father David, to build a temple.  At the beginning of the project, he prays.  What a model for prayer in these verses! 

It was about to be the first time that God’s people would have a permanent place for worship—not the portable tent-like temple they had in the desert. Back then, brick and cement were what was needed for people to get a sense of God living with them.  Now, however, because of Jesus’s death and resurrection, he is the temple.  If you live in Jesus, your warm heart becomes a temple for the Holy Spirit.

Tuesdays are dedicated to the the History and Writings of the Hebrew Scriptures.

2 Chronicles 1:7-13

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

God Shakes Things Up!

It had been quite some time since I had cleaned the floor mats of our car.  I took them out and began to whack them against a tree.  Every time they struck the tree, dust and dirt came out like a brown cloud.

The prophet Haggai has something like this in mind when he hears God say three times, “I will shake out the sky, the earth, the nations.”  God is going to shake things up so that God’s clean, bright glory can shine through.

Just before these verses, Haggai also has another phrase, also used three times: “Take courage!”  When I put these two groups of phrases together, I get a feeling of comfort and peace knowing that God loves us, and is the One who is going to see that things are made right.  So let’s take courage when things get shaken up.  God is in on the shaking, clearing out spiritual dust and dirt so that the Holy Spirit can come into our hearts—God’s favorite temple!

 Haggai 2:3-9

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

The Joy of Being Found

Artist” Michelle Greene Wheeler. fineartamerica.com

Have you ever lost something very special and then found it after a long time?  If so, you can feel the joy of a shepherd who found his lost sheep and of a woman who found her lost, precious coin.   Maybe you were found after being lost somewhere for a time, perhaps at a mall. When you were found, what joy for you and your family!

Jesus speaks about those who are lost in loneliness, rejection, and lost because of their own wrongdoing. When these persons turn toward God, they have the joy of being found.  Those in heaven are so very happy as well.   

Feel the emotions in the reading.  Talk with Jesus about how the reading touches your heart.

Luke 15:1-10

On Sundays we follow the Gospels from the Revised Common Lectionary.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.