Peace Flowing from Us

The people’s teachers will help many understand,
but for a time they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder.

Daniel 11:33

Nations coming against nations: the theme continues in this part of the Book of Daniel, similar to Jesus’ predication that we read yesterday.

Think of it: a pagan statue from the altar to the Greek god, Zeus, is placed on top of this sacred altar of sacrifice in the Temple! How is that for meanness, pride and arrogance! In addition, it is a sacrilege—doing something awful with the things of God.

No need to be afraid as we read verses such as these. God is always in charge and once again, “The Lord will provide for you.” We are called to be gentle persons—loving, even our enemies—so that the goodness, love and mercy of God can flow through us. This love and peace will comfort us and will also flow out of us to touch others for whom we pray.

Daniel 11:29-45

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
Resting with inner wisdom v. 33
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the twelfth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north, Year B.
Mondays in this season are dedicated to the Prophet Daniel.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

The Remains of the Temple

Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other, and there will be earthquakes and famines in all sorts of places. These things are just the beginning of the sufferings associated with the end.

Mark 13:8

The stones that made the foundation of the great temple in Jerusalem are still there, silently sticking up from the ground. The temple was destroyed by a Roman Army in 70 AD. Can you image how sad that was? Jewish people today go to that part of the temple that remains called the “Wailing Wall.” There they pray and sometimes cry over the great loss.

Jesus today is talking about what’s going to happen at the end of the world. There will be a build up of enemy anger, with nations fighting each other. Don’t we see that happening these days! But still, we don’t need to be afraid, for the end is hidden from us, known only to God. Just keep on praying for God’s protection, and also that the human family will find itself living in the New Temple of Christ’s body which is the one Church of Jesus all over the world.

Mark 13:1-8

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
You in me and I in You Jn 17:26
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the twelfth of thirteen weeks in the season of Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north.  Year B.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

The Bond Is God

 “The Lord watch between you and me, when we are absent one from the other.

Genesis 31:49

Lots of intrigue describe this part of the Bible, as God’s plan for Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, begins to unfold. Jacob and his wife Rachel are trying go on with their lives and God’s plan, seeking to get away from the very controlling father of Rachel, Laben. Laban finally agrees to let them go. There’s a beautiful verse that they use to seal a very special promise they make. The bond between them will be God. In 31:49, Laban bids farewell to Jacob and his daughters with these words: “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent from one another,” What a beautiful prayer to say when members of a family have to be apart for awhile!

Here’s an idea: take this verse and say it different words that carry the same basic prayer. Let your own creative mind make the blessing just right for who you are and how you want God to be present with you and you family in every situation—whether you are together or apart.

Genesis 31:17—32:3

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
The Lord between you and me 31:49
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.

Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the second part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

The Silence of Jesus

Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.

Mark 15:5

We continue with our reading of the Passion of Jesus. He is dragged before the governor, Pilate. Here we see the connection between the words “passion” and “passive.” Jesus does not defend himself before this wicked governor; instead, he keeps an awesome silence.

Jesus is the one who is really in charge, since he is allowing all this suffering to take place so that we might be liberated once and for all from evil. Though great meanness is happening to Jesus that will bring on his death, Jesus silently allows these evil forces to come against him—all out of love for you and me, so that we might know how much God loves us.

Mark 15:1-20

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Silence before all Pilates v. 5
For more information about
this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the eleventh of thirteen weeks in the season of Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north. Year B.
Fridays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
We read the Gospel of Mark in Year B.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

The Kaleidoscope

“Amen! Blessing and glory
        and wisdom and thanksgiving
        and honor and power and might
            be to our God forever and always. Amen.”

Revelation 7:12

Let your imagination go and slowly look at the wonderful picture that the sacred writer is painting for you. Notice how symmetrical are the images; they are mirrored in units of four, like a kaleidoscope—one of those tubes you look through that has mirrors reflecting the colored stones in all kinds of star-like shapes.

Imagine: clothing becoming white when it is drenched in blood! What’s amazing is that blood-stains are very hard to get out of clothing. In this case, the blood of Jesus poured out upon us inside and out makes us white. Jesus’ blood flowed so that we could become pure white; how’s that for a miracle! Verses 10 and 12 contain refrains that must have been really sung in the first years of the church, right after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Sing them to yourself—even out loud! You are singing verses that have been sung down through the ages—right up to do today, if you’re singing them!

Revelation 7

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Blessing, glory and wisdom v. 12
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.

This is the eleventh of thirteen weeks
in the season of Kingtomtide,
autumn in the north Year B.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
In this season we are reading 1st and 2nd Thessalonians.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

Miracles for You

For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
    at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

Psalm 92:4

Here is a wonderful prayer with lots of upbeat energies and feelings. The first four verses set the energy and direction of the psalm. They are like “Firestarters” for the rest of the prayer.

Let these verses do the same for you. Read them slowly till you totally agree with their energy. Then you can do in your own life what the psalmist does in his: reflect on all the good things that God is doing for you—the blessings that you can even call miracles that are taking place in your life. Just think of your waking each day with your senses working so that you can be fully alive. Is that not a miracle all by itself?

Psalm 92

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
At Your works I sing for joy. v. 4
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the eleventh of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north. Year B
Wednesdays are dedicated the Psalms.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

Faithful, All Life Long

AnimFireStarter

Josiah was 8 years old when he became king, and he ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah; she was Adaiah’s daughter and was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the Lord’s eyes, and walked in the ways of his ancestor David—
not deviating from it even a bit to the right or left.
 

2 Kings 22:1-2

A young lad of eight years of age begins to rule from Jerusalem; his name Josiah. He was so different from all the other kings, for he was faithful to the Lord all the days of his life. He turned the attention of the people to rebuilding the Temple which the people had abandoned, for they were busy worshiping false gods up in the mountains.

Then something amazing happens in verse 8: The first five books of the Bible, the Torah, are found at last! Imagine: the sacred revelations of God and God’s plan for the human family, lost for many generations.

While our modern world has not lost God’s Word, for their are Bibles all over the place, still countless numbers of people ignore these sacred words and find other words to live by. We might call these “gods” that distract from knowledge and love of the one true God. Your daily reading of God’s Word is one way of saying that by God’s grace this is not going to happen to you!

2 Kings 22

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Walking in the ways of God v. 2
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the eleventh of thirteen Weeks in the season of Kingdomtide,
Autumn in the north. Year B.
Tuesdays are dedicated to Hebrew History and “The Writings.”

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…