Good Order in Life

Saturday, January 25
Exodus 21:1—22:24

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


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What must have been the previous mistreatment of others such that these various laws were designed to put some measure of justice into life! We might have come a long way from what is outlined here for a society over three thousand years ago, yet there is something we can miss so easily⎯the ordering of life has its initiative from the Lord.

Jesus said to his disciples at the Last Supper, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:12). There has been and will continue to be a development, a refinement of how God wants us to respond to one another.

Reflect upon how you treat others. Seek the justice and mercy that God wants to express to others through your very own life.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Blessed are the merciful. Mt 5:7
The pure in heart shall see God. Mt 5:8
Peacemakers: children of God Mt 5:9
Blest those suff’ring for justice Mt 5:10

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for the version for children and families.

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 third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Immersion in Ministry

Friday, January 24
Matthew 4

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


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Jesus, the sinless one, is nonetheless tempted. Three major temptations come against Jesus in the desert, occurring between the baptism and the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He takes upon himself the history of God’s people in the desert. Jesus is faithful where the Israelites were not. Last Sunday’s reference in John’s Gospel to Jesus as “The Lamb of God” is John’s way of seeing Jesus taking the place of the Paschal Lamb sacrificed in remembrance of the Exodus.

After the temptation, Capernaum becomes Jesus’ home-base. Miracles abound; immense crowds follow him. Immerse yourself in Jesus’ ministry. Give Jesus your history and let him transform its meaning, just as he did for our ancestors in the desert.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Not by bread, but by Your Word v. 4
Trusting in the Lord our God v. 7
Worshipping and serving God v. 10
Healing and joy abounding v. 23

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Third Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We read the Gospel of Matthew, except during Advent, the Infancy Narratives of Luke.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Adopted into God’s Family

Thursday, January 23
Galations 4

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


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As though we are in the middle of a lovely garden, we find ourselves in the center of Paul’s teaching about our salvation through Jesus. Simply put, God has brought us into God’s house and family. You and I can do nothing to qualify us for such adoption. Only Jesus is Son, but in Jesus, we have all the rights and privileges of the first-born son.

Catch the intensity of Paul’s words of love for the churches in Galatia that he urgently wants to be convinced of the truths he expresses. Meditate carefully upon the analogy he makes between Ishmael and Isaac—the former, the child of a slave, the latter, of a free woman. Receive the full impact of being a free child of God in God’s own house.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
The fullness of time has come. v. 4
Spirit cries: “Abba! Father!” v. 6
No more a slave, but a child v. 7
Birthing pain till Christ is formed v. 19

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Third Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels. This year in the season of Advent to Epiphany we read the letters of Titus, Philemon, Galatians and Philippians.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

At Home in the Universe

Wednesday, January 22
Psalm 8

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


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The wider and deeper is David’s contemplation, the greater the sense of comfort and security he finds in God. David’s eyes sweep over the wonders of creation. He takes countless “snapshots” that bear the name of the Creator.

Then suddenly David becomes self-conscious. How tiny is the being whose eye is embracing all this! The insignificance he feels is not negative; rather he is lifted to awareness that the human being is the greatest expression of God’s creative love.

Lift your eyes to an expanse wider than the scope of your limited world and all its problems. May faith in God’s creative, preferential love for you have you believe how very much at home you are in the universe, no matter how tempted you might be to feel how far away and lost you are.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Great Your name through all the earth! v. 2
Lips of children singing praise v. 3
Crowned with glory and honor v. 5
All things put under our feet v. 7

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Third Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms,
one each week over the three-year cycle.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

The Home of the Ark

Tuesday, January 21

Joshua 18—19

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


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Before these chapters conclude with the rest of the lands apportioned to the remaining tribes, there is a simple notice given in the verse for today: the Ark of the Covenant has come to a place of rest; it has found a home. Just as the capital of a state or country is centrally located, so this city is chosen because it is near the center of the lands the Lord gave to the people. It is about 35 miles north of Jerusalem. The Ark will remain there for over 100 years until the Philistines capture it, as we read in 1 Samuel 4.

The tabernacle is the primary sacrament of the presence of God to God’s people. What do you have in your home and your life that reminds you of God’s enduring presence to you in Christ? During this Epiphany season, as the light of Jesus’ presence grows, do something to increase awareness—perhaps a star above your front door or an ornament that stays behind, after all the others have been gathered and stored in the attic.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
The ark at rest within me 18:1
My heart as an ark for You
I have a space in Your heart
Signs that You are present now

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Third Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Sanctuary in the Lord

Monday, January 20
Isaiah 8

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


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A child is promised who will be victorious over the enemies of the southern kingdom of Judah. The child’s name, Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, means “The spoil speeds, the prey hastens,” prophesying that Syria and the northern Kingdom of Israel would soon be destroyed by Assyria.

The Lord will give you all the resources you need to withstand any enemy. There will be “children” for you in one way or another, who will continue to bear the name Immanuel: “God-with-us.”

Immerse yourself in the presence of God until what is awesome in your life is not what is coming against you, but rather the One in whose sanctuary you find refuge and in whose presence you are at home.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Writing what the Lord reveals v. 1
“God with us”—Emmanuel v. 10
You alone are holy, Lord. v. 13
Waiting and hoping in God v. 17

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Third Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets,in this season the prophet Isaiah.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

“Homing Pigeon: – An Alphabyte

Nick reads the Alphabyte.

From thousands of miles away, these pigeons will know how to come home, flying constantly until they arrive. Rest comes only then. How do they do it? The mystery remains, yet we know it has something to do with the angle of the sun and its polarized, ultra-violent rays. In a similar way, the sun is the source for how honeybees make their configured dances, each design a special message for the other bees to know where the flowers are with the nectar. Yet homing pigeons seem to have something else⎯a memory system creating an internal map for them to follow when clouds get in the way of familiar landmarks below.

Home: there’s no place like it, as the carol sings. Welcome Home⎯next to I love you, are our favorites to hear. We have been created to rest in God alone. St. Augustine wrote: “You have made us for Yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”

The outpoured Spirit of Jesus has given you an innate sense of what will bring you home with the Lord⎯even now, while heaven may seem far away. The map and manual are the Scriptures. When read with faith, they will imprint the directions homeward, and give the energy to keep flying without stopping until the Sabbath rest is complete in Jesus.

Be at home with the Lord in the Word for some precious time each day. Then, when you go about your day, others will find in you a landmark that will invite them also, to come home to Jesus.

Alphabytes are object meditations
that move through the alphabet two times
in the course of the fifty-two weeks in the year.
“Homing Pigeon” introduces the Third Week in Epiphany:
winter in the north, summer in the south.
To view all of them, see the menu option Alphabytes