Someone Who Listens

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

1 Samuel 3—4

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

At last, God found someone who will listen! The story of Samuel’s call and first prophecy is one mixed with as much charm and purity as it is with expressions of dire consequences to Eli and his family. Eli was a priest set aside to listen, but he refused. He was deaf to the warning about his sons who likely started out simply as spoiled children, but wound up in brazen wickedness.

So careful was Samuel to listen to God that no word of God fell worthless to the ground. In their own way, Samuel’s words were as the sparrow of last Sunday’s Gospel that does not fall to the ground apart from God’s will.

Let your words flow carefully from your mouth, so that none of them will be worthless—or those you wish you had recalled!

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Here I am, for You called me 3:5
Speak, Lord, your servant listens. 3:10
My words not fall to the ground 4:19
Ark of Covenant within 4:5

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

This is the fourth of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, 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

Today’s image:  “Samuel Reading to Eli the Judgments of God Upon Eli’s House”
by John Singleton Copley (finished in 1780) hangs in Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT.
http://www.godtoldmethebook.com http://www.mutualart.com

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.

Focus upon God

Mondays: The Prophets
Isaiah 17—18

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Nations that have risen against Judea and Jerusalem are marked for destruction. Those bent on defying God are doomed. They will not harvest the rich fruits resting in ripeness in the field, but rather the beasts of the field and the birds of the air will do the gathering. So says the master of the harvest who rests in the heat of the summer sun.

I wonder if John the Baptist had 17:13 in mind when he preached the way clear for Jesus in Matthew 3:12—the chaff blown to oblivion by the wind. Efforts in your life will be similarly scattered if there lacks a clear, fundamental purpose and call in your life.

Ask the Lord to gather your energies according to God’s plan. What does the final verse mean for you as you place your life and will into God hands?

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Eyes upon the Holy One 17:7
The nations: chaff in the wind 17:13
You like clear heat in sunshine 18:4
My gifts to the Lord of hosts 18:7

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

This is the fourth of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets; in this season, we continue reading Isaiah.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

Today’s image courtesy of http://asktheblindpastor.wordpress.com

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.

All Fear Is Gone

Sundays: The Gospels from the Lectionary
Matthew 10:24-39

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

I hope you are finding vacation space from the year’s work. The Spirit will speak to your heart before you return to the challenges to come, as you spend quiet time with the Lord.

The message of grace today intends to take fear away. Widen you faith-awareness of being one with Jesus; this will help flush out fear. The One within you is stronger than the negative forces without that may be pressing against you. St. John and St. Paul express it this way: “The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world” (1 John 4:4). “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love”(Rom. 8:38). How would you express these convictions in your own words?

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Loving You above all else vv.37-38
I’m worth much more than sparrows. v. 31
Cross I take and follow You v. 38
Losing life, I find in You. v. 39

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

This is the fourth of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

Today’s image courtesy of https://paulwilsonjr.wordpress.com

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.

A Destructive Power

Saturdays: The Sabbath Torah Portions
Numbers 16:1-40

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Jealousy and power rear their ugly heads, as they did for the fall of the evil King (or Lucifer?) in Isaiah 14. The rebels mentioned might as well have taken on God, as indeed amounts to be the case, when they challenge Moses and Aaron with such profound disrespect. What happens to them is similar to the outcome of that one that fell from heaven.

Envy is one of the Capital Sins. Its reckless, blind energy smashes headlong into the carefully woven plans that God has for each person.

If only the Korahites had minded their own sacred business—a sacred, priestly business. After you read, examine your own conscience about jealousy. The purity of God’s Spirit cannot tolerate dwelling in a soul restless with jealousy. It is a very destructive power. Beware!

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Walking humbly with my God (Micah 6:8)
Always trusting in You, Lord
Reverence before Your will
Incense rising from my heart

Click or touch the image
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.

Ready for Transformation?

Fridays: The Gospels
Matthew 10

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


Gather with the Twelve and listen to Jesus tell them and you about how to go about spreading God’s Good News.

The reception of God’s peace, which each household must have, begins with you. Wait before you begin to read. Silence descends, giving a wide setting for whatever distracting thoughts may be buzzing in your head. Give them attention for a moment, but only long enough for you to collect them and turn them over to the Lord. Do not suppress distractions; give them a way out and a direction into God.

The thought of Jesus is not complicated here; however, be ready to be transformed by grace.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Seeking out the lost with love v. 6
Given freely; freely give v. 8
Breathing peace on everyone v. 13
Losing life and finding it v. 39

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

This is the third of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We continue reading the Gospel of Matthew.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

Today’s image courtesy of http://beyogabelove.wordpress.com

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.

Gratuity of God’s Grace

Thursdays: The New Testament
Romans 3:21—4:25

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

Law and grace, faith and works, human righteousness and Jesus’ justification: Paul holds these polar opposites before the face of the Roman recipients of this letter. He goes beneath the level of debate, linking the apparent newness of his teaching about the law of faith with the prototype of all faith—Abraham. Citing Genesis 15:6, Paul grounds his case upon the righteousness of Abraham in his faith.

May the energy of Paul’s teaching bring you beyond and beneath mental understanding of his thought, to a spiritual grasp of this teaching. It is not what you do that brings salvation, but rather your surrender by faith to the One who saved us through the blood of the cross.

Here is the essence of our joy—the gratuity of God’s grace.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Lord, may I not pass judgment.2:1
Your kindness toward repentance. 2:4
Patiently doing the good 2:7
Show me, Lord, the path of peace 3:18

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

This is the Second Week in Pentecost, Year A.(The first week occurred at the end of the season of Epiphany.)
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

Today’s image – http://forthefamily.org

Thursdays: The New Testament
Romans 2:1—3:20

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


“Saint Peter Repentant” 1823-25, Goya

As though admonishing his readers down through the ages to resist the temptation to point fingers after reading chapter 1, Paul begins chapter 2 with a sharp rebuke about judgment. You will need to read slowly to catch the argumentation of his thought about the law and its relation to Jew and Gentile. However, the basic thought is clear: we are to mind our own business and examine our own selves. God gives a conscience to each person, whether Jew or Gentile, as the means to come to a basic understanding and reception of God and God’s ways.

Paul wants to loosen the Jewish Christians from any arrogance in their unique call through the ages. The heart needs to be circumcised—to respect and respond to God’s presence that is offered to every person.

Where in your life do you feel admonished in this reading?

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Justified by faith in Christ 3:26
The promise resting on grace 4:16
You called me into being. 4:17
Grace abounding by Your love

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

This is the third of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

Today’s image – “Saint Peter Repentant” 1823-25, Goya

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 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.

Empty Hands and Heart

Wednesdays: The Psalms
Psalm 24

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

The gates of heaven—picture them in your faith-filled imagination. The heaven you hope to enter after death has its gate here on earth.

Heaven can be now! Enter into that heavenly space at this moment. The Psalm does give you some prerequisites— “clean hands and a pure heart.” Come empty-handed and empty-hearted into the presence of the Lord who will fill your hands with spirit-riches, and your heart with spirit-love. Keep the focus upon the majesty of the Lord this Pentecost season.

Jesus’ hands and heart were opened for you on the cross and are open now as your resurrection-refuge in the Spirit. Be aware of the majesty of God today as you open the door of your heart to God.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
All the earth belongs to You. v. 1
With clean hands and a pure heart v. 4
Lifting my soul to the truth v. 4
You coming into my heart v. 7

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

This is the third of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, 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

Today’s image courtesy of http://pastoretteponderings.blogspot.com

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.