A Special Place in the House

AnimFireStarter

Imagine what it would be like if you and your family were pushed into huge trailer trucks and hauled away to a foreign land. You had to say goodbye to everything you knew and loved, and especially that feeling of peace when you return home everyday. This happened to millions of Jews during World War II.

God’s people were taken into exile several centuries before Jesus. For years they lived away from the Promised Land. However, finally a time came when they were allowed to return.

Walk with the crowds who remembered the joy of being freed from exile. The psalm is filled with feelings about all this. They also feel like happy farmers in autumn when they finally see the fruit of all the hard work of springtime.

How about finding a special place in your house where you can return to pray and feel the joy of God being with you. That’s the spot when you can be content, happy and at peace.

Psalm 126

Suggested Bible Breath:  Sow in tears; reaping in joy.  v. 5
Touch to learn more…


Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms.
During Lent across the three-year cycle,
we read the “Songs on the Journey,” Psalms 120-134.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion. An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

Give God Your Pain.

AnimFireStarter

Once upon a time we had a beautiful pet—a black Cocker Spaniel named Reina. One day she was sleeping in the driveway, blending into the dark pavement. Our son didn’t see her as he backed his car right over her. Since she was small and lying right in the middle, the car only touched her a tiny bit and she was OK.

What if our son had killed our beloved pet and we kept hammering him with, “It’s all your fault! It’s all your fault!” How terrible he would have felt.

Even though Job was not responsible for the awful things that happened to him and his family, his nasty friends kept pounding him with, “It’s all your fault!” Job turns to God, pleading that God comfort him in his great pain.

God waits for you to give God all the pain in your life. Keep turning to God when you feel sad and frightened. Be a real friend to someone you know who is suffering.

Job 17:3-9

Suggested Bible Breath:  Grieving with those who suffer  v. 7
Touch to learn more…


Tuesdays are dedicated to the Writings in the Hebrew Scriptures, those books with the exception of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible)
the Prophets and the Psalms.
In the season of Lent, we read from the Book of Job.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion. An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

Leading Others to God

AnimFireStarter

Something about sheep: they are not very bright. They tend to wander away; shepherds have to be very alert to keep the flock together.

Jeremiah warns about kings that have been bad shepherds. They have led the people astray. Jeremiah warns that the people will be captured by the rulers of countries around them. God’s people, like captured sheep will be led away into exile.

There’s hope. A time will come when a wonderful, loving and generous shepherd will guide God’s people. Jeremiah’s words so remind us of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

Many people today wander about like lost sheep. You be their shepherd. By acting with love and kindness, you can lead people to know God.

Jeremiah 23:2-6

Suggested Bible BreathThe Lord Is Our Righteousness.   v. 6
Touch to learn more…


Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets
In the season of Lent, we read from the prophet Jeremiah.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion. An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

The Bell in the Silence

The Second Week in Lent, Year B

AnimFireStarter

“You can’t take it with you.” This saying means that nothing we have on earth goes with us into heaven when we die. I had a very funny uncle that requested to have his checkbook buried with him when he died: “Just in case you CAN take it with you!”

One thing about Jesus: he is very clear and direct when he speaks about the things of heaven and those of earth. Today’s reading is especially strong, inviting us to think very deep. His words ring like a bell in the silence.

When we give someone we love a gift from the heart, the joy and love we receive in return is greater than the gift itself. Take this all the way to God. We when give our lives in love and service of Jesus, the love that God has for us flows back into us with great energy. May the words of Jesus ring just like a bell in the silence; O how we listen!

Mark 8:31-38

Suggested Bible Breath:  “No to self; yes to the cross”   v. 34
Touch to learn more…


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels, in Year B, the Gospel of Mark.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

Holy to the Lord

AnimFireStarter

You’ll need your imagination working hard to turn the description of the special clothes of Aaron and his sons into a picture. Notice how elaborate was the special clothing called. What color! The bells were meant to alert those outside of the special worship area called “The Holy of Holies” that the priest had a special experience of God.  In the thirteenth century, Zohar, a famous rabbi, added the idea that a rope was tied about the priest so that if he fainted or died, he could be dragged out!

I love the flower ornament in front of the turban which was engraved with, “Holy to the Lord.” Imagine these special words attached to your forehead. It’s like a name tag that tell others something special about you.

We are indeed holy by God’s grace. May all that you and I do express this holiness to others so that they too can find how good and holy God is.

Exodus 28:31-38

Suggested Bible Breath:  “To be holy in Your sight.”   v. 36
Touch to learn more…


Saturdays are dedicated to the Torah Portions
read along with synagogues throughout the world.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

 

 

Rivers of Living Water

AnimFireStarter

Strife, arguments and hatred for Jesus rose up from most of the religious leaders. His fame brought jealousy and anger for those in authority, afraid that people would follow Jesus and let go of all the laws that bound the people like ropes tied about themselves.

Jesus often walked with the crowds of people singing as they made their way to Jerusalem three times a year. One of these festivals was called “Tabernacles” or “Booths,” recalling the time when our Hebrew ancestors built tents in the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land. This time, all kinds of suspicions from some, and faith in Jesus from others, go back and forth in this chapter.

However, watch what Jesus says. The last day of the festival is called “Rejoicing in the Torah.” The word “Torah” means God’s love pouring down like rain. They found this image just perfect for praying for rain. Keep this in mind when you read toward the end of this chapter from verse 32. Imagine: rivers of living water springing up from within us!

John 7:37-46

Suggested Bible Breath:  “Welling up: living water”   v. 38
Touch to learn more…


Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels.
During Lent and Easter, we read the Gospel of John.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

The Bungee Cord of Hope

AnimFireStarter

Some people just love doing scary things like bungee jumping. Down they go hoping that the bungee cord, stretched to its limit, will pull the person back upward to high ground.

St. Paul says in verse 5 that the hope of heaven is what stirs faith and love. The effect of all this spiritual energy is to have it spread to others. They catch on by the joy we experience in Christ’s promise. St. Paul is a great source of inspiration; read each verse as though you are rising higher and higher to a space as though you are already in heaven.

Verses 15 to 20 are like a beautiful hymn that gathers the essence of who we are in Christ with words that are simply astounding. Read them slowly, pausing where you find your heart especially touched by grace.

Colossians 1:1-20


Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament except the Gospels.
In the season of Lent this year ,
we read St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1 Corinthians 11:23–13:13.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick