Hooked on Jesus

 “Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me;
and whoever welcomes me isn’t actually welcoming me
but rather the one who sent me.”  Mark 9:37

The disciples begin to argue about is greatest among Jesus’s group. “Me first!” . . . Can’t you just hear them arguing? What a thing to compete about—being “Number One” among Jesus’s friends!

Jesus comes upon them, seeking to their change their attitude. He picks up a child and lifts the child into the center of the circle, saying that this little one is more important than all the big people’s places of honor.

What makes children, such as you, so important, is that Jesus wants young people to get to know and love him and his Father and the Holy Spirit before other worldly interests draw them away. That’s why these daily messages to you are so important to me. If you get “hooked on Jesus,” at an early age, how wonderful to think about how the rest of your life will be so much more happy as you become closer and closer to Jesus!

Mark 9:33-37

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
“Welcome children—welcome Me.” v. 37
For more information about
this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the last week in the season of Pentecost, 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…

Patching Things Up

We are happy when we are weak but you are strong.
We pray for this: that you will be made complete.

2 Corinthians 13:9

Do you have a good pair of pants that has a hole in them? Perhaps your mom has ironed on a patch for them, trying to match the same color. They might not any longer be your best pants, but they can most likely continue to be used.

There’s a word in the Greek language that St. Paul uses to talk about the completeness in the body of the church in Corinth. Like a pair of pants that have holes in them through wrongdoing and sin, Paul wants to have the church be complete again, sealing the holes and the gaps in the community through repentance and love for one another. That Greek word is also the same word that the Gospel writers use when Jesus approaches the first disciples as they are mending their nets—making them complete. Soon they will find out that there will be new nets and new fish—a whole new community of people who are caught up in the net of Jesus’s love.

Are you called to “patch things up” between you and a friend with whom you might be feeling badly? Just open yourself right now to Jesus coming close to you and watch how Jesus’s love will heal the torn parts of your friendship. Unlike your clothes that are not the best anymore because of the patch, when God comes in to make torn relationships whole again, the bond is better than ever!

Ask Jesus to give you a desire to have things right with all the people in your life.

2 Corinthians 13:3-9

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Mended, healed and whole in You v. 9
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.

This is the last week in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
In this season we read 2 Corinthians.

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…

New Beginnings


But I would feed you with the finest wheat.
I would satisfy you with honey from the rock. Psalm 81:16

When we think of the reading of yesterday about King Ahab and Queen Jezebel and how wicked they were, let’s take today’s Psalm and pray it for ourselves and others, that we follow along the paths of life that God has shown us.

The prayer is a very musical and even noisy one, with all the musical instruments to be played. Sometimes it is very helpful to be quiet when we pray; at other times, making music and even banging things together can be a way of praising God. From silence to lots of noise, we dedicate the sounds we make to love and serve God. Think of all the loud music of the world that is made; wouldn’t it be right to let God have some of that attention?

This is a psalm that Jewish people pray at their New Year in the autumn and at other festivals. It’s a good psalm to pray as the school year begins right about now. It’s all about how to live when new beginnings take place in our lives.

Psalm 81

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
You feed with the finest wheat. v. 16
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the last week in the season of Pentecost, 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…

Falling Dominoes

AnimFireStarter

Like a row of dominoes, all evils flow from breaking the First Commandment about not worshiping false gods. Not only do King Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel worship idols, but really, they worship themselves. They “Want what they want when they want it”! Hear the story of conspiracy to commit murder and robbery. God uses the holy man Elijah to bring God’s message of justice to the wicked King.

We’ve come to the end of our readings from the First Book of Kings. Thirteen weeks ago, at the beginning of summer, we began the book with the story of the death of great King David, followed by the reign of his son, King Solomon. The beautiful Temple for God was built…but then right away, Solomon abandoned that one and went to worship the cheap, false gods in their temples that must have been like shacks, compared to the great Temple. Like a row of falling dominoes, wicked king after wicked king bring God’s people down with them. From the top of greatness at the beginning, we are left with something disgusting. Instead of the King and the Queen dying and having a great funeral, they both die with their murdered bodies just thrown on the ground for dogs to lick their blood.

There’s a saying: “As you live, so will you die.” Your life stretches before you. What kind of choices for God will you make?

1 Kings 21:1-27

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
As I live, so will I die.
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the thirteenth and last week in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Tuesdays are dedicated to Hebrew History and “The Writings.”
For the rest of this season, we read 1 Kings.

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…

 

God and the Ground

I will heal their faithlessness; I will love them freely,
 for my anger has turned from them. Hosea 14:1

There was a tree on the front lawn of a former place where we lived, that looked like half of it was in summer and half in winter…which is another way of saying, half dead! If only there was something we could have done to the soil and the tree so that it might have been healed of its disease and live.

Hosea is thinking of something like that tree. He likens God’s people to a lily plant or a cedar tree, with roots sunk deep into the fertile soil. Like grain and wine, God’s people are going to live.

This is the last Monday we’ll be hearing about God from the prophet Hosea. He has been using very strong words to awaken God’s people to their life with God. Now in the final chapter, all the love and tenderness of God are poured out like the last drops of Jesus’s blood on the cross. God gives everything so that we will have a chance to cling to God and respond to God nudging us to love God and our neighbor throughout our lives.

Sit and sink deep into the place where you are sitting right now and picture yourself as a tree receiving nourishment from the ground beneath it. God is in the ground you sit and walk upon. Sink into God and let God’s love and life flow upward into you.

Hosea 14

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Always, Your forgiving love. v. 1
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the thirteenth and last week in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Mondays in this season are dedicated to the Prophet Hosea.

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…

Turn Away or Stay Close to Jesus?

“Lord, where would we go?
You have the words of eternal life.”
John 6: 69

From the heart of Jesus in union with his Father in heaven, to the very tips of his fingers as his hands are stretched out, Jesus longs to pull us very close to God. For the past several Sundays, Jesus has been teaching about the wondrous life of God that is contained in his life—his very flesh and blood that he desires to share with us as food in the sacrament of Holy Communion…and not only at that moment, but in every second of our lives.

Just about all of the first listeners to Jesus’s words wrinkled up their faces, plugged their ears and turned away from him. Picture them gradually walking away, leaving Jesus all alone with just a few of his closest friends. How comforting it must have been for Jesus to hear the words of Peter!

Are you going to be among those that stay close to Jesus all the days of your life? I wonder what became of those disciples of Jesus who never continued to walk with him!

John 6:56-69

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer from today’s reading:
“Flesh useless; Spirit gives life.” v. 63
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the thirteenth and last week in the season of Pentecost, 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…

Wonderful Blessings

You will be blessed when you are out and about
and blessed when you come back.
Deuteronomy 28:6

Moses tells the people about what is fair and what is not, when they continue to live as God’s people in the Promised Land. Remember that Moses knows that he is not going to actually enter that land, but that he would die looking at it from a distance. He’s like a father on his death bed who wants to instruct his children about how to live.

Today, think about what is right and fair as you recall the people who make up your life each day. For example, is there fairness in all the situations that you find at school? Is there someone not being treated fairly and God wants you to step in and try to see to it that fairness comes about? Will you accept the challenge?

Deuteronomy 28:1-14

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Blessed as I go in and out 28:6
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…