The Arms of the Psalms

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalm 90:1

Wednesdays are dedicated to the psalms in this Bible plan. Just as Wednesday is the center of the week, with arms extending on either end from the Sunday before to the Saturday following, so it is with the Psalms. They reach out their arms to embrace the Old and the New Testaments. They are universal prayers, stretching across the earth to all those who believe in the one true God. The psalms are prayers for Muslims too.

It’s the middle of the work-week when so many are between weekends, the time when some renewal can take place on Sabbath and Sunday, days of rest…though many do not find themselves taking rests for their souls to find deeper connection to God.

In your imagination, take a look at the earth from a satellite far out in space. There we all are—over seven and a half billion of us human beings on the earth. So many are doing everything else but praying to God! So you do it for them in the wonderful verses of this psalm.

Psalm 90

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Lord, You are my dwelling place v. 1
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the ninth 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…

One Line about You

AnimFireStarter

The Lord had not said that he would blot out the name of Israel
from under heaven,
so he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Joash.

2 Kings 13:14

I don’t know about you, but these chapters about a whole bunch of wicked kings hardly makes this part of 2 Kings my favorite part of the Bible! If we find it lifeless and boring, I wonder how God feels!

But there is always something positive to take out of any part of the Bible. Let’s think about the obvious: this part of 2 Kings is a summary of a list of the kings of Judah and Israel. I was thinking: someday, you and I will be part of a list of all our family members who have gone before us and who will come after us. Our names will become part of a long list like columns in a phone book! Imagine such a list, with a one-line summary attached to each name, just as the sacred writer does in these historical books of the Bible.

Now here’s the question: What is one line about yourself that you would like to have connected with your name forever?

2 Kings 14:23-29

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
My whole heart—the offering
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the ninth 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…

 

The Laser Beam of Prayer

Open your ears, my God, and listen! Open your eyes and look at our devastation. Look at the city called by your name! We pray our prayers for help to you, not because of any righteous acts of ours but because of your great compassion.

Daniel 9:18

Laser beams: one of the amazing inventions in modern times. These beams can reconnect delicate areas of the eyes as well as do other wonderful things.

Praying for someone is like sending a laser beam of your love and God’s love into their souls and bodies. That’s the way Daniel prays in the reading for today. As you read his prayer, let your mind and heart be open to how you too can pray for the people of this earth, all of whom are God’s children.

You will notice four aspects of Daniel prayer that can be summarized under the following acronym: ACTS: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication—another name for prayer requests. So let’s you and I do ACTS today and everyday, sending laser beams of prayer to those for whom we are called to pray.

Daniel 9:1-19

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

This is the eighth 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…

Eyes of the Heart

Throwing his coat to the side, he jumped up and came to Jesus.

Mark 10:50

One of my spiritual directors in life was a priest who became blind late in his life. He was also a very talented violinist. It was very difficult for him to learn how to be blind and continue to play the violin. Yet he told me that he had become an even better violinist, because his hearing had become extremely sensitive. He also witnessed that he had come to see things spiritually that he might never have understood if he had his eyesight.

The joy of the man in the Gospel who came to see was made even greater because before he received his miracle, he had seen Jesus with his heart and knew Jesus could heal him. It’s as though his heart had been given eyes long before he received his sight.

Come to Jesus today with the same intense desire to know and love Jesus as the blind man of today’s Gospel. Be aware of keeping the eyes of your heart upon Jesus.

Mark 10:46-52

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Throwing off all defenses v. 50
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the ninth 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 Lord Will Provide

 Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day,
“On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Genesis 22:14

The Lord-Will-Provide—what a lovely name for a place! This is the name that Abraham gave to the place where the ram was offered instead of sacrificing his son, Isaac.

There’s a very simple way of praying that takes a seven syllable phrase and connects it with our breathing—three syllables in the inhale, three on the exhale, and one for rest…like the Sabbath! Here’s a way you can take Abraham’s name for this place and make it into such a prayer. “The Lord will provide for me.” As this prayer becomes one with your breath, with each breath you take, the meaning and comfort of the prayer will sink into you. You might also take a post-it note and write the prayer-phrase on it and put it in a place where you will see it. If you do something like this every day, then the daily reading will become personal to you. You’ll be breathing the essence of each day’s Bible reading.

Genesis 22:1-19

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
The Lord will provide for me. v. 14
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…

Birth-Pangs of a New World

 When they haul you in and hand you over, don’t worry ahead of time about what to answer or say. Instead, say whatever is given to you at that moment, for you aren’t doing the speaking but the Holy Spirit is.

Mark 13:11

Catch the similarity between the way things are in our current world, and what Jesus is saying about the world of his time. There is an expression that goes: “Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.”

The birth of every one of us meant a pain and joy for our mothers that Jesus likens to the wider world’s suffering and coming joy. When we pray, we take on the world’s pain through compassion, love and prayer. Our compassion is part of the birth-pangs of a new world. Today, spend time praying for the world with this image in your heart.

Mark 13:14-37

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Suffering all as birth pangs v. 8
For more information about
this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the seventh 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…

Building Blocks in Your Life

 But the Lord is faithful and will give you strength and protect you from the evil one.

2 Thessalonians 3:3

The heart of this final chapter of Paul’s letter warns about being idle in life. Idleness tends to have us meddle in other’s business, for we are not busy about our own!

Take a moment to stop and place yourself at the end of your life, as one of those kings we are reading about in 2 Kings. What a tragedy to have the end of our lives described as: “He did evil in the sight of the Lord.” If there is one thing that is right next to evil itself, it is idleness and living without focus or meaning. So, stand before the Lord at the end of your life. What kind of life would you like to present to the Lord at the moment of your death? Get in touch with how that feels then, so that you can come back to the present moment and let yourself feel the energy of that NOW. Not being idle means acting according to gifts in life that God has given you, cooperating with God who wants to bring your life to a wonderful fullness.

2 Thessalonians 3

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
You strengthen and protect me. v. 3
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.

This is the eighth 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…