No Need to Be Afraid

Have you ever been afraid at night? I remember seeing a movie when I was a child called “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” For some weeks after, as I lie in bed waiting for sleep to come, I would look at the shadows made by the curtains in the window and imagine that the evil creature was lurking there!

St. Peter says that there are fallen angels who want to take away our peace and our devotion to God. Today, St. Peter uses a strong image—that the Devil is like a roaring lion seeking someone to eat up! Now this fact is not meant to scare us, but instead, to have us believe in the power of God that is even stronger than these evil forces. So when you are about to fall asleep—and of course at other times of the day and night—turn your thoughts to the power of God which is much, much greater than any evil force. Open your arms as you run into God’s presence. God’s arms are open to receive you so that you can sleep and rest with God

1 Peter 5:6-11

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Breathing out my fears to You v. 7
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.

This is the Third Week in Epiphany
Winter in the north.  Year C
Thursdays in this season are dedicated to the the letters of Peter

Seasons of Grace – A Calendar for 2019

Solar and Sacred Seasons
Some adjustments to make the church year simpler.

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…

Your Gift to God

Let my whole being bless the Lord!
    Let everything inside me bless his holy name!

Psalm 103:1

Yesterday we talked about the cycles of God’s love. Today we think about how God shares the return of these cycles through our prayer; here’s what I mean.
Today’s psalm opens up with an explosion of praise: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” What a minute! I thought that God was the one who blesses and we are the ones being blessed? Yes, this is true. When God blesses us, God sends out a surge of blessings. Yet when we thank God and praise God, in a sense, we “bless” God and return the second half of the cycle to God. It’s like playing catch. God throws out His blessing in creating us–we receive it, and then return it to God through prayer and living as God wants us to live. In this way, we complete the other half of the cycle: we return the gift of life to God.

The surge of praise of the psalmist contains a list of blessings that the psalmist is grateful about and so he “blesses” God. Blessing God for the gifts of life brings us right into God’s presence. Look at God face to face, as you bless and thank God for all the gifts of life that are shared with you every day, every week, and every year of your life.

Psalm 103

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

This is the Fourth Week in Epiphany
Winter in the north.  Year C
Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms

Seasons of Grace – A Calendar for 2019

Solar and Sacred Seasons
Some adjustments to make the church year simpler.

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 Merry-Go-Round of God’s Love

Queen Esther answered, “If I please the king, and if the king wishes, give me my life—that’s my wish—and the lives of my people too.

Esther 7:3

AnimFireStarterThere is a saying, “What goes around, comes around.” It’s like a merry-go-round; when you pass by a point on the outside you will pass it again…like the brass ring.
Haman is on a merry-go-round of evil, plotting to destroy God’s sacred people. As he continues in this way, the very thing that he plans to do is going to happen to him! Today’s chapters tell the story about that and how Queen Esther and Mordecai were favored by King Xerxes.

While there are some persons on a merry-go-round of making trouble, deeper than these circles are those of God’s loving plans to love and save us. These daily Bible readings are themselves like merry-go-rounds! Every three years we come back to each one. When we pray over them with those following this Bible plan, together we ride the saving merry-go-round of God’s love.

Esther 7—8

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Recall to whom I belong
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the Fourth Week in Epiphany
Winter in the north.  Year C
Tuesdays are dedicated in this season to the Book of Esther

Seasons of Grace – A Calendar for 2019

Solar and Sacred Seasons
Some adjustments to make the church year simpler.

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…