Breathing the Holy Spirit

The way Zechariah shares his prophecies is something like the way John shares his visions in the book of Revelation.  Both of them see visions of what God reveals in fantastic, intense and even strange images.  

For me, the whole chapter comes together in verse 6: “Not by might, not by power, but by Your Spirit, O Lord.

Check the menus options on “Bible Breaths” There are  two seven syllable parts in verse 6: three for inhaling, three for exhaling and one for rest. Try this out as you breathe this verse, and let this great truth sink its way into your soul.  Your breath and the Holy Spirit (which means “Holy Breath”) become one.

 Zechariah 4

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.

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 of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

The Rich Man and the Beggar

Lazarus longed to eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table.
Instead, dogs would come and lick his sores. Luke 16:21

Jesus often tells stories where two very different persons are compared. Today it’s about a rich man and a beggar.  The story will urge you to spend time thinking and meditating about it.  The idea is to see with whom you relate in the story . 

Notice the big switch that takes place: the rich man becomes poor, having lost his soul, while the beggar becomes the wealthiest person you can imagine, because he’s with God.   Don’t we sometimes ignore those in need because we don’t even see them?  “The Rich Man and the Beggar” is a reminder to watch out for that!  About being wealthy: is there anything more valuable than being with God?

Luke 16:19-31

On Sundays we follow the Gospels from the Revised Common Lectionary.

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 of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

The Holy Spirit in Your Heart

Today’s reading is one of my favorites in the whole Bible.  Moses, our great teacher, offers his final words to his beloved people.  Can you feel how anxious his listeners are when they try to figure out who’s going to give God’s Word to them after Moses dies?  After all, Moses went up to the mountain and would stay for days there in the clouds, listening to God, then would come down the mountain to tell God’s people what he heard from God.  That’s how we received the Ten Commandments.

 However, now Moses says that getting in touch with God will be very easy for everyone—as close as one’s own heart.  May you find much comfort in this reading.  The greatest teacher of all is the Holy Spirit who lives in your heart and is teaching you at every moment how to find God in everything.

 Deuteronomy 30:11-20

The Saturday passages follow the reading list that Jewish people use in their synagogue worship throughout the world. They are taken from
“The Torah,” the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy that are read each year beginning with autumn.

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 of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

A Poor Widow

The rich, showy people in this little reading would love to have a TV producer video their acts of showy offering. “No…over here.  Put the spotlight here on my face and then on my hands so that everyone can see the big offering I’m making!”  They were not interested in offering to God, but that everybody would go “Oooh” and “Ahh!” at them.

Hidden in the shadows, yet seen by the light of Jesus’s eyes, is a poor widow.  She’s probably all crouched over as she slowly makes her way to the offering box to put in her two pennies.  Listen in on what Jesus says about her.  Let’s act so that Jesus could say something like this about us!

 Luke 21:1-4

Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This being Year C,
the third year in the cycle, we generally read from the Gospel of Luke.

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 of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Bully Emperors

Then a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. Revelation 12:1

The early Christians suffered very much in the Roman Empire.  They lived a quiet, joyful life, not caring about what the Emperor wanted.  They went about worshipping God, loving the Risen Lord Jesus and caring for the poor and needy.  However, that’s not the kind of life that the Emperor wanted his people to live.  He would go into a rage when he was ignored.   

This is the situation in the Book of Revelation. It’s a book filled with beasts and dragons and especially people filled with the blessed energy from God.  It’s the last book of the Bible that we’ll finish this year on Thursdays.  

Let your imagination give life to the images. Go back almost two thousand years and imagine what it was like to have been a Christian at those times.  There are nations today that have something like Roman Emperors forcing the people to live with great injustice.  Christians are suffering all around the world.

In your personal world, maybe there are some who make trouble for you because you don’t do what they want. Aren’t they something like those bully emperors?!

Revelation 12

Thursdays are dedicated to the letters of Paul, other letters,
the Book of Acts, and the Book of Revelation.

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 of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

God’s Hand Over My Mouth

I love this saying that my wife and I found at a craft shop.  “Lord, please put one hand on my shoulder and the other one over my mouth!”

Verse 3 of Psalm 141 carries this idea.  How about you and I giving God a chance to say what needs to be said in love—especially at those moments when the part of us that’s hurting might want to blurt out something else!

 Psalm 141

Wednesdays are devoted to the reading of the Psalms,
one a week across the three-year cycle.

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 of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

You can just imagine what the dedication of the very first Temple must have been like: music, dancing, prayer—all of these under the inspiration and leadership of King Solomon.

Let’s listen in on his prayer.  Go back three thousand years and join yourself with the crowd of people who hear Solomon’s prayer dedicating the Temple.  Also blend with the crowd of people down through the ages who have read this prayer and have been moved by it.

 2 Chronicles 6:14-21

Tuesdays are dedicated to the the History and Writings of the Hebrew Scriptures.

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 of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.