God’s Life-Lines

What an amazing miracle: the sun stands still so that God’s people could defeat God’s enemies!  This may seem like fantastic miracle, except that God does this kind of thing all the time. What I mean is this: when we respond to God’s timing–doing what God wants, when God wants and how God wants, we’ll always have just enough time.  So many in the world feel rushed to meet their own deadlines.  That’s because they are their deadlines instead of God’s.  God really doesn’t have deadlines–they are all “life-lines!”

Do you want to see time stand still for someone?  Give them a loving smile…Tell a dear friend how much he or she means to you…  Just a few seconds will make their day!

Joshua 10:12-15

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.

An “A” in Being You

I heard about a teacher that did something very interesting at the beginning of the school year.  He said: “You all have an “A” in this class!  From this time on, be sure that you don’t do anything to take that grade away!

God created every one of us perfectly-we all had an “A.”  But selfishness and lack of attention to God’s desires, had us get lower grades.  Some people even got an “F” in being a creation of God!  This is at the heart of the image of a perfect vineyard that God planted, that has become filled with wild grapes. 

As you listen to what’s going to happen to the vineyard, feel God’s pain and disappointment in His people.  Here is a moment to ask the Lord to help you continue to become all that God intends you to be.  Don’t do anything to have God’s “A” for you be lowered!  May you always get an “A” in being you!

 Isaiah 5:1-7

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.

Resting with the Holy Family

Rembrandt – Rest in the Flight into Egypt

So connected to God is Joseph, that God shares His will with him in a dream.  The evil Herod is enraged with jealousy because of the possibility of people turning away from him, to an infant King.  The only emotion that people have toward Herod is fear.   Herod kills the most innocent of persons-children.  Still today, all around the world, children and other innocent people die in wars and all kinds of violence. Think of the countless number of refugees.

During all this turmoil, Jesus quietly sleeps in his mother’s arms, Joseph leading the way as they make another journey-this time to Egypt.  Follow them.  Hear the noise of Herod’s fury gradually fade away as you hear only the “clomp, clomp, clomp” of the donkey carrying Mary again…this time with Jesus in her arms.  Feel the silence; feel the protection of God.  May you rest in prayer with the Holy Family and find peace in their silence.

Matthew 2:13-23

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 Spirit of God in Us

Joseph is a perfect example of what God can do to someone who is willing to forgive his enemies—even his own brothers, for selling him into slavery.  Look at what happens.  Because Joseph is gentle and wise, he advances into a place of government in Egypt.  He sleeps every night in peace, and so God is able to use his dreams as way for him to find more and more favor with Pharaoh.

Verse 39 is very special: “Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone else like this—one in whom is the spirit of God?”  If the patriarch Joseph has the Spirit of God, how much more do you and I, who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit because of Jesus’s resurrection! 

Genesis 41:1-52

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.

Wonder

When I was growing up, we used to place little figurines of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the animals into our fireplace. One single Christmas tree light was set above like the star shining down.  It was special.  There in the center of our home as a family, we added ourselves to those looking at the manger.

You probably have something similar in your home.  Go there.  Be silent like Mary and Joseph so that you can feel all this wonder…and yourself wonder at what the child is going to mean for all of us, especially for you.

  Luke 2:1-20

Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels.
This year in the season of Advent to Epiphany we read the Infancy Narratives of St. Luke followed by Matthew 1—8.

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 Slave Who Saves

Paul pleads mercy for a slave; Jesus as a slave comes to save.  Jesus a slave: does this make sense?  Surely Jesus wasn’t forced into slavery!  Right.  Jesus freely chose to become slave by coming down from heaven to be human and to let his whole life from the manger to the cross be bound like a slave to what we need.  We need God to save us; left to ourselves alone, it just doesn’t work.  Just the opposite…our selfishness binds us as slave more and more.

I wonder about who will be the ones to come to faith in Jesus because of you, as the slave Onesimus came to faith because of Paul!

 Philemon

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.

The Wedge

The urge to react when we get angry…David’s problem too. His solution? Prayer.  In the space between the action and the re-action, like a wedge in a door, he calls upon God to come between himself and what is angering him.

When we give God a chance to wedge God’s grace between ourselves and what is angering us, a peace will come as we let God take care of things.  He won’t do it like a bodyguard and clobber the person, but rather will give you God’s power and grace to respond with love.  

Love overcomes anger.  When that happens, what a restful night of sleep will take place, as the final verse describes!

A blessed Christmas to all!

Psalm 4

Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms.
This year in the season of Advent to Epiphany we read Psalms 1—13.

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.