The Tent-Like Temple

From the very beginning in the book of Genesis, God commanded that we have one day of rest each week.  Work with all its pressures is to stop for a time so that we can relax in God’s presence. So here, it’s time for God’s people to stop running away from Egypt and to have some special times of rest in worshipping God.  God’s people are traveling, but God tells Moses that he wants them to build a tent-like temple right there in the desert.  Notice how colorful it will be!  The tablet of the Ten Commandments that are coming, are to be placed inside

Just as it was for our ancestors long ago, it’s important to stop and prepare for what’s coming by enjoying the present moment. Rather than keeping our attention locked in the past, it’s the present that is so important, as well as the wonderful future that God’s preparing for you.

Exodus 25:1-16

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.

Listen, Then Act

Listen closely to this final chapter of “The Sermon on the Mount.”  Jesus gives you brief instructions about how to live.  Receive each of these messages like precious gems of Jesus’ wisdom which he lovingly shares with you.  Each comes from the very heart of Jesus; will you receive them into your own heart?

The last six verses remind us that we’ve got to do something more than only hear God’s Word.  If read too quickly, you might miss out on what Jesus is calling you to do.   

Three questions pop up in Jesus’ final words.   Feel the questions first, then respond with your whole heart and do something that lets others know that you really listened.

 Matthew 7

Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This being Year A,
the first year in the cycle, we generally read from the Gospel of Matthew.

.

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 Banquet of God’s Word

These are among the most well-loved chapters in the whole Bible.  Verse after verse needs to pop up before your eyes all through your day; you will find it hard to select your favorite verse.

Yesterday you learned from David how to let the Lord change your mood from being down to up.  Today Paul is your leader.  Paul put pen to paper from the pits of a Roman prison.  The darkness of the dungeon is nothing when compared with the inner light shining from Paul’s heart. He responds to the “upward call” of Christ upon his life.

Though Paul likely only received small bits of stale bread, he gives you a banquet of delicious food  today.  Take, eat, and pass the nourishment on to others.

Philippians 3—4

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.

A Banquet of God’s Word

These are among the most well-loved chapters in the whole Bible.  Verse after verse needs to pop up before your eyes all through your day; you will find it hard to select your favorite verse.

Yesterday you learned from David how to let the Lord change your mood from being down to up.  Today Paul is your leader.  Paul put pen to paper from the pits of a Roman prison.  The darkness of the dungeon is nothing when compared with the inner light shining from Paul’s heart. He responds to the “upward call” of Christ upon his life.

Though Paul likely only received small bits of stale bread, he gives you a banquet of delicious food  today.  Take, eat, and pass the nourishment on to others.

Philippians 3—4

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.

David: A Model for Prayer

Ash Wednesday

A brief psalm of only six verses is yours today.  Three groups of two verses show dramatic shifts in David’s spirit as he prays.  First come four repeated cries of, “How long, O Lord?!”  However far away God seems, David believes that God is listening.  What intimacy David has with his God!  Next come three demands made to God.  Two of them are commands for God to listen, the third is a plea that God put the bright sparkle back into David’s eyes.  Finally, there is a big change in the two final verses: David sings for joy.

It won’t take long for changes in your mood to happen if you take David as a model in the way you pray. Maybe you do sense God’s presence; however, pray this psalm for those who don’t feel God’s love and who have lost all hope. Grab hold of them with this psalm and lift them up, so that they find peace.

Psalm 13

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.

The Fragrance of Favorite Verses

Whole sections of aisles in supermarkets have products to make your house smell good.  Perhaps you’ve heard this as “aroma therapy,” a whole industry of  sprays, oils, and candles.  There’s even a device that will spray fragrance into your room every few minutes.

The sense of smell is very connected to us in a spiritual way.  Readings like today can “spray” a kind of fragrance of wisdom into you. How about every once in a while taking a favorite verse and imagining it as a sweet fragrance filling the space all around you.   God’s presence, like an aroma, can make your life smell sweet to others and lead them to God. 

Proverbs 3

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.

“Yadah – Yeah!”

This brief chapter is a very happy conclusion to the first part of the prophet Isaiah. The word for “praise” in verse 4, the Hebrew, Yadah, is a shout of praise.   Shout out the sound, “Yadah.” It sounds like “Yeah!”  

What the Hebrew word means is “To lift up the hands.” So your body is doing something as well as your mouth.  We shout like this when a favorite baseball player hits a home run, jumping out of our seats and lifting up our hands. 

Here is a way for your body to pray this psalm-like prayer of Isaiah. Begin with your head down, your hands clenched together in a fist, pressed against your chest.  Then slowly let your palms become open, raising your hands high in the air, imagining the Holy Spirit flowing out from you from way within to the world that longs for the love of God.  Our bodies want to get involved when we pray!

Isaiah 12

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.