A Gentle Shock

[From the version for children and families]

Have you ever been in front of someone whose name you think you ought to know, but you just can’t remember?  All of a sudden, maybe just before you greet the person, you remember the name.  It’s a very nice feeling; something clicks inside you that was stuck before making the connection.  It feels like a gentle shock way inside.
The sayings from the Book of Proverbs are something like that.  When you think about them in a quiet way, some of them will give you that feeling like suddenly remembering someone’s name.  There is a sense of the truth in them that may strike you inside and make sense in your heart as well as in your mind.  That gentle shock will flow through you as the Holy Spirit makes the truth alive for you.
Take the twelve proverbs in each one of these verses and meditate on them one by one.  That’s the way to really grasp their meaning.  Take verse 6, for example.  If you learn the ways of God at an early age, you’ll want to teach them to your children when you become a parent!

Proverbs 22:1-12

What are Bible Breaths? Learn More…

Tuesdays are dedicated to the Old Testament books of history
and the Hebrew “Writings.”
In this season, Proverbs 20-11; 1 Kings


For all the Firestarters in the original version, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information

A Hero We Can Love

[From the version for young people]

A wonderful hero and saintly person is going to be our model for Mondays during the season of autumn.  His name is Daniel, probably a teenager.  He is one of the great prophets of God’s people, someone whose whole life, in all he says and does, reflects God’s life. He’s a hero we can love.

Daniel was one of many thousands of Jewish people about six hundred years before Jesus’ birth who were captives living in the land of Babylon.  This ancient land was part of the modern country of Iraq.  Though there were no places or buildings that reminded him of God, his memories of God’s actions on behalf of God’s people were alive by faith inside Daniel.  He knew that God was with him.

In the first episode we find Daniel and three other Hebrew friends selected to become advisors at the royal court of King Nebuchadnezzar. (My goodness, a name with five syllables!)  With all the familiar reminders of God taken away, the four friends firmly decided to do be aware of God’s presence by refusing to do what God had forbidden. So when it came time to eat food that was not allowed by God’s people, they just said: “No: we won’t do it!”

Look how the fidelity of Daniel and his friends to God’s ways brought them wisdom and favor with the King!  You too: the closer you live to the ways that God wants in humility and love, the more God’s grace and wisdom will be given to you.  

Here’s an idea. Picture yourself as a fifth person quietly living alongside these four wonderful young men.  They are part of what we call the Communion of Saints.  In Jesus you are one of those saints too!    

Daniel 1

What are “Bible Breaths”? Learn More…

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.
In this season we read Hosea; in the 9th week, we read Lamentations 3.

For all the Firestarters in the original version, II recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information.

The Lord’s Mirror

[From the Original Verson]

With eyes of hawks, the Pharisees confront Jesus. They find him not washing their hands before eating. Jesus confronts them with Isaiah 29:13. If there is anything that God abhorred in the Old Testament, it was making a display of fervor from the outside, with nothing but frigidity within.

An instruction of Jesus follows, lest the Pharisees tempt the crowd to be impressed by their outer show. What defiles, is what comes out of a person, not what goes in. The outer is the reflection of the inner. If your heart is right with the Lord, it will mirror the divine presence; if it is not, your face will reflect only the sordid world. Do you mirror the Lord?

[From the version for young people]

Did you ever walk around with your shirt or blouse inside out and you didn’t know it?  There’s not that much difference, but then someone notices the seams around the shoulders and the tag hanging outside behind your neck.  Then again you might deliberately wear your clothes inside out as a joke.  The pockets hang like bags on the outside…the threads showing in all the seams–rather funny![from

In God’s world of the Spirit, “inside out” is the way to go!  All the inner goodness that God has made within you is meant to be shown outwardly–not as though you are bragging, but rather as an inner shining of God’s goodness ad love.  It as though your own body lets the inner light of God shine through you.  

I remember as a child learning that “The eyes are the window of the soul.” Your eyes, your smile…just a few of the ways that you can send waves of peace and love to others.  Together with loving acts of kindness: these are the ways that God inside you is shared outside. 

Mark 7:1–8,14–15,21–3

What are “Bible Breaths”? Learn More…

Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from the Revised Common Lectionary.
In year B, we read from the Gospel of Mark