Hunger for Souls

Let’s take a look once again at that great story of Jesus and the woman at the well.  It was the Sunday Gospel a week ago. It’s always a good idea to repeat passages in the Bible, especially ones that have much “food for thought” in them.  Don’t we do that we our favorite stories?  When we were little children, we enjoyed our favorite bedtime stories over and over.

Speaking of food for thought, Jesus has this very idea in mind when he responds with another meaning when his disciples come back and talk about his needing something to eat.  Jesus has a hunger for souls.  He loves us so much that he keeps finding out ways that we be nourished by his presence.

If you were sitting alone at a well with Jesus, what kinds of things would he talk with you about?

 John 4

Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels.
This year in the seasons of Lent and Easter we read selections from the Gospel of John. 

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 Blueprint

Architects use blueprints so that they can show construction workers just how to build the building project that they are working on. Paul’s heart lifts him from the damp, dark walls of his prison, so that he can write spiritual blueprints for his beloved friends in Ephesus.  He longs that they know all the great possibilities as they build the spiritual edifice which is the Body of Christ.

God has some special plans for you in your life.  As you read Paul’s blueprints, what kind of possibilities does the Holy Spirit put upon your heart for the future?  Make some notes in your journal about all this…you’ll have your own personal blueprints if you do!

Ephesians 4:1-16

Thursdays are dedicated to the letters of Paul, other letters,
the Book of Acts, and the Book of Revelation.
This year in the season Lent we read selections
from Ephesians and 1 Corinthians 11-12.

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.

My Mom’s Eyes on Me

Our family has some very old home movies.  I had a great aunt who was thinking ahead when she bought one of the first sixteen millimeter film cameras.  We have my Mom and Dad’s wedding on home movies—that was back in 1934!

There is one clip of me playing as a child in the surf while my mother looks on lovingly and caringly. All I was thinking about then were the waves at low tide, washing over me.  I felt unafraid, because my mother was right there with me. Only when I saw the movie years later, did I become fully aware of her great love and protection.

I’m thinking right now: my mom in heaven is doing the same thing for me as I “play” in the waves of my life.  This is all because she’s part of the Communion of Saints, along with my Dad and so many relatives and friends.  From heaven they pray for us…and your friends and relatives do the same for you, just like the psalm writer today who finds God as comfortable and close to him as a loving master is close to his or her servant. 

Psalm 123

On Wednesdays we read one psalm each week, usually one after another.  In Lent we take some special psalms together—this year numbers 120 to 124. These are songs that the people sang while on special trips each year to the holy city of Jerusalem. 

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.

Snapped into Pain

Job is desperately wanting to get away from the unkind thinking of his so-called friends.  He longs to solve the problem of all the terrible things that have happened to him.  It’s as though Job is pulling on a great bungee cord wrapped around his waste. He tries and trieds to get away from his pain, but then suddenly, the energy of his own thoughts gives way to the power of the bungee and he snaps right back again. 

What’s Job missing in all this effort to figure out his pain?  Think about your own life…and write a few verses of your own that the Spirit gives to you .

 Job 9:2-14

Tuesdays are dedicated to the Old Testament books of history
and the Hebrew “Writings.”
This year in the season of Lent we read selections Job 1—14 and 38.

 

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.

Is God on Vacation?

Power: who really has it?  Lots of people try to get power in government, power in relationships…power in money. Don’t these sound like the idols that Jeremiah is talking about?  

I doubt that you have a picture of yourself with a candle burning before it—as though it were a sacred image.  But aren’t there times when you and I want to assert our personal power in ways that move us ahead instead of moving God ahead?  Then there are the times that we worry about what’s going to happen.  We may give our problems over to God, but then we want them back…thinking that God is taking a vacation from meeting our needs!  Pray about all this.  Oh, don’t forget this good idea: keep a Bible journal that has your own ideas and prayers that come from exploring these passages each day.  

 Jeremiah 10:11-16

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.
This year in the season of Lent we read selections from Jeremiah 1—17.

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.

Seeing Jesus in the Heart

Artist: Robert Hodgell 1960

Imagine what it would be like never to be able to see since birth, and then suddenly be given the gift of sight.  Feel that moment.  A whole new life is open to the person.  

Jesus gave sight to a man blind from birth.  But look what happens: instead of everyone rejoicing with the man, the religious leaders get furious with Jesus because he did this on Saturday—the Sabbath.  The story is like a play—read  it that way.  There are scenes in the story, just as happens in a school play.

The man was thrown out of the synagogue!  Instead of the gift that he could bring to a community because of his miracle, he was simply cast aside by the others.  So he comes alone to Jesus…and look what happens.

When we believe in Jesus, and see him with our hearts and want to serve him, we might not be too popular with others.  But isn’t it all worth it?

John 9:1–41


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from the Lectionary,
During most of Lent and Easter we read the Gospel of John.

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 Gifts We Bring to Jesus

You’re probably familiar with the Christmas Carol, “The Little Drummer Boy.” It’s about a poor boy that’s invited to join a group of people to bring their best gifts to Jesus in the manger. He has nothing at all to give, but he offers to play his drum for Jesus.  May nods with a smile. When he does all the oxen and lambs begin to stomp their feet to the rhythm.  The sound of the drum makes everyone feel one together.

The little drummer boy shared his whole self by giving his talent to Jesus.  It’s not about the things that we bring, but the heart that goes along.  This is what Moses wanted the people to do when they were giving their gifts of gold and precious metals for use in the temple.  Bezalel was able to take them and make them into some beautiful ornaments for the temple.  

God takes what we have and makes them wonderful gifts for Jesus…wonderful gifts for other that they can come to faith in Jesus.

Exodus 35:20-35

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.