Faithful, All Life Long

AnimFireStarter

Josiah was 8 years old when he became king, and he ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah; she was Adaiah’s daughter and was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the Lord’s eyes, and walked in the ways of his ancestor David—
not deviating from it even a bit to the right or left.
 

2 Kings 22:1-2

A young lad of eight years of age begins to rule from Jerusalem; his name Josiah. He was so different from all the other kings, for he was faithful to the Lord all the days of his life. He turned the attention of the people to rebuilding the Temple which the people had abandoned, for they were busy worshiping false gods up in the mountains.

Then something amazing happens in verse 8: The first five books of the Bible, the Torah, are found at last! Imagine: the sacred revelations of God and God’s plan for the human family, lost for many generations.

While our modern world has not lost God’s Word, for their are Bibles all over the place, still countless numbers of people ignore these sacred words and find other words to live by. We might call these “gods” that distract from knowledge and love of the one true God. Your daily reading of God’s Word is one way of saying that by God’s grace this is not going to happen to you!

2 Kings 22

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Walking in the ways of God v. 2
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the eleventh of thirteen Weeks in the season of Kingdomtide,
Autumn in the north. Year B.
Tuesdays are dedicated to Hebrew History and “The Writings.”

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

 

Epimaniac!

“These two kings, with their minds set on evil, will sit at one table, telling lies, but with no success because the end will come at the set time. He will return to his country with great wealth and set his mind against a holy covenant.
He will do what he wants and then return to his country.

Daniel 11:27-28

Daniel gets a vision of the nations of the world playing a huge game of tug-o-war with each other. It’s scary! Here are the countries: Syria in the north, Egypt in the south. Verse three refers to Alexander the Great who added to the empire of Greece after his conquest of Persia.

One of the kings, Antiochus IV of Syria, gave himself the nickname, “Epiphanes,” meaning, “God is Manifest.” He became so crazy with arrogance and pride that folks gave him the name “Epimanes,” “Madman.” We might have called him an”Epimaniac”!

When anyone pushes God out of life and instead, places him or herself as more important, we are at the risk of becoming a bit crazy! We may not have to be put in a straight-jacket and taken to a hospital, but life will never have that joy, energy and purpose when we think only of ourselves and what we want. God made us to love and serve Him; anything else will honestly make us a bit nuts!

Daniel 11:1-28

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
My heart turned to You, my God.  v. 28
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the eleventh of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north, Year B.
Mondays in this season are dedicated to the Prophet Daniel.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

How Important Is God to You?

“I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone who’s been putting money in the treasury. All of them are giving out of their spare change. But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had, even what she needed to live on.”

Mark 12:43-44

Let’s go inside the Temple with Jesus and some of his disciples. You would think that the Temple leaders would be angry with Jesus, for just a few days before, he had turned over their tables with lots of money for the animals that people needed to buy for the holy feast of Passover. Still, Jesus is very bold and enters the Temple.

Stand by Jesus as he talks with you and his friends about what he sees going on. First he points out the leaders sitting and standing around in their places of honor wanting to show off to others how important they are. There they are, some sitting in their seats of honor, others and standing about making pious gestures meant to impress others. Actually, what is most important to them are themselves and how much they want other people to think they are holy.

Then, in another area, lots of people are standing in line coming to give their offering in the collection box. Jesus notices a very old lady, all bent over, waiting her turn to give her offering. Jesus knows what she is giving. What difference does Jesus make between her gift and those of all the others in line with their gifts?

How much of your own money are you willing to give to God when you go to church? God might even place it on your heart to give money instead of spending it on a video game you wanted to buy for yourself. When we give what is a sacrifice to us, it lets God and each one of us know how important God is in our lives…much more important than anything we would have spent with that money…certainly much more important than ourselves!

Today is 100 years since the Armistice that ended World War I.  Millions gave all that they had…their very lives.   Let us pray for the end of wars!

Mark 12:38-44

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Offering all that I am  v. 44
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the eleventh of thirteen weeks in the season of Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north.  Year B.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

The Power of Words

Esau said, “Isn’t this why he’s called Jacob? He’s taken me[b] twice now: he took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing.”
He continued, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”

Genesis 27:36

The special people that God calls turn out to be very mean at times. Such is the case in the story of the Jacob tricking his father, Isaac, into giving the special blessing to him, instead of his older brother Esau. Imagine the story as a special drama story on TV and watch carefully what happens.

One thing about God…God can turn the wicked schemes of human beings into blessings for us who come centuries after the people of the Bible. Even though Jacob was nasty to his brother Esau, God turned that into part of God’s plan.

Think about the power of Isaac’s words of blessing to Jacob. Sometimes the words that we speak cannot be taken back—words that either harm or heal others. So we might take today’s lesson and be sure that what we say blesses others and in no way wishes them harm or tries to take advantage of them.

Is there anything about Jacob and Esau that you can find in yourself and your friendships or even your relations with your brothers or sisters? Maybe there’s some forgiveness that you need to ask from someone like Jacob, or some resentment that you need to let go off like Esau when something mean happened to you. Ask God to bring healing in your heart and in relationships so that God’s peace can fill itself in you like a great balloon that lifts you up very high.

Genesis 27:1—28:9

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
A blessing reserved for me 27:36
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.

Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the second part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

The Cup of the Hour

“Abba, Father, for you all things are possible. Take this cup of suffering away from me. However—not what I want but what you want.”

Mark 14:36

The suffering of Jesus begins. He has been telling this to the disciples; now it’s here. Jesus takes three of his closest friends to be with him during what we call, “The Agony in the Garden.” Look what happens to the three friends: they fall asleep!

Jesus says that his hour has come, as well as the cup of suffering. Centuries past, an hour glass would tell the length of an hour. Can you see something similar between the cup of suffering and the “glass” of the hour that is before Jesus?

Today, be aware of the actual hours of your day as so many glasses or cups that you fill with wakeful prayer. As each empties and fills like a cup, stay close to Jesus in his suffering. You know, Jesus continues to suffer in the hours of this day through innocent people losing their lives such as refugee children from countries persecuted by tyrants. Pray in an alert way for refugees as you help them in their suffering through your prayer.

Mark 14:32-72

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
The hours as sacred vessels v. 41
For more information about
this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the tenth of thirteen weeks in the season of Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north. Year B.
Fridays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
We read the Gospel of Mark in Year B.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

Removing the Veil

Then I looked on as the Lamb opened one of the seven seals. I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” So I looked, and there was a white horse. Its rider held a bow and was given a crown.
And he went forth from victory to victory.

Revelation 6:1-2

The word “revelation” means “to remove the veil” This book is about God not only taking the veil away, to show us God’s power and might, but many other mysterious things about goodness and evil are shared with us.

But the revelation is also about ourselves! Inside each of us are the possibilities of being good and bad. Sometimes when we do bad things it’s because there is some hurt or negative feelings that are shut up and sealed inside of us. When the seal is broken and the feelings come out as they really are, then they are less likely to show themselves in bad actions.

So let the veil in front of your feelings be pulled back! Find a friend, your parents, or brothers or sisters and ask them to listen to your feelings. Sometimes we get to know what we feel when we share in this way. Of course you can always share your feelings with God who will never judge you. You can just talk to God or even write out what you feel. Be sure and accept yourself. Feelings are neither good nor bad. So just accept…let yourself see what you feel…take the veil away! It will be part of the very revelation of God to you!

Revelation 6

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Help me to suffer toward life.
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.

This is the tenth of thirteen weeks
in the season of Kingtomtide,
autumn in the north Year B.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
In this season we are reading 1st and 2nd Thessalonians.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

A Personal Psalm

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
    who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;

    my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:1-2

Here is a beautiful psalm that you can make very personal for yourself by making the second person pronouns into the first person. If you are praying this psalm for someone else and you are in that person’s presence, insert his or her name after the second person pronouns and notice how powerful the prayer will be.

The sacred writer looks for objects and places familiar to him in his life as ways to understand how God is present to him. See if you can make a list of these objects and places. These can remind you of how God is very close to you.

Psalm 91

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Under Your wings, my refuge v. 4
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the tenth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north. Year B
Wednesdays are dedicated the Psalms.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

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 Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…