Our Help—the Name of the Lord

Jeremiah Job, David, Jesus…all struggling with terrible things happening to them.  However, instead of only thinking about these evil events, the psalm writer today shares this very famous final verse:  “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made haven and earth.”

 Holy Week begins next week with Palm Sunday.  Jesus must have relied on that special verse from Psalm 124 when he began to feel the change of feelings in crowds, shouting on Palm Sunday, “Hosanna,” and then other people shouting, “Crucify him!” the following Good Friday.

You can make that famous verse special for you as you breathe it as a “Bible Breath:” Our help—the name of the Lord.  3 syllables inhaling, 3, exhaling, and one at rest. 

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. 

Psalm 124

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.

Animals Speaking about God

Job does something different than just get locked into a back-and-forth argument with his friends about God. All that has been only making things worse.  His friends don’t really want to comfort Job, they want to argue with him.    

So what Job does is to have a look at the animals of the earth.  They can’t get into the argument, because they can’t speak…or can they?  By the way in which they are, animals “speak” about God. There is a natural joy in being created that every animal has. They don’t have to get bothered arguing.  We catch all of this when we watch them. They’ve got something to “say” about God.  It’s like the cartoons that we like: so many are animals talking!  

Take some of the animals that Job mentions and imagine that you and they are having a conversation right how.  What would they have to say about your life and about God?

Job 12:7-12

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.

It’s About God!

Jeremiah and Job seem to be like brothers.  They both have problems with why God doesn’t act the way Jeremiah and Job need God to act.  But look what happens from verse 18.  God’s gets into the conversation with Jeremiah and shakes him up.  It’s as though he is saying to Jeremiah: “Listen, my prophet!  I need you to speak MY words, not yours. It’s not about YOU; it’s about ME—God.  So hang in there. Keep quiet and hold your tongue until I tell you to speak.  I love you. You’re my chosen special spokesman for others.  You’re the man!  But you need to trust me no matter what.  In that way, you’ll keep your eyes on me and not on your troubles.”

Imagine that you are Jeremiah.  What would you answer God at the end of today’s passage, at verse 21?

Jeremiah 15:15-21

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.

The Keys to Life and Death

I have a friend, Bill, who used to be a locksmith before he became a pastor.  A locksmith is someone who knows how to make locks and keys work right. Bill told me one time of a person who needed to have a key made for his house.  All during Bill’s work, the owner of the house kept looking at him, wanting to be sure that Bill didn’t make an extra key.  Bill said to him: “If I wanted to get into your house, I could pick my way in anytime.  Aren’t I the one who make the key in the first place by picking your lock?”

Jesus has the keys to life and death.  When he brought Lazarus back to life, wouldn’t he have the power to be resurrected himself?  The Jewish leaders were just plain dumb when they got so upset about Lazarus, plotting to kill Jesus.  Jesus allowed this to happen, so that he could show his love for us and more: to share life forever with us. 

John 11:1-45


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.

Offerings to God's Heart

Every once in awhile, your mom or dad burns the food while cooking…smells bad!  We usually don’t eat it and the food goes to waste.

Something like this happens on purpose for God’s people while journeying out there in the wilderness.  Plans are being made about how God’s new people are supposed to live. Offerings and sacrifices of food and some animals—these are the first things that God wanted them to do to show God that they honored God and trusted Him. The idea of burning a sacrifice of cereal and sometimes lambs, was to give them back to God.  Not that God needs burned food—it’s just that at first God gave His people something they could do to have them feel connected to God by giving God what was important to them. In fact, they gave God the very first products of their harvest.

We don’t need to do that, because God gave us the first “products” of God’s life—God’s only Son Jesus.  When he sacrificed himself on the cross, he took away any need for any other sacrifice. Yet we still need to keep on offering God what makes our lives special.  When we connect our offerings with Christ’s immense one, our offerings go right to the very heart of God!

 Leviticus 2:1-10

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.

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.