Proverbs as Melodies in Counterpoint

The international chamber music ensemble Berlin Counterpoint

Proverbs 13

Visit STUDY THIS on the upper right side of any passage from BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Tuesdays are dedicated to the Old Testament books of history
and the Hebrew “Writings.”
Each season begins with a few weeks from Proverbs.

These Firestarters come from the version for families with children. For 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 tablet! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Goodness Wins Out

 Isaiah 13:19-22

Visit STUDY THIS on the upper right side of any passage from BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.
This year in the season of Pentecost, we read from Isaiah.

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.

Spirit-Water

In seasons of drought, there are strict limits on the use of water. Even then, extreme scarcity of water in affluent countries is non-existent. This is not the case for the Middle East in ancient times. For the Hebrew people, water was a blessing from God, especially manifest during the years of wandering in the desert when miracle-water from the rock flowed.

The great autumn festival of Tabernacles celebrates all these years of wandering. On the last day of this feast, the priest would walk about the altar with water freshly drawn. Today rabbis pray for rain at the close of this
festival.

Picture the Temple with Jesus standing amid the crowd as the ritual of water takes place. He has overturned the money tables in chapter 2 at the Passover Festival. Now he breaks in upon the singing crowd with the ear-piercing cry of verse 38. “Let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”

John 7:37-39

Visit STUDY THIS on the upper right side of any passage from BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from the Lectionary,

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 Night of Expectation

Shavuot, the Hebrew name for Pentecost, was originally a spring harvest in Israel. The first wheat was ripe about fifty days after the first barley harvest. The crop of barley was brought to the Temple the day after Passover began. The people were then instructed to count fifty days or seven weeks from one harvest to the other.

As time passed, the festival became one to celebrate the revelation of God on Sinai, the true harvest of God’s life that to the human family. The very meaning of the word Torah is to rain or flow down. The Torah Reading is the giving of the Ten Commandments, God’s revelation and teaching flowing down the mountain.

There is a tradition of taking a long nap the afternoon before the beginning of Shavuot, which begins at sundown. This is to be ready to participate in an all night vigil that many Jewish communities observe. One mystical work praises those who stay up all night in expectation of receiving the Torah.

The Christian expression of this revelation is the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the first disciples—the flowing down of God’s Spirit upon us.

Exodus 19:1—20:26

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.

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.

Secure in Jesus’ Hands

The Jewish leaders resist Jesus and argue with him.  What a tragedy—pushing Jesus right out of their lives. Arguments are like mental battles going on in the head‘ they get in the way of faith which comes from the heart. 

When I say, “I believe this,” the statement comes from the mind.  When I say, “I believe IN,” then  my heart and soul are invovled.  

The Lord Jesus is with you; no one can snatch you away from his hands.  What powerful protection Jesus gives!

 John 10:22-42

I recommend reading Matthew Henry’s Commentary on this passage. You’ll see his commentary on the whole Bible as a free option under STUDY THIS alongside the beginning of the reading in the link provided in Bible Gateway.
For an engaging biography of this extraordinary person, I suggest that you visit the article about him in Wikipedia.
Click here.

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.

Saul Becomes Paul

A man named Saul was bent on persecuting those who believed in Jesus.   He was one of the those who threw stones at Stephen, the first martyr.  On he went to the city of Damascus intending to seek out and punish more of those who believed in Jesus.

An amazing thing takes place while he is on his way to that city which you’ll read in this chapter.  Watch the great change that takes place when he meets Jesus, as Saul receives a new name, Paul. Such a great shift in him; fire that burned in him with anger, now begins to glow with love and joy.

As you pray, let yourself be bathed in the same light that threw Paul to the ground.  Try praying on the floor, stretched out with your face down.  Then rise and feel refreshed.  The same Jesus that appeared to Paul, comes to you! 

Thursdays are dedicated to the letters of Paul, other letters,
the Book of Acts, and the Book of Revelation.
This year in Easter Season we read Acts 1—9

Acts 9

I recommend reading Matthew Henry’s Commentary on this passage. You’ll see his commentary on the whole Bible as a free option under STUDY THIS alongside the beginning of the reading in the link provided in Bible Gateway.
For an engaging biography of this extraordinary person, I suggest that you visit the article about him in Wikipedia.
Click here.

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.

Energy Boost

Food and beverage companies offer energy drinks to give fresh boosts of power.  They have ingredients such as caffeine in amounts that are simply not safe.  Is there some other way to get an energy boost?

Today’s psalm is one of these ways. I especially find joy and energy in the first seven verses.   Here’s an idea.  When you need a boost in energy, take a verse at a time and feel the verse way down in the bottom of your soul.   

The writer refers to the King.  While he’s thinking of the King of Israel, you can apply this term to yourself as a young man—changing the word to “Queen,” if you are a woman.   In Christ, you are a king or a queen, a priest and a prophet.  All this power comes from the Holy Spirit who lives inside you.  

So take a verse at a time when you need an energy boost!

On Wednesdays from this point on, we continue to read
the Psalms in numerical order, beginning with Psalm 14.

 Psalm 21

I recommend reading Matthew Henry’s Commentary on this passage. You’ll see his commentary on the whole Bible as a free option under STUDY THIS alongside the beginning of the reading in the link provided in Bible Gateway.
For an engaging biography of this extraordinary person, I suggest that you visit the article about him in Wikipedia.
Click here.

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.