Hear—Do—Go

Slaughter the ram. Take some of its blood and smear it on the right earlobes of Aaron and his sons, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Throw the rest of the blood against all the altar’s sides.

Exodus 29:20

Times certainly have changed; God no longer needs us to apply the blood of a ram to eyes, hands and feet so that they become holy and dedicated to God. Since Jesus suffered and died for us, we don’t need the blood of any animals to make a connection to God!

So don’t think so much about the blood being applied to Aaron’s and his sons’ ears, their right thumbs and the big toes of their right foot. Meditate instead about what it means to hear God (the ears), to do what God wants (the hands) and to go where God wants us to go (the feet). These three parts of our body are very important when it comes to God. What can you do to make yourself aware of the holiness of your ears, hands and feet? You might take another very ancient sign of anointing–olive oil. Ask Mom to let you have a few drops. Rub your ear lobes with the oil, then your right thumb and your right big toe. This may seem a bit weird, but doing this lets you know how much God wants to you listen, act and move according to God’s wonderful plan for you. Ask God to make you be aware that all the parts of your body belong to God to fill God’s wishes for your life.

Something else: scented Candles are popular; how much smells can bring peaceful feelings! Lighting candles can be a lovely way of being reminded that Jesus is the light of the world. Jewish people begin the Sabbath on Friday evenings at sundown by lighting the Sabbath candles and having them burn all during the Sabbath. It’s one of the reminders of how special the Sabbath is. Maybe you could do the same…and include Sunday as too, the special day of rest for Christians, because of the day when Jesus rose from the dead. (Careful about candles burning when no one’s around!)

Exodus 29:19-21; 30:1-9

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
I listen, I act, I go  29:20
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.

Seasons of Grace – A Calendar for 2019

Solar and Sacred Seasons
Some adjustments to make the church year simpler.

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…

Feelings and Colors

Make a veil of blue, purple, and deep red yarns and of fine twisted linen.
Work figures of winged heavenly creatures into its design.

Exodus 26:31

While the second commandment forbids the making of images adored as God, the Lord knows that our senses need to be active so that we can go let them lead us to faith in what is beyond our senses.

In order to get a sense of the size of the tabernacle in the wilderness, imagine the dimensions of a football field. Stretching across the field is the length of the tabernacle—about 50 yards. Its width is from the 25th yard line to the goal line. Within that sacred space, God gave very clear instructions to Moses.

Now leave the “football field” and enter into the tabernacle as you listen to the exact description and location of every object…the color of every thread. All these are symbols, seeking to bring us in the spiritual presence of God. Sense the colors. What spiritual feelings does each one stir in you?

Exodus 26:31—27:19

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
My heart an altar for You
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.

Seasons of Grace – A Calendar for 2019

Solar and Sacred Seasons
Some adjustments to make the church year simpler.

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…

Promises that Came True

 

One morning in 1993, we received a phone call from Laura, one of our daughters. She had been expecting twins to be born, but she was having very serious pains and other things happening to her body that made her afraid that the twins might die inside her. My wife and I were using a calendar with Bible verses for each day. The verses for that day were the ones for today. Imagine how comforting these promises were to us! Well, the difficult time passed, and a few months later our two beautiful granddaughters Ashley and Amber were born. We were so happy that God kept his promise to us!

If we want to receive God’s promises, we need to live by God’s ways. It’s like a channel on TV–only those tuned in to the right station will get the station that is offered. It’s not a very good idea to resist God; listen today what happens to those who did!

Now let’s not be afraid! St. John says in his first letter, 4:19: “Perfect love casts out fear.” Those that “cast away” the Lord form their lives are the ones who need to be afraid. Just give yourself to the Lord at this very moment, and all that God promises will flow your way.

Exodus 23:20-32

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
“I will take sickness away.” v. 25
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.

Seasons of Grace – A Calendar for 2019

Solar and Sacred Seasons
Some adjustments to make the church year simpler.

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…

Taking the Child in Your Arms

“Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word,
because my eyes have seen your salvation.
You prepared this salvation in the presence of all peoples.
 It’s a light for revelation to the Gentiles
    and a glory for your people Israel.”

Luke 2:29-32

Let’s go to the temple once again, this time meeting two other elderly people who were praying for God’s salvation.  It was the time to have Jesus dedicated in the Temple—offered to God for his whole life.

Just as the hymns of Zechariah and Mary in previous parts of these early chapter in Luke, the aged Simeon breaks out into another beautiful song of peace.  It’s a perfect night prayer.  Picture yourself saying his words as each day comes to an end: “Lord, now you can dismiss your servant in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the Savior you have given to all people.”

 Luke 2:21-40

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
Dismiss your servant in peace. v. 2
For more information about
this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is Christmas Week
Winter in the north.  Year C
On Fridays we read the Gospel of Luke

Seasons of Grace – A Calendar for 2019

Solar and Sacred Seasons
Some adjustments to make the church year simpler.

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…

Heaven and the Manger

Let them praise your great and awesome name.
    Holy is he!

Psalm 99:3

Take a trip way up high to heavenly spaces and get a look at the earth from where God looks at us. Now God is everywhere, but to picture God looking at the whole earth is a way of saying the God alone is king.

So today take a trip to heaven, contrasting it with the little manger. Remember that God is mighty and powerful—at the same time God is gentle, full of justice, mercy and love.

Feel the connection between the greatness of heaven and the smallness of the manger, just as you sense the oneness of the Christmas tree, from the star on the top to its base where perhaps the stable scene rests. Heaven is within you.

Psalm 99

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Gratefulness pervading me v. 3
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is Christmas Week
Winter in the north.  Year C
Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms

Seasons of Grace – A Calendar for 2019

Solar and Sacred Seasons
Some adjustments to make the church year simpler.

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…

Harry Potter and Jesus

I heard about a little girl who sat on the roof of her house to read one of the recent novels of Harry Potter. She didn’t come down until she had read the whole book. The author, J.K. Rowling, has a gift for telling stories with imagination. But with all the episodes of wizards and potions, there is no real power in the characters of Harry Potter to make the readers well if they are sick, or truly happy if they are sad. But Jesus can, if you believe in him.

In today’s reading, find out why Jesus could not make any of his relatives in Nazareth well. How is it that Jesus could heal others, like the woman who was bleeding, and even raise a young girl back to life?

When you read the Bible, you come into contact with our God who is real and very loving. What’s more, Jesus has real power to share with you when you get up from your reading and go about your life.

 Mark 6:1-13

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer from today’s reading:
Listening for Your wisdom
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the 6th of 13 weeks in the season of Pentecost.
Until The First Sunday in Advent, December 2, we read from the Gospel of Mark, following 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 in your phone or tablet.  More information…

In the Name of Jesus

 

Jesus heals two women, one well into her life with serious feminine problems, the other, a little girl just at the beginning of her maturity. In the Firestarter for the previous Friday, we focused on the woman; today, consider the girl. Mark gives us Jesus’ exact words in Aramaic, “Talitha, cum”: “Little girl, I say to you, get up.”

You have been given the Holy Spirit in full measure; may full be the measure of your acceptance of this Spirit. Today consider the women in your life, from young to old, for whom the Lord would have you intercede. Use the words of Jesus given to you here to have them arise in fullness of resurrected life through the power given to you in Jesus’ name.

Mark 5:21-43

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer from today’s reading:
“Do not fear; only believe.” v. 36
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the fifth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.
We are reading from the Gospel of Mark until the First Sunday in Advent.

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

Beginning Sunday, July 8th, the Firestarters from the new edition of
The Bible Through the Seasons
for families will be posted daily.