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. 

The Calm Within


When there is a storm at sea, the surface is where it is felt. Far below, the water currents move silently, slowly, untouched by outer weather.

The disciples become frightened at the storm on the lake. They focus more on the waves outside of the boat, than on the One who is in the boat with them. The surface of their souls is tossed back and forth; they forget that deep inside their beings there already is a great calm.

Renew the gift of your life to Jesus. The Lord lives inside you. While he may be “asleep” to your situation that is tossing and turning you about, he is there. Go to that place of calm and cling to Jesus.

Mark 4:35-41


This is the fourth 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.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting Firestarters from the original version of The Bible Through the Seasons. 

Who’s in Charge?

The Pharisees commit the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, accusing Jesus of healing by the power of Satan. In their spiritually stubborn position, they paint themselves into a corner with no escape.

It is very hard to commit this great sin, but there are smaller versions of it that can undermine your spirit, such as living as though you are Number One instead of God.

You will notice many kinds of demons that Jesus had to cast out. Not only were there ones of disease and infirmity, but there were those who dominated the spiritual realm in envy, pride, and blasphemy. Even Jesus’ own family, who know him from the beginning, thought he was out of his mind. They “over-knew” Jesus on one level and refused to see him as the Anointed One of God.

For you: who is Jesus?

Mark 3:20-35


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

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting Firestarters from the original version of The Bible Through the Seasons. 

All About Love

AnimFireStarter

This is a very famous chapter in the Bible. Many times it is read at weddings. It is about what true love is like. It’s also interesting to notice that the name of God is never mentioned. That is because God is love!

To understand the thought of St. Paul here, you have to read slowly—not just with the mind, but with the heart. If you ask God to help you understand, God will surely do that.

Today is called Holy or Maundy Thursday. It is the day that Jesus’s love comes through, even though it’s the day when Jesus was betrayed by Judas. We remember the Last Supper when Jesus gave us the precious gift of his body and blood present by faith in the bread and wine. The Apostles became scared and ran away when Jesus was betrayed in the garden. Knowing that this was going to happen, Jesus still gave them the sacred food of his own life. He gives us this same food so that we can know that even when we turn away from God, the love of Jesus in Holy Communion is there to welcome us back.

1 Corinthians 13

“Bible Breaths” – Touch to learn more…


Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament except the Gospels.
In the season of Lent this year,
we read St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians and 1 Corinthians 11:23–13:13.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

A Spiritual Jerusalem

AnimFireStarter

Little did the sacred writer of this psalm know that we would be reading this psalm just days before we remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Next week is Holy Week when day by day we recall the events in Jesus’ life that led up to his death on the cross.

Jesus was scourged with whips and was dragged to death on that cross. Hundreds of years before Jesus’ suffering, God put it into the mind and heart of the one who wrote this psalm to be telling about Jesus.

Like Jesus, the present-day city of Jerusalem suffers very much. Spend some time praying and loving Jerusalem as the writer of this prayer wants us to. Yet there is a spiritual Jerusalem: it is Christ’s holy Church, where we live with one another in the risen Lord Jesus.

Psalm 129

Sample Bible Breath:  Blessing in Your holy name v. 8
Touch to learn more…


Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms.
During Lent across the three-year cycle,
we read the “Songs on the Journey,” Psalms 120-134.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion. An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

God’s Questions

AnimFireStarter

After thirty-seven chapters of arguments and strife, God finally breaks into the conversation. We might expect God to give all the answers to the questions that have been hammering their away at Job. But no: fifteen more questions from God!

Rather than give answers, God asks more questions! Job has been so tied up in his problems and suffering, that he has been missing out on how beautiful each day is and all the wonderful animals that God has created on the earth. God and God’s beautiful world are much bigger than Job’s problems and free him from being so self-centered.

At times this focus on self alone can happen for us. When the center is God, we become thankful for the beautiful world God created, despite the presence of meanness and sin. We then feel very close to God and find a joy that no one can take away from us. We’ll live forever with God and our loved ones.

Job 39:19-30

Sample Bible Breath: Being borne on eagle’s wings v. 27
Touch to learn more…


Tuesdays are dedicated to the Writings in the Hebrew Scriptures, those books with the exception of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible)
the Prophets and the Psalms.
In the season of Lent, we read from the Book of Job.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion. An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick