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…

“Metal Detector” – An Alphabyte

Alphabytes are object meditations
that move through the alphabet two times
in the course of the fifty-two weeks in the year.
“Metal Detector” introduces the Last of Thirteen Weeks in Pentecost:
Summer in the North, Winter in the South.

Nick reads the Alphabyte.

As though itself coming to the end of a long day in the sun,
    summer is almost past.
Sands have been pounded, dug, thrown and mixed with many a treasure.
Now is the time for the gentle detective dancers,
    armed with Geiger’s divining rod, to sweep across the gridded expanse,
    eager to catch the beeps of beach buried treasures longing to be lifted,
    though hopeless to be returned to the ones who grieve their loss.

Silently buried beneath Bible print lie the treasures of the Word of life,
    waiting, hoping that you will make the sweeping dance across its lines,
    resurrecting their life in the flesh of the heart.
Sounds of recognition, delight, hope, and strength leap from page to heart.

Note the place.
Catch the treasure lying there, just for you, waiting since the first writing
    to have you receive it, so that its revelation power can live in you—
    and through you, can touch the heart of the next person longing to believe.

“Loops” – An Alphabyte

Alphabytes are object meditations
that move through the alphabet two times
in the course of the fifty-two weeks in the year.
“Loops” introduces the Twelfth of Thirteen Weeks in Pentecost:
Summer in the North, Winter in the South.


Nick reads the Alphabyte.

Look long at the looping of life.
Far and wide it swings out, seeking a point of return to stop,
    to gather, to nourish, to let go, to forgive, and with love’s energy,
    to move out wider yet.

Where are the points of return, of pause for your spirit?
Daily let the Word connection be one of those places
nbsp;   that makes crosses on the face of life.
Let Jesus set fire to that place of intersection, igniting your heart again
    launching it into the wide expanse, going freely and joyfully.
That still point will return when rest for the soul will be offered,
    only to gather yet wider loops into the harvest of love that is your life.

“Knots” – An Alphabyte

Alphabytes are object meditations
that move through the alphabet two times
in the course of the fifty-two weeks in the year.
“Knots” introduces the Eleventh of Thirteen Weeks in Pentecost:
Summer in the North, Winter in the South.

Nick reads the Alphabyte.

None was better than Dad at casting a four-ounce weight into the sea,
    sinking and searching for a catch.
Before I got the knack, the knot came—huge …endless…
    making the smoothly spinning reel an inert mass of mess,
    slowly to be unwound, unpuzzled so that the flow could happen again.
Like a faithful pet, Dad’s pole would patiently wait beside him,
    as he turned his eyes from the preferred outward, seaward,
    longing look, to the close search for the answer, so I could cast again.

Backlashes, they’re called—life spinning too fast
    for gentle control and directing movement.
Look at the spool of life with its minutes and hours that unroll for you.
How does it feel—this reel?
Wait…watch…letting your Father take your life into his lap, teaching you
    how to unravel the knots, so you can cast out into the deep again.