Jesus Makes It Happen

Here’s a story you can relate to, especially if you like to fish. If you do, you can appreciate how the first disciples became so frustrated about catching nothing…and at the best time for fishing in the seas of Galilee—at night. They are tired, exhausted, working all night for nothing.

As they are cleaning their nets by the shore and getting ready to go to sleep, Jesus comes along and says: “Hey! Let’s go fishing!” Peter says something like this to Jesus: “You’ve got to be kidding! We’ve been at it all night and it’s time for us to rest….But at your command, we’ll go fishing again.” Look what happens when they go fishing this time!

Sometimes we think we have it all figured out why things don’t go our way. But there is Jesus, right next to you, as though you are on the shore of a lake. He invites you to give things another try—this time, trusting that Jesus can make it happen!

Luke 5:1-11

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Jesus, come into my boat
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.

This is the Fourth Week in Epiphany
Winter in the north.  Year C
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary

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…

Words into Action

Imagine sitting down and having all three meals at once…How full you would feel when you get up! Reading God’s Word each day is like that. While the daily passages in this plan are usually not very long, still some might be too long to read at once. Why not have your Bible near you so that you can read it a few times a day—maybe around mealtimes which will mean that morning, afternoon and evening will have God’s Word before your eyes and ears.

There’s a sample sermon that St. Luke has of Jesus’ preaching which you’ll find from verse 20. Pray these words of Jesus with very special attention. They are about Jesus’ new way of living and loving in the world—something that worldly people do not do and do not even understand. Pray to the Spirit that you not only understand what you read, but that you will be able to put these words into action.

Luke 6

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
Blessing those who curse at me v. 27
For more information about
this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the Fifth Week in Epiphany
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…

Virtues in Stained Glass

The “Charity” window featuring Dorcas from the Book of Acts 9:36-42
at the First United Methodist Church, Vineland, New Jersey.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;And to godliness brotherly kindness;
and to brotherly kindness charity.

When you read the daily passage from the Bible, what’s important is not how much you read, but how well. Even if you don’t finish all the verses, be sure that you pick out one or two that really seem to speak to you in a personal way.

The First United Methodist Church in Vineland, New Jersey, where I used to be pastor, is a good example of this. There are seven large, beautiful stained glass windows based on verses 5 to 7 of today’s reading. This is a list of seven virtues linked one after another like a row of dominoes falling. Each of the windows is dedicated to one of the virtues about which St. Peter writes, with holy persons as examples.

How would you describe in art or in writing, the meaning that each of these virtues has for you? By doing something creative with them, they will come to mean so much more. And something else will happen: you will live these virtues more and more with the help of God’s grace and add your image to those in the stained glass windows!

2 Peter 1:1-11

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Love and affection for all v. 7
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.

This is the Fifth Week in Epiphany
Winter in the north.  Year C
Thursdays in this season are dedicated to the the letters of Peter

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…

All Life Long Praising God

 

The writer of this sacred song really gets into it! He makes a list of so any details about the world. In every one of them, he sees God involved as creating them and keeping them going. It’s really a beautiful meditation on the world and how we can find God present there.

Think of the Holy Spirit and Pentecost when you read verse 30. Again and again, God’s Spirit hovers over all creation bringing forth new life and new possibilities. In verse 33, the psalmist decides that he is just going to spend his whole life-long praising God.
What about you: will you do the same?

Psalm 104

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Spirit breathes; all created. v. 30
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the Fifth Week in Epiphany
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…

Purim

AnimFireStarterThe attempt to kill the Jewish people was turned back on those who wanted it to happen. In today’s reading, the regular holiday recalling this event, Purim, is set up. The name comes from the evil Haman’s picking out a day for the massacre, from a number of days written down. (Purim means “lots”…like throwing dice.) It is generally celebrated in March, on the 14th and 15th of the Jewish month of Adar, when the Full Moon occurs—one month before Passover.

The idea of celebrating God’s saving events every year comes from our Jewish ancestors. As Christians, the seasons of the year and the path of the sun and (and the moon for Easter) are times for us to feel and celebrate God’s special love for us. These times of the year are special: imagine singing Christmas Carols in summer!

Esther 9:20-32

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

This is the Fifth Week in Epiphany
Winter in the north.  Year C
Tuesdays are dedicated in this season to the Book of Esther

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…

 

Isaiah’s Prayer-Energy

Let’s imagine that it’s your birthday…There’s a big box all gift-wrapped that you are anxious to open…You tear at the paper and just can’t wait to find out what’s inside. In today’s reading, Isaiah wants God to rip open the heavens like a gift box, and come on down to earth!

Another way to look at this: When something happens that “rips” at your heart, think of the good that can happen. God is there to have more love flow out from you, as though your heart were like heaven!
Take a ride with Isaiah as you find the energy of your prayer being swept along by his!

Isaiah 64

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
You the potter; we the clay v. 8
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the Fifth Week in Epiphany
Winter in the north.  Year C
Monday are dedicated in this season to the prophet Isaiah

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…