Quiet in the Mountains

Imagine that you are in a beautiful cabin in the mountains.  The air is clear, the mountains encircle you like someone giving you a hug.  From this wonderful spot, listen to verses 10 and 11 from today’s reading from the Book of Proverbs.

“Wisdom will enter your mind, and knowledge will fill you with delight. Discretion will guard you; understanding will protect you.” Even though these words are abstract, imagine that you are tasting them.  Let today be a special day of reflection on your life, taking the mountain images as ones of retreat, reflection and keeping what you really want in life in line with the daily inspirations of God’s holy Word. Think, reflect, and maybe write out what some of these Proverbs mean to you in your own words. 

Proverbs 2

Tuesdays are dedicated to the the History and Writings of the Hebrew Scriptures.

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.

Enemies Becoming Friends

Isaiah’s words from God are so powerful that they stretch from his own time, eight centuries before Christ, to our own day. Like vibrations from a musical instrument, his words also flow into the future. “The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat; the calf and the young lion will feed[together, and a little child will lead them.”

Like a symphony building up with final sweeping movements, Isaiah announces the final victory of God, as enemies finally find themselves to be friends.

Our reading ends with these lovely words: “The earth will surely be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, just as the water covers the sea.”  Spend some time with this image as the Word fills your heart.

Isaiah 11

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.

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.

First Things First

“Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go. First make things right with your brother or sister and then come back and offer your gift.” So are the words of Jesus when it comes to having things right with God and with a brother or sister.  

“First things first,” I often heard as a child.  This saying catches what Jesus teaches in today’s reading.  The pathway to God will be blocked if we let anger and resentment stay stuck inside us. 

Be honest with God.  Ask God to let you know how your feelings that are pushed down within you are making blocks to love, to joy, to God. If you really want to know and own up to your feelings, then you’ll sense the voice of the Spirit lovingly giving you the wisdom you need to let go…and to let God. 

Matthew 5:21-37

On Sundays we follow the Gospels from the Revised Common 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.

Don’t Go It Alone

One of the first things that Jesus did when he began his ministry was to get some close friends that he could count on.  He was following the way of Moses, about a thousand years earlier when Moses was about to lead a huge crowd of people from Egypt to the Promised Land.  For Jesus, it was to lead God’s people away from trying to live without God—now that’s slavery! 

Today we read how Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law suggested a plan for Moses. “Listen!  You’ve got to get organized!  These people will start to follow others in the groups if you don’t get good leaders for smaller amounts of the crowd!”  You’ll read about how Moses followed Jethro’s advice…Just as Jesus followed his Father’s advice!

God’s plan is that we obey those in charge of our care.  In that way, pushy types,  like certain classmates, will not get in the way and start telling you what to do!  Obey the Lord and the ones whom God has chosen to take loving care of you, and you too will find your way into the happy times that God has in store for your future.

Exodus 18:10-27

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.

Exodus 18:10-27

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.

Words of the Bible—Yours

Like yesterday, we are listening to some wonderful advice from Jesus taken from “The Sermon on the Mount.”  Once again, the key word is “pride”–doing things to show off how good we are.  God doesn’t want us to do that, because God is the only One whom we really can call good.  If you and I are good, it’s because we let God’s goodness and love inside us.  And we can’t even do that unless God’s power helps us.

Matthew 6:1-15

The list of “don’ts” eventually tips into verses of “do’s” These come from the Lord’s Prayer which Jesus first prayed in this sermon.  It’s a model for prayer.  As you pray it, see how each one in the family can come up with your own phrases that will make the parts of the prayer inflate like a balloon.  This is a great way to be that you are making the words of the Bible your very own. 

Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This being Year A
the first year in the cycle, we generally read from the Gospel of Matthew.

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.

Loving through Suffering

One of the ways to be caught up in Paul’s great feelings of love and commitment to Christ, is to let yourself be among those who first received this letter. What a loving letter!  Your imagination is right on, since the Holy Spirit knew the countless numbers of person would be reading this letter far down the centuries and far away from this city north of Greece. 

A passion for Jesus: that’s what St. Paul has.  Nothing less than this same passion for Jesus and ministry will unlock all the powers of love that God has created in you.  As you read, be aware of those reading this same letter with you today.  We are all joined together in the heart of Christ whom Paul loves so much.  

Paul gives a wonderful meaning to suffering…when it’s for Christ.  May his letter give us the courage to keep on loving through suffering.

 Philippians 1

Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
This year in the season of Advent to Epiphany we read the letters of Titus, Philemon, Galatians and Philippians.

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.

Loving, Kind and Caring

David has some friends who urge him to flee into the mountains to get away from his enemies.  David says that there is no need for this, since the Lord is with him all the way.  He learned what Peter, James and John discovered in the Transfiguration

But where do we go to find the safety that God wants to give us?  Why right inside our heart!  God is with us more deeply than we can imagine.  The face of God will shine out to you from way inside when you dedicate the hours of your day to doing what God wants.  This is about loving, kind and careful to do what you are called to do at this age in your life.  It’s a good idea to jot down whom you are called to love and what you are called to do.

 Psalm 11

Wednesdays are devoted to the reading of the Psalms, one a week across the three-year cycle.

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.