The Victory Parade

Paul refers to someone who has offended him grievously. Feel his pain. Yet even more, sense his desire that there be healing and reconciliation. Unforgiveness gives Satan a foothold leading toward death instead of life.

Victory parades in ancient times had captives as well as conquerors march. There was no ticker tape. Instead, burnt fragrant spices filled the air as the way to expand the pervading sense of joy.

The victory parade of Jesus is on. The fragrance of the Holy Spirit is all about. Do not be in the parade as a captive of darkness through unforgiveness. The aroma will mean spiritual death for you. Let go. Forgive. When you do, you immediately march as a victor with all the joy of Christ who has won this victory for you.

The Reading for Today   2 Corinthians 2


This is the second of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Thursdays in this season are dedicated to 2 Corinthians


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

Deliver Me, O God!

This small psalm of five verses has strong similarity with the first Beatitude in Matthew 5:1. “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” The New English Bible translates it this way: “Blessed are those who know their need of God.” To be poor in spirit means awareness of a total need for God. Absolute need becomes absolute blessing. The only other alternative to choosing God is despair. The Hebrew word ‘ebyon in verse 5 carries this same concept of “poor in spirit.” A group of Jewish disciples of Jesus gave themselves the name “Ebionites.” They found joy in their needy state, for then they knew that the riches of the resurrected life would be theirs.

When you have given up on everything and everyone as being the source of your happiness, then you are in the place where only the Lord alone can meet your soul’s deepest need.

The Reading for Today    Psalm 70


This is the second of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms,
One each week over the three-year cycle.

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

A River in God’s Hands


Rafts roll over rocks in mild white water rafting as though one were riding gently on horseback. This is the image of the first proverb. As your read, gently let your spirit dip and rise as you flow over the waters of life in God’s Word.

How are you with the Lord? Do you resist and push the gentle holding of the Lord, or are you as waters that take their shape and movement from the contours of God’s hand? Sense in your spirit this image in the rest of the Proverbs for today. The positive halves flow with abandon; the negative sides are resistive, self-willed, and unresponsive to the call to justice intended to flow into the seas of God’s peace. Pray until you are one with the wisdom of the Proverbs.

The Reading for Today   Proverbs 21


This is the second of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Tuesdays are dedicated to Hebrew History and “The Writings.”
We begin the season with a few chapters of Proverbs.

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

Comfort in the Wilderness

A spiritual wilderness of emptiness and loneliness is the perfect place for the Lord to comfort you with the Word. Note the shift that takes place half way through this chapter, moving from the pain and grief of God as of a husband of an outrageously unfaithful wife, to the luring, seductive words of the husband calling the wife to true love and fidelity.

If you have been seeking other “spouses” for your soul, there will come a time when nothing will satisfy you and you will know it. This is wilderness. Only here can you come to know the joy of the oasis of God’s presence. You will experience for yourself the words of Augustine: “You have made us for Yourself, O God: and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”

Hosea 2


This is the second of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets.
During this season we read Hosea.

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. 

In a Little While—Joy

AnimFireStarter

It might seem strange, but Jesus says that some wonderful things are going to happen to his disciples because he is going away. We might think that if Jesus stayed with them he would give them the power that they need; but no. Jesus says that unless he goes away, the Holy Spirit will not come. It’s the Holy Spirit that brings all the fullness of what God can give to us.

There are nine days between the Ascension of Jesus and Pentecost, a week from Sunday. The word “novena” comes from the root meaning of the word “nine.” This is what Jesus means when he talks about “the little while” between his going away and the coming of the Spirit. Jesus brought great joy to his disciples and will do the same for us if we read his words very slowly and quietly, believing the many promises in these verses. How many of these promises can you count?

John 16:16-33

A Bible Breath: You turn my pain into joy. v. 20

 Touch to learn more…


Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels.
During Lent and Easter, we read the Gospel of John.


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