Tough Love and Tenderness

Tuesday, February 4

Joshua 23—24

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


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We are at the end of Joshua’s life. The warrior years of the young liberator are long gone. His words have the ring of “tough love.” He reminds God’s people of their need to be faithful to the covenant. At the same time, there are tenderness and expansive peace that well up in words of comfort, his long life seasoned by the inner joy of God’s constant fidelity.

Though the enemies in your life may not be the countries bordering your house, still there are inner forces of darkness and evil that push against your “front door.” Peace can be dissipated. Do not become discouraged from fidelity to those daily disciplines needed so that God’s grace can grow within you.

Be with the great multitude that first heard Joshua’s words, and those gathered in the silence this day, awed by the final chapters of this great book.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
I rest from my enemies 23:1
Nothing failed of Your promise. 23:14
Serving You in faithfulness 24:14
I will serve You, Lord my God. 24:18

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Fifth Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
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The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

An Altar of Witness

Tuesday, January 28

Joshua 20—22

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – Rising Sun at Sengekontacket Pond & Barrier Beach
Photo Courtesy Don Cullivan © 2006

The final allotment of lands is decided with special provisions for the priestly house of Levi. Ponder the issue of the separate altar, which those tribes and half-tribes who settled on the eastern side of the Jordan had constructed. Find out why the rest of God’s people were so concerned about this and how the issue was resolved.

Once again, it is the dilemma of “The One and the Many.” The one sacrifice of Christ upon the cross irradiates across the globe, blending with the ongoing suffering of others.

Do you have a special place of prayer in your house that is a sanctuary for you? If not, create one. May it be for you what the eastern altar was—place of the rising sun. As each new day dawns, may God come more fully into your life.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Rest given on ev’ry side 21:44
Your promises come to pass 21:45
I keep the charge of the Lord 22:3
ServingYou with all my heart 22:5

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Fourth Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

The Home of the Ark

Tuesday, January 21

Joshua 18—19

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


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Before these chapters conclude with the rest of the lands apportioned to the remaining tribes, there is a simple notice given in the verse for today: the Ark of the Covenant has come to a place of rest; it has found a home. Just as the capital of a state or country is centrally located, so this city is chosen because it is near the center of the lands the Lord gave to the people. It is about 35 miles north of Jerusalem. The Ark will remain there for over 100 years until the Philistines capture it, as we read in 1 Samuel 4.

The tabernacle is the primary sacrament of the presence of God to God’s people. What do you have in your home and your life that reminds you of God’s enduring presence to you in Christ? During this Epiphany season, as the light of Jesus’ presence grows, do something to increase awareness—perhaps a star above your front door or an ornament that stays behind, after all the others have been gathered and stored in the attic.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
The ark at rest within me 18:1
My heart as an ark for You
I have a space in Your heart
Signs that You are present now

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Third Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

A Place to Settle Down

Tuesday, January 14

Joshua 15—17

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


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Genealogies in the Bible are tedious to read; so also the lists of the boundaries of the tribes and their cities. Don’t lose the forest for the trees! While a map will help you visualize these territories, there is something obvious: a wandering people finally have a place to settle down. Identify with this in your own life.

Lands and relationships both need boundaries. The arms of the crucified, risen Lord gather others into a primary community—a spiritual land of faith, hope, and love called God’s Kingdom.

Take care that you do not cross the borders of your faith by simply not believing.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Settling down in Your Kingdom
Embraced by the Crucified
Discerning my place in life
All my heart, a space for You

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Second Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

The Life-Pledge

Tuesday, January 7

Joshua 13—14

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


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Deeds of land of the Twelve Tribes are described. However, the lands are unlike those that are bought with a bank’s money as a mortgage—a “death-pledge” upon it. These are inherited lands given by God alone to God’s chosen people through Moses.

We live in a society where we earn, buy and sell possessions and properties; only then do we will them as inheritance. But the Psalmist declares in 89:11 “The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all its fullness.” Today be aware of all that you have as given to you by the Lord. You have something greater, given by the death of Jesus on the cross. He is the inheritance of God—a “life-pledge.” Christ shares this with you in the inner Kingdom where he calls us to live by this outpouring of God’s love.

Approach with the Magi and adore.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
You are my inheritance 13:14
My soul: offering by fire 13:14
Following with all my heart 14:13
All the earth belongs to You.

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for the version for children and families.

This is Epiphany Week, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Manger Outward—Cross Upward

Tuesday, December 31

Joshua 11—12

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – Worship Films – http://www.easyworship.com

The summary list in chapter 12 bears witness to one clear truth: God longs for a people wholly dedicated to God. The Lord does not want us to make deals with the Enemy, as the Israelites did with Canaanite neighbors with whom they mingled.
Christmas contrasts with the conquests of Joshua. The wood of the manger is at the center of the space of God-with-us, won for us, not with the edge of the sword, but with the laser-beam of Jesus’ love. From the manger outward, to the cross upward, Jesus’ love is the weapon that has given us a “holy land” where we can live right now and forever.

Feel the contrasts in the silence—lists of conquered kings in Joshua …your list of spiritual enemies overcome …Joshua’s sword …Jesus’ manger …Come to the stable!

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
My focus ever on You
Loving all my enemies
Your power at work in me
The manger: place of Your peace

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for the version for children and families.

This is Christmas Week, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Victory Over Inner Enemies

Tuesday, December 24

Joshua 9—10

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


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War is being waged, not for land, but for a spiritual space in your heart where you can live with God alone. Advent is a time to take possession of this space. However, there are spiritual enemies that have “dug in” to that same territory—perhaps old family strongholds passed on to you through negative, prideful, sinful tendencies that seek to sap the peace that God wants to share with you. Name those “enemies.” Recall in the letter to the Ephesians: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood …but against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (6:12).

God gives you the heart of Joshua and especially the heart of Jesus, born in the silence of the night in the stable of your heart.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
All that You have done for us 9:9
Inner space prepared for You
Cleansed of enemies within
God’s vict’ry over evil

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for the version for children and families.

This is the fourth of four weeks in Advent, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.