The Gospel Comes to Europe

Thursday of the Fifth Week in Easter, Year B
Acts 16

Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter. Click the image.

Paul’s disciple is the young Timothy. This is the second missionary journey of Paul. Models of leadership abound. People learn about leadership by becoming spiritual apprentices.

Remember that all of the Holy Lands at this time are part of the Roman Empire, which is divided into provinces. In addition to the names of cities, there are provinces such as Galatia, Asia (not the continent), Bithynia, Mysia, Phrygia, Macedonia, and Achaea (modern Greece). Soon into this journey, Paul receives a vision during the night to cross over into Macedonia. This would be the first time that the Gospel is preached in Europe.

One of the loveliest stories in Acts is the account of what happens when Paul and Silas are in prison. May your heart sing along with theirs as you too become open to the power of God in your life.


Thursdays in the Easter Season are dedicated to the Book of Acts.

Daily Bible Breaths

Version for Children and Families for this week


Your New Resumé

Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Kingdomtide
1 Corinthians 15—16

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

Chapter 15 teaches the intimate connection that exists between Christ’s resurrection and ours. One gets its meaning from the other. We are not to believe in the resurrection of Jesus as a reality for Jesus alone, apart from its impact upon the very nature of our own lives.

This chapter is a glorious new resumé about who you are in Christ Jesus. It expresses the very essence of your faith. The reading stands in contrast to any less worthy way that you see your life—worthiness not of your own doing, but rather of what Christ Jesus has recreated you to be in his own body.

As you prayerfully read this and the final chapter, the very familiar verses will take on a greater, inner illumination for your own nourishment. Give thanks to the Lord for this great letter—and for your new resumé!


Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels. During the season of Kingdomtide this year, we read 1 Corinthians.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

A Way Out

Thursdays: The New Testament
1 Corinthians 9—10

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

The passion of Paul to preach the gospel is especially present in chapter 9. He finds the example of running a race as an image to describe this intense focus of his life.

From 9:19, there is a sacred principle at work: do everything that would have the conscience of another aided in coming to the gospel; do nothing that would hinder this approach. You will find verses as you read that I suggest you write down in your best handwriting and place near you to engrave in your mind for continual recall in your heart.

10:13 will bring comfort to you in times of trial. There is nothing too great for you to endure. The Lord God will give you a way out by the light and power of grace.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
This is My body for you v. 24
Cup of the new covenant v. 25
Bread and cup of the presence v. 26
Bread and cup until You come v. 26

Click or touch the image for the version for children and families.

This is the eighth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.


Photo Courtesy – https://nimfa1219.wordpress.com

Doing God’s Thing

Thursdays: The New Testament
1 Corinthians 4

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

The key word in this chapter is “steward.” The word in Greek is the one which gives us the word “economy.” Oikos is the word for “house,” and nemo, the word for “manage.” A steward is the one who “manages the house.”

Now the “house,” here in Paul refers to God’s House. Remember that you are to be the place where God dwells in the Holy Spirit. How you manage your life and your body is God’s business, not yours. We are also called to “manage” the wonderful things of God—divine priorities and plans. Everything about our world belongs to God and is given to us for our safekeeping and furthering.

“Do your own thing”—that is the world’s way. “Do God’s thing”—the way of being God’s steward.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Never judging anyone v. 5
Wishing well when others hurt v. 12
When cursed at, using kind words v. 13
Your kingdom: not words, but pow’r v. 20

Version for Children and Families

This is the fourth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.


Photo Courtesy – http://www.st-anns.us/ACTS

Fire-Starting and Fire-Testing

Thursdays: The New Testament
1 Corinthians 3

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

Bible Places.com

When there is a violent forest fire, another fire is deliberately set around the perimeter of the endangered space, so that when the fire arrives at the burned-out border, there is nothing left to consume.

Divisions and party strife are as a fire gone wild. Paul speaks in terms of fire in verse 15; one’s material loss through fire becomes a source of salvation.

My desire in fire-starting today is that the Holy Spirit fire-test you. Allow the Spirit to burn away at this very moment, all that is not of the Lord’s doing. As the preferred temple of the Lord, become more and more filled with the fire of the Lord’s presence. Let the strong words of Paul be as breath-blows on the wood of that fire, so that all that needs to be consumed in you may be done so completely. Upon the ashes of that loss lies the saving grace of knowing that you are resting on the foundation which is Christ Jesus.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Only You make the seeds grow. v. 6
Jesus I belong to You. v. 9
Tested by the fire of love v. 13
Spirit of God within me v. 16

Version for Children and Families

This is the third of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.


Photo Courtesy – http://lightworkers.org

In Tune with God

Thursdays: The New Testament
1 Corinthians 2

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

Bible Places.com

Here is a way of making a stringed instrument sound without touching the strings. Try it with a guitar. Place the body of the guitar near your mouth and sing one of the tones to which the guitar string is tuned. You will hear the sound of the note echo back to you. This is because the frequency of your voice and the string are the same. With any other note you sing, the guitar will be silent. Here’s the sound with my guitar…[Sound echoes.]

Are you tuned to the frequency of the Lord’s voice? Does your life echo the sound of the Spirit singing inside of you? Do you keep silent when others speak “notes” not tuned to love? Paul decides, “To concentrate only on Jesus Christ and his death on the cross” (v. 2). As you read and pray, become tuned to the wisdom of God, which is out of tune to the wisdom of this age. Be one with those in tune with the Lord.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Your Spirit speaking in me v. 4
Your plans for those who love You v. 9
Thinking with the mind of God v. 12
All the blessings I’ve received v. 14

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the second of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.


Image: Nick’s guitar

Mid-Course Correction

Thursdays: The New Testament
1 Corinthians 1

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

Thursdays in Kingdomtide this year find us rolling back the centuries to the birthing and growing of a first century church in a great metropolis. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians offers a powerful example of a church struggling with the momentum of a lifestyle prior to commitment to Christ—idolatry, sexual immorality, lawsuits, worldly philosophy, etc.

Corinth is situated on a narrow isthmus between the mainland part of Greece in the north and the Peloponnesian peninsula to the south. It is perfectly placed to meet the ships sailing from the east and moving westward after a brief portage across the isthmus. It was the center of world trade, much like New York City in the cosmopolitan nature of its population.

Paul founded this church about 50 A.D. Now he writes to give them “mid-course correction” on their way to salvation. Let Paul do the same for you.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Giving thanks to Thee for grace v. 4
You giving strength to the end v. 8
What is weak shaming the strong v. 27
Boasting only in the Lord v. 31

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the first week in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.


Image – View of Corinth from the isthmus

This is the close of what many people celebrate as the greatest teaching about Christ in the New Testament. Martin Luther and John Wesley were especially moved by this letter.

Most of the passage is expressing gratitude for those who were especially close to St. Paul. The woman’s name, Phoebe, in verse 1, means “The Radiant One.” By our own shining faces and living in joy, we make God’s face shine to others. Your radiance of God’s faithful love is what people need to see. Recall verse 5 from Psalm 34 of yesterday: “Look to God and be radiant; so your[ faces shall never be ashamed.”

Get in touch with Paul’s burst of joy in the final verse: “May the glory be to God, who alone is wise! May the glory be to him through Jesus Christ forever! Amen.”

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Sending out kisses of peace v. 16
Being wise in what is good v. 19
Strengthened by Thy Gospel, Lord v. 25
To God: glory forever v. 27

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the first week in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.


Image – View of Corinth from the isthmus