Women’s Rights

The generation of those who rebelled against the Lord in the desert has died. A new generation is prepared; they had no experience of Egypt, since they were born during the Exodus.

The Bible’s first instance of women’s rights is in the account of the five daughters of Zelophehad. This man had no sons; the daughters came to Moses requesting justice for them, so that they could have the inheritance of the family, which usually passed along by the sons alone. They present a delicate balance between assertiveness and yielding to the final decisions left in the hands of the Lord through his servant Moses.

Joshua is selected as the one to lead the people into the Promised Land. 27:14 recalls how the Lord denied entry to Moses, because he complained. Reflect on yourself in this regard.

The Sabbath Torah Portion — Pinhas (Phineas)

Numbers 26:52—28:15

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer from today’s reading:
Showing off Your holiness 27:14
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.

Beginning tomorrow, the Firestarters from the new edition of
The Bible Through the Seasons for families will be posted daily. 

A Pagan Stands in Awe

King Balak of the neighboring country of Moab hired Balaam, a pagan prophet, to curse God’s people. Balak wanted to eliminate any threat that the Israelites would have against him and his land of Moab. Today’s reading is the account of what happened between God and Balaam. God declares to Balaam the unique blessing that God gives to his people.

The pagan Balaam stands in awe of the power of God. God is true to God’s word. When God blesses, who can curse?

The well-known hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” based on Lamentations, 3:22-23, expresses this when we sing in praise of God: “Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not.” The Letter to the Hebrews, 13:8, expresses it this way: “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

The Sabbath Torah Portion — Balak

Numbers 22:39—23:30

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer from today’s reading:
Speaking only what You want 23:12
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.

On July 8, the Firestarters from the new edition of
The Bible Through the Seasons for families will be posted daily. 


Complaining Blocks the Presence.

Hear the sobering consequences for those who challenged the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Death by plague comes to those continuing to rebel and complain against the Lord. Moses stands in the gap for the people as their intercessor. (Cf. Ezekiel 22:30.)

Chapter 17 tells what the Lord does about the arrogance of the people’s complaining about Aaron. His rod buds with blossoms and almonds. Together with the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, this wondrous sign from the Lord is placed in the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle.

You are called to a unique ministry that only you can fulfill. What would be a symbol of this uniqueness? Put it near the place where you pray.

The Sabbath Torah Portion — Hukkath (Ordinance)

Numbers 20:22-29


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.

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


The Symbol of Your Uniqueness

Hear the sobering consequences for those who challenged the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Death by plague comes to those continuing to rebel and complain against the Lord. Moses stands in the gap for the people as their intercessor. (Cf. Ezekiel 22:30.)

Chapter 17 tells what the Lord does about the arrogance of the people’s complaining about Aaron. His rod buds with blossoms and almonds. Together with the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, this wondrous sign from the Lord is placed in the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle.

You are called to a unique ministry that only you can fulfill. What would be a symbol of this uniqueness? Put it near the place where you pray.

The Sabbath Torah Portion — Korah (Korah)

The Reading for today   Numbers 16:41—17:13


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.

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


Sacred Pauses for Renewal

Saturday- The Torah
Leviticus 25:1–28

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


“Pause for Thought” – French Painter, W.A. Bouguereau

Special provisions for social justice are celebrated every fifty-years—seven times seven years. It is the year of jubilee. The root of this word means, “to split the ears” with a trumpet blast that announces the beginning of this sacred period. Captives were set free. No land could be permanently sold from its original owner; in the Jubilee year, it was returned. Jesus applied the term to himself and his ministry in Luke 4:19.

Jesus ushered in a Jubilee, which will never end. With him comes a never-ending Sabbath. Still, find times for Sabbath days and longer stretches of time when you can rest and find sacred renewal of energies. Make good use of all the “mini-sabbaths” in life,times of transition in your day—sacred pauses for renewal.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Turning inward where You live. v. 10
Depending on You alone v. 12
Living secure where I am v. 18
All the land belongs to You. v. 23

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

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 third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

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.

Everything Can Be Sacred

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Leviticus 23—24

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

The celebrations in which Jewish people take part have their origins in the revelation of God to Moses. There is another listing of the feasts with details about how they are to be honored. These are the direct words of God to the people concerning how the seasons for farming and other events become sacred celebrations, ways to give God honor and glory.

I recall what Ignatius of Loyola wanted for the Jesuits: "Let them find God in all things." How can you take the things you are called to do and have them become acts of worship and honor to the Lord?

This may help; the word "profane" in Latin means: "In front of the temple." What is outside of the "temple" where the Lord dwells is profane. However, you are the temple of the Lord where the Blessed Trinity dwells. Actions that flow from this presence are sacred, those that do not are profane. May you grow in knowing Who lives within you.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Finding now some Sabbath time 23:3
Offering the best of me 23:10
Offering my food to You 23:37
Shining the light of my life

For more about this way to pray, see “Daily Bible Breaths” in the menu above.

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


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 third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

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 Doorposts of the Heart

The Sabbath Torah Portion – Bo (Come)
The entire portion is Exodus 10:1—13:16

The Bible Through the Seasons follows those Jewish traditions that divide the portion into thirds.
This year, we read Part 2. Exodus 11:4—12:28

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Passover is the central festival for us as Christians and Jews, since it describes that primary move of God that resulted in our ancestors nor longer being slaves in Egypt. Passover is the paradigm for our freedom. It is during this festival that Jesus, the true Paschal Lamb was sacrificed. His is the blood of the covenant that truly sets us free.

In 12:22, the Lord prescribes that hyssop, a shrub-like plant, be dipped into the blood of the lamb, and be smeared on the doorpost of the house. It is hyssop that was dipped into vinegar and brought to the lips of Jesus on the cross (John 19:29-30). This detail of John is not without meaning. Then Jesus exclaims, “It is finished.” Jesus won complete freedom for us by shedding his blood on the cross. Smear the doorposts of your heart with the saving blood of Jesus.


Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families