This week's theme

Proverbs: 2 You are my sister

Today's reading

Proverbs 31:1031

Today's prayer

Father, help me to seek perfection by following your ways and not the ways of the world. May I emulate Mary, the mother of Jesus, in a life of service and commitment. Amen

From Fresh From the Word 2018

For further thought

Think about your favourite biblical woman or female saint. What can you learn from them and put into practice in your own life?

Live simply, that others might simply live. Have a look at CAFODs Live Simply campaign on their website. How might you rise to this challenge at home and in your parish?

Make a gesture of sacrifice today. Give up the internet or your mobile phone. Switch off the computer or the television. Use the time you save wisely.

Are there situations in our life where you feel betrayed or let down? Spend some time in prayer for those who have hurt you.

Consider the initiatives and projects that run in your church or faith community. Can you commit yourself to one of them and pledge your time as well as your money?

What is your image of God? Reflect prayerfully on Psalm 139: O God you search me Does the God described here worry or reassure you?

How can we ensure that we pass down the body of family wisdom accumulated within our own family circle to the next generation?

In times like these, how can one continue to be happy?

How can young people keep their way pure? By guarding it according to your word (Psalm 119:9).

There is safety in finding wisdom. Do we place as much concern on this quest for wisdom as we do on other things in our lives?

How can you learn to clearly distinguish the two voices of Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly?

Those who are parents have to seriously consider how they can get their children to listen to them without coming across as domineering or as saying We know everything!

Let go, let God today and every day. If it may help, write down all your worries and concerns and place them in a prayer bowl or basket. Once they are in there, they are Gods, not yours.

How do you honour the command of Sabbath-rest? How will you do so in days to come?

Open your bankbook. Note where your money goes each month. What does it say about what you value most? What would you like it to say?

Look up Dietrich Bonhoeffers poem By Gracious Powers so Wonderfully Sheltered, written in prison a few months before he was murdered by the Nazis.

Review your commitments. Which cause you dread? Which make your heart sing? Is there a clue here to what God may be asking of you?

Sing the hymn I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say by H. Bonar (180889). Let the song carry you through the day.

Meditate on the phrases concerning the kingdom come and our daily bread. How do they affect your approach to your daily work?

Find out about whats happening in your community, such as the arrival of new refugees, and explore ways of giving ongoing practical support.

Where do I invest most of my energy and time? Does it help build a stronger, safer community?

Consider how the things that we have surrounded ourselves with might hold us back from being generous.

Find out about local needs among the young, the vulnerable and the unemployed. Is there some way your faith community can assist in making changes?

Take time to meditate on what kind of work brings enjoyment and happiness to you and to your community. What might it tell you about Gods provision for you?

What are the ways your church uses online media? What ministries of your church must be done with touch and physical presence?

What would be the equivalent of the three-legged pot or mate in your own culture?

Discuss the reality of violence against women in your country and think of ways to support those who help survivors.

Where do you desire rest and refreshment in your life at the moment? How can you take steps to practise it?

Find out more about the working conditions in the garment industry around the world, especially in developing world.

What harvest traditions do you have in your culture? How are harvest festivals celebrated in your church?

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International Community

'For many of our readers IBRA notes have become a habit. There are using them for years. The notes cover the Old and New Testaments in a balanced way. The little stories and simple method of exposition are attractive.'

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This week's writer

Jane Gonzalez is a Roman Catholic laywoman. She is in the second year of a Professional Doctorate in Pastoral Theology looking at collaborative ministry. She has a keen interest in studying scripture, is a visiting preacher at a local Anglican church and

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Celebrating 135 years!

Join us in celebrating 135 years of the work of IBRA!
To mark this auspicious occasion we have a special celebration edition available.

Read about our rich history and the origins of our founder Charles Waters, bank manager and Sunday School teacher – not a scholar, preacher, or public speaker – who had a gift for organisation and a vision for making the Bible accessible to all.

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