This week's theme

Visionaries and prophets

Today's reading

Judges 4:116

Today's prayer

Pray for those who hold public office, that they may act justly, with wisdom and compassion.

Fresh From the Word

For further thought

What stereotypes and expectations do you hold of women in leadership or public office?

How might womens experience of war and occupation be different from mens? How might it be the same?

Encourage your faith community to become a member of an organisation that promotes gender equality.

How is womens leadership reflected and named in your church? In your community?

Are you aware of having been taught self-control? By whom, and how? What is the difference between self-control and social appropriateness?

Looking in a mirror, gently wash your own face, slowly with a soft sponge or cloth. Treat your face with gentle love. Remind yourself of Gods care.

Our culture celebrates heroic, sacrificial faithfulness, even as we find it foolhardy. Do you agree?

Pray the Lords Prayer slowly and deliberately. Pause over the phrase, Give us this day our daily bread. What do you actually hope for when you make this prayer?

What prevents you from feeling peaceful?

In a concordance, look up references to the command Rejoice. In what situations does it occur?

What other cultures around you may surprise you sometime soon?

What creative ways might Jesus find to address controversial political issues of our day?

What in your life might the God of surprises be asking you to sell in order to gain the kingdom?

In what ways does food divide your community? In what ways does it bring it together?

What part of Gods creation might be speaking to you today?

Who are the people of courage around you, speaking out against injustice in your community?

The mystic Julian of Norwich (1342c. 1416) asked to see Jesus sufferings on the cross. How is it possible to pray alongside Christ in his suffering?

How do you usually reach out to God? What sort of prophet might God be calling you to be?

Have I ever surprised myself with my reaction to bad news? Is there some way I can support others through tragedy or loss?

What overwhelming challenges have I been able to overcome? Has my struggle helped others? Could my struggle help others in the future?

How might I use wisdom, generosity and humour to turn round a situation at work or elsewhere where ill-naturedness is creating a hard-hearted response?

How generous can my charity be? Can I accept lack of enthusiasm from someone who is grieving or sorrowful and still give my love?

Who am I influencing for good? How am I learning wisdom, and how am I sharing it?

Sometimes its easy to see an evil that has to be resisted; sometimes it isnt. How can we learn to be discerning?

What difference does it make to how we live in the world if we are open to spiritual realities as well as material ones?

What lessons can I learn from the world around me today? How can I see God at work in things that happen?

Can we discern the enemies we face in todays world? How can we resist the pressure to conform and be like everyone else?

Ultimately, Christians dont just believe in healing, but in resurrection. Even when everything is gone, God can bring new life.

Darius says, Tremble and fear before the God of Daniel (verse 26). There is not much trembling and fearing before God nowadays do you think that is good or bad?

I was taught that prophecy in the Bible was forth telling not fore telling. What does forth telling mean in your context?

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International Community

'Not-withstanding the stiff competition with other devotional guides, Fresh from The Word, has a unique feature in that it comes in the local languages as well. This makes it more accessible to people who are not literate in the English Language'.

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This week's writer

Lynne loves playing with words whether writing poems or prayers, playing Scrabble or messaging friends and has a secret longing to write on walls with a spray can. The rest of the time she is a Methodist Presbyter in Auckland, Aotearoa (New Zealand),

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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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