If you are able, go ahead and stand up as you prepare to read today’s scripture passage found on the “Listen” page. If you would like, take your shoes off so you can feel the ground beneath you. Go ahead, really… stand up.

Take a moment to feel the ground underneath your feet. Press down all ten of your toes. Become aware of what the ground feels like. Is it rough? Is it soft and welcoming? Turn your awareness to the earth supporting you as you stand, feeling the strength in your feet.

Now before you go on, take three deep, strong breaths as you stand tall, ready to experience God’s Word today.

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Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage, and his face twisted beyond recognition because of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In response he commanded that the furnace be heated to seven times its normal heat. He told some of the strongest men in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the furnace of flaming fire. So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were bound, still dressed in all their clothes, and thrown into the furnace of flaming fire.

Daniel 3:19-21

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True confessions time: “Hi my name is Sara, and I watch ‘The Bachelorette.’” (I feel better just saying that out loud.) While watching an episode a few weeks ago, a classic scene played out, which seems to happen at least once every season. Commercials end, and we find the season “villain” sitting in awkward silence with another contestant. The “villain,” in typical fashion, begins stirring up drama, and when the other guy opposes with sensible conversation, refusing to play the drama game – or even worse, responds with a smile – it sets the “villain” on a raging downward spiral.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are refusing to play into King Nebuchadnezzar’s game here. Their calm and sensible response? It sets the King off in a fit of rage, “twisting his face beyond recognition!” You have to wonder at times, if your opposition to someone’s orders brings that much rage, that much anger… perhaps you might be on the right track. Even when things look bleak, stand firm in your convictions, maybe even flash a smile.

Sara Hunt-Felke

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God of peace, there are times when things look bleak and the flames around me seem unavoidable. When I am unsure of what might happen next, help me to stand firm, knowing that you are still good, and you are still God. Amen.

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Today, may you stand firm.

Stand firmly aware that the God who walked in the flames with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is the same God who walks this road with you.

May you stand firm on the foundation built for you by the God who loves you fiercely.

Sara Hunt

Sara Hunt-Felke lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband TJ, their daughter Adelina and their dog “Monk.” Sara is a Hospital Chaplain and in her free time enjoys a good cup of coffee, baking, and spending time outside in God’s creation

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

Jon Chacko

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