4-20-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 19, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

004Easter Sunday, Apr. 20

John 20:1-18

A new day. This is a new day! This is a very good new day!

Consider for a moment, the new job. A new job comes about due to all sorts of reasons. It may be that it’s your very first job out in the real world. It may be that your old company closed down or downsized and your exact position was dissolved. It may be that you were tired of the old job or just ready to move on to something new. It may be that the job was only temporary to begin with. All those feelings about leaving, or about the circumstances of your leaving, or the words you shared when you gave your notice, have probably been replayed in your mind over and over again. You may feel abandoned, relieved, rejected, lost, worthless, fearful, invigorated, confused, or maybe even grieving the loss of your previous work relationships. All these things occur before that new day on a new job.

A new job brings working in a new space with new people and new ideas. If you’ve moved on from a previous work environment, your eyes and thoughts will be fully aware of the newness around you. You’ll need to organize your new work space and live into this new day. All the information you’ve heard and processed about this new place is now being realized and lived out. This is a new day, indeed.

We meet this Easter morning knowing this is a very new day. We can recall that this was a very new day for all of those who followed Jesus and who knew Jesus. It was also a new day for those who heard about Jesus and what he did and what he was. It’s a new day because of God’s love for us. It’s God’s design and God’s plan. It’s a new day for each and every one of us. No matter what your previous days have been, this is a new day.

After Mary’s visit to the empty tomb and the presence of Jesus surrounding her, Mary stormed out of that place sharing the God News, the good news, with others. May this Easter day, and every new day given to you, be lived out sharing the God news with others. May you receive the  Easter blessing God gives to each of us!

20:1   Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance.  2 She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.”

3   Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb.  4 They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter.  5 Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.  6 Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there,  7 and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself.  8 Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed.  9 No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.  10 The disciples then went back home.

11   But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid.  13 They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”

 “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.”  14 After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.

15   Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”

 She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”

16   Jesus said, “Mary.”

 Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”

17   Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.

Notice the variety of reactions the disciples and Mary had when they found the empty tomb. What is for sure is that Jesus is gone. There were angels and tears and disbelief and doubts. It was Mary who took the news out to the disciples and the news continued to spread.

Would you say that your current Easter experience is a day filled with sharing the God news with others? Is your current Easter day more about food and family and new clothes and traditions than anything else? What experiences and new opportunities will come to you in this new day, and each new day? How will you share the God news in the moments set before you today?  Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you how this day is different from yesterday

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Matt & Megan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer:    We love you, O God, and we thank you for this Easter Day. With each day and each moment you give, guide us to share the words of this awesome gift of love you have given us thru the birth, life, death, and resurrection of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

4-19-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 18, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

sabbath1-590x385Saturday, Apr. 19

Good Rest Saturday

Hebrews 4:1-16

Saturdays are, at times, my only day to try to sleep in. Most of the time the sleeping in means that I will stay in bed until maybe 7:00 or 7:30 in the morning. On most weekday mornings, I’ll get up and go walk the dog around 6 a.m., take a quick shower, and then dig into 5 or 6 hours of work time in the office. Early morning is my most productive time of day.

Friday is my day off, it tries to be my day off, my Sabbath. On the Sabbath we are to stop what we are doing and relax into worshipping God. We are to quiet ourselves and replenish our souls by keeping our focus on God. Right. I am much more apt to actually take Sabbath if I’m staying at a retreat center or hiding away in a motel room for Rest & Relaxation. I have to take myself outside of my regular dwelling place and go where I am not distracted by the many things around me. When I stay at home, I have all sorts of things in the house calling for my attention; the laundry, the dishes, and on and on. When I go to the office, well, going to the office means that I will most likely be doing work.

Sabbath is stopping. Stopping. Stop. Rest. Here. Now.

4:1   For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified.  2 We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith.  3 If we believe, though, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith. Remember that God said, Exasperated, I vowed, “They’ll never get where they’re going, never be able to sit down and rest.” God made that vow, even though he’d finished his part before the foundation of the world.  4 Somewhere it’s written, “God rested the seventh day, having completed his work,”  5 but in this other text he says, “They’ll never be able to sit down and rest.”  6 So this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient.  7 God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David’s psalm, centuries later than the original invitation: Today, please listen, don’t turn a deaf ear 

8   And so this is still a live promise. It wasn’t canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn’t keep renewing the appointment for “today.”  9 The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s people.  10 God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we’ll surely rest with God.  11 So let’s keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience. 

12   God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.  13 Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what. 

14   Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers.  15 We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin.  16 So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

There are three different “rests” that are in view: God’s Sabbath rest after creation, Isarael’s rest of victory in Canaan, and the believer’s rest of faith today. God sees the heart and helps us in seeing our true spiritual condition.

When do you find it most easy to stop what you are doing and rest from work? What are the things you do in life that make you feel most rested? Have you experienced a time when you have felt the consequences of not taking the time to replenish your soul? Is Sunday a regular time for Sabbath for you? Have A Day!

In Conversation with a child:   Ask a child to tell you what things they do on Sundays

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Matt & Megan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer:   For this day you give us, O God, we give you thanks. Thank you for the times when we are diligent in taking the time for you to replenish our souls. Help us, O God, to attend to the need for refraining from everything so we can be with you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

4-18-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 17, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

goodfridayphilippinesFriday, Apr. 18

Good Friday

John 13:36-38

Good Friday is the day that Christians remember Jesus’ death on the cross. In scripture, Jesus was condemned by the local authorities and crucified, executed by being nailed to a cross which was a common form of corporal punishment at that time.

As Jesus faced death literally, he needed God’s help to save him from the world. Jesus’ words from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” echo the human experience of seeking a reality beyond death (Matthew 27:46).

For Christians, Good Friday is a time of remembering and to be with Jesus in his time of suffering and wait with him in hope of God’s promise, eternal life to all who believe. The “good” in Good Friday reflects the Christian hope of resurrection and new life in Jesus, foreshadowing Easter Sunday, when Christians believe that God resurrected Jesus from the dead.

36   Simon Peter asked, “Master, just where are you going?” 

 Jesus answered, “You can’t now follow me where I’m going. You will follow later.” 

37   “Master,” said Peter, “why can’t I follow now? I’ll lay down my life for you!” 

38   “Really? You’ll lay down your life for me? The truth is that before the rooster crows, you’ll deny me three times.” 

Peter did not want to talk about this new command. Instead, he wanted to talk about Jesus’ statement that he was leaving them. Peter seemed to think that Jesus was going to another place on the earth so Peter could not understand why he could not come, too. He considered that he was one of Jesus’ most loyal disciples. At this point in the story, Peter said that he was ready to die for Jesus, but later, that same night, Peter denied that he followed Jesus. Peter told people that he did not even know Jesus!

It is easy to make big promises to God when we do not have trouble in our lives. Turn the tables and we’re out of the picture quicker than anything. How easy it is to look at Peter and wonder how he could betray Christ. It’s as easy for us to be in those same shoes.

The story continues and on this day we remember how quickly things escalated and next thing you know, Jesus was crucified; exactly what Jesus said would happen.

May this Good Friday be a day in which you find time to ponder these things.   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what things make people sad

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Matt & Megan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer:     We are so glad that you know all things, O God. Our little brains are good and all, but some things are just not ours to know sometimes. The events of Good Friday fall into one of those things that is so difficult to understand. We trust that you will care for our uncertainties. Thank you for this day before us. May our words and actions be a blessing you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

4-17-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 16, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

last-supperThursday, Apr. 17

Maundy/Holy Thursday

Mark 14:12-25

Maundy Thursday, also known as “Holy Thursday” is the Thursday of Passion Week, one day before Good Friday (the Thursday before Easter). Maundy Thursday is the name given to the day on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples, known as the Last Supper. Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples and thereby instituted the Lord’s Supper/Communion. Some Christian churches observe a special Communion service on Maundy Thursday in memory of Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet as an act of humility and service, thereby setting an example that we should love and serve one another in humility. Some Christian churches observe a foot-washing ceremony on Maundy Thursday to commemorate Jesus’ washing the feet of the disciples. The word “Maundy” is derived from the Latin word for “command.” The “Maundy” in Maundy Thursday refers to the command Jesus gave to the disciples at the Last Supper, that they should love and serve one another.

12 On the first of the Days of Unleavened Bread, the day they prepare the Passover sacrifice, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations so you can eat the Passover meal?”  

The first day of the Feast of Unleavened bread was on the 14th of the month called Nisan. Jews had to remove every sign of yeast from their houses. This was because the Jews escaped from Egypt in a great hurry and they had no time to make bread with yeast in it.

13 He directed two of his disciples, “Go into the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him.  

A man who was carrying a jar of water would be unusual. People who carried water had skin bottles. Women carried jars of water on their heads. 

14 Ask the owner of whichever house he enters, ‘The Teacher wants to know, Where is my guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’  

Jesus had made arrangements already because he probably wanted to prevent the authorities and Judas from knowing the place. He calls the room his guest room. 

15 He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare for us there.”  

An upstairs room would be suitable, because they could reach it by an outside stone staircase.  

16 The disciples left, came to the city, found everything just as he had told them, and prepared the Passover meal. 

17 After sunset he came with the Twelve. 

The disciples were going to prepare the Passover meal. They would need a young sheep that they had cooked in an oven. The young sheep reminded them of the young sheep that the people killed in Egypt. Its blood on the door-posts of the Jews’ houses made the angel of death pass over. Therefore their first-born sons remained alive. Special leaves that tasted bitter were necessary. These leaves reminded them how bitter their life had been as slaves in Egypt. They also had a mixture of fruit and nuts called Charosheth. This mixture was to remind them of the earth from which they had made bricks. Wine at different times in the meal was to remind them of the following four promises that God had made. God promised; I will bring you out, I will free you from being slaves, I will pay the price for you, I will take you for my people. 

18 As they were at the supper table eating, Jesus said, “I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators, one who at this moment is eating with me.”

To share a meal was a sign of friendship. To hand a friend over to his enemies is especially wicked. 

19 Stunned, they started asking, one after another, “It isn’t me, is it?”   

25 “I’ll not be drinking wine again until the new day when I drink it in the kingdom of God.”  

The disciples did not suspect Judas. Their question to Jesus meant that they wanted to rule themselves out. They did not expect Jesus to say which disciple he meant. 

20 He said, “It’s one of the Twelve, one who eats with me out of the same bowl. 21 In one sense, it turns out that the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures—no surprises here. In another sense, the man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man—better never to have been born than do this!” 

The words spoken by one of the twelve disciples emphasize that Judas should have been a loyal friend. Jesus’ words were a last appeal to Judas to change his mind. Jesus was also warning him that the fate of the man who handed him over would be terrible. Jesus could have stopped Judas. If the other disciples knew, they would have acted at once. They might even have killed Judas. But Jesus knew that his death on the cross was God’s plan. Judas was responsible for his own actions and nobody forced him to hand Jesus over to his enemies. Jesus knew what Judas planned, but that did not make Judas carry out his plan. Knowing something will happen does not make it happen. 

22 In the course of their meal, having taken and blessed the bread, he broke it and gave it to them. Then he said, Take, this is my body.  

Jesus probably used the words of thanks that the head of a family would use before a meal. He broke the bread as a picture of the fact that he was going to give his life for them. He told them to take it. They were free to accept what Jesus would do for them by his death. God would forgive them because Jesus died. 

23 Taking the chalice, he gave it to them, thanking God, and they all drank from it. 

They all drank from the same cup of wine as a sign of their unity. There were four cups of wine at the Passover meal. Jesus probably used the last one, at the end of the meal.  

24 He said,

       This is my blood, God’s new covenant, Poured out for many people.  

Jesus said that the wine was the sign of his blood and that it would be poured out. When Jesus gave his life for the people, the giving of his blood would have signed the new agreement. It was for many. The old agreement had been between God and the Jews and the new agreement was for everyone.

In the Passover ceremony, Jews gave thanks that God created the fruit of the vine. Jesus used the picture language of the Messiah’s splendid dinner. He would drink wine again when he shared in the joy of the new age of the kingdom so the final words of his were words of hope. He knew that death was not the end.

In what ways have you celebrated Maundy Thursday in the past? Are you going to attend a service today or tonight? If you had been a disciple and you knew it would be your last night with Jesus, what words would you have said to him or what questions do you think you might have asked? When you take communion do you think about those words being spoken the very last night Jesus would be with the disciples? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what special things they do at family meal time

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Matt & Megan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer:   O God, this is a difficult day for us. We would like to rush past today and tomorrow and get on to Easter and all of the festivities. We know that we need to be present in each day and remember what you have done for us. May our hearts be turned to you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

4-16-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 15, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

June-11-sitting-in-pew-lightWednesday, Apr. 16

John 12:27-36

The spoken word is interesting, isn’t it? I’m thinking of the variety of ways people can interpret what they hear. I’m talking about words. I’m talking about the same words that are spoken at the same time. A group of people could be gathered in the same room, hearing the exact same words, and they each are interpreting the message in ways that are unique to each person.

I believe that, on any given Sunday morning, each parishioner hears a particular message at worship. Each parishioner arrives at worship with a unique set of life circumstances. Each parishioner steps into worship thinking about particular people they know. Each parishioner has a unique relationship with God. One parishioner may be overwhelmed with a concern for a friend. A parishioner right next to them may be searching to an answer to a gut feeling they are experiencing. Another parishioner may be wondering where their life is headed. And, still another parishioner may be wondering why they do this church thing at all.

All of the parishioners worship together and each parishioner experiences a particular experience. God is attending to each parishioner in a way that is unique to each one. Time after time, God uses each experience to speak to a person in a way that is made just for that person. That is just way cool.

12:27   “Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place.  28 I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’” A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.” 

29   The listening crowd said, “Thunder!” 

 Others said, “An angel spoke to him!” 

30 Jesus said, “The voice didn’t come for me but for you. 31 At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out.  32 And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.”  33 He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death. 

34   Voices from the crowd answered, “We heard from God’s Law that the Messiah lasts forever. How can it be necessary, as you put it, that the Son of Man ‘be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?” 

35   Jesus said, “For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going.  36 As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.” Jesus said all this, and then went into hiding.  

Jesus saw himself as a seed that could die and produce fruit. He also saw that he was to conqueror Satan. Instead of answering the people’s questions, Jesus gave them a warning, to walk by the light while they had the light. Jesus is the light.

When have you been to the same event as another person and you both experienced a very different thing? What was it that connected most with you? What was it that most connected with your friend? When have you last experienced a gut feeling and you found that you were right on target with your gut feeling? Have A Day!

In Conversation with a child:  Ask a child to tell you about some favorite times with their parents

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Matt & Megan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer:   O God, we thank you for this day. Thank you for your love and for the gift of your Son for our sins. May we enjoy and truly live in each moment of this day, depending upon you for provision. Amen.

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

4-15-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 14, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERATuesday, Apr. 15

John 12:20-26

I was thinking about my early years as a parent. When our oldest wasn’t even a year old, we moved away from both of our families. I was a stay at home mom and my husband was a bank officer. I was just sure I could make friends in our new place, but I must admit that I was down right scared to start a conversation. I kept praying to God to send me a friend. The husband and wife who lived in the duplex next to ours were the first to make our acquaintance. Eleanor came to our door on moving day with a wonderful dish of fresh baked cookies. It was nice having Roy and Eleanor around but they were as old as our parents. That didn’t seem like what I was talking about when I prayed to God for friends. Roy and Eleanor ended up being just what I needed.

I know many churches who have wanted visitors and new members. New people would walk into the church and no one from the congregation would talk to them. I think they were experiencing something like I experienced in praying for something and not recognizing that something when it was right in front of you.

Maybe we’re people who want something to look a particular way; like we have an answer and that answer looks a particular way. So, when something else happens, we must figure that the answer that is staring us in the face was someone else’s answer to prayer and they need to be responsible to follow thru with welcoming and conversing.

Some years later, when we moved to another new community, the Methodist pastor called me almost immediately requesting a visit. I thought that I should let the old tried and true Presbyterians have a visit with me first. On Sunday I decided to attend the Presbyterian church and people smiled and all, but no real conversations. The  Methodist pastor called again and he was very hopeful that I would bring my experience and gifts to their church. I wanted to think about it some more so I stalled. The next day, the Presbyterian pastor called and said that he wanted to invite me to try out their service sometime. There was a huge pause of silence when I said that he introduced himself to me when I was at the church the previous week. Awkward!

12:20   There were some Greeks in town who had come up to worship at the Feast.  21 They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee: “Sir, we want to see Jesus. Can you help us?” 

22   Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip together told Jesus.  23 Jesus answered, “Time’s up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 

24   “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over.  25 In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. 

26   “If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me. 

A simple question was asked by these Greeks (proselytes) when they asked if they could be helped in seeing Jesus. Jesus used it as a short lesson about the necessity of his death. Jesus looked upon his death as an opportunity to glorify God.

When have you wanted to be welcomed in, but you were not even noticed? Have you given folks a second chance when they have missed your first attempt at trying to fit in? When do you feel that you may have missed a chance to welcome a visitor into a group you are a part of already? Have A Day!

In Conversation with a child:   Ask a child to tell you the best way to make new friends

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Matt & Megan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer:   O God, we come before you this day in deep thanks. Thank you for giving us these moments to make a difference in the world. We know that we may not get the Nobel Peace Prize, but we do have confidence that you will give us opportunities to shine in other ways. Guide us to the opportunities to share our faith with others. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

4-14-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 13, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

half-fullMonday, Apr. 14

Mark 11:12-25

When I was a young single mom, trying to work as hard as I could to put bread on the table and provide clothes for the children, it seemed like so many things were working against me. When the children were sick, I had to stay home with them. That meant time off work. Each of their sick days whittled away at the precious ten sick days I was given. After those ten days, I’d be out of luck and losing money. My car was about as unreliable as they come and that docked me even more time as I had to wait on others to pick me for work and take me home.

I can’t even count how many times I was reduced to tears, believing that there was no way I was going to accomplish finishing my degree, being a mom, and working full time. And then, there would be a something that would happen. Like that anonymous sum of money arriving in my mailbox. Or a friend taking me out for dinner. So many things that connected with my soul and strengthened my faith that God was very active in my life and definitely working with me and thru those countless others.

When I was so focused on the half empty glass, finding some hope sure helped me refocus on God’s provision in my life.

12   As they left Bethany the next day, he was hungry. 13 Off in the distance he saw a fig tree in full leaf. He came up to it expecting to find something for breakfast, but found nothing but fig leaves. (It wasn’t yet the season for figs.)

14 He addressed the tree: “No one is going to eat fruit from you again—ever!” And his disciples overheard him.

Jesus used this image of a fig tree. The fig tree was a way to speak about the nation of the Jewish people. The fruit is like a picture of the obedience that the Jewish people should have shown to God. The leaves are like a picture of their religion. Their religion gave a false hope. The Jews should have shown that they were ready to give a welcome to their Messiah. Jesus was warning the people very seriously. They were not really serving God and they were refusing to accept the Messiah whom God had sent.

15 They arrived at Jerusalem. Immediately on entering the Temple Jesus started throwing out everyone who had set up shop there, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of the bankers and the stalls of the pigeon merchants.

Jesus arrives at the Temple and finds that the religious leaders wanted to get top dollar from people for sacrifices saying that the birds were perfect. The priests were even using God’s holy Temple as a place where they cheated people.

16 He didn’t let anyone even carry a basket through the Temple.

People were also using the court as a short way from one side of the city to another. They were carrying their goods through it as if it were a public road.

17 And then he taught them, quoting this text: My house was designated a house of prayer for the nations; You’ve turned it into a hangout for thieves.

Jesus used words found in Isaiah 56:7. They showed that the Jews were not allowing Gentiles to worship in God’s‘house.

18 The high priests and religion scholars heard what was going on and plotted how they might get rid of him. They panicked, for the entire crowd was carried away by his teaching.

The religious leaders realized that Jesus had become a danger to their authority. He had also disturbed their ways to get money so the authorities had to find a way to kill Jesus. They wanted a way that would not cause trouble from the crowd.

19 At evening, Jesus and his disciples left the city.

It is possible that Jesus and his disciples returned to Bethany for the night.

20 In the morning, walking along the road, they saw the fig tree, shriveled to a dry stick.  21 Peter, remembering what had happened the previous day, said to him, “Rabbi, look—the fig tree you cursed is shriveled up!

For three years, Jesus had taught the people about God. If they refused to believe God’s message, they would not avoid God’s punishment. Many people who listened to Jesus never really believed his message. They had their own religion, but they would not serve God. Jesus had warned them many times about such attitudes.

22 Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, 23 and nothing will be too much for you.

The disciples must continue to trust God whatever happened.

This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done.  24 That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.

The mountain is picture language for any kind of difficulty that seems impossible to remove. The mountain can be a personal difficulty or even a difficulty between nations. Jesus said that the answer to prayer depended on faith. There must be complete confidence that God will answer.

25 And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.”

It is essential to forgive other people. God is Love. We might approach God in prayer with a spirit that is not willing to show love, but that is of no use. There can be no real communication between God and a person who does not forgive because God forgives. We don’t deserve that God should forgive us so we must forgive other people when we believe they do not deserve forgiveness.

When have you faced overwhelming obstacles? What did you believe it would take to accomplish what you needed to accomplish? When have you been in a slump and you all of a sudden realized that aid was coming your way? When have you gone thru a really strong in faith time in your life? What gave you the strength at that time? In what ways has your faith been strengthened?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you something they have learned to do in the last year

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Matt & Megan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

Prayer Request:  Friends, I would ask for prayers for my friend, Ginger. Ginger’s son, Todd, is needing special radioactive treatments in Texas. In speaking about obstacles, this one is overwhelming. It involves four rounds of this pretty darned potent radiation treatments with six weeks in between treatments…..flying back and forth between Florida and Texas. If you could just remember Ginger’s family in your prayers, I would very much appreciate it and I know it would mean the world to Ginger.   Lucia

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer: It is you, O God, who has blessed us with the gift of this day. We thank you for the many opportunities that will come our way today. Be in each conversation we have today. Use our words and our work to your service. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 753 other followers