7-22-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 21, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

elephantTuesday, Jul. 22

Romans 14:1-12

We all know people who do not see things the same way we do. Some people would call those who see things in a different way, their enemies. To these people, there is no ability to accept a different way of understanding the world. There is no toleration for another point of view. At times these people live thousands of miles away from us and there are large bodies of water in between us. There are other times when we are living inside the same walls with those who cannot understand our line of thinking.

I believe that we all are given minds to process things in a particular way. God designed us to be a one-of-a-kind in the whole world and in all of time. In that gift of uniqueness, we often want others to believe the things we believe. We may even be surprised that all of us do not think exactly alike. Rather than learning from each other and embracing the way we each come to a different understanding of life and love and how to do relationships, we, in our stubbornness, turn away from others. Likewise, others may turn away from us when we do not totally buy into their worldview.

What is that children’s song?

The more we get together, together, together….the more we get together the happier we’ll be. Cause your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends. The more we get together the happier we’ll be.

How can we make this happen in our lives today?

14:1   Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

2   For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume all Christians should be vegetarians and eat accordingly.  3 But since both are guests at Christ’s table, wouldn’t it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn’t eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table.  4 Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God’s welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.

5   Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience.

6   What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli.  7 None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters.  8 It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other.  9 That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.

10   So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit.  11 Read it for yourself in Scripture:

“As I live and breathe,” God says,

“every knee will bow before me;

Every tongue will tell the honest truth

that I and only I am God.”

12   So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

God’s people assemble at church for one reason; to worship God. They worship God by their praying and singing, teaching and preaching. Worship should result in glory to God, blessing for God’s people, and fear and conviction for sinners. If we come to worship to display our spirituality, and our superiority to others, we will miss the blessing.

When you do a quick reflection on why you attend worship, what things come to your mind? If someone you do not care for walks in to worship, does their presence distract you? If Jesus was physically with you during worship, what do you think the seating chart would look like?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you why people go to church

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

Remember in Prayer: Friend of Julie, Sue, Roger & family, Bernadette, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

Prayer Request:  Prayers for a friend of Julie’s…..a 21 yr. old young man who died suddenly for no known reason.

Prayer Update: I am pleased to tell you Matt and Megan are doing well and expecting their third child in October. Carol

 And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Alice, Tom, 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 day. We thank you for the time you give us to worship you. We thank you for the gathering of thousands of Presbyterian youth at Purdue University in Indiana. Bless each of them that their hearts will be turned to you and they will connect in worship of 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!

7-21-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 20, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Love-One-AnotherMonday, Jul. 21

Romans 13:8-14

Love others. Doesn’t that seem simple? I think that loving others is probably something that comes natural to us. Somewhere in there, things take a turn. While I think that turning part comes to us pretty early on, I’m reminded of my own life and my own moments of trying to love others.

As I was driving along the other day, a car a little ahead of me was doing this serpentine deal within two lanes of a four lane option. I first wondered if the person was having a seizure or something. Then I wondered if someone nearby was pulling over in the other drivers lane. As oddly as the random serpentine driving began, it stopped at the stop light. That’s when I noticed that the serpentine driver rolled down his window and was chatting with the car next to him. Once I discerned that the driver was not under any duress, I could feel myself going totally over to the judgment camp.

When we were almost to the next light, the serpentine driver made a quick move over to the other lane, but just about cut me off in the midst of whatever it was he was trying to accomplish. I couldn’t find that love for others.

Ten minutes later, in the grocery store check out line, the cashier was one of the nicest workers I’ve ever met. It was easy for me to feel the love.

13:8   Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along.  9 The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself.  10 You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.

11   But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God.  12 The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed.  13 We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight.  14 Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

This segment of Paul’s writing is a prescription for solving the sickness in the church body in Corinth. Love lasts, and what love does will last. Let me repeat that. Love lasts, and what love does will last.

When do you find it most difficult to love others? Who are some others that you don’t want to love? If Jesus were sitting next to you when you were finding it difficult to love others, what kind of questions do you think he’d ask you? If Jesus took hold of one of your hands and connected your hand with the hand of someone you were having difficulty with loving, what do you think your reaction would be in the presence of Jesus?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you why it is important that we love others

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

Remember in Prayer: Friend of Julie, Sue, Roger & family, Bernadette, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, 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:  Prayers for a friend of Julie’s…..a 21 yr. old young man who died suddenly for no known reason.

 And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Alice, Tom, 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, you have given your love to us and we thank you. We are overwhelmed that you would love us when we do such unlovable things. Guide our hearts to daily living out the love you have given us. 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!

7-20-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 19, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

4_Cows walking to parlorSunday, Jul. 18

Joshua 6:15-27

I’ve had some interesting conversations with God. The conversations that are most intense are the ones in which I’m really confused about something that has happened in life. Let me think of an example. An unexplained illness experienced by a family member or friend might be an example. When a person spends their whole life focus on eating well, staying fit and staying healthy, and then they get sick, it just seems so not right.

Some years ago John’s back issue was very random. He had a staph infection that was busy as can be, eating away at his vertebrae. There wasn’t a clear reason why John should have a staph infection and why it was attacking his vertebrae. There were lots of “whys’ no one could answer.

It’s stuff that happens that doesn’t match up; cause and effect just doesn’t figure. Those are the things that take me right into an intense conversation with God. I ask a lot of questions of God realizing that the answer is not there. I don’t wonder if God sent things like this to my friends or loved ones. We live in a complex world that has disease and natural disasters and has unknown things happening.

In those conversations with God, I want to find that God is with me and that God is with the one experiencing the illness or random thing in their life. I look for God leading me and leading the other in whatever comes our way. That is not always the easiest thing to do when it sometimes feels like a trip around the barn many, many, many times.

6:15   When the seventh day came, they got up early and marched around the city this same way but seven times—yes, this day they circled the city seven times.  16 On the seventh time around the priests blew the trumpets and Joshua signaled the people, “Shout!—GOD has given you the city!  17 The city and everything in it is under a holy curse and offered up to GOD.

“Except for Rahab the harlot—she is to live, she and everyone in her house with her, because she hid the agents we sent.

18   “As for you, watch yourselves in the city under holy curse. Be careful that you don’t covet anything in it and take something that’s cursed, endangering the camp of Israel with the curse and making trouble for everyone.  19 All silver and gold, all vessels of bronze and iron are holy to GOD. Put them in GOD’S treasury.”

20   The priests blew the trumpets.

When the people heard the blast of the trumpets, they gave a thunderclap shout. The wall fell at once. The people rushed straight into the city and took it.

21   They put everything in the city under the holy curse, killing man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey.

22   Joshua ordered the two men who had spied out the land, “Enter the house of the harlot and rescue the woman and everyone connected with her, just as you promised her.”  23 So the young spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, mother, and brothers—everyone connected with her. They got the whole family out and gave them a place outside the camp of Israel.  24 But they burned down the city and everything in it, except for the gold and silver and the bronze and iron vessels—all that they put in the treasury of GOD’S house.

25   But Joshua let Rahab the harlot live—Rahab and her father’s household and everyone connected to her. She is still alive and well in Israel because she hid the agents whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26          Joshua swore a solemn oath at that time:

Cursed before GOD is the man

who sets out to rebuild this city Jericho.

He’ll pay for the foundation with his firstborn son,

he’ll pay for the gates with his youngest son.

27   GOD was with Joshua. He became famous all over the land.

The Israelites had to walk round the city many times; 13 times. When the instruction came to walk around the city, people followed. I’m speculating that some questioned why the need for a trip around the city some thirteen times. Why wouldn’t twelve trips, an even number of trips, do the trick? What we learn is that the Israelites learned patience and faith and endurance in those many trips.

When have you gone thru a situation and you felt like it was such a waste? If it was a plan for treatments for an illness that seemed senseless  or useless to you, how did you decide what to do? Have you ever chosen a plan of action that seems like it won’t lead anywhere? When do you find it most difficult to follow God’s plan?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you why people need to do chores

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

Remember in Prayer: Sue, Roger & family, Bernadette, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, 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: Alice, Tom, Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer: This day if a gift from you, O God. We thank you for the newness in this day and all that will come our way. When everything is going well, it is so easy to be happy about you and your ways, O God. Help us in the times when we question you and your ways. Lead us back home to you, O God. 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!

7-19-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 18, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

duckling-friend-2Saturday, Jul. 19

Romans 13:1-7

I am reminded of the many messages we receive from our parents. These are just some of the directives I remember hearing from my parents; “Sit up in your chair, don’t slouch, finish your dinner, clean up your room, go take a bath, say please and thank you, do your chores.” I can’t tell you how many times those directives were repeated. I don’t think my parents particularly enjoyed repeating the instructions that many times. I do think my parents wanted us to learn some basic things in life so we could walk about in the world in a good way.

Children would go and do whatever if they didn’t have examples to follow. Parents give guidelines and try to hold fast to those so that a pattern is formed. Children learn to listen to their parents and children learn some things about how we are to respect others. Our hope is that we learn to care for each other and be good citizens.

It isn’t always easy to see how people have learned how to respect one another. As was posted on Facebook many times in the last 48 hours, it is worth repeating here. ….

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”  Fred Rogers

13:1   Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen.  2 If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible.  3 Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.

Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine,  4 the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it.  5 That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.

6   That’s also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained.  7 Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.

Paul reminds Christians that they are to obey the rulers to whom God has given power. As Christians are to obey the rulers for a better reason than the fear of punishment. Their conscience should tell them that it is the right thing to do.

What are some of the basics your parents taught you? Were you a pretty quick learner? What did your parents teach you about citizenship? What did you learn about citizenship at your school? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you why children as to listen to their parents

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

Remember in Prayer: Sue, Roger & family, Bernadette, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, 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: Alice, Tom, 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 the day you have made. We come to you wanting to do your will and wanting to be used by you today. As we busy ourselves in this day, help us to remember you and your intent for using us today. May our eyes and hearts be open to the ways you might call us into 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!

7-18-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 17, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

photos.demandstudios.com-getty-article-165-44-86490182_XSFriday, Jul. 18

Romans 12:9-21

Each summer, a child at church will share their great excitement that they’ve been to camp and all the things they learned and the friends they met. Their camp experience always reminds me of my first camp experience where I was away from home for a whole week attending  overnight Camp Fire Girl camp. For me, going off to camp meant that I would get to go swimming every day and meet new friends. Every time I saw another girl arrive at camp, I’d look at her and kind of think of her as the friend I hadn’t spoken with yet and wonder if this would be my new friend.

Friendshipping is a process, you know. It seems like in a few short seconds, the other girl and I would know if a friendship was going to be a possibility between the two of us. Maybe the other girl had been thinking exactly the same thing I had been thinking when she first saw me. Then again, maybe she wasn’t wanting to meet a new friend at all.

Maybe there’s something to the sound of a voice, or the words or the inflections we use, but there’s certainly a sorting and selecting process that goes on when we’re making friends. I think that sorting out process happens within seconds of our meeting each other.

There were times when those young friendships would launch and vanish out of sight almost as quickly as the life of a firefly caught in a jar. Other times, the friendship was just a “go” from the very beginning. What I know today is that I’ve been blessed by some really great friends and they love to have fun.

12:9   Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.  10 Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

11   Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master,  12 cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.  13 Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

14   Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.  15 Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.  16 Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

17   Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.  18 If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.  19 Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

20   Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.  21 Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Paul continues on to instruct these young Christians on the way to live their lives. He talks about loving others; being good friends and loving each other deeply. This is not a pretend love but a sincere love. He says to hate all that is evil and love what is good and to love other Christians because they, and we, are all part of Christ’s family; sisters and brothers in Christ. Christians are to work hard in their service for the Lord.

Who are some of your good friends and how did you meet? What was it that you liked about each other when you met? What are some of the ways you interact with friends that is different from the way you interact with others? What did you learn about friendship thru the friendships your parents had with their friends? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what the coolest thing is about having friends

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

Remember in Prayer: Sue, Roger & family, Bernadette, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, 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 Update:  Alice passed away early Thursday morning. Please keep Alice’s family in your prayers.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Alice, Tom, 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 the day you have made. We come to you wanting to do your will and wanting to be used by you today. As we busy ourselves in this day, help us to remember you and your intent for using us today. May our eyes and hearts be open to the ways you might call us into service. Amen

Prayer: This is a new day before us, O God. A new day you have created and you have given. We thank you for the gift of friends in our lives. Help us as we go out in the world to day. Bless our interactions with others and may others come to know you thru what we say and do. 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!

7-17-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 16, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

extraordinaryThursday, Jul. 17

Romans 12:1-8

It used to be that at the end of some days, I would wonder what it was that I actually accomplished in the day. While I can look back and see that there were many things that grabbed my energy and attention, I can’t really put my finger on a particular something that I saw from beginning to end. These are pretty ordinary kind of days. Ordinary days happen.

There are other days when I’m moving about in the day and an interaction or conversation begins with another person. For whatever reason, that particular conversation is connecting with me in a different way and I feel like I’m totally present. Not only do I feel totally present, I feel as if there is a specific reason the conversation is occurring. I may not totally understand what that specific reason is when I’m in the moment, but it usually becomes much clearer when some time passes.

What I’ve learned is that each moment has the potential for God to form it into being something extraordinary. The extraordinary might be hiding in the ordinary for a little bit. The extraordinary may need to be undercover until a person’s heart is ready to experience it as something way out of the ordinary.

Today, we’ve got our ordinary lives that God can weave into something extraordinary.

12:1 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 2 Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. 3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. 4 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. 5 The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, 6 let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t. If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; 7 if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; 8 if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

Paul appeals to all the Christians and says that God has shown great love to them all so they should live lives that are grateful. If they have the right attitude to God, then they will think rightly about themselves and it will make a difference to their relationships with other people.

Christians must offer their bodies as a sacrifice to God. They should try to use every part of their bodies in a manner that pleases God. They will use their feet to go where God wants them to go. They will use their hands to give practical help to other people. With their ears, they will listen to other people’s problems. With their mouths, they will speak to encourage other people and to tell them the good news about Christ. The right use of the body will be like the perfect sacrifice that pleased God. Their worship of God would not just be a ceremony and that is what God asks for from us.

Do you ever come to a place in the day with an understanding that you are serving God in the things you do and say? What are some things you do on a weekly basis in which you are expecting that God will use you? What are some of the places you frequent where you believe God would not be involved? Is there a time in each day when you pray that God will use you in that day? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you where God is in the day and where God sleeps at night

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

Remember in Prayer: Sue, Roger & family, Bernadette, Alice, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, 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: It seems that this cancer thing is not done with me yet. I have had lots of back pain which was confirmed by MRI showing a mass in my back. Tomorrow I have the biopsy so we can make a plan to treat this. Please keep me on the list as this journey continues. Love to you, Sue

Prayer Request: Please add Roger and his family to the prayer list. Their 4-year-old daughter, Sophia, is undergoing a second round of treatment for brain cancer. Thanks! Barb

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Tom, 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 the day you have made. We come to you wanting to do your will and wanting to be used by you today. As we busy ourselves in this day, help us to remember you and your intent for using us today. May our eyes and hearts be open to the ways you might call us into 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!

7-16-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 15, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

hermione-1Wednesday, Jul. 14

Romans 11:25-36

During my sermon on Sunday, I mentioned a story from back in my growing up days. One of the neighborhood girls, Margaret, was a know-it-all. Her mother sold World Book Encyclopedias so Margaret was raised with some pretty high powered think tank stuff in her mind. Margaret enjoyed showing off in any way that she could. Margaret cornered the market when it came to knowledge base. Hands down Margaret had a keen sense of facts and figures.

It wasn’t easy for Margaret to make friends because she tended to use friends in a way that proved to her that she was a cut above. I didn’t want to go to Margaret’s house to play. Another neighborhood friend, Betsy, also did not want to go to Margaret’s to play.

On occasion, Margaret’s mother would call my mother or Betsy’s mother and try to arrange a play date. It was not always an easy decision for us because we knew that Margaret had the coolest toys. While Margaret had the single largest collection of Barbies and clothes for Barbies, there was a precious price to pay if we would go and play with the dolls at Margaret’s house. I wasn’t a doll person so I always kind of cringed at the thought of being at Margaret’s for any amount of time. Margaret was a princess in a family that treated Margaret like a princess.

In high school, I began to see another side of Margaret and really began to appreciate her more. Let me say that, over the years, Margaret lost most of that bossiness and know-it-all attitude. When I met up with Margaret in the last 10 years, I saw her in her work-a-day world and she is amazing. She needed all of those take charge qualities in her life work. I was very impressed with the way that life had softened those rough edges. I’m thankful that God works through us to accomplish just what God intends.

11:25   I want to lay all this out on the table as clearly as I can, friends. This is complicated. It would be easy to misinterpret what’s going on and arrogantly assume that you’re royalty and they’re just rabble, out on their ears for good. But that’s not it at all. This hardness on the part of insider Israel toward God is temporary. Its effect is to open things up to all the outsiders so that we end up with a full house.  26 Before it’s all over, there will be a complete Israel. As it is written,

A champion will stride down from the mountain of Zion; he’ll clean house in Jacob.

27        And this is my commitment to my people: removal of their sins.

28   From your point of view as you hear and embrace the good news of the Message, it looks like the Jews are God’s enemies. But looked at from the long-range perspective of God’s overall purpose, they remain God’s oldest friends.  29 God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.

30   There was a time not so long ago when you were on the outs with God. But then the Jews slammed the door on him and things opened up for you.  31 Now they are on the outs. But with the door held wide open for you, they have a way back in.  32 In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in.

33   Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.

34          Is there anyone around who can explain God?

Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?

35        Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?

36          Everything comes from him;

Everything happens through him;

Everything ends up in him.

Always glory! Always praise!

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Paul warns the Gentiles not to become proud and to trust God’s wisdom and to believe God’s plan. Christians must love the Jews as friends, because God loves them. Paul has shown that there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles. They all have sinned and they all can receive God’s salvation. Now Paul adds that all people are like prisoners because they are unable to obey God. Until they receive God’s salvation, sin controls their lives. God’s mercy can make free everyone who trusts him.

Who are some people you have known who want to take total charge of everything they get their hands on? When have you seen this become problematic? Have you witnessed a time when their take charge personality really helped out in a specific situation? When do you feel that you have tried to communicate with a totally take charge person only to find that you were not being heard? Do you know for sure how you come across to others?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you why it is good to share with others

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

Remember in Prayer: Sue, Roger & family, Bernadette, Alice, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, 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: It seems that this cancer thing is not done with me yet. I have had lots of back pain which was confirmed by MRI showing a mass in my back. Tomorrow I have the biopsy so we can make a plan to treat this. Please keep me on the list as this journey continues. Love to you, Sue

Prayer Request: Please add Roger and his family to the prayer list. Their 4-year-old daughter, Sophia, is undergoing a second round of treatment for brain cancer. Thanks! Barb

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

Prayer: Holy God, this is the day you have made; the day you have placed before us. It’s overwhelming to think of all that needs to be attended to today. Keep us in each moment. Guard us from worry and fretting. Keep us focused and centered in you and your care. 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!


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