4-25-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 24, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

sadgirl-with-momFriday, Apr. 25

1 Cor. 15:51-58

Trying to explain difficult things.

When there’s the death of a loved one, a neighbor, a teacher, or a friend, it’s difficult to answer the questions that children might ask. Children don’t have a long list of experiences in life to draw from when trying to think about such things. The words we might share with an adult at such a time is difficult enough. Those same words would make little or no sense to a child. Then again, when tragedy happens, do any of us have life experiences to draw from that might help us understand or get thru the difficult times?

There have been many times when I have felt like I didn’t have the words to help others thru difficult times. As I just wrote those words, I’m reminded how thankful I am that I don’t have the full gamut of experiences from which to draw. That would be too much for any one person. I’m also reminded that I don’t have, and I dont have to have all the answers.

When a child asks why a pet has died or whether or not the dead pet will wake up, we look for words to explain what has happened. We know that the child might know about a person moving away and maybe there would be a visit with that person in the future. We also know that death is not like that. We know that when we say that the animal or person is now with God in heaven, the child may ask where heaven is as if it were a place they could go to or visit on vacation. As little Hailee (maybe two or three years of age at the time) said after the second or third person died in her little world, “Why does God get all the good ones?”

My field education in ministry taught me that we don’t know all the answers. To believe we do have all the answers is just plain foolish.

God does give us experiences that help us gain glimpses into a bigger picture. We explain things to the best of our ability. It’s okay to not know answers to every single thing in life. It’s okay to just say, “I don’t know, but I do know that we I just place this in God’s care.”

15:51   But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed.  52 You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. 53 In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal.  54 Then the saying will come true: Death swallowed by triumphant Life!

55 Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?

56 It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. 57 But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!

58 With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.

Paul is trying to explain what happens at the resurrection. The main question is, “How are the dead raised?” Paul is trying to answer this question in the text we have today.

Paul says that the new body we will have is different from the physical kind of body we have on earth. The new body will be a spiritual body and will be eternal.

When has a child asked you a question that made you stop and think about the way you would answer? Why did you take the time to think about what you were going to say? Did you ever have someone ask you how you knew you were in love? What questions do you still have about heaven and how we will be after death?   Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you what things help them feel at home

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

Remember in Prayer: Frank, 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 so much for your love. We thank you for your provision. We thank you for the gift of eternal life. Help us to hand over those things to you that are too difficult for us to understand. 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!

4-24-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 23, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

UnknownThursday, Apr. 24

Matthew 28:16-20

I heard a story about a church in Atlanta. A man noticed in the Yellow Pages, under the listing of restaurants, an entry for a place called “Church of God Grill.” The peculiar name aroused his curiosity and he dialed the number. A man answered with a cheery, “Hello! Church of God Grill!” He asked how the restaurant had been given such an unusual name, and the man at the other end said: “Well, we had a little mission down here, and we started selling chicken dinners after church on Sunday to help pay the bills. Well, people liked the chicken, and we did such a good business, that eventually we cut back on the church service. After a while we just closed down the church altogether and kept on serving the chicken dinners. We kept the name we started with, and that’s Church of God Grill.”

I commend this church for shutting its doors and firmly grounding itself in the mission that seemed to speak to them. Clearly the group decided that its gifting was in cooking chickens and raising money and making a profit. For all I know they may have baptized the chickens before they went on to serve. What I like about their decision to close the church is that they didn’t try to make the chicken selling the mission of the church. While churches get invested in oh so many mission projects, there is often no attention given to whether or not those missions are what the church set out to do in the first place. I can’t stress enough the need for a mission statement.

I would venture to say that there are many churches that have never actually take the time to think about their mission statement. So many are quite content with just getting a catchy theme for a year. Without a mission in sight, there is no way of evaluating whether or not the church is attaining what they set out to do. However, if the church sets out to do nothing in particular, they could feel very happy that they had attained something.

Think about your own life; your own mission, that is, if you have a mission. Maybe you’ve never thought about your mission in life. Maybe the having and living into a mission is just too daunting a task to think about. Maybe you believe that missions are for companies and organizations. Maybe it’s just a lot easier to not have a mission. Maybe, for some, it’s just enough of a mission to get thru each day.

Look at verses 19-20 and make a list of some churches you believe are attaining the mission that Jesus commanded. 

28:16   Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion.  17 The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.

18   Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you:  19 Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  20 Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

Jesus’ instructions were very clear. His disciples had to go to all nations so that all people could hear the gospel. Jesus trained his disciples for this specific task. In the book of Acts, we hear about the first Christians who were baptizing people. The disciples needed to teach new Christians how to live their life as followers of Christ’s ways. They had to think about their actions. And Jesus knew that the disciples would be hated for their actions and that’s why he said that he would be with them always.

Have you written your own personal mission statement? If you have, do you believe you are attaining your mission? If you look at the command that Jesus gave in verses 19-20, do you believe that you are doing what Jesus commanded?  Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you what responsibilities they have as a member of their family

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

Remember in Prayer: Frank, 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 Frank who just found out that he has hairy cell leukemia. Prayers of encouragement, confidence, and strength that he can kick this in the butt.  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:    O God, how beautiful a gift you have given us in the gift of this day. May our conversations today be a place where we can share your love 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!

4-23-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 22, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

halling-school-playgroundWednesday, Apr. 23

Matthew 28:1-16

There were some young boys having a bit of a skirmish of sorts on the playground the other day and it took me a few minutes to figure out what they were actually trying to do. There were four boys who looked like they were probably in 1st or 2nd grade and they were all lining up and then reconfiguring who was in front. The scene began to become clearer as one would be in the front of the line and then dash behind one of the other three. Finally, the boy at the front of the line, the one who was being pushed along by the others in the foursome, went over to one of the adults. The other three boys were clustered in a little group directly behind the lead boy, but they were acting like no one was supposed to be noticing their presence.

The foursome of boys was trying to diplomatically find a spokesperson in their midst. When an obvious leader among the four did not step up, they tried to physically deal with the process of elimination. With the shoving and shuffling between them, I could see that they were having a bit of a disagreement on who would be the chosen one to address the adult. The lead boy was looking down as he was saying something and the adult must have asked him to lift his face up so she could understand what he was saying. After speaking to her, the boy, and his other three friends were pointing over to a couple of other young boys on the playground. The adult gave some dismissive waves of her hands to send the foursome back to their play.

Then the adult blew her whistle and signaled for the two boys, the two boys who had been singled out, to come over to her. The boys who had been called out made their way to the adult with their heads down. Whatever the two boys had done, there was no doubt about whether or not they were guilty. The adult simply pointed for them to go and sit over at the side of the building.

28:1 After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. 2 Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. 3 Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. 4 The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move.

5 The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. 6 He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.

7 “Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.”

8 The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. 9 Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. “Good morning!” he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Jesus said, “You’re holding on to me for dear life! Don’t be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I’ll meet them there.”

11 Meanwhile, the guards had scattered, but a few of them went into the city and told the high priests everything that had happened. 12 They called a meeting of the religious leaders and came up with a plan: They took a large sum of money and gave it to the soldiers, 13 bribing them to say, “His disciples came in the night and stole the body while we were sleeping.” 14 They assured them, “If the governor hears about your sleeping on duty, we will make sure you don’t get blamed.” 15 The soldiers took the bribe and did as they were told. That story, cooked up in the Jewish High Council, is still going around.

16 Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion.

The angel knew why the women were there. The women had to tell the disciples that Jesus would “go ahead of” them to Galilee district. And Jesus goes ahead of his people in every situation and he guides and comforts them.

Would you say that you are more a follower than a leader? If you are the leader type, when would you rather be a follower? If you are the follower type, when would you like to lead others?  Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you whether they like to lead or follow others

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 day. Help us to be led by you and follow your ways. Order our steps, 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!

4-22-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 21, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

 

No, I did not take this picture. I would never get this close to a bug.

No, I did not take this picture. I would never get this close to a bug.

Tuesday, Apr. 22

1Cor. 15:12-28

I will share a story I used in worship on Easter morning 2014.

My Easter morning began about 3 a.m. as I readied myself for three services. I began with taking another look at the scripture for Easter morning. Is this really necessary for a pastor who has been around for how many Easter services? You betcha! Every single time, I see something new or thought something was there that must be residing in another gospels’ account of Easter. I also consumed a few cups of coffee to get my brain and body to receive the cue to wake up. I needed to be present for the Easter sunrise service that would begin at 6:30 a.m.

After my second cup of coffee and my clothes all picked out for the day, I went into the bathroom to get my shower started. As I passed by the sink, I could see that there was an unexpected guest residing belly up by the drain in the sink. Saying that I threw myself up against the wall would be too strong, but I did step back a bit hoping I didn’t see what I thought I was seeing. As I peeked over the sink for the second time, I could see that a bug was most definitely dead in my sink. A big Florida bug. Trying to get over the shock of what I saw,….and yes, it’s a big deal to me to see a bug,…..I decided to take my shower and deal with the bug sometime after I moved thru Easter day. While I was in the shower I decided to go to the other bathroom when I was done with the shower to I could dry my hair and not have to have that dead bug body picture in my head.

After the shower I moved back toward the sink and there was no bug. Oddly, in my head at that moment, I worked out that a dead bug that is visible is better than an unaccounted for dead bug that was previously seen. Suffice it to say, this was a deeply unsettling feeling within me because everything I would pick up on the counter would had the potential of being a hiding place for said previously dead bug. What on earth was God trying to convey to me with this mysterious chain of events on Easter morning? There were no bug cloths strewn about. There were no angels to impart their questions or comments.

15:12 Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection?  13 If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ.  14 And face it—if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors.  15 Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.

16   If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead.  17 And if Christ wasn’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever.  18 It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves.  19 If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot.  20 But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries. 

21   There is a nice symmetry in this: Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man.  22 Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.  23 But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with him at his Coming,  24 the grand consummation when, after crushing the opposition, he hands over his kingdom to God the Father.  25 He won’t let up until the last enemy is down—  26 and the very last enemy is death!  27 As the psalmist said, “He laid them low, one and all; he walked all over them.” When Scripture says that “he walked all over them,” it’s obvious that he couldn’t at the same time be walked on.  28 When everything and everyone is finally under God’s rule, the Son will step down, taking his place with everyone else, showing that God’s rule is absolutely comprehensive—a perfect ending! 

The fact that some of the Corinthian church leaders were already denying the Resurrection is an indication of the extent to which false teaching of the very worst kind had crept into the church. Paul insists, in the strongest language of which he is capable, that apart from the hope of resurrection there is no excuse for the existence of Christianity.

What are some of the things you do not understand about resurrection? When has someone else’s disbelief in something swayed your belief? How do you discern what is truth to you and what is not? What things go into making something believable to you? What is your hope in resurrection?   Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you what makes a birthday candle relight.

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, what a deep blessing you have given us in this day. We thank you for the gift you have given us in blessing others with the simple gift of love. Help us to be watchful for those who are needing a little extra love today. 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!

 

4-21-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 20, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

WC 138Monday, Apr. 21

Mark 16:1-8

When my grandmother died back in the mid 90′s, my brothers and cousins and I put a call into the cemetery to make arrangements for her burial. We already knew that the remains of my grandfather and my mother were buried in two of the six family plots. When the cemetery folks asked which plot we wanted for my grandmother, we suggested right next to my grandfather would be the most fitting. I don’t know if it was the Grounds Supervisor or the Family Service manager that we spoke with, but he said that we had a bit of a problem. He said that they didn’t know exactly where the remains of my grandfather were buried. The whole thing made me uneasy because my grandfather died when I was just a week old. That means that exact burial information was unknown for decades.

Fortunately, when we spoke to the cemetery folks, we were seated at the attorney’s office and that helped things get moving. A little later  a person called us back at the attorney’s office and said that he knew the whereabouts of my grandfather. I figured my grandfather was well into heaven by that time so I was pretty sure I knew that information as well. The man meant to say he knew the whereabouts of my grandfather’s remains. It almost felt like one of the those calls that would demand money because he had information and we did not.

We drove over to the cemetery for a face to face with the informant. Apparently this man was in his teens when my grandfather was buried. My grandfather’s remains were interned under the sundial memorial stone that was erected. Because the weather had been so cold that December when he died, my grandfather’s remains were not buried right away. The groundkeeper and his father buried them on a cold day when the ground was more thawed. He said that it was my grandparent’s wishes that my grandmother’s remains be buried under the sundial as well. I guess we wouldn’t have had the rest of the story if this situation hadn’t happened. I really saw this as a funny occurrence somewhat after the fact but when it was happening, it was unsettling.

16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could embalm him. 2 Very early on Sunday morning, as the sun rose, they went to the tomb. 3 They worried out loud to each other, “Who will roll back the stone from the tomb for us?”

4 Then they looked up, saw that it had been rolled back—it was a huge stone—and walked right in. 11 They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished.

6 He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. 7 Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.”

8 They got out as fast as they could, beside themselves, their heads swimming. Stunned, they said nothing to anyone.

This is a rather sudden end to Mark’s Gospel. Mark might have written about how Jesus kept his promise to meet his disciples in Galilee. So later writers added other ends for the book. There is a short one, and a longer one. There are a variety of speculations on why this happened. It is possible, that Mark intended to end right where he did. All through his Gospel, he had described how Jesus astonished people by his words and actions. Jesus’ disciples, too, had a feeling of fear. The resurrection was the most astonishing event of all. Mark perhaps thought that it was not important to write about Jesus’ appearances to his disciples. He had given the most important fact, ‘He has risen.’ The fear of the women was a suitable reaction to such an astonishing act of God.

Does it mean anything to you that the women who went to the tomb found the same thing that we find? If you had been in the women’s sandals/shoes, what concerns might you have had if your buried loved one was no longer where you had buried them?

If you had left that burial site, who would be some of the first people you would contact? How do you work your way back into the real world after a difficult event has occurred that has turned your life upside down? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you what they feel like when they go back to school after they’ve been sick

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 to you in thanks for this new week and this new day. We come to you are we are once again faced with the realities of this day. Help us to remember what Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection means to us in the way we live in our day-to-day world. 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!

4-20-14 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!


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