11-21-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted November 20, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

What a Beautiful stretch of river we were on....

What a beautiful stretch of the San Juan river

Friday, Nov. 21

Psalm 103

For me, part of my love of fishing is the taking of all the beauty around us. I am reminded of the praise song lyrics, “Everything that has breath praise the Lord.” When this beauty surrounds me I imagine that all of God’s critters are praising God. Often, the water is so clear that we can see the reflections of the birds flying above the water. It’s quite beautiful because it looks as though both bird and fish are worshipping together.

There are times when we are fishing and the sound of construction and machinery abounds. A few years ago, when we fished the San Juan river in New Mexico, there was river restoration occurring on the San Juan River. There were mechanical stations scattered about and whatever was happening at those stations was causing the fishing water to be cloudier than usual. Cloudy water makes it more difficult for anglers to clearly see the fish they are trying to catch. I feel like I’m mostly doing blind fishing on a good day, so it was kind of the same for me.

From nature’s side of things and from the Nature Conservancy’s side of things, changes needed to happen to ensure the previous quality of habitat would re-emerge. There are lots of reasons why some of the huge fish no longer inhabit the waters. The San Juan once supported six-foot long, 100 pound Colorado pikeminnows and five-foot razorback suckers. These are quite unique native fish and there is a real effort to get the waters and habitat back to the way it used to be. Anytime there is an effort in favor of nature, I’m all for it. The mechanical noises we heard were all part of the restoration work that is being done to help things get better. It’s quite apparent that we have to do this caring for God’s creation so much better than we are doing.

103:1 O my soul, bless GOD. From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name! 2 O my soul, bless GOD, don’t forget a single blessing! 

3 He forgives your sins—every one. He heals your diseases—every one. 4 He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. 5 He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence. 

6 GOD makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet. 7 He showed Moses how he went about his work, opened up his plans to all Israel. 8 GOD is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. 9 He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. 10 He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. 11 As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. 12 And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. 13 As parents feel for their children, GOD feels for those who fear him. 14 He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud. 15 Men and women don’t live very long; like wildflowers they spring up and blossom, 16 But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly, leaving nothing to show they were here. 17 GOD’S love, though, is ever and always, eternally present to all who fear him, Making everything right for them and their children 18 as they follow his Covenant ways and remember to do whatever he said. 

19 GOD has set his throne in heaven; he rules over us all. He’s the King! 20 So bless GOD, you angels, ready and able to fly at his bidding, quick to hear and do what he says. 21 Bless GOD, all you armies of angels, alert to respond to whatever he wills. 22 Bless GOD, all creatures, wherever you are—everything and everyone made by GOD. And you, O my soul, bless GOD!  

In the first part of this psalm, David tells himself to praise the LORD. The Hebrew words mean ‘my soul, praise the LORD.’ Our soul is the part of us that lives after our bodies die. It is ‘everything that is in us’ that is to praise the LORD’s holy name.

When do you feel like you are most in a celebrative mood? When have you most thanked others for being the people they are to you? When do you feel like you most praise God? When have you most felt like you were in a place where you feel like you were most praising God? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you when people are most thankful for what God has done

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

Remember in Prayer:  Paige, Kelly, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Sue, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    O God, we thank you for this day. We thank you for loving us and standing by us. As we begin this day, we praise you for all that you are…..may we be your people who can bring you praise. 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!

11-20-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted November 19, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

children-never-want-to-hear-bad-newsThursday, Nov. 20

Psalm 94

There are times when I am very glad that I do not have cable or a satellite dish or any kind of television channel reception. Actually most of the channels I can pick up now are spanish speaking channels. I check the news on the internet, but there’s an extra dimension that is thrown in there when a person turns on the television and a reporter is live and reporting the news. Instead of reading words and getting my own meaning out of them, the newscasters report with urgency or excitement and that often sways the way the story goes. I also don’t like to see images that are disturbing and I think are being used for sensationalizing in a report. That’s the newscaster’s sales job. I don’t like that part.

Then again, I like to stay on top of things and know what’s going on in the world, but I like having the opportunity to only see as much as I need to see to understand what is going on. Picking up a paper or going to different websites seems to give me the information I need.

The news brings stories that catch the attention of the viewers. Often these stories evoke deep judgment and have been shared in a particular way to evoke such judgment. Lots of dark stuff to report in our times. There is at least as much opportunity to share very light and good things happening although people don’t find as much interest in that. Hmmmm

94:1 GOD, put an end to evil; avenging God, show your colors! 2 Judge of the earth, take your stand; throw the book at the arrogant. 

3 GOD, the wicked get away with murder—how long will you let this go on? 4 They brag and boast and crow about their crimes! 

5 They walk all over your people, GOD, exploit and abuse your precious people. 6 They take out anyone who gets in their way; if they can’t use them, they kill them. 7 They think, “GOD isn’t looking, Jacob’s God is out to lunch.” 

8 Well, think again, you idiots, fools—how long before you get smart? 9 Do you think Ear-Maker doesn’t hear, Eye-Shaper doesn’t see? 10 Do you think the trainer of nations doesn’t correct, the teacher of Adam doesn’t know? 11 GOD knows, all right— knows your stupidity, sees your shallowness. 

12 How blessed the man you train, GOD, the woman you instruct in your Word, 13 Providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil, while a jail is being built for the wicked. 14 GOD will never walk away from his people, never desert his precious people. 15 Rest assured that justice is on its way and every good heart put right. 

16 Who stood up for me against the wicked? Who took my side against evil workers? 17 If GOD hadn’t been there for me, I never would have made it. 18 The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,” your love, GOD, took hold and held me fast. 19 When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up. 

20 Can Misrule have anything in common with you? Can Troublemaker pretend to be on your side? 21 They ganged up on good people, plotted behind the backs of the innocent. 22 But GOD became my hideout, God was my high mountain retreat, 23 Then boomeranged their evil back on them: for their evil ways he wiped them out, our GOD cleaned them out for good.

The psalmist is complaining about the bad leaders and also complaining that God is doing nothing about it. The psalmist speaks to the bad leaders and tells them that God knows everything they are doing.

Then the psalmist talks about the good people, the ones who thought good things in their hearts. Lastly, the psalmist speaks about himself.

Who are some leaders you would describe as bad leaders? What are your expectations of the people who take leadership roles? What are your expectations of any people who have children in their care? In what ways would you say we have progressed in the area of reducing abuse? What are some questions you would like to ask those who have abused children? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you about one safe person they can speak to

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

Remember in Prayer:  Paige, Kelly, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Sue, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    O God, we thank you for the care and safety you provide. Help us to keep a watchful eye out for all the others around us. Please lead us to a better way. 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!

11-19-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted November 18, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Our fishing flies pretty much duplicate this real baetis

Our fishing flies pretty much duplicate this real baetis

Wednesday, Nov. 19

Psalm 69:16-36

John and I have fished with some very teeny tiny flies. The flies that we have on our lines are not real bugs and not flies. The fishing “flies” are made of synthetic materials and animal fur and threaded around a tiny hook so they will resemble what the bugs look like when they are near the water. Sometimes the flies look like the larva still in the water, sometimes they look like the emerging bug, and sometimes they look like the bug on top of the water. We sometimes use two flies on our line so one floats on top of the water and the other is tied on down from the top fly and it dangles just below the surface of the water. The fly that was on top of the water floating was called a cluster baetis because it resembled the baetis mating. Apparently the baetis like a group thing because you could see the clumps of them floating together down the river. I really wish I would have learned this stuff in science because bugs are a whole lot more interesting when they are connected to the broader life cycle. It’s also not as scary when you’re dealing with itty bitty bugs. Well, most of the time that’s true.

As I cast my line out on the water, I wonder about the thought process of the fish and bugs. Obviously, the fish are pretty much located in their favorite spots in the river. There’s a whole pecking order to it and that’s a whole other E-Votional in itself. The fish are swimming in the water and their fish eyes are looking up the river while they track the morsels of goodies that are floating their way. The fish are watching to see if some other fish takes that morsel before it floats on down to them and they want to make sure the bug is for real. If they’ve had a hook caught on their lip in the past, they don’t want that to happen again. Our fishing line has to float down the river in a perfect drift alongside other real bugs if the fish will show any interest at all. It all makes me wonder if the fish are praying for these morsels. Does Freddie Fish pray for the cluster of baetis? Does Freddie Fish wish for blindness to come over his fish friends so the morsel will come to him? I don’t know. After all, fish are pretty smart creatures.

69:16  Now answer me, GOD, because you love me; Let me see your great mercy full-face. 17 Don’t look the other way; your servant can’t take it. I’m in trouble. Answer right now! 18 Come close, God; get me out of here. Rescue me from this deathtrap. 19 You know how they kick me around— Pin on me the donkey’s ears, the dunce’s cap. 20 I’m broken by their taunts, Flat on my face, reduced to a nothing. I looked in vain for one friendly face. Not one. I couldn’t find one shoulder to cry on. 21 They put poison in my soup, Vinegar in my drink. 22 Let their supper be bait in a trap that snaps shut; May their best friends be trappers who’ll skin them alive. 23 Make them become blind as bats, Give them the shakes from morning to night. 

24 Let them know what you think of them, blast them with your red-hot anger. 25 Burn down their houses, Leave them desolate with nobody at home. 26 They gossiped about the one you disciplined, Made up stories about anyone wounded by God. 27 Pile on the guilt, Don’t let them off the hook. 28 Strike their names from the list of the living; No rock-carved honor for them among the righteous. 29 I’m hurt and in pain; Give me space for healing, and mountain air.

30 Let me shout God’s name with a praising song, Let me tell his greatness in a prayer of thanks. 31 For GOD, this is better than oxen on the altar, Far better than blue-ribbon bulls. 32 The poor in spirit see and are glad— Oh, you God-seekers, take heart! 33 For GOD listens to the poor, He doesn’t walk out on the wretched. 34 You heavens, praise him; praise him, earth; Also ocean and all things that swim in it. 35 For God is out to help Zion, Rebuilding the wrecked towns of Judah. Guess who will live there— The proud owners of the land? 36 No, the children of his servants will get it, The lovers of his name will live in it.

This is a bit complicated. The Psalmist is writing about his death and how he doesn’t want to end up in Hell. The Psalmist also talks about the people who have broken his heart. He wants those hurtful people to go to Hell. Actually, the Psalmist wants those people’s names to be erased forever from the book of life.

When have others hurt you and you have wished for something bad to happen to them in return? Have you ever prayed a prayer asking for forgiveness for someone who has wronged you? What happens to you when you carry around your anger for something someone has done to you? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you what forgiveness does

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

Remember in Prayer:  Paige, Kelly, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Sue, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

Prayer Request:  Prayers for Paige who is 19 years of age and was in a car accident Sunday evening.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    O God, we begin this day in your care. We thank you for the gift of life and for your beautiful creation. Help us to keep our focus on you and your desire for us in this day. 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!

 

 

11-18-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted November 17, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Camp-Fire-USA1_0Tuesday, Nov. 18

Psalm 38

Many years ago, I shared leadership of a pre-Blue Bird group. I think they were called Sparks at that point. The previous leader was returning to the work force and needed to hand over the leadership to someone else. The woman’s sister said that she would be a leader as long as there was someone else to share in the leadership. That’s how I came into the picture. I was one of the mothers of a daughter who would be in that group.

The other woman had a bit of an edge to her that I think the girls sensed quite early on. She was particularly hard on her daughter, but also wanted her daughter to be the center of attention in the group. She would ask the group of girls what they wanted to do and then she’d choose whatever her daughter said she wanted to do.

One day I was out in the woman’s backyard with the girls and the other woman wasn’t coming out of the house. I figured that she got an important phone call so I just continued on keeping the girls busy in playing games. When I looked at my watch and saw that it was time for our closing circle, I still couldn’t find the other woman. We went around to the front of the house and had our closing circle and the parents were lined up in their cars ready to collect their daughters.

After everyone was gone, the other woman came out the front door and I told her I was wondering where she had been. She royally chewed me out. When her first words were, “The girls don’t like me, they just like you,” I was so confused. I was trying to figure out where she was coming up with this stuff. She said she couldn’t believe that I would just carry on with the girls without coming and looking for her. She said that she was fine in leading the girls until I came along. Thru her whole battery of accusations and the heightening volume of her voice, I was sure she was in the midst of some deeper emotional problems.

The next day I decided that I was in something that had too much drama for me so I resigned as leader. The woman then accused me of being a quitter. While I felt offended by the things she was saying, I was mostly filled with a sense of feeling deeply hurt. I couldn’t exactly sort out what I had done. I can write about the whole thing now in a few paragraphs, but at the time, it felt like it was all I could think about. It was as if I had a huge cloud of sadness about me and I couldn’t sort out why it was happening. I wish the person I am today could have spoken with the vulnerable me back then.

38:1 Take a deep breath, GOD; calm down— don’t be so hasty with your punishing rod. 

2 Your sharp-pointed arrows of rebuke draw blood; my backside smarts from your caning. 

3 I’ve lost twenty pounds in two months because of your accusation. My bones are brittle as dry sticks because of my sin. 4 I’m swamped by my bad behavior, collapsed under gunnysacks of guilt. 

5 The cuts in my flesh stink and grow maggots because I’ve lived so badly. 6 And now I’m flat on my face feeling sorry for myself morning to night. 7 All my insides are on fire, my body is a wreck. 8 I’m on my last legs; I’ve had it— my life is a vomit of groans. 

9 Lord, my longings are sitting in plain sight, my groans an old story to you. 10 My heart’s about to break; I’m a burned-out case. Cataracts blind me to God and good; 11 old friends avoid me like the plague. My cousins never visit, my neighbors stab me in the back. 12 My competitors blacken my name, devoutly they pray for my ruin. 13 But I’m deaf and mute to it all, ears shut, mouth shut. 14 I don’t hear a word they say, don’t speak a word in response. 15 What I do, GOD, is wait for you, wait for my Lord, my God—you will answer! 16 I wait and pray so they won’t laugh me off, won’t smugly strut off when I stumble. 

17 I’m on the edge of losing it— the pain in my gut keeps burning. 18 I’m ready to tell my story of failure, I’m no longer smug in my sin. 19 My enemies are alive and in action, a lynch mob after my neck. 20 I give out good and get back evil from God-haters who can’t stand a God-lover. 

21 Don’t dump me, GOD; my God, don’t stand me up. 22 Hurry and help me; I want some wide-open space in my life!

In this psalm, David tells us that his sin made God angry. David felt like he was drowning in sin like a person would drown in water. This sinfulness he was experiencing was like a heavy weight that he couldn’t get rid of.

When have you worried about something so much that it felt like a huge weight you were carrying around? When have you regretted something so much that it caused you great hardship? When a person tells you that they forgive you for something you have done, does that guarantee that you will no longer think about what you did? When you ask God for forgiveness, do you fell forgiven?  Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you what people do when they are sorry for something they have done wrong

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

Remember in Prayer:  Paige, Kelly, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Sue, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

Prayer Request:  Prayers for Paige who is 19 years of age and was in a car accident Sunday evening.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    O God, we love you and we give you thanks for this day. Thank you for loving us even though you know all of the things we have done wrong. Help us in this new day to do the things that bring you great delight. 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!

11-17-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted November 16, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

UnknownMonday, Nov. 17

Psalm 54

In the Acts of Prayer class I’m leading each Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening, we’re moving along in the book of Acts. Sloooowly.

The book of Acts has always been a great guide and reminder during the time of transition in the church. It takes us back to that early beginning of the church and how things were led so powerfully by the Holy Spirit. I just love the power and energy that was so apparent.

The disciples were very bold with the gift of the Spirit upon them. Some of the things they said out loud were pretty testy for the religious leaders of the time. They were boldly risking and seeming unafraid of what kind of persecution might some their way.

The disciples were very clear that any power that others believed that the disciples held was not their power at tall. They were one hundred percent sure that all of the power in the healing was not theirs but healing made possible thru the power of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were crystal clear in invoking the name of Jesus Christ in any healing they were called to do.

I just love how clear they were that it wasn’t their work, but very much God’s work.

54: 1 Save me, O God, by your name, and vindicate me by your might. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. 

3 For the insolent have risen against me, the ruthless seek my life; they do not set God before them.       Selah 

4 But surely, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. 5 He will repay my enemies for their evil. In your faithfulness, put an end to them. 

6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good. 

7 For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies. 

The important word in this psalm is “name.” Saul wanted to kill David and David was seeking God’s help. David is asking God to help because of all that God’s name means. Later he has received God’s help, so he praises God’s name.

When you think of the names of God (I Am, Yahweh, Jehovah, Adonai, etc.) do you sense a power in God’s names? Do you believe the name, “I Am,” has power in it? Do you believe the name “Jesus Christ” has power in it? Have you ever called upon God’s name for help? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you who is the most powerful one they can think of

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

Remember in Prayer:  Paige, Kelly, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Sue, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

Prayer Request:  Prayers for Paige who is 19 years of age and was in a car accident Sunday evening.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day. We know that we cry out to you when our world seems like it’s caving in on us. Help us to have eyes that are open to your presence around us this day. 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!

11-16-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted November 15, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

when-i-grow-upSunday, Nov. 16

Ezra 7:1-10

I believe that God has a plan and I believe that God weaves that plan into being. We hope that we know what God’s plan is, but we often do not. We have our own great plan of how things should go and we hope that God agrees with our plan.

There have been so many times when I thought I knew exactly what would work out best for me and that did not happen. I know that I’m supposed to follow God’s lead and not try to push the hand of God.

We go thru similar thought processes when we look toward our college options. Some look at the financial piece and figure out where they want to go given the financial information they have processed. Some will see where their friends are attending so they may decide to choose what their friends choose. Others will try a geographic area so they are close to this person or that opportunity.

I was led to my junior college experience because it fit my budget and I could get a general associates degree from an accredited junior college. It turned out that it was the best bang for my buck even though it was out of state and far away from family. I made it work and I’m sure I had some of the opportunities there because God had a hand in things.

In transitional church work, once the PNC is nearly formed or elected and out of the shoot and busy with their searching for a pastor work, people begin asking me where I’ll be going next. Some don’t realize that it’s not weeks, but months before their next pastor will be onboard. Wouldn’t that be a cool thing if I could respond to their questions by saying, “well, let me take a look at my calendar. Ah, in October 2017 and it says that I’ll be going to Wisconsin and then I’ll be heading to Texas in August of 2017.”

The fact is, I just don’t know what’s next for me and I sure don’t know where I’ll be headed. I do know that God makes things very clear when it is what God wants for me. How do I know this? Doors open or close with certainty. There is no need for me to get upset or worry because God has everything in God’s care. That is so cool.

I don’t need to know the where because I am ready to go wherever. I don’t need to know how because God has that already worked out. It is always interesting to see what next thing God is up to in my life.

7:1 After all this, Ezra. It was during the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia. Ezra was the son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah,  2 son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub,  3 son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth,  4 son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki,  5 son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the high priest. 

6  That’s Ezra. He arrived from Babylon, a scholar well-practiced in the Revelation of Moses that the GOD of Israel had given. Because GOD’S hand was on Ezra, the king gave him everything he asked for.  7 Some of the Israelites—priests, Levites, singers, temple security guards, and temple slaves—went with him to Jerusalem. It was in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. 

8  They arrived at Jerusalem in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king’s reign.  9 Ezra had scheduled their departure from Babylon on the first day of the first month; they arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month under the generous guidance of his God.  10 Ezra had committed himself to studying the Revelation of GOD, to living it, and to teaching Israel to live its truths and ways.

God had brought the Jews, back to Judah and they rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem. Now God chose Ezra to help in forming the people into a real nation that worshipped God. Ezra knew the law of God so he was the perfect teacher for the people. The king of Persia gave Ezra everything he asked for and God helped for things to fall in place.

Have you ever felt that you were to accept a particular job? What was it that gave you that feeling in your heart? Do you feel that God has desire for you and for your life? How are you most certain that it’s a God thing? What are you feeling that God desires for you to do for the next five years? How do you discern whether or not that is God’s desire or your own? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you what God wants them to be when they grow up

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

Remember in Prayer:  Kelly, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Sue, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    Holy God, you are so good and loving. We give you thanks for loving us and for having a plan for us. Help our hearts be confident that you have a plan for each of us. Give us this day our daily manna; the manna that will spoil if we try to save it for later. Just today’s portion, please. 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!

11-15-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted November 14, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

IMG_4507 - Version 2Saturday, Nov. 15

Nehemiah 13:4-22

I have to admit that I have not been a good keeper of the Sabbath. Taking Sabbath is different from living my day-to-day life. Sabbath is a time to quiet myself and just be reflective and to refocus on God. I’ve not kept Sabbath for some time.

God has given us the gift of Sabbath and also commands that we are keepers of the Sabbath. So, what does keeping the Sabbath mean?

To keep Sabbath means remembering the word, stop. It is so nice to stop the crazy hamster wheel of work long enough to step away from the constant motion and just say to myself, I don’t need to try to do all or be all. More often than not, I tend to stop one piece of work only to begin another piece of work. Sabbath means we just need to stop.

Even though it takes me a little bit, once I stop my regular routine, I look around and see beauty and my eyes are drawn to the little things that are amazing. Going to the water to fish takes me to a place of Sabbath.

As our First Presbyterian Church of Brandon readies itself for the Heifer Market we will be hosting this coming Wednesday night, I’m getting things ready for the booth where I will be helping. I probably don’t need to say that my booth is focused on fish and the way that we can buy shares of fish fingerlings and send them off to other countries and those fingerlings will grow and produce more fish. When the fish are caught, they will feed many.

When John and I fished in Arkansas in September, we visited the fish hatchery. It was lovely to see the little fingerlings and all the stages up to the time when they would be released into the streams. Actually there were some troughs filled with some majorly huge fish and they had a particular job to bring about more little fingerlings.

When the feeding truck went up and down the aisles at the hatchery, in the troughs ahead of and over from the truck, the fish would be jumping with excitement and eagerness to get the pellets that would be coming their way. They knew where their bread was buttered so to speak. So much those little fish learn and so much they have to re-learn when released into their new living environment.

It’s feeling like time to go stream fishing again, but that’s probably in 2015 before that’s going to happen. For now, it’s wonderful to be remembering the beauty we’ve been in, and are surrounded with in each day.

Thank you, God, for the gift of Sabbath. Sorry I forgot.

13:4 Some time before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of The Temple of God. He was close to Tobiah 5 and had made available to him a large storeroom that had been used to store Grain-Offerings, incense, worship vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil for the Levites, singers, and security guards, and the offerings for the priests. 

6 When this was going on I wasn’t there in Jerusalem; in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon, I had traveled back to the king. But later I asked for his permission to leave again.  7 I arrived in Jerusalem and learned of the wrong that Eliashib had done in turning over to him a room in the courts of The Temple of God.  8 I was angry, really angry, and threw everything in the room out into the street, all of Tobiah’s stuff.  9 Then I ordered that they ceremonially cleanse the room. Only then did I put back the worship vessels of The Temple of God, along with the Grain-Offerings and the incense. 

10   And then I learned that the Levites hadn’t been given their regular food allotments. So the Levites and singers who led the services of worship had all left and gone back to their farms.  11 I called the officials on the carpet, “Why has The Temple of God been abandoned?” I got everyone back again and put them back on their jobs 12 so that all Judah was again bringing in the tithe of grain, wine, and oil to the storerooms.  13 I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a Levite named Pedaiah in charge of the storerooms. I made Hanan son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah, their right-hand man. These men had a reputation for honesty and hard work. They were responsible for distributing the rations to their brothers. 

14  Remember me, O my God, for this. Don’t ever forget the devoted work I have done for The Temple of God and its worship. 

15   During those days, while back in Judah, I also noticed that people treaded wine presses, brought in sacks of grain, and loaded up their donkeys on the Sabbath. They brought wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of stuff to sell on the Sabbath. So I spoke up and warned them about selling food on that day.  16 Tyrians living there brought in fish and whatever else, selling it to Judeans—in Jerusalem, mind you!—on the Sabbath. 

17   I confronted the leaders of Judah: “What’s going on here? This evil! Profaning the Sabbath!  18 Isn’t this exactly what your ancestors did? And because of it didn’t God bring down on us and this city all this misery? And here you are adding to it—accumulating more wrath on Jerusalem by profaning the Sabbath.” 

19   As the gates of Jerusalem were darkened by the shadows of the approaching Sabbath, I ordered the doors shut and not to be opened until the Sabbath was over. I placed some of my servants at the gates to make sure that nothing to be sold would get in on the Sabbath day. 

20   Traders and dealers in various goods camped outside the gates once or twice.  21 But I took them to task. I said, “You have no business camping out here by the wall. If I find you here again, I’ll use force to drive you off.” 

 And that did it; they didn’t come back on the Sabbath. 

22   Then I directed the Levites to ceremonially cleanse themselves and take over as guards at the gates to keep the sanctity of the Sabbath day. Remember me also for this, my God. Treat me with mercy according to your great and steadfast love.

When Nehemiah returned to Judah, he discovered that some of the people were working on the Sabbath, the 7th day of the week. They were also buying and selling things on the Sabbath. God had ordered the people to rest on the 7th day and told them to allow their animals and their foreign servants as well. Nehemiah wanted Jerusalem to remain a holy city that pleased God. He prayed again and asked God to show God’s kindness.

When have you felt the most pressured to keep pushing on without taking a needed rest? What are the things that most keep you from resting? Do you ever find that you fill your down time with things that do not provide rest? If you just sat in a comfortable place in nature for an hour, and you didn’t have any electronic devices or books or anything other than nature, what are some of the things you believe you would think about?   Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you if people can rest while they are awake

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

Remember in Prayer:  Kelly, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Sue, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    O God, we begin this day in thanks for the many blessings you have placed in our lives. We thank you for the gift of rest and the command for rest. Why do we continue to believe that we know what is best for us? May rest be ours in this day and may we be keepers of the Sabbath. 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 827 other followers