8-31-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 30, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

strange-things-seen-on-the-road-33Monday, Aug. 31

Mark 14:53-65

Have you ever been driving and you could see that the person in front of you was not really driving responsibly? Maybe you were seeing the other driver letting their car wander over into other lanes. Maybe you’ve witnessed the other driver darting in and out of lanes without using signals. Maybe their vehicle looks like it’s going to fall apart.

When I’m out there in the driving world and I’m watching a driver with some strange driving maneuvers, I try to decide whether I need to stay behind the person or forge ahead of the person. Obviously, it the other person is speeding, I’m not going to try to speed past them. That decision may take a few more minutes as I may still be in the concerned mode and wonder if I’ll need to call for emergency help.

All sorts of things go through my mind. I wonder whether or not it might be a good time to stop for a bite to eat or use a rest stop. That would give me a bit of a break and maybe that’s as good a time as any to get my attention off of something that’s frustrating me. Taking a break might also mean that I have to wait for the next exit and that might slow the whole trip down.I have to weigh out the pros and cons.

There have a been a few times when I’ve waited things out a few moments and the driver ahead of me seems to get things under control. I don’t know if it’s a case of their ending a conversation on the phone or perhaps they’ve finished texting or any number of things. What seems to be the best practice is following at a safe distance behind and wait it out just a bit.

53-54They led Jesus to the Chief Priest, where the high priests, religious leaders, and scholars had gathered together. Peter followed at a safe distance until they got to the Chief Priest’s courtyard, where he mingled with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.

The author of Mark uses words that describe Peter as being tentative and distant. As is the case with all scripture, it is important to ask why that particular thing was included. I’m guessing that Peter’s hesitation needed to be brought out.

When have you been most aware that you are keeping your distance from someone or something? In a church, why would people choose to maintain a distance between their attending the church and becoming involved in the church? What is a safe distance in a church? 15-20 pews?

In Conversation with a child: Ask a child to tell you what they have learned about telling the difference between a stranger and someone they can trust

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

Remember in Prayer: Jane, Peace & Comfort for the families of Jim & Linda, Churches in transition, Sue’s family & friends, Amy, Carla’s mom & family, Phyllis & family, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, Patrick, Roger, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer: Our day begins with you, O God. We thank you for the abundance of your blessings. We thank you also for technological solutions to our techno problems. Continue to bless this ministry. May our lives be strengthened to do the ministry you call us to each day. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

8-30-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 29, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Sunday, Aug. 30

1Timothy 4:7b-16

Training. There are some parents I know who are currently in the midst of potty training their children. Throughout the generations that has not always been an easy task to accomplish. Some achieve the goal sooner than later. It’s a process. Other parents are busily training their children and themselves in the new school year schedule as it affects everyone’s schedule. Some folks are part of companies where periodic training is required so employees will be trained in the newest and latest thing that will ultimately affect how they do their job. Some will train for mini-marathons, marathons, triathlons, and swimming and hiking and on and on. Training happens. Training assumes that you arrive at the destination you set out to achieve.

I don’t think training comes naturally for any of us. We somehow want to believe that we know everything we need to know at any particular time. Our belief may be that the goals we set out to accomplish won’t take that much effort.

Training is something we tend to do on a short term basis. When training wheels are added to the bicycle, it’s assumed that we’ll get past the training point. The training wheels will be removed and we’ll be good to go. Ongoing training, the day in and day out kind of training is probably something that is pretty foreign to most of us.

11-14Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.

The author of Timothy uses words to remind the readers that we are to exercise and train daily in God; what we might call spiritual workouts. Timothy gives some examples of how this is worked out in our daily living.

What are the things you know about in life that you have used in training others? What things do you not feel qualified to teach others? If someone called you at the last minute to lead a group in their absence, would you be able to accommodate their request? How likely would it be for you to share your spiritual beliefs and thoughts about God with others? How do you think others learn how to share what they believe?

In Conversation with a child: Ask a child to tell you why people need training wheels on bikes

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

Remember in Prayer: Jane, Peace & Comfort for the families of Jim & Linda, Churches in transition, Sue’s family & friends, Amy, Carla’s mom & family, Phyllis & family, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, Patrick, Roger, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer: You give us this day and the thank you for that, O God. Help us in this day to not be timid but confident when it comes to you. Guide us to share our faith with others. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

8-29-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 28, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Saturday, Aug. 29

Mark 14:43-52

Back in my junior high years, a new girl moved in the neighborhood. The word around the neighborhood was that there was a daughter the same age as myself. Most of the other kids in the neighborhood were guys so it was a bit of exciting news for me. I wondered a lot of things about her before she even moved into her house. I wondered if she would be my friend? Would she have a sense of humor? Would she like the same things I liked?

After the family moved in, my mother and I went over to meet the new family in the neighborhood. I think I even baked cookies because it was a neighborly thing to do. The girl’s mother was a bit stand-offish and her daughter was pretty busy with her own stuff and really didn’t seem to have time for me. She did the obligatory “hello” thing, but there wasn’t any sincerity in it. She was courteous, but distant. Not scared or shy, just distant. In those few short moments, I knew the answers to my questions.

I don’t know what happened when she saw me with my mother. I don’t know if we looked different or talked different or what. All I know is that she wasn’t interested in being in a friendship with me.

We hadn’t had a conversation and we hadn’t spent any more than a few seconds together, but she wasn’t going to have any part of me. I wondered. Was it because I lived across the street? Maybe there was something about living on our side of the street. I obviously picked up on the idea that I wasn’t good enough. It’s those moments when you feel like someone has scanned your whole being and I didn’t look whatever way she needed me to look to be her friend. I still don’t know what that was all about. I didn’t even have time to tell a good joke.

A few months later, when I was walking down our sidewalk, I could see that the new girl was walking with another classmate of ours. I could see that she was pointing over at me and then the two had secret conversations and away they went.

Sometimes kids can be so cruel. Sometimes adults can be cruel. How can we have such horrible thoughts about others who are different from us? And then, how can we be hurtful to others because they are different from us?

Mark 14:43  No sooner were the words out of his mouth when Judas, the one out of the Twelve, showed up, and with him a gang of ruffians, sent by the high priests, religion scholars, and leaders, brandishing swords and clubs. The betrayer had worked out a signal with them: “The one I kiss, that’s the one—seize him. Make sure he doesn’t get away.”

Jesus knew what things were going on around the table in the hearts of his disciples. Jesus knew what the disciples were thinking and specifically, what Judas was planning. Of course Judas denied what he was up to, but hurried off to complete his plan.

When has someone done something hurtful to you and they didn’t even know you? Was there anything anyone could have said to the other person to change their mind? When have you known that someone was going to go do something that would hurt you?

In Conversation with a child: Ask a child to tell you when they have been hurt by a friend

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

Remember in Prayer: Jane, Peace & Comfort for the families of Jim & Linda, Churches in transition, Sue’s family & friends, Amy, Carla’s mom & family, Phyllis & family, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, Patrick, Roger, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer: Our day begins in you, O God. We give you thanks for the gift of a variety of people. Help us in our relationships. Help us to act in ways that bring out the best in each other. May your ways be our walked out in our lives today. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

8-28-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 27, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

296922-friendsFriday, Aug. 28

Mark 14:27-42

I love gathering with friends. In addition to gathering with friends I love sharing a meal with them. There’s something very very good about breaking bread together. But, it’s not all about the food although many of our shared meals have been very nice, and tasty, and great backdrops to our conversations.

Most of all, I enjoy the time my friends and I spend in sharing the stories from our lives. It’s that catching up with each other part that I love. To me, that story sharing is one of the most wonderful things in life. How often we forget the importance of taking the time to nurture our relationships. It seems so simple yet how easy it is for us to forget that it takes times of sharing and growing together and you can’t really do the togetherness without, well, the togetherness. I’m saying this as the “friend who moves all over the country serving God’s people” one in the circle of friends.

This year I met with some friends for a bit of time and next year some other friends and I will meet together and catch up. It’s never often enough or long enough. I have to say that it is absolutely wonderful to be with each other and find out what has been going on in each others’ lives.

When the events in my daily life seem really challenging, I remember the times with my friends and how they are there for me and I’m there for them and that’s a wonderful grounding point for me.

Mark 14:27 Jesus told them, “You’re all going to feel that your world is falling apart and that it’s my fault. There’s a Scripture that says,
I will strike the shepherd; The sheep will go helter-skelter.”But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you, leading the way to Galilee.”

The good fellowship in the Upper Room made the twelve forget the danger outside. Jesus was giving them some warning of things to come and knew that they would face difficult times after Jesus was gone from their midst.

What are some of the ways that you maintain your relationship with your friends? When have you felt that your being in their presence really removed much of the fear in your heart? If a child asked you why it is good to have and keep friends, what things would you be sure to tell them? How would you describe the kinds of friends you attract? How would your friends describe you?

In Conversation with a child: Ask a child to tell you about their best friend

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

Remember in Prayer: Jane, Peace & Comfort for the families of Jim & Linda, Churches in transition, Sue’s family & friends, Amy, Carla’s mom & family, Phyllis & family, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, Patrick, Roger, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer: We thank you, O God, for the gift of friends. We thank you that Jesus had friends who ate together and shared. Help us to care for our friends. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

8-27-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 26, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

communionThursday, Aug. 27

Mark 14:12-26

Sneaking communion. It happened. Yes, I did sneak communion, not just once, but on multiple occasions.

Because my brother is two years older than myself, he blazed the trail ahead of me. Randy went thru Confirmation and that gave me an insight of what things I might expect a few years later. What didn’t set well with me was the fact that Randy got to have communion and I did not. I don’t even know if Randy was interested in having communion then. I didn’t really understand what communion was but the idea of him being able to do something that I could not do was more than I could accept. I thought maybe that communion might taste grownup and yucky, but I didn’t want to be left out.

The rule at the church back then was that you had to go thru Confirmation before you could partake in communion. Members only. Although I know that some churches still serve communion to members only, most churches have an open invitation to the table for any age to partake.

We were dropped off at church so there were times when we would go into the worship service unattended by parental supervision. I’m not sure why we were in worship because the hour long service was pretty boring. While my brother sat with his friends and I sat with mine, we usually all sat up in the balcony where we could maybe fade into the woodwork. Maybe that’s where all of the unattended young people sat. Our joking or snickering during the service did not help conceal our presence.

The idea came to me that I should try communion to see if it made any difference. I thought maybe partaking of communion would make me shape up or see a glowing light or instantly feel religious. I observed how others took communion and I followed. And I waited. And I waited. And I didn’t feel different. I tried it again, on a few more occasions, but I just didn’t feel like there was a discernible difference. What did happen within me was this deep sense that I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to do.

I didn’t have communion again until I was confirmed. Confirmation didn’t bring a change in the taste of communion. communion did take on a whole new meaning for me after I attended a Sr. High retreat and gave my heart to Jesus.

He directed two of his disciples, “Go into the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him. Ask the owner of whichever house he enters, ‘The Teacher wants to know, Where is my guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare for us there.”

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

It really meant a lot to Jesus to spend hours with his disciples. He loved them and their presence and growth encouraged him. Jesus took the cup and the bread of the Passover and transformed them into memorials/symbols of his own blood and body.

When you have received communion, what sort of questions go thru your mind? What things confuse you? When did you first receive communion? Before that time, what things did you wonder about communion? If a child asked you about communion, would you want to send them to a religious type person for answers because you aren’t really sure how to answer? If no religious person was around, what is the simplest way you might explain communion to a child?

In Conversation with a child: Ask a child to tell you about a party they’ve been invited to attend

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

Remember in Prayer: Jane, Peace & Comfort for the families of Jim & Linda, Churches in transition, Sue’s family & friends, Amy, Carla’s mom & family, Phyllis & family, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, Patrick, Roger, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer: O God, we come before you today in thanks for the multitude of blessings you have given us. We thank you for your son, Jesus Christ. You know the concerns of this E-Votional group and I would ask that you attend to each as they have need.  Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

8-26-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 25, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Sadie IntentWednesday, Aug. 26

Mark 14:1-11

Dogs can be so intent when it comes to noticing the moves of squirrels or cats or any little creatures. It’s as if all of their focus is drawn toward the future of a tiny creature that might cross their path. They anticipate. Their legs and whiskers quiver in anticipation. They can feel the potential, or see the potential, and it’s oh so very close. And maybe, just maybe, there will be a moment when the tiny creature doesn’t notice the larger canine presence. Maybe there will be a mistake made. Maybe there will be a chase that follows. Maybe there will be a capture. Maybe.

People can also become so very focused as well. Maybe the focus is on another person. Maybe the focus is on what the other is doing or not doing. Maybe the focus is on a past event or an impending problem.

Have you ever gotten so fixated on something that you could not seem to move past it? The lost job? The abrupt dissolution of a relationship? The hateful thing someone else has done against you or against one you love?

I’ve known some people who have acted as if they have dedicated way too many hours to obsessing over something or someone. It’s as if their whole goal is to bring another person down and they won’t be happy until the person is totally reduced to a blob.

You know, I understand hurt and I understand misunderstandings and things that were done in haste and without thought and without carefully crafted, loving words being spoken. I know that I’ve been in places in my life when I’ve focused on the harsh and inconsiderate actions of another person. Yes, I’ve been hurt and yes, I’ve been offended. I also know that it is much easier to join the camp of hate than join the camp of reconciliation and healing and love.

My fixating on the wrongs of others has never brought me a moment of relief or satisfaction. Matter of fact, my fixation often holds me hostage. I hold myself hostage. Surely, this is not what God intended. I believe that God gifts us with moments of life to live and we’re called to live in each moment we’re given.

I don’t want to be fixated on something that robs me of living life.

1-2   In only two days the eight-day Festival of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way they could seize Jesus by stealth and kill him. They agreed that it should not be done during Passover Week. “We don’t want the crowds up in arms,” they said.

We hear the words from Mark today that point to the conversations and thoughts of the high priests and scholars who were looking for a loophole; a way to catch Jesus and have him arrested and killed.

When have you been hurt by someone and have become fixated on what that other person did to you? What are some of the ways you found yourself being consumed with their wrongdoings? Do you still spend lots of time thinking about those past wrongdoings and how much you despise that person? If it were possible for you to fixate on the good in that other person, what outcome do you suppose it would have on you and the break in your relationship? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child: Ask a child to tell you what has to happen to forgive someone for something they have done

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

Remember in Prayer: Jane, Peace & Comfort for the families of Jim & Linda, Churches in transition, Sue’s family & friends, Amy, Carla’s mom & family, Phyllis & family, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, Patrick, Roger, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer: Loving God, we know that your way is right and that your love for us is unconditional. We are glad that you don’t fixate on our wrongs but love us back to you. Help us to walk in your ways this day. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

8-25-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 24, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

1562091_stock-photo-prepare---word-in-letterpress-typeTuesday, Aug. 25

Mark 13:32-33

The arrival of a baby. The day you land a new job. An acceptance letter to college. The call to alert you if the offer you made on the house will be accepted. We don’t know the exact time when these things will happen. We want to know, but we do not know. We want to be prepared for whatever it is and we want to know, NOW!

We all want to be people who are in the know. When we don’t know the exact time of something, we get anxious. We may get pushy. We don’t want to be late or totally miss something that is important to us.

Think of all of those young people who are just beginning classes for the year. Most of them will have a calendar, print or electronic, to help them remember where they are supposed to be and what books they will need and when their next class begin. But what if we forgot our calendar on a day when we really really really needed it? And what if, God forbid, we forgot, or lost, our smart phone? How would we prepare for our next thing if we didn’t know when our next thing was to happen?

“But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father. So keep a sharp lookout, for you don’t know the timetable.

In the text today, the author of Mark is talking about the various signs that will be signaling Christ’s return to earth. There are occasions today when people wonder whether or not the end time is near. When it comes to Christ’s return, most believe it will be a well publicized event with enough time to get prepared.

When it comes to the timing of a future event, for what event would you most want to be prepared? In what way are you worried about not being prepared? What is the best way you have found you can prepare yourself for something? If you found out that Christ would be coming back to earth tomorrow morning, how might you best prepare yourself today?

In Conversation with a child: Ask a child to tell you what things they need to do to get ready to go to school

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

Remember in Prayer: Jane, Peace & Comfort for the families of Jim & Linda, Churches in transition, Sue’s family & friends, Amy, Carla’s mom & family, Phyllis & family, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, Patrick, Roger, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer: O God, we give you thanks this day. We would hope that we could know all things when it comes to our lives. We don’t like being out of the know. Help our hearts to turn to you fully and know that you will lead us through no matter what comes our way. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!


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