12-4-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted December 3, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

radiochristmas christmas music on the radio after thanksgiving holiday music xmasSunday, Dec. 4

Isaiah 13:1-13

The other day I was listening to Christmas music on the radio. There was a mix of religious Christmas songs and carols and holiday music that is what we would call, more secular in nature. When Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer played, I was transported back to my childhood. I remembered the year when I had my ear right up against the wall in my bedroom so I could be the first to hear Santa’s sleigh land on our roof. I knew that the delivery of the presents would surely follow. I was hoping that Rudolph’s nose would have a very definite and loud sound so I wouldn’t miss it. As I look back, I never wondered how Santa was going to slide down the chimney into the fireplace that didn’t exist in our house.

I was jolted out of that childhood memory as the radio station then played Frosty the Snowman and that took me back to the magic of Christmas. As a child, there always seemed to be snow on Christmas day although, that may just be my selective memory at work. As the radio station moved into a commercial, I was reflecting on the hours I would spend on the living room floor looking at the lights on our Christmas tree.

I realize that, when I was a child, Christmas was all about Santa and the presents I would receive. It wasn’t until I was in high school that Christmas really became a time to celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ. How could I have lived all those years believing that Christmas was just a holiday to receive gifts?

13:1   The Message on Babylon. Isaiah son of Amoz saw it:  

2 “Run up a flag on an open hill. Yell loud. Get their attention. Wave them into formation. Direct them to the nerve center of power. 3 I’ve taken charge of my special forces, called up my crack troops. They’re bursting with pride and passion to carry out my angry judgment.”  

4 Thunder rolls off the mountains like a mob huge and noisy—Thunder of kingdoms in an uproar, nations assembling for war. GOD of-the-Angel-Armies is calling his army into battle formation. 

5     They come from far-off countries, they pour in across the horizon.

       It’s GOD on the move with the weapons of his wrath, ready to destroy the whole country.  

6     Wail! GOD’S Day of Judgment is near— an avalanche crashing down from the Strong God! 

7     Everyone paralyzed in the panic, hysterical

8     and unstrung, Doubled up in pain like a woman giving birth to a baby. Horrified—everyone they see is like a face out of a nightmare.  

9     “Watch now. GOD’S Judgment Day comes. Cruel it is, a day of wrath and anger,  a day to waste the earth and clean out all the sinners. 

10    The stars in the sky, the great parade of constellations, will be nothing but black holes. The sun will come up as a black disk, and the moon a blank nothing. 

11    I’ll put a full stop to the evil on earth, terminate the dark acts of the wicked. I’ll gag all braggarts and boasters—not a peep anymore from them— and trip strutting tyrants, leave them flat on their faces. 

12    Proud humanity will disappear from the earth. I’ll make mortals rarer than hens’ teeth. 

13    And yes, I’ll even make the sky shake, and the earth quake to its roots under the wrath of GOD of-the-Angel-Armies, the Judgment Day of his raging anger. 

In the defeat of Babylon, Isaiah saw a picture of the final “day of the Lord” when the world will taste the judgment of God. God is long suffering with sinners, but there comes a time when God’s judgment must fall. Isaiah’s message against Babylon was fulfilled, and the city and their empire are no more. Like Babylon in Isaiah’s day, the world today seems so successful and invincible; but one day, the whole system will fall.

When you think back upon your Christmas traditions, is it more about the secular or about Jesus? What are some of the traditions you remember from your childhood? What similarities are there between the secular Christmas and the Jesus Christmas? Do you think that our society will one day go for only the secular Christmas? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you the Christmas story they know

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country:

Remember in Prayer:    Terecia, Jim, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of:  Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:    We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day. Thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus Christ. While we are so moved by the material things of this world, we ask that you be in our hearts and help us stay connected with this awesome gift you have given us. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia 

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

12-3-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted December 2, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Monsters-Inc-Disney-ParksSaturday, Dec. 3

Isaiah 8:1-15

One activity that would be a gift to yourself in this season would be to begin writing a list of your friends on a piece of paper. Next to the person’s name, you could write some things that come to mind when you think of that person. For instance; you may have a friend who seems to always be the person who is comforting or supporting others with their kind words and/or kind actions. Another person may send cards for every occasion. Maybe there is a friend who encourages others.

When we take a look at our friends, while reflecting upon their gifting in life, we can definitely see how our lives, and the lives of others, have been nurtured and strengthened by by being there in each others’ lives.

We may also note that a trait they share with us is a trait they share in many corners of their life. It may be that we see them as one filled with optimism. We may also see that they are the optimistic one in their family and optimistic in whatever group they are a part of in life. Maybe they are energetic in all that they take on in life. Maybe they are a wise person or a reflective person.

When you have listed words to describe each friend, you could send them a note of thanks for being that particular gift in your life. What I know for sure is that I have been deeply blessed with wonderful friends.

8:1   Then GOD told me, “Get a big sheet of paper and write in indelible ink, ‘This belongs to Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Spoil-Speeds-Plunder-Hurries).’” 

2   I got two honest men, Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah, to witness the document.  3 Then I went home to my wife, the prophetess. She conceived and gave birth to a son. 

 GOD told me, “Name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz.  4 Before that baby says ‘Daddy’ or ‘Mamma’ the king of Assyria will have plundered the wealth of Damascus and the riches of Samaria.”  

5     GOD spoke to me again, saying:  

6     “Because this people has turned its back on the gently flowing stream of Shiloah

       And gotten all excited over Rezin and the son of Remaliah, 

7     I’m stepping in and facing them with the wild floodwaters of the Euphrates,

       The king of Assyria and all his fanfare, a river in flood, bursting its banks, 

8     Pouring into Judah, sweeping everything before it, water up to your necks, A huge wingspan of a raging river, O Immanuel, spreading across your land.”  

9     But face the facts, all you oppressors, and then wring your hands. Listen, all of you, far and near. Prepare for the worst and wring your hands. Yes, prepare for the worst and wring your hands! 

10    Plan and plot all you want—nothing will come of it. All your talk is mere talk, empty words, because when all is said and done, the last word is Immanuel—God-With-Us.  

11   GOD spoke strongly to me, grabbed me with both hands and warned me not to go along with this people. He said:  

12    “Don’t be like this people, always afraid somebody is plotting against them. Don’t fear what they fear. Don’t take on their worries. 

13    If you’re going to worry, worry about The Holy. Fear GOD of-the-Angel-Armies. 

14    The Holy can be either a Hiding Place or a Boulder blocking your way, The Rock standing in the willful way of both houses of Israel, A barbed-wire Fence preventing trespass to the citizens of Jerusalem. 

15    Many of them are going to run into that Rock and get their bones broken, Get tangled up in that barbed wire and not get free of it.”

The name, Maher-shalal-hash-baz, means quick to plunder, swift to the spoil. That means that Syria and Israel will soon be destroyed. Isaiah names his son for the idea of swift deliverance; his way of emphasizing what he had already predicted in the last chapter of Isaiah. The names of Isaiah’s sons reflect the heart of his daily preaching; present deliverance, coming exile, and future glory.

How would you describe the gift, trait, or theme for your group of friends? Would you say that you seem to attract the same kind of friends over the years? How would you describe the role of a friend in your life? How would people describe you if they were making a list of friends and you were on that list? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what they like about their friends

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country:

Remember in Prayer:    Terecia, Jim, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of:  Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   O God, we thank you for this day and for the many people you bring into our life. We thank you for our friends who journey with us and support us in whatever we are going thru in life. Strengthen us to be the kind of friend for others that would be pleasing to you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

12-2-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted December 1, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

bildeFriday, Dec. 2

Happy Birthday Joel!

Isaiah 3:1-4:1

When my daughters were in pre-school, they were enrolled in a program in Des Moines, Iowa called, Safety City. Safety City was set up outside in a large parking lot at a school. We were fortunate for good sunny summer weather.

The scaled down version of a small town had been erected so that the children could learn basic tips about safety in what looked like an every day city. Safety City prepared children for kindergarten by simulating a city on the playgrounds and classrooms. They learned to obey traffic signs, watch for strangers, and assume the buddy system and learned the basics of lining up. They had dozens of tricycles and big wheels so the children could motor about the little town. Police officers and firefighters were all a part of the weeklong training so the children could become comfortable and aware of their environment and keep safe.

Often, my daughters would remind me of things I should be aware of as I was driving along. They would point out what the road signs meant and they were much more aware of their surroundings. Sometimes they were like little back seat drivers and that was a little annoying. More often, I was amazed by their awareness and capability to know where they were and a sense of how to make their way to safety if there were ever lost.

My daughters, and the others who attended Safety City, learned skills that I believe helped them in their world. It helped them in the area of responsibility. Even though they were young, I felt I could place things into their care and they would care for and about them.

3:1 The Master, GOD of-the-Angel-Armies, is emptying Jerusalem and Judah Of all the basic necessities, plain bread and water to begin with. 2 He’s withdrawing police and protection, judges and courts, pastors and teachers, 3 captains and generals, doctors and nurses, and, yes, even the repairmen and jacks-of-all-trades. 4 He says, “I’ll put little kids in charge of the city. Schoolboys and schoolgirls will order everyone around. 5 People will be at each other’s throats, stabbing one another in the back: Neighbor against neighbor, young against old, the no-account against the well-respected. 6 One brother will grab another and say, ‘You look like you’ve got a head on your shoulders. Do something! Get us out of this mess.’ 7 And he’ll say, ‘Me? Not me! I don’t have a clue. Don’t put me in charge of anything.’

8 “Jerusalem’s on its last legs. Judah is soon down for the count. Everything people say and do is at cross-purposes with GOD, a slap in my face. 9 Brazen in their depravity, they flout their sins like degenerate Sodom. Doom to their eternal souls! They’ve made their bed; now they’ll sleep in it.

10 “Reassure the righteous that their good living will pay off. 11 But doom to the wicked! Disaster! Everything they did will be done to them.

12 “Skinny kids terrorize my people. Silly girls bully them around. My dear people! Your leaders are taking you down a blind alley. They’re sending you off on a wild goose chase.”

13 GOD enters the courtroom. He takes his place at the bench to judge his people. 14 GOD calls for order in the court, hauls the leaders of his people into the dock: “You’ve played havoc with this country. Your houses are stuffed with what you’ve stolen from the poor. 15 What is this anyway? Stomping on my people, grinding the faces of the poor into the dirt?” That’s what the Master, GOD of-the-Angel-Armies, says.

16 GOD says, “Zion women are stuck-up, prancing around in their high heels, Making eyes at all the men in the street, swinging their hips, Tossing their hair, gaudy and garish in cheap jewelry.” 17 The Master will fix it so those Zion women will all turn bald— Scabby, bald-headed women. The Master will do it.

18   The time is coming when the Master will strip them of their fancy baubles—  19 the dangling earrings, anklets and bracelets,  20 combs and mirrors and silk scarves, diamond brooches and pearl necklaces,  21 the rings on their fingers and the rings on their toes,  22 the latest fashions in hats, exotic perfumes and aphrodisiacs, gowns and capes,  23 all the world’s finest in fabrics and design.

24 Instead of wearing seductive scents, these women are going to smell like rotting cabbages; Instead of modeling flowing gowns, they’ll be sporting rags; Instead of their stylish hairdos, scruffy heads; Instead of beauty marks, scabs and scars.

25 Your finest fighting men will be killed, your soldiers left dead on the battlefield.26 The entrance gate to Zion will be clotted with people mourning their dead— A city stooped under the weight of her loss, brought to her knees by her sorrows.

4:1 That will be the day when seven women will gang up on one man, saying, “We’ll take care of ourselves, get our own food and clothes. Just give us a child. Make us pregnant so we’ll have something to live for!”

The leaders of Judah trusted substitutes that would not help them in the coming day of judgment; natural resources, material wealth, military might, political experience, and even religion. As you can well imagine, this did not set well with God. God would replace their proud leaders with weaklings, nobodies without ability, who would oppress the people.

Where do you believe a child is best trained to move about in our world today? What situation have you been in recently where you believe a young person could have handled things in a better way than adults? What are the characteristics of good leaders? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what they would do if they were elected President

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country:

Remember in Prayer:    Terecia, Jim, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of:  Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day. We thank you for the gift of leadership. Be with all of our leaders and help them be grounded in your ways. Help us to train up our young people in your ways. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

12-1-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted November 30, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

BrendaWatchingSnowfallAtLocusVociThursday, Dec. 1

Isaiah 2:5-22

Celebrating Christmas in the warmer states seems a bit surreal to me. I’m sure that’s because I was raised in a colder state where snow was very much a part of the Christmas backdrop. Snow would often be present at Christmas and during much of December and on into some months of the New Year. When we gather round and sing words from Christmas songs like, “Oh the weather outside is frightful,” just doesn’t make sense in the south. To be fair, the weather up north has had balmy days in December and it seems a bit off. But, Christmas isn’t all about the weather, right?

Christmas can’t be all about the snow because our brothers and sisters who live in warm climates flock to the stores at this time of year just like those who live in other places. If it isn’t snow flurries, what does it take in warm climates for people to think about scurrying to shopping malls at this time of year?

I’m wondering if Black Friday is our new non-denominational holy day? Why don’t the stores have Black Fridays at other times of the year? Aren’t people always looking for bargains? This shopping craze that we’ve gotten ourselves into is really out of control. And all of this shopping is placed into our fifth season of the year; the season of Christmas. We have Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Christmas season, and Christmas.

The season of Christmas has become a season to think of the dreams and wishes of friends and family and our trying to bring those dreams to life for those who are near and dear to us. In fear of being disowned as friend or family member, we follow suit in pumping out crazy amounts of money to show others just how much we love them. The retailers love that we love them so much that we’d give our only begotten dollar so that others will see that we love them. Seriously? Does it make sense that I have to give a tangible material something to another person so that they know that I love them? It all seems pretty conditional to me.

There’s just something wrong in our having a season of Christmas that seems to contradict the meaning of Christmas. What if Christmas wasn’t about giving material gifts to others? What store would we then visit to find Christmas or package it up? These are way too many questions for the beginning of December.

2:5  Come, family of Jacob, let’s live in the light of GOD.

6     GOD, you’ve walked out on your family Jacob because their world is full of hokey religion, Philistine witchcraft, and pagan hocus-pocus, 

7     a world rolling in wealth, stuffed with things, no end to its machines and gadgets, 

8     And gods—gods of all sorts and sizes. These people make their own gods and worship what they make. 

9     A degenerate race, facedown in the gutter. Don’t bother with them! They’re not worth forgiving!  

10    Head for the hills, hide in the caves from the terror of GOD, from his dazzling presence.  

11    People with a big head are headed for a fall, pretentious egos brought down a peg.

       It’s GOD alone at front-and-center on the Day we’re talking about, 

12    The Day that GOD of-the-Angel-Armies is matched against all big-talking rivals, against all swaggering big names; 

13    Against all giant sequoias hugely towering, and against the expansive chestnut; 

14    Against Kilimanjaro and Annapurna, against the ranges of Alps and Andes; 

15    Against every soaring skyscraper, against all proud obelisks and statues; 

16    Against ocean-going luxury liners, against elegant three-masted schooners. 

17    The swelled big heads will be punctured bladders, the pretentious egos brought down to earth,

       Leaving GOD alone at front-and-center on the Day we’re talking about.  

18    And all those sticks and stones dressed up to look like gods will be gone for good.  

19    Clamber into caves in the cliffs, duck into any hole you can find.

       Hide from the terror of GOD, from his dazzling presence,

       When he assumes his full stature on earth, towering and terrifying.  

20    On that Day men and women will take the sticks and stones

       They’ve decked out in gold and silver to look like gods and then worshiped,

       And they will dump them in any ditch or gully, 

21    Then run for rock caves and cliff hideouts

       To hide from the terror of GOD, from his dazzling presence,

       When he assumes his full stature on earth, towering and terrifying.

22    Quit scraping and fawning over mere humans, so full of themselves, so full of hot air!

              Can’t you see there’s nothing to them?

Judah was borrowing new religious ideas from the gentile nations and not walking in God’s truth. Their faith was in material progress and not in the Lord. God patiently waits as people rebel against the truth. Sin will be judged, and the Lord will be exalted. God will protect the believing remnant when that day of judgment comes.

What do you think we are trying to buy or give when we shower a person with an abundance of gifts? Why do we shower a person with gifts at Christmas? Does the giving of gifts to others bring people’s attention to the birth of Jesus Christ in any way? Does a gift bring more attention to the gift or the giver? If Christmas is truly about Jesus, how could we best share that gift with others? Have a day! 

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you why people give gifts at Christmas

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country:

Remember in Prayer:    Terecia, Jim, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of:  Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day. Help us to live in each day knowing that you have given us a gift that is the only gift we need. May our hearts be focused on you and this awesome gift you have given for us. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

11-30-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted November 29, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Selah - Thanksgiving 2016

Selah – Thanksgiving 2016

Wednesday, Nov. 30

Isaiah 2:1-4

There is such wonder in seeing a baby. We get all goo-goo and gaa-gaa over those little beings, don’t we? Babies help us see the wonder and intricacy of God’s creation. Those little hands and little feet; everything is scaled down. The little frowns, the little smiles, and even their little body as it stretches, bring us such joy.

When in the presence of a little baby, I not only find myself relishing the moment of wonder in this new little one, but I wonder who this little one will become as they move into adulthood.

Observing my own children and grandchildren, I can see that babyhood is for a very short amount of time. So much information is packed into those little minds and souls in very short order. They not only learn how to communicate without words, but how to control the whole house to move around their needs simply by crying out.

When I experience that same baby some 5, 10, or 20 years down the road, they are very different from the tiny being they were in those first moments of life. We marvel and celebrate who they become. We see a young man and can hardly remember that they were ever tiny. We observe that young woman and we witness her confidence and grace. Listen to their vocabulary and their personalities shining through. Isn’t that something? Who would have ever thought that they would turn out to be so smart, talented, and all grown up?

When we dream of that future it helps us in the today. Our today goes forward in hope of the tomorrows we hope to live into; remembering the past with a confidence in the future that things will indeed change into something new.

2:1   The Message Isaiah got regarding Judah and Jerusalem:  

2     There’s a day coming when the mountain of GOD’S House Will be The Mountain— solid, towering over all mountains. All nations will river toward it, people from all over set out for it. 

3     They’ll say, “Come, let’s climb GOD’S Mountain, go to the House of the God of Jacob. He’ll show us the way he works so we can live the way we’re made.” Zion’s the source of the revelation. GOD’S Message comes from Jerusalem. 

4     He’ll settle things fairly between nations. He’ll make things right between many peoples. They’ll turn their swords into shovels, their spears into hoes. No more will nation fight nation; they won’t play war anymore. 

In the previous chapter, Isaiah looked within the heart of the nation; now he looks ahead to the future glorious kingdom God promised God’s people. Instead of being a place for corrupt worship, the temple will be a center of truth and blessing for Jews and Gentiles.

When has your confidence in the future gotten you thru the today you are living? What are those future events that bring you hope of a brighter day? When have you experienced new energy for a today when thinking upon a future date in time? What things might you share with a young person when they are convinced that their current life situation will never be any different? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what they think they’ll be doing when they are as old as their parents

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country:

Remember in Prayer:    Terecia, Jim, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of:  Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day. We thank you for the many experiences we have had in our past that continue to inform our actions today. Help our minds remember your plans for our future are greater than anything we could ever imagine. May we live in that confidence this day. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

 

11-29-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted November 28, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Pontiac GardenTuesday, Nov. 29

Isaiah 1:21-31

The second year I planted a garden, I learned so much. I tried to give the plants that were planted in the ground, the same care that I gave the plants that were hanging upside down in the hanging planters. I would have to say that the plants were thriving in a like fashion.

While they were watered in a different manner, that didn’t seem to effect one growing any more or less than the others.

The previous year in my garden I had over fertilized and the plants didn’t survive.

The second year, I went on vacation for a couple of weeks. While some of the plants died from not enough water, there were some plants that seemed to come around and carry through.

One day I noticed that a few of my tomato plants didn’t have so many leaves at the top. Upon careful examination, I noticed a very large worm the exact color of the plant stems. The worm was just eating away at my plant. At least that’s what was happening until I noticed the other tomato plants alway had worms on as well them. That year was the last year I planted a garden.

1:21  Oh! Can you believe it? The chaste city has become a whore! She was once all justice, everyone living as good neighbors, And now they’re all at one another’s throats. 

22    Your coins are all counterfeits. Your wine is watered down. 

23    Your leaders are turncoats who keep company with crooks. They sell themselves to the highest bidder and grab anything not nailed down. They never stand up for the homeless, never stick up for the defenseless.  

24    This Decree, therefore, of the Master, GOD of-the-Angel-Armies, the Strong One of Israel: “This is it! I’ll get my oppressors off my back. I’ll get back at my enemies. 

25    I’ll give you the back of my hand, purge the junk from your life, clean you up. 

26    I’ll set honest judges and wise counselors among you just like it was back in the beginning. Then you’ll be renamed City-That-Treats-People-Right, the True-Blue City.” 

27    GOD’S right ways will put Zion right again. GOD’S right actions will restore her penitents. 

28    But it’s curtains for rebels and GOD traitors, a dead end for those who walk out on GOD. 

29    “Your dalliances in those oak grove shrines will leave you looking mighty foolish, All that fooling around in god and goddess gardens that you thought was the latest thing. 

30    You’ll end up like an oak tree with all its leaves falling off, like an unwatered garden, withered and brown. 

31    ‘The Big Man’ will turn out to be dead bark and twigs, and his ‘work,’ the spark that starts the fire that exposes man and work both as nothing but cinders and smoke.”

Isaiah was consumed with the idea that his nation was to be a nation through whom one day a great and wonderful blessing would come from God to all nations. The Messiah, sent from God, would bring peace, justice, and a healing to the whole world. Only genuine repentance and obedience would save the nation. Isaiah then turns from this sickening picture to the day of Zion’s purification and redemption, when the wicked will be left to burn like a dried-up oak tree.

When have you felt like you were really thirsty for something more in life? How did you take care of that thirst? What are some ways you have tried to quench your thirst for life without being successful? What advice do you have for others when they are thirsty for something much more fulfilling in life?    Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what they do when they get thirsty

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country:

Remember in Prayer:    Terecia, Jim, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of:  Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day. Thank you for nourishing us in so many ways. Thank you for your love that leads us out into the world to serve you. Keep our journeys in your care. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

11-28-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted November 28, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

basin-and-towelMonday, Nov. 28

Isaiah 1:10-20

I often wonder what God thinks about our time of worship. Seriously. In this day and age, we approach the hour of worship with so many restrictions. For starters, we plan the time for worship at a time when it is presumed to be the most convenient for us. We don’t think about those who are outside of the membership of the church.

When we think about the length of the service, we’re thinking about our own schedules and the routines we’ve built up. There are some church members who are greatly agitated about a worship service that runs longer than an hour. When worship is to be housed in the confines of an hour with no budge for the action of the Holy Spirit, it is truly not about where our hearts will be led in worship.

When it comes to worship, we seem to tell God what we are going to do. I’ve actually been part of worship committees where committee members voiced that God has plenty of time to do whatever it is God needs to do in an hour.

So, I ask. What does God think about this kind of worship setup that seems to be all about the schedules of those who are planning worship? I’m pretty sure that God would not be pleased when we place these kinds of limitations on worship. I believe that worship is to be sincere and robust love and adoration of our awesome God. And we are to worship God with all of our beings.

1:10   “Listen to my Message, you Sodom-schooled leaders. Receive God’s revelation, you Gomorrah-schooled people.

11    “Why this frenzy of sacrifices?” GOD’S asking. “Don’t you think I’ve had my fill of burnt sacrifices, rams and plump grain-fed calves? Don’t you think I’ve had my fill of blood from bulls, lambs, and goats? 

12    When you come before me, who ever gave you the idea of acting like this, Running here and there, doing this and that— all this sheer commotion in the place provided for worship?

13    “Quit your worship charades. I can’t stand your trivial religious games: Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings— meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more! 

14    Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them! You’ve worn me out! I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning. 

15    When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody. 

16    Go home and wash up. Clean up your act.  Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings  so I don’t have to look at them any longer.  Say no to wrong. 

17    Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless.

18    “Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.” This is GOD’S Message: “If your sins are blood-red, they’ll be snow-white. If they’re red like crimson, they’ll be like wool. 

19    If you’ll willingly obey, you’ll feast like kings. 

20    But if you’re willful and stubborn, you’ll die like dogs.” That’s right. GOD says so.

Their popular religious meetings were futile and brought grief to God. Their religious activities defiled the people instead of making them clean. The wife of Jehovah was now a harlot. Jehovah and his wife had treasures that were cheap and their beautiful garden destined to be destroyed by fire. Sin breaks God’s heart. God offers forgiveness when the sinful ones repent.

What is the most alive worship service you have been a part of in your life? In a worship service, when do you fully become aware that you are worshipping God? What is the part of worship that is most engaging for you? When have you felt that whole worship service has really moved you into a particular response to God’s goodness and grace? Have a day!

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

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country:

Remember in Prayer:    Terecia, our leaders, Jim, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of:  Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   O God, we come before you this day in great thanks for the abundance you have given to us. We thank you for the times when our worship has really been about you. We ask your presence with us as we strive to be the best we can be for you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

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The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX