1-23-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted January 22, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

near-death-experienceMonday, Jan. 23

Mark 5:21-34

Some years ago, there was a man who showed up for worship one Sunday and it was quite noticeable. Although unaware of his presence in the first half of worship, it became clearer to others when he arrived. Parishioners who sat near him said that they could all of a sudden feel a cold draft behind them. They glanced to see if the door was open and they saw a man sitting a few pews back from them. While the man chose to sit at the back of the church, the parishioners were alerted to his presence by the cold temperature they were experiencing. I know that sounds weird, but that’s how it was described by the people sitting closest to him.

At the end of the service, during the singing of the last hymn, the man got up from his pew and made his way to the center aisle. He walked toward the front of the church, thrusting his Bible back and forth in the air and was speaking rather loudly about how all of the people would be going to straight to H-E-double LL, Hello.

Fortunately, the music was louder than the spoken words of the man so most of the people just kept singing. About 10 feet from the front of the sanctuary, the man was briskly escorted out in what seemed like one fluid motion. I gave the benediction and people began to ask me questions about the man and what happened that he left so quickly.

We found out later that the man was a local and was known as a self-proclaimed evangelist who was pretty much a nut case. When he forgot his regular scheduled medicine, he’d venture into churches and did exactly what he did. He was most definitely a presence that condemned the actions of others. Most of the time he was picked up for being a public nuisance and he’d be put in jail for a day or two. He’d be released from jail and get back on his medicine and the cycle would begin again. That was most certainly a memorable day.

21 After Jesus crossed over by boat, a large crowd met him at the seaside.  22 One of the meeting-place leaders named Jairus came. When he saw Jesus, he fell to his knees,  23 beside himself as he begged, “My dear daughter is at death’s door. Come and lay hands on her so she will get well and live.”  24 Jesus went with him, the whole crowd tagging along, pushing and jostling him.

Jairus was an important official who was responsible for arranging all that happened in the meeting place. He would know about the miracles that Jesus had performed in Capernaum and he would also know that many officials opposed Jesus. This would require a bit of courage for Jairus to approach Jesus in public. Putting aside his own importance, he was humble enough to go down at Jesus’ feet. He loved his daughter and that caused him to have the faith to ask Jesus for help.

25   A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—  26 a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—

Because her illness made her bleed, the woman was unclean. This meant that she could not take part in worship in the Jewish meeting place and people would avoid her, so she would be lonely. She had tried to get help from doctors, but they had not been able to cure her. All her money was gone and her illness was worse.

27 had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe.  28 She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.”

It would have been difficult for her to ask Jesus for help in public. She did not want to touch Jesus himself because her illness made her unclean. Anyone whom she touched would also become unclean so she touched the edge of his clothing.

29 The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.

30   At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

Jesus knew that someone had touched him. When he cured people, Jesus felt some power go from him to them.

31 His disciples said, “What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’ Dozens have touched you!”

32   But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it.

Jesus insisted on finding out who had touched him.

33 The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.

Perhaps the woman was afraid that Jesus would be angry with her. To speak about what had happened to her would be difficult in front of so many people.

34   Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.”

Jesus called her “daughter” which was a kind word and it meant that she was no longer unclean. She belonged with all the other people who believed in Jesus, and in God as their Father. He said that her faith had made her well. It was not some kind of magic in the edge of his clothing. We can see Jesus’ power over illness.

Without the aid of your eyes, when have you been able to sense a person being around you? How would you describe the feeling you had in sensing the other person around? Have you ever had, what I call, a kryptonite moment when you felt energy being drained from you into a person or persons? When have you been in a gathering and you have felt a sense of power in a person? What was that like for you? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what it feels like when a principal walks into their room at school

Remember in Prayer: Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Karen, Jim, Angela, Tim, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Barb, Sue

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

Prayer: This new day begins in you, O God. We thank you for each day and for your daily provision. Give us just what we need to be in this day and to serve you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible

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

1-22-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted January 21, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

day_in_k_lineSunday, Jan. 22

Hebrews 10:19-31

When I was in elementary school, there were things that were just understood; things that didn’t have to be spoken or taught.

The day the school disciplinarian walked into our Kindergarten room to be introduced, you could have heard a pin drop. The man was huge compared to us and we knew that we didn’t want to mess with that guy. I learned that I should go about my business or I’d meet up with Mr. Strongman.

When we would file out of our room and make our way downstairs for our music class, we had to pass by the teacher’s lounge. If we arrived too early and the last music class had not been released, we’d have to wait in our line which was right outside the teacher’s lounge. Of course, I couldn’t just stand in line looking straight ahead like many of the other children. The door of the teacher’s lounge was opened and I quickly noted that a few of the teachers were smoking. In my fascination, I remember poking the person next to me so they could observe as well. We both kind of did the “ooooohhh, they’re gonna get in trouble” thing and we giggled a bit. A teacher in the room firmly shut the door so we couldn’t see in.

In that same moment when the teacher’s lounge door was shut, I felt my teacher’s hand firmly grip my shoulder to get my attention. She waited until I could see that the line ahead of me was long gone. Then she looked me square in the eye and sent me on my way to catch up with the others.

I was so sure Mr. Strongman was going to be visiting me in my near future. Even though I was not sent to Mr. Strongman, I knew, from that moment on, I needed to pay attention when I was in a line.

A few years later when my teacher asked me to take a note to another teacher who was down in the teacher’s lounge, I freaked out. I told the teacher I could not do that because we were not allowed to be there. She muttered something and said it would be okay. I took the note down to the teacher’s lounge and the door was shut. I agonized about what I should do. I moved past the teacher’s lounge door, opened it just far enough to extend my arm into the room and hoped someone would see the note. Pretty soon a teacher opened the door and took the note from my hand and I dashed away. Funny what things we learn when we try to piece things together.

10:19   So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.

22   So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out.  23 Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.  24 Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out,  25 not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

26   If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice 27 and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be!  28 If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death,  29 what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit?  30 This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing,” and, “God will judge his people.”  31 Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me.

The author of Hebrews explains there is no need for further sacrifice. Christ’s death is entirely sufficient to take care of all previous sins and those sins we may in weakness commit in daily life. God can now forgive, and will forgive, those who place their trust in Christ.

When have you been in a place that had a room that was deemed “off limits?” If someone says that a place is off limits, would you be more likely to always stay away or go and explore and find out why it is off limits? Where are some places you have been where you have felt a reverence for space? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you about a place they would not enter because they were afraid

Remember in Prayer: Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Bart, Karen, Terecia, Jim, Angela, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

Prayer: O God, we thank you for being You. We thank you for your power and your love. We thank you that we can approach you at any time knowing you are there with us. Strengthen us and walk with us. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

The Message Bible

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

 

 

 

1-21-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted January 20, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

eumali-decadent-chocSaturday, Jan. 21

Ephesians 6:10-23

resist.

resist |riˈzist|  verb [ trans. ]    withstand the action or effect of : antibodies help us to resist infection.

• try to prevent by action or argument : we will continue to resist changes to the treaty.

• succeed in ignoring the attraction of (something wrong or unwise) : she resisted his advances | I couldn’t resist buying the blouse.

• [ intrans. ] struggle against someone or something: without giving her time to resist, he dragged her off her feet.

Resist. In these times in which we live, do we have any concept of resisting something? How many of our ads begin with telling us that we can have something just by our making a quick call? Even quicker than that, we can ask for expedited shipping on Amazon. And even faster than that, we can sometimes download a digital copy immediately. Do we practice resistance?

Maybe we only see this word as being applicable to someone else. Surely, we have the ability to resist, right? Some would say their ability to resist depends upon the circumstance. So, if you’ve resolved to eliminate splurge spending from your life, walking into a favorite store might compromise your ability to resist. And how about that nice big shiny sweet piece of chocolate cake that’s smiling at you from across the room? Resistance. Resist. Dear God, bring order into our lives. Turn our desire to serve ourselves into serving others. Help us, O God.

6:10   And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong.  11 So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.  12 This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. 

13   Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.  14 Truth, righteousness,  15 peace,  16 faith,  17 and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.  18 In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. 

19   And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I,  20 jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out. 

21   Tychicus, my good friend here, will tell you what I’m doing and how things are going with me. He is certainly a dependable servant of the Master!  22 I’ve sent him not only to tell you about us but to cheer you on in your faith. 

23   Good-bye, friends. Love mixed with faith be yours from God the Father and from the Master, Jesus Christ.  24 Pure grace and nothing but grace be with all who love our Master, Jesus Christ. 

Paul reminds us that we need to make sure we are well prepared to face whatever may come our way. We are to put on, or remember that we are grounded in, God’s truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and God’s salvation. These are God issued and will serve us well in standing in God’s protection.

Would you say that you are a fairly strong willed person and that resisting things you need to resist comes easy to you? Is resisting chocolate in the same category as resisting to overspend? What things become problematic when you think of your needing to resist something? What changes have you most resisted in your life? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what they most like about waiting

Remember in Prayer: Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Bart, Karen, Terecia, Jim, Angela, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

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

Prayer: Dear God, we thank you for this day. We come before you, placing all of our cares and concerns into your hands. We know our human ways and we ask for the gifts you give us to stand up to those things that try to overtake us. Bring us strength today and each day. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant 

Lucia

© 2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

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

 

1-20-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted January 19, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

teaching4Friday, Jan. 20

Ephesians 6:1-9

teach.

Today, I’m remembering the team of high schoolers who came along on a mission trip to the Children’s home in Christiana, Jamaica. Who knew what we were getting into?

When I was asked to teach in the older children’s classroom, I was pretty overwhelmed with the task ahead of me. Before going to the children’s home, we only knew that we could be faced with any number of tasks to complete. We knew that we could be painting or gardening or whatever. It was the “whatever” part that concerned me because I like to prepare if I’m given a task.

Our group was asked for volunteers to do some construction work down that road at a blind woman’s house. I was excited at the thought of doing construction work so I raised my hand to be one of the  volunteers. I was quickly reminded that it was not the place for a woman to be helping with such things.

The next task offered was helping in the kitchen and that was scooped up by the one young lady who was part of our mission team. That left me to be a classroom teacher while the proprietor was attending to some business in town.

The children at the home were separated into two different classroom areas. That meant that there was a combined group of children preschool thru Kindergarten and then, another room, with children from 1st grade thru something like sixth grade. It was a huge range of ages and capabilities.

I had maybe a dozen children in my care and the proprietor placed before me the lesson plan for the day. As soon as she left the room, I decided that I would have to do something that would keep the children’s attention. I launched into an active spelling lesson via the hangman game. Actually, it was the hangman game made into a scarecrow kind of game. When the children started asking questions why a person would be swinging from a stick in the air, I quickly changed to the scarecrow idea. It seemed to work and the children learned the words of the day. When the proprietor returned, she was a bit shocked by the roar of laughter from the room. Even though she quite sternly instructed the children to return to their desks and get ready for the next part of their lesson, she did ask that I return to be the classroom instructor for the next three days. We played a lot of scarecrow man that week.

6:1    Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right.  2 “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely,  3 “so you will live well and have a long life.” 

4   Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. 

5   Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ.  6 Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do.  7 And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God.  8 Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free. 

9   Masters, it’s the same with you. No abuse, please, and no threats. You and your servants are both under the same Master in heaven. He makes no distinction between you and them.

Paul says that those who are spirit filled Christians will exhibit Christlikeness in the home, on the job, and out into the world. If we learn how to obey at home, we are  likely to be obedient wherever we go in life. Paul’s words definitely remind us of our responsibility to be obedient to Christ and to teach our children Christ’s ways.

Do you remember your first lesson in being obedient? What are some ways that you had to learn about obedience? In what ways do you feel that training in obedience has paid off? Do you think that it’s ever too late to learn obedience? What is the worst case of disobedience you have witnessed? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what happens when children don’t listen to their parents

Remember in Prayer: Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Bart, Karen, Terecia, Jim, Angela, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

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

Prayer: We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day before us. Thank you for guiding us in our lives. Help us to learn to be obedient to you and follow your lead. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant 

Lucia

© 2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

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

 

1-19-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted January 18, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

25walmart.xlarge1Thursday, Jan. 19

Ephesians 5:15-33

serving.

The Wal-Mart overnight stocking work was hard work. I can honestly say that those were long nights with lots and lots of work to complete before the doors opened in the morning. At the end of my time there, we changed into a 24 hour store so it narrowed our ability to have more space to bust open boxes and shelve the product.

Some of my co-workers probably would have had a very different story to tell you about the work and their experience. There were employees who were in no hurry to complete anything. It’s like they enjoyed the management coming around and chewing them out. I guess they were happy to be employed somewhere. They would pretty much complain the whole time they were there. Sometimes I would ask them when they were planning to quit and they’d say that they had to keep working at Wal-Mart because there was nothing else. I can’t imagine that was the case, but maybe.

Management kept an eye on the employees who seemed like they didn’t like to work. When they asked me if I wanted to advance to a management position, I remembered how they operated and I didn’t want to be any part of that crew. Management would show up about an hour before the store would open up so they could do an inspection and make sure everything looked like it was stocked and in order. I loved the inspection time because I worked hard to get things to look presentable by the time they would move thru for inspection. There were times when management wouldn’t show up to do the inspection.

When others worked in the department with me, they would often suggest that I didn’t have to work so hard because the management probably wasn’t going to come around anyway. Now I know it was Wal-Mart and all, but there is something about a job well done that brings me great satisfaction.

15   So watch your step. Use your head.  16 Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! 

17   Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants. 

18   Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him.  19 Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ.  20 Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ. 

21   Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. 

22   Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ.  23 The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing.  24 So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. 

25   Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting.  26 Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her,  27 dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.  28 And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage. 

29   No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church,  30 since we are part of his body.  31 And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.”  32 This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church.  33 And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

Paul takes us to the marketplace and uses that image to tell us to be good merchants who know how to buy up a good opportunity. When we walk in wisdom, we use our time wisely. Then Paul takes us to the banquet hall and learn about thankfulness and joy and serving each other. Lastly, Paul takes us on a visit of the home where he helps us understand our relationship with Christ as a marriage where we yield to Christ to lead us and be head of our spiritual household.

What are some of the ways you have become a good merchant? Are you a person who tends to look for bargains? What is the last great opportunity you didn’t want to miss? When do you feel that you did a good job in serving others? What memory do you have of someone serving you?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you about a way they can serve someone else today

Remember in Prayer: Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Bart, Karen, Terecia, Jim, Angela, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

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

Prayer: Holy God, we come before you this day in thanks. Thank you for this day and for your gift of love. We desire to behave as you would like. There are situations that come our way that seem to draw something very different out of us at times. For this day, order our steps. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant 

Lucia

© 2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

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

 

1-18-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted January 17, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

haunted_house_4_by_fairiegoodmother-d5d3x91Wednesday, Jan. 18

Ephesians 5:1-14

Back in high school, when a couple of the guys said that it would be fun to go to the haunted house, I thought it sounded like a fun idea. Actually, it sounded pretty scary, but I wanted to sound like I wasn’t afraid. They started talking about how long it would take to get there because it was out on a country road.

As we traveled to the house, I kept wondering how much time we were going to have at the house because it was getting pretty late. Curfew laws said that those under the age of 18 years of age needed to be off the roads by 11 at night. I could see that it was almost 11 p.m., but I reasoned that we were out on a country road and the police had more important places to monitor.

We finally arrived and made our way from the car toward the house. The small flashlight the guys brought along conked out so we were stumbling along toward the front porch for a glance thru the window in the door. Right at the top step, there was a huge light that flooded the area from behind us. I immediately felt safer and then had a second thought. Where did that light come from? Yep, the cops had arrived and they wanted to know what our business was there. I just flat out told them we were there to look at the haunted house. He responded with something like, “you and everyone else.” That was the end of our adventure.

We were instructed to travel back to our homes and call the number he gave us when we arrived home. I just remember my dad being passed out and I couldn’t get him to wake up to call the number and talk to the police. I ended up calling the number and disguised my voice to report in. The guy on the other end of the phone just thanked me. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t chuckling after my call. Teachable moments.

5:1   Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.  2 Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. 

3   Don’t allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed.  4 Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, Christians have better uses for language than that. Don’t talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn’t fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect. 

5   You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them—the usual variations on idolatry—will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God. 

6   Don’t let yourselves get taken in by religious smooth talk. God gets furious with people who are full of religious sales talk but want nothing to do with him.  7 Don’t even hang around people like that. 

8   You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it!  9 The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours.  10 Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it. 

11   Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. 12 It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see.  13 Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

14    Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! 

As Paul encourages us to live godly lives, he takes us to the temple and reminds us of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. If we walk in love, our lives will be living sacrifices that are a pleasing fragrance to Christ. The opposite is true when we sin. Walking in the light means there is no place for fellowship with darkness.

What things do you envision when you hear the words “walking in the light?” When are you most aware that the light was exposing something you were trying to hide? When have you wanted more light and you couldn’t seem to find any light? What part of your life needs light right now? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what they like about the light

Remember in Prayer: Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Bart, Karen, Terecia, Jim, Angela, Tim, Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian

Prayer Requests:  Marc, who has end-stage kidney failure — prayers for a donor match so he can have a kidney transplant
Sharon, facing upcoming surgery
Josh, who needs extensive dental procedures over many months
For the family and friends of Herb, following his passing earlier this month
Lynn, being treated for lymphoma for the 3rd time
Vicki, trying to balance many family responsibilities
Aaron, for healing after severe injuries suffered in a truck accident
Sue, also trying to balance too many worries

Prayer Update:  Heidi had surgery last Friday and was discharged from the hospital Tuesday. She’s working on healing and desires some hours of uninterrupted rest. Prayers for complete healing and on to infusions.

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

Prayer: O God, we thank you for this day and for the gift of light. We thank you for the times when your light has kept us safe. Help us in those dark places in our lives and guide us to your light. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant 

Lucia

© 2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

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

 

1-17-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted January 17, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

clairefontaine-classic-mini-top-spiral-bound-notepad-3-x-4-75-pcl8556rl-3Tuesday, Jan. 17

Ephesians 4:17-32

It was a little tiny spiral bound notepad.

My girlfriend invited me to walk with her to the drugstore. The store was located on the corner diagonally across from the boundary line my mother had given me. In my head, I worked out that I was with my friend and we would be safe and it really wasn’t outside the boundary line. We watched for traffic and felt pretty accomplished in navigating through the intersection as we watched the lights as they turned from red to green.

While we were in the store, I noticed that my friend picked up something and then put it in her pocket. I figured it was free and I wanted one as well. My girlfriend said something about she needed to get home and our trip was ended very quickly.

A little bit after I returned home, my mother called me down from my bedroom. That’s when she told me that I needed to go and apologize to the store owner for taking something that wasn’t mine. It took me some moments to see any truth in what she was saying. While I had some questions as to whether or not the notebook was free, I also knew in my heart that things in stores weren’t free. I should have known when I saw my friend acting secretive in what she was doing, that she was doing something that wasn’t right. I also was startled at the fact that my mother somehow knew where I had gone and what I had done. How can this be, I thought?

I did go to the drugstore and returned the notebook and apologized to the store owner. The things I learned. I vowed never to walk in that store ever again. I knew that there was a larger community looking out for me, and over me. I learned a difficult lesson about working out something in my head to see something as being right, when in my heart I knew that it was wrong. I’m thankful for those who hold us accountable.

4:17   And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd.  18 They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself.  19 They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion. 

20   But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ!  21 My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus.  22 Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life,  23 a life renewed from the inside 24 and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. 

25   What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. 

26   Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry.  27 Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life. 

28   Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work. 

29   Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. 

30   Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. 

31   Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk.  32 Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. 

Paul’s words say that we have been set free from the old life, so there is no reason to live in the old way of life anymore. To let old ways of life back into a new life will most certainly invite evil to have an opportunity. Paul says that things like lying, losing ones temper, stealing, corrupt speech, bitterness, and an unforgiving spirit all give way for evil to have the lead.

What are some early childhood lessons that have stayed with you? When have you tried to rationalize something in your mind so it would seem okay? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what happens when people lie

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

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

Prayer:   We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day. We thank you for each moment and for guiding us safely through. Forgive us for those moments when we lie to ourselves and lie to you. May our hearts and minds be ready for the new things you will bring our way today. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant 

Lucia

© 2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

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