5-26-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 25, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Saturday, May 26

Galatians 6:11-18

I think it’s been three or four years since I’ve been part of a clean up crew following some kind of disaster. There for awhile it seemed like weird weather related disasters were popping up all over the place. I was always glad to be part of a crew that went to help in some way.

When we went to help with flood relief in Iowa back in the early nineties, the nation didn’t really have the organization in place for volunteers like it has today. The droves of people would go to help and the already devastated area would find itself swamped with a huge amount of clean up and thousands more people to crowd the space. The people would bring all kinds of stuff with them to help those in need. Rather than help, it caused more problem.

The “up” side in the amount of catastrophes we’ve experience has helped in fine tuning the organization of disaster relief. communities have time to get a plan devised in the case they might suffer some kind of devastation. Those who live, or have lived, in communities where help was needed, know the realities of the frantic and helpless feeling of not knowing what kind of help is actually needed. It often takes people from the outside to set a plan into action as the shock wears off. We live in a time when live cameras pan in on communities as they take their first look into the new foreign land in which they reside. We have learned many things from watching our brothers and sisters as they live thru some pretty devastating stuff.

6:11   Now, in these last sentences, I want to emphasize in the bold scrawls of my personal handwriting the immense importance of what I have written to you.  12 These people who are attempting to force the ways of circumcision on you have only one motive: They want an easy way to look good before others, lacking the courage to live by a faith that shares Christ’s suffering and death. All their talk about the law is gas. 13 They themselves don’t keep the law! And they are highly selective in the laws they do observe. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast of their success in recruiting you to their side. That is contemptible!

14   For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate.  15 Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life!  16 All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!

17   Quite frankly, I don’t want to be bothered anymore by these disputes. I have far more important things to do—the serious living of this faith. I bear in my body scars from my service to Jesus.

18   May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours, my friends. Oh, yes!

His enemies claimed that Paul was not a genuine apostle of Christ. You can well imagine how Paul felt on the receiving end of these false accusations. Paul boasts about the Cross of Jesus, but his enemies wanted no part of the Cross.

When was the last time you noticed people trying to get organized after a serious event? What are some of the disasters that have occurred for which many people have learned many things from the event? What are some things our country has learned from the 911 tragedy? What have we learned about hurricane or earthquake or sunami relief? What are some events that have happened within your family that have instructed you in how you lead your life today?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what they have done to help a neighbor

Prayers for Healing in our world: Noblesville Middle School, Santa Fe High School, Great Mills HS, Parkland HS victims, Puerto Rico, Wildfires, Las Vegas victims, Victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: Kristen, Heidi, Andy, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Jeff & Janet, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Claire, Mark, Anna, Heidi S. Sue, Mary Lynne, Bones, Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of: Tim, Brandon, Mike, Margie, Rev. Jose Luis Torres Milan, Joanne, Peggy, Logan, Dave, Jane, Mason

Prayer: We love you, O God and we thank you the abundance you have given us. We ask that you help us search our hearts to find a way we can share our resources with others. Help us be attentive to the needs of others this day. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2018 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

The Message Bible

A ministry at Central Presbyterian Church, 31 N 7th Street, Lafayette, IN

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5-25-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 24, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Friday, May 25

Happy Birthday Jake!

Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:14

Light vs. Kryptonite. Positive vs. negative. Light vs. darkness.
As I was reflecting about Kryptonite and what it did to Superman, it seems like I remember that kryptonite drained Superman of energy. On the other hand, when Superman was in the yellow rays of the sun Superman’s powers were increased and he could bring justice, and do amazing/superhuman things.

There are conversations I’ve been a part of, and gatherings I’ve attended, that have brought a deficit to my energy rather than given me energy. At times that is a surprise and at other times it is not. When I have the suspicion that I may be attending an energy draining event, I try to prepare before I attend. I guess that superman would have desired to be in the presence of yellow sun rays before such a gathering.

Well, I’m not Superman and you’re not Superman. We’re people who have every day lives and we have a limited time on earth. Most of our days on earth we spend little time thinking about our days being numbered. One thing I know for sure is that we will have moments that will be Light vs. Kryptonite, Positive vs. negative, Light vs. darkness. We will have choices.

In the moments we are given, we have the opportunity to rejoice in what we’ve been given and live into each moment as if it was a gift from God, because it is a gift from God.

11:9          You who are young, make the most of your youth.

Relish your youthful vigor.

Follow the impulses of your heart.

If something looks good to you, pursue it.

But know also that not just anything goes;

You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.

10          Live footloose and fancy free—

You won’t be young forever.

Youth lasts about as long as smoke.

12:1          Honor and enjoy your Creator while you’re still young,

Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes,

2        Before your vision dims and the world blurs

And the winter years keep you close to the fire.

 

3          In old age, your body no longer serves you so well.

Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen.

The shades are pulled down on the world.

4        You can’t come and go at will. Things grind to a halt.

The hum of the household fades away.

You are wakened now by bird-song.

5        Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past.

Even a stroll down the road has its terrors.

Your hair turns apple-blossom white,

Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body.

Yes, you’re well on your way to eternal rest,

While your friends make plans for your funeral.

 

6          Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.

Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.

7        The body is put back in the same ground it came from.

The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.

 

8          It’s all smoke, nothing but smoke.

The Quester says that everything’s smoke.

9   Besides being wise himself, the Quester also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs.  10 The Quester did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth.

 

11          The words of the wise prod us to live well.

They’re like nails hammered home, holding life together.

They are given by God, the one Shepherd.

12   But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else.  13 The last and final word is this:

Fear God.

Do what he tells you.

14   And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.

We come to the end of Ecclesiastes and Solomon leaves us with his parting words…..to live well, fear God and love God. With all of his complaints about the nature of creation, Solomon had no doubt as to the existence and justice of the Creator.

What are some of your thoughts about the book of Ecclesiastes? What things did you find interesting about this book? In today’s world, what kind of cures would we like to offer Solomon to get out from under his doom and gloom way of looking at things? What does living well look like in the life you’ve been given?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what they do to enjoy each day

Prayers for Healing in our world: Great Mills High school, Parkland high school victims, Puerto Rico, Wildfires, Las Vegas victims, Victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: Kristen, Heidi, Andy, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Jeff & Janet, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Claire, Mark, Anna, Heidi S. Sue, Mary Lynne, Bones, Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of: Tim, Brandon, Mike, Margie, Rev. Jose Luis Torres Milan, Joanne, Peggy, Logan, Dave, Jane, Mason

Prayer: O God, we begin this day with you. We would like to believe that we have things all figured out or that our schedules are fine-tuned enough to carry us through. Help us in this day to enjoy the gift you have given us. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2018 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

The Message Bible

A ministry at Central Presbyterian Church, 31 N 7th Street, Lafayette, IN

5-24-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 23, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Thursday, May 24

Ecclesiastes 11:1-8

The other day, I found a DVD I have that contains a collection of three recordings of Hurricane Katrina. Two of the recordings were created by residents in Bay St. Louis, MS and one recording was done by a man in Slidell, LA. Our team did clean up and reconstruction work in Bay St. Louis which is about 30-40 miles east of Slidell. Our team arrived over a year after Hurricane Katrina and it was difficult for me to believe that so much time had elapsed since the hurricane. It looked like a war scene to me and lots of the residents said that things had improved so much. I thought of how many residents hit by the hurricane worked all their life to get the stuff and then it’s gone in a blink of an eye.

Kennard Jackley’s recording from Slidell, LA really captures the fierceness and breadth of the storm. Listening to Kennard Jackley is very similar to listening to the Cajun chef, Justin Wilson, and his famous claim of, “I gar-on-tee it.” One line that struck me in the video was Kennard saying that people spend all their lives trying to get what they want and then he questions what’s it all worth when something like, what he calls, an act of God hits. In response to his own question, he just says, “not much now.”

11:1          Be generous: Invest in acts of charity.

Charity yields high returns.

2          Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around.

Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night.

3          When the clouds are full of water, it rains.

When the wind blows down a tree, it lies where it falls.

4        Don’t sit there watching the wind. Do your own work.

Don’t stare at the clouds. Get on with your life.

5          Just as you’ll never understand

the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman,

So you’ll never understand

the mystery at work in all that God does.

6          Go to work in the morning

and stick to it until evening without watching the clock.

You never know from moment to moment

how your work will turn out in the end.

7          Oh, how sweet the light of day,

And how wonderful to live in the sunshine!

8        Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted.

Take delight in each light-filled hour,

Remembering that there will also be many dark days

And that most of what comes your way is smoke.

Solomon reminds the reader that there are days of our lives where we are able to do things and then a time when we may not be able to do things. The lesson in this is to work, live, love, play, while you can and love the Lord, your God each and every day.

When have you experienced a time when you wanted to work, but you could not work? When have you worked and really wished you didn’t have to work? Are you a person who would rather not work if you didn’t have to? If you could call your own shots in life, and not have to work, how would you organize each day? When have you witnessed a person not working when they could work? When have you witnessed a person working who complained about their work every single day? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what kind of work they would like to do when they grow up

Prayers for Healing in our world: Great Mills High school, Parkland high school victims, Puerto Rico, Wildfires, Las Vegas victims, Victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: Kristen, Heidi, Andy, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Jeff & Janet, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Claire, Mark, Anna, Heidi S. Sue, Mary Lynne, Bones, Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of: Tim, Brandon, Mike, Margie, Rev. Jose Luis Torres Milan, Joanne, Peggy, Logan, Dave, Jane, Mason

Prayer: We thank you, O God, for the gift of this day. We thank you for the opportunity to work and be productive no matter if we are paid or unpaid. We thank you for the opportunity to laugh and play and enjoy our time with friends and family. May we be of use to you in each day you give us. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2018 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

The Message Bible

A ministry at Central Presbyterian Church, 31 N 7th Street, Lafayette, IN

5-23-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 22, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Wednesday, May 23

Ecclesiastes 9:11-18

Serving as an on-call chaplain for several years helped me witness the daily lives of people as they experienced trauma or tragedy in their lives. When I would come back home after my shift at the hospital ended, my children knew that I was going to be vigilant about their activities. I would want them to be very careful in their driving and wanted them to be extra mindful so some senseless accident would not come their way. It was my children who would then remind me that, after the night of work, I had experienced only the sick ones or the ones who were injured or the family members of the sick and the hurt. They spoke truth.

The people in the hospital are from every walk of life. Disease and death does not play favorites. There is no discrimination of genders or class or pedigree when illness, diseases, accidents and death occur. I don’t know why that came as such a surprise to me, but it did. I reasoned that maybe the rich or those who felt entitled would somehow be able to get the best healthcare and have the best ability to change the course of a tragedy.

In reality I know that life happens. Things happen. Accidents happen. While one family may have the financial resources to recover quicker than another, no one can dodge life happenings. We Christians profess to be a people of hope. If we truly believe in that hope, our daily lives will most likely be an example of that living hope no matter what comes our way.

9:11 I took another walk around the neighborhood and realized that on this earth as it is—The race is not always to the swift,Nor the battle to the strong,Nor satisfaction to the wise,Nor riches to the smart,Nor grace to the learned.Sooner or later bad luck hits us all.12No one can predict misfortune.Like fish caught in a cruel net or birds in a trap,So men and women are caughtBy accidents evil and sudden. 13 One day as I was observing how wisdom fares on this earth, I saw something that made me sit up and take notice. 14 There was a small town with only a few people in it. A strong king came and mounted an attack, building trenches and attack posts around it. 15 There was a poor but wise man in that town whose wisdom saved the town, but he was promptly forgotten. (He was only a poor man, after all.) 16 All the same, I still say that wisdom is better than muscle, even though the wise poor man was treated with contempt and soon forgotten.17The quiet words of the wise are more effectiveThan the ranting of a king of fools.18Wisdom is better than warheads,But one hothead can ruin the good earth. 

In what ways have you witnessed that life happens regardless of who you are? What have you experienced in life that you didn’t think you should have to experience? Why did you feel like something like that shouldn’t happen to you? How have you answered another person when they’ve asked why something bad could happen to such a good person?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you who gets sick and who does not get sick

Prayers for Healing in our world: Great Mills High school, Parkland high school victims, Puerto Rico, Wildfires, Las Vegas victims, Victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: Kristen, Heidi, Andy, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Jeff & Janet, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Claire, Mark, Anna, Heidi S. Sue, Mary Lynne, Bones, Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of: Tim, Brandon, Mike, Margie, Rev. Jose Luis Torres Milan, Joanne, Peggy, Logan, Dave, Jane, Mason

Prayer: O God, we thank you for this day. We thank you for the many blessings you have given us. We take so much for granted and forget to thank you. We know that you walk with us thru anything that comes our way. Be with us in all that comes our way today. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2018 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

The Message Bible

A ministry at Central Presbyterian Church, 31 N 7th Street, Lafayette, IN

5-22-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 21, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Tuesday, May 22

Ecclesiastes 8:14-9:10

Overindulge.

On the summer days when I was growing up, it was easy to get into a habit of having friends sleep over. We could stay up late and giggle and tell stories and just be together. The food we shared was simple like pizza or some munchies to nibble on. We’d sleep in late with nowhere to go but the pool the next day. Why wouldn’t a person want to continue on with that kind of momentum? I figured that it was all good.

After a day or two of having a friend over, I would try again and ask if they could please, please, please stay over just one more night. At some point in there my mother said “no” and I was so unready to hear the “no” word. It was obvious to me that we were having fun and not causing any major crisis. We were just fully enjoying each other’s company. I wanted to know why I couldn’t do what I wanted to all the time if it wasn’t bothering anyone else.

My mother and my friend’s mothers said that we would like each other much better if we had breaks between our time together. That made no sense to me at all. What I’ve learned is that the word “no” is as much needed as the word “yes.”

8:14  Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.

15   So, I’m all for just going ahead and having a good time—the best possible. The only earthly good men and women can look forward to is to eat and drink well and have a good time—compensation for the struggle for survival these few years God gives us on earth.

16   When I determined to load up on wisdom and examine everything taking place on earth, I realized that if you keep your eyes open day and night without even blinking,  17 you’ll still never figure out the meaning of what God is doing on this earth. Search as hard as you like, you’re not going to make sense of it. No matter how smart you are, you won’t get to the bottom of it.

9:1   Well, I took all this in and thought it through, inside and out. Here’s what I understood: The good, the wise, and all that they do are in God’s hands—but, day by day, whether it’s love or hate they’re dealing with, they don’t know.

Anything’s possible.  2 It’s one fate for everybody—righteous and wicked, good people, bad people, the nice and the nasty, worshipers and non-worshipers, committed and uncommitted.  3 I find this outrageous—the worst thing about living on this earth—that everyone’s lumped together in one fate. Is it any wonder that so many people are obsessed with evil? Is it any wonder that people go crazy right and left? Life leads to death. That’s it.

4   Still, anyone selected out for life has hope, for, as they say, “A living dog is better than a dead lion.”  5 The living at least know something, even if it’s only that they’re going to die. But the dead know nothing and get nothing. They’re a minus that no one remembers.  6 Their loves, their hates, yes, even their dreams, are long gone. There’s not a trace of them left in the affairs of this earth.

7          Seize life! Eat bread with gusto,

Drink wine with a robust heart.

Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!

8        Dress festively every morning.

Don’t skimp on colors and scarves.

9        Relish life with the spouse you love

Each and every day of your precarious life.

Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange

For the hard work of staying alive.

Make the most of each one!

10        Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!

This is your last and only chance at it,

For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think

In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.

Solomon’s theme of doom and gloom and woe is me is pretty consistent throughout this reading. He’s got a particular outlook in this section that says do whatever you want because it just doesn’t matter.

When is a time you remember wanting to do whatever you wanted to do whenever you wanted to do it? When you were young and a friend went on vacation with their family, what things did you do that you wouldn’t have done if they were in town? When have you paid the price for doing too much of one thing? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what they like about nap time

Prayers for Healing in our world: Great Mills High school, Parkland high school victims, Puerto Rico, Wildfires, Las Vegas victims, Victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: Kristen, Heidi, Andy, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Jeff & Janet, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Claire, Mark, Anna, Heidi S. Sue, Mary Lynne, Bones, Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of: Tim, Brandon, Mike, Margie, Rev. Jose Luis Torres Milan, Joanne, Peggy, Logan, Dave, Jane, Mason

Prayer: Our day begins in you, O God. We trust that you have everything in your care. Help us to do the things that are helpful to you. Squelch our spirits that defiantly push to get our way. Help us to walk in your ways. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2018 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

The Message Bible

A ministry at Central Presbyterian Church, 31 N 7th Street, Lafayette, IN

5-21-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 20, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Monday, May 21

1John 3:18-4:6

Taking the time just to be.

There are times when I’m in a hurry and just want to get to the next thing so I can get to the next thing and on and on. I’ve got a punch list in my mind and I’m really on a roll to tend to things on the list.

Other times, I cherish each and every conversation. I want to take the time to just interact with others. At times like those, I realize I’ve been secluded somehow and need interactions.

Ultimately, it’s not the words people are speaking to one another that capture me so much, but the way people treat each other.

I will share one of my favorite quotes from the Most Reverend Michael Curry’s sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday. In his sermon he said the following…

“Think and imagine a world when love is the way. … Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other like we are actually family. When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all. And we are brothers and sisters, children of God. My brothers and sisters, that’s a new Heaven, a new Earth, a new world, a new human family.”

3:18   My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.  19 This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.  20 It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.

21   And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God!  22 We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him.  23 Again, this is God’s command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command.  24 As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.

4:1   My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.

2   Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ—the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person—comes from God and belongs to God.  3 And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought!

4   My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world.  5 These people belong to the Christ-denying world. They talk the world’s language and the world eats it up.  6 But we come from God and belong to God. Anyone who knows God understands us and listens. The person who has nothing to do with God will, of course, not listen to us. This is another test for telling the Spirit of Truth from the spirit of deception.

The writer of 1John reminds the reader that love is more than a matter of words. The reader is asked to have a heart that is right before God and people. This is definitely a letter that speaks about God’s love.

Realizing that you cannot change another person, what are some actions you can do today that can be positive ways of interacting with others? When you think about that person who annoys you, what are some ways that you can reshape the thinking in your own mind to begin in a different way? Who are some people you will lift up in prayer of God’s care today? Have you ever spoken to a child or a co-worker about love? How would you describe real love to a child or a co-worker? What are some examples of real love that you have witnessed?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you how people know if they like each other or love each other

Prayers for Healing in our world: Great Mills High school, Parkland high school victims, Puerto Rico, Wildfires, Las Vegas victims, Victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: Kristen, Heidi, Andy, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Jeff & Janet, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Claire, Mark, Anna, Heidi S. Sue, Mary Lynne, Bones, Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of: Tim, Brandon, Mike, Margie, Rev. Jose Luis Torres Milan, Joanne, Peggy, Logan, Dave, Jane, Mason

Prayer: This day is a day you have given, O God. You’ve graced us with these moments to make a difference for you. As we begin, head our hearts and minds in your direction. Keep us in each moment in ways that express your love to others. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2018 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

The Message Bible

A ministry at Central Presbyterian Church, 31 N 7th Street, Lafayette, IN

5-20-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 19, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Pentecost by James Woodward

Sunday, May 20

The Day of Pentecost

Ephesians 6:10-23

I’m reminded of the high school youth group retreat in the spring of my sophomore year. In addition to the youth minister, many adults from the church called me asking that I try out the youth group and maybe try out the retreat that would be happening soon. I really didn’t like the thought of going away to camp somewhere with people I really didn’t know so well.

Then a friend from high school called me. She was was a regular attender of the youth group and she asked if I would like to go on the retreat. Rather than say that I didn’t have one penny to my name, I gave some lame excuse that I wouldn’t be able to make it.

Next, the youth pastor called and invited me to come along on the retreat. He said that the senior minister mentioned that if money was a issue for the family, my attendance would be paid in full. Once the money piece was not an issue, I had a bit more interest in attending.

I had to work thru some of the thoughts I had about church people. I’d been to slumber parties with friends before, but I wasn’t so sure about being at a camp for a whole weekend with a group of Christians. Church people always seemed so goody two shoes to me. It was okay for them to be that way, but I was sure my family was very different than theirs.

Somewhere in that conversation with the youth pastor, I committed myself to attend the retreat. I felt as if I was supposed to be there and, at the same time, I felt that I really had better things to do with my time. Looking back, I think every single one in attendance at that retreat was meant to attend. The Spirit of God was alive and well and moving in and about the whole group.  It was a retreat that was unlike any other retreat. Individuals hearts’ changed to follow Christ. There was nothing in the weekend about our desire, our control, our manipulating things the way any of us wanted things to be. Once the Spirit took hold of us, it was totally not about us. Surely the presence of the Lord was in that place.

On this day of the celebration of Pentecost, the birth of Christ’s church, my prayer is, Come Lord Jesus be in our midst and turn us upside down for you. Set your church on fire with a spirit of aliveness. Confound our words and our actions that try to take control of you and your church. We are your children who are unruly and try to rule you and your ways instead of seeking your guidance to direct us. Soften our hearts to hear your summons to us once again. Bring us back, O God, to be your alive church. Deliver your Spirit upon us and take hold of our whole beings. Strengthen us and ground us in your word and in your truth. May it be so. Amen

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.

This passage helps us know that there is a real war going on; more than the natural temptations of the sinful nature. There are powers in the unseen world against which we alone are powerless. These are powers we can resist only with the aid of Christ. Some of the weapons we have been given to fight these wars are truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, God’s word, and prayer.

On Sunday mornings, do you feel that God is calling you to worship or do you feel that you are making your own choices as to whether or not you will attend worship? Would you feel open to letting God take control of your life? What would God having control of your life look like to you? What would be the scariest part of letting God take total control of your life?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what it takes for rain to happen

Prayers for Healing in our world: Great Mills High school, Parkland high school victims, Puerto Rico, Wildfires, Las Vegas victims, Victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: Kristen, Heidi, Andy, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Jeff & Janet, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Claire, Mark, Anna, Heidi S. Sue, Mary Lynne, Bones, Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of: Tim, Brandon, Mike, Margie, Rev. Jose Luis Torres Milan, Joanne, Peggy, Logan, Dave, Jane, Mason

Prayer: O God, you are so awesome. You have created things in a really cool way. We know that we get pretty full of ourselves and even try to fit you into our schedule rather than fit ourselves into your plans. You know each and every one of us just as we are. Surprise us and work with us and set our hearts on fire for you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2018 Lucia Oerter

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The Message Bible

A ministry at Central Presbyterian Church, 31 N 7th Street, Lafayette, IN