4-30-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 29, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

IMG_0322Saturday, Apr. 30 

2Thessalonians 3:1-15

Working at Wal-Mart was always a learning experience. You can find out so much about the DNA in a system just by observing and and asking question. I’m always trying to understand why each particular system operates the way it does.

A sad situation at Wal-Mart became interesting to me after the second day. One of the toilets in the women’s restroom was clogged and not working and management sent the custodian in to fix it. After 15 minutes, the custodian was happy to report that he took care of the situation. In actuality, the custodian merely posted a hand-drawn sign which read, “Out of Order.”

Even though this public restroom had two stalls, people continued to use the “Out of Order” clogged toilet as well as the other one. Because people were continuing to use the “Out of Order” toilet, the situation was “piling up.” When the smell was wafting out into the halls, management again called on the custodian to fix the problem.

Late in the evening of Day two, the custodian reported that he took care of the situation. In addition to his hand-drawn sign, he taped caution tape across the stall door handle and he crisscrossed the caution tape all across the stall door to make things clear that the toilet in that stall should not be used. He also stuffed toilet paper in the missing handle area of the stall door to “secure” that no one would try to get into the stall. It was Day three before a real plumber was called in to actually fix the toilet.

There were other things that were not dealt with in a similar way and those of us on overnight shift refered to this as the “Wal-Mart” way. While Wal-Mart is not all about the clogged toilet situation, there’s something about “not dealing with an obvious situation” that really is revealing. Things just get stinky.

3:1  One more thing, friends: Pray for us. Pray that the Master’s Word will simply take off and race through the country to a groundswell of response, just as it did among you.  2 And pray that we’ll be rescued from these scoundrels who are trying to do us in. I’m finding that not all “believers” are believers.  3 But the Master never lets us down. He’ll stick by you and protect you from evil.

4   Because of the Master, we have great confidence in you. We know you’re doing everything we told you and will continue doing it.  5 May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God’s love and Christ’s endurance.

6   Our orders—backed up by the Master, Jesus—are to refuse to have anything to do with those among you who are lazy and refuse to work the way we taught you. Don’t permit them to freeload on the rest.  7 We showed you how to pull your weight when we were with you, so get on with it.  8 We didn’t sit around on our hands expecting others to take care of us. In fact, we worked our fingers to the bone, up half the night moonlighting so you wouldn’t be burdened with taking care of us.  9 And it wasn’t because we didn’t have a right to your support; we did. We simply wanted to provide an example of diligence, hoping it would prove contagious.

10   Don’t you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”  11 And now we’re getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you.  12 This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep.  13 Friends, don’t slack off in doing your duty.

14   If anyone refuses to obey our clear command written in this letter, don’t let him get by with it. Point out such a person and refuse to subsidize his freeloading. Maybe then he’ll think twice.  15 But don’t treat him as an enemy. Sit him down and talk about the problem as someone who cares.

The word “command” means a military order. Some of the Christian soldiers in the church were breaking rank and disobeying orders and Paul was admonishing them. These were people who could have worked but they chose to kick back and not do their part.

In what ways have you witnessed people not doing their part? What thoughts do you have about the custodians way of dealing with the task set before him? Have you worked for people or companies where they dealt with things in a similar way to that of WalMart? If you had been this custodian, would you have tried a different approach to doing your part? If you were a part of the management team, would you have considered the hand drawn sign to be a solution? When have you tried to help someone stay accountable to the task placed before them?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you how they can help to do their part

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

Remember in Prayer:  Ann, Cindy, Selah, Brussels, Natalie, Earl, Heidi, Linda M., Linda B., Karsten & family, Dan, Sharon, Michael, Rick, Donna, Marc, Vivian, Tim, Jean, Frank, Luke, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe

Prayer: We love you, O God and we thank you for this day. We thank you for sending us people to help us know that we are not on a free ticket in life. Thank you for the times when we remember to do our part. May we keep our focus on serving you 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

4-29-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 28, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

question-mark-button-thumb3049741Friday, Apr. 29

Thessalonians 2:1-17

Jumping to conclusions.

You know how it goes. You see a situation and your mind tries to piece things together so it somehow makes sense to you. You get a story going in your head and when the real story finally surfaces, you don’t really believe it because you’ve drawn another conclusion. The two stories do not match.

If you’re not a struggling student academically, when your teacher asks that you stay after class, you might very well conclude that you are flunking out. When the teacher gives you different information than the information you expected, you can’t wrap your head around the message they are giving you.

So, why do we jump to conclusions? What is it about us that we want to make up our own stories? Why do we want to believe everything we read on Facebook or on the news? Why don’t we want to wait for the factual story? Where can we find the true story?

2:1   Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don’t go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him.  2 Don’t let anyone shake you up or get you excited over some breathless report or rumored letter from me that the day of the Master’s arrival has come and gone.  3 Don’t fall for any line like that.

Before that day comes, a couple of things have to happen. First, the Apostasy. Second, the debut of the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan.  4 He’ll defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he’ll then set himself up in God’s Temple as “God Almighty.”  5 Don’t you remember me going over all this in detail when I was with you? Are your memories that short? 6   You’ll also remember that I told you the Anarchist is being held back until just the right time.  7 That doesn’t mean that the spirit of anarchy is not now at work. It is, secretly and underground.  8 But the time will come when the Anarchist will no longer be held back, but will be let loose. But don’t worry. The Master Jesus will be right on his heels and blow him away. The Master appears and—puff!—the Anarchist is out of there. 9   The Anarchist’s coming is all Satan’s work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake,  10 evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them.  11 And since they’re so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it—gives them what they want.  12 Since they refuse to trust truth, they’re banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions. 13   Meanwhile, we’ve got our hands full continually thanking God for you, our good friends—so loved by God! God picked you out as his from the very start. Think of it: included in God’s original plan of salvation by the bond of faith in the living truth.  14 This is the life of the Spirit he invited you to through the Message we delivered, in which you get in on the glory of our Master, Jesus Christ.15   So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter.  16 May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence,  17 put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.

The believers forgot what Paul had taught them, so they were trapped by the lies of the enemy. The times and the seasons of God’s prophetic plan are in God’s hands and God has everything in control. A plan is sketched out here to list what events will occur. The words assure the church that it is destined for salvation and not judgment. The Spirit of God in this world is keeping God’s program on schedule.

When have you jumped to a conclusion? When have you been wrong in concluding something? Why did you think your conclusion was the right answer? Do you continue to jump to conclusions when you have found that your conclusions were often hasty and incorrect? What is a lesson you have learned about jumping to conclusions?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what is the most difficult part about not knowing something

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

Remember in Prayer:  Ann, Cindy, Selah, Brussels, Natalie, Earl, Heidi, Linda M., Linda B., Karsten & family, Dan, Sharon, Michael, Rick, Donna, Marc, Vivian, Tim, Jean, Frank, Luke, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe

Prayer: O God, we thank you for this day and for your love. We thank you for having things in your care. We try to control our timelines so help us to learn patience. Bring a calmness to us and help us in the area of waiting. 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

4-28-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 27, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

together we willThursday, Apr. 28

2Thessalonians 1:1-12

Team work.

I’m reminded of the times in elementary thru high school years when I was paired up with another, or others, to form a team to attend to a task. This was often the case in our gym class.

In gym class, there would be relays and games that required team work. I can’t even count the number of times there would be groans among classmates when a name was called and that person was sent to be on a team. I just want to say, when you hear those groans of disgust when your name was the name called, it’s a real downer. It sends a certain message that the skills you have are not the skills that the team desires.

When I heard this disgust when I was being assigned to a particular team, I didn’t feel like I wanted to do anything to help the team. I figured that I was already not needed or wanted on the team so I didn’t feel like I wanted to knock myself out to try to impress the others.

I have also been asked to be on teams where the other members of the team truly wanted to collaborate. By definition, collaborate means to join forces, to team up, to band together, work together, participate, and pool resources. Collaboration is so refreshing.

In a world of competition, collaboration is not something that comes easy. People have been groomed to compete with others. Our school systems grade one student in comparison with other students. How many opportunities do we get to actually collaborate with others?

What if we knew that everything we did in the church meant we would collaborate? That’s what it’s supposed to be. Our worship, education, mission, and eating and playing together all require that we collaborate. How did we get so far away from collaborating?

1:1   I, Paul, together with Silas and Timothy, greet the church of the Thessalonian Christians in the name of God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.  2 Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be.

3   You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks.  4 We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you. 5   All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom. You’re suffering now,  6 but justice is on the way. When the Master Jesus appears out of heaven in a blaze of fire with his strong angels, he’ll even up the score by settling accounts with those who gave you such a bad time.  7 His coming will be the break we’ve been waiting for.  8 Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey the Message will pay for what they’ve done.  9 Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and his splendid power is their sentence.  10 But on that very same day when he comes, he will be exalted by his followers and celebrated by all who believe—and all because you believed what we told you. 11   Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something.  12 If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.

Along with persecutions on the outside, the church was facing problems on the inside. Some people were suffering great trials for their faith. Others had quit working and were idlers. Paul wrote this letter to encourage those who were suffering, enlighten those who were confused, and warn those who had become careless.

In what ways have you witnessed collaboration in faith communities? Are there groups you belong to where collaboration is a part of everything you do? What is one good experience of working together as a team that you will always remember? Would you say that it is generally more difficult or easy to work together with others? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you when they most need someone to help them do something

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

Remember in Prayer:  Ann, Cindy, Selah, Brussels, Natalie, Earl, Heidi, Linda M., Linda B., Karsten & family, Dan, Sharon, Michael, Rick, Donna, Marc, Vivian, Tim, Jean, Frank, Luke, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe

Prayer: We give you thanks, O God, for this day and for your love. We thank you for the times when we work together with others and the outcome of the work is good. Help us to find ways to collaborate and enjoy the variety of gifting you give. May our efforts be guided by you and 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

4-27-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 26, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

6a00d8341c049553ef011279431df228a4-800wiWednesday, Apr. 27

1Thessalonians 5:12-28

Before reading on, please take a few moments to bring to mind some of your favorite teachers and mentors in life.

Today’s message is packed full of great words of guidance so I’m just going to move on through it and we’ll take these wise scriptural words as a gift to us today.

12 And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience.  13 Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

Leaders are those who lead. Not all of us are leaders, but all of us are followers of Christ. In the faith, we have mentors who guide us into living out our faith. We are to honor those leaders of the faith and make sure they know they are appreciated and loved.

13b Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part.

How often do we work on doing our own part? Most of the time we’re more interested in what others aren’t doing. Did we not learn this basic instruction in Kindergarten?

14 Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs.  15 And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

Actually, in Thessalonica, there were some people who chose not to work; chose to be lazy when they were perfectly capable of working. If they had some reason that they could not work, Paul would have reminded them to care for them and help them to get back on their feet. The writers wanted the fellowship of Christians to stand up to their lazy brothers and sisters and call them accountable. There are some who want in on the goodness of the church community. It is good indeed. Working together is God’s intention and through that working together, some amazing things happen. No freeloaders. Each person is different and brings a variety of God-given gifts to the mix. There will be times when working together brings differences to the fore. Remember that we are to bring the best out of each other and not dwell on our differences.

16 Be cheerful no matter what;  17 pray all the time; 18 thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

I’m not sure about be cheerful all the time. There are life happenings that come along that take us inward and into a dark place within ourselves. It’s pretty important to be true to our emotions. What I think the text is saying is that we have a responsibility to be real and not look like being a Christian is a real drag or downer. I am totally all over thanking God no matter what happens because there is God-ness in everything. Even when we lose a loved one, we can thank God for giving us the few moments where our lives came together and God’s spirit could be shared. That is good.

19 Don’t suppress the Spirit, 20 and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. 21 On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good.  22 Throw out anything tainted with evil.

I think that any time we desire to bring the control of the Spirit into our own arena, we need to check in with God and reorganize ourselves. We can’t schedule when and where the Holy Spirit will be. Checking out the validity of things is something we Christians forget to do. We read things at face value and forget to ask questions and go to God’s word for answers.

23   May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.  24 The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!

25   Friends, keep up your prayers for us.  26 Greet all the Christians there with a holy embrace.  27 And make sure this letter gets read to all the brothers and sisters. Don’t leave anyone out.

28   The amazing grace of Jesus Christ be with you!

These last words remind us that we are to be in prayer; prayer for God to work in us and for our lives to be totally about God’s lead, prayer for God to use us, prayers for our brothers and sisters, and prayers for everything. I think in Kindergarten we learned to share and play fair and work together. God’s intent is that we remember, and live out, that exact lesson.

What are some of the verses in today’s scripture that really resonate with you and what you’re facing in life? Do you feel that these words can be used for people today? Often when we read words of scripture that seem pretty instructive in nature, we can surmise what was going on in the life of the community. Why do you think these words were written for the church in Thessalonica? What do you think was going on? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what things children learn in Kindergarten

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

Remember in Prayer:  Ann, Cindy, Selah, Brussels, Natalie, Earl, Heidi, Linda M., Linda B., Karsten & family, Dan, Sharon, Michael, Rick, Donna, Marc, Vivian, Tim, Jean, Frank, Luke, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

Prayer Request: Prayers for Ann and family in their loss of Ryan

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe

Prayer: O God, you are so good. We thank you for this day and the way you designed everything. We know that there’s a bunch we don’t know about life, but have faith that you are there with us thru everything. Help us remember and live out 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

4-26-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 25, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

waiting-adoption-callTuesday, Apr. 26

1Thessalonians 5:1-11

Anxiously waiting. There’s that time waiting for test results.

There’s that time waiting for the adoption agency to call.

There’s that time in between the interview and the news of the decision made by the employer. I suppose each of us goes thru this anxiety when it comes to hearing whether or not we got the job.

During the times of wait, we work through different scenarios. We think things like, “If I get this job then I’ll be closer to whatever it is and that’s a lot closer than now. Now, when did they say they would like me to start? Did the doctor say that they would call by Friday for sure or did they said it could be into next week before I would hear the results?”

We wait and we want to know how much longer we will have to wait. We want to get our focus on the future and we don’t know what’s going to be in the future. Waiting produces anxiety.

5:1   I don’t think, friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen.  2 You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would.  3 About the time everybody’s walking around complacently, congratulating each other—“We’ve sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!”—suddenly everything will fall apart. It’s going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.

4   But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this?  5 You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand.  6 So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart.  7 People sleep at night and get drunk at night.  8 But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.

9   God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ.  10 He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him!  11 So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.

In yesterday’s text, the writers talked about what happens after death. Now they are answering the question of when Jesus will return. It seems that some of the Christians had expected Jesus to return soon. The apostles had already instructed the people that no one knows when Jesus will come. They also told them about events that must happen before Jesus returns. The day of the Lord will come without warning and will be like the thief who comes at night to rob a house. The point of this is that the Thessalonians should be ready for the Lord to come at any time.

How would you say you do when it comes to having to wait? What are some things you want to know the answer to today? What are some answers you know you will not receive today? If you could really have all of the answers you wanted today, do you think you would really want that? What is the good part about not knowing the answer to everything in life? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what they would most like to know the answer to

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

Remember in Prayer:  Ann, Cindy, Selah, Brussels, Natalie, Earl, Heidi, Linda M., Linda B., Karsten & family, Dan, Sharon, Michael, Rick, Donna, Marc, Vivian, Tim, Jean, Frank, Luke, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe

Prayer: O God, we thank you so much for this day. We thank you that you have all things in your care. There are some things in this day that we will hear and we will feel overjoyed. Other things we hear will be more than what we want to hear. Walk with us, God. Calm us and give us peace. 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

4-25-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 24, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

2092131631_908409587cMonday, Apr. 25

1Thessalonians 4:13-18

At this time of year I can’t help but remember the first time I saw the Goodyear blimp. It might have been around dusk and it was not the easiest thing to see through all of the leaves on the tall trees. It was the sound that beckoned me to look up. I kept hearing this deep humming from above and that was a bit spooky. All of a sudden it came into view and it was pretty overwhelming like I had just watched a scary sci-fi movie. Add to that a few comments my mother shared about the Hindenburg disaster. All those things pieced into my mind that blimps were not safe and we needed to hide from them. In my little head, that’s the message that was shared loud and clear. Later in life I was able to reason thru how my initial information was a bit messed up. I haven’t signed up to ride in a blimp if there was an opportunity, but I’m not running inside a house to get away from a blimp anymore. That’s good, right?

13   And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word.  14 Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.

15   And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us.  16 The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first.  17 Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master.  18 Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.

We can assume from the writing today, that people in Paul’s time were concerned with what happened after death and what would happen to those who had already died. Paul explains that those who have died will have the same benefit from the return of Jesus as those who are still alive then. Those who are alive when Jesus comes will not go to heaven before those who have died. Jesus told them that those who are alive would not have an advantage over those who sleep. They had been worried that those who had died would miss some of the benefits of the Lord’s return. The answer to their question was that both the living and the dead would have the same blessing and at the same time. They will be there when the Lord comes and they will take part in the glory of that day.

What are some thoughts you have about life after death? What are some questions you have about life after death? Is there any Biblical references you have for your thoughts about life after death? Have you ever talked to someone else about their thoughts about life after death? When a loved one dies, what things do you wonder? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you where people go to find out about life

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

Remember in Prayer:  Ryan, Cindy, Selah, Brussels, Natalie, Earl, Heidi, Linda M., Linda B., Karsten & family, Dan, Sharon, Michael, Rick, Donna, Marc, Vivian, Tim, Jean, Frank, Luke, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe

Prayer: We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day. We want answers to so many questions, but with those answers we would have even more questions. Help us, O God, to live this day in faith that you are God. 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

4-24-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted April 23, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

life-purpose-pathSunday, Apr. 24

1Thessalonians 4:9-12

I really had to spend some time trying to figure out the ministry God intended for me. The closer I moved to graduation from seminary, the more I was asking myself, “Where do you feel God is calling you to be in ministry?” I had some idea that the answer would be something like, “I feel God is calling me to be at thus and such church in whatever city, to work with 28.5 youth for 5.6 years.” There was no way I had specifics like that upon my heart.

The call to ministry that has to be open to God’s leading or it will be all about our desire and nothing about God’s desire. I had lots of ideas of what would feel comfortable and pleasing to me, but ministry is about that which is pleasing to God. As they say, “It’s wasn’t all about me.”

There were some knowns and many more unknowns in the call to ministry. What I do know is that in every church I’ve served, God has used my gift of calm in the midst of anxiety. Especially in transitional ministry, I’m always greeted with a bit of anxiety as church members wonder what’s going to happen to them. There’s something about being the bearer of calm that just feels right to me.

9   Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God taught in these matters. Just love one another!  10 You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.

11   Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts.  12 We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.

The time in which this was written was a difficult time. The Christians had to suffer much from the people who did not believe in Jesus. It would have been quite natural to be angry or fight back, but that was not how Christians act. Paul’s words encouraged the readers to stay focused in the work God had placed before them; minding their own business and doing their own job.

Would you say that you are a pretty calm person when other people are reactive? How difficult is it for you to mind your own business? When do you find that you are interested in someone else’s business? What occurs when people are snoopy about others?  Are you relatively sure that you know what God desires of you in this world? When have you been most focused and when have you been most lost in life? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you when it would be good to stay calm

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

Remember in Prayer:  Ryan, Cindy, Selah, Brussels, Natalie, Earl, Heidi, Linda M., Linda B., Karsten & family, Dan, Sharon, Michael, Rick, Donna, Marc, Vivian, Tim, Jean, Frank, Luke, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

Prayer Request:  Prayers for Ryan. He had a heart attack Saturday evening and is in ICU. Prayers for peace and protection and healing. Prayers for Ann and all the family members.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe

Prayer: O God, you give us this day and we thank you. Thank you for your love and presence with us. As we move in this day, help us to stay focused. Keep us calm and help to accomplish exactly what you need of us today. 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


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