10-19-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted October 18, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Friday, Oct. 19

Hosea 13:9-16

If I flip a switch on the wall, the light will come on. If I insert my key into the lock in the church door, the door will be unlocked. At some of the  apartment complexes I’ve lived in, if I nudged my car toward an exit gate, the gate senses that a car is there and will open.

We learn about cause and effect quite early on in life. If you ever tried to touch a hot plate, stove, or if you have gotten too close to a fire, there were most likely memorable consequences you suffered. If you travel to Florida and enjoy a full day in the sun with no sunscreen applied, you will most likely sunburn as a result of your exposure to the sun. If you don’t put the emergency brake on a vehicle that is parked on a slope, you may learn why that is so important.

When I was in high school, during one experiment the chemistry teacher lit a small cube of a silvery metal and it gave off an amazingly bright light. Before that moment, I didn’t really believe it was possible for metal to burn. I was not expecting to see what I saw. I think we even had to predict what we believed would happen. While I knew that wood and paper and some other things would catch fire, I was relatively sure that metal could not burn.

I was amazed, not just that the metal burned, but that it burned with the most intense and bright light I had ever witnessed.

13:9        I’m going to destroy you, Israel.

              Who is going to stop me? 

10    Where is your trusty king you thought would save you?

              Where are all the local leaders you wanted so badly?

       All these rulers you insisted on having,

              demanding, ‘Give me a king! Give me leaders!’? 

11    Well, long ago I gave you a king, but I wasn’t happy about it.

              Now, fed up, I’ve gotten rid of him. 

12    I have a detailed record of your infidelities—

              Ephraim’s sin documented and stored in a safe-deposit box.

13    “When birth pangs signaled it was time to be born,

              Ephraim was too stupid to come out of the womb.

       When the passage into life opened up,

              he didn’t show. 

14    Shall I intervene and pull them into life?

              Shall I snatch them from a certain death?

       Who is afraid of you, Death?

              Who cares about your threats, Tomb?

       In the end I’m abolishing regret,

              banishing sorrow, 

15    Even though Ephraim ran wild,

              the black sheep of the family.

       “GOD’S tornado is on its way,

              roaring out of the desert.

       It will devastate the country,

              leaving a trail of ruin and wreckage.

       The cities will be gutted,

              dear possessions gone for good. 

16    Now Samaria has to face the charges

              because she has rebelled against her God:

       Her people will be killed, babies smashed on the rocks,

              pregnant women ripped open.”

Ephraim had been a great tribe in Israel. God saved them from Egypt and in the wilderness, and God could have saved them from Assyria; but they trusted their wealth, their kings, and their foreign policy. Ephraim would no longer be fruitful. A very angry God we hear about.

When have you tried an experiment and you were quite confident that your perceived outcome would be the obvious outcome? When have you found that other things could possibly be an outcome? When were you last surprised by an outcome you hadn’t thought could happen? What are the things that convince you that something is true? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what they believe might happen if they leave their shoes outside overnight

Prayers for Healing in our world: Victims of hurricanes and flooding, victims of the fires in California, victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: John, Joyce and family, Victims of Hurricane Florence, Peg, Heidi, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Heidi S., Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

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

Prayer:   For this day and for your love, we thank you, O God. Thank you for your way and your lead. Guide our hearts so that we may continue to follow you and seek your will. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2018 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

The Message Bible

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

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10-18-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted October 18, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Thursday, Oct. 18

Hosea 13:4-8

Once, when I picked up Midnight from the kennels, I went in to the office to pay for her keep and her caregiver said that Midnight was a very smart dog. She went on to explain.

She said that some of the chain link kennels along the back wall have u-shaped latches. This didn’t seem unusual. She said that Midnight knew how they worked. After the kennel caregiver fed Midnight in the morning, she went about her business; working her way around the kennels to make sure the other dogs were fed and the kennels were cleaned.

Sometime after Midnight was fed, she unlatched her own cage and went on an adventure around the grounds. The kennels are located on many acres so it’s not certain where she went on her adventure. Her caregiver said that she was just working away at cleaning the kennel walkway and she felt a wet nose touch the back of her leg. That was Midnight safe and sound.

What is known is that during Midnight’s adventures, she made sure to take a swim in the pond because she was all wet when she approached the caregiver. What I think the caregiver was referring to as the “smart” part was that Midnight stayed close to the person who would be sure to feed her. She vacationed at the kennels many times and probably knew her way around and knew where to find new adventures.

13:4        “I’m still your GOD,

              the God who saved you out of Egypt.

       I’m the only real God you’ve ever known.

              I’m the one and only God who delivers. 

5     I took care of you during the wilderness hard times,

              those years when you had nothing. 

6     I took care of you, took care of all your needs,

              gave you everything you needed.

       You were spoiled. You thought you didn’t need me.

              You forgot me.

7     “I’ll charge them like a lion,

              like a leopard stalking in the brush. 

8     I’ll jump them like a sow grizzly robbed of her cubs.

              I’ll rip out their guts.

       Coyotes will make a meal of them.

              Crows will clean their bones. 

God begins to speak again and reminds the people of the Sinai covenant made between God and the people. The people are reminded that it was God who fed them in the desert when they were hungry. Israel was like a child in need of care but so easily willing to forget God’s goodness to them and God’s presence.

When have you been most proud of being able to take care of yourself? When have you had to ask another person for help? In what ways have you felt God’s provision for you? How would you explain the difference between you being able to provide for yourself and God providing for you? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what they do when they feel lost

Prayers for Healing in our world: Victims of hurricanes and flooding, victims of the fires in California, victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: John, Joyce and family, Victims of Hurricane Florence, Peg, Heidi, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Heidi S., Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

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

Prayer:   O God, we thank you for this day. Thank you for the times when we are there to help our brothers and sisters in their time of need. May our actions lead them in their ability to help 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 St., Lafayette, IN

10-17-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted October 16, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Wednesday, Oct. 17

Hosea 13:1-3

At some point, dogs seem to be the recipients of skunk-bombings. They are so curious and just let that curiosity get close enough to a skunk that they received the skunks’ defensive spray in major proportions. One would think that the dogs would learn from said skunk-bombings, but that is not the case.

While dogs seem to learn pretty quickly in some areas, I don’t think the skunk-bombing spray is something that they pick up on so well. I suspect that when dogs see an animal or critter moving about in what the dogs have determined as their territory, they just naturally go on a “seek” and “destroy” mission. It could be that they also want to play, but there’s little time to check that potential out with a skunk.

I, for one, have little room to judge the dogs and their seemingly lack of “learning their lesson” the first time. I distinctly remember the teeth tingling buzz I got many times as I explored electrical wall sockets as a child. I was fascinated with the buzz. I couldn’t figure out what caused the buzz, but I knew it had something to do with the socket.

I am quite thankful to God for getting me thru those slow learning times I had with electricity. I’m very thankful that I was spared what might have happened.

13:1        God once let loose against Ephraim

              a terrifying sentence against Israel:

       Caught and convicted

              in the lewd sex-worship of Baal—they died! 

2     And now they’re back in the sin business again,

              manufacturing god-images they can use,

       Religion customized to taste. Professionals see to it:

              Anything you want in a god you can get.

       Can you believe it? They sacrifice live babies to these dead gods—

              kill living babies and kiss golden calves! 

3     And now there’s nothing left to these people:

              hollow men, desiccated women,

       Like scraps of paper blown down the street,

              like smoke in a gusty wind.

It was the Israelites who continued to turn from God and set out on their own adventure. They made golden idols and worshipped them and kissed them. Hosea gives us many images to help us picture in our minds what was going on.

If we got a heavy dose of skunk bomb every time we did something we weren’t supposed to do, do you think we would learn any faster to not do that thing again? What are some of the ways we get skunk bombed by other people? What are some of the ways we skunk bomb others? What are some of the ways you try to get rid of the skunk bombing that has come your way? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you why people don’t like skunks

Prayers for Healing in our world: Victims of hurricanes and flooding, victims of the fires in California, victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: John, Joyce and family, Victims of Hurricane Florence, Peg, Heidi, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Heidi S., Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of: Wayne, 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 for this day. We thank you for the ways you surround us with protection and we would ask that you keep us from danger. Help us to be guided by 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 St., Lafayette, IN

10-16-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted October 15, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Tuesday, Oct. 16

Hosea 12:2-14

I was thinking what it might be like if we were sent back in history to the time when our pioneer family was trudging across the country. I’m pretty sure that Holiday Inns were not part of our dear motherland back in the day. What if some strange event caused us to be tent dwelling people who didn’t know what our next hours and next days, would be like? Imagine being thrust back hundreds of years and our today skills didn’t secure a place for us in the new kind of daily living we’d be forced to face each day. We’d be lost. Maybe we could remember some of the things we read in textbooks, but I’m sure we’d be lost.

We’re used to a fast pace and the ability to be self-sufficient. In today’s world, the idea of depending upon the provision of others is not so much in our vocabulary. How would we ever learn to live in community?

12:2        GOD is bringing charges against Israel.

              Jacob’s children are hauled into court to be punished. 

3     In the womb, that heel, Jacob, got the best of his brother.

              When he grew up, he tried to get the best of GOD. 

4     But GOD would not be bested.

              GOD bested him.

       Brought to his knees,

              Jacob wept and prayed.

       GOD found him at Bethel.

              That’s where he spoke with him. 

5     GOD is GOD of-the-Angel-Armies,

              GOD Revealed, GOD Known.

  

6     What are you waiting for? Return to your God!

              Commit yourself in love, in justice!

       Wait for your God,

              and don’t give up on him—ever!

  

7     The businessmen engage in wholesale fraud.

              They love to rip people off! 

8     Ephraim boasted, “Look, I’m rich!

              I’ve made it big!

       And look how well I’ve covered my tracks:

              not a hint of fraud, not a sign of sin!”

  

9     “But not so fast! I’m GOD, your God!

              Your God from the days in Egypt!

       I’m going to put you back to living in tents,

              as in the old days when you worshiped in the wilderness. 

10    I speak through the prophets

              to give clear pictures of the way things are.

              Using prophets, I tell revealing stories. 

11    I show Gilead rampant with religious scandal

              and Gilgal teeming with empty-headed religion.

       I expose their worship centers as

              stinking piles of garbage in their gardens.”  

12    Are you going to repeat the life of your ancestor Jacob?

              He ran off guilty to Aram,

       Then sold his soul to get ahead,

              and made it big through treachery and deceit. 

13    Your real identity is formed through God-sent prophets,

              who led you out of Egypt and served as faithful pastors. 

14    As it is, Ephraim has continually

              and inexcusably insulted God.

       Now he has to pay for his life-destroying ways.

              His Master will do to him what he has done. 

God promised to keep Israel safe, but Israel looked to other countries so that she could be safe.

Hosea wants to bring the story of Jacob and Israel together. Hosea tells Israel that they have a great God and that they can follow him.

When have you found that you have enlisted a back up plan? In what way were you lacking confidence in the future provision? In what ways are you confident that God will provide for you this day? In what ways are you unsure of God’s provision?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you how they know when they are safe

Prayers for Healing in our world: Victims of hurricanes and flooding, victims of the fires in California, victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: John, Joyce and family, Victims of Hurricane Florence, Peg, Heidi, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Heidi S., Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of: Wayne, 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 for your love. Thank you for being with us and watching over us. Help us to live in the assurance of your protection. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2018 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

The Message Bible

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

 

10-15-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted October 14, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Monday, Oct. 15

Hosea 11:12-12:1

To protect the true identity of this individual, I’ll just call him Pete. Pete was a neighborhood kid who was just wound tight. He was hilarious, but he could turn on you faster than anyone.

He hung around with the guys in the neighborhood and I was always thankful for that because he didn’t mess with me. When something didn’t set with Pete, he would come unglued. His anger and rage frightened all of us. I think Pete had a paper route and I would think that on a bad day, he could have decided to just forgo delivering any papers. It would be nothing for Pete to tell off the paper station manager or a person who was a customer, or anyone else in the middle.

Pete had no filter for holding back in what Migh come out of his mouth. As you would expect, this lack of being able to filter what he said got him in a lot of trouble.

Pete was more often on probation than actually attending the school. I know that I could not trust one thing that Pete said to me or to anyone else. I’m pretty sure that the adults felt the same way. Somewhere in our junior high years, Pete fell off the face of the school map.

11:12      Ephraim tells lies right and left.

              Not a word of Israel can be trusted.

       Judah, meanwhile, is no better,

              addicted to cheap gods.

12:1        Ephraim, obsessed with god-fantasies,

              chases ghosts and phantoms.

       He tells lies nonstop,

              soul-destroying lies.

       Both Ephraim and Judah made deals with Assyria

              and tried to get an inside track with Egypt. 

Both Israel and Judah (the southern kingdom) are included in this message. The prophet reviews the history of Jacob their founder and sees his deceit in his descendants. The time had come for Israel and Judah to return t God and repent of their sins.

Have you known a person who could not be trusted? How did you experience their not being trustworthy? If you have had distrust in a person, were you ever able to regain trust in the person? Has someone ever experienced you as untrustworthy? Were you able to ever gain back their trust? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you how they know that their friends like them

Prayers for Healing in our world: Victims of hurricanes and flooding, victims of the fires in California, victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: John, Joyce and family, Victims of Hurricane Florence, Peg, Heidi, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Heidi S., Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

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

Prayer:   O God, we come before you this day in deep thanks for the gift of this day and the gift of life. Help us to be trustworthy in all that we say and do. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2018 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

The Message Bible

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

10-14-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted October 14, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Sunday, Oct. 14

Hosea 11:1-11

After college I was interested in what God wanted of me. I reasoned that I was walking a pretty good road in life and that was something. I had employment and by being employed I was able to buy a brand new car and some auto insurance. Somehow I believed that once I got those basic pieces slotted in place, life would make sense in some way.

I was a bit disappointed that the job, the car and insurance didn’t bring it on home for me. With the car and insurance as my main focus, getting an apartment was placed on the back burner. I started feeling like if I just had my own apartment, then everything would make sense. I moved from my previous job to a new job and was hopeful that I would then gain a higher salary and I could begin the search for an apartment.

I think this may be the way it goes for many of us. It may not be those exact priorities for you, but a sense that there is some missing thing that will be the exact thing needed to bring everything into a balance and meaning in life.

When does God come into the picture as that missing piece if we’re caught up in painting the picture we want?

11:1        ”When Israel was only a child, I loved him.

              I called out, ‘My son!’—called him out of Egypt. 

2     But when others called him,

              he ran off and left me.

       He worshiped the popular sex gods,

              he played at religion with toy gods. 

3     Still, I stuck with him. I led Ephraim.

              I rescued him from human bondage,

       But he never acknowledged my help, 

4             never admitted that I was the one pulling his wagon,

       That I lifted him, like a baby, to my cheek,

       that I bent down to feed him. 

5     Now he wants to go back to Egypt or go over to Assyria—

              anything but return to me! 

6     That’s why his cities are unsafe—the murder rate skyrockets

              and every plan to improve things falls to pieces. 

7     My people are hell-bent on leaving me.

              They pray to god Baal for help.

              He doesn’t lift a finger to help them. 

8     But how can I give up on you, Ephraim?

              How can I turn you loose, Israel?

       How can I leave you to be ruined like Admah,

              devastated like luckless Zeboim?

       I can’t bear to even think such thoughts.

              My insides churn in protest. 

9     And so I’m not going to act on my anger.

              I’m not going to destroy Ephraim.

       And why? Because I am God and not a human.

              I’m The Holy One and I’m here—in your very midst.

10    “The people will end up following GOD.

              I will roar like a lion—

       Oh, how I’ll roar!

              My frightened children will come running from the west. 

11    Like frightened birds they’ll come from Egypt,

              from Assyria like scared doves.

       I’ll move them back into their homes.”

              GOD’S Word!

Israel took for granted their covenant relationship with the Lord, forgetting that God chose them. They followed their own plans and gave no thought to the will of God. When God rebuked them, they did not repent. The soil of their hearts was hard, but God’s heart was tender towards them.

What life priorities do you have right now? When have you consulted with God to find a direction for your life? In what way do you keep God in the loop of what you want to do in life? In what way do you follow God’s lead for God’s desire for you in life? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you where people go to find God

Prayers for Healing in our world: Victims of hurricanes and flooding, victims of the fires in California, victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: John, Joyce and family, Victims of Hurricane Florence, Peg, Heidi, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Heidi S., Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

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

Prayer:   We begin this day in you, O God. We want to learn how to quiet ourselves and our own ideas so we can hear you speak to us. Help us to work on that quieting part today. Nudge our hearts so we can hear you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2018 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

The Message Bible

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

10-13-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted October 12, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Saturday, Oct. 13

Hosea 10:1-15

I had difficulty listening in the classroom when I was young. Pretty much nothing in school was interesting to me. Actually, I enjoyed music and art, but that was about it. I think our music and art class was a whole class period and maybe our gym class as well.

With the reality of where things are in today’s world with funding and all, I’m very happy I lived when I did. It would be horrible to not have an outlet for that pent up feeling I had most of the time. I was just a distracted student.

From a teacher’s eyes, I was most likely perceived as a likable child and one who would do almost anything for any teacher who would take the time to get to know me. My parents fought a lot so I wanted to be at school because it was relaxing to be away from my home.

So many times I have wished that my grade school days could have been focused on just learning the things we were supposed to learn. Instead, I was constantly going from trying to relax from my home setting and trying to learn what was being placed before me. Some days I would do great at school and other days, I was a complete wash.

10:1        Israel was once a lush vine,

              bountiful in grapes.

       The more lavish the harvest,

              the more promiscuous the worship.

       The more money they got,

              the more they squandered on gods-in-their-own-image. 

2     Their sweet smiles are sheer lies.

              They’re guilty as sin.

       God will smash their worship shrines,

              pulverize their god-images.

3     They go around saying,

              “Who needs a king?

       We couldn’t care less about GOD,

              so why bother with a king?

              What difference would he make?” 

4     They talk big,

              lie through their teeth,

              make deals.

       But their high-sounding words

              turn out to be empty words, litter in the gutters.

5     The people of Samaria travel over to Crime City

              to worship the golden calf-god.

       They go all out, prancing and hollering,

              taken in by their showmen priests.

       They act so important around the calf-god,

              but are oblivious to the sham, the shame. 

6     They have plans to take it to Assyria,

              present it as a gift to the great king.

       And so Ephraim makes a fool of himself,

              disgraces Israel with his stupid idols.

7     Samaria is history. Its king

              is a dead branch floating down the river. 

8     Israel’s favorite sin centers

              will all be torn down.

       Thistles and crabgrass

              will decorate their ruined altars.

       Then they’ll say to the mountains, “Bury us!”

              and to the hills, “Fall on us!”

9     You got your start in sin at Gibeah—

              that ancient, unspeakable, shocking sin—

       And you’ve been at it ever since.

              And Gibeah will mark the end of it

              in a war to end all the sinning. 

10    I’ll come to teach them a lesson.

              Nations will gang up on them,

       Making them learn the hard way

              the sum of Gibeah plus Gibeah.

11    Ephraim was a trained heifer

              that loved to thresh.

       Passing by and seeing her strong, sleek neck,

              I wanted to harness Ephraim,

       Put Ephraim to work in the fields—

              Judah plowing, Jacob harrowing: 

12    Sow righteousness,

              reap love.

       It’s time to till the ready earth,

              it’s time to dig in with GOD,

       Until he arrives

              with righteousness ripe for harvest. 

13    But instead you plowed wicked ways,

              reaped a crop of evil and ate a salad of lies.

       You thought you could do it all on your own,

              flush with weapons and manpower. 

14    But the volcano of war will erupt among your people.

              All your defense posts will be leveled

       As viciously as king Shalman

              leveled the town of Beth-arba,

       When mothers and their babies

              were smashed on the rocks. 

15    That’s what’s ahead for you, you so-called people of God,

              because of your off-the-charts evil.

       Some morning you’re going to wake up

              and find Israel, king and kingdom, a blank—nothing.

Israel was trying to serve two masters. They lied to God, they worshipped idols, and their hearts were hard and needed plowing up. They sowed the wrong seed in the wrong kind of soil and yet expected to reap the right harvest.

When have you been so consumed in worry for another person or another event that you have lost your footing in the present? When have you most felt pulled in two different directions? When have you felt like you most needed to make a major choice between two different draws upon your life? Have you ever felt as if you were trying to serve two masters?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you a good way to concentrate when you are having trouble concentrating

Prayers for Healing in our world: Victims of hurricanes and flooding, victims of the fires in California, victims of racism, actions of violence, homelessness, oppression, abuse

Remember in Prayer: John, Joyce and family, Victims of Hurricane Florence, Peg, Heidi, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, Barb, Roger, Richard, Jason, Laurie, Judy, Shirley, Susie, Jayne, Tim, Janice, Lis, Betsy, Kristen, Zula, Josh, Livy, Jaclyn, Carla, Jeremy, Sheri, Deana, John, James, Vivian, Heidi S., Nan, Jean, Analea, Frank

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

Prayer:   O God, you have given us this day and we give you thanks. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. Help us to keep our focus today and know that you want to use us in this world. May our focus remain upon you and your desire for us this day. 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 St., Lafayette, IN