8-18-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 17, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Saturday, Aug 18

Judges 16:1-14

After receiving my Associates degree I had to get a job before I could pay for any more college courses.

I found an 8-5 job, bought a car, got married, had 3 children, and then stayed-at-home to raise my children for almost 10 years.

When I attended some of the bankers wives functions given by my husband’s place of employment, I was reminded of how much importance was placed on having a bachelor’s degree. Not everyone at those functions had a college degree and in those very beginning moments, we seemed to find each other. As we sat and conversed, I found that I really liked the women around the table. In my own estimation, they were doing some very meaningful work. They volunteered in schools and in young mother’s groups and in churches. We were very supportive of one another.

Mingling with others in the larger group, I couldn’t shake the sense that I was falling behind in the working world. I didn’t know how to join the “professional” conversation.

When my husband and I divorced, I was holding 3 part time jobs and it was very clear that I could not pay the bills with the combined income from those three jobs. The only thing I knew that might help was to pick up some college courses to work away at that ominous task ahead of me. I didn’t know how I was going to pay for the education to get a better income.

Moving through the divorce slowed me down a bit, but it also gave me an opportunity to obtain Pell grants to make my college work possible. Indiana University/Purdue University in Indianapolis offered a variety of correspondence courses and “at-the-mall” weekend courses, and that provided a way for me to receive college credit for my work-related experience. With all those pieces combined, I was able to finish my undergraduate work one semester sooner than the original plan.

Near the end of my undergrad work, I looked ahead at seminary work and that seemed overwhelming and intimidating. Fortunately, I was reminded of all the things God had just accomplished in me when I let God take the lead. I grounded myself in the confidence that God would continue to work through me.

There are some things we may think we cannot accomplish or that will keep us down, but in reality, God can accomplish amazing things to those who trust God to work through them. I can attest to that for sure.

16:1   Samson went to Gaza and saw a prostitute. He went to her.  2 The news got around: “Samson’s here.” They gathered around in hiding, waiting all night for him at the city gate, quiet as mice, thinking, “At sunrise we’ll kill him.” 

3   Samson was in bed with the woman until midnight. Then he got up, seized the doors of the city gate and the two gateposts, bolts and all, hefted them on his shoulder, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron. 

4   Some time later he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek (Grapes). Her name was Delilah.  5 The Philistine tyrants approached her and said, “Seduce him. Discover what’s behind his great strength and how we can tie him up and humble him. Each man’s company will give you a hundred shekels of silver.” 

6   So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me, dear, the secret of your great strength, and how you can be tied up and humbled.” 

7   Samson told her, “If they were to tie me up with seven bowstrings—the kind made from fresh animal tendons, not dried out—then I would become weak, just like anyone else.” 

8   The Philistine tyrants brought her seven bowstrings, not dried out, and she tied him up with them.  9 The men were waiting in ambush in her room. Then she said, “The Philistines are on you, Samson!” He snapped the cords as though they were mere threads. The secret of his strength was still a secret. 

10   Delilah said, “Come now, Samson—you’re playing with me, making up stories. Be serious; tell me how you can be tied up.” 

11   He told her, “If you were to tie me up tight with new ropes, ropes never used for work, then I would be helpless, just like anybody else.” 

12   So Delilah got some new ropes and tied him up. She said, “The Philistines are on you, Samson!” The men were hidden in the next room. He snapped the ropes from his arms like threads. 

13   Delilah said to Samson, “You’re still playing games with me, teasing me with lies. Tell me how you can be tied up.” 

 He said to her, “If you wove the seven braids of my hair into the fabric on the loom and drew it tight, then I would be as helpless as any other mortal.” 

 When she had him fast asleep, Delilah took the seven braids of his hair and wove them into the fabric on the loom 14 and drew it tight. Then she said, “The Philistines are on you, Samson!” He woke from his sleep and ripped loose from both the loom and fabric! 

The story of Samson and Delilah is epic for sure. As Delilah tries to trick Samson, over and over his strength is more powerful than what he said. God endowed Samson with superhuman strength.

When have you found that you were able to do something that you believed you could not do? When someone asks you about your Achilles heel in life, do you wonder about their motives or you just tell them? What did you used to believe you couldn’t do but have since found that you can do it? What do tell someone who is struggling with confidence in themselves?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what things they have learned to do on their own

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

Remember in Prayer: Heidi, children & teachers returning to school, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, 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, Heidi S., 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 are definitely interesting creatures, O God. We thank you for your loving kindness and desire for our hearts to be grounded in you. Be with us in this day and help accomplish exactly what you need us to accomplish. 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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8-17-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 16, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Friday, Aug. 17

Judges 14:20-15:20

When anger takes hold of a person, it’s most difficult to hold them back from lashing out at others.

Perhaps you have noticed how quick drivers are in reacting to the actions of the driver of another car. Maybe a person is daydreaming and may have missed the opportunity to get through the intersection on the left turn only light. Maybe the driver of the other car is slowing down for no apparent reason. No matter what the perceived error might be, before you know it, the other driver is lofting off expletives and gestures. Some really angry drivers might even jump out of their own car and land a punch because their anger has built up in just a few moments.

Most of the time I would hope that we know some healthy outlets for our anger. It’s often that the fuse might be too short for our rational thinking to interrupt the state of our mind that’s landed over in reptilian mode. Each of us has our own list and our own ranking system for the things we deem to be serious infraction of another human being.

Think back to the last time you were really angry. Was it something that was said or a certain person walked in or out of the room or something you read? What did you do when you got angry?

Oh, how I wish we had padded rooms for such times of anger. I also wish that we were always of rational mind and able to process before unleashing anger. I wish there was a buffer so we would be kept from speaking or yelling or saying those angry words to others.

14:20 Samson’s bride became the wife of the best man at his wedding. 

15:1   Later on—it was during the wheat harvest—Samson visited his bride, bringing a young goat. He said, “Let me see my wife—show me her bedroom.” 

 But her father wouldn’t let him in.  2 He said, “I concluded that by now you hated her with a passion, so I gave her to your best man. But her little sister is even more beautiful. Why not take her instead?” 

3   Samson said, “That does it. This time when I wreak havoc on the Philistines, I’m blameless.” 

4   Samson then went out and caught three hundred jackals. He lashed the jackals’ tails together in pairs and tied a torch between each pair of tails.  5 He then set fire to the torches and let them loose in the Philistine fields of ripe grain. Everything burned, both stacked and standing grain, vineyards and olive orchards—everything. 

6   The Philistines said, “Who did this?” 

 They were told, “Samson, son-in-law of the Timnite who took his bride and gave her to his best man.” 

 The Philistines went up and burned both her and her father to death. 

7   Samson then said, “If this is the way you’re going to act, I swear I’ll get even with you. And I’m not quitting till the job’s done!” 

8   With that he tore into them, ripping them limb from limb—a huge slaughter. Then he went down and stayed in a cave at Etam Rock. 

9   The Philistines set out and made camp in Judah, preparing to attack Lehi (Jawbone).  10 When the men of Judah asked, “Why have you come up against us?” they said, “We’re out to get Samson. We’re going after Samson to do to him what he did to us.” 

11   Three companies of men from Judah went down to the cave at Etam Rock and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines already bully and lord it over us? So what’s going on with you, making things even worse?” 

 He said, “It was tit for tat. I only did to them what they did to me.” 

12   They said, “Well, we’ve come down here to tie you up and turn you over to the Philistines.” 

 Samson said, “Just promise not to hurt me.” 

13   “We promise,” they said. “We will tie you up and surrender you to them but, believe us, we won’t kill you.” They proceeded to tie him with new ropes and led him up from the Rock. 

14   As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came to meet him, shouting in triumph. And then the Spirit of GOD came on him with great power. The ropes on his arms fell apart like flax on fire; the thongs slipped off his hands.  15 He spotted a fresh donkey jawbone, reached down and grabbed it, and with it killed the whole company.  16 And Samson said, With a donkey’s jawbone I made heaps of donkeys of them. With a donkey’s jawbone I killed an entire company. 

17   When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone. He named that place Ramath Lehi (Jawbone Hill). 

18   Now he was suddenly very thirsty. He called out to GOD, “You have given your servant this great victory. Are you going to abandon me to die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”  19 So God split open the rock basin in Lehi; water gushed out and Samson drank. His spirit revived—he was alive again! That’s why it’s called En Hakkore (Caller’s Spring). It’s still there at Lehi today. 

20   Samson judged Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines. 

Responding to Samson’s anger, his intended father-in-law retaliated by giving away Samson’s bride. Then Samson retaliated by burning the Philistines’ harvest, and the Philistines in turn burned the bride and her father. Samson was all over the place in getting even.

Samson says in verse 3, that he has a right to get even. Do people have a right to get even? What is getting even about? When would even be even? When is revenge right? When have you wanted to get even with someone else? How did you think things would become even? Have a day! 

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you why people get angry

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

Remember in Prayer: Heidi, children & teachers returning to school, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, 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, Heidi S., 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 and for your love. We thank you for loving us even when we get all high and mighty with ourselves. You have called us into servant leadership. Help us to serve you 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

 

 

8-16-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 15, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

This is little Ellie in Defiance Mode

This is little Ellie in Defiance Mode

Thursday, Aug. 16

Judges 14:1-19

When my mother instructed me to stay inside the house and not go anywhere, she meant it. I will admit that I chose not to follow the instructions she gave to me. I was probably junior high age and I was testing the waters, pushing the envelope, and trying every angle I could to be in charge of me.

A short time after dinner, my mother was feeling the affects of overindulging in alcohol and asleep on our sofa. I assumed it would be the same as the other nights when she was passed out for many hours. I went over to my girlfriend’s house and came home before dark.

When I walked in the door, my mother was sitting on the sofa and she was very mad at me. I remember her saying that I was being so defiant. All I knew was that I was in trouble.

I was slightly bothered when she said that I would be grounded for a week. I wasn’t out drinking or smoking. I wasn’t out doing anything other than spending some time with my girlfriend. I wasn’t seeing that I had done something that would warrant my being punished. Well, there was that instruction my mother did impart to me telling me to stay inside the house.

It took some thinking on my part but I finally figured out that I had been defiant and that wasn’t the wisest thing to do.

14:1   Samson went down to Timnah. There in Timnah a woman caught his eye, a Philistine girl.  2 He came back and told his father and mother, “I saw a woman in Timnah, a Philistine girl; get her for me as my wife.” 

3   His parents said to him, “Isn’t there a woman among the girls in the neighborhood of our people? Do you have to go get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” 

 But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the one I want—she’s the right one.” 

4   (His father and mother had no idea that GOD was behind this, that he was arranging an opportunity against the Philistines. At the time the Philistines lorded it over Israel.) 

5   Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother. When he got to the vineyards of Timnah, a young lion came at him, roaring.  6 The Spirit of GOD came on him powerfully and he ripped it open barehanded, like tearing a young goat. But he didn’t tell his parents what he had done. 

7   Then he went on down and spoke to the woman. In Samson’s eyes, she was the one. 

8   Some days later when he came back to get her, he made a little detour to look at what was left of the lion. And there a wonder: a swarm of bees in the lion’s carcass—and honey!  9 He scooped it up in his hands and kept going, eating as he went. He rejoined his father and mother and gave some to them and they ate. But he didn’t tell them that he had scooped out the honey from the lion’s carcass. 

10   His father went on down to make arrangements with the woman, while Samson prepared a feast there. That’s what the young men did in those days.  11 Because the people were wary of him, they arranged for thirty friends to mingle with him. 

12   Samson said to them: “Let me put a riddle to you. If you can figure it out during the seven days of the feast, I’ll give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of fine clothing.  13 But if you can’t figure it out then you’ll give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of fine clothing.” 

 They said, “Put your riddle. Let’s hear it.”  14 So he said,

       From the eater came something to eat,

       From the strong came something sweet.

 They couldn’t figure it out. After three days they were still stumped.  15 On the fourth day they said to Samson’s bride, “Worm the answer out of your husband or we’ll burn you and your father’s household. Have you invited us here to bankrupt us?” 

16   So Samson’s bride turned on the tears, saying to him, “You hate me. You don’t love me. You’ve told a riddle to my people but you won’t even tell me the answer.” 

 He said, “I haven’t told my own parents—why would I tell you?” 

17   But she turned on the tears all the seven days of the feast. On the seventh day, worn out by her nagging, he told her. Then she went and told it to her people. 

18   The men of the town came to him on the seventh day, just before sunset and said,

       What is sweeter than honey?

       What is stronger than a lion?

 And Samson said,

       If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer,

       You wouldn’t have found out my riddle. 

19   Then the Spirit of GOD came powerfully on him. He went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, stripped them, and gave their clothing to those who had solved the riddle. Stalking out, smoking with anger, he went home to his father’s house.  20 Samson’s bride became the wife of the best man at his wedding.  

Samson went to arrange the marriage between himself and the Philistine girl. On the way, he killed a lion. Because he was a Nazirite, he had promised not to touch a dead body, but he probably did not think that the promise was important. He touched the body and he ate the honey. This meant that he did not obey the promise.

Then Samson made a bet. The bet was about the answer to a riddle he posed. The men came to Samson with an answer only after they tricked his wife into telling them what the riddle meant.

When, if ever, have you been defiant? Who, or what, were you defying? Did you feel that you were successful in defying someone else? Have you ever gotten in trouble for being defiant? What was your punishment for being defiant? Have you ever witnessed a child being defiant?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you why it is important to follow what your parents say 

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

Remember in Prayer: Heidi, children & teachers returning to school, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, 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, Heidi S., 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, this day is a gift you have given. We thank you for those moments you have placed before us. Help us to walk truthfully and obediently in each of those moments you give us. May we serve you 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

 

8-15-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 14, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Wednesday, Aug. 15

Judges 13:15-24

There have been some places I have visited where I have been so keenly aware of God’s presence. How could I describe those places to you?

Like me, you’ve probably visited, or have seen lovely pictures of huge cathedrals. Those seem like logical places for God sightings with all of their high ceilings and artwork.

Perhaps you have even experienced the beauty and miracle of a wooded area that is quiet and away from the hurried pace of life. Have you experienced a lake, a river, or another body of water that surrounds you with a healing salve of sights and sounds that are so soothing?

Some conversations I’ve been a part of make it so obvious that God is in and through and around the words being spoken.

Don’t you wish we could order up occurrences like these because they are so powerful? They would be “Calgon, take me away” moments that are totally about God. We know what it’s like when we have those life moments because that are just abundantly joyous and almost overwhelming. When those moments have passed, I have wished that I could beg them back just for a few more minutes.

15   Manoah said to the angel of God, “Please, stay with us a little longer; we’ll prepare a meal for you—a young goat.” 16   GOD’S angel said to Manoah, “Even if I stay, I won’t eat your food. But if you want to prepare a Whole-Burnt-Offering for GOD, go ahead—offer it!” Manoah had no idea that he was talking to the angel of God. 

17   Then Manoah asked the angel of God, “What’s your name? When your words come true, we’d like to honor you.” 

18   The angel of GOD said, “What’s this? You ask for my name? You wouldn’t understand—it’s sheer wonder.” 

19   So Manoah took the kid and the Grain-Offering and sacrificed them on a rock altar to GOD who works wonders.  20 As the flames leapt up from the altar to heaven, GOD’S angel also ascended in the altar flames. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell facedown to the ground.  21 Manoah and his wife never saw the angel of GOD again. 

 Only then did Manoah realize that this was GOD’S angel.  22 He said to his wife, “We’re as good as dead! We’ve looked on God!” 

23   But his wife said, “If GOD were planning to kill us, he wouldn’t have accepted our Whole-Burnt-Offering and Grain-Offering, or revealed all these things to us—given us this birth announcement.” 

24   The woman gave birth to a son. They named him Samson. The boy grew and GOD blessed him.  25 The Spirit of GOD began working in him while he was staying at a Danite camp between Zorah and Eshtaol. 

Manoah invited the visitor to a meal and the visitor suggested that they should offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Manoah brought meat and a grain offering and he asked what the visitor’s name was. The visitor told him that his/her name was ‘wonderful’. In other words, it was something that they would not be able to understand. The visitor went up to heaven in a flame and Manoah was afraid, but his wife was more understanding about how things were in reality. She said that God would not kill them because God had planned special things for them in the future.

What is one place where you have experienced God’s presence? If you have been/would be in the presence of a angel, what did you/would you do? If an angel visited you with a cryptic message, what kind of questions would you ask the angel? Have you ever heard anyone tell a story of an encounter with an angel? If you could speak with an angel, what would you hope you could learn from that angel? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you about the best day of their life

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

Remember in Prayer: Heidi, children & teachers returning to school, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, 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, Heidi S., 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 and for your love. We thank you for your presence with us. Help us to live each moment knowing you are with us and working thru everything we do and say. May we bring you honor and joy 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

8-14-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 13, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Tuesday, Aug. 14

Judges 13:1-15

In both of these stories, as in the case with many other birth stories in the Bible, an angel has brought news of a pregnancy to a couple who had experienced the inability to have children. While I have had many conversations with couples who experienced infertility issues, I don’t want the text to be limited to, or be boxed in by, the theme of childlessness of a couple.

Think about the story with a special focus on a time when you may have felt like you were experiencing a time of desolation, isolation, or being lost in a desert time of life. A desert time in our lives is a time when it just feels like we have nothing to give. It may be that we have no energy, no resources, or anything else to give. We may feel isolated and in a place in our lives where we just feel like we’ve been throw out to the desert to shrivel up and die.

I believe it is exactly in those places we feel are the desert places of our lives that these texts bring us the good news. And the God news is that God wants us to remember that God has great things for us to accomplish and will birth into us all those provisions that will be needed for us to accomplish just that particular thing we need to accomplish. That is really good news.

13:1   And then the People of Israel were back at it again, doing what was evil in GOD’S sight. GOD put them under the domination of the Philistines for forty years. 

2   At that time there was a man named Manoah from Zorah from the tribe of Dan. His wife was barren and childless.  3 The angel of God appeared to her and told her, “I know that you are barren and childless, but you’re going to become pregnant and bear a son.  4 But take much care: Drink no wine or beer; eat nothing ritually unclean.  5 You are, in fact, pregnant right now, carrying a son. No razor will touch his head—the boy will be God’s Nazirite from the moment of his birth. He will launch the deliverance from Philistine oppression.” 

6   The woman went to her husband and said, “A man of God came to me. He looked like the angel of God—terror laced with glory! I didn’t ask him where he was from and he didn’t tell me his name,  7 but he told me, ‘You’re pregnant. You’re going to give birth to a son. Don’t drink any wine or beer and eat nothing ritually unclean. The boy will be God’s Nazirite from the moment of birth to the day of his death.’” 

8   Manoah prayed to GOD: “Master, let the man of God you sent come to us again and teach us how to raise this boy who is to be born.” 

9   God listened to Manoah. God’s angel came again to the woman. She was sitting in the field; her husband Manoah wasn’t there with her.  10 She jumped to her feet and ran and told her husband: “He’s back! The man who came to me that day!” 

11   Manoah got up and, following his wife, came to the man. He said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to my wife?” 

 He said, “I am.” 

12   Manoah said, “So. When what you say comes true, what do you have to tell us about this boy and his work?” 

13   The angel of God said to Manoah,  14 “Keep in mind everything I told the woman. Eat nothing that comes from the vine: Drink no wine or beer; eat no ritually unclean foods. She’s to observe everything I commanded her.” 

15   Manoah said to the angel of God, “Please, stay with us a little longer; we’ll prepare a meal for you—a young goat.” 

An angel messenger appeared to Samson’s mother and this messenger story sounds much like the other angel/messenger stories we hear in the Bible. When God promises that a woman will have a child, that’s what happens.

When were you given news of something that was going to happen and you couldn’t believe that something that good could happen? What are some things that have happened in your life that you would now describe as miracles? What would you do if a perfect stranger walked up to you and gave you some good news? Have a day! 

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you where angels live 

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

Remember in Prayer: Heidi, children & teachers returning to school, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, 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, Heidi S., 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 gift from you, O God. We thank you for all those conversations we will be a part of. Help us to live out your love in each word and action 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 Street, Lafayette, IN

8-13-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 12, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff


Monday, Aug. 13

Judges 12:1-7

My seminary days brought a time of working together in small groups. In those small groups, we were to accomplish a task; usually a presentation of some sort.

I have been part of groups that were the absolute best small group experience ever. Collectively our energy fed into a wonderful finished product. I’d have to say that those positive group experiences were in groups where we self selected the members of our group.

A few of the small group experiences were not great experiences. Those were often the ones where we were assigned a group and asked to work together. One such group was a nightmare; a group of people who wanted to whine and blame. We got a lousy grade on our project. Thankfully, the group work was a small part of our total grade.

Group work is most definitely important. Trying to be the best you can be rests in how well the group works together.

12:1   The men of Ephraim mustered their troops, crossed to Zaphon, and said to Jephthah, “Why did you go out to fight the Ammonites without letting us go with you? We’re going to burn your house down on you!” 

2   Jephthah said, “I and my people had our hands full negotiating with the Ammonites. And I did call to you for help but you ignored me.  3 When I saw that you weren’t coming, I took my life in my hands and confronted the Ammonites myself. And GOD gave them to me! So why did you show up here today? Are you spoiling for a fight with me?” 

4   So Jephthah got his Gilead troops together and fought Ephraim. And the men of Gilead hit them hard because they were saying, “Gileadites are nothing but half-breeds and rejects from Ephraim and Manasseh.” 

5   Gilead captured the fords of the Jordan at the crossing to Ephraim. If an Ephraimite fugitive said, “Let me cross,” the men of Gilead would ask, “Are you an Ephraimite?” and he would say, “No.”  6 And they would say, “Say, ‘Shibboleth.’” But he would always say, “Sibboleth”—he couldn’t say it right. Then they would grab him and kill him there at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two Ephraimite divisions were killed on that occasion. 

7   Jephthah judged Israel six years. Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in his city, Mizpah of Gilead.  

There was quite a fight going on between Ephraim’s tribe and Jephthah. The men from Ephraim’s tribe believed they were the most important tribe in the area. They were insulted that Jephthah had not asked them to fight the Ammonites. Jephthah turned on Ephraim and his men and fought and defeated them.

When do you remember having to work together with others on a project? Did you have a pretty good idea of the direction you wanted things to go? When have worked with a group of people and the outcome has been a good experience? What advice would you give to a person when they need to work together with others to accomplish a task?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you a time when they needed someone else’s help 

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

Remember in Prayer: Heidi, children & teachers returning to school, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, 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, Heidi S., 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:  Loving God, we give you thanks for this day. Thank you for the times when our working together is so amazing. Bless us 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

8-12-18 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 11, 2018 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Sunday, Aug. 12

Judges 11:1-11, 29-40

I learned about promises early on in life. My parents were known for promising to do one thing, but then not following through with what they said they would do. Their lack of following through taught me about promises and honoring or not honoring one’s word.

When I told someone I would do something, I was very committed to following through with what I said I would do. When a friend told me something in strict confidence, I kept it to myself and told no one. Often, that same friend would share the information with someone else and request that they also keep that secret. I only know that because I heard the “secret” information from yet another person. I couldn’t understand how the secret was out there because I had not said a word to anyone. My friend admitted that she was the one who had told another person. One friend actually said that when she told me not to tell anyone, she was hoping I would tell others.

When I look back, I think I was one of those people who was a born listener and a keeper of things people told me in confidence. When people tell me something and they say they don’t want me to tell anyone, I don’t tell anyone.

Honoring one’s word is big, BIG to me.

11:1   Jephthah the Gileadite was one tough warrior. He was the son of a whore, but Gilead was his father.  2 Meanwhile Gilead’s legal wife had given him other sons, and when they grew up, his wife’s sons threw Jephthah out. They told him: “You’re not getting any of our family inheritance—you’re the son of another woman.”  3 So Jephthah fled from his brothers and went to live in the land of Tob. Some riff-raff joined him and went around with him.

4   Some time passed. And then the Ammonites started fighting Israel.  5 With the Ammonites at war with them, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob.  6 They said to Jephthah: “Come. Be our general and we’ll fight the Ammonites.”

7   But Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead: “But you hate me. You kicked me out of my family home. So why are you coming to me now? Because you are in trouble. Right?”

8   The elders of Gilead replied, “That’s it exactly. We’ve come to you to get you to go with us and fight the Ammonites. You’ll be the head of all of us, all the Gileadites.”

9   Jephthah addressed the elders of Gilead, “So if you bring me back home to fight the Ammonites and GOD gives them to me, I’ll be your head—is that right?”

10   They said, “GOD is witness between us; whatever you say, we’ll do.”  11 Jephthah went along with the elders of Gilead. The people made him their top man and general. And Jephthah repeated what he had said before GOD at Mizpah.

29   GOD’S Spirit came upon Jephthah. He went across Gilead and Manasseh, went through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there approached the Ammonites.  30 Jephthah made a vow before GOD: “If you give me a clear victory over the Ammonites,  31 then I’ll give to GOD whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in one piece from among the Ammonites—I’ll offer it up in a sacrificial burnt offering.”

32   Then Jephthah was off to fight the Ammonites. And GOD gave them to him.  33 He beat them soundly, all the way from Aroer to the area around Minnith as far as Abel Keramim—twenty cities! A massacre! Ammonites brought to their knees by the People of Israel.

34   Jephthah came home to Mizpah. His daughter ran from the house to welcome him home—dancing to tambourines! She was his only child. He had no son or daughter except her.  35 When he realized who it was, he ripped his clothes, saying, “Ah, dearest daughter—I’m dirt. I’m despicable. My heart is torn to shreds. I made a vow to GOD and I can’t take it back!”

36   She said, “Dear father, if you made a vow to GOD, do to me what you vowed; GOD did his part and saved you from your Ammonite enemies.”

37   And then she said to her father, “But let this one thing be done for me. Give me two months to wander through the hills and lament my virginity since I will never marry, I and my dear friends.”

38   “Oh yes, go,” he said. He sent her off for two months. She and her dear girlfriends went among the hills, lamenting that she would never marry.  39 At the end of the two months, she came back to her father. He fulfilled the vow with her that he had made. She had never slept with a man.

It became a custom in Israel 40 that for four days every year the young women of Israel went out to mourn for the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.

The leaders of Gilead asked Jephthah to come so that he could help them. He said that he would help them if they let him be their ruler. People appointed him because he was the answer to a practical problem. God’s Spirit came upon Jephthah and he got an army to follow him. He made a promise to God that said if he was successful, he would make a sacrifice. He would give whatever came to meet him on his return. Jephthah returned after he had won the battle. He probably thought that he would only have to sacrifice an animal. Unfortunately, his daughter came out to meet him. She was a very noble person, who was willing to pay the price of success. She persuaded Jephthah to do what he had promised after all and we are told that Jephthah fulfilled his vow/promise to God.

What are some of the earliest promises you made in life? Did you keep your promise? What things have you learned about promises in your life? When has a friend not kept a promise you have shared? When has a friend made and kept a promise with you?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you why people make promises

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

Remember in Prayer: Heidi, children & teachers returning to school, Sarah, Tia Coleman, Wanda, Kezzie, Emily, MaryAnn & Corky, 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, Heidi S., 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 love you and give you thanks for this day. We thank you for learning to trust others. We thank you that others have trusted us. Help us to keep the promises we make. 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