7-5-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 4, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

dorm-room-prank-doors-tied-togetherSunday, July 5

Happy Birthday, Carol!!

Romans 12:9-21

College is often the time we first have the experience of living away from our families and learn to live with others. If you were raised in a large family, you’ve probably already advanced in the fine art of learning about living with others. What I noticed is that in the college setting, people will try to kid around with you sometimes. Play pranks on each other. We call it good, clean, fun which is meant to just play a joke on someone.

So, when I walked back to the dorm from a college class one day and I saw a VW Beetle parked squarely between two buildings, I was pretty sure that the owner of the car did not park it there. There were a few inches of space at the front end and back end of the car. It’s funny that our brain wants to work thru how many maneuvers it would take to get the car in that position. Then we finally connect with the idea that it took a group of people to physically pick it up and move it there. I’m sure it took another group of people to pick it up and move it out of that space. I laughed at that one.

Then there was the time that I came back from a weekend away and all of my furniture was moved out of my dorm room. I was not laughing when that happened. There was too much to do to get everything back in place. Many days later, I laughed, but I did not laugh when it happened. I did find out that the responsible party for the removal of my room’s contents was a group of girls from down our hall. That little trick brought a new idea into my head.

In my thoughts about payback, another person suggested that I try something tricky that they had heard of others doing. I learned about the fine art of tying all of the dorm rooms together. I opening my dorm window before beginning to tie all of the dorm doorknobs together, and then going outside and crawling back in the opened dorm window. Our dorm room door was tied closed just like the rest of them so no one would know it was me. I will have to admit that listening to all of the girls trying to get their doors open was quite fun. Fortunately, there wasn’t an emergency that occurred which would require the doors to be easily opened. I never thought about a situation that might arise that would cause harm by the action I was doing. I think it was actually the dorm mother who cut the prank short when she heard the commotion. I’m thankful that no one got hurt.

12:9 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. 10 Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

11 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, 12 cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. 13 Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

14 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. 15 Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.  16 Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

17 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. 18 If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. 19 Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

20 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. 21 Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

In our text today, Paul reminds us that we are all part of the body of Christ with a ministry to fulfill. We are to each do our part lovingly and joyfully. He also says that if we lead a godly life, we are bound to have enemies. Knowing that our God is the one who judges, we are to leave all judgment to God and not be quick to repay evil for evil.

What is one of the best practical jokes anyone has pulled on you? Did you try to repay them in kind? Did you find that the other person then tried to up joke and things started to get out of control? What is one situation that occurs that really gets you angry fast? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you some ways to keep from getting angry at someone

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

Remember in Prayer: Family & Friends of Rev. Amy Snedeker, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Charleston community, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Sue, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    This is your day, O God, and we give you thanks. Thank you for the gift of friends and others who teach us so much about ourselves. Help us to keep our cool and just remember that judging is your job and not our job. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

 

7-4-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 3, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

11Saturday, Jul. 4

Have a Happy & Safe July 4th

Acts 15:22-35

For many years of my life, I wanted to stay as far away from conflict as possible. When my parents got into fights, I wanted to fix things, but I also wanted to stay away from any physical harm. To stand around when my parents started throwing jabs or pushing and shoving was just asking to get hurt. I was more likely to just walk away from a potential fight rather than say something I might regret later.

For many years I was hoping that other people would have to deal with any conflicts that arose and that I could go thru life as a good guy and not say anything. I figured if I could just learn to go with the flow and avoid conflict, then I would be okay. What planet did I think I was on?

The more seasoned me can confidently tell you that conflict will happen. Conflict is guaranteed. There are times when we feel very strong about a belief or conviction that we hold and it just gets to be too much for us to hold our thoughts in so we say what we believe. Once we state out loud what we believe, others may see things differently and a conflict could arise. Conflict gives us the opportunity to find out that we are not all exactly alike. It’s what we do when we’re in the midst of that conflict that really matters. We can learn about each other and learn some things we didn’t know about ourselves. We can ask what God is helping us learn thru another point of view.

Being able to be in conflict and move thru it takes a bit more patience and listening and we tend to not like to listen or have patience. When we choose to move thru conflict we are essentially saying that we like each other and we want to continue on in relationship with each other. When people risk the time and commitment it takes to move thru conflict, growth is on its way.

15:22 Everyone agreed: apostles, leaders, all the people. They picked Judas (nicknamed Barsabbas) and Silas—they both carried considerable weight in the church—and sent them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas 23 with this letter:

       From the apostles and leaders, your friends, to our friends in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Hello! 

24 We heard that some men from our church went to you and said things that confused and upset you. Mind you, they had no authority from us; we didn’t send them.  25 We have agreed unanimously to pick representatives and send them to you with our good friends Barnabas and Paul.  26 We picked men we knew you could trust, Judas and Silas—they’ve looked death in the face time and again for the sake of our Master Jesus Christ. 27 We’ve sent them to confirm in a face-to-face meeting with you what we’ve written. 

28 It seemed to the Holy Spirit and to us that you should not be saddled with any crushing burden, but be responsible only for these bare necessities:  29 Be careful not to get involved in activities connected with idols; avoid serving food offensive to Jewish Christians (blood, for instance); and guard the morality of sex and marriage.

       These guidelines are sufficient to keep relations congenial between us. And God be with you! 

30   And so off they went to Antioch. On arrival, they gathered the church and read the letter.  31 The people were greatly relieved and pleased.  32 Judas and Silas, good preachers both of them, strengthened their new friends with many words of courage and hope.  33 Then it was time to go home. They were sent off by their new friends with laughter and embraces all around to report back to those who had sent them. 

35   Paul and Barnabas stayed on in Antioch, teaching and preaching the Word of God. But they weren’t alone. There were a number of teachers and preachers at that time in Antioch. 

The council followed a particular process in resolving the conflict. After the problem was clearly stated and the facts were presented to them, guidance was given by a person they trusted, and unanimity was sought in arriving at a decision.

What recent conflict have you been a part of? How did you know you were in the midst of conflict? Was the conflict resolved? What happens when conflicts go unresolved?   Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you why people fight

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

Remember in Prayer: Family & Friends of Rev. Amy Snedeker, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Charleston community, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Sue, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    Thank you, O God, for this day. Thank you for creating us individuals with our own thoughts and feelings. Help us to learn to work together and thank you for the gift of relationship. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

7-3-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 2, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

8586576-blond-woman-trying-to-get-her-message-across-by-shoutingFriday, Jul. 3

Acts 15:12-21

What’s the message you really want to get across? I ask myself this question several times each week. As I pass by posted advertisements, I often wonder what message the marketers are trying to get across to the public. Most are pretty obvious. Some are really vague.

When it comes to conversations between John and myself, John has helped me learn something about myself. When John asks me a question, I use lots of words on the way to trying to actually answer his question; more words than he wants for an answer. I know that I’ve used too many words when he will say, “Let me ask my question again.” That means that in all of the words I have used, he has not found an answer to his question. In most cases, I’ve felt like I’m giving him some kind of answer, but he is not getting whatever I’m trying to say. When he says “let me ask my question again, I totally stop speaking and need to regroup. I have to think thru what John actually asked me and try to come up with the shortest and most concise answer I can give. I think it’s a combination of his wanting an answer and my thinking that I have all the time in the world to answer.

We all communicate in unique ways. Many times, yes or no, isn’t enough of an answer.

15:12 There was dead silence. No one said a word. With the room quiet, Barnabas and Paul reported matter-of-factly on the miracles and wonders God had done among the other nations through their ministry. 13 The silence deepened; you could hear a pin drop. 

 James broke the silence. “Friends, listen. 14 Simeon has told us the story of how God at the very outset made sure that racial outsiders were included. 15 This is in perfect agreement with the words of the prophets:  

16 After this, I’m coming back; I’ll rebuild David’s ruined house; I’ll put all the pieces together again; I’ll make it look like new 17 So outsiders who seek will find, so they’ll have a place to come to, all the pagan peoples included in what I’m doing. “God said it and now he’s doing it.  18 It’s no afterthought; he’s always known he would do this. 

19 “So here is my decision: We’re not going to unnecessarily burden non-Jewish people who turn to the Master. 20 We’ll write them a letter and tell them, ‘Be careful to not get involved in activities connected with idols, to guard the morality of sex and marriage, to not serve food offensive to Jewish Christians—blood, for instance.’ 21 This is basic wisdom from Moses, preached and honored for centuries now in city after city as we have met and kept the Sabbath.” 

At the Council of Jerusalem, God led the apostles to make a unanimous and formal decision: circumcision would not be necessary for gentile believers. So that the Gentiles would not deliberately offend the Jews, the council sent a letter to that effect to Antioch, insisting that gentile Christians must abstain from idolatry and from immorality, which was so commonly practiced among Gentiles. They also required abstinence from ingesting blood. Yuck. (editorial comment)

Do you think that you could give a simple two or three word answer to any question you were asked? What are some things you witness and you can’t discern what the intended message is supposed to be? What are some things that you refrain from doing so that you do not offend people who hold different beliefs than your own?  Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you one thing they do when only their grandparents are around

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

Remember in Prayer: Family & Friends of Rev. Amy Snedeker, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Charleston community, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Sue, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    We thank you, O God, for your love. Thank you for loving each of us. Help us to live in ways that are respectful of others. May we share the Gospel message with others in clear and concise ways. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

7-2-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 1, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

chocolate-chip-cookiesThursday, Jul. 2

Acts 15:1-11

When I was a child, my father would drop us off at the church and we were escorted off to our Sunday School rooms. Dad went on to do other things with his morning. I wish I could explain to you how bored I was with Sunday School. The teacher expected that we would be quiet and attentive and that was quite a stretch for me. In regular school, I would have been talking with the student next to me when boredom would strike. I didn’t really know the other children in Sunday School because we were infrequent attendees. It was apparent to me that their outfits were a little bit more steamed and starched than mine. I noticed those things. I could tell that the other children were at church more often because they seemed to know the answers to the questions that the teacher would ask. The questions had to do with stories I did not know so I was constantly at a loss.

I was happy when the Sunday School class was over and we could go downstairs to the fellowship hall. The hall would be packed out with adults in conversations and there was coffee and punch and cookies and pastries. If I timed it just right, I could dash downstairs  and be right up in the front of the cookie line. I knew that the cookies went fast so I didn’t want to miss the chance.

One Sunday morning, as I reached out my hand to select a cookie from the tray, an older woman on the other side of the table smacked the back of my hand. Startled, I pulled my hand away from the cookies and she told me that I needed to put some money in the bowl if I wanted something from the tray. I remember feeling horribly ashamed and confused. I wondered why they would offer a tray of sweets and then expect people to pay. I also wondered if my father was paying money for us to go to Sunday School.

15:1   It wasn’t long before some Jews showed up from Judea insisting that everyone be circumcised: “If you’re not circumcised in the Mosaic fashion, you can’t be saved.”  2 Paul and Barnabas were up on their feet at once in fierce protest. The church decided to resolve the matter by sending Paul, Barnabas, and a few others to put it before the apostles and leaders in Jerusalem. 

3 After they were sent off and on their way, they told everyone they met as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria about the breakthrough to the Gentile outsiders. Everyone who heard the news cheered—it was terrific news! 

4  When they got to Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas were graciously received by the whole church, including the apostles and leaders. They reported on their recent journey and how God had used them to open things up to the outsiders.  5 Some Pharisees stood up to say their piece. They had become believers, but continued to hold to the hard party line of the Pharisees. “You have to circumcise the pagan converts,” they said. “You must make them keep the Law of Moses.” 

6   The apostles and leaders called a special meeting to consider the matter.  7 The arguments went on and on, back and forth, getting more and more heated. Then Peter took the floor: “Friends, you well know that from early on God made it quite plain that he wanted the pagans to hear the Message of this good news and embrace it—and not in any secondhand or roundabout way, but firsthand, straight from my mouth.  8 And God, who can’t be fooled by any pretense on our part but always knows a person’s thoughts, gave them the Holy Spirit exactly as he gave him to us.  9 He treated the outsiders exactly as he treated us, beginning at the very center of who they were and working from that center outward, cleaning up their lives as they trusted and believed him. 

10   “So why are you now trying to out-god God, loading these new believers down with rules that crushed our ancestors and crushed us, too?  11 Don’t we believe that we are saved because the Master Jesus amazingly and out of sheer generosity moved to save us just as he did those from beyond our nation? So what are we arguing about?” 

Although God had expressly revealed to Peter that Gentiles should be received without circumcision, and the apostles and elders were convinced, yet a sect of believers who belonged to the part of the Pharisees persisted in teaching that circumcision was necessary. The church was torn in disagreement on the issue.

What are some of the groups you belong to? What are the expectations of each of the groups? What are some examples of the cost of membership in the groups? What would you say is the cost of being a member of a church?   Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you about some things that do not cost money

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

Remember in Prayer: Family and Friends of Rev. Amy Snedeker, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Charleston community, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Sue, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

Prayer Request:  Please remember the Rev. Amy Snedeker, who died earlier this week after a long, brave fight with cancer. A really cool and spirited woman of God serving God’s people.  Thanks, Barb

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    We give you thanks, O God, for this day and for your love. Guide our hearts to  be welcoming to others in this world and not gate-keepers. Help us to remember that you welcomed us and you welcome all. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

7-1-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted June 30, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Student gives humorous interpretation of prose for high school speech

Student gives humorous interpretation of prose for high school speech

Wednesday, Jul. 1

Acts 14:19-28

When I elected to take the Speech class in college, I was still having flashbacks from the Speech class in high school. Even though I survived the high school Speech class, the thought of having to get up in front of people and give a speech again was downright terrifying. In high school, trying to “fit in” was a much bigger priority of mine.

When I walked into the college Speech class, I tried to appear confident and casual as if I gave speeches everyday. I also was well aware that I needed to be pretty productive in the class because it was the last class I was taking before graduation. If I didn’t pass that class, I wouldn’t graduate. The other awareness I had was that most of the other students were much younger and that ended up really working in my favor. I sensed that this was the first Speech class for most of the others students and they probably had some of that same anxiety I had in high school.

For our first speech, I think I was the last person in the class to give my speech. As more people gave their speech, the more I wanted to be finished giving mine. Sure, I preach in front of people most weeks now, but back then I really had to work on getting my nerves under control so that I could present anything in front of a group of people.

As I gave my first speech, I had a new confidence that surprised even me. I was no longer worried about being compared to the other students who I had reasoned must have secretly belonged to Toastmasters or something. By the end of the class, we were all working together and cheering each other on. Somewhere inside me, I also knew that if I was going to be a pastor, I better be able to get up in front of folks and speak. Not only speak. Speak God’s words

14:19 Then some Jews from Antioch and Iconium caught up with them and turned the fickle crowd against them. They beat Paul unconscious, dragged him outside the town and left him for dead.  20 But as the disciples gathered around him, he came to and got up. He went back into town and the next day left with Barnabas for Derbe. 

21 After proclaiming the Message in Derbe and establishing a strong core of disciples, they retraced their steps to Lystra, then Iconium, and then Antioch, 22 putting muscle and sinew in the lives of the disciples, urging them to stick with what they had begun to believe and not quit, making it clear to them that it wouldn’t be easy: “Anyone signing up for the kingdom of God has to go through plenty of hard times.” 

23 Paul and Barnabas handpicked leaders in each church. After praying—their prayers intensified by fasting—they presented these new leaders to the Master to whom they had entrusted their lives. 24 Working their way back through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia 25 and preached in Perga. Finally, they made it to Attalia 26 and caught a ship back to Antioch, where it had all started—launched by God’s grace and now safely home by God’s grace. A good piece of work. 

27 On arrival, they got the church together and reported on their trip, telling in detail how God had used them to throw the door of faith wide open so people of all nations could come streaming in.  28 Then they settled down for a long, leisurely visit with the disciples.

Paul and Barnabas had the courage to retrace their steps so they could help and encourage the new Christians. When the two of them returned home, they told the church what the Lord had done, not the difficulties they had suffered.

If you had to point to a time in your life when you felt that moved into maturity, when would you say that was for you? When have you most appreciated working together with others? When have you felt that a group you were part of was comprised of members who seemed pretty equal? How would you describe that sense of equal-ness?   Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you about their best friends

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

Remember in Prayer: Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Charleston community, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Sue, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    O God, we give you thanks for this day. Thank you for helping us to overcome our fears. Help us to be the kind of friends that support each other live out your love. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

6-30-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted June 29, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Screenshot 2015-06-29 18.03.41Tuesday, Jun. 30

Acts 14:1-18

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church and school was located right across the street from the elementary school I attended. In junior high, I was on the kickball team and the team worked well together.

One day, as a few of our team members were standing by a window on the second floor of our school, many remarks were shared about the Catholic girls kickball team. We could see that their girls were practicing kickball and they looked like they had things together. It made me wonder how Catholics operated because, as far as kickball is concerned, they looked pretty much like us.

A teammate of mine said that she knew that the Catholic girls had to do well in school or the priests and nuns would seriously yell at them. I think I asked how this fact was known and one girls responded that said she knew someone who has a Catholic friend. The girl then said that one day she went over to the Catholic Church and looked around and a nun slapped her because she was not supposed to be walking around wherever she wanted to go. I wanted to believe what she said but I didn’t feel like I had enough information. What I did know was that our gym teacher would go fly off the handle sometimes so I figured they just had nuns like our gym teacher.

When I asked the girl why our team never played their team she said that Catholics had to play Catholics. I thought that was kind of silly because we had two very capable teams right across the street from one another. That’s when I remembered that there were two Catholic girls who were playing on our team and they never said anything like what the other girl was saying.

People say a lot of things and it’s not always factual.

14:1 When they got to Iconium they went, as they always did, to the meeting place of the Jews and gave their message. The Message convinced both Jews and non-Jews—and not just a few, either. 2 But the unbelieving Jews worked up a whispering campaign against Paul and Barnabas, sowing mistrust and suspicion in the minds of the people in the street. 3 The two apostles were there a long time, speaking freely, openly, and confidently as they presented the clear evidence of God’s gifts, God corroborating their work with miracles and wonders. 

4 But then there was a split in public opinion, some siding with the Jews, some with the apostles.  5 One day, learning that both the Jews and non-Jews had been organized by their leaders to beat them up, 6 they escaped as best they could to the next towns—Lyconia, Lystra, Derbe, and that neighborhood— 7 but then were right back at it again, getting out the Message. 

8 There was a man in Lystra who couldn’t walk. He sat there, crippled since the day of his birth. 9 He heard Paul talking, and Paul, looking him in the eye, saw that he was ripe for God’s work, ready to believe. 10 So he said, loud enough for everyone to hear, “Up on your feet!” The man was up in a flash—jumped up and walked around as if he’d been walking all his life. 

11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they went wild, calling out in their Lyconian dialect, “The gods have come down! These men are gods!”  12 They called Barnabas “Zeus” and Paul “Hermes” (since Paul did most of the speaking).  13 The priest of the local Zeus shrine got up a parade—bulls and banners and people lined right up to the gates, ready for the ritual of sacrifice. 

14   When Barnabas and Paul finally realized what was going on, they stopped them. Waving their arms, they interrupted the parade, calling out,  15 “What do you think you’re doing! We’re not gods! We are men just like you, and we’re here to bring you the Message, to persuade you to abandon these silly god-superstitions and embrace God himself, the living God. We don’t make God; he makes us, and all of this—sky, earth, sea, and everything in them. 

16  “In the generations before us, God let all the different nations go their own way.  17 But even then he didn’t leave them without a clue, for he made a good creation, poured down rain and gave bumper crops. When your bellies were full and your hearts happy, there was evidence of good beyond your doing.”  18 Talking fast and hard like this, they prevented them from carrying out the sacrifice that would have honored them as gods—but just barely.

Paul and Barnabas preached in the synagogue and Jews and Gentiles became believers. They shared the message of God’s truth and God gave them the power to do miracles and wonderful things. By that means, God proved that the message Paul and Barnabas shared about God’s grace was true.

When you were in high school and other high school students shared their beliefs about life with you, how did you decide what beliefs of theirs you would adopt or reject? What is the strangest belief you ever heard that someone held? What is a belief you have today that you embraced because another person shared how that belief made a huge impact on their life? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child how they know what to believe or not believe

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

Remember in Prayer: Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Charleston community, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Sue, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:     We love you, O God, and we give you thanks for this day. Thank you for the gift of learning. Help our hearts be open to hearing what others have to say. Keep our conversations open and help us be gentle with one another. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

6-29-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted June 28, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Red Cross on top of Wrangell Presbyterian Church

Red Cross on top of Wrangell Presbyterian Church

Monday, Jun. 29

Happy Birthday Ellie!!!

Acts 13:44-52

In Wrangell, Alaska, there are all sorts of sights to see and events to experience. I must admit that I had a very unique tour and that doesn’t happen for most of the touristy kind of folks who visit. There are the ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings) that date back something like 8,000 years ago. The Tongass Rainforest is beautiful. Jet boating up the Stikine River (the fastest navigable and free-flowing river in North America) is pretty impressive. The bears and the eagles are amazing. I highly recommend spending some time in Wrangell and seeing what it’s like in the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska.

When I first heard the request from a member of the Presbyterian Church in Wrangell, I chuckled. It was at that time that I was working as the Director of Communications for the Synod of Alaska Northwest. The request to be sent out to the hundreds of Presbyterians in our region was a plea for anyone who might be able to fix their red neon cross on the church tower. I don’t know why this cracked me up, but it did.

The red neon cross on the church steeple is one of two in the world that serve as a navigational aid. The navigational piece hadn’t connected with me. When I received the request, my first reaction could be likened to envisioning a painting of Elvis holding a hot pink cross that had been painted on crushed velvet. It was just something I hadn’t experienced yet. The more I thought about it, the more I understood how profound and logical the red neon cross is at the tip top of the church. At the Wrangell church, the cross is what guides the traveler home. It’s the cross that provides the point of reference from which the course takes its’ lead. Couldn’t have been more perfect. Somebody in Wrangell, please let me know if the red neon cross continues to burn bright for all to see.

13:44   When the next Sabbath came around, practically the whole city showed up to hear the Word of God.  45 Some of the Jews, seeing the crowds, went wild with jealousy and tore into Paul, contradicting everything he was saying, making an ugly scene. 

46   But Paul and Barnabas didn’t back down. Standing their ground they said, “It was required that God’s Word be spoken first of all to you, the Jews. But seeing that you want no part of it—you’ve made it quite clear that you have no taste or inclination for eternal life—the door is open to all the outsiders. And we’re on our way through it,  47 following orders, doing what God commanded when he said, I’ve set you up as light to all nations. You’ll proclaim salvation to the four winds and seven seas!” 

48   When the non-Jewish outsiders heard this, they could hardly believe their good fortune. All who were marked out for real life put their trust in God—they honored God’s Word by receiving that life.  49 And this Message of salvation spread like wildfire all through the region. 

50   Some of the Jews convinced the most respected women and leading men of the town that their precious way of life was about to be destroyed. Alarmed, they turned on Paul and Barnabas and forced them to leave.  51 Paul and Barnabas shrugged their shoulders and went on to the next town, Iconium,  52 brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit, two happy disciples.

Unlike many Jews, the Gentiles did not reject the message that Paul and Barnabas brought to them. The Jews would not stop the good news about Jesus, to they made it difficult for Paul and Barnabas to stay by persuading the leaders of the city to oppose the missionaries. When Paul and Barnabas left, they shook the dust from their feet and moved on.

When have you been to a place where people were making it difficult for you to fit in? Did you ever experience having other children try to keep you from fitting in a group? When have you been part of a group that chose to keep others out?   Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you why we are to include others

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

Remember in Prayer: Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Charleston community, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Sue, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

Prayer Request:  Prayers for Natalie who is having gall bladder surgery. Good healing and speedy recovery…

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day. We thank you for including us as recipients of your good/God news. Help us always to find ways to take the good news to others and help them find their way home to you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

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The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX, providing for your daily walk with Christ!

 


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