5-24-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 23, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

frustrated-woman-at-workTuesday, May 24


1 Timothy 1:18-2:8

When I began my work at the home office of Inland Container Corporation, the young woman I was replacing had lists upon lists of what was entailed in the job. The job description they shared with me at the interview seemed so much simpler than what she was explaining to me.

My predecessor was passing on the tasks she had fine tuned over the previous eight years. The list was overwhelming because it contained the original pattern she had worked out to move through each calculation. Most of the job entailed working out the figures for employees who were nearing retirement. The company had salaried and hourly workers, all across the U.S. and some of those workers were also part of a union. Each state and each circumstance needed to be handled pretty uniquely. While there was a computer software to calculate the figures on the multiple page form we provided, particular adjustments needed to be made to the calculations to get the numbers to add up correctly.

When the young woman said her goodbyes and good luck, I was overwhelmed with fear because I wasn’t sure if I understood all of the little twists and turns I would need to take to arrive at the correct answer.

My boss picked up on my fear and reassured me that she would help me through each piece. That was a bit reassuring, but I shared my concern about all of the special instances (almost every case) that would need my attention. She assured me that I would be fine. She then added that when the previous employee had completed the retirement calculations on an individual, my boss would, more often than not, make changes and then run a clean copy through in its corrected state before it was mailed out to the soon to be retiree. Geeez.

18   I’m passing this work on to you, my son Timothy. The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle,  19 keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in. 

 There are some, you know, who by relaxing their grip and thinking anything goes have made a thorough mess of their faith.  20 Hymenaeus and Alexander are two of them. I let them wander off to Satan to be taught a lesson or two about not blaspheming. 

2:1   The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.  2 Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.  3 This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. 

4   He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned:  5 that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus,  6 who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out.  7 This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth. 

8   Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God.

What Paul is telling Timothy what he is to do. He tells him that there are false teachers and that he needs to tell the truth. He wanted to make sure that the leaders in the church realized that it was their job to warn the people of the church that there are false teachers and to teach the people about truth. Right out of the chute, Paul establishes who he is and what he was sent to do.

Do you believe God calls each person to accomplish something in life? How do people figure out what they are to do in life? What is the best job you have held in your life? What made it a great job for you? What advice would you give young people as they explore their own call in life? Do you feel you have a special assignment here on earth? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what their parent hopes they will do in life

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

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

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

Prayer:   O God, we come before you this day in thanks. Thank you for calling each of us into your work. Thank you for leading us to the call you place upon our heart to accomplish. May we use this day to take your good news to others. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

5-23-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 22, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

chapter-one-typewriterMonday, May 23

Acts 1:1-14

There are writers who can capture a segment of life, an event, or a person, and write about it/them and give do that totally in one book. I am awe of that because there are times when I really appreciate things being nice and tidy and concise. In those novels there is a beginning and a neat ending and when I come to the end of the book it feels like it has been such a blessing. Those are stories where it seems like it just ends right and that’s that.

But, have you ever read a book and it left you wanting to know what the characters would do after the book ended? These are the stories that keep me from easily moving back into my walk around in the world life. If I have spent a few nights reading the novel, I find a void in my life after the book ends. The characters connect with me and I find myself wondering about them after the written words have ended. Some of those stories become sequels and that keeps me, as a reader, even more connected and waiting for the next novel to surface.

I have always enjoyed the writer, Elizabeth Berg, because she hooks me so early on in each book. She connects with things in my life and I love to crawl inside of her characters to find out what makes them choose certain things over other things. Her recent book, The Dream Lover, transported me into a whole different era across the big pond. Her newest book did not disappoint me.

I know that the characters in books are book characters, but in my heart I often wonder if the writer has somehow been inside my head and has been writing about my life. I am so thankful for gifted writers and for the way they connect with their readers.

1:1 Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything that Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he said good-bye to the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. 3 After his death, he presented himself alive to them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In face-to-face meetings, he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God.  4 As they met and ate meals together, he told them that they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but “must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me.  5 John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon.” 

6 When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?” 

7 He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business.  8 What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.” 

9 These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud.  10 They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared—in white robes!  11 They said, “You Galileans!—why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and mysteriously—as he left.” 

12 So they left the mountain called Olives and returned to Jerusalem. It was a little over half a mile. 13 They went to the upper room they had been using as a meeting place:

 Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas, son of James. 

14 They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. Also Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his brothers. 

In this text Luke tells us that Christ is the head of the church and that he supplies life to his body, as he gives direction to his people. What he began to do and teach, the church continues as he guides and empowers thru his spirit.

What book have you read where you were captivated by the characters even after the book ended? In what ways do characters in books inform the way you live your daily life? What do you think the disciples were most expecting would happen when the Holy Spirit showed up? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you about a person who knows them the best

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

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

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

Prayer:    We love you, O God, and we thank you for knowing us so well. Thank you for knowing our story before the very beginning and after our earthly life is finished. May we be all that you need us to be today. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

5-22-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 21, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

light - life is meaningless and goes on forever album coverSunday, May 22

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

When I attended college I was relieved to know that I would be lining up my days that way I chose. There’s something about that freedom of moving from the regimented high school schedule and into something that seems more manageable. That’s what I thought.

After just a few weeks in college classes it seemed very similar to high school in the moving from class to class and writing papers and projects. Each week day seemed so full of endless conveyor belt tasks to get a good grade. At that time, it just felt like college was lacking in the area of meaning for my life.

Many years down life’s road, there are still days when I feel like I’m checking things off a list. Checking things off a list is not bad, but I feel like there is so much more to life than little tasks.

There’s a reason that the whole list of things comes into being in the first place. Those lists exist because there’s something I want to accomplish, some goal I want to achieve. If I only look at the list in front of me and those tasks I need to accomplish, I may very well miss the “why” I’m doing what I’m doing. That’s the piece that ushers in the discouragement.

I don’t believe life is meaningless, but there are times when I find difficulty in seeing past the task I’m checking off a list.

1:1 These are the words of the Quester, David’s son and king in Jerusalem: 2 Smoke, nothing but smoke. [That’s what the Quester says.] There’s nothing to anything—it’s all smoke. 3 What’s there to show for a lifetime of work, a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone? 4 One generation goes its way, the next one arrives, but nothing changes—it’s business as usual for old planet earth. 5 The sun comes up and the sun goes down, then does it again, and again—the same old round. 6 The wind blows south, the wind blows north. Around and around and around it blows, blowing this way, then that—the whirling, erratic wind. 7 All the rivers flow into the sea, but the sea never fills up. The rivers keep flowing to the same old place, and then start all over and do it again. 8 Everything’s boring, utterly boring— no one can find any meaning in it. Boring to the eye, boring to the ear. 9 What was will be again, what happened will happen again. There’s nothing new on this earth. Year after year it’s the same old thing. 10 Does someone call out, “Hey, this is new”? Don’t get excited—it’s the same old story. 11 Nobody remembers what happened yesterday. And the things that will happen tomorrow? Nobody’ll remember them either. Don’t count on being remembered.

The author of this book, Solomon, was the most famous and most powerful king in the world in that time. He was noted for his wisdom, riches, and literary attainments. “Everything is meaningless” seems to be the theme of this book, but it also embodies an attempt to give a philosophical answer as to how best to live in a world where everything appears to be meaningless.

Are there days that you feel you could have written some of the lines from this scripture? When are you most likely to feel like life is meaningless? What are some of the comments you give when a friend or co-worker says that life is meaningless? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what they are most looking forward to today

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

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

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

Prayer: This day you have given is a gift, O God. We thank you for this day and for your love. Our hope is that you will use us in this day in ways that are pleasing to you. Guide our hearts and our conversations. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

5-21-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 20, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

IMG_0250Saturday, May 21

3John 1-15

Last week I traveled to Indiana to see my newest little granddaughter, Selah. She’s a little cutie and she’s so taken by her older brother. There is already quite a bond between them. What a blessing it is to see a new relationship forming. I can’t help but wonder how they will interact with one another in the future.

In addition to meeting Selah for the first time, I had time to spend with my family and friends. Even John was even able to drive up and join in the festivities. I sure needed to be in the midst of family and friends.

Each time I’m around my older brother, I’m aware that he has known me my whole life. While I was also around friends who have known me since high school, and my own children, there’s something about a person knowing you for your whole life. My friends may not be surprised that I became a minister, but I’m relatively sure my brother would never in a million years have thought that I would become a minister. Still, my older brother has known me longer than any other family member.

3John 1   The Pastor, to my good friend Gaius: How truly I love you!  2 We’re the best of friends, and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!  3 I was most happy when some friends arrived and brought the news that you persist in following the way of Truth.  4 Nothing could make me happier than getting reports that my children continue diligently in the way of Truth!

5   Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible.  6 They’ve made a full report back to the church here, a message about your love. It’s good work you’re doing, helping these travelers on their way, hospitality worthy of God himself!  7 They set out under the banner of the Name, and get no help from unbelievers.  8 So they deserve any support we can give them. In providing meals and a bed, we become their companions in spreading the Truth.

9   Earlier I wrote something along this line to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves being in charge, denigrates my counsel.  10 If I come, you can be sure I’ll hold him to account for spreading vicious rumors about us.

As if that weren’t bad enough, he not only refuses hospitality to traveling Christians but tries to stop others from welcoming them. Worse yet, instead of inviting them in he throws them out.

11   Friend, don’t go along with evil. Model the good. The person who does good does God’s work. The person who does evil falsifies God, doesn’t know the first thing about God.

12   Everyone has a good word for Demetrius—the Truth itself stands up for Demetrius! We concur, and you know we don’t hand out endorsements lightly.

13   I have a lot more things to tell you, but I’d rather not use pen and ink.  14 I hope to be there soon in person and have a heart-to-heart talk.

Peace to you. The friends here say hello. Greet our friends there by name.

This person, Gaius, was a very good friend and convert of Paul’s. They knew each other as Christian friends/brothers. Paul is writing from his heart as he writes his friends about truth, John’s helpers, and another friend, Demetrius.

Who are some of your life long friends? What sort of things do your life long friends know about you that your more recent friends do not know about you? What are some of the ways your life has been blessed with the gift of friends? Who are some of your friends who know you best? Be sure to contact a friend today. Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what their best friend will be doing when they grow up

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

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

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

Prayer: We thank you, O God, for this day, for your love, and for the gift of friends. We thank you for the things we learn about others, about ourselves, and about you in the friends you send our way. Bless us in this day and make us good friends to others. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

5-20-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 19, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

31800Friday, May 20

Happy Anniversary Kristen & Mike

2John

Have you ever had a day when you wanted to write a love letter? Let me add the rest of that question. Have you ever wanted to write a love letter to a whole group of people? There have been so many days I’ve written such letters to a group of friends, colleagues, study groups, and congregations. Actually, I had the letter written in my head but it never got on paper. Sometimes I just feel such love that it can’t be addressed to just one person because the feeling is about the whole group working together. In the Christian community I am often overwhelmed with the generosity of people working together or extending hospitality to others.

Today, I write you, the E-Votional community. You are always in my thoughts and prayers as I write the words God unfolds each day. On my own I know that I could not come up with the kind of words and thoughts that God gives me. I thank you for your diligence with God’s word and for letting God move in your lives. Today, I thank you for loving our awesome God. God has blessed us richly. May God’s truth speak thru your lives and may you always stay steady in God’s leading in your life.

2John 1   My dear congregation, I, your pastor, love you in very truth. And I’m not alone—everyone who knows the Truth 2 that has taken up permanent residence in us loves you.

3   Let grace, mercy, and peace be with us in truth and love from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, Son of the Father!

4   I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father.  5 But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other.  6 Love means following his commandments, and his unifying commandment is that you conduct your lives in love. This is the first thing you heard, and nothing has changed.

7   There are a lot of smooth-talking charlatans loose in the world who refuse to believe that Jesus Christ was truly human, a flesh-and-blood human being. Give them their true title: Deceiver! Antichrist!

8   And be very careful around them so you don’t lose out on what we’ve worked so diligently in together; I want you to get every reward you have coming to you.  9 Anyone who gets so progressive in his thinking that he walks out on the teaching of Christ, walks out on God. But whoever stays with the teaching, stays faithful to both the Father and the Son.

10   If anyone shows up who doesn’t hold to this teaching, don’t invite him in and give him the run of the place.  11 That would just give him a platform to perpetuate his evil ways, making you his partner.

12   I have a lot more things to tell you, but I’d rather not use paper and ink. I hope to be there soon in person and have a heart-to-heart talk. That will be far more satisfying to both you and me.  13 Everyone here in your sister congregation sends greetings.

This letter and 3John are personal notes to friends whom John expected to visit soon. John expounds upon truth and then some instruction about their response to false teachers in their midst.

What are some of the letters of love you have written to other people? When have you felt that your heart has been filled up with God’s rich blessings? If you were to write a letter to your church today, what would you want to say? If you could write a letter to the twelve disciples, what would you want to say to them?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you about one person they love

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

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

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

Prayer: You’ve given us this day as a gift, O God. Guide us to love others in all the conversations we will be a part of today. May our love for you spill over into all that we do and say. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

5-19-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 18, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

confession_thumb%255B15%255DThursday, May 19

1John 5:13-21

Sin. I was always fascinated with sin. Actually, that sounds bad when I type it. Sin sounded so BIG and incriminating. I really didn’t hear much about sin in the Presbyterian denomination.

As a young person, my catholic friends were the ones who tried to explain sin to me. I didn’t know what catholic was, but they seemed to know the most about sin. They talked about the way they had to go in a little room and talk to a priest and tell him their sins and everything they did wrong. They said it was a little closet kind of room with a wall in the middle. The priest was on one side of the closet behind a screened window and he couldn’t see who was talking to him. Sounded creepy.

I asked my catholic friends what kind of things they talked about in the little closet room. Apparently, they were supposed to talk about all the stuff they did wrong. They said they made up little stuff and didn’t give him all the really bad stuff.

Then they told me about mortal sins and venial sins; venial sin being the sin that is most common and mortal sin is the stuff that sends you right to jail. My friends were quick to say that committing of a mortal sin would lead you to fry in H E double L. One friend said that saying the word “H E double L” was a sin. The more they talked about sin, the more confusing things got. I would have been a nervous wreck trying to think about the kinds of sin I might be committing.

It was times like those that I was glad my parents didn’t take me to church because I really didn’t want to hear what I was doing wrong. I guess that not going to church maintains our denial of facing up to our actions and how all of that separates us from God.

5:13   My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion.  14 And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening.  15 And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.

16   For instance, if we see a Christian believer sinning (clearly I’m not talking about those who make a practice of sin in a way that is “fatal,” leading to eternal death), we ask for God’s help and he gladly gives it, gives life to the sinner whose sin is not fatal. There is such a thing as a fatal sin, and I’m not urging you to pray about that.  17 Everything we do wrong is sin, but not all sin is fatal.

18   We know that none of the God-begotten makes a practice of sin—fatal sin. The God-begotten are also the God-protected. The Evil One can’t lay a hand on them.  19 We know that we are held firm by God; it’s only the people of the world who continue in the grip of the Evil One.  20 And we know that the Son of God came so we could recognize and understand the truth of God—what a gift!—and we are living in the Truth itself, in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. This Jesus is both True God and Real Life.  21 Dear children, be on guard against all clever facsimiles.

Sin happens because we are. Anyone who thinks that they don’t have sin is not being honest. The writer of 1John reminds us that when a person is born of God, they are born secure, and the Evil one cannot harm them.

When you think about sin, what are some of your earliest memories of learning about sin? As the years have progressed, have you changed your thoughts about sin? Were you raised with the information about venial and mortal sins? Have you met people who truly believe they do not sin because they haven’t killed anyone or robbed a bank or anything else big like that? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what makes people do something they aren’t supposed to do

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

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

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

Prayer: O God, we come before you this day, just as we are. We know that we fall short of your expectations. Bring us back to you, O God. Bring our hearts into your care and give us your directions for the day before us. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX

5-18-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 17, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

FullSizeRenderWednesday, May 18

1John 5:1-12

Loving God.

I learn many things from my dog. In the morning when I move toward the front door, Midnight knows she gets to go outside to potty. She knows that she gets to choose what area she will claim. As we move out the door, I let her navigate in the direction that is calling out to her. At times she needs to check out three or four opportunities before she finds the exact spot. She is driven. She’s on a mission. She’s almost unstoppable unless…..

There’s an unwritten, unspoken, unbarkable, but always possible, mission that could arise and that is “chasing a squirrel.” Chasing a squirrel trumps all other missions. If Midnight has an opportunity to chase a squirrel, she will totally forget why she is outside. Once she has had the opportunity to chase one squirrel, her top priority continues to be Squirrel.

When we are loving God, we are breathing in and breathing out God. We are focused and unstoppable.

5:1   Every person who believes that Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah, is God-begotten. If we love the One who conceives the child, we’ll surely love the child who was conceived.  2 The reality test on whether or not we love God’s children is this: Do we love God? Do we keep his commands?  3 The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and they are not at all troublesome.

4   Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith.  5 The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.

6   Jesus—the Divine Christ! He experienced a life-giving birth and a death-killing death. Not only birth from the womb, but baptismal birth of his ministry and sacrificial death. And all the while the Spirit is confirming the truth, the reality of God’s presence at Jesus’ baptism and crucifixion, bringing those occasions alive for us.  7 A triple testimony:  8 the Spirit, the Baptism, the Crucifixion. And the three in perfect agreement.

9   If we take human testimony at face value, how much more should we be reassured when God gives testimony as he does here, testifying concerning his Son.  10 Whoever believes in the Son of God inwardly confirms God’s testimony. Whoever refuses to believe in effect calls God a liar, refusing to believe God’s own testimony regarding his Son.

11   This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son.  12 So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life.

The writer of 1John reminds us, the readers, that we are born of God and are born to love. We will love others because God has so graciously loved us.

In what way do you feel God’s presence with you in any given day? When have you felt closest to God? What are some particular situations you have had in your life when you wondered where God was? What was it about those situations that seemed to make you feel so far removed from God? What are some situations in which you really need God to be present with you? How do you get yourself focused on God’s intent for you?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you how they remember what they need to do

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

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

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

Prayer: Our love and focus on you, O God, is right at the very core of our being as we begin this day. Maybe even before we get done with our prayer, our minds may wander to something else we need to attend to in the day before us. Keep us focused on you. Be in our words and our actions that others might know your love. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2016 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX


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