2-24-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted February 23, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

100_3442Friday, Feb. 24

2Corinthians 4:1-12

When I was in high school, I’d have to say that our church youth group was exactly what I needed at that time. We participated in many activities that helped us in developing our faith in a way that was very real in the 60’s.

Our youth group took a day bus trip to Chicago. We were encouraged to be in small groups and navigate around with those groups to see the sights at our own pace. We did the museums and such, but letting us roam about in Old Town Chicago in the 60’s was the absolute best!

On Sunday evenings at church we’d have dinner and then a worship service that was geared to our lives. We designed the services and we got to take part in leading the service. Isn’t it interesting that I said that we got to take part in the worship? We actually wanted to participate in the servce! We wanted our voices to be heard and we knew that we’d do okay because we were in a very safe space with the others around us. Nobody made fun of the next person and we just accepted what the others had to offer. It was an amazing experience!

Our youth group opened up a coffee house in the basement of the church. We painted the walls black and we got to decorate the room in amazing ways. did we feel like we were on the cutting edge.

The coffee house was our tool to invite our non-church friends in. So many times I have thought about the risk that our church leaders took when they agreed for the coffee house to come into being. The church trusted us and wanted us to succeed. I wish the adults could have had some comparable venue in which they could share their faith. Maybe they did.

4:1   Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times.  2 We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God. 

4:3   If our Message is obscure to anyone, it’s not because we’re holding back in any way. No, it’s because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention.  4 All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won’t have to bother believing a Truth they can’t see. They’re stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we’ll ever get. 

5   Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you.  6 It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. 

7   If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us.  8 As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do,  9 but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.  10 What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives!  11 Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us.  12 While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best! 

Paul paid a price for his ministry, but the Legalists of the time went about collecting honors and acting very showy about their perceived religious superiority. Paul says that we are all vessels; the treasury of the gospel life within is important. As vessels we need to be concerned with being clean and available for Christ’s use.

What religious guidance from your past helps you decide what you will do and will not do in worship? In our society today, what would be a reason to not talk about your faith? In the early church, what would have been the reasons for them to keep their faith a secret? Who are the people of faith you most admire? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you where they feel the safest

Remember in Prayer: Al & Mary, Diana, Vivian, Aaron, Margaret, Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Karen, Jim, Angela, Tim, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Barb, Sue

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of:  Nita, Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   We love you, O God and we thank you for this day. Thank you for loving us and for placing people in our lives who are willing to share their faith story. Give us the opportunity and words to share our faith with others. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible

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

2-23-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted February 22, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

StartSomethingNewThursday, Feb. 23

2Corinthians 3:1-18

I was listening to a podcast the other day and one of the questions asked in the podcast went something like the following. What is something I am currently doing that is getting in the way of something new God has for me to do? The question just gnawed at me for the longest time. I began reviewing everything I was doing and was pretty sure that each thing was something that God wanted me to do. I finally had the courage to stop my line of thinking and reflect upon what the question was trying to get me to think about.

It is so easy to get caught up in doing things without ever thinking about whether or not God wants us to do these things forever. I think we’re supposed to pay attention to what God desires of us each day. I know that God wants us to do particular things but maybe God wants others to be involved. Maybe God doesn’t want a program to go on and on forever.

Maybe that really cool Bible study was only for a particular time and a particular group. Consider how often we find ourselves in a regularly scheduled something and we wonder why no one is showing up. Maybe that’s a something that wasn’t meant to continue forever.

And maybe the 9 a.m. service church has not been working. Maybe more people are showing up on Wednesday night for worship. It’s probably saying something to us. Can we listen to what it’s saying?

We are creatures of habit and we sure like to line up our lives, don’t we? God may want to guide us into the things God wants us to do. We have to come down off our high horse and tend to the new things God sets before us. God wants us to be committed to God; not a program that worked really great at one time.

3:1   Does it sound like we’re patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we’re not. Neither do we need letters of endorsement, either to you or from you.  2 You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you.  3 Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it. 

4   We couldn’t be more sure of ourselves in this—that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation.  5 We wouldn’t think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter.  6 His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn’t written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It’s written with Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives! 

7   The Government of Death, its constitution chiseled on stone tablets, had a dazzling inaugural. Moses’ face as he delivered the tablets was so bright that day (even though it would fade soon enough) that the people of Israel could no more look right at him than stare into the sun.  8 How much more dazzling, then, the Government of Living Spirit? 

9   If the Government of Condemnation was impressive, how about this Government of Affirmation?  10 Bright as that old government was, it would look downright dull alongside this new one.  11 If that makeshift arrangement impressed us, how much more this brightly shining government installed for eternity? 

12   With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back.  13 Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn’t notice that the glory was fading away—  14 and they didn’t notice. They didn’t notice it then and they don’t notice it now, don’t notice that there’s nothing left behind that veil.  15 Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, they can’t see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that there’s nothing there. 

16   Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face to face!  17 They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it!  18 All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

Paul’s chief intention here is to explain why his is the ministry of a new covenant. He identifies the old covenant with the law chiseled on the stone tablets that Moses received on Sinai, and he characterizes it as leading to condemnation. Those who serve the law, Paul says, are therefore engaged in the ministry of death. Those who serve this gospel are engaged in the ministry of the Spirit.

What things about your life do you see are needing a fresh start? What are some new changes that have happened in your world that you are really not too happy about? When a new way of doing things is mandated, how likely are you to want to go back to the old way? Have a new day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you about something they used to do when they were a baby

Remember in Prayer: Al & Mary, Diana, Vivian, Aaron, Margaret, Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Karen, Jim, Angela, Tim, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Barb, Sue

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of:  Nita, Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   O God, we begin this day with you. There are many tasks we may attend to in this day, conversations we will have, people we may meet, and news we will hear. Before that thought becomes too much for us at the very beginning of this day, we ask that you guide our souls into your care. Help us to let go of the things that are holding us back from doing a new thing in you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible

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

 

2-22-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted February 21, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

0x600Wednesday, Feb. 22


2Corinthians 1:23-2:17

There have been conversations I’ve been a part of where it was clear to me that God had orchestrated the very pieces so that conversation would come into existence. I couldn’t see that before the conversation, but during and after the conversation I could see how things fit together so well that I knew God had to have crafted the exchange and all those moments leading up, and in the midst of, the conversation.

I think that God moved the moments together that led up to and surrounded the actual sharing of our words. It wasn’t about what I thought I should say, but what God placed in my mouth at that moment. I had to be in a place where I could get out of the way of my own thoughts and let God work thru me. I’m very sure that God does that more often than we actually realize. How often I have been in the midst of a conversation and the words the other person was saying were words that I had been thinking. And there we were sharing/exchanging our experiences, our thoughts, our feelings, and it was just so cool. At those times it is very clear to me that God is in control of what is happening. So I have looked upon those tough things that I’ve faced in my life with a new sense of thankfulness. I am thankful for all the experiences, good and bad, that have brought me into future conversations. Those conversations have blessed me so.

1:23   Now, are you ready for the real reason I didn’t visit you in Corinth? As God is my witness, the only reason I didn’t come was to spare you pain. I was being considerate of you, not indifferent, not manipulative. 

24   We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours. 

2:1   That’s why I decided not to make another visit that could only be painful to both of us.  2 If by merely showing up I would put you in an embarrassingly painful position, how would you then be free to cheer and refresh me? 

3   That was my reason for writing a letter instead of coming—so I wouldn’t have to spend a miserable time disappointing the very friends I had looked forward to cheering me up. I was convinced at the time I wrote it that what was best for me was also best for you.  4 As it turned out, there was pain enough just in writing that letter, more tears than ink on the parchment. But I didn’t write it to cause pain; I wrote it so you would know how much I care—oh, more than care—love you! 

5   Now, regarding the one who started all this—the person in question who caused all this pain—I want you to know that I am not the one injured in this as much as, with a few exceptions, all of you. So I don’t want to come down too hard.  6 What the majority of you agreed to as punishment is punishment enough.  7 Now is the time to forgive this man and help him back on his feet. If all you do is pour on the guilt, you could very well drown him in it.  8 My counsel now is to pour on the love. 

9   The focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church.  10 So if you forgive him, I forgive him. Don’t think I’m carrying around a list of personal grudges. The fact is that I’m joining in with your forgiveness, as Christ is with us, guiding us.  11 After all, we don’t want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we’re not oblivious to his sly ways! 

12   When I arrived in Troas to proclaim the Message of the Messiah, I found the place wide open: God had opened the door; all I had to do was walk through it.  13 But when I didn’t find Titus waiting for me with news of your condition, I couldn’t relax. Worried about you, I left and came on to Macedonia province looking for Titus and a reassuring word on you.  14 And I got it, thank God! 

 In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.  15 Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.  16 But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. 

 This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on?  17 No—but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can. 

The church in Corinth heard these words and hopefully felt the call to live out their faith. Paul was reminding the church that God has comforted us and we are to keep reaching out to comfort others. To go thru our own trials in life helps us to recognize and extend comfort to others during their difficult times.
What are some difficult times you have experienced and what would you say was the most difficult aspect of that time for you? Who are some of the people who surrounded you in comfort? When have you seen a friend going thru a difficult time? What things were you able to say or do for them during that time? When have you felt like you didn’t know what to say to someone who was going thru a very difficult time? Did you have any experience from which to draw? How can we walk along side of others as they go thru something very different than we have personally experienced? In what ways have you felt God’s comfort extended to you?  Have a new day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you about a person who is there for them when they’re having a bad day

Remember in Prayer: Al & Mary, Diana, Vivian, Aaron, Margaret, Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Karen, Jim, Angela, Tim, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Barb, Sue

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of:  Nita, Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   O God, we know you love us and walk with us. In those moments we experience in life when we don’t know what to do or where to go, we would ask that you keep us safe and guide our way. Thank you for the many people you place in our life to carry the load. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible

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

 

2-21-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted February 20, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Tupperware_Business_KitTuesday, Feb. 21

2Corinthians 1:12-22

When I think back, there were some things I signed up to do that I didn’t really want to do. I didn’t know that I didn’t want to do them until I tried them out.

When I begged and begged and begged to take piano lessons, I did not really understand the full meaning of the “practice” part of piano lessons. I wondered how much practice it could actually take to become proficient at playing the piano. I didn’t understand why one would have to practice everyday. It ended up that I liked the “idea” of learning how to play the piano, but I didn’t want to have to spend a lot of time learning how to actually accomplish that skill. I scratched that off the list.

I believed in Tupperware products, but I had difficulty trying to get people to commit to having parties so I would have a way from to sell Tupperware. I think I had the six parties needed to buy the basic sales kit and that was the end of that. I had a nice stash of Tupperware that was newly adorning my kitchen.

All of the experiences that fizzled out did help me in learning much about following thru with commitments.

When I was asked to help with the youth group at church, my “yes” meant “yes” without question. When I felt God’s call into ministry, my “yes” was “yes” without question.

1:12   Now that the worst is over, we’re pleased we can report that we’ve come out of this with conscience and faith intact, and can face the world—and even more importantly, face you with our heads held high. But it wasn’t by any fancy footwork on our part. It was God who kept us focused on him, uncompromised.  13 Don’t try to read between the lines or look for hidden meanings in this letter. We’re writing plain, unembellished truth, hoping that 14 you’ll now see the whole picture as well as you’ve seen some of the details. We want you to be as proud of us as we are of you when we stand together before our Master Jesus. 

15   Confident of your welcome, I had originally planned two great visits with you—  16 coming by on my way to Macedonia province, and then again on my return trip. Then we could have had a bon-voyage party as you sent me off to Judea. That was the plan. 

17   Are you now going to accuse me of being flip with my promises because it didn’t work out? Do you think I talk out of both sides of my mouth—a glib yes one moment, a glib no the next?  18 Well, you’re wrong. I try to be as true to my word as God is to his. Our word to you wasn’t a careless yes canceled by an indifferent no. How could it be?  19 When Silas and Timothy and I proclaimed the Son of God among you, did you pick up on any yes-and-no, on-again, off-again waffling? Wasn’t it a clean, strong Yes? 

20   Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident.  21 God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us.  22 By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete. 

Paul makes it very clear that there is nothing uncertain about his commitment. His life had been stamped with a big “yes” on it and that means that he is committed in everything he does to God’s calling to him thru Christ Jesus.
Consider your current commitments.

How many of your commitments are you deeply committed to today? What determines your level of commitment? When have you been most hesitant to make a commitment? Are you committed in the same way to all of your commitments? What commitments would you most like to be done with? How important is it to you to share a commitment with a friend? If you’ve said “yes” to Christ, what exactly does that yes/commitment mean to you? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you about something they really want to do

Remember in Prayer: Al & Mary, Diana, Vivian, Aaron, Margaret, Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Karen, Jim, Angela, Tim, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Barb, Sue

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of:  Nita, Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   We thank you for this day, O God. Thank you for loving us and being there for us at all times. We want our yes for you to be in each moment you give us. May it be so. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible

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

2-20-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted February 19, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

carl-and-ellie-and-mailbox-up-13660745-1400-787Monday, Feb. 20

2 Corinthians 1:1-11

Most of us walk around participating in a social level conversations. Those social level conversations are what I call the, “How you doing?” kind of conversations. “How you doing?” conversations are easy and quick and we don’t have to put a lot of emotional energy into them. We choose those quick conversations because we have full schedules and our emotional calendars are way overbooked. We go to those kind of conversations because we want to control our time and any emotional investment.

In comparison, when we start sharing the really deep stuff with one another, we’re in a whole new place. After listening to another person’s story, and I mean really listening, I have wondered how the other person survived the experience they just shared with me. I have also wondered how I didn’t know this information about the person before that time. That’s when I’m pretty sure that I was leading with the “How you doing?” kind of conversation when I could have been listening.

It comes to me that we find each other in life and those stories really do have a way of guiding us. What has happened in your life may be just what I need to hear to get thru something I’m going thru. Likewise, something that has happened in my life may be just what you need to hear to get thru a particular time you are currently experiencing.

I really do think that God moves us together for a reason. All we have to do is pay attention and trust that God will use that conversation for a reason.

1:1  I, Paul, have been sent on a special mission by the Messiah, Jesus, planned by God himself. I write this to God’s congregation in Corinth, and to believers all over Achaia province.  2 May all the gifts and benefits that come from God our Father and the Master, Jesus Christ, be yours! Timothy, someone you know and trust, joins me in this greeting. 

3   All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel!  4 He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.  5 We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too. 

6   When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times.  7 When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it. 

8   We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it.  9 We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead!  10 And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing.  11 You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.

While trying to help the church, Paul experienced suffering so intense that he was almost ready to give up. God does not shelter people from trials; not even gifted apostles who are doing God’s will.

What is one difficult time you went thru in your life? Who were some of the people you met during that time in your life? Who is a person you have met whose life seems lots more difficult than yours? Who is one person who has told you that what you went thru makes their life look relatively calm?  Have a new day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you one thing they have learned from a friend

Remember in Prayer: Al & Mary, Diana, Vivian, Aaron, Margaret, Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Karen, Jim, Angela, Tim, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Barb, Sue

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of:  Nita, Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   We come before you this day, O God, in such thanks for your love. We thank you for bringing others into our lives and the gift of sharing our stories with one another. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible

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

2-19-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted February 18, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

filippo-palizzia-italian-painter-sleeping-shepherd-and-his-dogSunday, Feb. 19

John 10:7-16

A few years ago, after knocking on a door, I tried to walk into a parishioners’ hospital room and I was stopped from entering the room because a chair had been placed behind the door. When I knocked again, a voice from inside the room asked if I would be willing to wait just a moment. I was willing to wait however long they needed. After opening the door just a little bit, the person greeted me and asked who I was. After introducing myself as the pastor, they pulled the chair away from the door and welcomed me in. The man introduced himself as the son of the parishioner.

When I was inside the hospital room, the son lodged the chair behind the door once again. I was feeling a bit uncomfortable because I wasn’t sure what was going on with the placement of the chair and all. After praying with the parishioner, the son thanked me and said that he had placed the chair behind the door so it would alert him when someone was coming in the room. He said that anyone who wanted to get near his father was going to have to answer to a family member first. The son said that he had stepped out of the room once before and his father almost received a medication that would have caused a severe allergic reaction in his father. The Son, the Gatekeeper!

John 10:7 So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep.  8 All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them.  9 I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture.  10 A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. 

11   “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary.  12 A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf.  13 He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him. 

14   “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me.  15 In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary.  16 You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. 

Jesus is the shepherd. Some shepherds lay down across the entry of the sheepfold at night to sleep. Wild beasts would be discouraged from entering, and sheep would not go out. In this case, the shepherd was the door.

What are some ways that others have protected you in life? At the time do you feel that they were being overprotective? Who are some obvious people in our society who need to have someone stand in as protection for them? In what ways do you feel God has surrounded you with protection? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what things they’ve tried to keep someone away from something of theirs

Remember in Prayer: Al & Mary, Diana, Vivian, Aaron, Margaret, Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Karen, Jim, Angela, Tim, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Barb, Sue

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of:  Nita, Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   Today, we begin in thanks to you, O God. Thank you for loving us and protecting us. We know that there are neighbors in our community who need advocates to stand up for them and protect them. Help us to do what we can to help those in need. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2017 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible

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

2-18-17 Daily E-Votional

Posted February 17, 2017 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Iowa Flood Relief 1993

Iowa Flood Relief 1993

Saturday, Feb. 18

1Timothy 6:6-21

When our youth group went out to Des Moines to help with flood relief in the mid-nineties, we really didn’t know what we would be asked to do.

Our youth group had another mission trip already planned and then decided to scrub that plan when the flood relief was very much needed. Some of the youth had a picture in their mind that we would be sandbagging and holding back the walls of water threatening the area. In actuality, the water was pretty much gone by the time we arrived. All of the saturated house possessions were still lining the curbs. I never saw so many damaged refrigerators and stoves and washers and dryers in my life. Added to that were the stacks and stacks of just rubbish; old moldy walls pieces, bits and pieces of family memories, and broken and warped furniture. We were called to serve in many different areas.

Our group ranged in age from about 11 years of age to 71 years of age. I would have to say that most of our group had skills that would fit in a broad range of general skills. Even though we only had a dozen or so in number, our group split up so we could attend to different things that needed our help.

At one point we handed out water bottles to other workers. We folded some clothes people had donated to those in need in the area. We worked at the gutter company for 2 or 3 days; scrubbing the film of sludge mix that was smelly stuff that had floated along in the water and landed on the gutter parts. Use your imagination on that one as you remember that there were acres and acres of farm land on every side. The film of sludge on the gutters included animal poop and residue from old stagnant pools of water and sewage and God only knows what else.

I know that our work helped in some way, but much of the time we felt like the organizers didn’t know what to do with us.

6:6   A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God.  7 Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless,  8 if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough. 

9   But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time.  10 Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after. 

11   But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy.  12 Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses. 

13   I’m charging you before the life-giving God and before Christ, who took his stand before Pontius Pilate and didn’t give an inch:  14 Keep this command to the letter, and don’t slack off. Our Master, Jesus Christ, is on his way.  15 He’ll show up right on time, his arrival guaranteed by the Blessed and Undisputed Ruler, High King, High God.  16 He’s the only one death can’t touch, his light so bright no one can get close. He’s never been seen by human eyes—human eyes can’t take him in! Honor to him, and eternal rule! Oh, yes. 

17   Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—  18 to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous.  19 If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life. 

20   And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts.  21 People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith. 

 Overwhelming grace keep you!

Again, Paul gives instruction to the young Christians who may have had difficulty understanding just what servant leadership meant. The reminder is that being a servant will not be easy or glamorous job. Respecting the boss when you’re the servant is not the easiest mindset to embrace.

When have you worked in a situation where you felt like you were being treated poorly? Was the work different than what you understood it would be when you took the job? When did you do work where you were serving others and you really didn’t appreciate the way you were being treated? When have you served others and it really made you feel good about what you did? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you about someone who liked something they did

Remember in Prayer: Al & Mary, Diana, Vivian, Aaron, Margaret, Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Karen, Jim, Angela, Tim, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Barb, Sue

And those experiencing loss – family and friends of:  Nita, Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela

Prayer:   O God, you have created this day and we give you thanks. We know that you have a desire for us today. Give us vision and guidance and words and actions as we move about in conversations and interactions with others in the moments we are given. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

©2017 Lucia Oerter

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