8-31-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 30, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Dog-Rescue-And-Dog-AdoptionWednesday, Aug. 31

Job 14:1-22

I’ll be starting a new prayer list tomorrow. If you have someone you would like to add to the list, please let me know.

The day we adopted our dog, there was a person who was asked one of the shelter employees about the life expectancy of the dog they were going to adopt. I thought it was a curious question to ask. It definitely seemed like a warranty question more than anything else. Like it or not, it caused me to have the same question travel around in my brain. As soon as I asked myself the question, I wondered what difference the answer would make to me. I was well aware that dog and cat years don’t even come close to human years. Then I reflected upon all the tiny beings that didn’t even make it weeks or months into their lives. In that sense, some dogs and cats have outlived many humans.

Would we be bold enough to ask the same question the day we learned we were going to have a baby? Would we actually want to know the answer to “how long” if the answer could be fully known? How would the answer affect the way we would treat each other if we knew the day of a person’s entrance and exit in this world? I think, for some, it might make a huge difference in the risk they were willing to take in getting into a relationship in the first place.

We do ask this question, don’t we? We do ask the “how long” question when our family members and friends are labeled with a terminal disease. When you think about it just a little, isn’t it truth I speak when I say that we are all terminal?

14:1   “We’re all adrift in the same boat: too few days, too many troubles. 

2     We spring up like wildflowers in the desert and then wilt, transient as the shadow of a cloud. 

3  Do you occupy your time with such fragile wisps? Why even bother hauling me into court? 

4     There’s nothing much to us to start with; how do you expect us to amount to anything? 

5     Mortals have a limited life span. You’ve already decided how long we’ll live—

              you set the boundary and no one can cross it. 

6     So why not give us a break? Ease up!

              Even ditchdiggers get occasional days off. 

7     For a tree there is always hope.

              Chop it down and it still has a chance—

              its roots can put out fresh sprouts. 

8     Even if its roots are old and gnarled,

              its stump long dormant, 

9     At the first whiff of water it comes to life,

              buds and grows like a sapling. 

10    But men and women? They die and stay dead.

              They breathe their last, and that’s it. 

11    Like lakes and rivers that have dried up,

              parched reminders of what once was, 

12    So mortals lie down and never get up,

              never wake up again—never. 

13    Why don’t you just bury me alive,

              get me out of the way until your anger cools?

       But don’t leave me there!

              Set a date when you’ll see me again. 

14    If we humans die, will we live again? That’s my question.

              All through these difficult days I keep hoping,

              waiting for the final change—for resurrection! 

15    Homesick with longing for the creature you made,

              you’ll call—and I’ll answer! 

16    You’ll watch over every step I take,

              but you won’t keep track of my missteps. 

17    My sins will be stuffed in a sack

              and thrown into the sea—sunk in deep ocean.

  

18    “Meanwhile, mountains wear down

              and boulders break up, 

19    Stones wear smooth

              and soil erodes,

              as you relentlessly grind down our hope. 

20    You’re too much for us.

              As always, you get the last word.

       We don’t like it and our faces show it,

              but you send us off anyway. 

21    If our children do well for themselves, we never know it;

              if they do badly, we’re spared the hurt. 

22    Body and soul, that’s it for us—

              a lifetime of pain, a lifetime of sorrow.”

Job asserts that we are given a certain amount of days in our lives and we do not know that number. Job admits the frustration in not knowing how many days and that God has all the answers.

How do you believe you would be affected if you knew how many years you would have to your life? If your parents were given the amount of years you would live, do you think they would tell you when you were able to understand? When would be the right age to tell anyone how long they had to live? If you knew that you had only one week left to live, would you be more likely to live just like it was any other day? If you were told you have at least 30 more years to live or only have 30 more years to live, would you wait until you were way farther down the road before you make any changes? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what they would most like to do in their life

Remember in Prayer: Heidi, Barb, Sue & family, Melissa & family, Arlyne, Carolyn & Randy, Alice & Gary, Scott, Marj, Becky, Angela, Jeff & family, Tragic loss in Orlando, 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: Donna, Earl, Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe

Prayer:   O God, we give you thanks for the gift of this day. Help us to stay in each moment and follow your lead. Bring us into the conversations that are helpful to you. Give us the words to say and may we bring you honor. 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

8-30-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 29, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

michelle_cafeteria_fightTuesday, Aug. 30

Job 13:3-17, 21-27

I’ll be starting a new prayer list September 1. If you have someone you would like to add to the list, please let me know.

There are times when it feels like God is somewhere else when we want to plead our case. Ever had that happen?

In my freshman year of high school, a girl in the lunchroom moved over my direction and slapped me. I had never met her and had never spoken to her. I’m unclear why she picked me out of the hundreds of young people in that same cafeteria. All I know is that my face swelled up with a big hand print and I couldn’t help but cry. The girl said something like, “if you have something to say about me, you say it to my face” and then as she stomped off. I didn’t know the girl, but I heard that she was tough and she had just left every good indication that was true.

When my friends finally helped me get myself collected, they said that I had to go to the Dean and tell her what happened. It was time for class to begin so I decided to go to the Dean after I explained the situation to my teacher. When I entered the classroom, the teacher was already taking attendance and before she was done with that a student came to the classroom with a note for the teacher. The teacher called my name and said I was to go to the Dean’s office. I remember feeling a moment of thanks that my friends had somehow gotten the message to the office. The Dean met me at the door and asked me to step into her office. She said that she heard about the lunchroom disturbance from the other young lady. The girl who slapped me into tomorrow told the Dean I had called her some names. I could see that the Dean was trying to sort things out so she wanted me to explain. Feeling that the other girl had convinced the Dean that I caused this action, brought me to tears. I was the victim and the other girl made up a story to save herself.

Fortunately, the girl who slapped me had a history of fighting and being suspended from school so the Dean was more open to hearing and believing my story.

It was the girl’s current action and her past actions that got her suspended from school.

13:3        I’m taking my case straight to God Almighty;

              I’ve had it with you—I’m going directly to God. 

4     You graffiti my life with lies.

              You’re a bunch of pompous quacks! 

5     I wish you’d shut your mouths—

              silence is your only claim to wisdom.

  

6     “Listen now while I make my case,

              consider my side of things for a change. 

7     Or are you going to keep on lying ‘to do God a service’?

              to make up stories ‘to get him off the hook’? 

8     Why do you always take his side?

              Do you think he needs a lawyer to defend himself? 

9     How would you fare if you were in the dock?

              Your lies might convince a jury—but would they

                      convince God?

10    He’d reprimand you on the spot

              if he detected a bias in your witness. 

11    Doesn’t his splendor put you in awe?

              Aren’t you afraid to speak cheap lies before him? 

12    Your wise sayings are knickknack wisdom,

              good for nothing but gathering dust.

  

13    “So hold your tongue while I have my say,

              then I’ll take whatever I have coming to me. 

14    Why do I go out on a limb like this

              and take my life in my hands? 

15    Because even if he killed me, I’d keep on hoping.

              I’d defend my innocence to the very end. 

16    Just wait, this is going to work out for the best—my salvation!

              If I were guilt-stricken do you think I’d be doing this—

              laying myself on the line before God? 

17    You’d better pay attention to what I’m telling you,

              listen carefully with both ears. 

 

21    First, lay off the afflictions;

              the terror is too much for me. 

22    Second, address me directly so I can answer you,

              or let me speak and then you answer me. 

23    How many sins have been charged against me?

              Show me the list—how bad is it? 

24    Why do you stay hidden and silent?

              Why treat me like I’m your enemy? 

25    Why kick me around like an old tin can?

              Why beat a dead horse? 

26    You compile a long list of mean things about me,

              even hold me accountable for the sins of my youth. 

27    You hobble me so I can’t move about. You watch every move I make,

In chapter 12, Job saw God as Creator. In chapter 13, Job sees God as Judge. Job’s friends thought that Job was evil and they warned him not to argue with God. They told him to change his behavior. Job was a good man and not evil. Job was not afraid to reason with God and he was confident that God would rescue him.

When you think of meeting up with God, what are some questions you feel would be right there at the top of your list to ask God? What would make you feel that you were justified to question God? Do you actually feel that God does not know how you feel? Again, I would ask, do you feel it is God that causes or let’s bad things happen to people?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you why it is good to be nice to others

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

Remember in Prayer: Heidi, Barb, Sue & family, Melissa & family, Arlyne, Carolyn & Randy, Alice & Gary, Scott, Marj, Becky, Angela, Jeff & family, Tragic loss in Orlando, 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: Donna, Earl, Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe

Prayer:   O God, we thank you for this day. Thank you for knowing us just as we are. You know the questions of life that are upon our hearts. Calm our souls and help us to walk in your ways. Help us to examine our own hearts when we step into self-righteousness. 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

 

8-29-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 28, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

cause-and-effect-text-structure-graphic-organizer1Monday, Aug. 29

Job 12:1-6, 13-25

I’ll be starting a new prayer list On Sept. 1. If you have someone you would like to add to the list, please let me know.

Many things in our lives are pretty much cause and effect in nature. If I intentionally turn my car into oncoming traffic, I will most likely be in a car accident. If I am handed a test and I write my name at the top and then write nothing else on the test before I hand it back in, I will not be surprised when I find that I have failed the test. If I place four eggs in a single serving milk container, tape it shut, and then throw the container off the top of a building, I will find broken eggs after they hit the ground. These are examples of cause and effect.

We seem to have a pretty good understanding of cause and effect. But we don’t understand it when things happen that didn’t seem to have an apparent reason to happen. When a friend of ours has done absolutely everything in their life to optimize health in their life and then they get a disease, we don’t understand. Although we would rather not believe it, we may even think that our friend didn’t really do all that they could have done.

All I know is that not everything can be placed in the cause and effect bin. Life just happens.

12:1        Job answered:  

2     “I’m sure you speak for all the experts,

              and when you die there’ll be no one left to tell us how to live. 

3     But don’t forget that I also have a brain—

              I don’t intend to play second fiddle to you.

              It doesn’t take an expert to know these things.

4     “I’m ridiculed by my friends:

              ‘So that’s the man who had conversations with God!’

       Ridiculed without mercy:

              ‘Look at the man who never did wrong!’ 

5     It’s easy for the well-to-do to point their fingers in blame,

              for the well-fixed to pour scorn on the strugglers. 

6     Crooks reside safely in high-security houses,

              insolent blasphemers live in luxury;

              they’ve bought and paid for a god who’ll protect them.

  

13    “True wisdom and real power belong to God;

              from him we learn how to live,

              and also what to live for. 

14    If he tears something down, it’s down for good;

              if he locks people up, they’re locked up for good. 

15    If he holds back the rain, there’s a drought;

              if he lets it loose, there’s a flood. 

16    Strength and success belong to God;

              both deceived and deceiver must answer to him. 

17    He strips experts of their vaunted credentials,

              exposes judges as witless fools. 

18    He divests kings of their royal garments,

              then ties a rag around their waists. 

19    He strips priests of their robes,

              and fires high officials from their jobs. 

20    He forces trusted sages to keep silence,

              deprives elders of their good sense and wisdom. 

21    He dumps contempt on famous people,

              disarms the strong and mighty. 

22    He shines a spotlight into caves of darkness,

              hauls deepest darkness into the noonday sun. 

23    He makes nations rise and then fall,

              builds up some and abandons others. 

24    He robs world leaders of their reason,

              and sends them off into no man’s land. 

25    They grope in the dark without a clue,

              lurching and staggering like drunks.

All Job’s friends agree that God would not punish a good man so, when they saw that Job had troubles, they accused Job of doing something wrong. They did not realize that Job was a good man, that God was proud of Job, or that the devil caused Job’s troubles. Anybody can say that God is kind or that God is great, but such words did not help to explain Job’s problem. Job had terrible troubles, and his friends were not helping him. 

What is the most recent example that comes to mind where bad things happened to a good person? Did your mind try to work thru what the person might have been doing to cause such a bad thing to happen? When have you heard yourself tell another person that it made no sense how a particular person could get cancer or die of a heart attack because they did nothing but healthy things in life? After your first assessment not answering the cause, what do you do with the things that don’t make sense in life?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what they want to be when they grow up 

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

Remember in Prayer: Heidi, Barb, Sue & family, Melissa & family, Arlyne, Carolyn & Randy, Alice & Gary, Scott, Marj, Becky, Angela, Jeff & family, Tragic loss in Orlando, 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: Donna, Earl, 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 give you thanks for the variety of gifts you give. Thank you that any one person doesn’t have all the gifts. Help us to live into the gifts you have given us and honor you in the way we give back. Help us in supporting our friends and family especially when life happens in a way that doesn’t make sense. We give you this day to hold in your care. 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

8-28-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 27, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

175409641Sunday, Aug. 28

Job 11:1-9, 13-20

I’ll be starting a new prayer list at the beginning of September. If you have someone you would like to add to the list, please let me know.

The first roommate I had in college was very different from me. She was from the south and I was from the north. I was attending a college in the south and she wanted to help me remember I had crossed over into her territory. It was very difficult for her to realize that I was a Yankee. We corresponded before I actually arrived on campus, but that must have seemed like I was a pen pal from a remote village from around the world somewhere.

There was a whole week between registration and when classes actually began. My roommate arrived on registration day and, after my helping her hang her Rebel flag on our wall, she invited me to come home with her for a few days before the actual start of the semester. I had been looking forward to a quiet easing into my college experience. Reluctantly, I accepted her invitation feeling that it would be a nice thing to do as we were going to be roommates.

Walking into her home, I could tell that her family was very worried about having a Yankee in their home. It felt like they were just short of bringing out the Lysol to spray wherever I walked.

My roommate’s father was a principal of their town’s grade school and he wanted to know about the school systems up north and what kind of nonsense they taught up there. I was very aware that my roommates’ family was hurt by the actions of the northerners and they seemed to be holding me responsible. I didn’t want to start off my college career in a dispute so I acted pretty non-committal in most of my answers to his questions.

Other than the first hello when my roommate and I met, it pretty much went downhill until our parting only 2 weeks into our first semester. She was convinced that I was evil. After moving out of our room and down the hall, she then moved back home and commuting for  few weeks. Half way thru our first semester, she dropped out of college.

While that whole thing was just weird, I ended up having a room to myself the first semester.

11:1        Now it was the turn of Zophar from Naamath:  

2     “What a flood of words! Shouldn’t we put a stop to it?

              Should this kind of loose talk be permitted? 

3     Job, do you think you can carry on like this and we’ll say nothing?

              That we’ll let you rail and mock and not step in? 

4     You claim, ‘My doctrine is sound

              and my conduct impeccable.’ 

5     How I wish God would give you a piece of his mind,

              tell you what’s what! 

6     I wish he’d show you how wisdom looks from the inside,

              for true wisdom is mostly ‘inside.’

       But you can be sure of this,

              you haven’t gotten half of what you deserve.

7     “Do you think you can explain the mystery of God?

              Do you think you can diagram God Almighty? 

8     God is far higher than you can imagine,

              far deeper than you can comprehend, 

9     Stretching farther than earth’s horizons,

              far wider than the endless ocean. 

10    If he happens along, throws you in jail

              then hauls you into court, can you do anything about it? 

11    He sees through vain pretensions,

              spots evil a long way off—

              no one pulls the wool over his eyes! 

12    Hollow men, hollow women, will wise up

              about the same time mules learn to talk.

13    “Still, if you set your heart on God

              and reach out to him, 

14    If you scrub your hands of sin

              and refuse to entertain evil in your home, 

15    You’ll be able to face the world unashamed

              and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless. 

16    You’ll forget your troubles;

              they’ll be like old, faded photographs. 

17    Your world will be washed in sunshine,

              every shadow dispersed by dayspring. 

18    Full of hope, you’ll relax, confident again;

              you’ll look around, sit back, and take it easy. 

19    Expansive, without a care in the world,

              you’ll be hunted out by many for your blessing. 

20    But the wicked will see none of this.

              They’re headed down a dead-end road

              with nothing to look forward to—nothing.” 

At the start, Job’s friends believed that Job was a good man. But they could not explain why God would allow an innocent man to suffer. So they started to think that Job might, in fact, be evil. In the end, Eliphaz would accuse Job that he clearly was evil.

When have you encountered a person you believed was evil? What was it about the person that led you to believe that about them? When have you known that someone else believed you were evil? What was it that caused them to turn their thoughts that direction? How would you define evil to a child?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you how they can tell a person is a stranger

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

Remember in Prayer: Heidi, Barb, Sue & family, Melissa & family, Arlyne, Carolyn & Randy, Alice & Gary, Scott, Marj, Becky, Angela, Jeff & family, Tragic loss in Orlando, 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: Donna, Earl, 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 surrounding us with your protection. Thank you for the gift of friends and the gift of the people who surround us and support us. Help us to be good friends each other. 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

 

8-27-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 26, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

160825125848-italy-earthquake-destruction-rubble-00000000-1024x576Saturday, Aug. 27

Job 9:1, 10:1-9, 16-22

We are people who want to be “in the know.” We don’t like surprises. We want information as it’s happening. “Breaking News” made us very happy when it became more a thing. Then it seemed like there was too much that was labeled Breaking News.

Breaking News and being in the know brings both blessing and curse. We often see things when they’re happening. We often see things we aren’t really wanting to see or ready to see.

There was so much gut wrenching coverage of the earthquake damage in Italy this past week. It was too much information to process. We want news, but we want news to be in a way we can process. We want news right now, but in the right way.

Some years ago, we lived next door to a newscaster from the local television station. On many occasions, she asked me how I could raise three small children without losing my mind. Great question that entered my mind on a daily basis. On the other hand, I wondered how she could put up with the long hours each day doing what she was doing. That’s when I remember saying that I didn’t know how newscasters came up with the things they talk about on the news.

She invited me to shadow her for a day and I was so very exhausted by the time I arrived back home. We spent about 6 hours going to all sorts of foot doctors and shoe stores in Des Moines, Iowa. By the time I saw the news that night, all of that time she spent interviewing and gaining film clips was reduced to a thirty second blip on being kind to your feet.

During the editing of the footage gathered, we were aware of a more heightened conversation in the studio. The attention was focused on footage covering a drowning that had occurred earlier that day. The news team arrived at the scene of the drowning and caught, on tape, the lifeless body as it was being pulled out of the water. They wanted to air the piece on the evening news. I remember watching the raw footage at the studio, but it was not shown on the news because there was deep consideration and respect for the family of the person who had died.

My next door neighbor said, “it’s often too much to see; too much to process, and too graphic.” Indeed. We want to see. We don’t want to see.

9:1          Job continued by saying:

10:1        “I can’t stand my life—I hate it!

       I’m putting it all out on the table,

       all the bitterness of my life—I’m holding back nothing.”

  

2   Job prayed:

       “Here’s what I want to say:

       Don’t, God, bring in a verdict of guilty

              without letting me know the charges you’re bringing. 

3     How does this fit into what you once called ‘good’—

              giving me a hard time, spurning me,

              a life you shaped by your very own hands,

              and then blessing the plots of the wicked? 

4     You don’t look at things the way we mortals do.

              You’re not taken in by appearances, are you? 

5     Unlike us, you’re not working against a deadline.

              You have all eternity to work things out. 

6     So what’s this all about, anyway—this compulsion

              to dig up some dirt, to find some skeleton in my closet? 

7     You know good and well I’m not guilty.

              You also know no one can help me.

  

8     “You made me like a handcrafted piece of pottery—

              and now are you going to smash me to pieces? 

9     Don’t you remember how beautifully you worked my clay?

              Will you reduce me now to a mud pie? 

10    Oh, that marvel of conception as you stirred together

              semen and ovum— 

11    What a miracle of skin and bone,

              muscle and brain! 

12    You gave me life itself, and incredible love.

              You watched and guarded every breath I took.

  

13    “But you never told me about this part.

              I should have known that there was more to it— 

14    That if I so much as missed a step, you’d notice and pounce,

              wouldn’t let me get by with a thing. 

15    If I’m truly guilty, I’m doomed.

              But if I’m innocent, it’s no better—I’m still doomed.

       My belly is full of bitterness.

              I’m up to my ears in a swamp of affliction. 

16    I try to make the best of it, try to brave it out,

              but you’re too much for me,

              relentless, like a lion on the prowl. 

17    You line up fresh witnesses against me.

              You compound your anger

              and pile on the grief and pain!  

18    “So why did you have me born?

              I wish no one had ever laid eyes on me! 

19    I wish I’d never lived—a stillborn,

              buried without ever having breathed. 

20    Isn’t it time to call it quits on my life?

              Can’t you let up, and let me smile just once

21    Before I die and am buried,

              before I’m nailed into my coffin, sealed in the ground, 

22    And banished for good to the land of the dead,

              blind in the final dark?”

Like some of us in excruciating times, Job was wondering why God was sending such misfortune his way. While he could reason why wicked people could receive misfortune, he wondered why God would send misfortune to the blameless.

What are some things you have witnessed in the world that make absolutely no sense to you? When have you wondered why a particular person seemed to be on the receiving end of way too much bad stuff happening in their life? How do you think things fit together in the bigger scheme of things? Do you believe that God kind of spins a wheel to determine when and where stuff will happen? Do you think that stuff just happens randomly?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what they can do to keep the world clean

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

Remember in Prayer: HeidiBarb, Sue & family, Melissa & family, Arlyne, Carolyn & Randy, Alice & Gary, Scott, Marj, Becky, Angela, Jeff & family, Tragic loss in Orlando, Shirley, Ann, Natalie, Earl, 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: Donna, Earl, Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe

Prayer:   We begin this day surrounded by your love and care, O God. We thank you for the abundance of blessings you have given us in our lives. We thank you for the many times when very good things have come our way. Help us to keep things in perspective and know that you are there for us no matter what comes our way. 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

8-26-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 25, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

courtroomFriday, Aug. 26

Job 9:1-15, 32-35  

Going to court has to be one of the most intimidating things a person can go thru. One thing I have learned is that there are absolutely no certainties when you walk into the courtroom.

When I was young I was taught that a court was a place where justice prevailed; the innocent were protected and the guilty received their fair due.

We’ve all watched court proceedings that have held the national spotlight. Although we haven’t watched absolutely every single moment of the proceedings, we have viewed media coverage of blocks of time within the whole event. We might have an immediate outcome we already believe should be handed down so we just wait for our thoughts to be the jury’s thoughts. We might like a particular attorney more than the others or align with their line of thinking.

When viewing these events, how many times have you and I uttered, “you’ve got to be kidding me” when we’ve heard the courts rulings? We wonder how the judge or jury could ever come up with the verdicts given. We are often giving unsolicited editorial comments from our armchair at home.

Maybe it’s all about the attorney a person has and maybe it has nothing to do with the attorney. Maybe it’s about the judge or maybe it has nothing to do with the judge. Maybe it’s just me, but it just seems like there are times when I don’t understand the point of going to court. 

9:1          Job continued by saying:

  

2     “So what’s new? I know all this.

              The question is, ‘How can mere mortals get right with God?’ 

3     If we wanted to bring our case before him,

              what chance would we have? Not one in a thousand! 

4     God’s wisdom is so deep, God’s power so immense,

              who could take him on and come out in one piece? 

5     He moves mountains before they know what’s happened,

              flips them on their heads on a whim. 

6     He gives the earth a good shaking up,

              rocks it down to its very foundations. 

7     He tells the sun, ‘Don’t shine,’ and it doesn’t;

              he pulls the blinds on the stars. 

8     All by himself he stretches out the heavens

              and strides on the waves of the sea. 

9     He designed the Big Dipper and Orion,

              the Pleiades and Alpha Centauri. 

10    We’ll never comprehend all the great things he does;

              his miracle-surprises can’t be counted. 

11    Somehow, though he moves right in front of me, I don’t see him;

              quietly but surely he’s active, and I miss it. 

12    If he steals you blind, who can stop him?

              Who’s going to say, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ 

13    God doesn’t hold back on his anger;

              even dragon-bred monsters cringe before him.

  

14    “So how could I ever argue with him,

              construct a defense that would influence God? 

15    Even though I’m innocent I could never prove it;

              I can only throw myself on the Judge’s mercy. 

 

32    “God and I are not equals; I can’t bring a case against him.

              We’ll never enter a courtroom as peers. 

33    How I wish we had an arbitrator

              to step in and let me get on with life— 

34    To break God’s death grip on me,

              to free me from this terror so I could breathe again. 

35    Then I’d speak up and state my case boldly.

              As things stand, there is no way I can do it.

Job accepted Bildad’s affirmation that God is just, but that did not solve his problem. If God and Job went to court, Job would not have an argument to present. God is the judge and has all the power and nobody can contend with God.

Would you think about pleading a case before God? If so, what compelling things do you think you might say to win God’s approval? What would be a case you would actually take before God? Have you had a good experience in court? What things would you suggest to a person before entering a courtroom? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what they wish would happen when they do something wrong

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

Remember in Prayer: Barb, Sue & family, Melissa & family, Arlyne, Carolyn & Randy, Alice & Gary, Scott, Marj, Becky, Angela, Jeff & family, Tragic loss in Orlando, 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: Donna, Earl, Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe

Prayer:   Loving God, we thank you for the day before us. We thank you for being you. It is difficult to understand you many times. Forgive us when we just look at you as a bigger one of us. We place this day in your care. 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

8-25-16 Daily E-Votional

Posted August 24, 2016 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

looking at godThursday, Aug. 25

Job 8:1-10, 20-22

In my childhood years, I was pretty frightened of God. I don’t know where I got the idea that God got angry or could do bad things to people. Somewhere in my formative years, I equated God with the dark night sky so I was terrified of going outside after dark. I was just sure that God was out there waiting to unleash all sorts of night events. I didn’t like the darkness outside or the darkness inside the house at night. I didn’t like nighttime.

When we were young and my mother instructed us us to pray at night, it seemed like the prayers were prayers requesting protection. Prayers of protection are good. In my prayers to God for protection, it seemed kind of weird because I wanted protection from God.

I somehow worked out that God was about the huge things in life like how the people were getting along throughout the world and how those who weren’t being fed might be fed. I felt that God was in charge of the world and not part of my little personal world. In other words, God had better things to do than to be concerned about my small little being. I did not understand that God could be active in the lives of regular everyday people or that God could be in relationship with them. I pretty much had God boxed in something much smaller than God could ever be.

8:1          Bildad from Shuhah was next to speak:  

2     “How can you keep on talking like this?

              You’re talking nonsense, and noisy nonsense at that. 

3     Does God mess up?

              Does God Almighty ever get things backwards? 

4     It’s plain that your children sinned against him—

              otherwise, why would God have punished them? 

5     Here’s what you must do—and don’t put it off any longer:

              Get down on your knees before God Almighty. 

6     If you’re as innocent and upright as you say,

              it’s not too late—he’ll come running;

              he’ll set everything right again, reestablish your fortunes. 

7     Even though you’re not much right now,

              you’ll end up better than ever.  

8     “Put the question to our ancestors,

              study what they learned from their ancestors. 

9     For we’re newcomers at this, with a lot to learn,

              and not too long to learn it. 

10    So why not let the ancients teach you, tell you what’s what,

              instruct you in what they knew from experience?  

20    “There’s no way that God will reject a good person,

              and there is no way he’ll help a bad one. 

21    God will let you laugh again;

              you’ll raise the roof with shouts of joy, 

22    With your enemies thoroughly discredited,

              their house of cards collapsed.”

Bildad was argues from nature: for every effect, there is a cause. If Job is suffering there must be a cause, and since God is just, that cause had to be Job’s sin. God is much greater than the words Job and Bildad were using to speak about God.

In what ways have you boxed God in? Do you find that you use God for some things in your life while leaving God out in others? When was the last time that you questioned why God allowed people to suffer? What are some things you would like to know about God? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today:   Ask a child to tell you what they would like to know about God

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

Remember in Prayer: Barb, Sue & family, Melissa & family, Arlyne, Carolyn & Randy, Alice & Gary, Scott, Marj, Becky, Angela, Jeff & family, Tragic loss in Orlando, 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: Donna, Earl, 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 this day. We thank you knowing us and knowing what is best for us. Help us to remember there are things in this world that happen that do not have your blessing. Guard us from blaming you for everything that goes wrong. 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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