Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Snow

Building One Another - Vol. 12, No.9

Dear Friend,
I awoke yesterday morning to a beautiful spring snowfall, the kind that coats every branch, every twig, and every surface. It created the kind of magical moment that gives snow a good name even when it messes with our schedules and our driving.

It seems especially appropriate that it arrived on this the last Monday in the season known as Lent and in the week known as Holy Week.

The prophet Isaiah offered this wonderful word, '“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”' Isaiah 1:18*

As we walk this week take the time to dwell on the great moments in the life of Jesus:

    the celebration of the Last Supper this Thursday,
      Maundy Thursday;
          the crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday;
                 the resurrection of Jesus on Easter morning.

Then remember the promise that, “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

Hallelujah and Happy Easter!
- E. Stanley Ott

Copyright 2013 E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the NRSV.
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Building One Another -  Vol 12 No 8
March 12, 2013

Dear Friend,

Last week I received two email messages from friends who are each ninety-six years old.  I enjoy texting with friends who are in their thirties. That got me to thinking! How many people do I know who are at least twenty-five years older than I am? How many people do I know who are at least twenty-five years younger than I am?
Typically we hang out with people near our own ages.
 Perhaps that’s a carryover from our years in school where most of our friends were classmates and our own age. Perhaps it's because we are going through similar life situations with kids in school or empty nesters or in the middle of our work life or perhaps in our retirement years and so on.
 I certainly affirm having friends who are our own ages and with whom we share much in common. At the same time I have been immeasurably encouraged by friendships that cross the generations. Those older than us offer their wisdom, spirit, and love and those younger offer their wisdom, spirit, and love.
Ask yourself if you are in groups and activities that will allow you to meet and to grow real friendships with people across the spectrum of age and if not what are you going to do about it?
One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. Ps. 145:4* 
Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other is gold  (The Girl Scouts). 
With joy - E. Stanley Ott
Copyright 2013 E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the NRSV

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Fritter Factor

Building One Another -  Vol 12 No 7
March 5, 2013

Dear Friend,

The verb “to fritter” means to reduce, waste or squander little by little. “She frittered away the afternoon.” “He frittered away his inheritance.” Think about the many ways contemporary life intrudes on whatever you are doing and the many ways you do things that fritter your time away.
Do you find yourself checking email every few minutes and if a shadow of an email message appears on your screen, do you shift to it immediately?
Do you find yourself checking Facebook “just briefly” several times a day?
Are you a texter involved in many mini-conversations that have no real end  and that may extend well past the time you are in bed?
While you may not personally engage in any of these particular behaviors, it is worth asking to what degree the “Fritter Factor” controls  your life. As Edward Bosworth said years ago, “What gets your attention gets you!” So what is getting your attention?
Since studies of efficiency and effectiveness would show we can be much more purposeful with our time if we choose to do so, will you continue to allow the Fritter Factor the control you give it?
Consider the words of the Apostle Paul, “This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13b-14*  May our Lord’s love and our Lord’s purposes be what gets your attention, and so get you! 
With joy - E. Stanley Ott
Copyright 2013 E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the NRSV