Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stretcher Bearers

Building One Another -  Vol 13 No 3

Dear Friend,
I love this portion of the famous encounter between Jesus and a paralytic:
“Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay.  When Jesus saw their faith…” He forgave the paralytic and healed him!  Mark 2:3-5*
It was my teacher, Chuck Miller, who opened my eyes to this text when he asked the simple question, “Who are the stretcher bearers in your life?”
Who are the people – when you are down – physically, emotionally, and spiritually or in any other way – who carry you into the presence of Jesus? Who will stop at nothing to lift you up? Whose faith Jesus sees – not even glancing at your own faith or lack of it in the moment – and raises you up? 
These are people to treasure. Consider who they are – and thank them. In turn be a stretcher-bearer to those people our Lord puts into your life! 

With joy - E. Stanley Ott
Copyright 2014 E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the NRSV

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Vol 13 No 2
Dear Friend,
The flow of events in the first chapter of Mark’s record of the life of Jesus sets up a remarkable statement by Jesus.
One evening the whole town of Capernaum seems to show up at the place Jesus is staying bringing their ill and suffering. Jesus heals and helps them in what had to be a long evening for him.
Yet he jumps up while it is still dark and goes to a quiet place to pray where his disciples eventually find him and say, in essence, “Come back to Capernaum, there are more sick people.”
You would think Jesus, given his compassion, would go back to town with them. Instead he says, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” Mark 1:38*
Now we see his heart of compassion because in the very next story in Mark we see Jesus heal a leper. However, we get the point. Jesus knew why he came, knew what he was about and understood his purpose.
Do you?
“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:26
With joy - E. Stanley OttCopyright 2014 E. Stanley Ott*Scripture from the NIV

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Adventure

Building One Another - Vol. 13, No.1 
Dear Friend,
The news early Monday morning carried a report that the day is known as “Blue Monday,” the most depressing day of the year! After a bit of holiday down time, the ideas of reentering the rat race, missing loved ones, and the prospect of losing some holiday weight gain are not among our most motivational thoughts!

On the other hand, Jesus isn't a Blue Monday person! He cries, "follow me," and leads us in the adventure of a lifetime!

Many of our regular routines may be a bit on pause over the holidays. Now is a great time to clarify the rhythms of your life such as daily time with our Lord, weekly worship with God’s people, diet, exercise, fellowship gatherings, and other patterns that care the for body and soul.

This is an especially good time to renew your adventure with Jesus. I love the line from a song by Ken Medema and you can just hear Jesus singing it to you, “Come with me, walk with me, run with me, fly with me. We will roam the Father’s land together.”

Jesus’ heart’s desire is to refresh your heart and for you to experience the joy of merely being with him. “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11*

With Joy - E. Stanley Ott
Copyright 2013 E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the NRSV
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