Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Vol. 16 No. 10               
October, 3 2017

Dear Friend,

Consider all of the guests who will attend worship services over the next seven days. 

Some will come because they are accompanying members of their families or good friends.

Others will come out of some inner urge.

For whatever reason they come, their presence is your opportunity for ministry.

Have the grace and courage to welcome to those who sit near you, who walk beside you.

In the “Theater Mentality” of our day, we attend movies, sporting events, and other forms of entertainment, expecting only to “receive for ourselves” something from the event.  We speak only to our close friends and pay no attention to other people.

When you attend a worship service, put on a “Ministry Mentality” and allow our Lord to encourage other people’s hearts through you, knowing He will encourage your heart as well.

When a woman approached Jesus sitting by a well, he spoke to her (John 4). When Philip saw the Ethiopian in a chariot, he ran over to speak to him (Acts 8). When Paul met some women, who were praying by a river, he spoke to them (Acts 16).

Be alert to the people God places in your lives -- especially this week – speak to them

On behalf of our Lord, play the role of host and welcome those who find their way into worship services as those venturing into unknown territory. 

All you have to say is, “Welcome, I am glad you are here,” and take it from there.

Joy to you - 

E. Stanley Ott

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Vol. 16 No. 9
September 5, 2017

Dear Friend,

We “face up” to enjoy our relationship with our loving Lord, we “face in” as we grow in friendships of the heart with others who follow our Lord. We “face out” as we engage our world on behalf of our Lord with missional intent.

This passage describes our Lord’s heart of compassion as he “faced out:” “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36*

I like to imagine the twelve apostles are sitting at Jesus’ feet when he is feeling that compassion and that just before Jesus says the famous words in the next verses of Matthew he first leans over to his apostles and whispers “Turn around!”

Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Matthew 9:37-38*

In other words, Jesus gives his disciples “people eyes,” a term coined by Chuck Miller to describe receiving the eyes of Jesus to see the people around you as Jesus sees them:  harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

When Jesus says, “ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest,” he asks you to “face out” and to see yourself as such a laborer with people eyes.

Jesus’ ministry is that of tending sheep and sending shepherds.

All of us are sheep and he also sends us to be shepherds who offer the love of God to those in our lives. So face out and see yourself as sent!

Joy to you -

E. Stanley Ott                             

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Vol. 16 No. 8          
August 8, 2017

Dear Friend,

The practice of the Christian faith is three dimensional – 3D - doxological – giving praise to God, communal – growing in interpersonal relationships, and missional – engaging our world on behalf of our Lord.  In other words, we are to face up, face in, and face out.

“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” Acts 2:46*

The early Christians understood the communal aspect of the faith.  We who follow Jesus are not meant to follow alone.  We are his Body and are meant to grow together.

So, ask yourself:

Am I facing in? Am I meaningfully engaged with a fellowship of God’s people?”

“Do I meet ‘in the temple courts,’ that is, am I as faithfully involved in a local church as I am physically able to be so?”

“Am I involved with a small group of fellow believers – a face-to-face         fellowship that meets to discuss the Bible and to pray for one another?”

"Do I number any fellow believers among my closest friends of the heart?”

If your answer to any of these questions is not “yes,” then I urge you to get connected.  The term “solo Christian” is an oxymoron.

As we “face up” to praise and enjoy our Lord and prepare to “face out” with missional intent, we are blessed to “face in” and find strength from one another.

Joy to you - 

E. Stanley Ott                              

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Vol. 16 No. 7         
July 4, 2017

Dear Friend,

We know that God hears our prayers regardless of our physical posture.

At the same time, physical posture can help us focus on our Lord.

Many of the people appearing in the Bible are looking down when they pray:

“...and when they heard that the LORD had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped” (Exodus 4:31).
 “O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!” (Psalm 95:6).

We face down typically because are just used to doing it.  We look down out of humility and reverence.  We are in the presence of the majestic, almighty, holy God. We also bow our heads in confession, contrition, and repentance.

On the other hand, there are others in the Bible who looked up when they prayed:

Eliphaz to Job: “Then you will delight yourself in the Almighty, and lift up your face to God” (Job 22:26).
 “So, they took away the stone.  And Jesus looked upward and said, "Father, I thank you for having heard me” (John 11:41).

Even if you usually bow your head, I urge you occasionally to turn your face up to your Lord when you pray. In just the way we love to make eye contact with those with whom we talk, you will enjoy looking up and loving the Lord who loves you. Face up!

Joy to you - 
E. Stanley Ott                                 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Vol. 16 No. 6
June 6, 2017

Dear Friend,

Think of a legacy as anything you impart to another person or to a group of people.

What legacy will you leave?  Let me suggest three legacies you may pass on.

Leave a legacy of Christian faith.  Share with others what God has done in you and for you personally.  It is remarkable to me how many people have never spoken of their faith in Jesus Christ with their children or even with their closest friends.

Much of the Christian faith is about legacy.  Someone gave it to you. You give it to others.

“Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).

“And what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well” (2 Timothy 2:2).

Leave a legacy of godly character.   In all humility, be what you want others to become.  The integrity of your personal character can make an enduring impact on the character of the people around you.

Leave a positive legacy of possession:  Be sure the provisions of your will produce blessing not bitterness.  Do not neglect this. Leave something to Christ's work. Leave something to your grandchildren (Proverbs 13:22).

Jesus said, "Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8b). 

Joy to you - 
E. Stanley Ott