Plagiarism is no more appropriate for pastors in their sermons (or emails of spiritual encouragement) than for college students submitting papers to their professors.  Thus, on a morning like this when I wish to get a word of encouragement out but have been too busy to write something original, it is important that I let you know the author of what you will find below.  Last week’s Thursday’s Thirst carried something I wrote.  This week’s is a devotion written by my cousin, Tim Hetzner.

Tim and I grew up as next-door neighbors on the farm.  He is three years younger than I.  He recently retired as the Executive Director of Lutheran Church Charites (LCC Chicago).  He now serves there in a part-time capacity. One of the things he continues to do is send out a daily devotion via email.  I received it from him yesterday.  The title is “It’s an Inside Job, part one.”

“(And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — John 14:16) Remember dinner without mobile phones, voice mail, texts, and brain overload? Friends and family enjoying each other’s company, uninterrupted by technology? We’re a generation that’s losing the art of communication and intimacy – and it’s impacting the time we spend alone with God.

“Although Jesus preceded the high-tech age, He was in constant demand; multitudes pursued Him at all hours of the day and night. Nevertheless, the Scriptures tell us: ‘A great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed’ (Mark 1:35 ). Jesus made time to be alone with His Father.

“It requires spiritual discipline to eliminate life’s noise and racket and be still and listen. But if you practice it, you will discover a heart-satisfying intimacy and fellowship with God. Invest a few minutes reading John chapters 14-16, and let your spirit absorb Jesus’ message. Notice, He wants His disciples to have peace, and He comforts them with the assurance that they are never left alone. These are blessings He wants you to share too.

“So, how can you find this peace and comfort? Answer: ‘It’s an inside job,’ because the Holy Spirit lives in you. Jesus told His disciples, ‘I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.’ It may be Christianity’s best-kept secret, that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer and is available to provide everything we need to handle life’s difficulties. The Comforter was promised by the Son, sent by the Father, and today He is ours by faith. Embrace Him, trust His power, experience His peace, and follow His unfailing guidance.”

He then closes with this prayer: “Heavenly Father, thank You for the Holy Spirit inside me who is my counselor. In Jesus’ Name, Amen”.

If you would like to read part two (sent out this morning), click on  You might also ask to receive it on a daily basis (it’s free).  And, hopefully, next week I will get back to writing something new!

On a side note, it took me longer than hoped ( six days instead of four), but I completed the painting project Tuesday afternoon.  The condo looks good – but I’m certainly not going to quit my day job (oh, that’s right, I already did!) to become a house painter.  Now we can start getting ready for our cruise which launches a week from Monday.