Loving One Another

Archive for June, 2019

Where Are You Headed?


Headed Toward Jerusalem

woman taking pictures of ruins

Photo by Haley Black on Pexels.com

 

Today’s sermon topic was “Headed Toward Jerusalem.” It was based on the story in Luke 9:51-62 in which Jesus, headed toward Jerusalem, sent His disciples ahead to Samaria to prepare a place for Him to stay the night. Knowing Jesus’ destination was Jerusalem, the Samaritans refused to welcome Him into their city.

Offended by the rejection, the disciples, James and John, asked Jesus if He would like to send fire down on the Samaritans and destroy their city. Jesus rebuked the disciples for their hard-heartedness and attitude of retribution. He and His disciples simply moved on to Jerusalem.

Here are my sermon notes
that I took as I listened carefully
to what Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana

had to say about this scripture.

 

Where Are You Headed?

We’re all headed somewhere.
Where is your face headed?
What values guide and direct you
– and what destination is dreaded?

What life is truly worth living?
How do you live with purpose in love?
“Jerusalem” is a metaphor for
The place that fits you like a glove.

It’s a metaphor for traveling
To where you’re meant to be.
It’s being who you were meant to be
And facing the direction of Eternity.

We are pulled in different directions.
Our tendency is much like James and John
Who wanted to call fire on those
Who rejected Jesus: We want enemies gone!

But Jesus rebuked the disciples.
He rejected their hardness of heart.
Keep your eyes on your destination.
Don’t let detractors pull us apart.

“Jerusalem” is a metaphor for peace.
What do we do about violent actions?
“Jerusalem” is about the Truth of God.
What do we do about divided factions?

We need to wrestle with these questions
And struggle for clarification.
There are no easy answers.
Today’s world creates chaos and confusion.

What does it mean to head
Toward “Jerusalem” and let go
Of security and face change?
Transformation is a place we must know.

“Jerusalem” is about the love of Christ.
It’s letting go of the things that bind us
To this world of hate and divisions.
It’s turning our faces toward Christian kindness.

Join me, OKAY?
Let’s head toward or own “Jerusalem.”

What are the things that bind you
to the place you are,
and keep you from heading
toward YOUR “Jerusalem”??

heart of love
Have a beautiful Sunday.
See ya tomorrow!

Tender Touch


Tender Touch

two person holding hands while sitting on grey cushion

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

There’s nothing like a tender touch

To chase away the blues.

You need someone who really cares

Friends and family who choose

To stick by you through thick and thin –

To be there when you’re hurting –

To hold your hand and hug your heart

To lend a listening ear instead of skirting

Past the issues that weigh you down.

There’s nothing like a tender touch

To lift you up and bring you love

And show you that they care so much.

 

Love in Action

I used the wonderful photo below by Kristin De Soto last weekend when writing about Being Pretty on the inside… and showing it with loving actions. I love the intergenerational nature of it … and the evidence of hard working DOING. Action… not just talking about it. TOUCH that lifts and supports.

grayscale photo of man woman and child

Photo by Kristin De Soto on Pexels.com

 

The Need for Touch

In this month’s In Touch Magazine (Daily Readings for Devoted Living by Charles Stanley), on June 27th, the title was “The Touch That Transforms.” The devotional began with a reference to Matthew 8:1-4, the scripture that tells about Jesus’ touch healing the leper.

Charles Stanley wrote, “The need for touch from a fellow human being has not disappeared in the 2,000 years since Jesus walked the earth.”

And yet, the author continues, “Physical touch is being replaced with ‘likes’ on Facebook. And when we do think of touch, it’s often associated with scandal, impropriety, or immorality.” He asks us, “How did this wonderful word become so maligned?”

Operative Word: Tender

As I suggested in my Tender Touch poem above, it doesn’t have to be that way! The word “touch” does not need to bring shivers of fear or shadows of doubt. The operative word is TENDER! 

As followers of God, people who know and try to live by the Golden Rule, we have the opportunity to “touch” people in a variety of ways. We can use our hands, our talents, our time through service to exhibit compassion and encouragement. Our sincere hugs and our gentle pats on the back are signs that we truly care … and the recipients can feel it!

Keep it Simple

The touch of love doesn’t need to be expensive. Give the gift of caring. Keep it simple!

baby children cute dress

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As bloggers, we can use our words to touch people’s hearts. Face-to-face is best, but sometimes that’s not possible. So, a card of sympathy, encouragement or inspiration, an e-mail to reach out, a phone call to just say “Hello, I was thinking of you. How are you?” or a text to show you’re thinking of them all are great ways to “touch” the loved ones we can’t reach physically.

 

writing notes idea class

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

 

Be a Part of the Solution

Here are some don’ts:

  • Don’t let physical touch be replaced with FaceBook “likes.”
  • Don’t let the word TOUCH become maligned and only associated with abuse.
  • Don’t shy away from reaching out to others in positive ways with the gift of touch.

And here are some do’s:

  • Tenderly reach out to those around you.
  • Touch others through prayer, knowing that God hears, and your loved ones will feel it!
  • Write or call those who are out of physical reach and let them know you care.

 

There’s nothing like a tender touch

To chase away the blues.

Bee the one who lifts and supports!

man and woman holding hands on brown wooden table

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Thanks for caring and for sharing your compassion.
heart of love
See ya after church with my sermon notes.
Have a Happy Sunday morning!

Being Pretty


Being Pretty

Do you ever fret
About outside appearance?
What worries you so?

being pretty.jpg

You know it is not
Outside that really matters.
Focus on inside!

bee bumblebee insect macro

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Just bee pretty kind.
And bee funny and cheerful.
Bee smart and bee strong.

Hang on pretty tight to one another!!

close up photography of honeybee

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

 

pexels-photo-225017.jpeg

Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com


Kindness, humor, wisdom
and inner strength…

Those are the special
Beauties that matter most.
Enhance and show them!

grayscale photo of man woman and child

Photo by Kristin De Soto on Pexels.com

Thanks for reading and commenting,
dear beautiful blogging friends.
Your inner beauty shines through.

I appreciate you!!
You have ’em!!

Tell me which of those inner beauty
qualities are the greatest strengths of yours.
heart of love
See ya tomorrow.

Montana Mountain Trails


Montana Mountain Trails

ATV Travel - Cloudy Sky

I love living in Montana.
I love the opportunities it provides for me
and my husband, Bob, to get out into nature.
I love the mountains, the numerous trails,
and the scenery – everywhere I go…
… everywhere I look,
it’s beautiful in a unique kind of way

 

Come along with me, and Bob, and our Boston Terrier, TazE,
and three other couples and a single guy with his dog.
We headed north-west outta Ennis
to Twin Bridges and then
turned west, took a break,
and went north into the
Big Hole area.


The ride on “Lucille”
(our red-headed Polaris Razor on which we have a BALL),
was much tamer than the ATV ride I took earlier this week!

IMG_7537

We made a rest stop in Twin Bridges
– a little more than 3/4 of the way to our destination.

Rest stop - Twin Bridges

Then on we went – seemingly forever – off the main road –
headed for some unknown destination
(at least it was unknown to me and Bob and our trusty traveler, TazE).

 

You couldn’t hear me over the roar of the engine.
I said, “Wide-open country-side!”

We had no idea our destination was a remote graveyard
in what used to be Rochester, MT
and an old abandoned mine far up the trail
in those mountains out there –
where the sky kept getting darker and darker.

Cemetery sign

There are eleven graves labeled “UNKNOWN” in this cemetery.
How strange!
In a community of only 2,000 at its max,
how was anyone “unknown?”

cemetery4.jpg

Most of the gravestones were well marked. Some even appeared to have had recent visitors. We were way the heck away from civilization… but here were flowers at the grave site of 3 Claridge siblings who died at 3 1/2 months and their sister who died at birth a year before. Doesn’t your heart go out to those parents??


Cemetery6

In these harsh conditions, some did live to full adulthood.
I wish they could tell their stories.

Cemetery2

I loved Margaret’s tombstone
(as much as “love” and “tombstone”
dare go together in the same sentence!).
Look at it… I think she was 90!
Her story was partially told on this stone:
“Do not go gentle into that good night. ..
Rage against the dying of the light.”

Cemetery5

When I die, I am sure I will not “rage against the dying of the light.”
I want to fly toward the Light…
and indeed, that Faith is what keeps me going!
I wanna keep loving extravagantly until I am 90+
Don’t you?

bird in sunset sky

Isn’t this old gate that greeted us
when we entered the cemetery a treasure to behold?

Cemetery gate

The sagebrush in this area inspired the clothing
I have chosen to wear to my granddaughter’s wedding next month.
I love the earth tones of pale green and beige.
Don’t you?

sage brush

We stopped at an old mine and had lunch.
Just finished before it started to rain.
Whew!

Caroline-Gail - mine

Those are two of our ATV buddies, Caroline and Gail,
chatting about whether or not to chance
getting the chairs and lunches out and sitting down to relax.
We all did… and finished just in time.

Here’s Bob – looking down at TazE – asking,
“You wanna get back into Lucille?”

Bob w Lucille

She said, “You bet!”

TazE ATV

I had her on a leash
because she was not friendly with Boone,
the other dog on this trip.
TazE is an “only child,”
and not used to being around other dogs.

We passed some wonderful white-faced cattle
on our way back to the pickups and trailers.

cattle in Big Hole plains

white-faced cattle1

Some of them ran to get out of our way
(our four-wheelers are noisy),
but others ran alongside to try and race us!

The remains of civilization were everywhere along the way.
Hard to believe there were 2,000 people living back in here once upon a time!

Fence remains

ATV-fence-valley-sky

Cattle guards kept the animals from following us out.
We returned to our bluer skies –
getting hooked up and into our pick-ups
just before a huge hailstorm hit.
I thought I’d see dents in the pickup hood when we got home.

But, no… all was well.

It was a fun and an interesting, educational day.
Thanks for taking time to travel vicariously with us!

Someday you need to make a trip to Montana
and come out four-wheeling!!


heart of love
See ya tomorrow.

True Colors


True Colors

colorful dancers

You Color My Life!
You’re there to spread the sunshine
When shadows hide joy.

Show your true colors
By joining hands all around –
Reaching out in love.

tough times

Do you agree with that?
Do you think leaving answers
Issues of Respect?

Thinking of abuse;
Considering disrespect –
Sometimes there’s no choice.

But, looking at most
Issues of the “toughest times,”
LOVE is the answer.

Demonstrate bright love!
Climb the rainbow of color
To the Pot of Gold.

 

scenic view of sky with rainbow

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

Compassion is gold.
Stick around and help others –
Absence creates voids!

What’re YOUR True Colors??
Are they Love and Compassion?
Or blackness and voids?

heart of love
See Ya Tomorrow!

 

What is Health?


What is Health?

Health-think:say

Health is about what you’re doing,
It is about what you’re thinking,
It is about what you say…
And what you don’t say.

.
Health is the greatest gift
From us to ourselves.
Sometimes we can control it…
But sometimes we can’t!

.
If you have your health, my friends,
Treasure it!
Guard it!
Never take it for granted.

.
Health is a state of mind
and of body.
It can  be a spiritual,
psychological state…

Thank God
Even as our bodies are decaying.

Focus on your blessings!
heart of love
See ya tomorrow!

You Don’t Say!!


You Don’t Say!!

grayscale photography of people raising hands

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

 

 

I tried to make my voice heard –

I spoke above the crowd,

But regardless of how I shouted

My voice was not very loud.

.

The people in the front row

Seemed to dominate the room.

Their opinions were voiced strongly,

Then the meeting was resumed.
.

I could have screamed in protest,

“Wait – I need to speak, to be heard!”

But who am I, an unknown peon,

No one cared about my word.

.

So I rolled myself out the door

And went out into the rain.

A fellow member followed me,

And he sang this sweet refrain:

.

“It doesn’t always work to shout

To have your thoughts convey

The sincerity of your heart –

Actions are louder than what you say.”

.

By leaving quietly as I did,

I spoke a thousand words.

And as he held his umbrella up,

His sweet song joined the birds

.

Who chirped their hopeful message

And never needed to shout.

Kindness is the loudest act…

It tells what we’re about.

It was a revealing moment.

I thanked my friend and grinned.

“You don’t say!” I replied to him-

As he turned my chair against the wind.

.

The meeting was still plodding

On with voices heard from out here,

But the real message was the silence

Of my friend’s actions – his kindness, and his cheer.

.

It’s what you don’t say

That counts in the long run.

It’s what you do that makes a difference.

Get out your umbrella- and join the fun!
.

P.S.
This was inspired by something I observed,
not by something that happened to me.
But, maybe parts of it have happened to all of us.
Times we have not been heard.
Times we have observed others being ignored.
Times we needed to just get up, and go outside,
and offer our “Umbrella.”
Maybe it’s a hug –
maybe it’s a simple smile –
but it speaks volumes!

You Don’t Say!

heart of love
See ya tomorrow

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