Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Freedom from Suffering


I just learned that a good friend’s husband is looking at back surgery soon. He has been in pain with spinal problems for many years. This prayer is for him – and for all who are suffering from physical or emotional pain. 

I pray for your health, happiness, and peace of mind. 

Spread your kindness and love, your peace and faith to all you meet. And if you are blessed with freedom from suffering, count your blessings, my friend… and thank the Lord.

See ya tomorrow.

In Search of the Uncluttered Life


Last Sunday’s “Do the Math”
sermon topic was
“In Search of the Uncluttered Life.”

It was inspired by the passage in Luke 12:32-40 and delivered
by Rev. Steve Hundley at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church.
You’ll see why I named it, “Do the Math” … Read on!

green and white press drill on table

“Things are in the saddle
And they ride mankind.” *
They are the stuff of storage –
The things that tie and bind.
.
We are the generation
Who invented the garage sale.
We’re buried in acquisitions
That make us stress and wail.
.
Many wealthy and blessed people
Complain about all they’ve got.
They live in an “If Only” state –
Sometimes wishing away what they’ve bought.
.
Life is hard, whether rich or poor.
Jesus says, “Sell your possessions
And give…” and be ever-ready
For my return. Release your obsessions.
.
Jesus asked what seems unreal.
We can’t be ready 24-7.
But, we don’t want to be asleep
And miss the only bus to Heaven!
.
The scripture seems to expect
Too much of us … be ever ready!
Jesus doesn’t ask us to be sleepless.
He asks us to be loving, trusting, steady.
.
He asks us to unclutter
Our lives from stuff and worry.
He asks us to replace distractions,
The things that make us rush and scurry.
.
Set aside the stressful things
That keep us from feeling God’s love.
Be ready to receive the riches
That God pours on us from above.
.
Look for God’s presence today.
Set your eyes on the eagles and clouds.
Be amazed by God’s creation;
Set aside the clutter and crowds.
.
Be surprised by the daily joy
God places in your path.
Add peace and subtract the stress.
Think about it; do the math!
.

* A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Steve Hundley’s Pastoral Prayer:

This is Your world, O Lord,
that glows with the radiance
of mountain wild flowers
and towering trees,
with the warmth of human
compassion and kindness.
.
Yet there is another world
that is Yours as well:
a world of brokenness
and barrenness,
of sickness and isolation,
of suffering and lonliness.
.
We thank You, O God,
that You are Lord,
over not only this beautiful world,
but also its brokenness.
Remind us that it was
this broken world that
Christ died to redeem…
that it is to this broken world
that the Cross reaches out its arms.
.
Receive us, we pray,
from the darker and needier side
of our existence this morning.
Let the hurt and resentment
in us be taken up
into Your love and acceptance.
.
Let our lonliness be swallowed up
by Your Presence with us here.
Let our illness be touched
by Your healing power,
and our troubled spirits
by Your peace.
.
Turn our personal worlds
of suffering and confusion
into the world of Christ,
where all things are seen
differently in the Light
of His wonderful face.
.
Grant that the conversation
of our own worlds
will enable us to care
about the worlds of others –
the poor, the hungry,
the broken-spirited,
the sick, the dying,
the disenfranchised,
the imprisoned, or those
just seeking a better life.
.
Save us from thinking that
the beautiful world we live in
is ours, or that the broken
and lonely world we live in
is the only one there is.
.
Keep ever before us,
the Cross of Christ,
by which these two worlds
are united,
and the Spirit of the Resurrection,
in which we are promised
that the beautiful world
will outlast the broken one.
.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
we pray.
And all God’s people said,
Amen!

Thanks for joining me here at WordPress
and reading the sermon notes and prayer.
I  hope they spoke to your heart.

They certainly spoke to mine!
Hear Angels w Heart
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Surviving with Doubt


Doubt

Today’s Sermon

The sermon at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church was delivered today by Elaine Hundley, Christian educator extraordinaire. She titled it, “Perfect Weakness,” as she focused on the messages in Isaiah 40:1-8, 28-31 and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Is there Perfect Weakness?

The Apostle Paul spoke of his weakness, his struggles, and his ability to find strength in spite of his troubles – by leaning on the Power of God. But, is there “Perfect Weakness?” The message today said, Yes, there can be, but not without giving our weaknesses to God… and letting Him take away our doubt and give us the strength found only in His Power.

Poetic Sermon Notes

Here are the notes I took away from the message as I heard it this morning:

 

Is doubt your constant companion?
Do doubts creep into your heart?
Do you read or listen to the news
And wonder when the next war will start?

person holding a burning news paper close up photography

Photo by Connor Danylenko on Pexels.com

.
The mass murders in the USA
Are so many in number this year
That there have been more deaths by far
Than there are days, I fear.

photo of man holding rifle

Photo by Maurício Mascaro on Pexels.com

.
Struggles abound – and it’s hard
To keep our chins up!
Can there ever be peace on earth?
God, says, “Believe, trust I’ll fill your bins up!”

.
But we are a fragile people
Who struggle to see our future bright.
We wonder if we even have bins –
Let alone bins that are filled up bright.

focus photo of yellow paper near trash can

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

.
We need to remember that God is HERE
And He can lift us up.
We need to trust His power
And know He’ll fill our cup.

pexels-photo-302899
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We need to know that He knows
Our every struggle – our loss –
He’s here beside us by the grace
Of Jesus, who took our loss upon the cross.
.

Let’s follow His lead –
Accept His grace –
And just love one another!!
Can’t we???

mountains nature arrow guide

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Pexels.com

.
Breaking News:
29 dead and many more injured
in the past 13 hours
in the USA
in two mass shootings!

When will these senseless
tragedies cease?

What can we do??

I pray:
God bless the families,
the friends,
the loved ones of those
involved in these mass shootings
in the USA yesterday and today.
May they somehow find comfort in their faith
and in the compassionate comments,
hugs, and support of their friends.
.
I beg:
Lord, help us find solutions
for the problems of
mental illness
that rampage our country –
and the proliferation of assault weapons
that are in the hands of unstable civilians.

.
pexels-photo-887349-2
See ya tomorrow
(God willing!)

Feed Your Mind


Feed Your Mind

Feed your mind

Feed Hope, Truth and Love
To your ever hungry mind –
Your mind will believe.

Peace to you, my friends.

Love and Peace…
pexels-photo-887349-1
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.

Love Transforms


It is Well With My Soul
“Love Transforms”

heart of love

Listen to:
“It is Well With My Soul”
https://youtu.be/AHe_qmo3gX4

It’s Sunday.
Time for the Sermon Notes…
and as I post these, I remind myself
that I must continue to live in an attitude of gratitude
and a response of generosity,
faithfulness, obedience, and
integrity.

In that effort, I must not just attend church
and take sermon notes,
but I must walk the talk!
Love Transforms.
God’s Love…
as it lives and breathes in me
and as I exhibit it honestly to others.
Especially to the hurting,
the lonely,
the ill,
and the downtrodden.

Lord Help me BE the Love!

Here  are my sermon notes from today
– a reflection on Luke 8:26-39 –
as preached by Rev. Jean Johnson,
and interpreted by me…

Love Transforms

Sometimes folks with illness
Are defined by what is wrong.
Haunted by their ailments,
They can’t join or go along.
.

They feel as if they may as well
Be dead … they’re barely alive…
So many problems – terrible issues;
They long to live and thrive.
.

People who ignore the sick ones
May think they’re doing what’s right,
But Jesus sees new life in them.
He heals them – so now their future’s bright.

.
But naming the nameless, and
Loving the loveless can bring fear.
People don’t know how to react
When the broken are filled with cheer.

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Transformation can be scary.
Hope can be frightening to some.
But the ones who are held down
Can be freed when the Son says, “Come!”

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Free in Christ, and healed by God,
The downtrodden can know new joy.
God doesn’t intend for us to dwell
In death, while alive. Fear’s a ploy.
.

Fear’s a ploy that shackles us;
It comes in many forms.
But God can bring new life to you.
Accept and proclaim it. His love transforms.

.
God blesses you!
Reach out to an ailing friend.
Bring God’s love to them.
Bring them joy without end.

.

Amen?
Amen!

heart of love
See ya tomorrow!

 

Taste the Source


Taste the Source

“Jesus is not our sauce,

He’s the source,”

Pastor TC Mooney reminds us.

I knew that, of course.

.

Mooney says we often push God

To the back of our fridge shelf.

We only take Him out to sprinkle

Some on our lives – to flavor ourself.

Sometimes we forget He’s there.

We leave Him in the back too long.

But, unlike sauce, the Source

Never expires; His flavor’s never gone.

.

I can taste the love of Jesus

Without worrying about the date

He might get stale. He’s always fresh.

My reach is never too late.

 

Jesus is not my sauce.

He’s The Source.

I Drink from His

Everlasting Fountain of Love

Every Day!

Do you?

Thank God

Happy Father’s Day weekend.
You’re part of the Goodness.
You know that, right?
.

Spread the love!

heart of love

See ya tomorrow

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