Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Ubuntu!


Ubuntu!

 

Guest Minister

Today at church our guest minister was Dan Hollard, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bozeman, Montana. Our pastor for the past 25+ years has been Rev. Jean Johnson. Jean is on disability leave right now … in a rehab facility in Great Falls, MT.

Pray for Jean

Join me in prayer for Rev. Jean Johnson’s release from pain and ability to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

Sunday Surprises

Meantime, it’s a surprise each Sunday to see who is in the pulpit and to hear a different kind of message. Today’s message was titled, “Spirit of Peace.” I think Dan Hollard must have spent some time in Africa, because he put on an authentic African accent and told us the story of Ubuntu (Oooo-boon-too).

He based his message on the scripture of Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

Here’s what I heard through my filter and took away this morning:

lunch table

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

There was a woman in Africa named Dorothy
Who embodied the spirit of Ubuntu
She was all about community and humanity.
Her kitchen was open to all … she’d welcome you.

She lived the spirit of Matthew 25:
If you see someone naked, clothe them.
If you see someone hungry, feed them.
We’re all one; you should never loathe them!

Dorothy was like a mother to all
Who entered her village; she’d invite
The hungry and poor to dine in her kitchen.
The sense of community was pure delight.

Like Nelson Mandela who invited his captors
To enjoy his inauguration feast,
Dorothy welcomed one and all –
Didn’t label anyone as one of the “least.”

Instead she lived a life that demonstrated
“I am who I am because of who we are.”
She knew “We are all connected.”
Her love lifted all people to “par.”

Everywhere in the world what we need
Is more Dorothys who live out Matthew 25.
Regardless of religion or color or creed,
We need Ubuntu to spread far and wide.

We must fill our world with love and joy.
We must fill the world with God’s peace.
We must feed the hungry and show respect
And love to all. Come and join my feast!

Shalom!

Ubuntu!
Have a Matthew 25 Sunday.
“I am because we are.”
We are all connected.
colorful dancers

pexels-photo-887349-2
See you 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

Don’t Be Discouraged


Don’t Be Discouraged

Ps. 16:11

“You have made known to me

The path of life;

You will fill me with

Joy in your presence,

With eternal pleasures…”


Do not allow discouragement

To settle into your bones;

Face it, conquer it, and

Replace it with Hope.

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Set your net to the other side of the boat.

Catch plentifully the colorful fish waiting there.

Discouragement is a powerful destructive force.

We have the power to choose a different response.

With the Father’s help,

We can get through seasons of discouragement,

in spite of living in a flawed world as flawed people.

Face it. Conquer it. Replace it with HOPE.

Turn to God who turns to you

And lifts your spirits, putting your life back on track.

He loves you. He cares. Believe. Trust.

Do not be discouraged. Pray – and know

I’m praying for you, too!

 

person throwing fish net while standing on boat

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

What have you caught with your positivity lately?

Thanks, dear WP friends, for visiting.
Have a productive day.

Topo Photography
This photo was supposed to be just above the phrase,
“Do not let discouragement settle into your bones.”
Instead, with this new block editor, it keeps showing up down here.
I can’t figure out how to get things to go where I want them
with this new block editor program.
But I will not let it master me.
I will not be discouraged!
Tenacity, Jan, Tenacity!!!

See ya later!

Start Sunday Silently


Silent Sunday

Enjoy Today!

If you are not with “your children” today,
you can substitute  “your children” for “your spouse”
or “your neighbors” or “yourself.”
Change “they” to “you” or “s/he”…

Enjoy Today

Ponder these thoughts –
Go somewhere to worship God today –
Pray –
Enjoy your loved ones.

I’ll be singing in the choir this morning
and listening carefully to the
message presented by Rev. Hundley.

Come back in about 5 hours for my sermon notes.

Have a beautiful Sunday.
pexels-photo-887349-2
See ya later.

 

How Do We Stay Together?


Happy 19th Anniversary to Ed & Maria!

Ed & Maria Platt

Happy 55th Anniversary to Bruce & Ann

Bruce & Ann Beekman

Happy 57th Anniversary, Bonnie & Stan

Bonnie (Beekman) & Stan Hunt

Happy 60th Anniversary, Marge & Bill !!

Bill & Marge Beekman

And Happy 57th Anniversary (58 in February) to Bob & me
– as we enjoy this 80th year of our lives
– and celebrate our togetherness
– and thank God for our health

Jan & Bob – How’d ya do it?

How do couple stay together so long?

That’s a question Bill & Marge were asked at our granddaughter, Faith’s wedding when the 4 Beekman couples were the last ones left on the dance floor after the disk jockey (DJ) said, “All couples married less than 55 years sit down.”

Wow! Here we were… eight old farts still standing, still dancing, still together.

Marge Beekman’s answer was, “Never go to bed mad at each other.”

Bill Beekman was asked for his answer. He said, “I agree with Marge.

The DJ said, “Did you see that? Did you hear that? He let her answer first and then he just agreed with her. There’s the secret to a long married life!”

Are There Other Secrets?

Well, if he had asked me, “How have you stayed together for 57 years?” I would have answered with not just one, but TEN ideas! (He would have had to cut me off!)

These ideas have worked for us in our long marriage – and have contributed to my ability to tell you, “We’re not just still together, but I love him more today than I did the day we married.”

What Are the Tips for Longevity in Relationships?

  1. Pray together – make the Lord central in your relationship – ask Him to guide your days and help you with every decision. Listen for His Holy Spirit to speak to you and help you as you walk daily in His Will to the best of your abilities.
  2. Give each other space – you are a couple, but you are also people with your own ideas, your own needs, and your own agendas. Allow each other the right to make individual decisions and keep your own identities bright and alive. We even have separate checking accounts. As long as the household needs are met, I don’t have to account to him for every penny of my retirement money that I spend… and likewise, his retirement play money is his to play with as he chooses. Give each other individual freedoms!!
  3. Listen to one another – really hear! Care about what the other thinks and find out why he/she really believes that. Never stop learning from one another.
  4. Go to church together – find a worship community and cultivate their friendships. We are Christians – and we want you to be able to see that in our love for one another and our love for YOU. “They will know we are Christians by our love ❤ ” is not just a song we love to sing, but a life we strive to live. Our Christian friends are our support system, our help in time of need, our prayer partners. There is no friend like the long-term friends you make under the cross of Jesus!
  5. Play together – you may each have your own idea of what “fun” is (He fishes, I don’t. I love movies & popcorn, he doesn’t. He skis, I don’t. I go to Writer’s Group each Friday, he doesn’t. He loves yard work … or at least does it masterfully, I don’t. I love to volunteer at the Sr. Center, the Medical Center, help seniors in need, he doesn’t.) You get the idea. But we love to go riding on the Montana mountain trails with friends in our ATV – and we love entertaining friends in our home, hosting over-nighters for a week or a month or even a year in our home. We love going out to Dave’s Sushi or enjoying a BBQed dinner with fine wine at home. The idea is, find your areas of commonality and play happily together!
  6. Treasure and Appreciate One Another – Bob’s nickname for me (he has many, but my favorite ) is “Precious.” I appreciate his expressions of love and affection and his readiness to show appreciation. He often comments on things like, “My, you look pretty today!” or “I like the way you added that spice to the ______ (fill in the blank) for dinner tonight.” In return I try not to take for granted his beautiful yard work or the delicious waffles he makes for breakfast or his warm and plentiful hugs. Thank you is such an important word in any relationship!
  7. Love One Another even when you don’t Like each other! None of us is perfect. We often do things to “piss each other off!” It could be something as simple as leaving the toilet seat up or not putting the lid back on the toothpaste. Or it could be a major thing like staying out late without saying you were going to do so – and not calling to say where you are. Showing LOVE for one another is treating your partner the way you want to be treated and expressing yourself clearly without anger (if possible) when your expectations are not met. Loving is compromising and not always expecting things to go your way. Love is forgiving and trying NOT to be the annoying one in the relationship!
  8. Be Kind and Compassionate – Yes, we all make mistakes. We do stupid things. We say things we wish we could take back. When we are at our worst, that’s when we need kindness most. It’s when our partner is at his/her worst that we find it most difficult to be kind in return. But harshness begets hatred and ugliness begets violence. Our response is crucial. Of course, there are caustic relationships that are unhealthy and are not meant to be sustained. No one is called to be a doormat. My heart goes out to those who are in relationships with those who inflict mental or physical abuse. Especially when help is offered, but refused. Sometimes leaving is the most loving option. Kindness/Compassion is a two-way street!
  9. Trust! – Without mutual trust, the relationship is doomed! My husband, Bob’s ski buddy is Nancy. She is a 50-something dynamo who is a ball of energy and fun. She’s a fantastic skier and loves to do those double diamond runs – just like Bob does. If I didn’t trust Bob, I could be jealous of the time they spend together on the slopes and I could conjure up all sorts of images of what I think might or might not be happening. But, Bob & I always have lived with mutual trust – and so instead of worrying, I treasure Nancy’s friendship, too. I love getting together whenever we can with her and her fun-loving husband, Dan. In fact, she’s the one I told you about a few days ago when I said I wanted to adopt a Daughter #4. You gotta trust – and in that confidence enjoy a multitude of friendships and a plethora of opportunities you might miss otherwise!
  10. Respect! – It’s the bottom line. Without mutual respect, you may as well call it a day NOW. I have been around couples where one of them is so disrespectful to his/her partner that it smells up the room. The air is so caustic, you don’t want to be within ten miles of ’em. You want to shake ’em and wake ’em up to what they are doing to one another – or what one is doing to the other. But, rarely does intervention help. You sigh, shake your head, and vow not to ever do that to YOUR loved one. That’s a vow worth keeping if your relationship is worth having! ALWAYS show respect to your partner… and while you’re at it, respect yourself. God don’t make no junk … you’re a treasure!

God Bless You

I love you

See ya tomorrow

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.

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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!)

A Song For You Today


www.youtube.com/watch

Do not be afraid I am with you

I love you and you are Mine

I am the Peace the world cannot give

Come and follow me

Have a beautiful day!
(Oh, and when you click on the youtube song,
you can click to skip the ad, if you choose.)
It’s a beautiful duet!

And you love Him!

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