Embrace Your Pastor. He or she needs your support – And needs your feedback!
Your pastor plants seeds With each sermon presented. You fertilize them.
You add nutrients To the soil where they’re resting By watering them.
Water the ideas By ruminating on them. What was the message?
Each week I take notes. I capture the main ideas As they resonate.
Today’s seeds that Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds sowed were inspired by Ephesians 2:11-22 and enhanced by the experience she had Friday night and Saturday morning with a group of young bicyclists who were traveling 4000 miles for cancer research. Here are my notes that I took while listening this morning.
Serving 400 hours as a hospital chaplain Was required in my seminary studies. Why God – why? What’s the answer? With integrity and stamina, just serve!
Ephesians 2 is not about empty connections. It’s talking about the death of our worst instincts. It’s talking about getting on board with Christ. Paul believed Christ would come back yesterday!
We’re still here thousands of years later… Wondering when that victory over death And division will come to this earth. The Kingdom of God didn’t come in Paul’s time.
It hasn’t come in our time, either. Addictions, abuse, fires, death, wars continue. Where is the world where all divisions are erased? We’re here to put our feet on the ground and be hopeful.
Moments of hope will come to you. The U of Austin bike riders were my moment. Stories of lodging needs and cancer research, Tenacity, friendship, and HOPE scenarios entered.
Hope is a screamer and fighter. Sometimes it works out for the good. HOPE is the reality that God is love. Evil will not win. God’s hope will!
Say YES to what pulls on your heartstrings. Say YES to the reality of God’s hope. Say YES to Truth and love and reaching out. Say YES to cancer research and to helping.
Every inch gained in the fight against cancer Is an inch toward life and hope. We are building the Kingdom of God here Where violence and oppression will be foreign to us.
With tenacity, hang in there. With tenacity listen to God’s response to Your questioning… Why God? Why? With tenacity and stamina and love, just serve!
Embrace Your Pastor. He or she needs your support – And needs your feedback!
Happy Sunday. Thanks for visiting JanBeek See ya tomorrow (God willing).
In a world of self-reliance, Where “I can do it” is king, Being reliant on others Is construed as a “weakness thing.”
But, as Christians we are taught To rely not on our own strength. “Lean not on your own understanding.” God is within a prayer’s length.
In today’s prayerful message, Our wonderful pastor, Mary Grace, Talked about God’s will and love, And seeking our Lord, face-to-face.
“God of forgiveness, hear our confession to you. You have called us to excellence in compassion and we fall short of your confidence in us. You grant us grace and we abuse your gift. You expect us to align our hearts with your will and that our love will be genuine. But we trust our own desires rather than rely on your goodness. We look after our own comfort instead of our neighbor’s needs. In Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins. Amen”
As you know (if you’ve followed my blog for a couple of weeks or more), I take copious notes as I listen to the sermon through my fingertips each Sunday. Sometimes I translate what I am hearing into poetry. Today’s doesn’t rhyme. It’s free verse. But it poured out as I tried to capture the main ideas. First, look at the scripture on which the sermon was based.
Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
36 Overhearing[a] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
The sermon title was “Fools for Hoping”
“Secondhand Lions” was a movie with Caine and Duvall. The fictional characters were replicas of my grandfather and uncle! The film is wonderful and whimsical (don’t believe the critics). Believe what you want to believe… and here are some essentials: “What every boy needs to know” – a speech worth hearing…
People are basically good
Money and power mean nothing
True love never dies
Integrity means everything
Love, truth, and integrity are essential
True or not, those are worth believing!
We don’t see much love in the news these days. The news is full of the ways we are really awful to one another. Recent news revealed 751 unmarked graves of indigenous children found this week in Canada. Children taken from their families and forced to attend the former Marieval Indian Residential School.
Survivors, community honour 751 unmarked graves at Sask. residential school site with vigil
Seven-hundred and fifty-one lights spanned the entirety of the unmarked graves discovered on Cowessess First Nation in southeast Saskatchewan where a large group of people, many wearing orange clothes, gathered on Saturday night in honour of the remains.
An elder in the community who spoke at the vigil likened the finding of 751 unmarked graves to a scab that had been “slowly healing” being ripped off.
Not one of us is wholly good, so the natural inclination When confronted with our sinful nature is despair. Confession and repentance are the next steps, but Where do we go after confession?
We need to define our beliefs and act on hope… Even when it seems foolish to do so. Be ready to be made fools for your integrity. Stand up for what is right… stand up for Truth!
The woman in Mark 5 took the show! Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” The disciples laughed, “Everyone’s touching you!” Jairus was impatient, “My daughter needs you!”
He wondered why Jesus was taking precious time To deal with a woman with a 12 year infirmity. Let’s assume the woman just happened to be Outside the crowd that day and heard of Jesus.
She heard Jairus – with hopefulness in his voice – Asking Jesus to help his dying daughter. His hope inspired her hope as well. Two lives were saved that day.
Our speech, our attitudes, and our actions Can have a positive affect on others. We need to consciously lean on God With hope and trust and mindfulness.
Jairus could have listened to his tears, But he stepped up and listened to hope. His act of believing in the power of Christ to heal Allowed other to respond in hope, too.
“Your faith has made you whole,” Jesus told The woman whose hemorrhaging stopped. The only way out is reaching out in the hope That God’s love will make life better.
I’ll stay a fool for hope!
Rely on God
I’ll stay a fool for God.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Thanks for sharing a part of your Sunday with me. I hope you have a wonderful week.
Daily Guideposts 2021 devotional today inspired this blog topic. After I chose “Multiplying” as my EMBRACE theme today, every place I looked, I saw evidence of answers to my question, “But what needs to be multiplied?”
When you hear/read the word “multiplying” what comes to mind? I asked Bob that question this morning after my devotional time while we were chatting at the breakfast table.
“Increasing comes to mind. Numbers come to mind,” he answered.
What comes to your mind?
In her blog this morning, Marva Seaton wrote about multiplying. She didn’t use the word, but the concept definitely was there.
Today was a very important, memorable day at our church. It was Father’s Day, yes… and we honored our fathers and our Father in Heaven. But the real LIGHT of the day was the opportunity to be in church on this special Sunday when Mary Grace Reynolds, was presenting her first sermon as our official new pastor. MGR is fresh out of seminary, but she conducted the service as if she had ten years of experience! We are so blessed to have her at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church here in Ennis, MT. If you ever are in our area on a Sunday, you MUST come and experience the Holy Spirit alive and well in this little community!!
Her sermon title was, “There’s a Light On.”
If you have followed my blog for a week or more, you know that most Sundays as I listen to the sermon, I take notes – and most of the time I take them in some form of poetry. Today was no exception. Here is what I heard through my JanBeek filter:
I feel the Holy Spirit Perched on my shoulder. How we understand where we’ve been Matters a lot as we grow older.
Even though this is a new beginning, We sit on the blessings and woes of the past. We incorporate these into who we are As we step into the future – at last.
Genesis One spoke to me this week. Looking at effortless, timeless majesty, We are reminded of God’s control As the mountains loom with no hesitancy.
God holds all the cards; we don’t! The utility of history – truth and facts – Reminds us to adapt historical records As we articulate how God in creation acts.
God’s power was articulated in Genesis By stories and memories told with persistence. The Israelites were reminded of their God Who breathed the world into existence.
The creation story reminded them of hope – The hope and identity they have in God. Our stories tell who and where we’ve been. They reveal our cracks, our cobwebs, our sin.
We can look back at the God Who turned the light on within us, And we notice God’s sovereignty – Grateful for how His Son freed sin from us.
The Israelites remember the pain They had in exile for so many years. We too remember the pain and grief Of life – and thank God for drying our tears.
As we move as a church body Into newness, remember the past. Recall how He kept the light on – And move joyfully into the future – at last.
God is in this place with us Sure as the sun continues to rise. We’re challenged to move forward now Knowing we’re guided by the Light of God’s eyes.
There’s a Light On! Embrace the Light! Amen.
Toward the end of the service, Mary Grace presented a beautiful Pastoral Prayer. I took notes as I prayed this prayer with her:
Holy God, be with us. Most High God, comfort and heal the afflicted. Lord, grant Your presence. Bring them out of their suffering. Lord, we know You can – and You do. Almighty God, whom we sometimes call Father, pour out Your spirit on all fathers who are working today to provide food for their families, and to keep them sheltered. Eternal God, whom we still call Father, You are so much more than earthly fathers. Make whole what has been broken. Most Loving God, we give thanks for all those we call father. Thanks for all those who sacrifice for their children. God, whom we call Father, we stand in praise and awe of Your Power. Remind us You are in the boat and You have the Light on! Amen
Hear our prayer, O Lord. Hear our prayer, O Lord. Incline Thine ear to us, And grant us Thy peace.
Have a beautiful, blessed Sunday, my friends, And a very Happy Father’s Day. See ya tomorrow (God willing) – Love, JanBeek
Today in the USA it is Veteran’s Day. (Oooops! Nope, it’s Memorial Day!) World-wide it is Holy Trinity Sunday.
Veteran’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor the men and women who are or have served our country in the military. It is a day to thank God for four freedom and to remember the men and women who fought to keep us free. (It is Nov. 11th. I get it mixed up with today… the last Monday in May: A day to honor those who DIED while serving our country.)
My day started in my sanctuary as it usually does – A place where I feel the Holy Spirit alive and well. There, I pray to God, learn from His Son’s life, And listen to the Spirit guiding me.
Downstairs, I joined Bob who was busy fixing fruit For our breakfast. It was a beautiful blue sky day.
After breakfast, we went to church where I was a greeter And Bob read scripture. As usual, I took sermon notes.
Chuck Wright delivered the message: “Holy Trinity.”
Here are the notes I took as I listened:
Inspired by: Romans 5:1-11
We have been justified by faith. We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. We rejoice in suffering, for it brings perseverance. We were powerless until Christ came to this sod.
We received reconciliation throgh the cross. The Holy Trinity, the Godhead, is God, Son, Holy SPirit. The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible, but The separate parts are there. With ears, hear it!
Jesus existed at the beginning of time. He came to earth for the purpose of saving us. When He ascended back to His Heavenly home, He put the Holy Spirit in our hearts, engraving us.
We are marked by the blood of Jesus. We remember His blood and body in communion. We celebrate the spiritual world of God, Knowing His Trinity is present in our world – in union.
In union, the Father, Son, and Spirit are one. Understanding that is beyond our comprehension. So we read His Word. study His Son’s life, And listen for His Spirit in us. Pay attention!
God is love. Love is from God. We’re gifted with it. God sent His Son to the world to show us how to love. Christ died for us that we might live forever In Heaven with God – our Eternal Home above.
Back home, the focus was on Veteran’s (nope… Memorial Day) weekend. Tomorrow (now it’s today) we will go to the Ennis Cemetery for a special service. Then we will attend a Memorial Day Barbecue at the rodeo grounds. It started out as a meal for veterans and their families only… but then it grew exponentially until it’s “Ya’all Come!” They anticipate there could be as many as 500 diners. I’m praying for the dear guys who are preparing the food. God bless ’em! I hope they survive it! Tonight I watched a Memorial Day Concert… My favorite was the playing of TAPS. It was beautiful!
If you are in the USA, what will you do to celebrate Memorial Day?
If you are in another country, do you have a day comparable to this one – when you honor those people who served and died while in the military (in the act of service to preserve your country’s freedom?) How do you thank those who serve your country in this way?
And how about the Trinity? Is it a part of your understanding?
I am grateful for your visit here today. Thanks for reading JanBeek. See ya tomorrow(God willing)
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Living peacefully Brings out the best in others – Invites harmony.
Beautiful to see – Guys who live in harmony – Enjoy company.
The relationships Born of friendship and shared joy – Beautiful to see.
Beautiful to be Playing harmoniously – Embracing friendships.
As my outer world Reflects my inner spirit, Harmony abounds.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
My friend, Elaine Forsberg, recently left this earth for her eternal home. The memorial service for her was last weekend. She was a woman who raised her children to love God, follow Jesus, embrace harmony, and play harmonically. She did all those things herself. She taught by example.
Her son, Jim, plays the guitar and the saw! Her daughter, Peggy, also plays the saw… and the violin (magnificently). If you had attended Elaine’s service, you would have come away knowing this was a woman of great integrity – a woman who loved God – a woman secure in her destiny.
The Gandhi quote above fit Elaine Forsberg to a tee!
Besides loving God, Elaine loved music. She played the piano and made it possible for her children to appreciate the beauty of harmony.
The video below with its beautiful harmonies and gorgeous scenes of nature would be a favorite of hers. It’s a favorite of mine, I sang in the A Capella Choir all four years at the University of the Pacific. It was one of my favorite activities in college – and those harmonies still live in my heart.
To survive in peace and harmony, united and strong, we must have one people, one nation, one flag.
O Lord, may we learn to live in harmony. May our world embrace harmonious unity. Help us, God of Creation, to learn to follow Your commandments. There is no better way, we know, to live peacefully. Help us “Embrace Harmony” and spread its beauty to all we meet. Today we focus on harmony, peace, wholeness, and joy. Embrace us, O Lord, as these thoughts flower in our consciousness – and bring our dreams of world-wide harmony to vivid life. Amen.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
May you feel the peace of harmony in your heart today.
What is your purpose? Has anyone asked you that question recently? Have you asked it of yourself?
Another way to ask the question is: What is my life’s goal?
When I asked my husband Bob, yesterday He responded, “To give God credit for everything.”
We talked about the difference between Internal and external purposes.
Internally we live a life filed with gratitude to God.
Externally, how do we show or express it?
Bob responded, “Accept your lot without complaints” and “Be His hands and feet – Extending His Kingdom on Earth.”
Like these mountains, Life and purpose have so many layers.
What is God’s purpose for me?
This is the prayer I pray each morning before I leave my sanctuary to begin my day in the world:
Guide my feet in Your Way today. Help me meet who You want me to meet. Tell me what You want me to say, And keep me out of Your way!
Help me be who You made me to be. And teach me to be still So I can know what You want me to do. Help me walk in You Will.”
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
In today’s These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith, the message resonated with me as I contemplate my purpose:
“I pray and ask God to give me the words I need. The time to share is now so that everyone will know the Love of God.
By speaking and writing about God’s love and glory, we are passing this knowledge on to future generations.
Whether singing worship music, reading devotionals aloud, or writing about God, I am given opportunities to help the whole world know and develop a closer relationship with God.”
That’s my purpose! Share the love, joy and peace that are mine through Christ.
I want everyone to feel it!!
Father, please give me the words to share so everyone will know you.
In my Mornings with Jesus devotional today, the message fit this topic perfectly. Cynthia Ruchti, wrote
“A recent project at our house has tested our mettle as a couple…”
She went on to explain how their old 1913 house is crooked. Trying to “install straight, factory-squared windows into an opening that is anything but perfectly square has been cause for… discussion.”
“What a telling picture of the reasons Jesus was so adamant that … the foundational layer of our souls has to be built plumb and true, more meticulously than anything that will come after.”
“Jesus said that JOY is foundational to our lives as Christ followers. If joy is solid, anchored well, and secure because of our trust in His promises, anything else we build on top of that will have much greater chance of aligning with His purpose for us.
We won’t be ‘half a bubble off’ if His joy bubbles inside us.”
I aim to be inspired by His Word, His Life, His Love, His Gift of Grace, and His Purpose for my life.
(That’s the internal purpose)
Externally, my purpose is to share that love, joy, peace, faith and unity that are mine… with the hope that you are inspired to share it, too!
Is anything in your house noticeably crooked? When you pass that spot, don’t straighten it! Look up!
Use it as a reminder of the importance of building your life of faith on Jesus and the meaning of the cross. Jesus is plumb and true, and by His death on the cross, you are, too!!
What is your purpose? What inspires you to live according to your purpose?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow (God willing)