Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

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

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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

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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!”

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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

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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.
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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

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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.

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See ya tomorrow
(God willing!)

Take Him With You


Wherever you travel,

Whenever you go,

Always take Him with you;

He’ll guide your path, you know.

The encouragement for your soul

Is readily at hand.

He’s with me every minute

Wherever I may stand.

So take the time to thank Him

For His presence in your life.

Sit quietly at His feet today

And give Him all your strife.

Share His love with others,

The waitress, housekeepers, and those

Who need His encouragement

To take away their woes.

Enjoy your journey today, my friends.

Do take your Comforter with you!

See ya tomorrow.

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!

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.

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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.
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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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

Love Uniqueness


Love Uniqueness

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Sermon notes
from message based on
John 17:20-26
“That They May Be One.”


Jesus prayed for Oneness
For each divided sect.
As He is One with God,
He prayed we will show respect.

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The ways in which we
Polarize ourselves here
Is tiring. It saddens me.
It brings no one cheer.
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All people are more similar
Than different from each other.
We establish boundaries
To separate from our brothers.
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We do it to prove that
We are right and we’re accepted.
We name others as losers
And place them outside  –  rejected.
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Jesus prayed that we would just
Love One another – differences and all.
He prayed for our Oneness.
Honor uniqueness; stand tall!
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Oneness is not about eliminating
The differences we see.
It’s about loving our uniqueness.
Love your neighbor, even your enemy!
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It is about Oneness with God;
It’s a boundary-less love.
It’s only possible with help
From the Divine Source above.
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If we call ourselves Christian,
We must stop bickering and be
The loving children our Creator intended.
Love differences;  love even me!

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Be one with all.
In Christ’s Love we Pray,
Amen.
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JanBeek’s poetic notes
from a sermon
by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana
June 2, 2019

What will you do today to demontrate your love for one another?
pexels-photo-887349
See you tomorrow

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