Time for the weekly sermon notes. We had ZOOM church this morning with the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana – sermon preached by Rev. Steve Hundley
As you know, if you’ve followed my blog for a couple of weeks or more, I listen intently to the pastor’s message and I take notes in poetry, tying to capture the essence of the message. Here is today’s attempt:
Steve titled it, “Vocational Temptation” I re-titled it “A Heart to Comply” Read on and you’ll see why.
“My brother made me do it!” That’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ to it! We rolled tires down a quarter mile hill I was dared to hit a cow. Could I do it?
Yup, the tire hit the cow. The ow hit the ground with a thud. Oh my! The cow landed hard – Topped over and bam! Hit the mud!
I got punished big time for it. I was told not to hurt God’s life. Yet later, I saw my dad kill a cow – And heck! He didn’t think twice!
There must be differet standards For different kinds of behavior. Temptations effect each differently. Temptations weren’t new to our Savior.
He can identify with the Christian Who goes to the club to play golf Instead of going to church that day – And excuses himself with a cough.
It’s not hard to give in To the temptations around us. When we do, don’tcha know God doesn’t punish or ground us.
God understands we’re mortals Who are prone sometimes to neglect The things we know we ought to do. He gives us time to repent and reflect.
Jesus went from being told by a voice That God is proud of Him, God’s Son, To being a man in the wilderness Tempted by the devil – but God won!
For 40 days and 40 nights the devil Tempted Jesus to give in to him. But angels were there, and scripture, too. Jesus didn’t let God’s light grow dim.
The light of God shone brightly As Jesus resisted the devil’s invitation To become more than He already was – To rule the whole universe and all creation.
The Lord is asking us today To resist the temptation to forego His Word and do something wrong. Instead, live in God’s Love – Let His light show.
Lord, let my life be consecrated To You, my Savior, and may I Use the gifts You’ve given me With gratitude … and a Heart to Comply!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek Have a super rest of your Sunday. Hugs to you!
I just discovered this morning that my dear friend, Leena’s son, Vince, died suddenly on Friday. No warning! He was about the age of my son, Ty. Vince worked at our local grocery store. I saw him there often … always a smile, always a cheerful greeting. He was at work Friday. Friday night after dinner, he was sitting in his chair at home with his parents, and he just stopped breathing. Can you imagine the shock??
Prayers for All Grieving
My heart is broken for Leena and Bob and their family. My prayers go out to all of you who have lost a loved one this year.
Your hearts are grieving, too, as you face this first Valentine’s Day without that special person. God bless you! Link heartstrings with mine.
In our ZOOM church service this morning, I provided the “special music.” It was inspired by the February 14th message in Charles Stanley’s In Touch Daily Devotional.
“When facing all kinds of difficulties, many of us have a tendency to power through in our own strength. But the reality is that’s never effective – at least not for long. God wants us to come closer to Him.
When we stay focused on Jesus, we can take comfort in knowing He’ll lead us through the hard places.
As you continue walking with Him, trust that He already knows what will happen in your life – and that regardless of what lies ahead, He will never leave you.”
EMBRACE HEARTS Lord, link mine to yours – And link ours to one another.
Embrace Hearts with one another – Offer your love and support to heal. Heal the broken-hearted by sharing. Share your love with a song or a meal.
Not everyone has a heart full of love today; Some are feeling quite empty. Lord, fill their hearts with the love of God – And encourage others to “Go With Him” today.
So, what is mercy? Is it something that you need? No?! So you’re perfect?
Well dear, guess again! We’re all in need of mercy. It’s undeserved grace.
You ask, what is grace? Well, it’s undeserved mercy! Don’t you just love it?
Definitions are Often so convoluted. Good thing for mercy!
Mercy me! Oh my! I sure need grace and mercy. Both are found in prayer.
Prayer for Help, Mercy and Grace
Prayer from Rev. Steve Hundley PASTORAL PRAYER prayed at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church ZOOM service 2-7-2021
“Loving God, we thank You that You treat us as if all were one; and each one as if there were only one. We thank You that we are all held together in Your love; and none are beyond Your caring reach. Thank You that You hear our prayers:
the prayers we feel awkward about;
the prayers we are hesitant to pray;
and, the prayers we feel that we do not know the right words to pray.
Thank You that You know us well enough to hear our thoughts, our yearnings, our stumblings, our grumblings, our secret hopes and fears, even when we dare not, or cannot put them into words. We are eternally grateful that anytime we turn toward you, the arms of Your grace and love are there to enfold us with Your love that cannot be bought, earned, or bargained for. Since it is the gift which You give and which we can only receive, give us wisdom to joyfully receive it.
O Lord, this past year has reminded us just how fearful and fragile; yet, precious and wonderful life can be. We need Your help. So Jesus, grant us this: the ability to as easily recognize and celebrate the beautiful as we are able to itemize the ugly. Grant us the ability to as easily praise as we are to condemn. Grant us the ability to as easily unite as we are to divide. Grant us the ability to as easily support and help one another as we are to ignore. And, grant us the ability to as easily express joy as we are to display our disappointment.
Grant us some sense of worth and accomplishment which places the mark of meaning to our days. In spite of the many limitations this pandemic has placed on our daily lives, grant us some sense of purpose, that tomorrow is something to look forward to, rather than to dread. Encourage us to reach outside of ourselves, and find ways to express our faith and love in ways that would benefit this world and its people whom You love.
Jesus grant us this: though life tumbles in, and almost everything seems to crumble around us; when the simple things we took for granted seem a distant memory; when hope frays and a simple touch, or a caring hug is something we remember we used to do; O Lord, find some special way to hold us in the palm of Your hand.
We pray for this wonderful yet sometimes unhappy…this divided yet dependent…this brave but fearful, mixed-up world we live in. We have created enemies by the misuse of its power; and, what could have been a blessing for all has become a curse to many by our misuse of its abundance. O Lord, give us and the leaders of this great nation the will to break out of destructive patterns, and grant us peace in our time. “
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we pray this prayer in the name of Our Father Who art in Heaven… Amen!
So, what is mercy? Is it something that we need? You bet! Every day!!
Have a wonderful week. I pray for your health, happiness, and safety – every day! Thanks for visiting. See ya later, Love, JanBeek
Before you leave, take a few minutes to treat yourself to the story behind “The Prayer” and hear the most beautiful voices (my bias) in the world. Where do you see God’s mercy at work in this duet??
What is your power source? Where do you get your ideas?
Today’s sermon on ZOOM with the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana, preached by the Rev. Steve Hundley attributed our power source to (well, what do you think a minister would say?)… God Jesus Christ’s teaching The Word Scripture Of course!
Steve began his sermon today with a children’s message. He shared this (paraphrased by me, of course):
My dad was a forester. He used to cruise the timber to decide what to cut and what to leave to keep the forest healthy. He usually went with a fellow forester – a guy who was not known for his great sense of direction. They would head out in different directions, and when it was time to regroup, my dad told his partner that he’d call out. “You answer,” he told him, “and I’ll call again. Back and forth until you find your way back.”
But, what happened was an ole hoot owl responded back to his partner when he called out, and he followed the direction of the owl. It got him way off track. When my dad realized what was happening, he honked the horn of the truck, and finally the two men were able to reconnect and head for home.
Moral of the story: Listening to the wrong voice can get us lost. We need to listen to the voice and teachings of Christ in order to stay on the right path.
The Church’s Spiritual Power Source
(Inspired by Mark 1:21-28 – story of Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue and being interrupted by a man who was demon-possessed)
The people of the church Were astounded when Jesus Taught with authority – More astounded than by exorcism.
When we think of a teacher image, We rarely think of provocative We have our dull stereotypes. But Jesus, the Teacher, was rare.
Wouldn’t you think His act Of removing an evil force Would have trumped the act Of teaching the Word of God?
No, removal of an unclean spirit Was not what the people raved about. It was Jesus, the Teacher, who Inspired the people to be amazed.
Do Jesus’ teachings still have The power to transform and amaze? Do Jesus’ teachings still have The power to unite and inspire?
The teachings of Jesus and the Growing of churches and believers Are synonymous; did you know that? Let’s join a weekly Bible Study.
Listen to the right voice… The voice of Jesus telling His parables. I’ll lead a Bible Study and we’ll all Tune in to Jesus’ voice – OK?
Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM. We’ll begin with Luke 15:11-24. It’s the story of the Prodigal Son. Look for your ZOOM invitation.
Invite a friend to join us!
Hope you had a wonderful Sunday. Enjoy your evening. See you tomorrow. Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Let me know if you’d like a ZOOM invitation to join us. If so, send me an e-mail address. Embrace Your Power Source!
these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo
Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred
Malleable are lists of sins we accrue
a barter between gains we’ve won and debts we owe
Embrace unlimited shades of blue
Exhausting – holding this constant guard
Even stormy melancholy seas are drenched in
these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo
Healing power pulses in each flaw
like a broken heart that still beats
Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred
I was going to call my blog today “Embrace Healing,” but the I came across the post above. I decided that post is a gift in blueness – and it speaks more to my mood today than “healing” does.
Today I am blue… because the note I received from my former student’s mother-in-law, Marilyn, left me with no hope for Ty Stiles’ earthly healing. I studied my broken heart and looked again at Marilyn’s words. “He told Roxann [his wife] that he is ready to go to Heaven.” As I prayed for Ty’s last days, I looked at that broken heart again.
Did you ever realize that the two parts of a broken heart are angel’s wings? Look again!
God’s angels spoke to me and reminded me that death is not final. Jesus conquered death. Ty is a believer. Ty is called according to His purpose. Yesterday Ty’s church members gathered outside his home for a prayer vigil. One of his cousins made the gathering into a FaceTime chat so he could see/hear the prayers being offered on his behalf (and if he was unable to hear and comprehend, at least I know his wife, Roxann, could. The prayers were for her, as well.
As I shared in my “Embrace Reassurance” blog a couple days ago, God hears. God cares. God answers. Sometimes HEALING does not come in the form of a magical cure. Sometimes it comes as RELEASE.
Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.
My heart is with you as you leave the pain and embrace the beautiful blueness of Christ’s Kingdom. Someday I’ll join you there, Ty. Meantime, keep the Pearly Gates polished!
Thanks for joining me at JanBeek and thank you for praying for Ty and Roxann. See you tomorrow.
Sermon Notes from today’s ZOOM worship service of the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church Delivered by Rev. Steve Hundley Poetic notes taken by JanBeek
One With Us
Have you ever spoken honestly And in the process provoked A person to anger? Perhaps you even joked
About what you said. You’re trying to be forgiven. Be careful what you say and do. Beware the life you’re livin’.
Jesus was with a crowd Of sinners at the Jordan. What had Jesus done to need Forgiveness? What secrets hoardin’?
Sometimes we find ourselves Guilty by association. So Jesus had reason to be Thought a sinner by the Jewish nation.
John the Baptist, however, Knew Jesus was sinless. So he didn’t want to baptize Him. But his protest was winless!
Jesus was determined to be Baptized by John, even though He was sin-free. So we wonder, Why did He need it? Want to know?
He wanted to be baptized In order to be One with us! Like Him, we need to be One in Christ and eliminate fuss!
If Jesus was willing To step down and be One With all of us sinners, Who are we, when all’s said and done?
We are all sinners, invited To come to the river, too. Be one with our brothers and sisters. I’m all for it. How about you?
The sermon was inspired by the scriptures: Acts 19:1-7 and Mark 1:4-11 which were eloquently read to us by our pastor’s wife, Elaine, from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message Bible”
ACTS 19 1-2 Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?”
“We’ve never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?”
3 “How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.
“In John’s baptism.”
4 “That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.”
5-7 And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God’s actions. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day.
MARK 4-6 John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.
7-8 As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”
9-11 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”
PRAYER OF CONFESSION:
God of all mercy, in our baptism You have marked us as Your own; You have given us a new identity and made us part of the body of Christ. In doing so, You have called us to rise to new life and live together in community. However, we have not been faithful to Your call. We have forged our own identity and held to destructive habits. We confess we have failed to welcome others, and broken our bonds with our brothers and sisters, and served ourselves more than You. Forgive us, we pray, for the sake of Christ, our Savior.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: John 1:12
Hear the good news! God said to Jesus, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with You I am well pleased.” We have a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weakness, who has been tempted as we are, yet is without sin.
In Christ’s name we may draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, and there find mercy and grace to help in time of need.
As forgiven sinners, may we go out into the world and make a positive difference. May we…
If you have not heard former Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s You Tube message today, I recommend you click on the link here. His message, reinforcing the need for UNITY in our USA, is quite powerful. God Bless Arnie! We all need to step up in support of Democracy as he has done!
… we need to embrace God! We need to lean on Him and let Him enfold us in His loving care. We need God now more than ever! Feel God hugging you as you reach out to Him.
Today during our ZOOM worship service, Rev. Steve Hundley delivered a powerful Pastoral Prayer. As he explained to us (the two dozen members of the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT who logged in) during his introduction to the prayer, “I am relying heavily on the prayers of the Reverend Dr. Peter Marshall, who was elected Chaplain of the United States Senate on Jan. 4, 1947.”
“We know, Almighty God, that in this desperate hour, we as a nation need You. We need Your strength, Your guidance, Your wisdom. These are problems far greater than any human wisdom can solve, for what shall our leaders do in such an hour? May Your wisdom and Your guidance come upon the President, the President elect, the Senators and Congress men and women, to whom have been entrusted leadership. May the responsibility in the midst of this pandemic and civil unrest lie heavily on their hearts, until they are ready to acknowledge their helplessness and turn to You. Give them courage, and the moral integrity to confess that they don’t know what to do. Only then can they lead us as a nation beyond human wisdom to You, who alone has the answers.
Strengthen the courage of all our elected representatives—sincere men and women who want to do what is right, if only they can be sure what is right. Make it plain to them, O Lord. And then, start them out on the right way, for You know that we are hard to turn.
Forgive them for the blunders they have committed, the compromises they have made. Give to them to courage to admit mistakes. Take away from us, both as a nation and individuals, that stubborn pride which, followed by conceit, imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism.
Save our leaders, O God, from themselves and from their friends—even as You have saved them from their enemies.
Let no personal ambition blind them to their opportunities.
Help them to give battle to hypocrisy wherever they find it.
Give them divine common sense and a selflessness that shall make them think of their call to service and not gain.
May they have the courage to lead the people of this Republic, considering unworthy the expediency of following the people.
Lord, we pray for the families of the thousands who have died this week alone of this terrible and relentless virus. We pray too, for the families of those who lost their lives and were injured in our nation’s capital. Bring an end to the violence that would cost just one of our citizens their lives. We pray for a peaceful transition of leadership, in our nation’s capital in the coming weeks.
We pray for those within our own community who have contracted and been exposed to the Corona virus. Heal them and protect them from any long-term effects of the virus.
We pray too for those people whose needs You place on our hearts. Hear and answer, we pray, that You will forgive us all our unworthiness; cleansing us from every ignoble thought and unworthy disposition that we may be renewed in spirit and mind and heart, through Jesus Christ, our Lord… Amen.”
Thank you for visiting JanBeek today. I will post my sermon notes a little later.
Teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites. Right?
See that young man on the left up there? His name is Ty. He is my favorite!
(Well, in honesty… don’t be dismayed if you’re one of my students…. I have lots of favorites, OK? But Ty… well, read on!)
Ty was my kindergarten student in 1962-3. Every day when he stepped off the school bus, the girls all stopped what they were doing. “Hi Ty!” they would swoon. Yes, even kindergarten girls recognize a sweetheart when they see one!
And every day when it was time to go home, the girls all waved to Ty, “Bye, Ty!” they would swoon.
I was a newlywed. It was my second year of teaching. I decided if I had a boy someday, I would name him Ty. And I did!
Ah yes, my Ty is a sweetheart, just like his namesake!
So why the HOPE title?
Yesterday I heard the devastating news that my favorite student, Ty, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. It has metastasized. He needs our prayers. My heart is heavy, but I am a believer… and HOPE is what believers do, right?
Day before yesterday I posted this scripture:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”
I know God has Ty tucked into the palm of His hand, just as He holds our world in His hand.
I know God is watching over Ty and his treatment process. But, won’t you add your prayers to mine? “Dear Lord, please give healing to Ty.”