Thank you, Vitu Santos for this wonderful photo. It speaks volumes to me… and it exhibits to me the message of today’s sermon…
At the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT today, Rev. Steve Hundley delivered his sermon titled, “Is Your Cross Too Heavy?” The Lord prompted me to take my sermon notes in the shape of a cross. The photo of the cross sermon above is the result of that effort.
To illustrate his point – that we need to give Jesus our burdens, lighten our load, and live in joy, Rev. Steve used this story:
“It’s hard for an egg to become a bird, but it would be harder for a bird to fly while still in the egg.”
Let go the egg… and FLY! Give Jesus your burdens and follow Him with JOY, not because you HAVE to, but because you WANT to.
God bless you with the JOY of Life Given Away because you WANT to!
Have a Happy Labor Day weekend. See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
Today’s sermon preached by Rev. Steve Hundley at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana was titled “The Moment of Truth.” It was based on the scripture passages: Matthew 16:13-20
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[a] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[c] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[d] loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
The Moment of Truth
What are you afraid of? Is it something quiet and small? Is your fear founded and grounded? Do you understand it at all?
The greatest fear most folks say Is speaking in public – sweating starts! The stakes seem highest when asked To speak from the depths of our hearts.
Stating facts – what somebody else has said – Is not as hard as speaking your own Thoughts and feelings out loud (Unless it’s on social media or the phone).
There was a time when Jesus asked Peter, “Who do YOU say that I am? Be true!” Simon Peter readily proclaimed to Him, “You are the Messiah, Son of the Living God, that’s You!”
Peter had no fear of speaking his heart. His faith he readily proclaimed. In a harsh world, draw your breath in pain. Tell what you believe. God’s asking YOU. You’re named!
There’s a feeling some people have That God is in the sunset and the trees. They say they don’t need church – And they don’t need to worship on their knees.
But Jesus told us it’s not enough To see God in the river and the dawn. We need to see God in Jesus Christ. He’s the One we rest our salvation on.
How can we know who God is In Christ, the Messiah and teach Our children about the Savior If we’ve never had His Word within reach?
We need to talk to Jesus in prayer. We need to imitate Him, too. We need to take hold of God’s love Through Jesus and the Holy Spirit in you.
How can we see the world today, Watch the brutality of teens with guns And still believe in God and His goodness? It’s faith. It’s knowing what God has done.
What are you afraid of? Is it speaking in public from the heart? Is it expressing your faith? This is the Moment of Truth – time to start!
I believe in Christ – Son of the Living God. I believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Step out and boldly speak from your soul. God will reward your brave behavior.
“On you, this rock I will build my church, And the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it.” Speak up with firm conviction… You’ll be so relieved once you’ve done it!
For special music today, we had Jaime Roberts on keyboard, Jim Forsberg singing and playing the saw, and George Ennis (with his amazing bass voice) singing. It started with Jaime’s lovely solo. I woke up to thinking I should record this for you when Jim started playing. Have you ever heard a musical saw? Tune in! God bless our musicians! As you can see, we are worshiping outside these days. We had about 40 people in attendance (behind me).
Hope you’ve had a lovely Sunday. Mine was. See ya tomorrow. Thanks for visiting, Love ya, JanBeek
When families break down, Children are so resilient. But, sometimes they need help!
Today at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana, we had two guest speakers. They were from Intermountain, a program/place for children in need.
As you know, if you have been with me a week or more, I take sermon notes in poetry every Sunday as I listen to the message. Here are the notes I took as I listened to Tyler, Zimmer, one of the Intermountain representatives who spoke to our congregation today.
Prior to the message scripture I was happy to be the scripture reader sharing these two passage:
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands, and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have Him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And He took the children in His arms, put hands on them, and blessed them.
“The Resilience of Children”
We need to commend children’s good, And scold them when they are bad. When children come to Intermountain, They are victims of the life they’ve had.
Abused children are engineers of their demise When they act out of their hurt and pain. The Bible explains in Deuteronomy The impression of love for children’s gain.
A girl from Haiti came to Intermountain Who had been abused horribly as a child. She was a master of her demise As she rejected compliments and acted wild.
One little guy came as a selective mute. He was a master at keeping quiet. But when he beat me 4x in Battle Mountain, He told me how bad I am! What a riot!!
These children who’ve been so abused Are not throw-away kids. They are LOVE. They can, with help, overcome challenges. Let’s all pray for them for help from God above.
It is not only God who helps them as we pray for their souls and their ability to trust and to bond, but it is the staff of Intermountain, and the people who donate to keep the program alive and effective. Intermountain provides housing, education, clinical counseling, recreation, love and support for the children. AND, it provides folllow-up when the children return to family settings. Intermountain continues their counseling and support in the school setting as well.
Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. … Each day has enough trouble of its own… Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live … So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. … “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”
I asked Donna, “Do you know that song?” She replied, “I do!” and then she sent me the song she was singing.
Here’s the one I was singing:
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God…”
What is it you seek? Is it the Kingdom of God? Let’s pursue God first.
What are “all these things”? The scripture was referring to food and clothing… the basics… and reminding us how God takes care of the birds and the lilies of the field.
When I pursue the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, I am seeking His wisdom. I am seeking the peace that only He can give. I am seeking understanding and the deep compassion that God’s Son taught us. I am seeking to exemplify His love ❤️ and the joy that comes with Trust in His Promises. 🙏🏽 I seek His righteousness so that I may exhibit greater patience, kindness, gentleness, and goodness.
Seek Ye first the kingdom of God … and all these things will be given unto you.
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Pray for discernment I love the Lord’s perfect will Freckles and lashes!!
Do not let the world Trick you into seeking pride – It’s a dead-end street.
Do not let the world Trick you into seeking wealth – Not in hoarded coins.
Do not let the world Tell you what to dream about – Look in God’s Word.
Let the Son set you free. You shall know the Truth And the Truth shall set you free. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge Him.
I pray for you, my friend… For your health, happiness, safety, And for God to guide you in His Way.
What does S.O.S. mean to you? It’s an urgent message for help. But yesterday, a Facebook friend said, “It means Same ole Shit!”
Oh my! I had not heard that before! She was referring to a message I posted On Facebook about the U.S. Postal Service. She is convinced it’s all legit – not “shit” at all!
The post received 66 responses within a few hours And it deteriorated to the point where I Called a “Truce” and wished I had not started it. But, hey, ya gotta stand up for what you believe, right?
And we have a responsibility to fact check. Yes, some of the removed boxes were being replaced. The guy in charge of our postal service now, DeJoy, Has spread his “S.O.S.” and intelligent people believe him.
Other equally intelligent people weighed in on the conversation. “I worked for the P.O. and I know these claims are false.” “The sorting machines being removed are not being replaced.” “This has been going on routinely for decades. Why blame Trump?”
I don’t care who is to blame, I just care about our U.S.P.S. And I want to speak up to defend our right to vote by mail. I need all the boxes protected and all the sorting machines left. I need to know our election in November is not being compromised.
So, I came out of my box of comfort and said, “Stop!” I came out and expressed my outrage at what’s happening. Enough other people have expressed their concern that DeJoy Announced he will stop this nonsense until after November elections.
“I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.”
We need to TRUST God’s Word and expect the best. We need to pray to God for His wisdom And for our courage to step up to the plate When His perfect time comes.
But, before we grab the bat And swing at the falsehoods, We need to ask the SUPREME COACH To guide us, teach us, and give us TRUTH.
We need to persevere in the face of the S.O.S. People throw at us – and don’t be deterred. We need to listen to His voice and grasp As clearly as we can His purposes for our stand.
STAND UP FOR WHAT’S RIGHT! Silence is no longer a viable option!! I love you, even if you think I’m wrong. Let’s exchange ideas with respect.
Some GOOD people will disagree with me. May my optimism about a brighter future be contagious. Let’s draw on the Word and promises of God. Stand up and carry on with perseverance!
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Send me a love letter!
In my GuidepostsMornings with Jesus today, Jolynn Strandberg wrote:
“Even when I am surrounded by people who do not understand my convictions, I hope I will always have the courage to stand up for my beliefs.”
“15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
The Faith of a Canaanite Woman
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
How in the world do you take that scripture and make sense of it in a sermon?
Well, Rev. Steve Hundley at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana tackled it today. Preceding the sermon, Elaine, Steve’s wife, read the scripture using The Message, Eugene Petersen’s version of the Bible. In part, it said,
“It is not what you swallow that defiles a person, but what you vomit up!”
The Canaanite woman who came to Jesus, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!” was indeed vomiting up a whole lot of agony. Why did Jesus suggest that helping her would be like feeding bread to the dogs? Listen to what I heard Steve saying about this is his sermon today:
Jesus called a desperate woman a dog! She was a Canaanite who child’s life was grim. Why would Jesus insult her like that? She threw His words right back at Him.
We can relate to her and her dark side. We all have a little bit of the devil in us. But, not Jesus … No! He was perfect! So why did He call her a dog?
Was He rejecting her because she wasn’t Jewish? No, it can’t be true. He must have been saying, “I have a special spot in my heart for the Jews.” Maybe He used this to show the disciples their playing.
Playing with the idea of parroting back to them Their rejection of others – their callous attitude. Jesus seemed to be sending the mother away. Gladly, we can see Jesus help her and sense her gratitude.
We are living in strange times – a nation divided. There are desperate voices shouting out. You have a choice. Whose voices will you hear? How will you respond? Are your words and attitudes matching Jesus’ voice?
When you hear the desperate mother cry, Do you hear her pain and heed her pleas? She boldly calls with faith for her child’s healing. May we also listen, hear, and respond with help to such as these.
Lord, speak to our hearts that we might know Your heart more clearly.
“Open my mouth and let me bear gladly the warm truth everywhere. Open my heart and let me prepare love with Thy children thus to share.”
I am off this evening to say good-bye to our favorite Sunday School kids. Love with Thy children thus to share… This adorable pair is moving from Ennis to go with their parents to Jordan, MT where their dad will take over the family farm. I can’t tell you how much we will miss them. But of course, we will pray for them and hope their transition to their new home is a smooth one.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek and reading the sermon notes. Please add Cord and Ruby and their parents, Suzanne & Casey, to your prayer list. And ask God to send some new little kids to our church, okay?
Sermon Notes August 9, 2020 Rev. Steve Hundley Jan’s poetic notes taken while listening to Steve’s message based on John 21:15-23
“A Side-Long Glance”
Jesus was with His disciples on shore. Peter thought Jesus didn’t believe him. Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep. The answer failed to relieve him.
Have you ever felt misunderstood? Ever had your sincerity questioned bare? Peter told Jesus, “You know I love You.” Jesus had asked him three times there.
Was Jesus expecting too much of Peter? Does He expect too much of us? A tithe is a tenth of what you make. The visible return’s not much to see – why fuss?
Well, Jesus expected even more than a tenth. “What about him?” Peter asked. Like Peter, we question others’ faith. We want Jesus to take ’em to task.
There has to be a difference between Faith and foolishness – so it’s not fair Those rich folks don’t seem to give – They don’t seem to do their share.
We cast a side-long glance across the aisle, And we ask, as Peter did, “What about them?” And Jesus answers us as He did Peter, “What is it to you?” From where does fairness stem?
Jesus says, “Feed My sheep -just love!” Your side-long glance has no place here. You do your fair share and don’t worry about What others do. Give, love, and have no fear.
No side-long glances allowed. Look ahead at the One who stands Before a hurting world and says, “Feed My sheep in all My lands.”
Just follow Jesus – And what will happen today? To tell the truth, I don’t know! Just do it anyway!!
After church today we had a barbecue. It was the kick-off of the fiscal year’s drive for finances to fund the Pastor Search Committee and to consider our pledges for the 2020-21 church budget. Jesus said, “Feed My sheep!” and these sheep were fed in grand style out on the church lawn.
After the church BBQ, we went to my friend, Sue’s. Her birthday is tomorrow. We needed to sing “Happy Birthday!” while we socially distanced. She and her husband are being really careful around this COVID-19 … especially with Montana’s case numbers rising. They are being kept really busy at their beautiful home. Just look at their gardens!
Sue and Jerry joined the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church on the same Sunday Bob & I did nearly 15 years ago. We have been fast friends ever since. The two of them built this gorgeous house themselves! Just this summer they added that deck outside their bedroom window on the right.
Here is the front of the house:
Yes, we are blessed. We live in the gorgeous Madison Valley. We have a terrific church, a wonderful pastor who gives great sermons, beautiful friends, and a picture-perfect setting with glorious August sunshine and enormous “BigSky” drama. Ah, my friends, life is good!
No need for side-long glances. Keep your eyes on your own blessings, your own giving, and your own business. No need focusing on what’s “not fair!” Remember while you’re counting your blessings to share your love with others with your whole heart!
Do have a fantastic week ahead.
Thanks for visiting and for sharing with me the sermon and our visit with Sue. Happy Birthday, Sue!!