Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Living in Christ’s Family’ Category

Today I Am Grateful


Each morning, just before I leave my sanctuary and head down the stairs to tackle the new day, I write in my Thankfulness Journal. It reminds me to begin each day with an Attitude of Gratitude.

So, as this page in the journal suggests, I do just that… I take about 5 minutes to reflect back on the day before… and I write down three things for which I am grateful. Sometimes I can’t stop at three (I’ll squeeze in 4 or 5), and other days (like last week when I was so annoyed at the persistent hacky cough), I can only think of one thing… “Life.” But, always there is SOMETHING for which to be thankful.

Here are the two pages for last week’s entries:

Yes, even if it is “just life itself,” there always is a reason for Gratitude

Every month or so, there is a page for reflection – a question to ponder. Today, the page said, “today i am gratetful” and the page across from it invited me to write about a place I am thankful I had the opportunity to visit.

Think about how you would respond to such a prompt. Tell me a place for which you are grateful.

When thinking about a place, this is what came to my mind:

Forget the edited “the” – I fixed it…
It belongs before “beautiful” – or not at all.
Do you edit and re-edit your work, even in a journal?
I don’t usually, but I don’t usually take a picture of it, either!

Yesterday I worked at the Food Bank. The shelves were mighty bare. It’s because some folks are getting ready to replace the worn out carpet in there. I am grateful for the Food Bank, for those who donate food and those who donate time, for those who donate money and those who Care and Share in a ton of ways.

Today Bob & I are going to Helena, MT. We have been invited to an AARP Volunteers’ Recognition dinner there. I will tell you all about it tomorrow. It is our privilege to volunteer our time during these “Golden Years” to help those who need it. I am grateful today to Elaine Forsberg who nominated us as “Montana State Volunteers” worthy of mention. We do it for the Glory of the One who blesses us. Giving back is our greatest joy.

What are you most grateful for today?

See ya tomorrow

Go Mark Up Your Bible


It’s okay to write
All over the Bible page
Try on the scriptures

Let them show to you
The messages of your heart
Picture the sunset

Remember goodness
Take the righteousness and truth
Take light from God’s love

Make your face to shine
On the pages of scripture
Carry His statutes

Give thanks to the Lord
His love endures forever
Rejoice and be glad

It’s another day
To mark a fav’rite scripture
It’s OK. Take joy!

Go sing a new song!

Sing with the angels!
He has done marvelous things!
I’ll see ya later.

Are You a Natural?


Are You a Natural?

A Natural WHAT?
You want to be NATURAL…
But, NATURAL WHAT?

In today’s sermon, Rev. Steve Hundley at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church used this as his sermon topic: “The Natural.”

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know I have a habit of taking notes in poetry while listening to the sermon. It helps me listen better, and recall the message later on. I like to share my notes with you. Here are today’s:

The advertisement asked for
A new pastor for a tired church,
Worn down and worn out.
They were left in the lurch.

The Hebrew Church felt
The way this ad describes.
Weak knees and weak hands was
How they were depicted by scribes.

Jesus, the High Priest, is superior,
The scribes reminded them.
Pay attention to what He said and did.
They were given a long list from Him.

Be kind to strangers, remembering
You may be entertaining angels.
Be kind to one another, because
You, too, will someday be strangers.

Be kind and compassionate
Until that behavior is natural.
When people call you Christ-like,
Be sure that remark is factual.

Remember those who are suffering
As if you’re suffering, too.
Pay attention to those around –
They surely need love from you,

Behavior becomes a habit
If you practice it enough.
So, practice loving behavior
Until sharing it ain’t so tough!

Become a NATURAL Christian,
One who loves without a second thought.
Help us, Lord, to use our lessons daily –
Being as Christ-like as we’ve been taught.

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

If I have the courage to “be myself” while realizing “I am a wonderful person,” then I need to be analytical. WHAT is it that I have been TAUGHT? And are all those lessons the ones I need in order to be a “Natural” at being a “Christian”? What does being a “Natural Christian” mean?

I need to ask myself, “Have you practiced loving behavior enough to be a natural at it? What’s your first response in the face of strangers?”

What do you think, friends, what are you a Natural at?

See ya later

Christmas in September


It feels like Christmas!

Snow draped the fir trees

Like garland decorations

Today’s snowflakes cling

  blurry everygreens w: snow

Home again tonight

It was a lovely weekend

Here are the highlights

Ready for Saturdya night

Company for dinner in our home –

Saturday night fun:

Good food, great conversation,

and after dinner sing-along.

 

fellowship- church Choir before teaching church school

Then Worship service followed by

A delicious fellowship hour

 

Elaine baked a pineapple upsidedown cake.

Yum!!

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These gourds decorated the tables.

They reminded me of beauty in distortion

Never be afraid to be different

 

The Bozeman Symphony this afternoon

was incredible!

We thoroughly enjoyed the music

and the gift of a very talented conductor

and creative, dedicated musicians.

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After the Symphony we tried a new restaurant:

Nordic Brewery in Bozeman, MT.

We highly recommend it.

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Try to get Avery as your waitress.

She was efficient and adorable –

And the beer samples and food were delicious.

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I chose the skirt steak and Bob had a hamburger

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My skirt steak was tasty and done to perfection

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Do you think I liked it??

 

I hope you enjoyed a lovely weekend, too

with great friends, good food,

and beautiful music.

God is good – all the time.

Every day is Christmas

when you enjoy

the gifts

God gives you.

 
red and white ribbon

See ya tomorrow

(I don’t know why the audio didn’t work. Got any clues for me about how to link to mp3 music?)

Live to Give


Good Friday Morning to you!

Each morning

I start my day up here

in my sanctuary

at the top of

our circlular staircase.

Come and join me today!

 

Here we sit

in the presence of the Holy Spirit,

who fills our hearts.

It’s a peaceful place.

I read, pray, meditate, and listen.

God’s amazing grace fills our souls.

.

“These Days” daily devotional

After reading the scripture

and the reflections on it,

by Michael Morgan of Atlanta, Georgia,

I added a few words boldly to the page.

 

These three words represent

my “take away” for today.

Yes, I want to “Live to Give.”

 

I hope that’s your take-away, too.

 

Thank you, Michael,

for the inspiration and the prayer

at the bottom of the page.

I, too, hope to “Live into [God’s] goodness.”

My heart beats with God’s love as its fuel. .

May you also “Live to Give” today – and always.

 

Have a Fabulous Friday! .

Come and join me again later

 

when I go to volunteer

 

at our Madison Valley Medical Center.

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See ya later.

In the Same Boat


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

SERMON NOTES

Bible Reference

Rev. Steve Hundley’s sermon topic today at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT was “We’re All in the Same Boat.” It was inspired by the story in Matthew 14:22-36. Jesus commanded the disciples to get in the boat and sail out to sea while He went off to be alone for awhile. Then – in the darkness of a stormy night – He walked on the water to go out to them. Seeing Jesus walking on water toward them, Peter asked to be able to do likewise. The Lord told him to come ahead – and he did. All went well until he looked down at the growing waves, became fearful, and started to sink. “Why did you doubt?” Jesus asked him as he helped Peter back onto the boat.

Ah, courage and faith – that’s what it takes.
But only God can walk on water.

Sermon notes taken while Steve shared his message:

We’re All in the Same Boat

Jesus is the Loving Shepherd
But He is also our Commander.
He is gentle and kind, we know,
But we realize He’s a Great Demander.

Why did Jesus order His disciples
To go and get in the boat?
It was midnight, afterall!
Was that a good time to go for a float?

The earliest idea of the church
Was the image of a boat’s belly.
We’re all in this boat together.
It’s dark, stormy, and chilly.

We’re rowing as hard as we can –
And don’t seem to make any headway.
We’re busy trying to make it on our own,
Too busy to hear what God has to say.

But God comes walking on the water,
And He says, “Fear not, it is I.”
We look and doubt and test Him saying,
If it is You, save me!” Oh my!

Only God/Jesus can walk on water.
Sometimes our job is just to cling
To the boat and don’t presume
We can go it alone. Just trust and sing!

Following the sermon, we sang this song,
“We All Are One in Mission.”
See the song’s words below the sermon notes.

First we gotta get in the boat.
Then we gotta stay in it.
We gotta trust God is here with us.
We gotta gather and pray in it!

Help me, Lord, to remember
You will draw near to me – no fuss-
If we stay and pray and know
You’re here in the boat with us.

“We All Are One in Mission”

“We all are one in mission; we all are one in call,
our varied gifts united by Christ, the Lord of all.
A single great commission compels us from above
to plan and work together that all may know Christ’s love.

We all are called for service, to witness in God’s name.
Our ministries are different; our purpose is the same:
To touch the lives of others by God’s surprising grace,
so every folk and nation may feel God’s warm embrace.

Now let us be united, and let our song be heard.
Now let us be a vessel for God’s redeeming Word.
We all are one in mission; we all are one in call,
our varied gifts united by Christ, the Lord of all.”

Words: Rusty Edwards (Matthew 28:19-20; i Cor. 12:4-6
Music: Finnish folk melody

I am with you.
I’m praying you have a blessed Sunday.
..
and a week filled with God’s grace.

See ya later

Reaching Out to Others


Reaching Out To Others

 

man and woman holding hands on brown wooden table

Happy Friday morning to you, my friends.
What’s on your calendar for today?

Many of you know that I am a retired educator
who enjoys spending my time volunteering.
I enjoy the spirit of “Paying it Forward.”
It’s not difficult to find people and places
where a helping hand is needed.

One of my favorite places to volunteer my time
is at our local nursing home.
I am a member of the auxiliary there.
At the beginning of each monthly meeting
we all recite this prayer together:

z- Prayer for Auxiliaries.JPG

When I read “all who are in distress of mind and body,”
I personalize it and think of the specific friends
who now live in the nursing home,
and remember them as the
independent, capable,
helpful folks they were…
that person is still in them!!

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Here is my friend, Elaine,
Always reaching out to others,
Always ready with a smile,
The life of every party!

Living now in half a room
in a nursing home,
dependent on others for meals,
transportation, shelter…
It must be hard!

Loneliness could set in
if caring people did not reach out
with generosity, discretion,
and gentleness.

My friend, Elaine, is one of the fortunate ones.
She has a son and daughters nearby.
They come regularly to visit
and to take her to church and to their homes.

Others are not so blessed.
They sit alone in their rooms,
waiting for the next meal, or
the next CNA to come in to check on them,
unless someone volunteers
to come and lead the Bingo game,
visit with them in their room
or on the patio on a good day,
or sit with them in the dining hall.

What can you do to reach out to others
who are in need of comfort, hope,
and companionship?

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This wonderful lady lived for nearly 25 years
in our local nursing home.
Her mom visited her daily,
but could not care for her in the apartment
where she lived alone.
As Karen’s MS progressed, she became
less and less able to manage her own affairs.
But she was always a lion at heart.
A strong soul who inspired those around her.
This face painting and costume
was done for her one Halloween a few years ago
by my granddaughter.
What a joy to see my friend’s true spirit emerge!!

Here is another person who was a lion at heart!

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One Thanksgiving, we had my friend Gloria,
come to celebrate the holiday with us.
She lived in the nursing home the last 5 to 10 years
of her long and illustrious life
(she used to sing with the NY Opera!).
Getting to know her and spending time
talking to her about her life
was such a privilege!!

Another one of my friends
was one who lived alone in a log house
at the edge of the Madison Range
where the deer and the antelope roam.
One early December day we went together to the nail salon
and had matching polish jobs.
See the snowmen on our pinky fingers?

Hands On Christmas

If nursing homes
or visiting the elderly in their homes
are not your bag,
think of other places where you can
reach out to help others.

Today I am volunteering at the
Madison Valley Medical Center.
We “Purple Ladies” do a lot to raise money
for hospital  equiment and other needs,
and to save money by being the
receptionists at the front desk
daily from 8: to 5:
The last two Fridays each month are my turn.

ladiesaux-johnbishop.jpg

I’m the “shrimp” with the silver hair in the middle back.

Today is my day to serve.
Better get going.

Who will you reach out to today
with wisdom and humility
to help make their life better?

Jan @ MVMC
See ya later!

 

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