Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Bible Lessons’

Life’s a Mosaic


Life’s a Mosaic 

“We know that in all things God works together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

My life is a mosaic,
Crafted by God’s hand.
Through sunshine or rain,
He shapes me to His plan.

God’s promises never fail.
He promises I’ll feel His touch.
He is in me, with me, for me.
God loves me so very much

The colors in my mosaic,
Each are placed by God’s hand.
His design becomes more beautiful
As I live my life by His command.

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Hooray! I was the Biggest loser this week at TOPS!

May your life feel His hand
Of beauty on your heart
As you live His plan, too.
Today’s a good day to start

See ya later.

In Search of the Uncluttered Life


Last Sunday’s “Do the Math”
sermon topic was
“In Search of the Uncluttered Life.”

It was inspired by the passage in Luke 12:32-40 and delivered
by Rev. Steve Hundley at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church.
You’ll see why I named it, “Do the Math” … Read on!

green and white press drill on table

“Things are in the saddle
And they ride mankind.” *
They are the stuff of storage –
The things that tie and bind.
.
We are the generation
Who invented the garage sale.
We’re buried in acquisitions
That make us stress and wail.
.
Many wealthy and blessed people
Complain about all they’ve got.
They live in an “If Only” state –
Sometimes wishing away what they’ve bought.
.
Life is hard, whether rich or poor.
Jesus says, “Sell your possessions
And give…” and be ever-ready
For my return. Release your obsessions.
.
Jesus asked what seems unreal.
We can’t be ready 24-7.
But, we don’t want to be asleep
And miss the only bus to Heaven!
.
The scripture seems to expect
Too much of us … be ever ready!
Jesus doesn’t ask us to be sleepless.
He asks us to be loving, trusting, steady.
.
He asks us to unclutter
Our lives from stuff and worry.
He asks us to replace distractions,
The things that make us rush and scurry.
.
Set aside the stressful things
That keep us from feeling God’s love.
Be ready to receive the riches
That God pours on us from above.
.
Look for God’s presence today.
Set your eyes on the eagles and clouds.
Be amazed by God’s creation;
Set aside the clutter and crowds.
.
Be surprised by the daily joy
God places in your path.
Add peace and subtract the stress.
Think about it; do the math!
.

* A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Steve Hundley’s Pastoral Prayer:

This is Your world, O Lord,
that glows with the radiance
of mountain wild flowers
and towering trees,
with the warmth of human
compassion and kindness.
.
Yet there is another world
that is Yours as well:
a world of brokenness
and barrenness,
of sickness and isolation,
of suffering and lonliness.
.
We thank You, O God,
that You are Lord,
over not only this beautiful world,
but also its brokenness.
Remind us that it was
this broken world that
Christ died to redeem…
that it is to this broken world
that the Cross reaches out its arms.
.
Receive us, we pray,
from the darker and needier side
of our existence this morning.
Let the hurt and resentment
in us be taken up
into Your love and acceptance.
.
Let our lonliness be swallowed up
by Your Presence with us here.
Let our illness be touched
by Your healing power,
and our troubled spirits
by Your peace.
.
Turn our personal worlds
of suffering and confusion
into the world of Christ,
where all things are seen
differently in the Light
of His wonderful face.
.
Grant that the conversation
of our own worlds
will enable us to care
about the worlds of others –
the poor, the hungry,
the broken-spirited,
the sick, the dying,
the disenfranchised,
the imprisoned, or those
just seeking a better life.
.
Save us from thinking that
the beautiful world we live in
is ours, or that the broken
and lonely world we live in
is the only one there is.
.
Keep ever before us,
the Cross of Christ,
by which these two worlds
are united,
and the Spirit of the Resurrection,
in which we are promised
that the beautiful world
will outlast the broken one.
.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
we pray.
And all God’s people said,
Amen!

Thanks for joining me here at WordPress
and reading the sermon notes and prayer.
I  hope they spoke to your heart.

They certainly spoke to mine!
Hear Angels w Heart
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Finding Faith & Forgiveness


Thank you for joining my A-Z journey
to explore ways to add meaning to our lives.

Today is the sixth day – the letter “F.”

F = Faith & Forgiveness

They go hand-in-hand. One invites the other.

man in black long sleeved shirt and woman in black dress

Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com

FAITH

Faith is belief in the unseen. To look beyond the obvious and see endless possibilities adds depth and meaning to our lives. It opens us to gifts beyond measure.

In Mark 9:22-24, a father of a mute son said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, do it! Have a heart and help us!”

Jesus replied, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts.”

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat talk about faith,
“Recognize and accept that
there is another dimension to life
than what is obvious to us.
Live with obstacles, doubt, and paradox,
knowing that God is always present in the world.”

FORGIVENESS

And because we believe in the God who is our Creator, and the One He sent to forgive us for our repeated wrong-doings to ourselves and one another, we also have the capacity to forgive.

The Brussats wrote about forgiveness:
“In both your private and public lives,
discover the sweet release
that comes from forgiving others.
Feel the healing balm
of being forgiven and
of forgiving yourself.”

Enjoy the sweet smell
Of receiving and giving
Forgiveness’ balm

UNFORGIVENESS

“I am a wretched sinner! I am going to Hell!” Mark shouted from his nursing home bed.

“Mark, we all have sinned. We all make mistakes. None of us is perfect. You have asked God to forgive you. He has! You need to forgive yourself!”

“I can’t! You don’t know how bad my sin is! You don’t know what I did! I can never forgive myself! I am miserable,” Mark moaned.

My friend, Mark, died later that week!

I don’t know if he was able to forgive himself on his deathbed, but I believe our Lord and Savior died so that Mark could be forgiven. He did believe in God. He professed his belief many times.

John 20:21-23 says,
“Again Jesus said to His disciples,
‘Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me,
I am sending you.
And… He breathed on them and said,
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive anyone his sins,
they are forgiven’ …”

Are you looking for more meaning, more purpose,
and a peace that permeates your soul?

Live in Faith, my friends.
Know the Holy Spirit lives in you,
and know You ARE Forgiven.

You do not need to end your life crying in misery.
Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you will have eternal life in His name.

“Forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

art cathedral christ christian

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.
He is risen indeed!

Be at peace!

 

Seek Wisdom


Seek Wisdom

“Wisdom is better than
all the trappings of wealth;
nothing you could wish for
holds a candle to her.”

Proverbs 8:11 (MSG)

brown book page

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What is wisdom?

It is using Good Common Sense

It is Knowing and Living the Truth

It is using Knowledge with Discretion

It is having the Insight to Recognize Virtue

It is a Life Exhibiting Honor

It is Seeking Justice & Loving Righteousness

It is The Overflow of a Grateful Heart

love hearts

W isdom

I s

S imply

D oing

O nly Our

M aster’s Will.

Love One Another!

 

adult blur bokeh bright

Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com


Wisdom is the overflow of a grateful heart!

Tell me a conscious way you let your grateful heart overflow today.
To whom did you express your love?

Know Whose You Are


bible blur christ christianity

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Sundays are special days.
We go early to church in the morning
because we have the privilege of teaching
the cutest little 3 1/2 to 6 year olds
in the whole wide world!

Here are a couple of the dearhearts…
Aren’t they adorable?
They provide the highlight of our week!!

Then we attend worship service,
and I take sermon notes
to share with my husband on the way home.
(He tunes out and goes out to
the Madison River or Big Sky ski slopes
in his mind…
and says on the way home,
“What was the sermon about?”)
.
So, here it is, my friends.
If you didn’t make it to church this morning,
or if you did – and missed the message
as your miind wandered as minds will do –
Here are my notes for you:

Stand Firm: God is With Us” – based on Luke 13:1-9; delivered by Rev. Jean Johnson

I renamed it: Know Whose You Are

I can withstand anything
Except temptation!
No man knows how bad he is
Until he strives to be good.

Yes, we need forgiveness
And repeated second chances.
It’s not the temptation –
It’s our response to it that matters.

Temptation is a common
Human experience.
To wish it away
Is to wish for death.

God promises a way out.
He doesn’t tolerate a
No-win situation.
It’s our task to endure.

Through the grace of God,
God provides a way.
In the story of Joseph,
We see a man of honor.

He was a good man who
Was wrongly accused of sin,
Thrown into prison because he was
Persistent in his resistance.

Joseph remained loyal
His God without turning back.
When we know whose we are,
Then we know who we are.

That’s what makes persistence possible.
Joseph left temptation.
She was left holding his coat.
He knew it was time to leave.

Embarrassed by his refusal,
She managed to get him jailed.
But, in the prison, Joseph
Fulfilled more of God’s plan.

Resistance is rarely rewarded
By those who’ve been resisted.
Our reward often is not on earth,
But sometimes it is. Hold fast!

God is faithful, and
In the end we won’t be
Disappointed, if we’re true
To our God. The Lord is with you!

Stand firm!

 

 

Martin Luther King’s Example


three persons clapping to each other

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It is Martin Luther King Sunday! We celebrated this momentous day at the Bloom in the Desert Ministries in Palm Springs, California. Rev. Kevin A. Johnson delivered the message. As is my habit, I took notes poetically during the sermon. Here is what I heard Rev. Kev say after the sharing of Bible story of Jesus’ first miracle:

Isaiah held firm and encouraged
The people to speak out.
Do not be silent; be encouraged.
Let your convictions eek out.

Exclusion and hate are taught
In many places in our land,
But pockets of humanity exist –
Some are right here where we stand.

We are called to be up-lifters.
In authentic ministry we speak.
Our call is to the Glory of God.
Love and kindness are what we seek.

In John 2:1-11, Jesus performed
His first miracle; quite a display!
Hundreds of gallons of water into wine!
My, what would we do with such today?

The point isn’t the miracle of wine.
It is the extravagance of Christ’s love.
It is the way Jesus helps in more
Ways than we can imagine – way above!

Jesus was only beginning His miracles.
He was tolerated until He messed
With the money of the church.
Then His ministry was put to the test.

Today is the celebration of MLK Jr.’s life.
We recall the way His life was given
In compassion for the poor and the sad,
For the disenfranchised and the imprisoned.

Martin Luther King lived out his faith
With a call to action in the power of peace.
Like Jesus and MLK Jr., we are called
To make our world more lovely and eliminate grief.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
Only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
Only love can do that.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is the unison prayer we read as a congregation. It touched my heart. I hope it impresses upon your heart, too:

“O God, all people are your beloved – across races, nationalities, identities, religions, sexual orientations, and all ways we are distinctive from one another. We are all manifestations of your image. ‘We are bound together in an inescapable network of mutuality and tied to a single garment of destiny.’ You call us to action for your unending work of justice, peace, and love. Reassure us of your presence among us now. Awaken us to delight in our diversity, which glimpses the mosaic of your beauty. Strengthen us in your steadfast love. Transform despair and fatigue into hope and action. In the protection of your wings, carry us to find rest, renewal, strength and hope. We are inspired by the example of your modern prophet and Christian disciple, our brother, Martin. Thank you. Amen.”

How did you celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Did you honor his legacy in a way that recognized his example, his passion for equality, non-violence, and love for all humankind? Tell me about it!

Don’t Pretend


I’ve never been good
At pretending or faking
I give it away

Whatever it is
You can read it in my eyes
Eyes never tell lies

Romans 12:9.jpg

Genuinely love
Don’t pretend your affection
Sincerity wins

Love with a clean heart
Hold tightly to your loved ones
They are your pure joy!

 

Here we are today with our dear friend, holding tightly to one another, appreciating the pure joy of being together. Enjoying the opportunity to see them in their new home. Lovely, isn’t it? It was a beautiful day in southern California… the kind of blue sky, sunshiny day that drew us here. And the friendships maintained are true bonuses. No pretending necessary.

 

bobsarahjan-laq-1:19

Who do you love with a genuine affection? How do you delight and honor one another?

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