Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘Bible Lessons’

Embrace Reliance


In a world of self-reliance,
Where “I can do it” is king,
Being reliant on others
Is construed as a “weakness thing.”

But, as Christians we are taught
To rely not on our own strength.
“Lean not on your own understanding.”
God is within a prayer’s length.

In today’s prayerful message,
Our wonderful pastor, Mary Grace,
Talked about God’s will and love,
And seeking our Lord, face-to-face.


“God of forgiveness, hear our confession to you.
You have called us to excellence in compassion
and we fall short of your confidence in us.
You grant us grace and we abuse your gift.
You expect us to align our hearts with your will
and that our love will be genuine.
But we trust our own desires
rather than rely on your goodness.
We look after our own comfort
instead of our neighbor’s needs.
In Christ, have mercy on us
and forgive us our sins.
Amen”

As you know (if you’ve followed my blog for a couple of weeks or more), I take copious notes as I listen to the sermon through my fingertips each Sunday. Sometimes I translate what I am hearing into poetry. Today’s doesn’t rhyme. It’s free verse. But it poured out as I tried to capture the main ideas. First, look at the scripture on which the sermon was based.

Mark 5:21-43.

Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman

21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

36 Overhearing[a] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

The sermon title was
“Fools for Hoping”

“Secondhand Lions” was a movie with Caine and Duvall.
The fictional characters were replicas of my grandfather and uncle!
The film is wonderful and whimsical (don’t believe the critics).
Believe what you want to believe… and here are some essentials:
“What every boy needs to know” – a speech worth hearing…

  • People are basically good
  • Money and power mean nothing
  • True love never dies
  • Integrity means everything
  • Love, truth, and integrity are essential

True or not, those are worth believing!

We don’t see much love in the news these days.
The news is full of the ways we are really awful to one another.
Recent news revealed 751 unmarked graves of indigenous children
found this week in Canada. Children taken from their families
and forced to attend the former Marieval Indian Residential School.

Survivors, community honour 751 unmarked graves at Sask. residential school site with vigil

Seven-hundred and fifty-one lights
spanned the entirety of the unmarked graves
discovered on Cowessess First Nation
in southeast Saskatchewan
where a large group of people,
many wearing orange clothes,
gathered on Saturday night
in honour of the remains.

An elder in the community
who spoke at the vigil
likened the finding
of 751 unmarked graves 
to a scab that had been
“slowly healing”
being ripped off.

Not one of us is wholly good, so the natural inclination
When confronted with our sinful nature is despair.
Confession and repentance are the next steps, but
Where do we go after confession?

We need to define our beliefs and act on hope…
Even when it seems foolish to do so.
Be ready to be made fools for your integrity.
Stand up for what is right… stand up for Truth!

The woman in Mark 5 took the show!
Jesus asked, “Who touched me?”
The disciples laughed, “Everyone’s touching you!”
Jairus was impatient, “My daughter needs you!”

He wondered why Jesus was taking precious time
To deal with a woman with a 12 year infirmity.
Let’s assume the woman just happened to be
Outside the crowd that day and heard of Jesus.

She heard Jairus – with hopefulness in his voice –
Asking Jesus to help his dying daughter.
His hope inspired her hope as well.
Two lives were saved that day.

Our speech, our attitudes, and our actions
Can have a positive affect on others.
We need to consciously lean on God
With hope and trust and mindfulness.

Jairus could have listened to his tears,
But he stepped up and listened to hope.
His act of believing in the power of Christ to heal
Allowed other to respond in hope, too.

“Your faith has made you whole,” Jesus told
The woman whose hemorrhaging stopped.
The only way out is reaching out in the hope
That God’s love will make life better.

I’ll stay a fool for hope!



EMBRACE RELIANCE

Rely on God

I’ll stay a fool for God.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

Thanks for sharing a part of your Sunday with me.
I hope you have a wonderful week.



See you tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds
and Jan

Embrace Multiplying


Daily Guideposts 2021 devotional today inspired this blog topic. After I chose “Multiplying” as my EMBRACE theme today, every place I looked, I saw evidence of answers to my question, “But what needs to be multiplied?”

When you hear/read the word “multiplying” what comes to mind? I asked Bob that question this morning after my devotional time while we were chatting at the breakfast table.

“Increasing comes to mind. Numbers come to mind,” he answered.

What comes to your mind?

In her blog this morning, Marva Seaton wrote about multiplying. She didn’t use the word, but the concept definitely was there.



It’s the love that is multiplied!

You can read the rest of Marva’s blog by clicking here: marvaseatonMake a Difference In The World

The first devotional that inspired this theme was in Daily Guideposts. The scripture passage was:

John 15:12 (MSG)

Love one another the way I loved you.

The prayer at the bottom of the page for today, June 24th read:

“All loving God,
we thank You
for those You’ve graced us with,
who offer
encouragement,
inspiration,
and hope.

Amen”

Embrace the people
who share that encouragement
with you.

In my mind,
that’s what needs to be multiplied:
faith
(in God and the Holy Spirit in you),
self-confidence,
strength,
hope,
and
love.

You have to believe in yourself.

Multiply your self-confidence.

Multiply your prayers.
Multiply your requests to God.

He is there to listen,
to respond,
and to make you great!

You can live your dreams…

What you need is all in you!

You can multiply your power
if you understand
God’s power is in you!

Starting last week,
her first week on the job,
our new pastor,
Mary Grace Reynolds,
sent out a “Weekly Word.”
It will be e-mailed to us every Thursday.

In it, she gives the congregation
glimpses into what the week will hold.
She shares announcements
and then she shares a scripture
and her “take-away” from that passage.

Today’s “Weekly Word” message fit right in to
the “Multiplying” theme:

Yes,
Embrace Multiplying!

Multiply your faith.
Reach out and touch. Share.
Believe in the power. Take courage!
Multiply the love, the affection, the healing, the embracing.

My hugs are included in this post to you.
Have a beautiful day!

See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Borrowed Time


Another Massacre

Ten people were killed, including a veteran police officer, during a mass shooting Monday inside a grocery store in Boulder, Colo.

Another Senseless Loss of Lives

Another Sick Man with a Gun

Police officer among dead in Boulder, Colorado supermarket shooting

I could have been in that supermarket, in line to get my vaccine. You could have, too.

Many of us live as though there is no tomorrow. We simply have no concept of a world without us and yet each second the clock ticks away is one less second off our lives and as David said, “It is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

WE ARE LIVING ON BORROWED TIME

Psalms 90:10
The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span[a] is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.

James 4:13-14
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.


The average life span (world-wide) is less than 70 years but should we live beyond 70 years those extra years are seldom years of joy and happiness. Too many of our elderly in the USA are in nursing homes, separated from family, suffering from illness and loneliness.

If you are like Bob & me: in your 80s and relatively healthy, living independently in your home, count your blessings, praise God, and take no breath for granted!

Our whole existence is a gift from God. From the day of our birth until the day of our death we are on borrowed time.

What is the Meaning of Life?

One of the great questions of all time is, What is the meaning of life?

The Bible is filled with answers to that important question.

Eccl. 12:13
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Mark 12:30
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”

I am blessed to use my time to spread love, joy, peace, faith and unity. That is my blog’s purpose. In my retirement – in my borrowed time, I share my love with you and I gratefully worship my Creator, calling out God’s name. Sharing the name of Jesus and living with the Holy Spirit as my guide. I live with an attitude of gratitude and a response of generosity, forgiveness, obedience, and integrity. I know each day is a gift. Each breath could be my last.

WE NEED TO BE USING OUR TIME WISELY

Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

Jn. 6:28-29
28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

As Christians we are not to manage our time the same way the world manages theirs. We must make sure that we seek God in everything that we do. We are to organize our time and plan wisely for the future. There are time management apps that we can download on our phones that we should all take advantage of. If you’re old school a simple notepad or calendar will help.

We are to take care of the most important tasks first. We should pray for God to remove procrastination and idleness from our lives. We should seek to do God’s will daily.

GOOGLE Rick Warren’s 25 Important Bible verses… pray about each one.

EXAMPLES OF WASTING TIME

The Prodigal Son as described in Lk. 15:11-13 wasted his wealth, his strength, his youth and his energy on riotous living but mostly he wasted his time.

Samson wasted his strength and testimony with a woman who was of the enemies of God.

The rich farmer in Lk. 12:16-19 was preoccupied with the wealth of this world and gave no thought to the world to come.

Continually meditate on Scripture and allow the Lord to direct your life. Everything in this life will burn. Don’t put your focus on the world.

A woman who had been living a very high-pressured life moved with her family from the city to the country. The family had resolved to reduce the stresses and tensions that they had been under by entering into a gentler, easier life-style. A neighbor called on the mother one day and noticed something that had been pinned on the family bulletin board. She asked about it and the mother said, “Oh, that’s a poem that represents what our moving here was all about. The poem starts out, “Lord slow me down..” But I haven’t had time to read the rest of it.”

Before Tonight’s Sunset:

  • Thank God for another day on this earth
  • Pray for souls of the people whose lives were senselessly lost in yesterday’s massacre – for the families of the victims* – and for that sick man and his family
  • Pray for an end to hate
  • Pray for peace in our world
  • Reach out to someone and express your love and appreciation for him/her
  • Determine what you can do tomorrow to make this a better world – right where you are

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

God Bless You!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)


* Here is one of the victims – a father of seven children,
the youngest of whom is seven years old.

Dear Lord,
please put an end
to this senseless hate
and needless killings.
Help us just love one another!!
Amen

Embrace the Journey


“On the Road to Easter”
was the title of today’s sermon
by Rev. Steve Hundley
at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana

Come join me as we EMBRACE the JOURNEY

Lent is upon us and
Easter is only two weeks away.
Next week we’ll celebrate
Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem that day.

Jesus arrived in glory.
Then, we see Jesus carry
His cross to Golgotha.
We’ll journey to where they’ll bury
His body in the rocky tomb
Before Easter will finally dawn.
The journey is a painful one –
A time when His family thinks He’s gone.

It reminds me that life
Is a journey of great proportion
And we have markers along the way.
Some show where others made their fortune.
But few of us have monuments
Built to mark our stopping places –
Like Lewis and Clark’s various markers
And Jesus’ stopping spots – sacred spaces.

Our journey needs places of rest –
Places where we feel lifted up
The way Golgotha lifts us to Jesus
Knowing His death & resurrection gifted us.

Jesus spoke about His death
But the disciples didn’t want to hear.
They thought of death as an enemy.
Jesus said death means resurrection’s near.

Like a seed buried in the ground,
We must die and be buried to rise.
Jesus told His disciples He’d draw
The world to Himself with words so wise.

He spoke of His death as if
He had already died. He said
His death would serve God’s purpose.
His impact continues to grow – He is not dead!

As Easter approaches, we look
At the cross and make our way
To the Light; it illumines our path
To His miracle that happened Easter Day.

Hallelujah! Easter is coming!
Embrace the Journey.
Amen

Morning’s Comin’
We can make it though the Night!

Thanks for joining me on JanBeek today.
Have a beautiful Sunday afternoon/evening.

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Vision


I will be the rock of your salvation
In the hour of your deepest need,
You’ll find that I am here.
I am the God who sees.

I will lift you up again.
I will reveal and heal.
No need to feel despair.
I am the God who sees.

Embrace Vision.
Glory, glory Hallelujah!
Every knee will bow to Me.
I am the God who sees.

I see you.
Believe.

Embrace Obedience


Obedience
First listen
Learn to absorb
Take it all in
Heed

We all know what it means to be obedient, right? Listen, absorb, heed…
Did you hear any of these expressions when you were growing up?

“If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about!”

“Why?? Because I said so, that’s why!”

Photo by Joshua Santos on Pexels.com

“Yours is not to question why. Yours is just to do or die!”

Photo by Nelly Aran on Pexels.com

Where did those images of obedience come from? Certainly not from a Loving Father.

Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”Luke 11:28


“If only you had paid attention to My commandments!
Then your well-being would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”
Isaiah 48:18

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com


“If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land”
Isaiah 1:19

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com


“And we are witnesses of these things;
and so is the Holy Spirit,
whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
Acts 5:32

Who or What to Obey?

Obedience
Differs with
Who you obey
Make it “The Word”
God

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com


Samuel said,
“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.”
1 Samuel 15:22

To heed God’s Word
Is better than honey
Better than palaces
Better than money

To heed God’s voice
As He whispers in your ear
Is to hear His angels speaking
And to cherish what you hear

Obedience to the teachings
Of wise men and women, too
Is the road successful people
Travel daily. How about you?

Are you tuning in to wisdom
Are you listening really well?
If so, then your obedience
Will show – others will tell.

They’ll tell of your goodness.
They’ll see what brings you peace
And they’ll want to have a share
In the joy that will not cease.


“But this is what I commanded them, saying,
‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God,
and you will be My people;
and you will walk in all the way
which I command you,
that it may be well with you.’
Jeremiah 7:23

When we live in obedience,
We can sing with the best of them:
It is well with my soul –
And we can can pray for the rest of them!

Embrace Obedience!
Easter is coming… when we set aside time
To thank our God for sending the Perfect Example
Of what Obedience – even to the cross – looks like.

Praise God!
Hear – Heed -Obey!

Jesus – simple, yet complex

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I pray my Embrace series is encouraging you.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Common Sense


Proverbs 16:22

“Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.”

No one wants to be thought a fool.
No one wants to be seen as someone who lacks common sense.
When we hear stories about foolish people,
we say to ourselves,
“Thank God that’s not me!
I’d never build a house on the sand!”

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

What is our modern day “House on the Sand” story?
Can you think of a typical story that demonstrates
lack of common sense in today’s world?

Not just the foolish MAN!!
What a about those spendthrift women?

Today is the day President Biden signed an “American Rescue Plan” –
A stimulus package to the tune of 1.9 trillion dollars. Wow!
Hopefully it will create the millions of jobs promised
And give struggling lower-middle class and poor families a future.
Does it make sense?

We need to renew our economy, no doubt about it.
How do we find the “light in the darkness”?
Are the acts of getting checks out and getting the vaccine out
And into people’s arms steps in the right direction?
Seems sensible to some – but not all!

Total COVID-19 deaths in the USA as of today: 527,726.
Something needs to be done… no doubt about it.
Are we on a sensible path to end the pandemic?
Mobilizing thousand of vaccinators and creating new places –
That’s sensible.

President Biden reminded us of the things we couldn’t do.
He talked about the ways we have been divided as a country.
His reminder of the way people are walking in fear today
Was not news to any of us. We see and hear it every day.
Divisions are not sensible!

When will things get back to “normal”? What’s that?
What will “normal” look like when we come to our senses?
Will we have learned the lessons this pandemic
May have been sent to this earth to teach us?
Let’s be sensible.

More vaccines manufactured is in the future,
New tools to make it easier to get the vaccines,
Confidence in the safety of the vaccines –
Practicing CDC guidelines and being unified….
That’s good common sense.

But just as I was writing this, someone I love
Wrote to me and said she would not be getting
Her vaccine and neither will her husband.
Why not? What is the sense in the refusal?
Is my common sense and hers the same?

Seems to me that people who refuse
To wear a mask or get themselves vaccinated
Are living selfishly for themselves…
Their purpose is not to protect others.
Is that common sense?

Today is the one year anniversary
Of this COVID-19 pandemic’s announcement.
Sadly our nation and world are forever changed.
We have lost way too many dear friends.
It makes no sense.

Let’s build our future on the solid rock
Of unified common sense and faith in our democracy.
Let’s plan tomorrow with hopes and dreams
That address how much we need each other.
Embrace common sense!

Thanks for wearing a mask!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek .
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Questioning


Embrace Questioning!
Do we embrace all questions?
Like, “Are you stupid?”

No, it’s not questions,
But the act of questioning
That deserves embrace.

Not all questions are
Developed with pure motives.
Embrace those that are!

Embrace a pure heart
Full of inquisitiveness.
Ask because you care.

When you meet someone
Ask their name and remember –
Use it lovingly.

Ask about their life.
Listen with sincere interest.
Listening’s a gift.

Questioning’s one thing;
Listening is another.
They go hand in hand.

When I think of questioning with a pure motive and listening with an open heart, I think of Job. Even if you are not a Christian, seeped in the Bible stories, you have heard the expression, “The patience of Job.” (That’s pronounced Jobe… not job, like Steve Jobs, the American business magnate). What made the prophet, Job, come to mind?

Job is presented in the Bible as a good and prosperous family man who is beset by Satan with God‘s permission with horrendous disasters that take away all that he holds dear, including his children, his health, and his property. He struggles to understand his situation and begins a search for the answers to his difficulties. Searching for answers involves questioning. He does so without condemning God. He maintains his trust in God to ultimately work for his good – even when he is in the worst of his turmoil.

What a desolate looking man!
What must he be saying to God?
What questions would you be asking?

What does Job ask God?
“He demands answers from God Himself. Job wants to know why bad things happen to good people. He knows it’s not right, and will not accept the saccharine answers of his friends.”

God, “Why Have You Made Me Your Target”? (Job 7:20)

God explains to Job that to us mere mortals sometimes there are no words—no rationalizations—that can make sense of the unhappiness we endure.

Trauma happens and we have to accept it. Explanations may make us feel better, but they mislead. Ultimately, Job, like all of us, must endure suffering not knowing why … or if the question even counts.

Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.

The Book of Job asks “why good people suffer,” but never actually answers the question. What it does do, is correct misconceptions about why we suffer. The truth of this wonderful tale is that man can’t know everything. 

Again, let me repeat, “Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.”

How does this story relate to your life and mine?
Have you ever questioned why life was
throwing stones at you that you didn’t deserve?

Or have you questioned why you didn’t get a job that you knew you deserved?

This happened recently to my son. He applied for a job that he knew he was qualified for. Another person was chosen instead. He got a form letter of rejection. Instead of falling into a fit of depression or raging in disbelief, he called the person who did get the job and congratulated her. He asked if there was anything he could do to support her in her assignment – and he asked her to keep an eye out in case she saw a position in the future for which she thought he might be a good fit.

Within a day, he received a call back and an extension of his responsibilities was offered along with a significant pay raise.

Now, I’m not suggesting that every time you ask the right questions with the right motive, you’ll get a pay raise!

No, it’s not that simple. But, what embracing questioning does is it changes your focus. The right questions – in the right spirit – make the difference between misery and openness. The difference between depression and expression. The difference between pessimism and positivity.

Embrace a pure heart
Full of inquisitiveness.
Ask because you care.

Don’t question, “Why you?”
Instead ask, “What can I do?”
“Can I be of any help?”

Your attitude counts.
Humility is the key.
Embrace questioning!

My son posted this meme
the day before his interview.

God is good.
All the time!
Even to the Jobs of this world!
Be patient in love.
Your pay raise is coming!!

Hah!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Got any questions??
See ya tomorrow.

When I first told my family…


We were having one of my favorite meals, spaghetti with meat sauce, when I first told my family that I had broken up with my fiance’. My dad nearly choked on his mouthful. My mom shoved her plate of spaghetti half-way across the table!

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

To this day, I can’t eat spaghetti with meat sauce without remembering that day.

My fiance’ and I had been engaged for about a year. He was in the army, stationed in Germany. I was a senior in college, missing the social life, trying to remain true to my engagement. I wanted to attend the school’s dances and other social functions. It was hard!

Rather than being untrue to my boyfriend who was so far away (we had not seen each other in six months), I broke off with him. Obviously, my parents were devastated. Especially when they learned the guy I wanted to date was a divorce’.

“Why buy a used car when you can have a new one?” my dad finally spoke. Then he got up and walked out of the room. (Yes, Dad was a man of few words, but a list of prejudices a mile long!)

Mom followed him, without speaking a word. That was so unlike her.

Proverbs 6: 20-23

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. 21 Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. 23 For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.

The man I broke up with was from a family very much like my own. He grew up in the same area I did. We shared common roots. My parent and his got along wonderfully. The man I wanted to date was nine years older than I. I won’t get into why he was so attractive to me, but suffice to say, my parents’ dismay touched me deeply.

They let me have my “fling.” They did not bad-mouth my new friend. But when my ex-boyfriend came home on leave, they invited him over. When I returned home from college that weekend, he was there. I realized how much I loved him. That love has carried us through 58 years of marriage. Not always perfect, not always blissful, but always respectful, and always knitted together in prayer, faith in God, and common purpose. The love has grown as years passed – and I am grateful every day for my parents’ wisdom.

Put a plate of spaghetti and meatballs in front of me. I can taste the kindness of my parents in every meatball. I can hear my mom’s silence and feel her prayers in every slurp of pasta. I feel my dad’s concern about age differences and divorce. I keep their love in my heart with every Italian meal! God bless ’em!!

Today at d’Verse we are trying a new form of poetry. Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sense leads to automatic, involuntary experiences of a second one.   There are over 80 types of synesthesia described by science.   Nearly every combination of sensory experiences or cognitive concepts is possible.

Seeing music as colors is one form of synesthesia. Perceiving letters as personalities is another one, or seeing numbers in color. Even hearing colors or touching smells.

How about tasting memories?
Do you have any of those?

Photo by Ali Nafezarefi on Pexels.com

This post is a combination prompt: 1) My Madison Valley Writers’ Group Prompt was the title of the blog, and 2) the d’Verse prompt informed the style and content. It’s not poetry… but it may qualify as Synesthesia. What do you think?

My Italian Daddy and me

See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting
JanBeek

Where Will You Spend Eternity?


Today’s sermon message by our guest pastor, Rev. Phil Taylen at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana, focused on the theological basis for our assurance of Eternity in Heaven.

It was timely, especially given the fact that this is the week my only sibling, my sister Sally, went to her eternal home.

If you die today, do you know where you’re going from here?

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on Pexels.com

Is it Hell or a Black Hole?

My guess is that the choice is pretty clear. I was looking for a picture of a black hole… because some people believe this is it! We’re here and then we’re nowhere. A black hole… that’s where they think they’re going. They don’t believe there is a place called Hell where they will burn in the fires of an afterlife separated from God.

Or is it Heaven?

Rev. Phil Taylen’s sermon was titled, “Soaring with Eagles.” He began with that question, “Where Will You Spend Eternity?” His answer was part of a movement he called “The Evangelism Explosion.” Even though he grew up in the Presbyterian Church, he was ordained by an Evangelical Ministry – and his sermon lecture today definitely got down to the basics!

The Bible

B asic
I nstructions
B efore
L eaving
E arth

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Heaven by Grace

G od’s
R iches
A t
C hrist’s
E xpense

Grace is God’s Unmerited Favor poured out on us.
Grace can’t be earned or deserved.
Heaven is a free gift.

He cited Ephesians 2: 8-9 as further proof of the point he was teaching and preaching:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
Not of works,
lest any man should boast.”

Not By Man

Good works are important, but they will not save us.

I am a sinner.
I can’t save myself.

He cited John 8:24 to prove his message that man cannot save himself:

“Unless you believe that
I am who I claim to be,
you will die in your sins.”

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Only God

God gave us basic instructions to live by before leaving earth.

God is Love.
God is just and righteous.

In the Bible, our instruction book, God told us:

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God. …

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Heaven Through Christ

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Jesus Christ is God.

Faith is Belief

Faith is the Connector.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I don’t see the whole staircase. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Only Begotten Son, but I do not believe God will send all the Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists to Hell because they do not share my belief in Jesus as a part of the Trinity.

I believe God is bigger than religion. I believe God is omnipotent. I believe God knows all people – and He sees them through His eyes, not mine. That may make me a non-believer in some evangelical eyes. But I believe God is more inclusive than we can fathom.

I find enormous comfort in my faith – my belief in our Lord Jesus Christ – and I want to share that comfort and love with all I meet. I believe 2 Cor. 1:3-5 as quoted below:

Do you believe in Christ?

Thanks for visiting today.
Have a Blessed Sunday.
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

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