Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Bible Lessons’

Know Whose You Are


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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


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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.

 

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

Let’s Do It!


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Let’s Do It!

God has entrusted us
With treasures of great worth.
Hope and inspiration are ours.
God gives us each other – and Christ’s birth.

God gives us, by His grace,
The gifts of immeasurable treasure.
He gives us the abilities
To use these gifts without measure.

We don’t get to choose
What treasures we receive,
But we are allowed to choose
What we do or achieve.

To fulfill our life’s purpose
Or to ignore our responsibilities
Is a choice we each make.
What are your possibilities?

We can double our gifts
Or we can ignore or bury ’em.
We can share our gifts
Or we decide they’re too heavy to carry ’em.

We will be rewarded according
To the return to  God on our gifts.
Our talents are ours to use or
We’ll watch dismayed as our reward shifts.

God will take from the selfish
The wonders He placed in their hands.
He’ll rebuke the ungrateful ones
Who ignore His service demands.

So, are we giving back double
The abilities God generously gave us?
Do we accept them and honor Him
By using the gifts that can save us?

He gave us comfort so we
Can return comfort to others.
He gives us perfect directions
For how to use our gifts for our brothers.

So, let’s do it!
Amen?

Jan Beekman

-based on a sermon by Rev. Jean Johnson
-reflecting on Matt. 25:14-30
11/19/17

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