Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Bible’

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

Don’t Be Discouraged


Don’t Be Discouraged

Ps. 16:11

“You have made known to me

The path of life;

You will fill me with

Joy in your presence,

With eternal pleasures…”


Do not allow discouragement

To settle into your bones;

Face it, conquer it, and

Replace it with Hope.

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Set your net to the other side of the boat.

Catch plentifully the colorful fish waiting there.

Discouragement is a powerful destructive force.

We have the power to choose a different response.

With the Father’s help,

We can get through seasons of discouragement,

in spite of living in a flawed world as flawed people.

Face it. Conquer it. Replace it with HOPE.

Turn to God who turns to you

And lifts your spirits, putting your life back on track.

He loves you. He cares. Believe. Trust.

Do not be discouraged. Pray – and know

I’m praying for you, too!

 

person throwing fish net while standing on boat

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

What have you caught with your positivity lately?

Thanks, dear WP friends, for visiting.
Have a productive day.

Topo Photography
This photo was supposed to be just above the phrase,
“Do not let discouragement settle into your bones.”
Instead, with this new block editor, it keeps showing up down here.
I can’t figure out how to get things to go where I want them
with this new block editor program.
But I will not let it master me.
I will not be discouraged!
Tenacity, Jan, Tenacity!!!

See ya later!

Look Beyond!


Look Beyond!

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Here are my sermon notes from the message
delivered by Pastor Steve Hundley
today at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church

He titled it “The Bible Says”
and he had lots of stories about
how people use Bible verses
to prove their varying/opposing opinions

 

Sometimes people of God
Seem bent to disagree;
They argue and they point fingers.
Seems rather strange to me.

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Infighting creates doubts.
Why does it have to be?
Why do we let issues divide us?
Why can’t love define you and me?

Why is there dissension
Among the people of Christ
Why can’t we pray and obey
And treat each other nice?

There always has been fighting
Because issues raise their head
And divisions seems to reign.
Why can’t we just love instead?

We often disagree with others
Because we’re really at odd (that’s poetic license)
With ourselves – our own beliefs.
Why can’t we focus on our constant God?

God’s spirit is poured out
On the hearts of ALL folks.
Why do we create divisions
And make fun of others with jokes?

Why refuse to make the round trip
From our mind to our heart?
Our heart knows the love of God.
When will our minds know? Let’s start!

Let’s celebrate diversity –
And stop trying to point blame.
Let’s look beyond our differences;
Let’s praise and worship in God’s name.

Amen?

 

Just Love One Another
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See ya tomorrow

Project Peace


Project Peace

World Peace is illusive.
Can it ever be attained?
What role do I play in it?
Is my attitude engrained?

Do I project Attitude Peace?
Am I carrying my load?
Today’s sermon told me
It’s a very illusive road.

woman sitting in grey fur sofa

Rev. Jean Johnson’s sermon topic:
“God Bless This House with Peace”
based on Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20

Violence against older adults
Is on the rise; peace gunned
Down in constant upheavels –
Headlines leave us stunned.

God entrusts us with
The lives others. Take part
In providing care for
The deeper issue: the human heart.

We need a change of heart.
We need a heart of peace.
God asks us to spread
His peace to all – – – Release!

We need to reorient
Our idea of how peace acts.
We need to be willing
To understand the facts.

Peace is not an ideal
To be attained from others.
It is not something given
By our sisters and our brothers.

We do not have the power
To change the hearts of others.
We each must choose our peace,
Not the hate that smothers.

The struggle for peace
Is not between me and thee.
It is a face in the mirror;
The face of peace I see.

Do I regard the needs
Of others as great as my own?
Do I forgive 70 x 7?
And love those with hearts of stone?

Do I acknowledge the value
Of each human being?
Do I give unconditionally?
Do I love those who’re disagreeing?

Do I set aside old baggage
And see others free and clear?
Or do I carry resentment,
And prejudge those ever near?

God asks us to bring peace
With us wherever we go.
Work to create a change of heart.
Offer peace to all you know.

Peace to you, my friends.
I hope you’re having a peaceful Sunday.

Way to go, FIFA, USA Soccer Gals!!
You’re awesome!!

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See you tomorrow.

 

Why Can’t We Just LOVE?


Why can’t we JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER?

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LOVING ONE ANOTHER IS A PERSONAL ISSUE IN MY FAMILY – AND YOURS, TOO.

My grandson fell in love with Dahlia (not her real name … time to protect the innocent). They produced this darling baby. Now Dahlia has kicked him out.

Why can’t we just love one another?

Why do we tug at each other and take sides
and try to pull one another over to our side?
Why can’t we try harder to understand
before we try to be understood?

Why can’t we just LOVE ONE ANOTHER?

action active activity adult

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Why do we wage war against one another?

Why can’t we JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER?

I had an ah-hah moment this morning as I was doing my Bible Study and reading the devotionals. In Touch magazine’s topic yesterday was “God’s Perspective on War.”

Charles Stanley wrote, “War is a very controversial subject in both the world and the church…” and then he asked the question, “What does the Lord think about war?” 
He continued by trying to answer his own question, using Romans 13:1-4 as a springboard.

Here is Romans 13: 1-2a –  “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those who exist have been instructed by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorites resists what God has appointed…”

He said wars are waged to protect citizens against evil.

 

But, is every ruler appointed and instructed by God? I would question that. If they are, in fact, instructed by God, are they listening? Are they following God’s instruction?

Do wars over land rights have anything to do with protecting citizens’ lives? The governments send its citizens into battle knowing many will be killed!

God bless our veterans! I guess it was July 4th and its festivities – honoring our war veterans that got me thinking on this subject.

IMMIGRATION AND CIVIL RIGHTS

Pediatricians shared pictures drawn by migrant children after being released from ⁦US custody

A drawing by children recently released depicting their time spent in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody.

A drawing by children recently released depicting their time spent in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. Photograph: Handout ./Reuters

Is God instructing Donald Trump to take chidren from their parents, lock them in cages, give them aluminum blankets, make them sleep on a cold floor,  and provide inadequate medical care for them? It’s heart-breaking!!!

Yes, I know – this is a controversial, multi-faceted problem.  But, it just can’t be right!

Governments were established as a means of promoting good and restraining (stopping, if possible) evil. I am convinced that God’s goal is the destruction of wickedness, NOT THE DESTRUCION OF PEOPLE.

Why can’t we JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER?

When governments condone immorality, fuel the rich, and oppress the poor, then God allows war for the sake of the innocent.

In Luke 6:27-31, the Bible teaches us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and bless those who curse us. BUT, as Charles Stanley pointed out in today’s devotional in In Touch magazine, “Jesus was speaking about personal conflicts, not national wars.” He continued by reminding us we need to “distinquish between commands issued to nations and instructions given to individuals.”

God allows governments to wage wars for the protection of those being harmed. The job of the government is to protect people.

What would have happened if no government had stepped in to stop Hitler?

Where in our world today do we see people being harmed by the government? Caged? Scorned? Marginalized? We don’t have to look very far!

When I put the word “abuse” in the free photo library search, look what I got:

 

When I put the word “protect” in, this image popped up:

abstract barbed wire black white black and white

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Immigration Policy

Is this what the immigration policy has boiled down to? A wall?

Is this how we step forward to protect people in the world who are forced out of their homes and risking their lives to seek asylum in a safer place?

No, we can’t take in thousands of people who need protection from other countries. We need to limit immigration/ asylum seekers and enforce our limits. But, what is the root cause? What are the conditions that are forcing these families out of their native lands?

How can we look for ways to protect our own people and treat others with love?

There is no easy solution to the abuse and marginalization, the hunger and the threats to life in this world. JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER sounds like pie in the sky – Pollyanna thinking.

But LOVE is the answer! Right and Truth must ultimately prevail.

We must stand up/ speak up/work for/pray for/hope for/ and believe in PEACE.

It is not ours individually to take our own revenge. We will never experience inner peace if we battle individuals who wrong us. Our job is to forgive, to love, and to work together to make our own government more responsive to the needs of its citizens and the right to a peaceful life for us all.

I do dream of a world with no more war. Don’t you?

LET’S JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

SEE YOU TOMORROW!

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Where Are You Headed?


Headed Toward Jerusalem

woman taking pictures of ruins

Photo by Haley Black on Pexels.com

 

Today’s sermon topic was “Headed Toward Jerusalem.” It was based on the story in Luke 9:51-62 in which Jesus, headed toward Jerusalem, sent His disciples ahead to Samaria to prepare a place for Him to stay the night. Knowing Jesus’ destination was Jerusalem, the Samaritans refused to welcome Him into their city.

Offended by the rejection, the disciples, James and John, asked Jesus if He would like to send fire down on the Samaritans and destroy their city. Jesus rebuked the disciples for their hard-heartedness and attitude of retribution. He and His disciples simply moved on to Jerusalem.

Here are my sermon notes
that I took as I listened carefully
to what Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana

had to say about this scripture.

 

Where Are You Headed?

We’re all headed somewhere.
Where is your face headed?
What values guide and direct you
– and what destination is dreaded?

What life is truly worth living?
How do you live with purpose in love?
“Jerusalem” is a metaphor for
The place that fits you like a glove.

It’s a metaphor for traveling
To where you’re meant to be.
It’s being who you were meant to be
And facing the direction of Eternity.

We are pulled in different directions.
Our tendency is much like James and John
Who wanted to call fire on those
Who rejected Jesus: We want enemies gone!

But Jesus rebuked the disciples.
He rejected their hardness of heart.
Keep your eyes on your destination.
Don’t let detractors pull us apart.

“Jerusalem” is a metaphor for peace.
What do we do about violent actions?
“Jerusalem” is about the Truth of God.
What do we do about divided factions?

We need to wrestle with these questions
And struggle for clarification.
There are no easy answers.
Today’s world creates chaos and confusion.

What does it mean to head
Toward “Jerusalem” and let go
Of security and face change?
Transformation is a place we must know.

“Jerusalem” is about the love of Christ.
It’s letting go of the things that bind us
To this world of hate and divisions.
It’s turning our faces toward Christian kindness.

Join me, OKAY?
Let’s head toward or own “Jerusalem.”

What are the things that bind you
to the place you are,
and keep you from heading
toward YOUR “Jerusalem”??

heart of love
Have a beautiful Sunday.
See ya tomorrow!

God’s Handiwork


God’s Handiwork

 

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

What good work has God prepared for you to do today?

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Each day as I pray and meditate, read and study Scripture, and enjoy a plethora of devotionals, I ask God,

  • What do You want me to do today?
  • Who do You want me to meet?
  • What do You want me to say?
  • How can I reflect Your love?

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I plan my day before I leave and walk down the circular staircase into the “real world.”

stairs down

BUT, I remain open to God’s nudges and His leading…

mountains nature arrow guide

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Pexels.com

I know God has prepared good works for me to do today. What are they?

And what do you think He has planned for you??

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Thanks for visiting.

Leave me a comment about your
plans for Good Works today, okay?

See you tomorrow.

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