Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Eternity’

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?

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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

What a Friend!


Today I received in my “Messages” a picture of a dear friend who is fighting cancer. She is in a hospital bed at home. Her family is gathered around and her BFF (best friend forever) is on her way to be at her bedside. My heart goes out to the BFF and to my friend’s husband and children. Seeing a friend preparing to leave this earth is soooo hard!

But, my dear friend is a devoted Christian, and she knows where she is headed. She does not fear death, because she has a friend in Jesus – and she believes in God and His promises. It’s comforting to know where you will spend eternity. It’s just hard on those left behind.

Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church was the perfect topic for this day when my heart is aching because my dear friend and her family are suffering.

Today we had a guest minister, Phil Taylen. Here are my

Sermon Notes on: “Friendship Sharing”

Friendship is a special thing.
In it we all are connected.
In the New Testament, we see how
In God’s friendship, we all are protected.

The best part of friendship is
Sharing with each other the Good News,
Asking one another and telling them
Of how Jesus opens new views.

God cares about our friendship.
He opens His arms to you.
Through Christ, He came to show us
How to love as He loves: True.

As believers, we need YES faces;
Our countenance should show Trust.
God’s light should shine through us.
Radiate His love; We MUST!

To communicate God’s love
We must be trustworthy and fair.
We must share our eternal vision,
And tell our friends we’ll all be there!*

(*there is our eternal home
with Christ and one another)

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Share the simplicity of scripture,
Be sure the promise of God is heard.
He gave His only begotten Son
To save our souls. Believe His Word!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus!

Lean on Him and His promises.
Know that when your Christian friends
Leave this earth, they are going
To heaven … where eternal life never ends.

See you “there,” my friends!

See ya tomorrow.

Pray for my friend, Gloria, will you?
And I pray for you…
that you have faith in His promises, too.
Love ya,
JanBeek

If I Die This Afternoon…


No one can ever say it all.
What if I die this afternoon?
What words will die with me
That I should have shared at noon?

What words will die with me
That I might have said too late?
Is there a right time for silence –
A perfect time for words to wait?

Have I left unspoken affirmations
That should have been shared?
Have I failed to let folks know
How very much I cared?

If I die this afternoon,
I want you to be sure and know
That my love for you and God are deep.
I hope the depths of it will glow.

I hope my unwavering faith
Was an inspiration to you,
And my prayers were comforting
When you were feeling blue.

If I die this afternoon,
May you smile when you think
Of the things I did so sweet –
And forget the things that stink!

May my words on blogs and cards
Live on in your loving hearts,
And keep you remembering how
Reaching out’s where loving starts.

If I die this afternoon,
Take care of my dear Bob.
He needs me to help him dress,
And do any technology job!

Take care of my TazE, too.
She relies on me for her meals.
I spoil her with hamburger
And know just how she feels.

Let my blogging friends know
That JanBeek will no longer send.
Give them this last post,
“Jan’s gone to her eternal end.”

If I die this afternoon,
Be sure to help it to be true:
As folks celebrated my birth,
They’ll cheer my departure, too.

They won’t cry that I have left.
Don’t mourn and feel bad –
Know that I am in Heaven
Reunited with Mom and Dad.

Know that I will be at the gate
To greet you when you ascend.
And live your life with dreams
Unfulfilled until the very end.

Never stop dreaming big,
As Bob Goff wrote in his book.
Live fully each day you’re here,
With new thoughts and delights to cook.

If I die this afternoon,
Let Bob know it’s alright
To find another love in life –
Someone to hug and hold him tight.

Tell my kids that I always did
My best to leave a loving legacy.
I pray they’ll smile more than frown
When things come up to remember me.

Remember my smile!

But of course, the chances that I am going to die this afternoon are slim. I am a healthy 81-year-old who expects to live happily to celebrate my 100th birthday, BUT…

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.

Isaac Asimov
Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

A post about quotes on “The Art of Blogging” yesterday inspired my poem. Cristian posted it and several other good quotes on Cristian Mihaihttps://artofblogging.net/2020/09/23/writing-quotes-to-inspire-you-to-punch-the-damn-keys/

What inspires your writing?

I have an old faded cardboard with poems on it posted inside my kitchen cabinet door. They are poems gathered by my mom in 1936, the year she & Dad married – and she moved from her family in Washington to live the rest of her 89 years in California. She had most of those poems memorized.

One of my favorites reads:

“When I quit this mortal shore,
And mosey round the earth no more,
Don’t weep, don’t sigh, don’t sob –
I may have struck a better job.

Don’t go and buy a large bouquet
For which you’ll find it hard to pay,
Don’t mope around and feel all blue –
I may be better off than you.

Don’t tell the folks I was a saint
Or any old thing that I ain’t.
If you have jam like that to spread,
Please hand it out before I’m dead.

If you have roses, bless your soul,
Just pin one in my buttonhole,
While I’m alive and well today.
Don’t wait until I’ve gone away.”

Poet unknown

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What would you want people to remember about you if your doctor told you your days are numbered? All of ours are, you know.

By God’s Grace,
I’ll see you tomorrow.

Hugs,
JanBeek

Another Angel in Heaven


Phyllis Wasick and me –
about 10 years ago

The older we get,
The more ready we must be
For our angel friends
To leave you and me.

They ascend to heaven
Where loved ones wait
To greet them in song
At the pearly gate.

Today’s selfie

When our hair turns silver
And wrinkles show our age,
We have to be ready
To turn the eternal page.

The eighties are great;
It’s a decade of reflection
And a time to appreciate
Every earthly connection.

But it also is a time
When we look at this season
As the winter of our years,
And we search for life’s reason.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

We look at life differently
Than we did in our teens.
We see through our experience
What life is – what purpose means.

It’s not about what we can get,
Or what riches we acquire.
It’s about the love we give
To the people we admire.

It’s about reaching out to strangers
Who are falling between the crack.
It’s about filling their needs –
Helping give the things they lack.

Photo by Luis Dalvan on Pexels.com

Reaching up in prayer and praise
I thank the Lord for all His gifts.
As long as I have life and breath,
I’ll reach out to give others lifts.

I hope you’ll use your senior years
To do the same – to spread your love –
Because we are blessed to be a blessing.
For every day, I thank. God above.

My Prayer for You

When your time comes
To say good-bye to earth,
May the angels welcome you
And your friends rejoice at your New Birth!
Amen

Welcome to Heaven, Phyllis.
I miss you here…
But I rejoice at your Eternal Reunion.
May all who were blessed by your presence
And who entered the pearly gates before you did
Be there to welcome you HOME.
God bless you!
Keep the light on!

Love,
JanBeek

Ace the Course


Ace the Course

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Happy Sunday, my friends. Did you get a chance to go to church? Our sermon today at Madison Valley Presbyterian in Ennis, MT was based on the Good Samaritan story in Luke 10:25-37 and the questions, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” and “Who is my neighbor?”

You all know the story of the Good Samaritan, so you may be wondering as I did, “How can there be a new twist on this old scripture lesson?”

Well, these are my poetic notes as I listened and recorded my “Take-aways” from today’s sermon, titled “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

ACE THE COURSE

What do I have to do
To ace the course?
Depends on the
Course, of course!

What do I have to do
To get to Heaven?
Ah, that course requires
Forgiveness – more than 70×7.

What do I have to do
To forgive and to love
As was demonstrated
By our Lord above?

I need to love
My neighbors ALL.
Who are my neighbors?
Whom should I call?

Call on the needy.
Call on the one in the ditch.
Call on the leper –
Help him scratch his itch!

Call on the lowly,
The good-for-nothing guys.
Don’t limit your call
To the powerful and wise.

Call on the lazy ones.
Call on the poor of heart.
Call on the merciless –
That’s the place to start.

If you wanna ACE
The course to Eternity,
You gotta reach out
And do good to ALL for FREE.

Don’t reach out for gain.
Don’t expect your reward to start.
You’re in this course to gain
An A+ with your loving heart!

BEE the LOVE

See ya tomorrow.

See ya tomorrow.

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!

Wit & Wisdom


Wit & Wisdom

My friend, Sue, shared with me this morning the page below from a Hallmark gift book of collected saying, quotes, short stories, titled Wit & Wisdom of Women.

womens-wit-wisdom.jpeg

Today is the day my friend, Carol,
(I wrote about her earlier in  My Friend, Carol)
made her journey over the “Rainbow Bridge”
to her Eternal Home.

When Sue read this page to me, I told her,
“That perfectly describes my friend, Carol.
Her 95 years on this earth were a testimony to kindness,
strength, courage, wisdom and wit,
as well as her impact on others,

and her ability to connect in very profound ways.”

Rest in Peace, dear Carol.
You certainly brought a “special touch
that no other person has.”

You will be missed here on earth,
but your legacy will live on
in each of us who had the privilege of
knowing and loving you.

IMG_1605

My prayers and condolences go out to your family.
They were certainly blessed to have you as their mother/grandmother!

God bless them.

pexels-photo-887349-1-e1559090752497.jpg
See you in Tomorrow Land!

Wisdom Lives On


Do the best.jpg

Maya Angelou
Was our Poet Laureate
Her wisdom lives on

Today’s Good Friday
A day to remember Christ
Gave more than His best

He gave us His all
That we’d have Eternity
There’s no greater gift

Live in His wisdom
Accept His wonderful grace
Now we know better

Boneheaded Decisions


Ecclesiastes

Assures us in chapter seven

Faith flows eternal

If faith’s eternal,

Shouldn’t my faith lead me straight?

Why do I wander?
.

Are you always right?

All your decisions are great?

You’re delusional!
.

All of us at times

Make boneheaded decisions.

Thank God for His Grace!
.

All the rivers flow

Into the eternal sea,

Yet it never fills.
.

My river of faith

Is evolving to follow –

Not because of me
.

God’s got me covered

In spite of my boneheaded

Circuitous routes.
.

Lord, lead me into

Your sweet everlasting sea;

Guide my faith river.

aerial photography of water beside forest during golden hour

Amen

Fear of Death?


Are you afraid of death?

img_5416

“Nope!” my friend answered with assurance.

Then yesterday, I had an ultrasound. The radiologist not only took a million pictures, but then she called in her senior partner and asked for her assistance.

Oh my! What were they seeing? How many angles did the image need?

By the way, it was my kidneys and bladder areas, not something less complicated – like my hand.

Later in the afternoon I received a call from the medical center. It didn’t surprise me when they asked me to schedule an appointment ASAP for an MRI. They needed a more definitive picture of whatever is in there. Something that’s not supposed to be, of course.

skeleton body

Would your mind do what my mind did under the circumstances?

Would the big “C” word enter your mind? And would you contemplate your own mortality?

I did – and I am!

When I go to the medical center tomorrow and they receive the MRI results, and they say, “Your days are numbered. You are full of cancer,” would I panic?

No!

Why not? Well, all our days are numbered, aren’t they? Nobody’s going to get out of here alive.

Heavenly Sky

 

But, would I like to live a healthy 100 years
and then die peacefully and unexpectedly
in my sleep one night?

Sleeping couple

You bet!!

But, what are the chances? Pretty slim!

However, in today’s world, a person who has enjoyed good health and is living a healthy life style should expect to live at least into his/her 80’s. Don’t you agree?

Old Lady

After all, my parents lived into their late 80s, and so did both my in-laws. Genetically and socially, I expect to do the same. Wait, though…  I’m not quite 80 yet.

How would I feel about an eminent death sentence?

How would YOU feel? Have you faced such a challenge and overcome it?

My husband, Bob, was diagnosed with prostate cancer about a dozen years ago.

First step: We called my older cousin who is a Prostate Cancer Survivor “Poster Child.” We received tips from him. He recommended we get on line and learn everything we could about the disease and the treatment options. Go to renowned specialists (he named two). Get a second opinion. Keep a positive outlook. Pray. Share. Ask friends and family to pray with you. Seek professional advice. Research your options. Be your own best advocate. Remain positive.”

Second step: We did all those things, and Bob chose cryotherapy – he had his prostate frozen – and he is “in remission.” Cancer free – and living the “Golden Years” with me!

If I should learn that my days are short, I would miss my loved ones here on earth, of course. But would I be afraid of dying? As my friend said when I asked him that question, I can emphatically say, “Nope!”

I know where I’m going. I know my Redeemer lives and has a place reserved for me in Heaven. And, I pray you BELIEVE, too. Then, we can be assured we will see each other in Paradise and we will enjoy eternal joy together.

Beautiful sky

Flying High

See you there someday …

Hopefully not too soon!

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