“Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men to exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid for I am with you…”
I knew where we were going… HOME! And I knew God was with us, guarding and guiding us. I learned as we were at the “41 miles to go” mark that a woman about my age had died in a tragic accident the day before on this very stretch of road. Her demise was a jack-knifed semi. She hit black ice and slid into it when she was trying to turn and avoid it. It was a clear day – at 4: o’clock in the afternoon. We were traveling home on that two-lane road in the dark. A host of family and friends were praying for our safe travel. We TRUSTED God’s guidance as we crept along, blinded by the bright headlights of on-coming semis.
At about the “20 miles to go” mark, if I had my window down, I could have reached out and touched the big doe that was preparing to cross the road in front of us. We didn’t see the deer until we were almost on top of it… or it on top of us! You can imagine how we prayed prayers of gratitude all the rest of the way home!!
This morning, in my wonderful upstairs space that I call my “sanctuairee,” I was reading a commentary by Rev. Dr. David Jeremiah. It was for me!!
“Praising God for Miracles”Thank you, David Jeremiah, for your timely message this day. It’s a perfect one!
“Among the stories connected to the memory of Francis of Assisi is this one: One day Francis gathered his friends at a remote monastery in central Italy. When he asked them about their journeys, each brother had an exciting tale to report. One had been riding his mule across a narrow bridge that spanned a deep gorge. When the mule bolted, the man was nearly thrown into the ravine. He praised God he hadn’t been killed.
Another brother had nearly drowned fording a river, but he said, ‘God in His grace provided a tree that had fallen across the water. I was able to grasp a branch and pull myself to safety.’ Other brothers expressed similar stories of God’s protection.
Then someone asked Francis about his trip. ‘I experienced the greatest miracle of all,’ said the famous friar. ‘I had a smooth, pleasant, and uneventful journey.’
We should always remember to praise God for His miracles in whatever form they come. He blesses, heals, rescues, delivers, helps, and uplifts more times every day than we can count. We should always be saying, ‘Thank You, Lord!’
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”
So, on this journey called life,
I choose to trust God.
I may not know
where He is taking me tomorrow,
but I know if I trust in Him,
and ask for His guidance,
and look for His direction,
He will not fail me.
Looking again at the scripture Dr. Jeremiah chose for today’s devotional,
I am reminded of Martin Luther King Day yesterday…
and the way he gave his life for his principles
of Freedom, Equality for all,
Yes, God said, “I will give men to exchange for your life.”
I pray we all will remember the men and women
who gave their lives so that we might enjoy the peace we have today.
It is still going on in those war-torn places around the world.
God bless our faithful warriors who fight to keep us free
and those servants of God world-wide
who choose to TRUST in God’s protection
as they fight to maintain their county’s freedom.
Thank You, God, for the way
and uplift us
more times every day
than we can count.
Help us follow Your example of love
and spread Your Good News
with Trust and Assurance
Posts tagged ‘Good News’
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)
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!
Pray for my friend, Gloria, will you?
And I pray for you…
that you have faith in His promises, too.
History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day is an American holiday. This Memorial Day weekend feels very different from years past. Even though we are not having lock-down, stay-at-home orders in Montana, still most of us don’t feel free to have a large gathering with a picnic potluck as we usually do. We need to find new ways of honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Memorial Day is this Monday, May 25th, a day for us in the USA to honor the men and women who died while serving in the United States Military. It was originally known as Decoration Day after the tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers. Women in Pennsylvania began this practice as early as 1864 following the end of the Civil War. Soon other states and cities did the same.
Waterloo, New York, held an annual community-wide event beginning in 1866. This led the town to be recognized as the birthplace of Memorial Day by the federal government in 1966. Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971. In 2000, Congress passed a resolution, urging Americans to set aside 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day “to observe a national moment of remembrance to honor the men and women of the United States military who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.”
Do you celebrate Memorial Day? If so, how are my fellow Americans planning on celebrating Memorial Day this year?
I’m curious: How do those of you in other countries remember the people in your nation who have served in your military (or do you)?
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful dream-come-true to have us all just love one another? No fences, no walls, no borders, no nation against nation… just one world, unified, working in tandem for a better life for everyone?
Wouldn’t it be a dream-come-true if we all felt a sense of freedom without anyone having to die to maintain it?
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful dream if everyone stopped hoarding and just shared generously? Share toilet paper! Share the Good News! Share LOVE!
Our military generously give their ALL.
The least we can do is give them a day of Gratitude for their service…
and a dream that one day we will all live as ONE,
end all wars, and live in PEACE!
God bless you, my dear Blogging family.
I pray that you have a peace-filled weekend.
I’ll see you tomorrow.
Wait, don’t leave until you comment!!
Tell me about how you honor your military
or tell me about your dreams for ONE WORLD of LOVE!
Shout It Out!
Declare it from the mountaintop!
God is Good!
Don’t keep it to yourself!
Find someone to share
The Good New with
In Jesus is my Joy
In Him is my Hope
In God is Goodness
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is Lord!
The Peace of Christ be with you.
With whom will you
Share the Good News today?
(Notes from a sermon based on Romans 8:12-17 delivered by Rev. Jean Johnson. Many of you know, to listen more intently, I take notes on Sunday mornings while listening to the message from the pulpit. Sometimes they are recorded in poetry. Last Sunday was one of those times.)
We all are God’s children.
Some call God, “Our Father.”
But, some folks choose to ignore Him.
They balk and say, “Why bother?”
God speaks to us in Romans,
To us who’ve already heard.
It’s not for the unknowing
Who think the Gospel’s absurd.
Those led by God’s Spirit
Are children of our Lord.
We show our Love and faith
By living in One Accord.
To live in One Accord with God,
We worship, study, love, and pray.
Our witness shows The Spirit
At work in us each day.
We’re living out the reality
Of what already is in us.
Be who you already are
Without works or trouble or fuss.
We used to belong to sin,
But Jesus came to the rescue.
We have reason for joy and acceptance.
Isn’t this Good News to you?
We have assurance of this reality –
This adoption is done, signed and sealed.
We sing praises to God, our Father.
Our case clearly has been appealed.
Knowing God as Father is possible
By Christ’s life, His Word, His death.
That evidence is proof enough;
We affirm it with every breath.
I believe in God, The Father,
In Jesus Christ, my loving Lord.
Thank You for Your Saving Grace.
Now, let us live in One Accord.
… the strength of His — ?
How would you finish that?
Here are my notes from Easter Sunday’s sermon.
What does this message say about God’s strength?
When you die, your body is buried.
Life’s circumstances can bury us, too.
But God comes and unburies us.
That’s the Easter story – true.
God grants us peace in Truth.
He promises to save our souls.
He removes the stone that
Seals us from our goals.
I cannot roll the stones away;
They’re too heavy for me to lift.
But Jesus, in His death & resurrection
Opens the sealed. What a gift!
In His death of pain and suffering,
Jesus took our stones of grief.
He opened The Way to joyful life –
He cleared the Path. What a relief!
Life unburied is a new creation.
Christ took the old – rolled it away.
Christ is risen – your old life’s buried.
What will you do with New Life today?
Who is this God who comes to us as a Teacher?
Why is there a prevalence of evil in this world?
If God really exists, as we see Him in our Design,
Then why does our Designer allow hate to be hurled?
If our Intelligent Design didn’t just evolve,
Does there have to be a Benevolent Creator?
With all the violence and disasters and cruelty,
Where is the Creator, the Good and Evil Separator?
If we begin with an observation of what we see,
Our starting point limits us to only what is rational.
What about the place FAITH plays in our belief?
Faith is belief in the unobservable; Sometimes it’s irrational.
Our faith IN God is FROM God through the Holy Spirit,
From the quiet inspiration of the TRUTH Christ revealed.
God climbs down to us, revealing Himself to us
Through the Holy Spirit, the Teacher, through whom lives are healed.
Quietly, the Holy Spirit opens us up to the Good News.
Boldly we affirm our faith in a Loving Father.
How can we see the love in a hurting world of sin?
Be the Love; Live the Faith. Dwell on hate? Nope, why bother?!
(Sermon notes – from JanBeeks’ take on what she heard
Rev. Jean Johnson preach on May 26, 2013)
Do you need encouragement? Read John 5:1-18. It’s about a man who seemed to be “at the end of his rope.” He had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. For “a very long time,” he had been lying by a pool near Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. The pool was surrounded by “a great number of disabled people,” waiting for the water to be stirred. Scripture teaches that healing would come only to the first person who entered the pool after the water was stirred. When Jesus saw the man, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
For most of us, that question comes across as rather strange. “Well, duh! Why else would I be lying here?” would have been a rather disrespectful answer, don’t you think? A simple, “Yes,” would have sufficed. But the man replied, “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Some people might read that as whining. They might interpret the man as one who lacked creativity or tenacity or sufficient faith or courage. I have even heard pastors and Biblical teachers speculate that he might have made his paralysis a way of life, and was content to just be there, maybe begging for a living or thriving on the sympathy of others. But, I think this man was at the end of his rope, and Jesus saw his tenacity, appreciated his struggle, and His heart went out to the man. He did not chastise him for complaining that he had no help. He simply said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
The story tells me, when I am at the end of my rope, it’s OK to complain to Jesus. It’s OK to cry to Him when there is no one to help you.
Imagine your rope is stiff jute, hanging only halfway down from the ceiling. You’ve tied a secure knot and you’re hanging on, but you’re tired of the struggle. Your grip are getting weak. By faith, you DO want to be made well. You rely on Jesus. He changes the rope to a bungee cord and it stretches to the floor where you can get your feet on the ground again. Pick up your mat (or your rope) and walk.
That was today’s message for me. Hang on until by God’s grace, you CAN walk again – or you can compensate – you can rely on other attributes that multiply in you – and make life do-able again. Then – healed by faith, count your blessings, and go out to tell your story! Radiate God’s Hope so that others can keep on keepin’ on when they come to the end of their ropes.
Here are today’s sermon notes (message from Rev. Jean Johnson, adapted – interpreted – and rendered in poetic form through my filters):
How to Get Well
Are you at the end of your rope?
Do you really want to be healed?
What are you doing to create a knot
And hang on where the knot is sealed?
What Super Glue sealed the knot tight?
Your fingers grasp at the end of straws
Looking for what solutions dangle there –
Within reach of your grasping claws.
Are you responsible for catching the clues?
Is healing a matter of finding and grasping?
If we whine and passively hang without doing,
Is this the key to healing that’s lasting?
No, firmly clasping that knot you’ve made
Requires faith and strength and tenacity.
Ultimately, healing comes from God’s grace.
Our gratitude gives that rope elasticity!
That’s the Good News! Bounce on down!
Untie the knot and let go of the rope.
By God’s grace – His goodness alone –
Walk, healed by Faith, to radiate God’s Hope!
Do you need encouragement? Read John 5:1-18. Hang in there!
Make Me An Instrument
The words to the song below were written in honor of a dear, talented, generous, Montana friend, Larry Zabel, who went to his eternal home last month. I will try to post a video with the words so that you can hear the tune and words. Keep in mind, it’s an amateur video sung by a Grammy whose voice used to be soprano… I try it in both octaves, just so you can choose which one fits your voice. Be forgiving, dear blogging friends!
Larry leaves behind a legacy of service to our Lord through his hands working magic on canvas. He was truly an instrument of Our Master, showing the majesty of God’s creation and the wonder of God’s people. I am thankful for his many artistic donations which enabled the work of dozens of civic organizations. God’s love exploded from Larry’s heart, palette and brushes onto his canvasses.
Another dear and talented Ennis friend, Gerry Gerron, painted a portrait of Larry Zabel. He will donate it to hang in our beautiful Madison Valley Medical Center. The work of many artists has been enhanced by the talents and inspiration of Larry, who so generously gave of himself. Gerry’s rendering of Larry is one example of how that inspiration plays itself out. The song/poem below is my small offering toward keeping that legacy alive and honoring the man who did so much in his lifetime to be God’s instrument.
If I can be a student in my Master’s schools,
If I could be a vessel to carry Love’s Views,
If I could be a light to shine His Good News,
Then my life will not be in vain.
Lord, make me an instrument in Your hands,
Make me an instrument in Your hands,
Make me an instrument in Your hands,
And my life will not be in vain.
If I can be a beacon to show His Way,
If I can be a shoulder to end a friend’s dismay,
If I can be a fountain, His love to spray,
Then my life will not be in vain.
If I can be the arms to lighten someone’s load,
If I can be the path to show a friend The Road,
If I can be a spark to help His Love explode,
Then my life will not be in vain.
(Video with the tune in my next posting)