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!
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. 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:
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?
I support Bob Goff’s “Love Does” organization with a small donation each month. It’s not much, but every little bit helps. The work “Love Does” is accomplishing is worth supporting. You can trust that your donation is not eaten up by some executive’s big corporate salary. The money goes to the intended purpose. Check it out: https://lovedoes.org/
Do you know an organization whose efforts to improve the lives if others is sincere and effective? Do you send a little to them on a regular basis as you are able?
Martin Luther King is quoted
in this picture from “Love Does” above.
“The time is always right to do what is right.”
I love it!
So, I did as my heart directed. Following church, I practiced with our little church choir. We are going to sing at the town’s Easter Sunrise service. Then, I went downstairs and helped serve at fellowship. (I had made and brought two pots of soup to share.)
No, that picture is not my soup. I’m afraid our little Sunday School kids and some of my church friends would not have appreciated all those hot peppers and garlic! But, doesn’t it look good? Mine was a more mundane potato soup.
What did you do to reach out to others and show your love today?
“Each person on this planet is here for a purpose… That purpose is to care for other people and to help this world become a better place through service to others.” Gary Sinise quote in The Upside in theApril 2019 Guideposts Magazine.
With yesterday’s flooded basement, we had God’s angels working overtime. I told you about Steve, Joe, Joel, and Randall. They worked like troopers.
I didn’t tell you about True Value having sandbags – and the Good Samaritan who loaded them into my car for me. I didn’t get his name. God bless him!
I didn’t tell you about Joe Smithson, the carpet cleaner, unloading those sandbags and placing them out against the rushing river of melting snow that was pouring in. God bless Joe!
I didn’t tell you about my buddy, Lexi Sundell, who rented a sump pump and came to set it up with a 100 feet of hose to suck that lake out into the field.
It worked! Thank you so much, Lexi!
It doesn’t do any good to wring your hands and repeat, “Poor Me!”
Reach out to your friends! Let them know your needs.
Watch God’s Angels come to the fore!
I can’t be more grateful!
I am living with purpose. As Gary Sinise suggested, my purpose is to care for other people and to help this world become a better place through service to others. I am so grateful to those Saints of God who reached out to help me. Who can I help today?
Who can you reach out to help today?
Look for the Good Samaritans out there, and see what you can do to give them a little recognition. In so doing, you may be inspired to do likewise… and you may encourage others to step out as Saints of God, too.
It’s not a Happy April Fool’s Day!
No joke … the joke’s on me!
Look carefully and you will see the water stain
on the bottom of the drapes
and the water mark on the carpet.
Look and see the snow drift outside the door.
There is no drain out there,
so where does the water go when it melts?
You guessed it!
We have lived in this Madison Valley, Montana home for 13 years – and this has never happened before! The owners before us lived here for 5 years and they said it never happened to them, either. This has been quite a winter! You’ve heard me complaining, haven’t you? More snow than a friend who’s been here since 1972 has ever seen!!
What does this have to do with a blog whose sub-title is “Love One Another?”
I’ll tell you… it has everything to do with people like Joe Smithson!
This delightful man is a God-send!
He came and helped me determine the extent of the damage.
He helped me understand ALL the furniture
in that downstairs bedroom has to come out
so he can come back with his rug cleaning equipment
and suck the water out and dry the carpet
and try to dry the walls where it has seeped up!
So, with my dear hubby off skiing today,
I found two other saints who came to help
move the bed, the dresser, the nightstands,
the desk, the chairs, the whole “kittenkaboodle”
out of there and into the game room
and other downstairs bedroom.
What a job!
It’s a California King – with two top mattresses, two box springs,
a lower frame, and a headboard! Heavy stuff! No way I coulda done it alone.
And the triple dresser is solid wood – a heavy sucker!
God bless those two friends who came to do the moving!
And before those could be moved, another friend came
and helped me move all the “stuff”
that was on top of all that furniture.
You know, nothing is “clear” like this
under ordinary circumstances, right?
Then, to avoid the continued drain
of the melting snow into the bedroom,
another saint of a friend came
with his shovel first –
and then his snowplow.
The snowplow did
what would have taken all day with a shovel…
and did it so much more thoroughly.
Ah, the blog subject
is “Love One Another”
There is no greater love than to
lay down your life,
pick up your shovel,
load up your snowplow,
and come to help a friend in need.
That is a friend, indeed!!
God bless you, Steve!!
Imagine how surprised Bob
is going to be
when he gets home
from a day at Big Sky
enjoying the slopes –
a last day (or so)
with spring skiing –
and sees how much more
is cleaned up
than the beach towel
he set out there
could have done
to fix the problem!!
Go back up to that first picture. If you look carefully, you will see the green and white polka-dot towel on the other side of the glass door. (Like putting a finger in the dyke to stop it, right?) Kind of gives you a new definition of April Fool!
Ah, God love ’em… we gotta put our priorities in order, don’t we?
Who can pass up a day on the slopes?
Unless it’s a day on the river!
Spring IS coming, you know!! (Not soon enough here)