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Posts tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

One With Us


Sermon Notes from today’s ZOOM worship service
of the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Delivered by Rev. Steve Hundley
Poetic notes taken by JanBeek

One With Us

Have you ever spoken honestly
And in the process provoked
A person to anger?
Perhaps you even joked

About what you said.
You’re trying to be forgiven.
Be careful what you say and do.
Beware the life you’re livin’.

Jesus was with a crowd
Of sinners at the Jordan.
What had Jesus done to need
Forgiveness? What secrets hoardin’?

Sometimes we find ourselves
Guilty by association.
So Jesus had reason to be
Thought a sinner by the Jewish nation.

John the Baptist, however,
Knew Jesus was sinless.
So he didn’t want to baptize Him.
But his protest was winless!

Jesus was determined to be
Baptized by John, even though
He was sin-free. So we wonder,
Why did He need it? Want to know?

He wanted to be baptized
In order to be One with us!
Like Him, we need to be
One in Christ and eliminate fuss!

If Jesus was willing
To step down and be One
With all of us sinners,
Who are we, when all’s said and done?

We are all sinners, invited
To come to the river, too.
Be one with our brothers and sisters.
I’m all for it. How about you?

The sermon was inspired by the scriptures: Acts 19:1-7 and Mark 1:4-11
which were eloquently read to us by our pastor’s wife, Elaine,
from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message Bible”

ACTS 19 1-2 Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?”

“We’ve never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?”

“How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.

“In John’s baptism.”

“That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.”

5-7 And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God’s actions. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day.

MARK 4-6 John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.

7-8 As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”

9-11 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

PRAYER OF CONFESSION: 

God of all mercy, in our baptism You have marked us as Your own; You have given us a new identity and made us part of the body of Christ.  In doing so, You have called us to rise to new life and live together in community.  However, we have not been faithful to Your call.  We have forged our own identity and held to destructive habits.  We confess we have failed to welcome others, and broken our bonds with our brothers and sisters, and served ourselves more than You.  Forgive us, we pray, for the sake of Christ, our Savior.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON:  John 1:12

Hear the good news!  God said to Jesus, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with You I am well pleased.”  We have a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weakness, who has been tempted as we are, yet is without sin.

In Christ’s name we may draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, and there find mercy and grace to help in time of need.

As forgiven sinners, may we go out into the world
and make a positive difference.
May we…

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

If you have not heard former Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s You Tube message today, I recommend you click on the link here. His message, reinforcing the need for UNITY in our USA, is quite powerful. God Bless Arnie! We all need to step up in support of Democracy as he has done!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2021/01/10/arnold-schwarzenegger-twitter-speech-capitol-nazis/

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
If you missed my last post, “Embrace God”
with Steve Hundley’s Pastoral Prayer,
I invite you to go to it.
Like Arnold’s speech, it is a powerful message.

See ya tomorrow.

Swept Up in the Current


Today’s sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
at Ennis, Montana’s Presbyterian Church
was titled, “Swept Up in the Current of God’s Love.”

In my typical fashion, I listened
and took notes in poetry to capture the message
as I was received it.

I like this image for today’s bulletin cover
because the message as I pondered it was:
“Listen for the angels’ announcement.
Listen with your heart, and
Be swept up into the
realms of JOY!”

Based on and reflections from
Luke 1:39-55

Mary rushed to tell Elizabeth
The anticipation of Jesus’ birth.
But Elizabeth already knew it…
Elizabeth knew it? How on earth??

Mary felt a song swell up
And bubble over inside her.
She sang acceptance and praises.
Elizabeth beamed beside her.

We don’t think of God exploding
Into our lives this season.
Our upside-down world seems to forget
The JOY, the Message, the Reason.

The story of Mary and Elizabeth
Reminds us of the glories of the event.
To make Christmas more meaningful,
We need to focus on the love sent.

Mary and Elizabeth didn’t make the joy.
They WERE the joy – growing in them.
God’s presence exhibited the miracle.
The peace and JOY of God began then.

We’re not the master of all this.
The grace and love are gifts.
We’re the grateful recipients.
With Jesus’ birth, the world shifts.

The angels announced the Savior.
The vulnerable baby was born.
His life changed our destiny.
No longer are we lost or forlorn.

Mary’s Magnificat is a message
To all of us to be steady –
Steady for Christ’s coming.
Listen with your heart – be ready!

Be prepared to be swept away
By the current of God’s love.
Be prepared for that Bethlehem baby
Who came to save us from above.

Thanks to Elaina for our Nativity gift
which arrived at our doorstep today!

Yes, the angels announced that heavenly Baby
Who came down from God to us.
Now we’re awaiting the angel
Who’ll announce an end to all this fuss.

No, Reverend Steve didn’t add that last stanza to his sermon…
but I just couldn’t help myself!
Don’t you love that COVID angel?
No?

Ah, come on… let’s add the need for
a freedom announcement.

Freedom from the pain of this pandemic.
Freedom from the need to wear masks,
socially distance,
stay at home,
and
isolate.

Can you read the mask’s label?
“Coughy filter”
Hah!
Get it??
Bob & I are wearing our masks
whenever we go out.
Are you?

Don’t let this Coronavirus get to you…

Don’t take to the bottle to try and drown the pain!!

Make wise decisions!

Keep your eyes and your ears tuned to the Holy Spirit
and be ready to be “swept up in the current of God’s love.”
Jesus’ birth is the reason for the season –
And the grace and hope He brings
will keep you swimming
in love and joy.
Believe!

JOY comes in the morning!
My friend, Lisa Glines,
sent me this sunrise picture this morning.

The following poem
came from Lisa
yesterday as I was waiting
for Bob’s angiogram results.

“Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”

Jaime and Kathy played the piano and keyboard as Jim played the saw for some special music this morning.

I always imagine that saw being the only instrument some old cowboy had on hand in some distant days gone by… and learning to eerily try to play a tune on it must have been quite an interesting pastime!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

I hope you enjoyed these tidbits of my Sunday.
Bee safe!
See ya tomorrow.
Bee well!!

Repurpose Your Life


Photo by Tim Samuel on Pexels.com

Mark Collins‘ prayer in Daily Guideposts today spoke to me.
He wrote:

“Lord, let me repurpose my own life
toward Your will
and not mine.”

What is your life’s purpose?

What have you determined to be your life’s purpose? Has it always been so?

Seems to me this pandemic has given us time to pause and reconsider what our life’s purpose is! This virus has been like a stop light – a red signal – “Wait here!”

As I paused and considered my life’s purpose this morning, I decided my purpose has shifted with each quarter century of my life. Have you considered how age, the passing of time, and the changing of circumstances have impacted your life’s purpose?

Maybe my purpose SHOULD always have been “to glorify God” – but did I know that? Did I live according to that calling? No!

Life seemed so simple as a child!

First Quarter

In that first quarter of my life, the innocence of childhood helped me see others with a purity of heart, but most of my purpose was pretty self-centered.

To be honest with myself and you, most of age 0 to 25 was devoted to serving self.

Second Quarter

Then in the second quarter, my life’s purpose shifted from self to family. With marriage and children, it was important to turn the focus from myself to my husband and our children.

These were the years when my career flourished and I spent a lot of time devoted to my job. But even as I did so, it all came back to bringing in the resources to provide a better life and more opportunities for us and our children.

Age 25 to 50 my life’s purpose was mostly devoted to serving family.

Photo by Arthur Krijgsman on Pexels.com

Third Quarter

In the third quarter of my life, I moved from being a mom with kids at home, and being a teacher in the classroom working with children, to being a cheerleader for my young adult children and a leader for teachers.

Even after I retired, my role as a cheerleader for my children and grandchildren and as a leader in various organizations where I volunteered was focused on how I could reach out to help.

My purpose in life from age 50 to 75 seemed to be to serve others.

Fourth Quarter

And then came this fourth quarter of my life. The period from 75 to 100 is when I have come face to face with the purpose God intended for me all along: to glorify Him.

Everything I do these days is intended to fulfill the purpose the Lord intended for me: to serve God.

I look for ways to BEE what He made me to BEE… to use the talents He gave me … and to use them for HIS PURPOSES.

I look for ways to DO what God needs me to DO to BEE His hands and feet on earth.

I find places where the love, joy and peace that are mine are lacking… and I try to spread those Fruits of the Spirit wherever I go.

What Really Matters

How much more meaningful
my life would have been
if I had spoken this prayer
by Mark Collins years ago:

“Lord, let me repurpose my own life
toward Your will
and not mine.”

Photo by Paulo Mu00e1rcio Dos Santos on Pexels.com

Don’t wait until the fourth quarter of your life to repurpose!
Ask God today to help you discern what He has in mind for you.
You can serve family and others more effectively if you:

1) Pray for God’s guidance
2) Listen for the Holy Spirit to guide you, and
3) Use your gifts, talents and time to serve God first.

In so doing, God will bless you in ways you can hardly imagine!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

By using your time,
gifts and talents
for the glory of your Creator,
you will find true joy,
a true sense of fulfillment,
and an REAL answer to:
What is my life’s purpose?

Score what really matters NOW.
Don’t wait until the fourth quarter!!

See ya tomorrow!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

A comment below
telling me what you have defined
as your life’s purpose
would be so interesting to me.
Do consider commenting!

Be Braided


When you see the word “Braid,” what do you think of?

Photo by Bran Sodre on Pexels.com

Those braids appear to be two strong strands twisted together.
(Isn’t she beautiful?)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Likewise, this rope seems to have two strong strands twisted, right?

Photo by Roman Koval on Pexels.com

When I used to braid my daughter’s hair, I needed three strands to create the braid.

Today’s devotional made me think about these various braids and contemplate the strength of the three strands. Here was the scripture:

Eccelesiates 4:12

“And though a man might prevail
against one who is alone,
two will withstand him –
a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Katie Minter Jones in “Mornings with Jesus” by Guideposts wrote a devotional based on that scripture. In it she recounted how difficult the days of early marriage were as she and her husband “struggled through difficult times.”

She quoted a friend as saying, “Together we worked hard to get where we are now. It definitely takes two to make a marriage work, and that’s not fifty-fifty. Each person has to give 100%.” Finger pointing and trying to divvy stuff up 50-50 leads to disaster.

One of her lady friends said, “It takes three to make a successful marriage, the husband, the wife, and Jesus.” Each person must give 100% to each other and 100% to Jesus.”

That seems like a tall order! But doing so creates the three strands that make the braid unbreakable. Couples need to walk with Jesus to have a strong marriage.

Here’s my take on what that looks like.

The tie that binds

When our hearts are bound in love around our Lord’s cross, His mercy and grace strengthen our relationship and help us grow closer. As we walk hand in hand, praying and staying together in love, God blesses us. Jesus Christ strengthens us. The Holy Spirit braids our hearts in His love and care. Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian Love. Be braided!

Write your spouse a love letter today and include a prayer.

Here are mine…

Dear Bob,
I am so grateful for your love and for our mutual reliance on Jesus, our Lord. Thank you for praying with me, staying with me, putting Christ first in our lives, and relying on Him during our times of struggle. His sacrificial love is the perfect reminder of how we need to take care of each other. His presence binds us in purpose and braids us with His promises and His peace. Thank you!
Love Forever and Ever, Rockie ;o) ❤

Dear God,
Thank you for blessing our marriage and knitting our hearts together. May my blogging friends find that same peace and grace and purpose in life. May they sense Your guidance in their relationships and be braided with You. Amen.
In His Care, Jan

Photo by Trung Nguyen on Pexels.com

Let the light of God shine on your relationship,
be central to your lives,
and braid you together with peace and purpose.
God bless you!


See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Love Dances With Longing


Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Take my hand and dance with me.
I am in need of a day that is free –
Free of the sorrows and the sighs,
Free to dance to the seagull’s cries.

Photo by Julia Kuzenkov on Pexels.com

Some days I long for a day at the beach
With loving hands within my reach
I get impatient for this virus to end
So I can dance on in the waves with a friend

Jeff Cook in These Days
(Daily Devotions for Living by Faith)

“My impatience
usually stems from
my inability to simply fix everything.
Lord, help me be patient with myself and others.”

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Love dances with my longing heart
As I take up my journal and start
To record the words of Paul
Who also heard the sighing call.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Romans 8:26

“Likewise the Spirit helps us
in our weakness,
for we do not know
how to pray as we ought,
but that very Spirit intercedes
With sighs too deep for words.”

So I sit by the water’s edge dreaming
Of the ocean’s shore and scheming
My next trip to listen to seagull’s cries
And the chance to dance where sea foam flies.


I pray that you have
a peace-filled day, my friends.

I am imagining myself dancing with you on this shore!
Love dances with longing…

See you tomorrow.

Hugs,
JanBeek

Let Us Pray for Help


praying man looking up

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Let Us Pray

Holy Spirit of God, come upon us on this Pentecostal Sunday as You came upon the disciples of old.  We need Your help! Anoint our minds and spirits with boldness, that we may join our efforts to Yours for achieving peace in this world.

Touch our hearts with compassion, that we may see more clearly those who are struggling with anger over the injustice in our nation and world; show us how we can be instruments of peace and equality for all. 

Enable us to be Channels of Your Peace in these changing times.  Show us how to worship You together in safe and meaningful ways as we prepare to come together once again as a Body of Christ.

Visit our wills, O God, with the fire of Your Spirit that we may strive with boldness for what is right and just for the poor, the underprivileged, and the disenfranchised. 

Let us not be content merely to have what we have and not share it with others, merely to enjoy what was given to us and not realize it was intended for all.

Infuse us with the zeal and dedication that were in Christ Jesus our Lord, that we may not merely take for granted the life and freedom and opportunities that are ours.

Lift up those who have fallen victim to COVID-19, and those who are grieving the loss of loved ones.  Though we are thankful for the health we have enjoyed, help us not to become blind to the suffering of those who have found themselves on the frontlines of the pandemic.  Lift up the fallen, heal the sick, comfort the bereaved.

Give us strength in our weakness, illumination in our darkness, and hope in our despondency.  Empower us to be all You created us to be.

In Jesus name we pray,

Amen

 

10 Ways to Bee Open to God


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Listening to God
Is a daily endeavor
It takes intention
His Words are clever

God speaks through Jesus
Jesus, His Holy Son
And He speaks through the Spirit
The Holy Spirit, that’s the One!

Listening to God
Takes a willing heart
It takes a willing spirit
Here’s the way to start:

  1. Bee still
  2. Bee open
  3. Bee teachable
  4. Bee attentive
  5. Bee humble
  6. Bee submissive
  7. Bee expectant
  8. Bee responsive
  9. Bee-lieve
  10. Bee-ware… and aware!
Yes, #1 on the list is “Bee Still!”
Bee silent – listen – and JUST LOVE!

Isaiah 50:4

“The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,

    to know the word that sustains the weary.

He wakens me morning by morning,

    wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.”

Does the Lord “waken your ear” each morning to listen? Every morning my friend, Lisa, who lives across the continent from me – over on the east coast – sends me a picture of where she is and assures me that she has me in prayers. Her pictures show me a scene so different from my own.

Each One Has Their Own Way

In our different environments, each of us is listening and praying. Each of us in our own way. We are open to God’s word – and open to whatever message He has for our day. We share special prayers for one another. It is a beautiful way to start each day.

Do you have a special friend who helps you to Bee more open, teachable, and attentive?

Do you have a system for Beeing more expectant and responsive?

If so, I’d love to have you share with me ways you are open to hearing God speak to you each day.

Photo by Keilah Gepte on Pexels.com

Through His Word and through music, God speaks to me most clearly. How about you? Which of those ten “Bees” are most helpful to you when you want to tune in to God’s voice?

Have a Fabulous Friday, my friends.
Bee well!
See ya later.
JanBeek

The Best You


The best version of you
Is understanding and sweet.
You are loving and forgiving,
Compassionate to all you meet.

The best version of yourself
Is gentle and filled with peace.
You are an overflowing vessel
Of joyfulness that’ll never cease.

Your self’s very best version
Is an example of great patience.
You sparkle with faithfulness
And reflect the Holy Spirit’s radiance.

Our DeDe
Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com

The best version of yourself
Is generous with everything you’ve got.
You reach out to feed and help others,
Never hoarding what’s in your pot.

When you look deep into your best,
You see a person who is humble and kind.
And if others don’t seem to see it,
Don’t worry, my friend. They must be blind!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com
Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com
Photo by Min An on Pexels.com
Photo by Roy Reyna on Pexels.com

The best version of yourself
Is mighty, strong, and wise.
Bee it, beelieve it, and beehave it …
Bee your best self… Never compromise!

I love my best self!
I love your best self!!
Hello, in there… Come on out!
Don’t keep your love trapped on a shelf.

Thank you for bein’ you!



Keep Hands & Heart Open


Photo by Kehn Hermano on Pexels.com

Irresistible
A hand open to receive
Go and fill it up

Keep your hands open
Empty them on occasion
Can’t fill a full hand!

Photo by Alexander Mils on Pexels.com

The same thing rings true
Of our full and hardened heart
Be open and soft

A closed and hardened heart can’t be filled with the love God has in store for us. Keep your heart open. Wear it on your sleeve. It’s OK!!

Photo by Natalie on Pexels.com

When your heart is open,
you are able to hear the Holy Spirit guiding you.


Proverbs 19:21
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Make plans, but keep them in an open hand,
ready for God to snatch them away
and replace them with His better plan.

Keep an open heart
and open hands.
Let God fill you up today.

See ya later!

Decide – Believe – Trust


DECIDE

What have you decided for this new year – 2020?

I decided I’d like this month of travel in California to be safe, fun, full of family and friends, and memorable. I prayed to God for an answer to this prayer.

BELIEVE

I believe God hears prayer, and answers it.

Of course, I know it is not always YES.

Sometimes He says, “NO!” because He has something better in mind for us.

Sometimes He says, “NOT NOW… be patient. WAIT!”

But, He answers… I believe He gives us what we ask for if we ask in faith with His Will in our hearts.

When I want what He wants for me, it’s easy to BELIEVE in the power of prayer!

TRUST

Trust in the JOY of His Love.

Trust in the whispers of the Holy Spirit. Listen carefully!

Live in the COMFORT of His promises.

Live in the SERENITY of His peace.

Live in the TRUST that dreams do come true.
We are living ours.

Photo by Valentin Antonucci on Pexels.com

HOW ABOUT YOU?

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