Thank you, Vitu Santos for this wonderful photo. It speaks volumes to me… and it exhibits to me the message of today’s sermon…
At the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT today, Rev. Steve Hundley delivered his sermon titled, “Is Your Cross Too Heavy?” The Lord prompted me to take my sermon notes in the shape of a cross. The photo of the cross sermon above is the result of that effort.
To illustrate his point – that we need to give Jesus our burdens, lighten our load, and live in joy, Rev. Steve used this story:
“It’s hard for an egg to become a bird, but it would be harder for a bird to fly while still in the egg.”
Let go the egg… and FLY! Give Jesus your burdens and follow Him with JOY, not because you HAVE to, but because you WANT to.
God bless you with the JOY of Life Given Away because you WANT to!
Have a Happy Labor Day weekend. See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
Today’s sermon preached by Rev. Steve Hundley at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana was titled “The Moment of Truth.” It was based on the scripture passages: Matthew 16:13-20
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[a] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[c] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[d] loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
The Moment of Truth
What are you afraid of? Is it something quiet and small? Is your fear founded and grounded? Do you understand it at all?
The greatest fear most folks say Is speaking in public – sweating starts! The stakes seem highest when asked To speak from the depths of our hearts.
Stating facts – what somebody else has said – Is not as hard as speaking your own Thoughts and feelings out loud (Unless it’s on social media or the phone).
There was a time when Jesus asked Peter, “Who do YOU say that I am? Be true!” Simon Peter readily proclaimed to Him, “You are the Messiah, Son of the Living God, that’s You!”
Peter had no fear of speaking his heart. His faith he readily proclaimed. In a harsh world, draw your breath in pain. Tell what you believe. God’s asking YOU. You’re named!
There’s a feeling some people have That God is in the sunset and the trees. They say they don’t need church – And they don’t need to worship on their knees.
But Jesus told us it’s not enough To see God in the river and the dawn. We need to see God in Jesus Christ. He’s the One we rest our salvation on.
How can we know who God is In Christ, the Messiah and teach Our children about the Savior If we’ve never had His Word within reach?
We need to talk to Jesus in prayer. We need to imitate Him, too. We need to take hold of God’s love Through Jesus and the Holy Spirit in you.
How can we see the world today, Watch the brutality of teens with guns And still believe in God and His goodness? It’s faith. It’s knowing what God has done.
What are you afraid of? Is it speaking in public from the heart? Is it expressing your faith? This is the Moment of Truth – time to start!
I believe in Christ – Son of the Living God. I believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Step out and boldly speak from your soul. God will reward your brave behavior.
“On you, this rock I will build my church, And the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it.” Speak up with firm conviction… You’ll be so relieved once you’ve done it!
For special music today, we had Jaime Roberts on keyboard, Jim Forsberg singing and playing the saw, and George Ennis (with his amazing bass voice) singing. It started with Jaime’s lovely solo. I woke up to thinking I should record this for you when Jim started playing. Have you ever heard a musical saw? Tune in! God bless our musicians! As you can see, we are worshiping outside these days. We had about 40 people in attendance (behind me).
Hope you’ve had a lovely Sunday. Mine was. See ya tomorrow. Thanks for visiting, Love ya, JanBeek
Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. … Each day has enough trouble of its own… Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live … So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. … “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”
I asked Donna, “Do you know that song?” She replied, “I do!” and then she sent me the song she was singing.
Here’s the one I was singing:
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God…”
What is it you seek? Is it the Kingdom of God? Let’s pursue God first.
What are “all these things”? The scripture was referring to food and clothing… the basics… and reminding us how God takes care of the birds and the lilies of the field.
When I pursue the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, I am seeking His wisdom. I am seeking the peace that only He can give. I am seeking understanding and the deep compassion that God’s Son taught us. I am seeking to exemplify His love ❤️ and the joy that comes with Trust in His Promises. 🙏🏽 I seek His righteousness so that I may exhibit greater patience, kindness, gentleness, and goodness.
Seek Ye first the kingdom of God … and all these things will be given unto you.
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Pray for discernment I love the Lord’s perfect will Freckles and lashes!!
Do not let the world Trick you into seeking pride – It’s a dead-end street.
Do not let the world Trick you into seeking wealth – Not in hoarded coins.
Do not let the world Tell you what to dream about – Look in God’s Word.
Let the Son set you free. You shall know the Truth And the Truth shall set you free. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge Him.
I pray for you, my friend… For your health, happiness, safety, And for God to guide you in His Way.
“15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
The Faith of a Canaanite Woman
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
How in the world do you take that scripture and make sense of it in a sermon?
Well, Rev. Steve Hundley at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana tackled it today. Preceding the sermon, Elaine, Steve’s wife, read the scripture using The Message, Eugene Petersen’s version of the Bible. In part, it said,
“It is not what you swallow that defiles a person, but what you vomit up!”
The Canaanite woman who came to Jesus, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!” was indeed vomiting up a whole lot of agony. Why did Jesus suggest that helping her would be like feeding bread to the dogs? Listen to what I heard Steve saying about this is his sermon today:
Jesus called a desperate woman a dog! She was a Canaanite who child’s life was grim. Why would Jesus insult her like that? She threw His words right back at Him.
We can relate to her and her dark side. We all have a little bit of the devil in us. But, not Jesus … No! He was perfect! So why did He call her a dog?
Was He rejecting her because she wasn’t Jewish? No, it can’t be true. He must have been saying, “I have a special spot in my heart for the Jews.” Maybe He used this to show the disciples their playing.
Playing with the idea of parroting back to them Their rejection of others – their callous attitude. Jesus seemed to be sending the mother away. Gladly, we can see Jesus help her and sense her gratitude.
We are living in strange times – a nation divided. There are desperate voices shouting out. You have a choice. Whose voices will you hear? How will you respond? Are your words and attitudes matching Jesus’ voice?
When you hear the desperate mother cry, Do you hear her pain and heed her pleas? She boldly calls with faith for her child’s healing. May we also listen, hear, and respond with help to such as these.
Lord, speak to our hearts that we might know Your heart more clearly.
“Open my mouth and let me bear gladly the warm truth everywhere. Open my heart and let me prepare love with Thy children thus to share.”
I am off this evening to say good-bye to our favorite Sunday School kids. Love with Thy children thus to share… This adorable pair is moving from Ennis to go with their parents to Jordan, MT where their dad will take over the family farm. I can’t tell you how much we will miss them. But of course, we will pray for them and hope their transition to their new home is a smooth one.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek and reading the sermon notes. Please add Cord and Ruby and their parents, Suzanne & Casey, to your prayer list. And ask God to send some new little kids to our church, okay?
Sermon Notes August 9, 2020 Rev. Steve Hundley Jan’s poetic notes taken while listening to Steve’s message based on John 21:15-23
“A Side-Long Glance”
Jesus was with His disciples on shore. Peter thought Jesus didn’t believe him. Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep. The answer failed to relieve him.
Have you ever felt misunderstood? Ever had your sincerity questioned bare? Peter told Jesus, “You know I love You.” Jesus had asked him three times there.
Was Jesus expecting too much of Peter? Does He expect too much of us? A tithe is a tenth of what you make. The visible return’s not much to see – why fuss?
Well, Jesus expected even more than a tenth. “What about him?” Peter asked. Like Peter, we question others’ faith. We want Jesus to take ’em to task.
There has to be a difference between Faith and foolishness – so it’s not fair Those rich folks don’t seem to give – They don’t seem to do their share.
We cast a side-long glance across the aisle, And we ask, as Peter did, “What about them?” And Jesus answers us as He did Peter, “What is it to you?” From where does fairness stem?
Jesus says, “Feed My sheep -just love!” Your side-long glance has no place here. You do your fair share and don’t worry about What others do. Give, love, and have no fear.
No side-long glances allowed. Look ahead at the One who stands Before a hurting world and says, “Feed My sheep in all My lands.”
Just follow Jesus – And what will happen today? To tell the truth, I don’t know! Just do it anyway!!
After church today we had a barbecue. It was the kick-off of the fiscal year’s drive for finances to fund the Pastor Search Committee and to consider our pledges for the 2020-21 church budget. Jesus said, “Feed My sheep!” and these sheep were fed in grand style out on the church lawn.
After the church BBQ, we went to my friend, Sue’s. Her birthday is tomorrow. We needed to sing “Happy Birthday!” while we socially distanced. She and her husband are being really careful around this COVID-19 … especially with Montana’s case numbers rising. They are being kept really busy at their beautiful home. Just look at their gardens!
Sue and Jerry joined the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church on the same Sunday Bob & I did nearly 15 years ago. We have been fast friends ever since. The two of them built this gorgeous house themselves! Just this summer they added that deck outside their bedroom window on the right.
Here is the front of the house:
Yes, we are blessed. We live in the gorgeous Madison Valley. We have a terrific church, a wonderful pastor who gives great sermons, beautiful friends, and a picture-perfect setting with glorious August sunshine and enormous “BigSky” drama. Ah, my friends, life is good!
No need for side-long glances. Keep your eyes on your own blessings, your own giving, and your own business. No need focusing on what’s “not fair!” Remember while you’re counting your blessings to share your love with others with your whole heart!
Do have a fantastic week ahead.
Thanks for visiting and for sharing with me the sermon and our visit with Sue. Happy Birthday, Sue!!
Today’s sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley was titled, “It’s a Miracle” BUT, he started his message by telling us how upset his congregation was (when he was a young boy) by a sermon debunking the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
Here are the notes I took while hearing the sermon this morning. The scripture inspiring it was Matthew 14: 13-26.
It makes me nervous To remember this text Because my memory goes back Fifty-four years. What’s next?
I was eleven when I heard This story of five-thousand men Being fed with five loaves and Three fish. What happened then?
The disciples passed their meager rations Out to the multitude of folk, And all those who packed a lunch Were inspired to share as Jesus spoke.
The quantity of sharing was such That twelve baskets were left behind. Was it in fact a miracle, or Generosity of an immense kind?
My eleven-year-old congregation Was disturbed by “Miracle Debunked!” It wasn’t Jesus multiplying food, But multiplying compassion. Who woulda thunk?
Jesus’ resource of compassion wa such That, like the Energizer Bunny, He kept Giving and sharing and healing. His love further demonstrated as Jesus wept.
Jesus’ compassion was apparent When He told His disciples to give The five-thousand something to eat – And so doing, He showed us how to live.
Live with the generosity and love Jesus was about. Live what He taught. He said, “You go and feed them.” Share what you have, as you ought.
Jesus could have multiplied the bread And the fishes by Himself – But He knew that mass of folks could Overcome hunger and share their shelf.
Open the door to the shelf of your heart, And give from your meager things. Watch how the Lord gives you a sense of plenty- And share your gifts as Jesus sings:
Thank YOU… and AMEN!
You are the disciple who gives From your shelf to those who need. Thank you for being the miracle Who obeys Christ’s command: Go and Feed!
See ya tomorrow. Have a beautiful Sunday evening. Love, JanBeek
Bee kind to yourself – You are a special person. You “moose” treat yourself with love.
Bee kind to yourself – Wrap yourself in perkiness. Smile in the mirror.
Bee kind to yourself – Find the most perfect head wrap. Wrap yourself in love.
There’s where I found those beautiful head wrap pictures. I may have to “Shop Now” to find that perky, beautiful fabric. Will you teach me to tie it that way? Will they make me a gorgeous as those lovely ladies?
Bee kind to yourself – Hug your sweetheart every day. Don’t let life skunk you!
Bee kind to yourself – And share your love with others. Reach out to loved ones.
With today’s virus, Social distancing’s a must. Don’t let it stop you!
Sharing’s essential – And loneliness is rampant. Kindness is two-way!
Share kindness with friends. ‘Cuz what you give blesses you. Imitate Jesus!
Kindness lifts others. Just as Jesus lifts you up, Imitate His love!
Be kind to yourself – Go find a beautiful spot, And share it today.
Julie and Lisa Shared with each other the view And walk in the park.
Beauty’s more lovely When shared with one another. Who might walk with you?
Or who might visit, Enjoy the flowers and porch? Reach out to someone.
Let your love brighten The life of those around you. Be kind to them, too.
Share your gorgeous views And notice how your love shines And kindness returns.
Love and prayers sending your way. Bee well … Bee Safe … Bee Kind!
What did you do to “Bee Kind” to yourself or others today? (Or what do you plan to do?) Live intentionally.
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
Come on in! I can have a meal ready for you in minutes. Our home is a place where we welcome all who welcome all! We want you to feel at home here!
Or just walk right in – because we don’t have a solid wood door where I can put a beautiful knocker. Our front doors are glass. The entry welcomes you with words on the wall that say “The greatest of these is love.” The word art was a Mother’s Day gift from our son & his wife, that first May after we moved here.
Hah! You can’t read it… it’s backward for some reason… and it’s blurry… but trust me, it says, “The Greatest of These is Love” right above the windows.
Those are the stairs that lead up to my sanctuary – my “Angel Room.”
So, that is what you see when you enter our home here in Ennis, Montana.
Our Dream House
But, this house has not always been my “dream home.” I don’t have a photo of my original dream house. It was in Heber City, Utah. I lived with that house on my screensaver in California for a year. We were ready to retire, looking for a place away from the growing congestion of California. We saw it near Salt Lake City, Utah. We toured it, fell in love with it, put a bid on it, and I dreamed of living there. But, the Lord had other ideas, I guess. The owner never responded to our perfectly generous offer, even after we went back a year later and put another bid on it.
The house was made of logs from the 1988 Yellowstone fire. Many of the logs still had the scorch marks on them. The front door was a massive wood entry with no handle. It had a lovely knocker like the one pictured at the top of this blog.
When you knocked on the door and someone came to let you in, a painting of Jesus (clearer and more beautiful than the one below) was on the wall just inside. The scripture from Revelations 3:20 was written beneath the painting.
The house seemed God-inspired – and I longed to live there.
However, it seems that Utah was not the place God had in mind for us.
This house, in this Pintail Ridge neighborhood, with lovely neighbors, this church in Ennis with these friends… this was (is) God’s dream house for us. When we put in a bid here, everything went like clockwork. (By the way, the trees were much smaller 15 years ago, and you could see the house from Mallards Roost Road clearly. Now we have a lovely forest!)
In God’s Will
Have you ever noticed that when you are walking in God’s will, the path seems smoother?
When you are walking in God’s will, deals ultimately work out better than you could have dreamed.
When you tune in to God’s will for your life, you end up in a better spot than any place you could have imagined for yourself!!
So, come on in, my friends! Mi casa es su casa!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Thank you – so many of you- who sent your love following yesterday’s blog when I told you about my heavy heart following the death of my cousin, Cliff. Your outreach warmed my heart.
It’s Sunday. It’s a day we set aside to worship God and listen to His Word. As I listened to Rev. Steve Hundley deliver his sermon today, I did my usual. I recorded on my bulletin what my ears took in poetically.
Here are my notes:
People flocked to Jesus. He began to preach from a boat. He had to distance from the crowd So he drifted out a bit to float.
Distanced from the multitudes, Jesus told the Parable of the Seed. The Seed is the Word of God, Spoken to the people in need.
Jesus warned that the Word Often falls on deaf ear. He explained that not all seeds Grow in all who hear.
But those who allow the seed to grow, Spend time to allow the seed to sink in, Let it bury itself in their hearts, Can bear fruit and juice they drink in.
The seed of the Word is like A Smoothie blended into thought and deed. Let the Word transform you And grow to the Faith we all need.
But we may carry a ball & chain of doubt That keeps us from letting go Of the seeds that need to be planted In Good Soil so they can grow,
Don’t hoard the Seeds of plenty That God has blessed in you. Sow them, grow them, harvest And blend them to a Smoothie. Do!
Every seed carries in its bosom the future. Trust God to make the seeds grow. Be the sower who trusts the Maker To find Good Soil wherever you go.
The Parable of the Sower
Matthew 13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:18“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Have a Super Sunday, Dear WordPress friends, Bee well Bee safe See ya tomorrow Love, JanBeek
We had a wonderful outdoor church service today. God blessed us with the most perfect weather imaginable!
Rev. Steve Hundley delivered a great sermon titled “”Peter Pride and Dana Defeated.” He assured us the names were not gender specific! If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I take sermon notes in poetry as I listen.
I changed the title to “The story of Our Freedom.”
The story of our freedom Is written on the Statue of Liberty. We believe in that freedom, but It can make captives of you and me.
We can be captivated by Our need to be totally free. Our need to be gregarious Causes us to share with you our glee.
We strive (like Peter Pride) to be At the top – – – the Number One. But sometimes Peter Pride’s goals Get in the way of following God’s Son.
We resist the role of Dana Defeated, Who is a critic of her own. She usually feels unworthy And tries so hard she’s tired to the bone.
Jesus says to give Him your burdens. He’ll put His yoke upon you And help you carry your troubles. Let Him take a pound or two.
Peter Pride sees life through self-effort. He keeps religion in its place. He knows Jesus has a point, But you gotta work to stay in the race.
Peter doesn’t believe burdens are light. He sees Dana Defeated as sad. She walks humbly and asks for help, But seldom looks contented or glad.
Peter found the glory of being on top Often is overshadowed by loss. Way up there, it’s sometimes lonely; No one to help carry our cross.
Jesus said, “Come to Me, I’ll give you rest.” He’s talking to Dana and Peter, both. Life should not be a journey to death. Instead, accept Jesus’ helpful yokes.
Jesus will provide the yoke for us. He’ll join with us and help us carry Our burdens of pride or defeat. Let Him lift you – and be merry!
Have a Wonderful Sunday, my friends. See ya tomorrow. Love ya, JanBeek