Time for the weekly sermon notes. We had ZOOM church this morning with the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana – sermon preached by Rev. Steve Hundley
As you know, if you’ve followed my blog for a couple of weeks or more, I listen intently to the pastor’s message and I take notes in poetry, tying to capture the essence of the message. Here is today’s attempt:
Steve titled it, “Vocational Temptation” I re-titled it “A Heart to Comply” Read on and you’ll see why.
“My brother made me do it!” That’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ to it! We rolled tires down a quarter mile hill I was dared to hit a cow. Could I do it?
Yup, the tire hit the cow. The ow hit the ground with a thud. Oh my! The cow landed hard – Topped over and bam! Hit the mud!
I got punished big time for it. I was told not to hurt God’s life. Yet later, I saw my dad kill a cow – And heck! He didn’t think twice!
There must be differet standards For different kinds of behavior. Temptations effect each differently. Temptations weren’t new to our Savior.
He can identify with the Christian Who goes to the club to play golf Instead of going to church that day – And excuses himself with a cough.
It’s not hard to give in To the temptations around us. When we do, don’tcha know God doesn’t punish or ground us.
God understands we’re mortals Who are prone sometimes to neglect The things we know we ought to do. He gives us time to repent and reflect.
Jesus went from being told by a voice That God is proud of Him, God’s Son, To being a man in the wilderness Tempted by the devil – but God won!
For 40 days and 40 nights the devil Tempted Jesus to give in to him. But angels were there, and scripture, too. Jesus didn’t let God’s light grow dim.
The light of God shone brightly As Jesus resisted the devil’s invitation To become more than He already was – To rule the whole universe and all creation.
The Lord is asking us today To resist the temptation to forego His Word and do something wrong. Instead, live in God’s Love – Let His light show.
Lord, let my life be consecrated To You, my Savior, and may I Use the gifts You’ve given me With gratitude … and a Heart to Comply!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek Have a super rest of your Sunday. Hugs to you!
I just discovered this morning that my dear friend, Leena’s son, Vince, died suddenly on Friday. No warning! He was about the age of my son, Ty. Vince worked at our local grocery store. I saw him there often … always a smile, always a cheerful greeting. He was at work Friday. Friday night after dinner, he was sitting in his chair at home with his parents, and he just stopped breathing. Can you imagine the shock??
Prayers for All Grieving
My heart is broken for Leena and Bob and their family. My prayers go out to all of you who have lost a loved one this year.
Your hearts are grieving, too, as you face this first Valentine’s Day without that special person. God bless you! Link heartstrings with mine.
In our ZOOM church service this morning, I provided the “special music.” It was inspired by the February 14th message in Charles Stanley’s In Touch Daily Devotional.
“When facing all kinds of difficulties, many of us have a tendency to power through in our own strength. But the reality is that’s never effective – at least not for long. God wants us to come closer to Him.
When we stay focused on Jesus, we can take comfort in knowing He’ll lead us through the hard places.
As you continue walking with Him, trust that He already knows what will happen in your life – and that regardless of what lies ahead, He will never leave you.”
EMBRACE HEARTS Lord, link mine to yours – And link ours to one another.
Embrace Hearts with one another – Offer your love and support to heal. Heal the broken-hearted by sharing. Share your love with a song or a meal.
Not everyone has a heart full of love today; Some are feeling quite empty. Lord, fill their hearts with the love of God – And encourage others to “Go With Him” today.
What is your power source? Where do you get your ideas?
Today’s sermon on ZOOM with the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana, preached by the Rev. Steve Hundley attributed our power source to (well, what do you think a minister would say?)… God Jesus Christ’s teaching The Word Scripture Of course!
Steve began his sermon today with a children’s message. He shared this (paraphrased by me, of course):
My dad was a forester. He used to cruise the timber to decide what to cut and what to leave to keep the forest healthy. He usually went with a fellow forester – a guy who was not known for his great sense of direction. They would head out in different directions, and when it was time to regroup, my dad told his partner that he’d call out. “You answer,” he told him, “and I’ll call again. Back and forth until you find your way back.”
But, what happened was an ole hoot owl responded back to his partner when he called out, and he followed the direction of the owl. It got him way off track. When my dad realized what was happening, he honked the horn of the truck, and finally the two men were able to reconnect and head for home.
Moral of the story: Listening to the wrong voice can get us lost. We need to listen to the voice and teachings of Christ in order to stay on the right path.
The Church’s Spiritual Power Source
(Inspired by Mark 1:21-28 – story of Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue and being interrupted by a man who was demon-possessed)
The people of the church Were astounded when Jesus Taught with authority – More astounded than by exorcism.
When we think of a teacher image, We rarely think of provocative We have our dull stereotypes. But Jesus, the Teacher, was rare.
Wouldn’t you think His act Of removing an evil force Would have trumped the act Of teaching the Word of God?
No, removal of an unclean spirit Was not what the people raved about. It was Jesus, the Teacher, who Inspired the people to be amazed.
Do Jesus’ teachings still have The power to transform and amaze? Do Jesus’ teachings still have The power to unite and inspire?
The teachings of Jesus and the Growing of churches and believers Are synonymous; did you know that? Let’s join a weekly Bible Study.
Listen to the right voice… The voice of Jesus telling His parables. I’ll lead a Bible Study and we’ll all Tune in to Jesus’ voice – OK?
Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM. We’ll begin with Luke 15:11-24. It’s the story of the Prodigal Son. Look for your ZOOM invitation.
Invite a friend to join us!
Hope you had a wonderful Sunday. Enjoy your evening. See you tomorrow. Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Let me know if you’d like a ZOOM invitation to join us. If so, send me an e-mail address. Embrace Your Power Source!
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?”
3 “How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.
“In John’s baptism.”
4 “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…
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!
Is that idea of a virgin birth too big a pill for you to swallow? It gets in the way of faith for a whole lot of folks.
Today’s sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT dealt with that subject… the virgin birth. He titled it:
Conceived by the Holy Spirit, and Born of the Virgin Mary
It’s a stumbling block for many To think of a baby born of a virgin… The idea can seem like a fairy tale. It can be a pill too big to swallow.
Some people believe Christ was Half God and half human. Only One who is fully God Can atone for our sins.
Only one who is fully human Can experience our suffering and pain. So many deny Jesus’ duality: Jesus was born divine and became human.
Philippians 2:7 “But made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
This verse is our first statement of faith: He found Himself as human And humbled Himself. He chose to be dependent on humans.
Jesus could not have been born Without that simple peasant girl; And He suffered all the human pain And a cruel and painful death.
It’s a gigantic leap of faith To fully believe the virgin birth. But, take comfort in knowing Even the disciples had trouble.
Even though they walked With Jesus on this earth, They had trouble believing He was the Holy Son of God.
The initial act of faith Is not that total belief. The initial act of faith Is to invite Jesus into your heart.
When your own life is changed By the love of Christ in you, Then your faith will grow; You will share that faith with others.
Jesus sees the pearls in the dust. Not what we are, but What God intends us to become. In Christ, our faith can help us get there.
We don’t begin as full believers. We begin as that dependent manger child. We begin looking for a Teacher of Wisdom, And Jesus, the Holy Son of God enters.
Let Him walk with you. Let Him help your faith to grow. When it comes to faith, The heart is one step ahead of the intellect!
by Steve Hundley
We have run our yearly race to Bethlehem, O Lord, and many are tired from what has been a very difficult year. We know that You did not mean it that way, but intended for Your Son’s birth to bring us peace and joy and renewal, and a sense of togetherness that comes from this season of love and giving.
In the stillness of this moment we turn our hearts to You as the needle of a compass points to True North. Amidst all the tension of this year, may You remain at the center, calling us to hope and to clarity of purpose. On the eve of a new year, give guidance to us and the nations of the world, as we seek to find our way out of this pandemic. Incline our hearts to modesty, honesty, and compassion. Let us be tender to all of those in need, especially the young, the old, the tired, the poor, the sick, and all who are struggling just to survive.,,
So many have died these last 10 months, O Lord. Hold in Your arms those who grieve, whose spirits are distressed by the loss of loved ones, or jobs, or homes in all of the uncertainty that surrounds them. Speak to us in our worship, we pray, in something heard or seen or felt, that we may go from this place of worship with a renewed sense of Your presence in our lives.
Let the months before us bring rest to a weary world and hope to millions who continue to dwell in darkness. Use us who wait before You to accomplish Your will, through devotion and imagination and love. We pray this prayer in the name of Christ our Savior… Amen
May you, my dear WP friends, find the peace, comfort, hope, and clarity of purpose for which we pray.
How about your clarity of purpose?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. Don’t forget to comment below. I would love to hear about your Sunday and your purpose. Hugs!!
If you have followed my blog for a month or more, you have seen this journal before. The topics are inspired by life and living. I have written about: I CAN Volunteer Share Bee Hospitable Tackle Transitions etc.
Little did I know when I wrote some of those how difficult some would become. Hospitality requires guests, right? Well, so much for that! Most of our friends are afraid in this pandemic world to socialize.
Little did I know how hard it would become to volunteer. Most of my volunteer activities are forbidden right now. I can’t be a “Purple Lady” at the medical center desk. Our auxiliary couldn’t hold its fund raiser this year. We couldn’t earn the money to donate for new equipment and/or medical supplies as we have done in the past.
Little did I realize how many opportunities I would have to “Tackle Transitions.” Back in June of 2018 when I wrote on that topic, God knew what was coming, but none of us had a clue. My transitions poem was prophetic:
Times of transition Can be disconcerting – Facing the unknown Running, dodging, skirting.
Life is full of changes; Nothing stays the same. Rolling with the punches – Listening for our name.
In the “roll call” of life, Showing up to be Ready for transitions Sometimes is difficult for me.
But I know the Leader Is my Maker who decides What my next assignment is. In Him my life abides.
So, embrace the coming changes; Set aside all fear and sorrow. Joyfully put your hand in His; He’s gotcha covered for tomorrow.
Choosing JOY in the midst of this pandemic is not easy. My list of “I Can” do’s has changed this year. But, I try to keep it positive:
I CAN Believe Only Imagine ReJOYce Whistle!
You recognize some of those. They became blogging themes. This morning’s I CAN prompted today’s post:
I CAN Keep it Simple
No large family gatherings No stockings stuffed with toys No sounds of giggling laughter From excited girls and boys
No trudging through the snow With accordion on my back No carols at windows Or St. Nicholas with his sack
It’s a different sort of year COVID-19 has changed us quite a lot We cancelled our travel plans And we altered what we bought
Christmas Day will be different We can mourn the things we miss Or we can vow to keep it simple Pray for those we cannot kiss
The virus and death took too many – They’re in Heaven with our Lord Let us focus on Christ Jesus And the grace He richly poured.
Believe the Christmas promise Jesus came to save our souls Eternity knows no endings His love comforts and consoles
Keep it Simple!
Have a Beautiful Christmas Week! Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See you tomorrow.
Mary played along. She didn’t complain. Mary sang a song. What a role model!
Today’s sermon was titled, “Responding to God’s Call.” Luke 1:26-38 was the scripture passage. Mary responded with such grace and faith. Listen to Rev. Steve Hundley’s message at today’s Madison Valley Presbyterian Church -recorded through Jan’s poetic filters.
Responding to God’s Call
Luke described the coming Of the Angel Gabriel to Mary. Many artists have been inspired To depict the scene; they’re varied.
Some created majestic scenes With mountains and waterfalls, But that wasn’t the vision recorded. It’s a simple scene when God calls.
Gabriel doesn’t ask permission. He simply tells her what will be, The Bible says she was perplexed. More in shock, it seems to me.
Whatever plans Mary may have had, God comes and intervenes. Like Mary, God has plans for us. Listen to this story; hear what it means.
We can plan our lives carefully, But often we’re face with interruptions. Unexpected events order our future; Often they keep us from corruption.
God’s plans always exceed ours. But still, we have questions galore. Unlike Mary, we ask for clarification. We want to understand more.
It’s not every day an angel appears And announces what’ll come next. But often life chooses us And leaves us totally perplexed.
In real life, we have choices. We can say yes or shout NO! We can become stoic and look away; We can be stubborn and refuse to go.
When God throws us curve balls, We might become angry and defensive. We might throw our hands up And become bitter; but that’s expensive.
It costs us our peace of mind. It takes away unexpected joy. If Mary had been so inclined, It might have cost her that Baby Boy!
Let it be to me according To your Word, O Lord, my Christ. When You send Your instructions, May I say “Yes!” without thinking twice.
Nothing is impossible with God. Tune in! And play along!! Amen
There may be an angel standing by your fire, sending out signals and you’re unaware. There may be a message blowing in the wind, and you can’t hear it. There may be an assignment God is giving you, and you don’t know it. Tune in! Listen up! Play along!!
Notes during the Pastoral Prayer today:
“God came into a troubled world. Come again, Lord Jesus, For we, too, are troubled. We need You.
We are suffering. Pain is taking its toll. Come and bring power and healing To those who are hurting.
Bring comfort to those Who have lost loved ones. Come again, Lord Jesus. Bring deliverance.
We wait for You.”
Every heart is longing for our King Whether they know it or not. Let your light shine. Sing! Play along!!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Have a blessed Sunday. See you tomorrow. HUGS!
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.
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.
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!
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!!
In my journal yesterday, I created a six stanza Haiku. It’s where I’m comin’ from on this day when I delivered Bob (my sweet husband of 58 years) into the hands of a surgeon. It’s a relatively straight-forward procedure… an angiogram to determine any heart issues that were not detected with the x-rays and EKGs. Bob is in good hands… and I am here in the hotel room relaxing:
What is Heaven like? I can only imagine. I see glimpses here.
The help of a friend The love of dear family Colors of sunrise
The pureness of snow Unconditional pet love Hidden surprises
I’m told Mother’s milk Protects a baby at birth And provides comfort
It’s a bit risque’ To post such a photograph But it proves a point
Innocent Babies Who nurse on their mother’s milk Have immunity
Like that babe in arms We, too, are safe – protected In the arms of God
“And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety.”
Prayer of Protection
The light of God surrounds me The love of God enfolds me The power of God protects me The presence of God watches over me Wherever I am, God is.
I repeat that prayer As I begin every day, Standing in this spot.
I turn off the light And let God’s light shine through me – Reflecting His Love.
Everywhere I go, I have faith that everything Has His protection.
The Bible is full Of protection promises Here’s three hours worth!!!
No, I don’t expect you to sit here for three hours and listen to all these scriptures, but they prove a point… just as that nursing baby proves a point. Protection is out there. Protection is yours. “Wherever I am, God is.” Believe it! Own it!
God is my refuge… my Savior. Jesus said, “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.”
I pray you feel His protection this day, too.
God bless you!
I hope you found comfort here.
The Lord is my Shepherd…. He refreshes my soul and guides me along the right path. Fear no evil…