Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

Unbearable Sermon Message


Unbearable

Some Sundays, the sermon message is unbearable! But, I go, I listen, and I try to discern what God is trying t tell me. I let the minister speak to my heart and I ask God to help me be discerning.

Today was one of those days when I longed for a pastor who could divert her attention from the lectionary cycle and get with the stuff that is more “cultural.” After all, it’s Father’s Day! I don’t want to hear about the unbearable!

adult alone anxious black and white

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

But, based on John 16: 12-15, somehow Rev. Jean Johnson at our Madison Valley Presbyterian church came us with this unlkely message for today:

Unbearable

Jesus did not tell His disciples
All that He had to say.
He said some things were unbearable.
They’d hear them another day.
.
Preparing for vacation, a family
Was told to come right away.
There had been an accident –
Too unbearable to hear any day!
.
Their son had not survived.
They were devastated, of course.
How can we respond or help?
We can’t fathom their remorse.
.
Think of a time when indeed,
Delight and splendor were spilled overboard.
Ever had so much happiness
You could only say, “Thank You, Lord”?
.
The touch of your spouse’s love
Can be beautifully unbearable
When you know forgiveness
Was given for the unshareable.
.
Things can be unbearably wonderful,
Or they can be unbearably awful.
Unbearable opens our hearts to love.
The opposite, unfeeling, should be unlawful!
.
When you bear the unbearable,
God is with you, alive and well.
In tears of joy or cries of agony,
God’s more present than we can tell.
.
When life is too big, too real,
Too much – too much to bear,
That’s when we know God for sure,
When the Spirit declares, “I Am There.”
.
Nothing is withheld from God.
We may feel a flutter like a dove…
It’s God, who is lifting us up.
When in the unbearable, we feel His love.
.
Thank You, God!
You never fail me!

Amen?
Amen!

I pray you had an UNBEARABLY joyful
Father’s Day today!
heart of love
See ya tomorrow.

Love Uniqueness


Love Uniqueness

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Sermon notes
from message based on
John 17:20-26
“That They May Be One.”


Jesus prayed for Oneness
For each divided sect.
As He is One with God,
He prayed we will show respect.

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.
The ways in which we
Polarize ourselves here
Is tiring. It saddens me.
It brings no one cheer.
.
All people are more similar
Than different from each other.
We establish boundaries
To separate from our brothers.
.
We do it to prove that
We are right and we’re accepted.
We name others as losers
And place them outside  –  rejected.
.
Jesus prayed that we would just
Love One another – differences and all.
He prayed for our Oneness.
Honor uniqueness; stand tall!
.
Oneness is not about eliminating
The differences we see.
It’s about loving our uniqueness.
Love your neighbor, even your enemy!
.
It is about Oneness with God;
It’s a boundary-less love.
It’s only possible with help
From the Divine Source above.
.
If we call ourselves Christian,
We must stop bickering and be
The loving children our Creator intended.
Love differences;  love even me!

cropped-snapchat-me
.
Be one with all.
In Christ’s Love we Pray,
Amen.
.

JanBeek’s poetic notes
from a sermon
by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana
June 2, 2019

What will you do today to demontrate your love for one another?
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See you tomorrow

God’s Handiwork


God’s Handiwork

 

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

What good work has God prepared for you to do today?

person writing on white book

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Each day as I pray and meditate, read and study Scripture, and enjoy a plethora of devotionals, I ask God,

  • What do You want me to do today?
  • Who do You want me to meet?
  • What do You want me to say?
  • How can I reflect Your love?

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I plan my day before I leave and walk down the circular staircase into the “real world.”

stairs down

BUT, I remain open to God’s nudges and His leading…

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I know God has prepared good works for me to do today. What are they?

And what do you think He has planned for you??

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Thanks for visiting.

Leave me a comment about your
plans for Good Works today, okay?

See you tomorrow.

Specks of Splendor


Specks of Splendor

gold-miner-pic

Like a gold miner panning for gold,
I sift through life’s muck and mire
To look for the specks of splendor
That sparkle and dance like fire.

.

No matter how awful my day was,
At the end, I put on my Jesus glasses
And find the specks that sparkled,
The nuggets in muddy splashes.

اشتري WINDO Memory Titanium Flexible Round Eyeglasses Frame Spectacles Glasses FF007 في مصر

.
The most dismal, dark, and cloudy day
Has shimmers of beauty in the trials.
With God’s help, I sift and find them.
Then tuck into bed with gratitude and smiles.

Uyuyan Kedi GIF - Cat Sleeping GIFs
See you tomorrow.

Learners All


We are learners all
Living in Discovery
New every morning

close up of apple on top of books

Sunday Sermon Notes
“Learners”
– based on John 14:23-29
– preached by Rev. Jean Johnson
– poetic notes by JanBeek

.
We cannot hold on to life.
It is not ours to control.
The winds of time blow over us,
And our life continues to roll.
.
Jesus gives us a precious gift,
The one we can count on today
And always: PEACE! He gives it
To us… speaks it as He is going away.
.
He leaves us with a peace that
Passes all earthly understanding.
He promises, “I will be with you…
Love Me – Obey Me,” He’s commanding.
.
Reading scripture daily is a way
To know the Word and live it.
Praying daily is a way to receive
His love, so we can give it.
.
Love, Life, Word and Spirit are
The way His peace we receive.
The reality of these gifts are ours
When we learn His Word and Believe.
.
Let not your heart be troubled.
Let go your grasp for life’s control.
Give it to God, your Anchor;
Let His peace permeate your soul.
.
Amen?
.
Amen!

lest we forget cross

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Happy Memorial Day in the USA
(A day to remember those who
have fought and died for our freedom)
.
See you tomorrow

Understanding and Umbrellas


Understanding
was the first “U” word

that popped into my mind
when searching for
the quality we ALL need
to
add more meaning
and
find greater purpose
in life.

 

man and woman holding hands on brown wooden table

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

Understanding and Wisdom go Hand in Hand

What are the common roots of the two words?

I turned to scripture to find the answer to that question. This is a copy of my Bible page. As you can see, it is well marked! Look at how many times Proverbs 2 uses “wisdom” and “understanding.”

Understanding + Wisdom = Compassion

The Book of Proverbs teaches us, if we understand what is right and good, we will see what is just and fair. As a result, it will naturally follow that when we see injustice, when we witness someone being treated unfairly, we will have a heart of compassion, determined to respond.

Compassion is an Umbrella

OnahDave on HumePoets.com posted a poem today titled Drenched:

“Wrecked and broken by pain,
she drenched in the unlimited
down pour of her sorrow.”

When I read his poem, my immediate response was, “Give her your umbrella!”
When we understand another person’s pain, our compassion compels us to reach out with an umbrella of protection.

grayscale image of woman walking through the rain while holding umbrella

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

Umbrellas Take Many Forms

Sometimes the umbrella is a song! Today I visited my friend, Carol, who (at the advanced age of 95) is struggling to hang on to life. Her son and two daughters were in the hospital room with her.

Carol was having a better day today than when I saw her yesterday. Her children could tell because she was being a bit cantankerous!

Hah! She reminded me of my mom during her last days. Her mind rallied to the point that she knew what she wanted and what she didn’t. Her ability to say, “No!” rallied – – – and she exerted her independence while bed-bound and hooked up to oxygen. Like my mom, Carol is a strong and courageous woman.

Her daughters and I sang some cheery songs to her and enjoyed her smiles and nods – and her ability to squeeze my hand in appreciation. Her son snapped a few pictures. These are moments to remember!

Disney’s Sing-A-Long Songs – Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah VHS

was our first song. You know, you can’t help but smile when you sing that song! It sent an umbrella of joy over the entire room!

Then we sang Frank Sinatra’s “Dream Your Troubles Away.” Do you know that one? You can change “Dreams” to “Prayers” … and sing “Pray Your Troubles Away.” That thought fits the hand-in-hand analogy of understanding and wisdom as described in the second chapter of Proverbs. Here are the song’s revised words:

When skies are cloudy and gray,
They’re only gray for a day,
So wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away.

Until that sunshine peeps through,
There’s only one thing to do:
Just wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away.

Your castles may tumble
That’s fate after all,
Life’s really funny that way.

No need to grumble,
Smile as they fall,
Weren’t you queen for a day?

Just remember that sunshine
Always follows the rain.
So wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away!

 

Sometimes, We Gotta Let the Rain Fall

Max Lucado has written a book titled, Unshakable Hope.
In a message promoting his book, he wrote,

“I’ve discovered that nothing lifts the weary soul like the promises of God. This book contains some of my favorite [promises]. Picture God’s words falling like rain from heaven on you. Imagine these promises as gentle spring showers. Receive them. Allow them to land on you, to soak you. I’m trusting that God’s words will prosper in your life.”

Understand God is in the Storms of Life

Rick Hamlin in today’s Guideposts prayed,
“God, don’t let my cynical heart
prevent me from seeing
You in unexpected places.”

Sometimes our vision is blurred by the storms that smack us in the face. The unexpected difficulties can put us in dark places where vision is limited. We wonder, “God, where are You?”

Even Jesus had such moments. “My God, my God, why hast Thou Forsaken me?” From the cross, He cried to His Father. It’s understandable that we sometimes have similar thoughts.

Sometimes we need to set aside the umbrella, lift our eyes to the sky, and dance in the rain – in spite of the trauma.

Wrap your troubles in prayer – and pray your troubles away –
or not!
Sometimes the clouds are meant to stay – more than a day –
But sunshine follows the rain.
Even if that sunshine is our promise of Life Eternal.

Relish the Beauty of God’s Promises.

scenic view of mountains during dawn

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

Try to understand!
And be ready to put away your umbrella
or pass it along  –
use it to protect and encourage a friend.

Keep a song alive in your heart!

God bless you.

See you tomorrow.

Spoken For


Sunday morning Sermon Notes
Rev. Jean Johnson – inspired by John 10:22-30
Notes recorded
by Jan Beekman
5/12/19

God Loves You

Spoken For

“Back off, Sister, he’s spoken for!”
He smiled, “I didn’t know. How nice!”
Think about this message today.
In fact, think about it twice!


Someone has stepped up to claim you.
Faith is understanding who you are:
A Child of God who loves you.
Are you following the right star?


It’s not a walk that you control.
Our power over thoughts and actions
Is limited by our frail humanity.
There are temptations and other factions.


God is God  – – – and we are not.
We are sinners – even with best of intentions.
We can’t climb up to God,
Not with the greatest of ladder extensions!


God came down to us in Jesus.
He calls us to follow; we’re His sheep.
God took the path toward us – and we
Have been found; even without a peep!


It’s reassuring to know it’s not me.
It’s reassuring to know God came.
He came to save me in spite of myself.
He came and He called me by name!


Here I am, Lord. I didn’t know – how nice!
Yes, I’m spoken for. I’m received.
Yes, I’m yours, Lord. Thank You.
Use me, God; I won’t be deceived!

Amen?
Amen!

See you tomorrow.

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