Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Luke’

In Search of the Uncluttered Life


Last Sunday’s “Do the Math”
sermon topic was
“In Search of the Uncluttered Life.”

It was inspired by the passage in Luke 12:32-40 and delivered
by Rev. Steve Hundley at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church.
You’ll see why I named it, “Do the Math” … Read on!

green and white press drill on table

“Things are in the saddle
And they ride mankind.” *
They are the stuff of storage –
The things that tie and bind.
.
We are the generation
Who invented the garage sale.
We’re buried in acquisitions
That make us stress and wail.
.
Many wealthy and blessed people
Complain about all they’ve got.
They live in an “If Only” state –
Sometimes wishing away what they’ve bought.
.
Life is hard, whether rich or poor.
Jesus says, “Sell your possessions
And give…” and be ever-ready
For my return. Release your obsessions.
.
Jesus asked what seems unreal.
We can’t be ready 24-7.
But, we don’t want to be asleep
And miss the only bus to Heaven!
.
The scripture seems to expect
Too much of us … be ever ready!
Jesus doesn’t ask us to be sleepless.
He asks us to be loving, trusting, steady.
.
He asks us to unclutter
Our lives from stuff and worry.
He asks us to replace distractions,
The things that make us rush and scurry.
.
Set aside the stressful things
That keep us from feeling God’s love.
Be ready to receive the riches
That God pours on us from above.
.
Look for God’s presence today.
Set your eyes on the eagles and clouds.
Be amazed by God’s creation;
Set aside the clutter and crowds.
.
Be surprised by the daily joy
God places in your path.
Add peace and subtract the stress.
Think about it; do the math!
.

* A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Steve Hundley’s Pastoral Prayer:

This is Your world, O Lord,
that glows with the radiance
of mountain wild flowers
and towering trees,
with the warmth of human
compassion and kindness.
.
Yet there is another world
that is Yours as well:
a world of brokenness
and barrenness,
of sickness and isolation,
of suffering and lonliness.
.
We thank You, O God,
that You are Lord,
over not only this beautiful world,
but also its brokenness.
Remind us that it was
this broken world that
Christ died to redeem…
that it is to this broken world
that the Cross reaches out its arms.
.
Receive us, we pray,
from the darker and needier side
of our existence this morning.
Let the hurt and resentment
in us be taken up
into Your love and acceptance.
.
Let our lonliness be swallowed up
by Your Presence with us here.
Let our illness be touched
by Your healing power,
and our troubled spirits
by Your peace.
.
Turn our personal worlds
of suffering and confusion
into the world of Christ,
where all things are seen
differently in the Light
of His wonderful face.
.
Grant that the conversation
of our own worlds
will enable us to care
about the worlds of others –
the poor, the hungry,
the broken-spirited,
the sick, the dying,
the disenfranchised,
the imprisoned, or those
just seeking a better life.
.
Save us from thinking that
the beautiful world we live in
is ours, or that the broken
and lonely world we live in
is the only one there is.
.
Keep ever before us,
the Cross of Christ,
by which these two worlds
are united,
and the Spirit of the Resurrection,
in which we are promised
that the beautiful world
will outlast the broken one.
.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
we pray.
And all God’s people said,
Amen!

Thanks for joining me here at WordPress
and reading the sermon notes and prayer.
I  hope they spoke to your heart.

They certainly spoke to mine!
Hear Angels w Heart
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

You Said to Do What??


You said for me to do what??
Love my enemies??

Are you crazy? How am I supposed to do that??

Yesterday’s sermon dealt with this scripture:
Luke 6:27-38 – – – telling us not to condemn or hate!

selective focus photography of cowboy holding revolver pistol statue

In the face of needless shootings and bombings,
In the midst of war and suppression,
You said for me to do what???
“Love Your Enemies!”

Oh sure!

Here are my notes from the sermon by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT
preached yesterday, February 24, 2019:

We excuse and justify our own faults
While magnifying those same faults in others.
By our own human nature,
We condemn our sisters and brothers.

.
Oh sure, there are some easier than others
To love and enjoy being around,
But Jesus asks us to actually love
Those who annoy us. Is that advice sound?

.
How can we eliminate grudges
And love those who hate us?
How can we look beyond wrongs
And ignore the way they bait us?

.
Jesus said we’re never justified
In hating – even those who mistreat us.
Do good to and pray for those who
Ignore us or laugh at those who greet us.

.
They not only show us disrespect,
But they insult us to our best friend.
How are we to turn the other cheek
To those who rob and curse us without end?

.
Jesus commands we give more than
Expected, and do it without expectation
Of anything in return. Follow the Golden Rule
And in heaven enjoy the celebration.

.
The bottom line is to live in love.
Love everyone – – – especially those who hate.
Everybody loves lovers, but we must do more.
Love the loveless… Now, before it’s too late!

.
Amen?

The question I asked was, “How?”
How do we love our enemies?
Certainly not on our own.

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It takes divine guidance
and help from above.
Pray, my friends.
Only through
Him who loved us first
Can we love others
Unconditionally.

pink love fabric decor with feathers

Photo by Amber Lamoreaux on Pexels.com

Loss, Lament & Loyalty


Loss, Lament, and Loyalty

 

bible book business christian

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

 

Sermon Notes by Jan Beekman
from the sermon today
based on the scripture – Mark 12:38-44 –
Preached by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana

 

Naomi’s son had died.
She was alone and old.
Her future was grim.
What had she been told?

 

“Deal with your losses –
Send your daughters-in-law
Back to their homes.”
But, the plan had a flaw.

 

Ruth did not want to return!
She told Naomi she’d stay.
Orpha decided to go back.
Each woman to her own way.

 

We each have a choice.
We think we’re paralyzed, but we’re not.
We may lack energy and will power;
We may feel in our losses, we’re caught.

 

Ruth knew she couldn’t run
From the pain life threw at her.
She chose to stay and face her life,
And be in a place she could matter.

 

To turn evil into something good,
She was loyal to her mother-in-law.
She broke ties with her past
And looked ahead at what she saw.

 

She saw through eyes of faith.
Naomi had taught her to use God’s eyes –
Do more than just endure;
Keep your faith and be kind and wise.

 

To endure the evil of today’s world,
Cling to one another in love –
And look out for those in need.
Use your discerning power from God above.

 

Amen?

Ask and You Will Receive


Sermon notes – July 28, 2013

Yes, Pastor Jean Johnson got my attention with the first sentence here:

Do you whore yourself out?
Do you worship false and tempting gods?
In Hosea, the people turned their backs.
God named them “Not My People” and “No Mercy.”

(This part of the message was based on the scripture, Hosea 1:2-10)

God scattered His people, punishing Israel
For turning their back on Him.
In our baptism, we return to God.
He renews His covenant with us.

(Next we had beautiful music by Andrew Scruggs on his cello
      – Amazing Grace –
while we reflected on the message and prepared for the next
scripture – Col. 1:1-14)

We wrestle with questions and struggle to find
Assurance in God’s Word.
We sometimes create God in our own image.
But God created us in His image; He is our Father.

God is a better parent than we’d ever hope to be.
He gives us the Holy Spirit.
All we need to do is ASK.
Ask in Faith and God will allow us to see and use His gifts.

(Andrew played “Blessed Assurance” on his cello
while we thought about the message – and reflected on
the Good News that spread all over the world with great success.)

God gives us life, love, friendship, companionship.
God gives us the Holy Spirit – His presence to guide us.
God gives us faith, light, hope, inspiration, transformation.
Take courage and comfort in God’s steadfast compassion.

(Luke 11:1-13, which includes the passage
“Ask and you will receive,
Search and you will find,
Knock and the door will be opened for you”
was read by Liturgist Judy Bleu.
Andrew’s cello sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
We marveled at God’s grace, assurance,
and faithfulness. And all God’s people said,
“Amen!”)

God is good.

All the time!

Amen!

 

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