Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘note-taking’

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

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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.

Celebrate Palm Sunday


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Celebrate Palm Sunday with branches

Like the ones His disciples laid

Across His path in Jerusalem –

A path on which our sinful debts were paid.

.

Let each branch represent

A deed you’d like to see undone.

Give all regrets to Jesus, and

Lay those sins upon God’s Son.

.

He knew as He was riding in

Upon a humble donkey’s back

That He was headed to fulfill

His earthly purpose – that’s a fact.

.

With that triumphant entrance,

He willingly trudged Golgotha’s Hill.

Today Holy Week is beginning.

Receive its message. Heed and listen.
… Heart, be still.

I listened to the sermon in church this morning,
and as usual, I took notes in poetry.
Here is what I “took away”
from Rev. Jean Johnson’s message:

 

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“Commitment”
– reflections on Luke 22-23

Pageantry and wildly waving palm branches
Are not the acts that really matter.
Palm Sunday is about the difference
Between Christ’s commitment and our chatter.

People were involved as Christ entered
The city of Jerusalem to die;
But their focus soon returned home.
They forgot Jesus, abandoned Him without a cry.

Commitment is a hard road to tred.
It requires we stay when we’re through.
Stay beyond the time we think we’re done.
Tenacity’s hard for me and you.

Sometimes when we feel abandoned,
The emptiness of our heart makes room
For the One who never left us.
He is there through our joy and in our gloom.

Christ gave His all on Golgotha Hill.
He died for us, for our salvation.
We need to walk that path with Him;
Live the pain, know the cost, delay elation.

Our faith voyage leads through Jerusalem.
We must walk the way of the cross.
Walk in commitment to Calgary,
Suffer the insults, and know the loss.

Amen?

Know Whose You Are


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Sundays are special days.
We go early to church in the morning
because we have the privilege of teaching
the cutest little 3 1/2 to 6 year olds
in the whole wide world!

Here are a couple of the dearhearts…
Aren’t they adorable?
They provide the highlight of our week!!

Then we attend worship service,
and I take sermon notes
to share with my husband on the way home.
(He tunes out and goes out to
the Madison River or Big Sky ski slopes
in his mind…
and says on the way home,
“What was the sermon about?”)
.
So, here it is, my friends.
If you didn’t make it to church this morning,
or if you did – and missed the message
as your miind wandered as minds will do –
Here are my notes for you:

Stand Firm: God is With Us” – based on Luke 13:1-9; delivered by Rev. Jean Johnson

I renamed it: Know Whose You Are

I can withstand anything
Except temptation!
No man knows how bad he is
Until he strives to be good.

Yes, we need forgiveness
And repeated second chances.
It’s not the temptation –
It’s our response to it that matters.

Temptation is a common
Human experience.
To wish it away
Is to wish for death.

God promises a way out.
He doesn’t tolerate a
No-win situation.
It’s our task to endure.

Through the grace of God,
God provides a way.
In the story of Joseph,
We see a man of honor.

He was a good man who
Was wrongly accused of sin,
Thrown into prison because he was
Persistent in his resistance.

Joseph remained loyal
His God without turning back.
When we know whose we are,
Then we know who we are.

That’s what makes persistence possible.
Joseph left temptation.
She was left holding his coat.
He knew it was time to leave.

Embarrassed by his refusal,
She managed to get him jailed.
But, in the prison, Joseph
Fulfilled more of God’s plan.

Resistance is rarely rewarded
By those who’ve been resisted.
Our reward often is not on earth,
But sometimes it is. Hold fast!

God is faithful, and
In the end we won’t be
Disappointed, if we’re true
To our God. The Lord is with you!

Stand firm!

 

 

Acrostic Sermon Notes


Happy Sunday, my friends.

Did you go to church (or synagogue or temple or mosque) this morning?

Did you take time to worship God and hang out with your friends?

We did!

round stained glass

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And, as usual,
I took my sermon notes in poetry as I listened to
Rev. Jean Johnson deliver her sermon
at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church.

The bulletin was so full of the picture on the front and print on the inside that there was little room for note-taking. So, I used the margins and wrote the main ideas vertically. Then I used those letters/words to create acrostics. Here are the words:

Reconciling The World

Love, Learn and Live Faithfully

Share, Restore and Believe

Now, as I listened, those words fleshed out the message for today:

R ejoice
E veryone!
C hrist
O versees the
N ations!
C hrist
I s
L iving
I n us
N ow; our
G od
T eaches us
H is Love.
E veryone in the
W orld
O wes their
R ejoicing to the
L ord who
D elivers us.

L ive
O nly in
V ictory,
E veryone!

L ive in
E nlightenment
A nd
R eceive
N ewness.

L earn with
I ntent to
V enture out
E verywhere.

F ill
A ll
I njuries with
T he
H ealing
F reedom of God
U ntil there is
L imitless
L ove in
Y ou.

S hare
H is
A wesome
R epairs
E arnestly.

R ealize
E veryone’s
S piritual Life
T hrough
O ur
R ecognized
E ternal gifts.

B ecause we can’t
E arn Eternal
L ife; accept His
I ntervention.
E njoy renewed
V itality –
E specially now.

Amen!

-If you attended a worship service today
what was the message you came away with ?

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

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