Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘religion’

Under the Influence


Happy Pentecost Sunday!

red and orange fire

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This is Pentecost Sunday.
It is the day Christian churches around the world
celebrate the tongues of fire that landed on the heads
of the people gathered in the temple.
The tongues of fire represent the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit allowed the people from
about eight different language regions
to hear in their own native languages
the disciples’ message –
– the Word of God.

The story of the coming of the Holy Spirit
is told in Acts 2: 1-21.
I read that scripture passage aloud
in our church service this morning.

woman reading a book

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Then Rev. Jean Johnson
of our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana
preached a sermon on that topic.
These are the poetic notes I took as I listened to her message:

“Under the Influence”

The disciples were filled
With New Wine – the Word –
It’s known as Pentecost Sunday.
People thought they were absurd.

Sometimes we, too, become
Intoxicated with New Wine –
Drunk on self-importance,
Inebriated on everything fine.

Possessions, new cars,
Perfectionism, being right;
Approval, needing it from others;
Knowledge, seen as being bright.

We’ve all been intoxicated
By hobbies – like fishing.
What are you drunk on?
For what are you wishing?

birthday bow box card

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My drink of choice is
Writing and staying in touch.
But that liquid isn’t everlasting;
It doesn’t fill me up very much.

I know for certain I need
To be under the influence
Of those gifts from God that
Help me live in love and prudence.

I am asked to drink
A New Wine that fills
My heart with God’s grace.
The thought of it brings chills.

God’s Day of “Sober Drunkenness”
Is a day filled with paradox.
It’s a day to set aside
The drinks that wind our clocks!

It’s a day to open up
The bottle of forgiveness.
Drink deeply of God’s Power.
It is intoxicating Goodness.

Let His potion sweep you
Off your feet to see
Your Pentecostal Moment.
Feel the Spirit; drink with glee.

Under the influence
Of God’s transforming love,
Let His New Wine fill you
With His Holy Spirit from above.

Pentecost brings us sobriety and inebriation.
Where are your moments of “Sober Drunkenness”?

Do you feel the Holy Spirit’s presence in you?
Let the tongues of fire land on your head
and fill you with God’s Love!

Happy Day of Pentecost!

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Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Do leave me a message telling me about your
“Drink of Choice” on this Pentecostal Sunday.
What fills YOUR cup?

See you 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!

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.
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

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

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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.

Are You Stuck?


Is my blog stuck?

Is writing on the same topic,
“Adding Meaning to Life,”
everyday related to being in a rut?

red car on muddy road near trees

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At my request, professional blogger of excellence,
The Art of Blogging, Cristian Mihai,
gave me ten tips on how to improve my blog.
One of them was,

“… choose one day of the week
to write some weekly type of blog
that [your] ideal reader would love.”

Before making that suggestion, he asked me to define my “ideal reader.” You, my blogging friend, or my daughter, or my creative, encouraging friend, you are it!

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That’s DeDe, my dear daughter

You know I often use Sundays to post my sermon notes. You know I listen intently to capture what the minister is saying to me, and I record my notes in poetry.

It’s not a stretch to call this my “different weekly type of blog.” I hope you look forward each Sunday to seeing/hearing what the message was in church this morning. Here is today’s:

Rev. Jean Johnson, Madison Valley Presbyterian Church

Ennis, MT, April 28, 2019, John 20:19-31

STUCK?

The disciples were stuck

In the same room as they

Were a week ago when

It was a glorious Easter Day.

.

Why were they still there?

What difference did Christ make?

What difference has his death

Made for your life’s sake?

.

Has His resurrection made

A difference in your days?

Or are you, like the disciples,

Stuck in your usual ways?

.

I should be doing better –

Living more authentically today.

I should be listening carefully

Like the disciples on their Emmaus way.

.

But changing old patterns

Is a process that takes time.

Is staying behind locked doors

A cowardly, unacceptable crime?

.

I wanted to wake up today

To a whole new world of joy.

But the news today was the same old

Sad, violent acts, and hates that destroy.

.

Change is well overdue.

I want to see instant relief,

But the hatred in this world

Tends to shake my firm belief.

.

The empty tomb tells me

That the risen Christ is here.

He’s working with you and me

To change our doubts to cheer.

.

Where you are is your

Starting place where you are.

It’s the place Christ comes

And lets you out to follow His star.

.

Have faith to see

Christ is risen;

He’s unstuck.

So should we be!

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We cannot be stuck in this place of 
violence, synagogue shootings, and
a world of intolerance, prejudice,
wars, and hunger. Listen to the pleads
of the Rabbi who spoke to us today.
Don’t let this dark period hide the light.
Go out and BE THE LIGHT!!

Finding Faith & Forgiveness


Thank you for joining my A-Z journey
to explore ways to add meaning to our lives.

Today is the sixth day – the letter “F.”

F = Faith & Forgiveness

They go hand-in-hand. One invites the other.

man in black long sleeved shirt and woman in black dress

Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com

FAITH

Faith is belief in the unseen. To look beyond the obvious and see endless possibilities adds depth and meaning to our lives. It opens us to gifts beyond measure.

In Mark 9:22-24, a father of a mute son said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, do it! Have a heart and help us!”

Jesus replied, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts.”

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat talk about faith,
“Recognize and accept that
there is another dimension to life
than what is obvious to us.
Live with obstacles, doubt, and paradox,
knowing that God is always present in the world.”

FORGIVENESS

And because we believe in the God who is our Creator, and the One He sent to forgive us for our repeated wrong-doings to ourselves and one another, we also have the capacity to forgive.

The Brussats wrote about forgiveness:
“In both your private and public lives,
discover the sweet release
that comes from forgiving others.
Feel the healing balm
of being forgiven and
of forgiving yourself.”

Enjoy the sweet smell
Of receiving and giving
Forgiveness’ balm

UNFORGIVENESS

“I am a wretched sinner! I am going to Hell!” Mark shouted from his nursing home bed.

“Mark, we all have sinned. We all make mistakes. None of us is perfect. You have asked God to forgive you. He has! You need to forgive yourself!”

“I can’t! You don’t know how bad my sin is! You don’t know what I did! I can never forgive myself! I am miserable,” Mark moaned.

My friend, Mark, died later that week!

I don’t know if he was able to forgive himself on his deathbed, but I believe our Lord and Savior died so that Mark could be forgiven. He did believe in God. He professed his belief many times.

John 20:21-23 says,
“Again Jesus said to His disciples,
‘Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me,
I am sending you.
And… He breathed on them and said,
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive anyone his sins,
they are forgiven’ …”

Are you looking for more meaning, more purpose,
and a peace that permeates your soul?

Live in Faith, my friends.
Know the Holy Spirit lives in you,
and know You ARE Forgiven.

You do not need to end your life crying in misery.
Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you will have eternal life in His name.

“Forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

art cathedral christ christian

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.
He is risen indeed!

Be at peace!

 

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