Posts tagged ‘religion’
We are headed back
To my niece, Jodie, and Bill’s place
Kutztown was just great!
We attended Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church with Lisa & Allen this morning.
My favorite was the last hymn. I’d never heard or sung it before. Have you?
The congregation really got into it, clapping and singing enthusiastically. We loved it!! 💕
I hope you’ve had a blessed Sunday, too.
Bye for now. I send my love … and I’ll see ya tomorrow.
Finding StrengthThis morning I received an e-mail from a dear cousin. Her husband has esophageal cancer. The chemo and radiation treatments are making him feel tired, gaunt, and bored with the required liquid diet. Swallowing is painful. He’s lost 30 pounds. .
In the midst of life’s struggles, we need strength, courage, and assurance. Where do we find it?
Joshua 1:5-9 “No one will be able stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you. Be strong and courageous… Be strong and very courageous… Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
In my morning devotional today
from In Touch Ministries,
this very scripture and topic were discussed.
Yes, obstacles are faith’s fertilizer!
As the devotional said,
“Obstacles are one way our faith can grow.”What obstacles are you facing today? They may not be as serious as cancer of the esophagus, but every challenge we face is an opportunity to lean on our faith and allow the obstacle to grow us. Use them as stepping stones. Know that God is with you. Be assured by that cross that hangs in my sanctuary and reminds me daily to remember what our Creator tells me: “Be Still and know that I AM God.” .
My cousin’s husband is Jehovah’s Witness. I have sent him a couple of inspirational cards wishing him well and reminding him that I have him in my daily prayers.
My cousin told me in her e-mail today, “While he may not agree with all your theology… he most certainly believes in God and appreciates your prayers.”
I am reminded that God is soooo much bigger than religion. God is the Creator of us all. God loves and cares for us all. We may not practice our religious beliefs the same way, but our faith in God binds us together as one.As Christians, we say we are “One in Christ.” We believe in the Trinity – that God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are One. Who am I to say that those who say we are “One in God, our Creator” are wrong? God is Omnipotent. He sees into the heart of us all. When He promises, “I am with you,” he’s talking to you … each of you! .
What obtacles are fertilizing YOUR faith today? Be still and know God is with you.
Now, go in peace.
Let your obstacles become stepping stones.
See ya tomorrow.
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!
“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
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
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 sick, the dying,
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
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
And all God’s people said,
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!
See ya tomorrow.
Happy 19th Anniversary to Ed & Maria!
Happy 55th Anniversary to Bruce & Ann
Happy 57th Anniversary, Bonnie & Stan
Happy 60th Anniversary, Marge & Bill !!
And Happy 57th Anniversary (58 in February) to Bob & me
– as we enjoy this 80th year of our lives
– and celebrate our togetherness
– and thank God for our health
How do couple stay together so long?
That’s a question Bill & Marge were asked at our granddaughter, Faith’s wedding when the 4 Beekman couples were the last ones left on the dance floor after the disk jockey (DJ) said, “All couples married less than 55 years sit down.”
Wow! Here we were… eight old farts still standing, still dancing, still together.
Marge Beekman’s answer was, “Never go to bed mad at each other.”
Bill Beekman was asked for his answer. He said, “I agree with Marge.“
The DJ said, “Did you see that? Did you hear that? He let her answer first and then he just agreed with her. There’s the secret to a long married life!”
Are There Other Secrets?
Well, if he had asked me, “How have you stayed together for 57 years?” I would have answered with not just one, but TEN ideas! (He would have had to cut me off!)
These ideas have worked for us in our long marriage – and have contributed to my ability to tell you, “We’re not just still together, but I love him more today than I did the day we married.”
What Are the Tips for Longevity in Relationships?
- Pray together – make the Lord central in your relationship – ask Him to guide your days and help you with every decision. Listen for His Holy Spirit to speak to you and help you as you walk daily in His Will to the best of your abilities.
- Give each other space – you are a couple, but you are also people with your own ideas, your own needs, and your own agendas. Allow each other the right to make individual decisions and keep your own identities bright and alive. We even have separate checking accounts. As long as the household needs are met, I don’t have to account to him for every penny of my retirement money that I spend… and likewise, his retirement play money is his to play with as he chooses. Give each other individual freedoms!!
- Listen to one another – really hear! Care about what the other thinks and find out why he/she really believes that. Never stop learning from one another.
- Go to church together – find a worship community and cultivate their friendships. We are Christians – and we want you to be able to see that in our love for one another and our love for YOU. “They will know we are Christians by our love ❤ ” is not just a song we love to sing, but a life we strive to live. Our Christian friends are our support system, our help in time of need, our prayer partners. There is no friend like the long-term friends you make under the cross of Jesus!
- Play together – you may each have your own idea of what “fun” is (He fishes, I don’t. I love movies & popcorn, he doesn’t. He skis, I don’t. I go to Writer’s Group each Friday, he doesn’t. He loves yard work … or at least does it masterfully, I don’t. I love to volunteer at the Sr. Center, the Medical Center, help seniors in need, he doesn’t.) You get the idea. But we love to go riding on the Montana mountain trails with friends in our ATV – and we love entertaining friends in our home, hosting over-nighters for a week or a month or even a year in our home. We love going out to Dave’s Sushi or enjoying a BBQed dinner with fine wine at home. The idea is, find your areas of commonality and play happily together!
- Treasure and Appreciate One Another – Bob’s nickname for me (he has many, but my favorite ) is “Precious.” I appreciate his expressions of love and affection and his readiness to show appreciation. He often comments on things like, “My, you look pretty today!” or “I like the way you added that spice to the ______ (fill in the blank) for dinner tonight.” In return I try not to take for granted his beautiful yard work or the delicious waffles he makes for breakfast or his warm and plentiful hugs. Thank you is such an important word in any relationship!
- Love One Another – even when you don’t Like each other! None of us is perfect. We often do things to “piss each other off!” It could be something as simple as leaving the toilet seat up or not putting the lid back on the toothpaste. Or it could be a major thing like staying out late without saying you were going to do so – and not calling to say where you are. Showing LOVE for one another is treating your partner the way you want to be treated and expressing yourself clearly without anger (if possible) when your expectations are not met. Loving is compromising and not always expecting things to go your way. Love is forgiving and trying NOT to be the annoying one in the relationship!
- Be Kind and Compassionate – Yes, we all make mistakes. We do stupid things. We say things we wish we could take back. When we are at our worst, that’s when we need kindness most. It’s when our partner is at his/her worst that we find it most difficult to be kind in return. But harshness begets hatred and ugliness begets violence. Our response is crucial. Of course, there are caustic relationships that are unhealthy and are not meant to be sustained. No one is called to be a doormat. My heart goes out to those who are in relationships with those who inflict mental or physical abuse. Especially when help is offered, but refused. Sometimes leaving is the most loving option. Kindness/Compassion is a two-way street!
- Trust! – Without mutual trust, the relationship is doomed! My husband, Bob’s ski buddy is Nancy. She is a 50-something dynamo who is a ball of energy and fun. She’s a fantastic skier and loves to do those double diamond runs – just like Bob does. If I didn’t trust Bob, I could be jealous of the time they spend together on the slopes and I could conjure up all sorts of images of what I think might or might not be happening. But, Bob & I always have lived with mutual trust – and so instead of worrying, I treasure Nancy’s friendship, too. I love getting together whenever we can with her and her fun-loving husband, Dan. In fact, she’s the one I told you about a few days ago when I said I wanted to adopt a Daughter #4. You gotta trust – and in that confidence enjoy a multitude of friendships and a plethora of opportunities you might miss otherwise!
- Respect! – It’s the bottom line. Without mutual respect, you may as well call it a day NOW. I have been around couples where one of them is so disrespectful to his/her partner that it smells up the room. The air is so caustic, you don’t want to be within ten miles of ’em. You want to shake ’em and wake ’em up to what they are doing to one another – or what one is doing to the other. But, rarely does intervention help. You sigh, shake your head, and vow not to ever do that to YOUR loved one. That’s a vow worth keeping if your relationship is worth having! ALWAYS show respect to your partner… and while you’re at it, respect yourself. God don’t make no junk … you’re a treasure!
God Bless You
See ya tomorrow
Here are my sermon notes from the message
delivered by Pastor Steve Hundley
today at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
He titled it “The Bible Says”
and he had lots of stories about
how people use Bible verses
to prove their varying/opposing opinions
Sometimes people of God
Seem bent to disagree;
They argue and they point fingers.
Seems rather strange to me.
Infighting creates doubts.
Why does it have to be?
Why do we let issues divide us?
Why can’t love define you and me?
Why is there dissension
Among the people of Christ
Why can’t we pray and obey
And treat each other nice?
There always has been fighting
Because issues raise their head
And divisions seems to reign.
Why can’t we just love instead?
We often disagree with others
Because we’re really at odd (that’s poetic license)
With ourselves – our own beliefs.
Why can’t we focus on our constant God?
God’s spirit is poured out
On the hearts of ALL folks.
Why do we create divisions
And make fun of others with jokes?
Why refuse to make the round trip
From our mind to our heart?
Our heart knows the love of God.
When will our minds know? Let’s start!
Let’s celebrate diversity –
And stop trying to point blame.
Let’s look beyond our differences;
Let’s praise and worship in God’s name.
Just Love One Another
See ya tomorrow
Happy Pentecost Sunday!
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.
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?
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!
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.