Posts tagged ‘religion’
Loving Takes Effort
I wrote this post back in February of 2012 as a new blogger. I decided today would be a good day to revive and update it, because it is as pertinent today (maybe even more pertinent) as it was eight years ago!
Work at Loving!
Like you, I want to be more kind, more loving, more at peace. In giving, we receive. Kindness is reciprocal. Peace of mind is a gift to those who live in the fullness of LOVE. But, in a world full of hate and devisiveness, illnesses like depression and the current Corona Virus, we have to work at loving and finding peace!
Very few of us have the privilege of finding a spot like this one where we can sit quietly at the top of a peaceful place and just breathe the clear air slowly.
Where can we find peace in the midst of our bustling real world?
Work to Find Time to Know Him
I schedule TIME each morning to be with the Holy Spirit. In my quiet meditation time that morning back in 2012, I stumbled upon 2Peter 1:2-7. The question that starts that scripture caught my heart. “Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace?”
I was reading the Living Bible, paraphrased – a large print copy that used to belong to my father-in-law. Gratefully, I inherited it when he passed on to his eternal home. This passage was underlined. Grandpa Beekman had double-underlined the next sentence, “Then learn to know Him better and better.”
Meditation and Study Time
My sanctuary time each morning is all aboutgetting to know Him better, and listening for His still small voice. As I study God’s Word, and get to know Him better, there are many benefits. The rest of this passage spells them out – and I easily connected the idea of “increased faith” with the reality of “increased love.” But there is a long pathway that leads to increased love (which equates to more of God’s kindness and peace). It takes plain old good, hard work!
“For as you know Him better,
He will give you, through His great power,
everything you need for living a truly good life:
He even shares His own glory
and His own goodness with us!”
Study to Know His Goodness and His Promises
I have added the capitals to “His.” The Bible doesn’t capitalize it. For me, the word requires a capital case letter when the him/his is not just any old him or his, but the One HIM, our Lord and Savior, God. So, when I share in His glory and goodness, it is special indeed! The scripture doesn’t stop there, though.
2Peter 1, Verse 4-
“And by that same mighty power,
He has given us all the other
rich and wonderful blessings He promised;
for instance, the promise to save us
from the lust and rottenness all around us,
and to give us His own character.”
Wow! What a promise!! How can I attain such blessings? Some would say it is totally by His grace. I don’t have to DO anything. Just because I BELIEVE I am His “chosen,” I will receive all these blessings. Well, not according to 2Peter 1: 5-7. Read on!
Work at Increased Faith
“BUT, to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what He wants you to do.”
(That’s always a trick to discern what He wants me to do!)
With Patience, Put Aside Your Own Desires
“Next, learn to put aside your own desires
so that you will become patient and godly,
gladly letting God have His way with you.”
I am reminded of my oldest grandson, Mikey.
He’s now 28, but when he was barely able
to pull himself up by his mother’s apron strings
and stand knee-high next to her,
he would tug on that apron
as she warmed his bottle in hot water on the stove.
Sure he was starving to death,
he would cry,
(Ah yes, we long for paaay-shuns
even as we are barely able to verbalize a sentence!)
Walk the Path to Grow in the Capacity to Love
“This will make possible the next step,
which is for you to enjoy other people
and to like them,
and finally you will grow
to love them deeply.”
Grow to love.
Grow in faith.
Work at it.
Take the path that has “exercise stops” along the way.
- Exercise your goodness first – the goodness Christ has given you.
- Then stop to exercise wisdom – the knowledge we gain as we study God’s Word and practice being more and more like Christ.
- Next, exercise selflessness and self-control, the fruits that the Holy Spirit has planted in you.
- Practice patience and gentleness.
- Your next stop on the exercise trail is labeled “Gratitude.” It is there that you learn to be grateful for the gifts you have been given while you focus on the gifts in others.
Put On Your Jesus Glasses
When you put on your Jesus glasses, you see the goodness, compassion, and faithfulness of others as God sees them. When you put on your Jesus glasses and appreciate all that is unique and wonderful about others, you see them as God’s creations. You have exercised enough now to love them.
Love Takes Effort!
Love is a gift worth working for. Thank God, He has freely loved us long before we knew how to love Him back. But now we do! We are getting to know God better and better. Praise the Lord!
The Bottom Line
Yes, the bottom line is the key:
Love One Another.
What will you do today to demonstrate your love for others?
Tell me about it!
God is saying to you today:
My child, you are worrying too much. remember who I am there is nothing too hard for me. You may not see it, but I have everything planned out for you.
Verse of the Day:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Each morning I begin my day sitting in this old rocking chair that Bob’s great-grandpa built. It’s up in the corner of my favorite room in the house – my sanctuary.
You can see Mornings with Jesus, my #1 devotional, on the chair in front of my “All Things Grow with Love” pillow. The picture above the photo of room is today’s page. My bookmark reminds me daily of my 2020 resolution: “Walk the Talk.”
Prov. 3:5-6 is the verse on that card. It’s one of my favorite scriptures. With it tucked firmly under my belt and in my heart each morning, I read the daily devo and write in large, fat letters the 2 to 6 words that are my “take away” for the day. You can see “SIMPLY TRUST HIM” is today’s message.
At the top of my devo page I write my plan for the day … the part of it that God directs to my angelic perch from His heavenly Holy Spirit’s leading. It helps me to “Walk the Talk” when I put my trust in what He has “up His sleeve.”
What are your plans for this beautiful Sunday? I hope you take time to pray. The Faith Step that’s partly covered by my bookmark in the devo picture says, “Recall the times when Jesus answered your prayers in ways you didn’t expect. If you’re praying for something right now, don’t keep Him in a box. Expect Him to answer beyond your expectations.”
Go ahead. Listen for His leading. Step out confidently today with plans God sets before you.
Jesus responded, “ Didn’t I tell you that you would seeGod’s glory if you believe?”
Pray with me, “Thank You, Jesus, for praying with us and for us. Thank You for Your presence in our lives. Now, as we walk the talk, guide our feet where You want us to go today. Help us meet who You want us to meet. Whisper what You want us to say. Help us be who we were made to be. Show us what You want us to do as we walk in Your will. Amen”
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