Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘scripture’

God’s Miracle: Church


Sermon notes from today’s service in Ennis. Montana – Rev. Steve Hundley
Taken in poetry as I listened – written through JanBeek’s filters.

Church: A Miracle of God

I can’t scold you today –
Not because we are in this place,
Not because I’m in a good mood,
But because of the love in this space.

Because of the words of Paul
(the ones our Paul read so well today),
I am encouraged to join in
With what Gentle Jesus had to say.

He wrote to the Thessalonians
While he was out traveling, making a tent,
“We were gentle among you,” He said.
“We spoke soft words – whispered encouragement.”

Paul’s words to other churches
Were not so gentle and kind.
But to the Thessalonians, He set aside
Sternness – and praised the ties that bind.

The Gospel is a powerful book.
It can and does transform lives.
We are astonished at how God’s Word
Teaches, changes folks, lives, and survives.

The church, like the one in Thessalonica,
Is a place where people love and give.
They pray for you, they stay with you,
They make life better and help you live.

Our old church in McAllister, Montana was built in the early 1900s.
It has no running water, so when we use it for church services
once a year, we have to rent a porta-potty, chase the mice away,
and clean the mouse droppings from the chairs and alter.

But, it is a place that reminds of how simple God’s church can be.
It doesn’t have to be a large, elaborate cathedral to be worshipful.

Photo by Adrienn on Pexels.com

It is not the building that makes a church. In the early days, many of the “church services” were held in people’s homes. Some people in today’s world still hold their worship services in living rooms, tents, or on an open hillside. The Miracle of God that is His Church is not the place, but the people.

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Wherever we gather, with the focus on worship of our God, He is with us.
That’s what Paul was telling the church of Thessalonica.

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 was what
our scripture volunteer,
Paul Carlson, read to us today:

“Surely you remember, brothers and sisters,
our toil and hardship;
we worked night and day
in order not to be a burden to anyone
while we preached the gospel of God to you.
You are witnesses, and so is God,
of how holy, righteous, and blameless
we were among you who believed.
For you know that we dealt with each of you
as a father deals with his own children,
encouraging, comforting and urging you
to live lives worthy of God,
who calls you into His kingdom and glory.
And we also thank God continually because,
when you received the word of God,
which you heard from us,
you accepted it not as a human word,
but as it actually is, the word of God,
which is indeed at work in you who believe.”

As Christians, members of His Church, that is our goal: to hear His Word, and respond to it by encouraging, comforting, and urging fellow Christians to live lives that demonstrate He is indeed at work in us. That is what makes our church “God’s Miracle.” Not the building, but we, the people.

Whether we are in our old McAllister treasure, or our salmon-colored church in downtown Ennis, our job is to love one another, support one another, and spread the Word to those who may not know the Peace of Christ that “passeth all understanding.”

Philippians 4:7
“And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.”

Photo by Nitin Arya on Pexels.com

God Bless You, my friends.
I hope you have the joy
of a supportive church family.
And I pray that you are one of those
who is God’s hand at work in this world.
Have a lovely Sunday night.

See ya tomorrow.

Go Mark Up Your Bible


It’s okay to write
All over the Bible page
Try on the scriptures

Let them show to you
The messages of your heart
Picture the sunset

Remember goodness
Take the righteousness and truth
Take light from God’s love

Make your face to shine
On the pages of scripture
Carry His statutes

Give thanks to the Lord
His love endures forever
Rejoice and be glad

It’s another day
To mark a fav’rite scripture
It’s OK. Take joy!

Go sing a new song!

Sing with the angels!
He has done marvelous things!
I’ll see ya later.

Ace the Course


Ace the Course

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Happy Sunday, my friends. Did you get a chance to go to church? Our sermon today at Madison Valley Presbyterian in Ennis, MT was based on the Good Samaritan story in Luke 10:25-37 and the questions, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” and “Who is my neighbor?”

You all know the story of the Good Samaritan, so you may be wondering as I did, “How can there be a new twist on this old scripture lesson?”

Well, these are my poetic notes as I listened and recorded my “Take-aways” from today’s sermon, titled “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

ACE THE COURSE

What do I have to do
To ace the course?
Depends on the
Course, of course!

What do I have to do
To get to Heaven?
Ah, that course requires
Forgiveness – more than 70×7.

What do I have to do
To forgive and to love
As was demonstrated
By our Lord above?

I need to love
My neighbors ALL.
Who are my neighbors?
Whom should I call?

Call on the needy.
Call on the one in the ditch.
Call on the leper –
Help him scratch his itch!

Call on the lowly,
The good-for-nothing guys.
Don’t limit your call
To the powerful and wise.

Call on the lazy ones.
Call on the poor of heart.
Call on the merciless –
That’s the place to start.

If you wanna ACE
The course to Eternity,
You gotta reach out
And do good to ALL for FREE.

Don’t reach out for gain.
Don’t expect your reward to start.
You’re in this course to gain
An A+ with your loving heart!

BEE the LOVE

See ya tomorrow.

See ya tomorrow.

God’s Handiwork


God’s Handiwork

 

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

What good work has God prepared for you to do today?

person writing on white book

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Each day as I pray and meditate, read and study Scripture, and enjoy a plethora of devotionals, I ask God,

  • What do You want me to do today?
  • Who do You want me to meet?
  • What do You want me to say?
  • How can I reflect Your love?

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I plan my day before I leave and walk down the circular staircase into the “real world.”

stairs down

BUT, I remain open to God’s nudges and His leading…

mountains nature arrow guide

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Pexels.com

I know God has prepared good works for me to do today. What are they?

And what do you think He has planned for you??

pexels-photo-887349

Thanks for visiting.

Leave me a comment about your
plans for Good Works today, okay?

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

Thrill to the Quest


Thank you for continuing with me
on the quest to
Add greater meaning to
and
Find larger purpose in
Life

Today’s letter in this A-Z series is “Q”

In their book, Spiritual Literacy, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat wrote,
Savor questions and thrill to the quest.
See your life as a journey
that quickens your faith
and deepens your soul.”

Be a Seeker

The cover page to the Brussat’s book says, “A book that belongs in every seeker’s home…”

That’s me! A seeker! How about you?

seek for adventure

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A seeker always is looking for:

  • adventure
  • a better way
  • a new way
  • a “funner” path
  • a creative hobby
  • a clearer direction or purpose for life
  • a way to improve a skill
  • ideas for improving his/her diet
  • motivation for a healthier life
  • other bloggers who can help him/her remain inspired or learn new skills or just laugh a little

Do any of those resonate with you?

What would you add to the list?

Don’t be Afraid to Improvise

I recently had an abundance of carrots that needed to be used. I googled “Carrot Soup” and discovered this wonderful new (to me) site called “Eating Well.” The carrot soup recipe is simple and easy.

food healthy cooking fresh

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

 

Check it out at http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249990/carrot-soup/

I followed the recipe, but when I was finished, I decided it needed some enhancement. I went back to the site on a quest for enhancement ideas. Right next to that recipe was one that added curry to the soup. We love curry. Also, I wanted it to be a bit creamy. I had some half and half on hand. I added that.

You know, when you are on a quest for improved flavors, improved health or attitudes, improved life-styles … you name it … you have to be adventuresome! Mix it up.  Improvise. Think outside the box!

photo of white and brown cardboard box toy figure

Photo by Matan Segev on Pexels.com

Think Outside the Box

Recently I have been on a quest for ideas to enhance the birthday party for my great-grandson. It’ll be at our house this Saturday. He’ll be two on Sunday. We have about 25 friends and in-law-family of my granddaughter coming to join us. What can we do besides eat and socialize?

I asked Siri. She led me to fatherly.com, a website with an article titled, “20 Original Ideas for a Second Birthday Party.” From a rainbow party to a fairytale fete, these birthday themes are touted to be perfect fits for two-year-olds.

The article on fatherly.com said,
“They have simple tastes.
They want cake,
shiny things to wave about,
and to run free…
Second birthdays should be glorious play dates.”

I pray for good weather, and I pray that my granddaughter will have other two-year-olds here for my great-grandson to play with. But, whether she does or not, the ideas I discovered on this site satisfied my quest for answers to “What can we do besides eat and socialize?”

Balloons sounded like a great idea to me. If our unpredictable Montana weather is bad that day, balloons can hit furniture and not put dents in it!

toddler girl sitting on ground surrounded by balloons

Photo by Amponsah Nii Davidson on Pexels.com

Now, we need to choose a theme –  and get busy. Thinking outside the box can sometimes result in extra work. Don’t be afraid of it!

Let Your Quest Quicken Your Faith and Deepen Your Soul

If one of your quests is like mine: to look for clearer direction or purpose for life, what questions do you ask? Where do you go for answers?

My go-to source for such answers is clear to you if you have read any of my other posts. Rarely do I leave you without a reference to God, to the Living Lord who walked on earth and showed us the Way, or a reference to Scripture. I will not disappoint you this time either.

It’s not just Google or Siri to whom I turn when I have questions. They are a great help when it comes to history, places, recipes, party ideas… but when it comes to matters of the heart and soul, nothing beats the Good Book!

person holding opened book

Photo by Eduardo Braga on Pexels.com

Use the Bible’s Concordance

My NIV (New International Version) Study Bible has a great concordance. I can look to the back of the Book for words that reference my questions. It will list all the places in the Bible where the idea I am seeking is mentioned.

For instance, when I was concerned about a friend who was excessively worrying, I went to the word “Worry” in the Concordance. I found the perfect scripture to add to the card I was sending to my friend.

Phil.4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ.”

Thrill to the Quest

Let the references from Siri, the links you find on Google, and the assurance of Scripture never fail to thrill you! Technology is amazing. But so is our Certain Help in times of trouble. Don’t forget to call on the Lord. Pray!! When all else fails, He will never fail you!

Keep your quests alive!
God Bless You, my Seeking Friends…

See you tomorrow!

 

The Forgiving Father


Happy Sunday, my friends. Did you attend church today?

We did – and I took my usual sermon notes in poetry.
And we sang a great version of the scripture lesson.
I share it with you below.

classic close up draw expensive

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

The scripture the sermon was based on was Luke 15:1-32.

It is a familiar passage for most Christians.
It includes the parables of three things LOST: a Sheep, a Coin, and a Son.

The song we sang  after the sermon was a beautiful poetic summary of the scripture.
The words, written in 1999 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette are so “right on!”
I HAVE to share them with you.
.
As you read these lyrics, try singing them to the tune of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” It’s magical! It’s gorgeous!!

.
God’s Great Love is So Amazing

 

Verse 1

God’s great love is so amazing!
See a shepherd with his flocks!
Ninety-nine are safely grazing;
One is lost among the rocks.

That good shepherd goes and searches
Till he finds the one astray.
So God says to fill our churches
With the ones who’ve lost their way.

Verse 2

God in love is always seeking!
See a woman with her broom!
For a single coin she’s sweeping
Every corner of the room.

When it’s found she calls each neighbor,
Telling friends from all around.
So God says to search and labor
Till God’s precious ones are found.

Verse 3

God keeps waiting, searching, yearning!
See a father’s heartfelt joy!
Thankful for the son’s returning.
He runs out to greet his boy.

To the angry older brother,
Hear the father’s patient call.
So God says to love each other,
For in Christ, God loves us all.

man holding boy

 

My sermon notes are not as professional as the poem above.
They lack the a-b-a-b rhyme scheme.
Mine is based on an a-b-c-b scheme.
You probably can’t sing them to a chosen tune.
But they capture the message I heard being preached.
See if you can relate to how our pastor took this scripture
and spun it into a lesson for us all.

The Forgiving Father

Sermon notes 3/31/19
Jan Beekman’s “take-away” on
Rev. Jean Johnson’s message
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana

 

Leave ninety-nine vulnerable
For the sake of finding one?
The Lost Sheep story tells us
That’s exactly what Jesus woulda done.

 

Leave a pocketful of change
For the one coin lost?
Yes, that’s what Jesus said.
Look carefully at the cost!

 

The cost of losing valued
Possessions can be very high.
We leave behind the flock
And fly off to pie in the sky!

 

Open your eyes to the One
Who is right in your midst.
The Shepherd among us
Seeks the lost. He insists.

 

The least among us are
Lost until they’re found.
We’re to be the seekers
Who search, listening for the sound.

 

Listen for the lost sheep’s plea,
And know, in fact, we are they.
We all need to be rescued
From the flighty life we live today.

 

Jesus really spoke not of
Coins and sheep, but us.
We are the ones who need
To be found. We must!

 

We must seek and be found
By Christ who loved us first.
Let’s join His rescued sheep
And rejoice as He quenches our thirst.

 

Christ shows us God’s real joy
With the parable of father and son.
The wayward boy returned home.
He was lost, now found. Victory won!

Welcome Home!
Come join the party.

Amen?

Tell me about the message at your church or temple or synagogue today.
What was your take-away?

 

 

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