Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘sermon notes’

What Were/Are You Expecting?


Happy Second Sunday of Advent, my friends!
It’s the Sunday devoted to the subject of JOY.

Last year at this time, as I looked forward to Christmas and New Years, I was thinking about what to give for presents. I also gave thought to what I was wishing for… what I was expecting for Christmas and for the year to come. I posted this wish for 2019:

Did I expect my wishes to come true?
You bet!

Joyfully, I can report that we have been blessed with good health and a wealth of friends and loving family, and blissful days. Not EVERY day was perfect, of course, – we all face challenges from time to time – but I am eternally thankful – daily for the JOY and peace and the love that are mine.

And now we are back in that holiday season again – looking forward to Christmas and the new year. As a congregation of worshipers, we all were drawn into that expectant mood today.

Here are my sermon notes. (If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I take notes poetically as I listen to the sermon each Sunday.)

Today in church, Pastor Steve Hundley’s message was titled,
“What Are You Expecting?”

What are you expecting for Christmas?
Reindeer on your rooftop or Santa Claus
Coming down your chimney?
Better reset your sights because…

Clyde came dressed up as Santa.
He was a crusty old guy,
And he looked like Ghandi.
But the problem was, he was high.

Clyde was high on Moonshine.
He was a jolly old soul,
But I was not impressed.
Clyde was far from my expected goal.

I was expecting the real Santa,
And I knew Clyde wasn’t he.
Like expectations of Santa,
The world is waiting expectantly…

For the birth of a Savior King,
And instead here comes a baby,
Born in a lowly stable.
He’s not the King He’s s’posed to be!

John the Baptist predeicted
The coming of this Royal King.
He spoke of confession and judgement.
He told the world about everything…

God’s prophets of old had proclaimed,
“A Savior of Priestly stock would come.”
John was so convincing, folks thought
He might in fact be God’s promised Son.

But John assured them Jesus was
The Savior King they’d waited for.
Even though Jesus was loving and kind,
Not the Leader with sword. They wanted more…

More of what they had expected.
“Are you really the One?” they inquired.
“Don’t look elsewhere; just see what I’ve done –
Go,” Jesus said. “Go and be inspired.”

Jesus reminded them that He was
Indeed doing what Isaiah said:
“The blind will see; the deaf shall hear;
The lame will walk. Believe I AM Christ.
GOD IS NOT DEAD!”

This quote by Dale Evans is worth repeating!

Have a Wonderful Sunday!
I hope you are expecting the Risen Christ!
He’s coming again, you know.

Merry Christmas!
See ya tomorrow.

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.

What is Heaven Like?


Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

If you’ve followed my blog for a week or more,
You know that I attend the Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana each Sunday, and I take sermon notes.
I take them in poetry – that’s just the way my brain
filters the message as I hear it.
It helps me listen, and remember,
and share with Bob when we get home.

Today’s sermon by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley, was
titled, “What is Heaven Like?”
Here’s my take-away on it:

If Heaven is as it should be,
Then I’m gonna sit on the bank
Of a beautiful river with my rod
And thank God for every yank.

But I know Heaven is beyond
My wildest imagination.
I know it’ll be flowing with life,
With no death, tears or stagnation.

I’m gonna ask God for help to
Understand what Heaven is like;
And since I have a Harley here,
I’m gonna ask if I’ll have my bike.

I’m gonna ask God for help to
Understand how I’ll recognize
The loved ones who went before me.
Will I know ’em when I look in their eyes?

Our Bible assures us that we
Will experience joy beyond bounds,
So I’m sure I’ll know the angels
Who’ll welcome me with glorious sounds.

I know I’ll be healed and whole
In Eternity with those I love.
So, Heaven will be as it should be
When I join my Lord in Heaven above.

When I get to Heaven, I’m gonna
Run and leap like a frisky deer.
So, when I leave this earth, friends,
Don’t weep, don’t cry; Take joy and cheer!

Bikers will find their Harley, and …
I’ll meet my Bostons there!
And Jesus will meet me at the Pearly Gates!

It’ll be Thanksgiving
with all our loved ones gathered ’round,
and it’ll feel like a Homecoming!

What do you think?
Will you be flying solo?

Hah!
See ya tomorrow.

In the Same Boat


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

SERMON NOTES

Bible Reference

Rev. Steve Hundley’s sermon topic today at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT was “We’re All in the Same Boat.” It was inspired by the story in Matthew 14:22-36. Jesus commanded the disciples to get in the boat and sail out to sea while He went off to be alone for awhile. Then – in the darkness of a stormy night – He walked on the water to go out to them. Seeing Jesus walking on water toward them, Peter asked to be able to do likewise. The Lord told him to come ahead – and he did. All went well until he looked down at the growing waves, became fearful, and started to sink. “Why did you doubt?” Jesus asked him as he helped Peter back onto the boat.

Ah, courage and faith – that’s what it takes.
But only God can walk on water.

Sermon notes taken while Steve shared his message:

We’re All in the Same Boat

Jesus is the Loving Shepherd
But He is also our Commander.
He is gentle and kind, we know,
But we realize He’s a Great Demander.

Why did Jesus order His disciples
To go and get in the boat?
It was midnight, afterall!
Was that a good time to go for a float?

The earliest idea of the church
Was the image of a boat’s belly.
We’re all in this boat together.
It’s dark, stormy, and chilly.

We’re rowing as hard as we can –
And don’t seem to make any headway.
We’re busy trying to make it on our own,
Too busy to hear what God has to say.

But God comes walking on the water,
And He says, “Fear not, it is I.”
We look and doubt and test Him saying,
If it is You, save me!” Oh my!

Only God/Jesus can walk on water.
Sometimes our job is just to cling
To the boat and don’t presume
We can go it alone. Just trust and sing!

Following the sermon, we sang this song,
“We All Are One in Mission.”
See the song’s words below the sermon notes.

First we gotta get in the boat.
Then we gotta stay in it.
We gotta trust God is here with us.
We gotta gather and pray in it!

Help me, Lord, to remember
You will draw near to me – no fuss-
If we stay and pray and know
You’re here in the boat with us.

“We All Are One in Mission”

“We all are one in mission; we all are one in call,
our varied gifts united by Christ, the Lord of all.
A single great commission compels us from above
to plan and work together that all may know Christ’s love.

We all are called for service, to witness in God’s name.
Our ministries are different; our purpose is the same:
To touch the lives of others by God’s surprising grace,
so every folk and nation may feel God’s warm embrace.

Now let us be united, and let our song be heard.
Now let us be a vessel for God’s redeeming Word.
We all are one in mission; we all are one in call,
our varied gifts united by Christ, the Lord of all.”

Words: Rusty Edwards (Matthew 28:19-20; i Cor. 12:4-6
Music: Finnish folk melody

I am with you.
I’m praying you have a blessed Sunday.
..
and a week filled with God’s grace.

See ya later

Power!


Today’s Sermon Notes
Happy Sunday, my friends!

The power of the breath of God
was a focus of today’s sermon

Photo by Jakob on Pexels.com

by Rev. Steve Hundley (guest minister while our Rev. Jean,
who has served this church for the past 25 years
is away, recuperating from serious surgery).

Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, MT – a congregation in a state of transition

The Holy Spirit’s Power

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A pile of dry bones
Littered the field.
Can these bones live?
Can they once again yield
Life with vitality?

Only You, Lord,
Only You can cause it.
The bones are dry;
Only God can pause it
And bring life to reality.

Our church may be
Those dry bones now.
But God can breathe
Life in us somehow.
Dry is not finality.

God can cause these
Dry bones to revive.
He can breathe on us
And help us come alive.
Life with vitality!

We have God’s Spirit
Deep within our heart.
Can these bones live?
Yes, God can help us start.
Make Your Power, Lord, a reality…

… in us.

Amen?

Help us see Opportunities
through Your Power in us!

Do you have an area of “Dry Bones” in your life?
Seek His Power for new life in you.
Ask God’s Holy Spirit to breathe vitality into
those areas of concern.
God Bless You!
See you tomorrow.

Ubuntu!


Ubuntu!

 

Guest Minister

Today at church our guest minister was Dan Hollard, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bozeman, Montana. Our pastor for the past 25+ years has been Rev. Jean Johnson. Jean is on disability leave right now … in a rehab facility in Great Falls, MT.

Pray for Jean

Join me in prayer for Rev. Jean Johnson’s release from pain and ability to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

Sunday Surprises

Meantime, it’s a surprise each Sunday to see who is in the pulpit and to hear a different kind of message. Today’s message was titled, “Spirit of Peace.” I think Dan Hollard must have spent some time in Africa, because he put on an authentic African accent and told us the story of Ubuntu (Oooo-boon-too).

He based his message on the scripture of Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

Here’s what I heard through my filter and took away this morning:

lunch table

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

There was a woman in Africa named Dorothy
Who embodied the spirit of Ubuntu
She was all about community and humanity.
Her kitchen was open to all … she’d welcome you.

She lived the spirit of Matthew 25:
If you see someone naked, clothe them.
If you see someone hungry, feed them.
We’re all one; you should never loathe them!

Dorothy was like a mother to all
Who entered her village; she’d invite
The hungry and poor to dine in her kitchen.
The sense of community was pure delight.

Like Nelson Mandela who invited his captors
To enjoy his inauguration feast,
Dorothy welcomed one and all –
Didn’t label anyone as one of the “least.”

Instead she lived a life that demonstrated
“I am who I am because of who we are.”
She knew “We are all connected.”
Her love lifted all people to “par.”

Everywhere in the world what we need
Is more Dorothys who live out Matthew 25.
Regardless of religion or color or creed,
We need Ubuntu to spread far and wide.

We must fill our world with love and joy.
We must fill the world with God’s peace.
We must feed the hungry and show respect
And love to all. Come and join my feast!

Shalom!

Ubuntu!
Have a Matthew 25 Sunday.
“I am because we are.”
We are all connected.
colorful dancers

pexels-photo-887349-2
See you tomorrow.

 

Love Uniqueness


Love Uniqueness

artsy-chicken-eggs-color-1556707


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.

pexels-photo-1574650
.
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!

cropped-snapchat-me
.
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?
pexels-photo-887349
See you tomorrow

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