Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘sermon notes’

In the Same Boat


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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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

Celebrate Palm Sunday


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Celebrate Palm Sunday with branches

Like the ones His disciples laid

Across His path in Jerusalem –

A path on which our sinful debts were paid.

.

Let each branch represent

A deed you’d like to see undone.

Give all regrets to Jesus, and

Lay those sins upon God’s Son.

.

He knew as He was riding in

Upon a humble donkey’s back

That He was headed to fulfill

His earthly purpose – that’s a fact.

.

With that triumphant entrance,

He willingly trudged Golgotha’s Hill.

Today Holy Week is beginning.

Receive its message. Heed and listen.
… Heart, be still.

I listened to the sermon in church this morning,
and as usual, I took notes in poetry.
Here is what I “took away”
from Rev. Jean Johnson’s message:

 

cross-sunset-sunrise-hill-70847.jpeg

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“Commitment”
– reflections on Luke 22-23

Pageantry and wildly waving palm branches
Are not the acts that really matter.
Palm Sunday is about the difference
Between Christ’s commitment and our chatter.

People were involved as Christ entered
The city of Jerusalem to die;
But their focus soon returned home.
They forgot Jesus, abandoned Him without a cry.

Commitment is a hard road to tred.
It requires we stay when we’re through.
Stay beyond the time we think we’re done.
Tenacity’s hard for me and you.

Sometimes when we feel abandoned,
The emptiness of our heart makes room
For the One who never left us.
He is there through our joy and in our gloom.

Christ gave His all on Golgotha Hill.
He died for us, for our salvation.
We need to walk that path with Him;
Live the pain, know the cost, delay elation.

Our faith voyage leads through Jerusalem.
We must walk the way of the cross.
Walk in commitment to Calgary,
Suffer the insults, and know the loss.

Amen?

Faith Amidst Suffering


You know I take sermon notes each week
as I listen to the Sunday message
at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church,
Ennis, Montana.

img_2035.jpg
No, this isn’t our church, but I thought it would be fun to show you the church in
Chippis, Switzerland where we attended with our daughter and family.
Ah, but I digress…

Today our pastor, Rev. Jean Johnson, was ill, so one of our church leaders, Lucy Ennis, read the message Rev. Jean had prepared.Jean was among today’s “suffering.” The sermon was based on John 12:1-8.

As usual, I listened with intent to take away the message I needed… a message to help guide my actions this day and into the coming week.

The bottom line of today’s message was quite clear,
“Surrounded by suffering,
go reach out to others.
Ready?
Start!”

Jesus faced Jerusalem
Knowing what’s ahead.
His disciples were warned
He soon would be dead.

Jesus returned to the home
Of Martha and Mary:
Friends who’d always be there,
His sorrows to carry.

He knew they would respond;
They’d give him a dinner.
They’d throw a party
For their Savior, their Winner.

Mary went out of her way
To show Jesus her devotion.
She bought expensive perfume
And poured it on Him in loving motion.

Judas was horrified, and cried,
“Why waste this? You should sell it!”
Jesus told Judas to be silent.
Mary knew His end was coming; she’d tell it.

The last reminder of what’s good
In this troubled, earthly life
Was a gesture of love by Mary,
She poured sweet fragrance on His strife.

Such gestures of love and assistance
Help get us through life with courage.
Reach out to others as Mary did.
Don’t let your troubles discourage.

Whatever you do, my friends,
Do it out of a pure and loving heart.
Surrounded by suffering, go –
Reach out to others. Ready? Start!

shrimp soup in white ceramic bowl with chili on brown wooden surface

Photo by Lovefood Art on Pexels.com

So, I did as my heart directed. Following church, I practiced with our little church choir. We are going to sing at the town’s Easter Sunrise service. Then, I went downstairs and helped serve at fellowship. (I had made and brought two pots of soup to share.)

No, that picture is not my soup. I’m afraid our little Sunday School kids and some of my church friends would not have appreciated all those hot peppers and garlic! But, doesn’t it look good? Mine was a more mundane potato soup.

What did you do to reach out to others and show your love today?

Living in One Accord


(Notes from a sermon based on Romans 8:12-17 delivered by Rev. Jean Johnson. Many of you know, to listen more intently, I take notes on Sunday mornings while listening to the message from the pulpit. Sometimes they are recorded in poetry. Last Sunday was one of those times.)

We all are God’s children.

Some call God, “Our Father.”

But, some folks choose to ignore Him.

They balk and say, “Why bother?”

God speaks to us in Romans,

To us who’ve already heard.

It’s not for the unknowing

Who think the Gospel’s absurd.

Those led by God’s Spirit

Are children of our Lord.

We show our Love and faith

By living in One Accord.

To live in One Accord with God,

We worship, study, love, and pray.

Our witness shows The Spirit

At work in us each day.

We’re living out the reality

Of what already is in us.

Be who you already are

Without works or trouble or fuss.

We used to belong to sin,

But Jesus came to the rescue.

We have reason for joy and acceptance.

Isn’t this Good News to you?

We have assurance of this reality –

This adoption is done, signed and sealed.

We sing praises to God, our Father.

Our case clearly has been appealed.

Knowing God as Father is possible

By Christ’s life, His Word, His death.

That evidence is proof enough;

We affirm it with every breath.

I believe in God, The Father,

In Jesus Christ, my loving Lord.

Thank You for Your Saving Grace.

Now, let us live in One Accord.

Amen?

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