Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘sermons’

In Search of the Uncluttered Life


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!

green and white press drill on table

“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

img_0353

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
and barrenness,
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 broken-spirited,
the sick, the dying,
the disenfranchised,
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
are united,
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
we pray.
And all God’s people said,
Amen!

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!
Hear Angels w Heart
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Surviving with Doubt


Doubt

Today’s Sermon

The sermon at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church was delivered today by Elaine Hundley, Christian educator extraordinaire. She titled it, “Perfect Weakness,” as she focused on the messages in Isaiah 40:1-8, 28-31 and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Is there Perfect Weakness?

The Apostle Paul spoke of his weakness, his struggles, and his ability to find strength in spite of his troubles – by leaning on the Power of God. But, is there “Perfect Weakness?” The message today said, Yes, there can be, but not without giving our weaknesses to God… and letting Him take away our doubt and give us the strength found only in His Power.

Poetic Sermon Notes

Here are the notes I took away from the message as I heard it this morning:

 

Is doubt your constant companion?
Do doubts creep into your heart?
Do you read or listen to the news
And wonder when the next war will start?

person holding a burning news paper close up photography

Photo by Connor Danylenko on Pexels.com

.
The mass murders in the USA
Are so many in number this year
That there have been more deaths by far
Than there are days, I fear.

photo of man holding rifle

Photo by Maurício Mascaro on Pexels.com

.
Struggles abound – and it’s hard
To keep our chins up!
Can there ever be peace on earth?
God, says, “Believe, trust I’ll fill your bins up!”

.
But we are a fragile people
Who struggle to see our future bright.
We wonder if we even have bins –
Let alone bins that are filled up bright.

focus photo of yellow paper near trash can

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

.
We need to remember that God is HERE
And He can lift us up.
We need to trust His power
And know He’ll fill our cup.

pexels-photo-302899
.
We need to know that He knows
Our every struggle – our loss –
He’s here beside us by the grace
Of Jesus, who took our loss upon the cross.
.

Let’s follow His lead –
Accept His grace –
And just love one another!!
Can’t we???

mountains nature arrow guide

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Pexels.com

.
Breaking News:
29 dead and many more injured
in the past 13 hours
in the USA
in two mass shootings!

When will these senseless
tragedies cease?

What can we do??

I pray:
God bless the families,
the friends,
the loved ones of those
involved in these mass shootings
in the USA yesterday and today.
May they somehow find comfort in their faith
and in the compassionate comments,
hugs, and support of their friends.
.
I beg:
Lord, help us find solutions
for the problems of
mental illness
that rampage our country –
and the proliferation of assault weapons
that are in the hands of unstable civilians.

.
pexels-photo-887349-2
See ya tomorrow
(God willing!)

Look Beyond!


Look Beyond!

finger-3639605__340.jpg

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.

IMG_8556.JPG

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.

Amen?

 

Just Love One Another
pexels-photo-887349-2
See ya tomorrow

Ace the Course


Ace the Course

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

Project Peace


Project Peace

World Peace is illusive.
Can it ever be attained?
What role do I play in it?
Is my attitude engrained?

Do I project Attitude Peace?
Am I carrying my load?
Today’s sermon told me
It’s a very illusive road.

woman sitting in grey fur sofa

Rev. Jean Johnson’s sermon topic:
“God Bless This House with Peace”
based on Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20

Violence against older adults
Is on the rise; peace gunned
Down in constant upheavels –
Headlines leave us stunned.

God entrusts us with
The lives others. Take part
In providing care for
The deeper issue: the human heart.

We need a change of heart.
We need a heart of peace.
God asks us to spread
His peace to all – – – Release!

We need to reorient
Our idea of how peace acts.
We need to be willing
To understand the facts.

Peace is not an ideal
To be attained from others.
It is not something given
By our sisters and our brothers.

We do not have the power
To change the hearts of others.
We each must choose our peace,
Not the hate that smothers.

The struggle for peace
Is not between me and thee.
It is a face in the mirror;
The face of peace I see.

Do I regard the needs
Of others as great as my own?
Do I forgive 70 x 7?
And love those with hearts of stone?

Do I acknowledge the value
Of each human being?
Do I give unconditionally?
Do I love those who’re disagreeing?

Do I set aside old baggage
And see others free and clear?
Or do I carry resentment,
And prejudge those ever near?

God asks us to bring peace
With us wherever we go.
Work to create a change of heart.
Offer peace to all you know.

Peace to you, my friends.
I hope you’re having a peaceful Sunday.

Way to go, FIFA, USA Soccer Gals!!
You’re awesome!!

pexels-photo-887349-1

See you tomorrow.

 

Where Are You Headed?


Headed Toward Jerusalem

woman taking pictures of ruins

Photo by Haley Black on Pexels.com

 

Today’s sermon topic was “Headed Toward Jerusalem.” It was based on the story in Luke 9:51-62 in which Jesus, headed toward Jerusalem, sent His disciples ahead to Samaria to prepare a place for Him to stay the night. Knowing Jesus’ destination was Jerusalem, the Samaritans refused to welcome Him into their city.

Offended by the rejection, the disciples, James and John, asked Jesus if He would like to send fire down on the Samaritans and destroy their city. Jesus rebuked the disciples for their hard-heartedness and attitude of retribution. He and His disciples simply moved on to Jerusalem.

Here are my sermon notes
that I took as I listened carefully
to what Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana

had to say about this scripture.

 

Where Are You Headed?

We’re all headed somewhere.
Where is your face headed?
What values guide and direct you
– and what destination is dreaded?

What life is truly worth living?
How do you live with purpose in love?
“Jerusalem” is a metaphor for
The place that fits you like a glove.

It’s a metaphor for traveling
To where you’re meant to be.
It’s being who you were meant to be
And facing the direction of Eternity.

We are pulled in different directions.
Our tendency is much like James and John
Who wanted to call fire on those
Who rejected Jesus: We want enemies gone!

But Jesus rebuked the disciples.
He rejected their hardness of heart.
Keep your eyes on your destination.
Don’t let detractors pull us apart.

“Jerusalem” is a metaphor for peace.
What do we do about violent actions?
“Jerusalem” is about the Truth of God.
What do we do about divided factions?

We need to wrestle with these questions
And struggle for clarification.
There are no easy answers.
Today’s world creates chaos and confusion.

What does it mean to head
Toward “Jerusalem” and let go
Of security and face change?
Transformation is a place we must know.

“Jerusalem” is about the love of Christ.
It’s letting go of the things that bind us
To this world of hate and divisions.
It’s turning our faces toward Christian kindness.

Join me, OKAY?
Let’s head toward or own “Jerusalem.”

What are the things that bind you
to the place you are,
and keep you from heading
toward YOUR “Jerusalem”??

heart of love
Have a beautiful Sunday.
See ya tomorrow!

Love Transforms


It is Well With My Soul
“Love Transforms”

heart of love

Listen to:
“It is Well With My Soul”
https://youtu.be/AHe_qmo3gX4

It’s Sunday.
Time for the Sermon Notes…
and as I post these, I remind myself
that I must continue to live in an attitude of gratitude
and a response of generosity,
faithfulness, obedience, and
integrity.

In that effort, I must not just attend church
and take sermon notes,
but I must walk the talk!
Love Transforms.
God’s Love…
as it lives and breathes in me
and as I exhibit it honestly to others.
Especially to the hurting,
the lonely,
the ill,
and the downtrodden.

Lord Help me BE the Love!

Here  are my sermon notes from today
– a reflection on Luke 8:26-39 –
as preached by Rev. Jean Johnson,
and interpreted by me…

Love Transforms

Sometimes folks with illness
Are defined by what is wrong.
Haunted by their ailments,
They can’t join or go along.
.

They feel as if they may as well
Be dead … they’re barely alive…
So many problems – terrible issues;
They long to live and thrive.
.

People who ignore the sick ones
May think they’re doing what’s right,
But Jesus sees new life in them.
He heals them – so now their future’s bright.

.
But naming the nameless, and
Loving the loveless can bring fear.
People don’t know how to react
When the broken are filled with cheer.

.
Transformation can be scary.
Hope can be frightening to some.
But the ones who are held down
Can be freed when the Son says, “Come!”

.
Free in Christ, and healed by God,
The downtrodden can know new joy.
God doesn’t intend for us to dwell
In death, while alive. Fear’s a ploy.
.

Fear’s a ploy that shackles us;
It comes in many forms.
But God can bring new life to you.
Accept and proclaim it. His love transforms.

.
God blesses you!
Reach out to an ailing friend.
Bring God’s love to them.
Bring them joy without end.

.

Amen?
Amen!

heart of love
See ya tomorrow!

 

Tag Cloud