Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘sermons’

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!

 

Unbearable Sermon Message


Unbearable

Some Sundays, the sermon message is unbearable! But, I go, I listen, and I try to discern what God is trying t tell me. I let the minister speak to my heart and I ask God to help me be discerning.

Today was one of those days when I longed for a pastor who could divert her attention from the lectionary cycle and get with the stuff that is more “cultural.” After all, it’s Father’s Day! I don’t want to hear about the unbearable!

adult alone anxious black and white

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

But, based on John 16: 12-15, somehow Rev. Jean Johnson at our Madison Valley Presbyterian church came us with this unlkely message for today:

Unbearable

Jesus did not tell His disciples
All that He had to say.
He said some things were unbearable.
They’d hear them another day.
.
Preparing for vacation, a family
Was told to come right away.
There had been an accident –
Too unbearable to hear any day!
.
Their son had not survived.
They were devastated, of course.
How can we respond or help?
We can’t fathom their remorse.
.
Think of a time when indeed,
Delight and splendor were spilled overboard.
Ever had so much happiness
You could only say, “Thank You, Lord”?
.
The touch of your spouse’s love
Can be beautifully unbearable
When you know forgiveness
Was given for the unshareable.
.
Things can be unbearably wonderful,
Or they can be unbearably awful.
Unbearable opens our hearts to love.
The opposite, unfeeling, should be unlawful!
.
When you bear the unbearable,
God is with you, alive and well.
In tears of joy or cries of agony,
God’s more present than we can tell.
.
When life is too big, too real,
Too much – too much to bear,
That’s when we know God for sure,
When the Spirit declares, “I Am There.”
.
Nothing is withheld from God.
We may feel a flutter like a dove…
It’s God, who is lifting us up.
When in the unbearable, we feel His love.
.
Thank You, God!
You never fail me!

Amen?
Amen!

I pray you had an UNBEARABLY joyful
Father’s Day today!
heart of love
See ya tomorrow.

Under the Influence


Happy Pentecost Sunday!

red and orange fire

Photo by Adonyi Gábor on Pexels.com

This is Pentecost Sunday.
It is the day Christian churches around the world
celebrate the tongues of fire that landed on the heads
of the people gathered in the temple.
The tongues of fire represent the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit allowed the people from
about eight different language regions
to hear in their own native languages
the disciples’ message –
– the Word of God.

The story of the coming of the Holy Spirit
is told in Acts 2: 1-21.
I read that scripture passage aloud
in our church service this morning.

woman reading a book

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Then Rev. Jean Johnson
of our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana
preached a sermon on that topic.
These are the poetic notes I took as I listened to her message:

“Under the Influence”

The disciples were filled
With New Wine – the Word –
It’s known as Pentecost Sunday.
People thought they were absurd.

Sometimes we, too, become
Intoxicated with New Wine –
Drunk on self-importance,
Inebriated on everything fine.

Possessions, new cars,
Perfectionism, being right;
Approval, needing it from others;
Knowledge, seen as being bright.

We’ve all been intoxicated
By hobbies – like fishing.
What are you drunk on?
For what are you wishing?

birthday bow box card

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My drink of choice is
Writing and staying in touch.
But that liquid isn’t everlasting;
It doesn’t fill me up very much.

I know for certain I need
To be under the influence
Of those gifts from God that
Help me live in love and prudence.

I am asked to drink
A New Wine that fills
My heart with God’s grace.
The thought of it brings chills.

God’s Day of “Sober Drunkenness”
Is a day filled with paradox.
It’s a day to set aside
The drinks that wind our clocks!

It’s a day to open up
The bottle of forgiveness.
Drink deeply of God’s Power.
It is intoxicating Goodness.

Let His potion sweep you
Off your feet to see
Your Pentecostal Moment.
Feel the Spirit; drink with glee.

Under the influence
Of God’s transforming love,
Let His New Wine fill you
With His Holy Spirit from above.

Pentecost brings us sobriety and inebriation.
Where are your moments of “Sober Drunkenness”?

Do you feel the Holy Spirit’s presence in you?
Let the tongues of fire land on your head
and fill you with God’s Love!

Happy Day of Pentecost!

pexels-photo-887349
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Do leave me a message telling me about your
“Drink of Choice” on this Pentecostal Sunday.
What fills YOUR cup?

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

Photo by ♫ ♪ on Pexels.com

Happy Memorial Day in the USA
(A day to remember those who
have fought and died for our freedom)
.
See you tomorrow

Spoken For


Sunday morning Sermon Notes
Rev. Jean Johnson – inspired by John 10:22-30
Notes recorded
by Jan Beekman
5/12/19

God Loves You

Spoken For

“Back off, Sister, he’s spoken for!”
He smiled, “I didn’t know. How nice!”
Think about this message today.
In fact, think about it twice!


Someone has stepped up to claim you.
Faith is understanding who you are:
A Child of God who loves you.
Are you following the right star?


It’s not a walk that you control.
Our power over thoughts and actions
Is limited by our frail humanity.
There are temptations and other factions.


God is God  – – – and we are not.
We are sinners – even with best of intentions.
We can’t climb up to God,
Not with the greatest of ladder extensions!


God came down to us in Jesus.
He calls us to follow; we’re His sheep.
God took the path toward us – and we
Have been found; even without a peep!


It’s reassuring to know it’s not me.
It’s reassuring to know God came.
He came to save me in spite of myself.
He came and He called me by name!


Here I am, Lord. I didn’t know – how nice!
Yes, I’m spoken for. I’m received.
Yes, I’m yours, Lord. Thank You.
Use me, God; I won’t be deceived!

Amen?
Amen!

See you tomorrow.

Are You Stuck?


Is my blog stuck?

Is writing on the same topic,
“Adding Meaning to Life,”
everyday related to being in a rut?

red car on muddy road near trees

Photo by ahmad syahrir on Pexels.com

At my request, professional blogger of excellence,
The Art of Blogging, Cristian Mihai,
gave me ten tips on how to improve my blog.
One of them was,

“… choose one day of the week
to write some weekly type of blog
that [your] ideal reader would love.”

Before making that suggestion, he asked me to define my “ideal reader.” You, my blogging friend, or my daughter, or my creative, encouraging friend, you are it!

1390553f-787d-4807-b92b-df0906206227
That’s DeDe, my dear daughter

You know I often use Sundays to post my sermon notes. You know I listen intently to capture what the minister is saying to me, and I record my notes in poetry.

It’s not a stretch to call this my “different weekly type of blog.” I hope you look forward each Sunday to seeing/hearing what the message was in church this morning. Here is today’s:

Rev. Jean Johnson, Madison Valley Presbyterian Church

Ennis, MT, April 28, 2019, John 20:19-31

STUCK?

The disciples were stuck

In the same room as they

Were a week ago when

It was a glorious Easter Day.

.

Why were they still there?

What difference did Christ make?

What difference has his death

Made for your life’s sake?

.

Has His resurrection made

A difference in your days?

Or are you, like the disciples,

Stuck in your usual ways?

.

I should be doing better –

Living more authentically today.

I should be listening carefully

Like the disciples on their Emmaus way.

.

But changing old patterns

Is a process that takes time.

Is staying behind locked doors

A cowardly, unacceptable crime?

.

I wanted to wake up today

To a whole new world of joy.

But the news today was the same old

Sad, violent acts, and hates that destroy.

.

Change is well overdue.

I want to see instant relief,

But the hatred in this world

Tends to shake my firm belief.

.

The empty tomb tells me

That the risen Christ is here.

He’s working with you and me

To change our doubts to cheer.

.

Where you are is your

Starting place where you are.

It’s the place Christ comes

And lets you out to follow His star.

.

Have faith to see

Christ is risen;

He’s unstuck.

So should we be!

pexels-photo-301599

We cannot be stuck in this place of 
violence, synagogue shootings, and
a world of intolerance, prejudice,
wars, and hunger. Listen to the pleads
of the Rabbi who spoke to us today.
Don’t let this dark period hide the light.
Go out and BE THE LIGHT!!

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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