Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘sermons’

Using Our Gifts?


Are we Using our Gifts?

Today’s sermon notes from the message delivered at
The Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana
by Rev. Steve Hundley
inspired by the message Paul wrote to
the church in Corinth: 1Cor.1:1-9

It’s really not OK to live in your own little world, keep your gifts to yourself, and fail to step out with courage and faith to share the spiritual gifts God has given you. Today’s message focused on the problem we have when we hoard our gifts, keep the to ourselves, fail to use our talents to glorify God and benefit others. Steve Hundley called his sermon “The Gifted Church.”

I listened and noted the message through my own filters writing:

Paul wrote four letters
To the Corinth people.
The church there had problems;
They struggled ‘neath their steeple.
But it wasn’t a typical
Place with steeple on a peak.
Instead, they met in a house
Large enough to fit those who who seek
To worship God through Christ.
It was an urban setting.
The church was being attacked
By the townfolk who were vetting
Their frustration at Christians.
There was a gap between rich and poor.
It was a hindrance to worship
When the poor were scorned by those with more.

Corinth was a diverse city.
The church was diverse as well;
But their real problem was their gifts
With which they were gifted. (Do tell!)
We are weakest at the point
Of our greatest gift, when it
Is a crutch, not shared, not used
To glorify God, help others, and send it
Out to make the world better.

But when we use our gifts
To be part of something bigger –
And we thank God who lifts
Us up, then our gifts are used
To make our talents worthwhile.
Like the people of Corinth,
We must not let our gifts go into a pile
Where they are lost and wasted.

Talents not shared are wasted gifts.
There are talents everywhere,
But until we use them for others,
who will know? Who will care?
This is a church full of talented people
Whose gifts are very apparent.
You use them here and in the community.
You spread your joy; your love is transparent.

If Paul were alive today,
He would write a letter to praise you.
Keep on sharing, caring, using your gifts –
And let His loving spirit raise you
To His blessings.

Amen

What talent are you willing to share this week? Make your gifts count!

.

See ya tomorrow

How Can I Keep From Singing?


 

Sermon Notes from the message
inspired by Colossians 3:12-17
“How Can I Keep from Singing?”
Delivered by Rev. Steve Hundley
today in McAllister, Montana
at our
Little White Church in the Meadow

McAllister Church

Why did God create this world?
We’ve given Him nothing but trouble.
It was enough that He created Adam,
Then the trouble seemed to double!

But Adam alone could not sing
In God’s perfect harmony.
He needed Eve and crickets, too.
Needed birds and waterfalls, and me!

Nature is awash with lovely sound –
Whipporwill and tree frogs sing.
I hear coyotes howling in the dark.
God made lovely sounds in everything.

God must have needed all those notes
From all Creation as they raise
Their voices in glory to Him.
He created us all to give Him praise.

If we don’t sing, we’re as good as dead!
Throughout history songs are recorded.
“Hallelujah” sang the angels on high.
We can read the songs the Psalms reported.

However, when we destroy the habitat
Of animals who sing and swing in trees,
Or the homes of God’s loving people,
We silence songs such as these.

grayscale photo of people raising hands

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

How can we keep from singing?
How can we assure the continued song?
We must keep God’s creation alive
And praise our Lord as we sing along.

 

Join the birds, crickets, Joey and Rory
In beautiful songs of praise and love.
Join hands and hearts and keep alive
The melodies from God above.

Amen!

Our service in that little white church
was filled today with music and merriment.
Sing along with us as we have a great time
with “Daddy Sang Bass” (… Mama Sang Tenor).
Betcha can’t keep from singing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA9jf-bm2As

Have a blessed rest of your Sunday…

woman playing ukulele

Keep on singin’ –
-ya hear?

See ya tomorrow.

Disaster Assistance


Photo by Marcos Rios on Pexels.com

The young man who introduced the “PresbyCats” to us today was wearing a t-shirt that had “Presbyterian Church Disaster Assistance” written on it. He and two of his colleagues presented a three part sermon about their experiences recently in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Here are my sermon notes – my “take away” of the messages they shared:

“We went to Baton Rouge
To help the people there.
They had experienced a flood
With little help anywhere.

We repaired some of the damage,
And we did it in Jesus’ name.
Jesus demonstrated love with action
And asked us to do the same.

Preparing for natural disasters
Is a job that needs our love.
Rebuilding the damaged houses
Requires love from God above.

Looking out at this world
It’s often disheartening to see
The lack of true compassion
(I don’t want that to be true of me).

Sometimes I cringe at fluff,
The touchy-feely kind of stuff,
But I know it’s not enough
To just DO – with a heart that’s tough.

Doing for others in God’s name
Requires a softened heart of caring.
Action mixed with love requires
A spirit of love and true sharing.”

My granddaughter, Faith, works for the state of Nevada. Her job involves the assessment of disaster preparedness in various places around Nevada. She would have enjoyed meeting these “PresbyCats” who are students at Montana State University in Bozeman. They would have had lots in common. Here’s a picture of Faith as a baby, just a month or so after she was adopted into our Beekman family. What a gift from Heaven she is!!

Faith worked for the American Red Cross, among other organizations, in apprenticeships before getting her diploma and a full-time job. There is a great need for people like her and these students I met today… young people with a heart for others – ready and willing to reach out and help in time of need.

Reach out with others to help!

Do you have such experience? Or do you know someone who also serves in this way? If so, reach out to thank them today. The world is a better place because young people like this are in it. God bless them!

See you later!

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.

 

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

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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

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