Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘strength’

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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See ya tomorrow
(God willing!)

Wit & Wisdom


Wit & Wisdom

My friend, Sue, shared with me this morning the page below from a Hallmark gift book of collected saying, quotes, short stories, titled Wit & Wisdom of Women.

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Today is the day my friend, Carol,
(I wrote about her earlier in  My Friend, Carol)
made her journey over the “Rainbow Bridge”
to her Eternal Home.

When Sue read this page to me, I told her,
“That perfectly describes my friend, Carol.
Her 95 years on this earth were a testimony to kindness,
strength, courage, wisdom and wit,
as well as her impact on others,

and her ability to connect in very profound ways.”

Rest in Peace, dear Carol.
You certainly brought a “special touch
that no other person has.”

You will be missed here on earth,
but your legacy will live on
in each of us who had the privilege of
knowing and loving you.

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My prayers and condolences go out to your family.
They were certainly blessed to have you as their mother/grandmother!

God bless them.

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See you in Tomorrow Land!

Morning Prayer


Morning Prayer

(adapted from The Open Church Foundation’s
prayer by Wallace Fridy)

bright dark clouds dawn dramatic

“This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

God, I am truly grateful for:

  • another day,
  • another morning
  • another hour,
  • another minute,
  • another chance
    to live and to serve You.

Please, God, today, free me from all:

  • fear of the future,
  • anxiety about tomorrow,
  • bitterness toward anyone,
  • cowardice in the face of danger,
  • laziness from work,
  • failure before opportunity, and
  • weakness when Your Power is at hand.

But, O God, please fill me with:

  • Love that knows no barriers,
  • Sympathy that reaches all,
  • Courage that can’t be shaken,
  • Faith strong enough for darkness,
  • Strength sufficient for my tasks,
  • Loyalty to Your Kingdom’s goal,
  • Wisdom to meet life’s complexities, and
  • Power to lift me to You.

 

Please, O God,
be with me for another day,
and use me in Your Will.

In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray.
     Amen

The Fruitful Life


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The Fruitful Life

A fruitful life is a colorful life –
Divided into seven parts each week.
Each part spreads its own seeds
In the places we go to the people we meet.

As the parable told in the Sower of the Seeds,
Some fall on the soil of fertile ground;
But others land in rocky places
Where shallow dirt lets wind blow them around.

We seldom know when we scatter the seeds
What the end result of the planting will be.
All we can do is continue to sow,
Knowing the growth may not be something we see.

A fruitful life is a colorful life –
Spreading seeds in the rain and the snow;
A willy-nilly, free-wheeling fling –
Throwing smiles and good will wherever you go.

Some smiles are returned immediately;
Others take time to sink in.
Some good will is received gratefully;
But some deeds need repetition to link in.

Like a dormant spring bulb
Lying deep in cold soil,
The seeds of your fruit may be waiting
For warmth and water, lest they spoil.

This poem lay dormant for almost a month while Bob & I went on a trip to CA for Christmas and the new year. While traveling, we attended our “old” home church. The sermon was providential. My “sermon notes” in poetic format complete the ideas of my original unfinished entry:

From Pastor Jim Stochl, based on Mark 12:28-31

To each of us is given
A special, unique gift.
Some are teachers, others preachers,
Others encouragers who give us a lift.

A gift in the arts blesses us all,
While service is other folks’ passion.
If music is your special gift,
You need to share it in joyful fashion.

Whether your gift is administration
Or you’re blest with the gift of prayer,
Whatever God has given you in abundance,
Use it to God’s Glory everywhere!

To find and recognize your special gift,
To work for God with all your strength and love,
Is a joy with no expiration date;
So give from your heart for His Glory above.

Amen!

 

Aside

The Power of Water


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I love water. Do you? Water is a life-giving force; it is the one essential, besides LOVE, that sustains life. Life cannot be sustained without it!

I was in a conversation with a former wrestling student of my husband’s recently and he said he was “Headed back out to sea again. Headed back to Tern and Laysan Islands in the Northern Hawaiian Island chain.” He said, “Hope the seas aren’t as rough this time. I hate paying for meals I can’t keep down…” His image of going to sea was not necessarily a pleasant one. After he returned, he wrote to say he was “back on dry land again.” He lives in the state of Washington. Living here in Montana, I told him he didn’t know what “dry” means. We need rain so badly here! That comment lead to an e-mail exchange of ideas about water. The last of those found our friend writing so poetically that I decided in fact his words are a poem!! I took a few editorial liberties and added a couple of phrases here and there… but mainly, the words below are his! I added a picture of the Gallatin River where my grandchildren and I hiked last summer. Beautiful, powerful water! You never know where your next source of word power will emerge. Read on… and thank you, Peter Martin, for your inspirational message!

 

The Power of Water

 

Water is a powerful source of energy.

Whether at the shore or along a river,

it sounds almost mathematical,

and it draws me closer,

nearer to God, my Creator.

I don’t know if it reminds

a person of being in the womb,

or if it is older and much more

in the primal brain centers.

I do know that whether peaceful

or babbling, rumbling or gurgling,

it instantly reminds me of music.

Like bathing the soul in color,

cleansing our senses,

restoring our faith,

giving us strength to continue,

It nurtures our mineral needs

and draws away pain.

Water

is my source of…

 

How would you complete that sentence?

You, too, are a poet, my friend.

Join your comments to Peter’s and add your word images below.

I’d love to hear from you.

JanBeek  ;o)

 

 

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