Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Bible Lessons’ Category

New Life


… the strength of His — ?

How would you finish that?

Here are my notes from Easter Sunday’s sermon.

What does this message say about God’s strength?

When you die, your body is buried.

Life’s circumstances can bury us, too.

But God comes and unburies us.

That’s the Easter story – true.

God grants us peace in Truth.

He promises to save our souls.

He removes the stone that

Seals us from our goals.

I cannot roll the stones away;

They’re too heavy for me to lift.

But Jesus, in His death & resurrection

Opens the sealed. What a gift!

In His death of pain and suffering,

Jesus took our stones of grief.

He opened The Way to joyful life –

He cleared the Path. What a relief!

Life unburied is a new creation.

Christ took the old – rolled it away.

Christ is risen – your old life’s buried.

What will you do with New Life today?

A Honey of a Sermon


IMG_3061

Proverbs 16:24
“Gracious speech is like clover honey –
Good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.”

Many of you know about my habit
of taking notes during the sermon each Sunday.
I hear better if I record on paper
what I process through the ears
to the brain through the fingertips.
Often the preacher wouldn’t recognize
the message as I interpret it.
But that’s okay – when my mind wanders
It’s generally related to something
she just uttered – and eventually
I get back to the voice in front of me.
Your mind doesn’t ever wander during
speeches or sermons, does it?
Here’s what I heard/processed
from Rev. Jean Johnson’s sermon today.
By the way, the scripture was not
the Proverb listed above!
The scripture that inspired the sermon
was actually John 12:20-30.
But, nevertheless, what I heard was:

A Honey of a Sermon

From the cardiac care room
Patients looked out to see a cross
Lighted and perched atop the church
On the street across.

The patients were looking
For new life – a new heart.
Waiting for a new spirit after
Their chest was torn apart.

What would you do
With a heart and spirit anew?
Would you take advantage
Of the fresh start given to you?

As we live our lives aware
Of the sin that we repeat,
Do we work to try and get
A clean heart with loving beat?

Working to receive a clean spirit
Is not the way to receive it.
All we need to do is accept
The forgiveness Jesus gave; just believe it!

Jesus gave each of us a chance
To have a clean start each day.
His death on the cross gave us
A chance to walk straight in His Way.

The crucial function of His relationship
To give us new life and a new heart
Was demonstrated by His resurrection.
Relate to Him in acceptance today for your fresh start!

Amen?
Amen!

Jan Beekman
3/18/18

Feeling: The Language of the Heart


IMG_2732.jpg

 

In his book, Be!, James Dillet Freeman wrote, “Feeling is the unforgotten language of the heart; you could speak it before you learned words, the language of the mind.”

 

What are you feeling now? Feelings were there in your heart before your mind conjured the words to describe them. Sometimes feelings are never put into words. They just lie there in the heart – unforgotten.

 

Often the work of psychiatrists is to draw out those unforgettable feelings and help them take word form. Is it necessary? Is it helpful? Must we define all our feelings? What happens to the wordless ones? Do they impact us?

 

As a small child, I grew up in an Ozzie & Harriet family. My dad went off to work. My mom stayed home and nurtured my sister and me. Then, during World War II, my mom went to work at a bomb plant. My sister went to kindergarten, and I went to stay with my mom’s friend in town. Dad got a military deferment because of his family obligations. He entered into a business venture with his brother-in-law and spent long hours away from home. How did I feel about all that change? I don’t know. I never verbalized those feelings. Do they need words to be real?

 

It’s reassuring to realize that God hears the language of the heart. Before we learn to speak, He hears us. He understands our needs even better than a nurturing, attentive mother comprehends her infant’s cries. Before we know how to say what we’re feeling, God knows. In the depths of our souls, unspoken feelings are stored. Yes, they impact us. They are unforgotten by God as well. Knowing He helps our circumstances “work together for good, for those who believe in Him” gives me great comfort.

 

Remembering now those early days of change, I can see how Mom’s friend (I called her Aunt Artie) impacted my life for good. She took me regularly to the library. She encouraged my ability to read. Hers was a happy, safe haven. The unforgotten language of my heart feels her support and acceptance.

 

What unforgotten language lingers in your heart? My prayer is that you, too, have the reassurance of God’s understanding. May you feel comfort in the dormancy of wordless memories. Let the feeling lie in your heart – unforgotten – but working for good. Believe!

 

 

Jan Beekman

3-1-18

 

Let’s Do It!


Original image

Let’s Do It!

God has entrusted us
With treasures of great worth.
Hope and inspiration are ours.
God gives us each other – and Christ’s birth.

God gives us, by His grace,
The gifts of immeasurable treasure.
He gives us the abilities
To use these gifts without measure.

We don’t get to choose
What treasures we receive,
But we are allowed to choose
What we do or achieve.

To fulfill our life’s purpose
Or to ignore our responsibilities
Is a choice we each make.
What are your possibilities?

We can double our gifts
Or we can ignore or bury ’em.
We can share our gifts
Or we decide they’re too heavy to carry ’em.

We will be rewarded according
To the return to  God on our gifts.
Our talents are ours to use or
We’ll watch dismayed as our reward shifts.

God will take from the selfish
The wonders He placed in their hands.
He’ll rebuke the ungrateful ones
Who ignore His service demands.

So, are we giving back double
The abilities God generously gave us?
Do we accept them and honor Him
By using the gifts that can save us?

He gave us comfort so we
Can return comfort to others.
He gives us perfect directions
For how to use our gifts for our brothers.

So, let’s do it!
Amen?

Jan Beekman

-based on a sermon by Rev. Jean Johnson
-reflecting on Matt. 25:14-30
11/19/17

Life’s Goals


beating-heart

A life that exhibits wisdom

Is gentle

Displays a happy heart

Is patient

Walks upright and

Knows to listen.

 

A life that exhibits love

Is understanding

Displays kindness

Is pure in motive

Shows compassion and

Heeds correction.

 

A life that exhibits joy

Is cheerful

Shares Truth

Is encouraging

Gives generously and

Lives intentionally.

 

          Jan Beekman – 11/16/17

(Inspired by Proverbs 15)

 

Open the Door


IMG_E2101

(Photo by Charles Stanley – In Touch Ministries)

 

OPEN THE DOOR

Life is full of twists and turns –
Hardships faced and lessons learned.
We do things wrong; We make things right.
We work by day and we sleep at night.

While we are struggling to be good,
God is loving us – as He said He would.
He forgives our failures, lifts us up,
Sends us help and fills our cup.

He takes our sorrows as His own,
Understands our weakness, hears us moan.
He holds us close – draws us near,
Whispers gently in our ear:

“I am with you, never fear.
Life is hard. I feel each tear.
You’re not alone. You’re loved for sure.
There’s hope ahead. There’s life that’s pure.”

So, in the days ahead with us,
We hope you’ll rest and never fuss.
Don’t worry about what comes tomorrow.
He’ll help you find joy instead of sorrow.

Each thing in life is for a reason –
Each action has a God-given season.
You’ve had your summer and your fall.
New spring to winter – a welcomed call.

Let us surround you with love and care
‘Til Jesus calls you to a new place there.
The key to joy is around the bend –
Open the door to life’s wonderful end.

God Bless You!

What Do You Believe?


happy-easter-religious-cross-banner

Terminal or Eternal?

T ime on
E arth is not
R evolving.
M inutes spent
I n mortality
N ever repeat.
A lways spend each one
L ovingly and joyfully.

Time on earth is terminal.

Some believe in a revolving door called reincarnation, believing they’ll return as another person if the good deeds they do in this lifetime do not raise their karma above the 50% mark. Reincarnation becomes a chance to try it again. Be better, kinder, more loving and more wise the next time around, and eventually the Karmic Board will judge you worthy. Your life will tip the Karmic Scale and you’ll earn the right to resurrection and life in Eternity.

Others believe when this terminal life as a human being is over, they’ll return as a creature. They talk about what it might be like to come back as a family pet or as a bee, a bird, or a lion.

Acknowledging that life on earth is terminal, some think that this is all there is. When we die, that’s it. From dust we come; to dust we will return. No reincarnation. No resurrection. No nothing. What a bleak, meaningless existence that must be!

As for me, I believe life on earth is terminal. I don’t believe I’ll return as another person. I don’t see myself coming back in the form of another earthly creature. But, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this brief earthly life is not all there is. I want to live in love and peace, to spread joy and hope, and to serve my Maker and others. But, I don’t live giving out blessings because I think I’m earning the right to live eternally. I don’t serve to rack up points and move a notch closer to God in Heaven in the “After-Life.” My place already has been secured. I serve out of gratitude, hopefully with an attitude of generosity – grateful for the fact that the price was paid. Paid by God’s Son.

That’s what Easter is all about. It’s not bunnies and colored eggs, frilly new dresses, fancy hats, and patent leather shoes. It’s about a Man named Jesus, a span of three years of ministry on earth, teaching us how to live and how to treat one another, and a forty day period we call Lent. Lent is the time when Jesus was accused, tried, convicted for our sins, beaten, crucified on a cross, and buried in a tomb. Because He died with, “Father, forgive them,” on His lips, I am assured of my forgiveness. I know because He rose again, and because He lives, and because He promised, “I go to prepare a place for you,” when my terminal life on earth is over, I will take that place in Eternity reserved for me. My soul will live on. This is not the end.

This is what I believe. Easter assures me. This life is only the beginning.

Hallelujah! Happy Easter!

Tag Cloud