Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Bible Lessons’ Category

Open the Door


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(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!

Called Toward Wholeness


Heart made of sand

Heart made of sand

Reflecting on the rejuvenation of Lazarus.
Bemoaning the death of a dear friend this week:

Jesus, the Healer, reached out.
He felt the pain of parting.
He would gift wholeness and healing.
But first, sorrowful tears were starting.

Like Jesus, our tears fall
When we lose a loved one.
We pray for health and healing,
But it doesn’t always come.

Not the way we expect.
God’s healing takes many forms.
Peace, His shalom, may come
In ways outside our worldly norms.

Totality, completeness, God’s Will
May come with blessings and harmony,
But sometimes wholeness may not be
Available to you and me.

We all suffer from heart’s scars.
We experience hurt often times.
Blemishes, like scratched diamonds,
Can be transformed: Beauty from crimes.

Yes, God’s grace can transform us.
God values us, scratches and all.
In gratitude, we respond
Hearing and answering His healing call.

We engage in the ministry
Of extending compassionate hands.
Our lives are God’s instruments.
Hear His call. Obey His commands.

Reach out in love.

What Do We Know?


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What Do We Know?

One thing I do know:
I was blind and now I see.
First sight – a new life –
Could such as this happen to me?

I claim to be sighted,
But can I really see?
What ideas or things
Are blinded to me?

Am I aware of my blindness?
Do I know what I can’t see?
The more I think I know,
The more ignorant I seem to be.

I thought I knew –
So smart, so clever and true.
But I was blind – unaware.
Might that be true, too, of you?

Jesus looked on the blind man.
He made mud with His spit.
He rubbed it on the blind eyes,
And told the man to get rid of it.

Wash it off in a river nearby.
Go and do today what I say.
What does Jesus ask us to wash,
To get rid of in our lives today?

Believe and follow!
Seeing Light is self-authenticating.
See Light through the eyes of faith.
To do less will be self-humiliating.

Obedience is the key
To seeing what God can show.
Then “I was blind, but now I see,”
Will be my song. This I know!

Amen?
Amen!

First Sunday in Advent


advent-coming

Only God knows when
The Son of Man will come.
When we least expect Him,
He will overwhelm some.

But, as Christians, we
Won’t be surprised at all.
God already is with us,
So we live expecting His call.

We can’t solve our mortality.
We can’t achieve eternal life.
We know our days are limited
As we live in both joy and strife.

Our lives are vulnerable;
We find security in routine.
But with God, no day is mundane.
We are at risk. Know what I mean?

When God is revealed in you,
You live expecting the end,
And you understand intrusion
With continuation around the bend.

God will come, so be prepared.
He’ll come to you and lift you
To life in His Kingdom.
In anticipation, know He’ll shift you.

Divine Advent; Be ready!
God will break in like a thief in the night.
He will just show up!
So, better live in His Light.

Amen?
Amen!

Steps to a Lovely Life


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Be aware – Be sensitive –

Be quick to admit – Ask forgiveness –

Embrace the right – Reject the wrong –

Obey God – Trust – Endure – Mature.

Eph. 4:14-16

What is Faith?


Foyer

When you enter the foyer of my home, you see a circle staircase that will take you up to my sanctuary. To the right of it is the word art my son and daughter-in-law gave to me for Mother’s Day. It says, “The Greatest of These is Love.” Bob and I appreciate so much the fact that our children see in us the LOVE which is a gift from God, who first loved us. That love is born of FAITH – another Gift from God.

A recent sermon at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana was a follow-up to the previous Sunday’s Trinity message. Rev. Jean Johnson explained that understanding the concept of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit was a matter of Faith… only obtained from God. Not something we could work to obtain by ourselves.

Like LOVE, we receive faith from our Heavenly Father, and as Christians we learn how to LIVE it by studying the life of the Son, Jesus Christ. When we need a “refill,” we go to the Holy Spirit who is our Teacher and Guide here on earth. Today’s sermon contrasted FAITH based on such a gift with faith borne out of reasoning and pragmatic expectations. Here is what the sermon said to me. I took these “notes” while listening intently:

WHAT is FAITH?

Faith is not the product of reasoning.
Faith is a gift from God, our Father.
The skeptics question our beliefs –
And so do some sisters and brothers in Christ.

What does Faith give to me?
What do I get out of it?
Some Christian leaders teach that it is “utilitarian.”
Faith is good because it’s useful.

Pragmatism is a dominating force in the U.S.A.
It is the basis of our consumer society.
Pragmatists go beyond “What IS it?”
They go to “What is it good FOR?”

Some feel FAITH is magic words like “I Believe”
or “Eternal Life is mine.”
When pragmatists hit a crisis,
They give up on Faith; it failed them!

What IS the value of Faith?
Is it what it produces for us?
Most of us believe God is more than
A helpful idea that makes us feel better.

He is more than the Great Granter of wishes.
God is Good… All the time!
Even when our needs are not being fulfilled.
Is Jesus of value for what He can do for you?

Is Faith about getting what you need to make life worth living?
Or is FAITH about a relationship with God?
Prayer is not just a self-help therapy.
Prayer is about listening and praising.

It’s not just about talking and asking!
Do not surrender to pragmatism.
Receive the gift of faith from God.
Pray to listen for God’s desires – and SERVE.

What can I do for God?
What can God do IN me?
God’s tenacious desire to talk to me and love me…
That’s FAITH!

Amen?

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