Love, Grace, and Mercy
Gifts given through Jesus Christ
Presents for each day
Love, Grace, and Mercy
Gifts given through Jesus Christ
Presents for each day
From Fear to Awe – An Epiphany Sunday Sermon
Politics has a long history
Of striking fear in hearts.
In Matthew, we hear the king asking,
“Where’s the new child in these parts?”
The Magi responded and left
With a heavy sigh of relief;
But all of Jerusalem was frightened
As their king behaved as a thief.
He seemed to want to steal
The joy of this promised birth.
His fear spread throughout
This part of the Christ-child’s earth.
We, too, live in fear of things
Beyond our ability to control.
Fear of God is extraordinary
As we are confused by our role.
If we are God-fearing, it is
Not the same as fear of faith.
It’s an invitation to see
Our loving God face-to-face.
Fear is a cascading emotion.
Fear begets fear, you see.
A chain reaction occurs –
The fear of Herod passes down to me.
What if Herod’s fear had turned
To trust and awe of the Lord?
Trust and awe are emotions
We must know we CAN afford.
We cannot afford, in fact,
To live in fear instead of awe.
Read the stars, find the Christ Child.
Trust God and His Word – His Law.
Are YOU in awe of the Lord??
Sermon notes by Jan Beekman based on the message:
“See and Be Radiant!” by Pastor Steven Mabry
Plymouth Congregational Church, Paso Robles, CA
I have just begun to read The Artist’s Rule by Christine Valters Paintner. It was a gift from a friend who graced me with a note inside the book that professed, “I feel I have a SOUL MATE in you.” What a compliment that is! This friend is so very special to me! He is a marvelous, talented, and generous artist as well as being a delightful, charismatic and whimsy-filled friend.
A quote from the book’s Foreword by Macrina Wiederkehr says, “Your inner artist invites you to participate in the great work of healing the world by lifting out of your senses creative images, words, and actions that inspire others to live lives of wonder and surprise.”
Isn’t that a worthy goal for us all? Consider this 12 week journey with me as we enter 2019.
“Tap the eternal in your soul,” Macrina continues.
I am ready to do that. Are you?
We need an army of “soulmates” ready to “heal the world!”
Have at it!!
If you look for Me at Christmas
You won’t need a special star-
I’m no longer just in Bethlehem,
I’m right there where you are.
You may not be aware of Me
Amid the celebrations-
You’ll have to look beyond the stores
And all the decorations.
But if you take a moment
From your list of things to do
And listen to your heart, you’ll find
I’m waiting there for you.
You’re the one I want to be with,
You’re the reason that I came,
And you’ll find Me in the stillness
As I’m whispering your name.
Merry Christmas, dear Blogging Friends.
May your day be filled with
love, hugs, and opportunities
to reflect on the real Reason for the Season.
Let Him Out!
There are days
And then there are
Days of Waiting –
Days of Unknowing –
Days of Sorrow.
Your life feels
Hope eludes you.
This Christmas Eve
Mary’s sweet song –
Her ready acceptance.
Thousands of years
Later, we need
Her true faith.
Wouldn’t it be
Super great if
All news was good?
Wouldn’t we love
To instantly cease?
What joy if
All war and hunger
Were eliminated now!
We’d like God
To bring us
The Promised Peace.
But, His Way
Is not our way.
His definitions differ.
We look at basics
With greedy eyes.
We look for Plenty.
God defines PLENTY
In heart-felt ways.
He needs “Let Out!”
So, open your heart.
Invite God out
Through your heart.
See your PLENTY
Through God’s eyes.
Focus on others.
Like Mary, sing of
God’s grace, and
Birth His Light.
God bless you!
Merry Christmas Eve.
Follow that star!!
This little 3″ x 5″ book titled,
Yet Another Day
was copyrighted in 1905.
My mother-in-law bought it at a flea market for $1.00
in about 1959. I inherited it from her.
This note is in the inside front cover:
The title page tells you the book, written by Rev. J.H. Jowett, M.A.,
is intended to be used as a prayer for every day of the year.
The copyright page gives valuable tips,
as valid today as they were 113 years ago!
Today is December 22nd.
The prayer for today is one I want to share with you.
(I pray I am not breaking copyright laws by sharing this!)
Pray with me, will you?
(And enjoy the beautiful, lyrical language of 113 years ago.)
“Lord of all life, wilt Thou quicken me in the ministry of Thy life-giving Spirit? May no part of my being remain in deadly insensitivity. May I be alive unto God! May all my powers aspire after Thee, as flowers after the sun.” AMEN!
Today’s devotional e-mail from email@example.com – spoke to me. I have included it here for you, my friends.
Have a beautiful day, and let us remember to be grateful for all our many blessings as we remember, “You are blessed to be a blessing.”
|The Gospel of Matthew: The King Has Come
HOLDING ON TO WHAT IS VALUABLE
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 | Matthew 19:16–30
|In the children’s novel Where the Red Fern Grows, the main character, Billy, tries and fails to trap a raccoon until his grandfather teaches him a foolproof method: drill a hole into a log, place a shiny object at the bottom, and then drive nails into the hole at a downward angle. This allows the raccoon to reach its hand in, but keeps it from pulling its hand back out so long as it is holding the trinket. The trap works because raccoons are too greedy to let go of shiny things.
A raccoon in such a predicament has much in common with the rich young man Jesus encountered in Matthew 19. The man’s initial question indicated his desire for eternal life. But the man’s hold on the shiny things of this world prevented him from pursuing that desire.
When Jesus told him that if he wanted to be righteous he would have to sell his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, the young man went away sad. And one can understand why. He wanted it both ways: to be defined by his financial wealth and to receive the spiritual riches of eternal life. With his hand grasped tightly around worldly possessions, he could not pursue the heavenly treasures reserved for those willing to sacrifice such things to follow Jesus (vv. 28–29).
Because of the tendency of wealth to elicit such grasping, we might regard it as inherently dangerous. But the deeper danger is the grasping response itself, for we might also grasp after power, status, or other earthly goods (see 1 Tim. 6:10). As we hold too tightly to such things, we find that they are in fact holding on to us and hindering us from pursuing the kingdom of God.
|APPLY THE WORD|
|What earthly goods or status do you most desire? Does your desire hinder you from following Jesus? Pray that God would help you to loosen your grip on anything that might keep you from pursuing His kingdom with your fullest devotion. And give thanks to the God of salvation with whom “all things are possible” (v. 26).|
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In addition to giving thanks for my earthly goods, and praying to loose my grip on them, I also am giving thanks today to God for answered prayer. Earlier this month I had an ultrasound that showed a mass in my bladder (Of course, hearing that, we all thought CANCER). The doctor ordered a CT scan to confirm the mass. The results were inconclusive. Yesterday was my appointment with the urologist to get to the bottom of what’s going on “down there.” Friends from far and near prayed for me and for conclusive results and a “fix-it plan.” I felt the love and concern of those prayers. I relaxed, and knew I was in God’s hands. I am ever so grateful for family/friends, their love, and God’s grace. The camera that scoped the bladder revealed NO TUMOR. God is good. All the time!