Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘God’ Category

From Fear to Awe


From Fear to Awe – An Epiphany Sunday Sermon

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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

Let Him Out!


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Let Him Out!

There are days
And then there are
Advent Days.

Days of Waiting –
Days of Unknowing –
Days of Sorrow.

Your life feels
Oppressive.
Hope eludes you.

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This Christmas Eve
Let’s recall
Mary’s waiting.

Let’s remember
Mary’s sweet song –
Her ready acceptance.

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Thousands of years
Later, we need
Her true faith.

Wouldn’t it be
Super great if
All news was good?

Wouldn’t we love
All suffering
To instantly cease?

What joy if
All war and hunger
Were eliminated now!

We’d like God
To bring us
The Promised Peace.

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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.

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God bless you!
Merry Christmas Eve.
Follow that star!!

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One-of-a-Kind


Do you ever have a tendency to measure yourself against others?

I do… and I often come up short! After all, I’m only five foot nothing.  Really!!

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If I measure me against me,
I could be 6’3″

If I measure me against YOU,
I’m maybe not even 2’2″

So, who do I use?
Whose feet do I choose?

Who carries my blues?
Who walks in my shoes?

“No one,” you say?

“God took His soft clay
And molded a shape –
Unique! Full of play.”

 

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God gifted your soul
Full of treasures untold –
Then He threw out the mold.
You’re more precious than gold.

Who do I measure myself against then?

“No one,” God smiles.
“You’re a one-of-a-kind gem!”

My grandson said, “So what do we do with this knowledge?”

I answered,  “Remember, you are unique.
Don’t let your self-esteem be measured by the
size of someone else’s anything!”

 

(Go back to the clay figure and you can see
what kind of “anything” that caused that deduction!)

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Oh bludder!!!


Bite your tongue, my friend …
Know you were created PERFECTLY –

and Have a Merry Christmas!

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Daisy Chain


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I am going to try my hand at this Scansion shared by Abigail Gronway on her
WordPress Blog: Dark Side of the Moon

Daisy Chain
Created by George Ellison
The Daisy Chain may contain any number of lines.
The last word of each line becomes the first word of the next line.
Finally, the last word of the last line is the same as the first word of the first line, completing the chain.
Like the Wreath, the Daisy Chain requires no meter, rhyme, or mandated line or stanza length.

Abigail added, “I threw in a little twist of my own: a poem within a poem. The first word of each line can be read together to give the theme of the whole.” That REALLY makes it challenging! Try it!!  Here’s mine:

CHAIN OF DAISIES

Daisies are a little like angels.

Angels with a certain white flair are…

Are an invitation to serenity.

Serenity with a heart of golden yellow.

Yellow gold at the core.

Core of gold is a gift from our Father in Heaven.

Heaven is where serenity lives always.

Always seek that peace in your imagination.

Imagination can be real now –

Now that you’ve see the chain of daisies!

Hold On to What is Valuable


Today’s devotional e-mail from  titw@moody.edu 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.”

 

Today in the Word
December 2018

 

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).

 

If you enjoyed this devotional, you may want to subscribe to “Today in the Word” and receive your daily devotional from Moody, also. Just write to titw@moody.edu.

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!

Have You Learned?


Yesterday my grandson and I attended the delightful Christmas program
performed by pre-school through fifth graders at our local elementary school.
What a kick! They are so deeeelightful!

Here is my Musical Quad-Haiku and a mini-concert for you:

Have you learned to play
A musical instrument?
Learn bells with colors.

 

Have you learned to play
A musical instrument?
Sometimes it’s lovely.

 

woman playing flute

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Have you learned to play
A musical instrument?
Sometimes it’s painful!

 

Have you learned to play
A musical instrument?
God bless our teachers!

 

Tell me about your experience learning an instrument. Was it painful at first? My mom used to make me go out to the tin shed across the driveway to practice my clarinet when I first started. The squawking was more than she could bear! Eventually I was first chair in my high school band and orchestra and then at the University of the Pacific, as well. Takes a lot of practice and years of painful squeaks. Do you relate?

Beautiful Sunrise


Beautiful sunrise

Greeting from our Creator

Good morning, dear ones!

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