Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Living in Christ’s Family’ Category

A Honey of a Sermon


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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

Taste


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TASTE

It’s a matter of observant living
To determine your preferred taste.
Experience, family, childhood
All form the world we’ve faced.

Some choose spices like ginger.
Some put honey in their tea.
Some wear clothes of pinks and blues.
Reds and greens are right for me.

Is religion a matter of taste?
Do we make God what we like?
Do we choose our Scriptures
As we’d select a trail to hike?

Do we choose to interpret
What we think the words should mean?
Is ours a God of condemnation,
Or does He wipe our sin slates clean?

Is your God one who loves us all
Or does He only favor those
Who are righteous through and through –
From their heads down to their toes?

The “Chosen People” are the ones
Who are called to show what it is
To be totally, wholly, unconditionally
Loved by God, to be forever His.

We are called to love as freely
As God loved us as sinners.
He didn’t reserve His affection
For only the faultless winners.

If that had been the message,
We’d all be lost for sure
Since none of us is spotless, perfect.
None of us is sinless, pure.

God sent His Son, Jesus,
To help us get a taste of living His Way.
Love extravagantly as Christ did.
Determine to taste and spread His love today.

Amen?

Let’s Do It!


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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

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?


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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!

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


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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!

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