Will live on
In our memories
In the heap
Of society’s sorrows.
Will live on
In our memories
In the heap
Of society’s sorrows.
(Notes from a sermon based on Romans 8:12-17 delivered by Rev. Jean Johnson. Many of you know, to listen more intently, I take notes on Sunday mornings while listening to the message from the pulpit. Sometimes they are recorded in poetry. Last Sunday was one of those times.)
We all are God’s children.
Some call God, “Our Father.”
But, some folks choose to ignore Him.
They balk and say, “Why bother?”
God speaks to us in Romans,
To us who’ve already heard.
It’s not for the unknowing
Who think the Gospel’s absurd.
Those led by God’s Spirit
Are children of our Lord.
We show our Love and faith
By living in One Accord.
To live in One Accord with God,
We worship, study, love, and pray.
Our witness shows The Spirit
At work in us each day.
We’re living out the reality
Of what already is in us.
Be who you already are
Without works or trouble or fuss.
We used to belong to sin,
But Jesus came to the rescue.
We have reason for joy and acceptance.
Isn’t this Good News to you?
We have assurance of this reality –
This adoption is done, signed and sealed.
We sing praises to God, our Father.
Our case clearly has been appealed.
Knowing God as Father is possible
By Christ’s life, His Word, His death.
That evidence is proof enough;
We affirm it with every breath.
I believe in God, The Father,
In Jesus Christ, my loving Lord.
Thank You for Your Saving Grace.
Now, let us live in One Accord.
… 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?
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!
Terminal or Eternal?
T ime on
E arth is not
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!
Thank you, GinaV, for this “adorable” reminder of how we measure our success most effectively:
When you posted it on your blog at http://professionsforpeace.com/2012/05/26/ongoing-learning-from-awards/, you created a caption. It said, “No I am not starting a new Award, but if I was I’d choose this great image!” You listed the source as Scholars Choice. Thank you for posting it and acknowledging the source. I love this adorable image – and am inspired by it to share my experience with this “Do Your Best” concept.
As an educator (K-6) in the classroom for more than two decades and as an administrator (K-adult) for a dozen or more years, I had the opportunity to experience first-hand how the expectations of others affects our self-evaluations, our self-esteem. How do we know when we have done our best? Who helps us determine what our best is?
I learned from a wise educator (Madeline Hunter) in an in-service once upon a time eons ago that the question is not, “Are you smart?” The question is, “How are you smart?” What a difference that makes! As teachers, coaches, mentors, parents, friends, our task is to look for the natural strengths in others (as well as in ourselves). We all have them. Dig! Build on successes. Learn from, but do not emphasize, failures. Rewaprd achievement.
My favorite expression when I was counseling teachers was one with poor grammar, but with great truth: “What you pay attention to is what you get more of.” Want success? Find the best effort and praise it! Find what the person does best and teach through that strength.
When I met her, Mary Jane was an illiterate adult. She was nearly 40 and she had spent the last 30 years avoiding the world of print. Her “best” was sorting clothes from the dressing rooms at JC Penney and putting them back on the proper racks. No words needed for that task. But she hated being unable to read. She hid it well, but it made her feel “less than.” You can imagine! She enrolled in the adult literacy program and I had the privilege of working with her to unlock the world of print. Sorting letters was a lot like sorting clothes. Matching capital to small case letters, sounds to letters, classifying vowels and consonants. One step at a time, backing up to the beginning, building on her strengths, we did it!! Have you ever watched the light glow in an adult’s eyes when the star illuminates and the heavens open? “I did my best” took on a whole new meaning!
When we are asked to perform at a level above our capabilities, frustration abounds. Maybe we WOULD be capable of that performance, but somebody needs to care enough to show us how. With love and patience, and confidence in our ability to catch on, somebody needs to break it down. Step by step, lead us through the process of knowing how, trusting that we CAN. We sense it when somebody teaches us that way. They believe in us. We begin to believe in ourselves. What a thrill!
Everyday is a new opportunity to DO MY BEST. What will I tackle with confidence today? Together, we can do it!