Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Christ’

From Fear to Awe


From Fear to Awe – An Epiphany Sunday Sermon

alone man person sadness

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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

Santa and Jesus


It’s not enough to display our Santas.

The reason for the season must not be eclipsed by that jolly old man!

Where is the Christ Child in this season of Jolly Old St. Nick and Rudolph?

Keep Christ in Christmas. No Xmas for me! If I have to abbreviate, I write C’mas. Someone once told me that the x translates to Christ in some other language. You think?

Feels like Xing Christ out to me. What do you think?

Santa is a great gift giver… but he’s not the reason for the season. Give God is due, will you?

T = Trust


Day #20 – T = Trust

It’s been quite a ride! My A-Z series on “What Makes Me Happy?” Is drawing near an end, but today I TRUST you’ll continue reading, and I’ll continue to be inspired with new, pertinent topics. Thank you for being here. The ability to TRUST makes me happy 😃

T rusting brings

R espect and

U nderstanding and

S afety to vulnerability

T rusting is essential

In a world where parents feel a need to teach their children NOT to trust, we must be the models of trustworthiness. We must exude the love 💕 and safety we wish covered the earth.

The opposite of trusting is mistrusting, of course, and that creates worry and anxiety. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could feel free as a people to just trust? To just teach trust?

It’s probably Pollyanna thinking… unrealistic, you say. But, can’t we teach caution without teaching fear? Without causing worry and anxiety?

My go-to guide is Scripture. Jesus shows us the way. He talks about the birds being clothed so splendidly, so why worry about what we’ll wear. He showed us how He fed the multitudes, and told us not to worry about where our next meal is coming from. “Do not fear,” He taught us.

Philippians 4:6-7 is Paul’s message to the people of Philippi in which he cautioned them about worry. “Don’t worry about anything;” he wrote, “instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

So, the way to live in TRUST is to read, study, and apply the TRUTH of Scripture. Trust in God. Trust in what Jesus taught us. Sounds simple, huh? No, it’s not.

In today’s world we worry about safety. We hear of innocent people being murdered all the time.

In today’s world we worry about international affairs, divisiveness, wars, prejudice, and how it’s tearing us apart. We feel helpless to create that peace Paul wrote about. God’s Peace. Where is it? How can we exude it? How can we be the change we want to see in this world? How can we trust those people and situations that seem so untrustworthy?

My only solution is to remember the words of Paul, “Pray about everything.”

And remember/think about the words that remind us of how our simplest acts can make a difference to those we touch… and to those whose lives are affected by what we do.

R. Buckminster Fuller wrote, “Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.

Like tomorrow, if you’re in the USA, we can each make a difference. Go vote (if you haven’t cast an absentee ballot already). Every vote DOES matter!

Reach out to your neighbor in love. Reach out with help to a friend in need. Reach out to a fellow blogger with affirmation. Tell them that the words you just read made a difference for you. They resonated. Trust that your small acts add up to big differences.

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. In your shared weakness, you exhibit trust and you strengthen others.

Just TRUST!

He’s gotcha in the palm of His hand. Here’s my mantle in this season of Thanksgiving.  Remember to thank God for all the ways He loves and protects you. Trust Him!

May the peace of Christ that surpasses all human understanding be yours today.

K = Kindness


Day #11 in the A-Z series of “What Makes Me Happy?”

KINDNESS

 

woman holding heart cut out

This picture tells all. Notice the word on her shirt behind the heart. It says, “Volunteer.” A big heart full of love reaches out to help others, exudes kindness, and makes the world a better place.

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When you’re tempted to be surley
In response to evil – speak your mind –
Remember you were taught quite early
Always to be kind.

When you’re tempted to lash back
At some person mean and rude,
Remember repercussions of attack
Return for whatever you exude.

Kindness is the only way
To be happy in your soul;
So in everything you do and say,
Let only kindness be your goal.

.

group of person phoot

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People around the world are happier
when they reach out to help others.
Whatever motivates you to be kinder, gentler,
more compassionate…
think on these things.

For me, my daily devotional time upstairs in my sanctuary
sets my heart on the right path as I study His Word
and learn of His Ways.

man holding sheep statuette

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Isaiah 63:7a – “I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord…”
and let His examples lead me.

 

What “K” word makes you happy? And what act of kindness are you planning today? Think about it!

 

Poetic Sermon Notes


bible black background book chapter

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Well, my friends, it is Sunday. As such,  you know I attended church this morning. Listening carefully to the message from Rev. Jean Johnson, I did my usual: I took my notes poetically. The sermon was based on Mark’s account of the disciples’ conversation with Jesus shortly before His death. In Mark chapter 10, verses 34-45, Jesus delivers His famous message of “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.” The story unfolded this way:

Downward Mobility

Jesus told the disciples
His destiny: the cross.
He warned of His death.
They couldn’t accept the loss.

He told them of the cruelty
That would precede His rise.
So why did all that followed
Come as such a surprise?

James and John asked Him
If they could sit left and right
Of Him in His glory
(Requests that proved them not so bright!).

They didn’t see the meaning
Of the future Jesus faced.
They didn’t see the torture
And know how the pain would taste.

Jesus tried to redirect
The thoughts of James and John.
He tried to reexplain
The path the Christ was on.

The other disciples were jealous
That the two made their pleas first.
They thought James and John
Would be first to end their thirst.

But Jesus rebuked the ones
Who jockeyed to be at His side.
He told them their requests
Showed unsightly, unhealthy pride.

“He who would be first,” He said,
“Must be willing to be last.”
The disciples puzzled at this
Until long after the first Easter had passed.

The way of Jesus is a path
Of downward mobility for all
Who come to serve and give
Their lives in answer to Christ’s call.

 

Don’t try to read the notes on the bulletin cover below… they are what I typed above. I just am posting them here to show you the form in which they first appear from Jean’s sermon to my ears through my fingertips to the bulletin cover. Yes, I listen and write simultaneously. I am often asked, “How do you do that?”

IMG_5150

My only answer is, “It’s a gift.” I hope you appreciated my sharing it with you today. It was a sermon that spoke to my heart because indeed, I have come to serve and to give and to answer Christ’s call to share my talents.

Happy Sunday!

Share Your Saltiness!


Share Your Saltiness!

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(If you’ve followed my blog

for awhile, you know it’s my habit

to take poetic notes while listening

to Rev. Jean Johnson’s sermons

in our Ennis, Montana Presbyterian Church.

If you’re new to JanBeek, now you know!

Here are my notes from today’s message

based on the scripture in Mark 9:38-50)

.

I take salt for granted.

I simply know it’s good.

I understand it preserves

and flavors food – as it should.

.

Salt is a part of life.

It’s here among us all.

So, why did Jesus talk

About lack of salt this fall?

.

Where’s the Good News

In Jesus’ message of salt?

If salt loses its taste,

Am I, dear Lord, at fault?

.

We, as the church, are called

To be the Salt of the Earth.

If we lose our saltiness,

We forget our Christian birth.

.

Born into the faith, we’re given

The spices of zest and grace.

We’re called to season every need,

To help each hurting face.

.

Our salt is meant to sprinkle

Both saint and sinner – the same.

Remember, we all are sinners, too,

So share your saltiness in Jesus’ name.

.

Amen?

(And this Sunday afternoon I’m wondering,

Do you s’posed Jesus might have had this

salty sharing in mind? Come on over!)

Oh goodness! Is that sacrilegious? Or just some of my saltiness spilling out?

Why Pray?


God directs your path

When you take time to listen

To His Voice in prayer.

Hah! You thought I was gonna write something about how God answers your needs when you speak to God in faith, right? Well, that’s true, too. Especially when you believe God is here; God hears; God loves you and wants what’s best for you; God answers.

But, the main reason I pray is not to speak and request. The main reason I pray is to listen. In my silence, God speaks to my heart.

My day goes better if I take time to hear God’s Guidance before I begin the hard task of living intentionally today.

Prayer is not a one-way street. We are never alone when we pray. As Charles Stanley wrote in his devotional for today’s reflection “In Touch” magazine, prayer is “… a divine appointment with Almighty God.”

Do you keep that appointment daily? Do you invite the Holy Spirit in? Do you listen and absorb as the Creator creates in you a new spirit of love, joy and peace to guide today’s footsteps?

Take time to pray before you begin each day. Take time to listen. Keep that divine appointment!

God bless you.

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