Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Christianity’

Looking for Jesus


jesus christ figurine

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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.

Love, Jesus

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Merry Christmas, dear Blogging Friends.
May your day be filled with
love, hugs, and opportunities
to reflect on the real Reason for the Season.

The Cost of Christmas


Sermon notes – Dec. 16, 2017 – Rev. Jean Johnson – Madison Valley Presbyterian, Ennis, MT

Recorded by Jan Beekman – in poetry (as is my habit) – while listening intently today.

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The Cost of Christmas

Ebenezer Scrooge was transformed.
He hated Christmas and all
That talk of love and peace.
His dream helped him hear God’s call.

He bought a goose and invited
All to come to his feast.
He had love and joy to spread
To rich and poor, the most and the least.

It cost Scrooge a fortune
To pay for all that food.
What does Christmas cost you?
Does the cost put you in a Scrooge mood?

paper bags near wall

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John the Baptist warned us that
Christmas will cost a lot.
But it’s not the money he referred to;
It’s the deliverance we may not have sought.

Purifying fire and judgement wait
For those who fail to believe.
The fire is a punishment for those
Who are stingy and cause others to grieve.

If you have two shirts or coats,
Be ready to give one away.
If someone owes you money,
Don’t overcharge them any day.

Jesus taught people to love and forgive.
“Get ready for the Christ Child.
Give from your surplus,” John preached.
He didn’t ask us to do anything wild.

Jesus’ message was a tough one
For many who held hate in their heart.
John asked folks to prepare for Christ
By repenting, turning, making a clean start.

Be on the true path, headed right
As you prepare for Jesus Christ’s birth.
You’re on the right road in church today.
Let’s be God’s witnesses on earth.

Are you?
Am I?
Let your life preach His message,
And as Mother Theresa is quoted as saying,
“Only use words when you have to!”

(Isn’t that a heck of a message for a blogger?)

 

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?

Fear of Death?


Are you afraid of death?

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“Nope!” my friend answered with assurance.

Then yesterday, I had an ultrasound. The radiologist not only took a million pictures, but then she called in her senior partner and asked for her assistance.

Oh my! What were they seeing? How many angles did the image need?

By the way, it was my kidneys and bladder areas, not something less complicated – like my hand.

Later in the afternoon I received a call from the medical center. It didn’t surprise me when they asked me to schedule an appointment ASAP for an MRI. They needed a more definitive picture of whatever is in there. Something that’s not supposed to be, of course.

skeleton body

Would your mind do what my mind did under the circumstances?

Would the big “C” word enter your mind? And would you contemplate your own mortality?

I did – and I am!

When I go to the medical center tomorrow and they receive the MRI results, and they say, “Your days are numbered. You are full of cancer,” would I panic?

No!

Why not? Well, all our days are numbered, aren’t they? Nobody’s going to get out of here alive.

Heavenly Sky

 

But, would I like to live a healthy 100 years
and then die peacefully and unexpectedly
in my sleep one night?

Sleeping couple

You bet!!

But, what are the chances? Pretty slim!

However, in today’s world, a person who has enjoyed good health and is living a healthy life style should expect to live at least into his/her 80’s. Don’t you agree?

Old Lady

After all, my parents lived into their late 80s, and so did both my in-laws. Genetically and socially, I expect to do the same. Wait, though…  I’m not quite 80 yet.

How would I feel about an eminent death sentence?

How would YOU feel? Have you faced such a challenge and overcome it?

My husband, Bob, was diagnosed with prostate cancer about a dozen years ago.

First step: We called my older cousin who is a Prostate Cancer Survivor “Poster Child.” We received tips from him. He recommended we get on line and learn everything we could about the disease and the treatment options. Go to renowned specialists (he named two). Get a second opinion. Keep a positive outlook. Pray. Share. Ask friends and family to pray with you. Seek professional advice. Research your options. Be your own best advocate. Remain positive.”

Second step: We did all those things, and Bob chose cryotherapy – he had his prostate frozen – and he is “in remission.” Cancer free – and living the “Golden Years” with me!

If I should learn that my days are short, I would miss my loved ones here on earth, of course. But would I be afraid of dying? As my friend said when I asked him that question, I can emphatically say, “Nope!”

I know where I’m going. I know my Redeemer lives and has a place reserved for me in Heaven. And, I pray you BELIEVE, too. Then, we can be assured we will see each other in Paradise and we will enjoy eternal joy together.

Beautiful sky

Flying High

See you there someday …

Hopefully not too soon!

‘Tis the Season Already


So quickly it comes

Time for the Thanksgiving tree

Then the Christmas one

Cookie baking time

Old persimmon recipe

Bonds with granddaughter

Merry Christmas, friends

‘Tis the season of our Lord

Please don’t forget Him!

The Pleasure of Not Writing


 

Yes, take time to think

Think many positive thoughts

Then make time to write

 

But, write everyday?

Is that really positive?

How about a break?

 

Every other week I meet with a Writers’ Group. Our attendance varies between two and eight. We never know who’ll show up, but even if I am there alone, I enjoy going to that writers’ spot and sharing ideas with fellow writers via my blog.

When others attend (usually two or more join me), we begin with a prompt that we pull out of a hat (actually a little bag), and then we free write for 15 minutes or so. Each of us shares orally with one another what we’ve written during free write – and then we share something we’ve been working on at home, making copies for each other to look on and offer positive criticism.

During the free write, I get a kick out of how many different approaches we take to the same prompt. A few weeks ago the prompt was, “The Pleasure of Not Writing.”

Here is what my fifteen minute rambling produced:

 

Writing is an itch

That needs to be scratched,

But I can turn around

And grieve the time that’s snatched!

 

I can get so wrapped up

In getting words out of my brain

That it can be exhausting

And on life – take quite a drain!

 

I need to take a break

And not write for a day or two;

Do something else creative –

What would that be for you?

 

Would you watch TV and vegetate?

Would you fish or visit friends?

Would you clean, or sort, or gravitate

To some project without ends?

 

I take pleasure in my writing.

I love hearing from bloggers out there,

But I think there’s pleasure in not writing –

I’m just not sure I know where!

 

Oh wait – I know a place I’ll go –

To the kitchen where I’ll cook –

To the Food Bank where I’ll serve –

To Plain Jane’s to have a look.

 

I’ll bide my time at the mall

Or take in a concert or two.

What pleasure will you find NOT writing?

What other activities are happy for you?

 

A pedicure? Ah, it feels so good!

Time at the beach? Ah, so refreshing!

Quiet time with Jesus?

Ah yes, I’m headed to my lovely sanctuary now.

Join me!

Loss, Lament & Loyalty


Loss, Lament, and Loyalty

 

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Sermon Notes by Jan Beekman
from the sermon today
based on the scripture – Mark 12:38-44 –
Preached by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana

 

Naomi’s son had died.
She was alone and old.
Her future was grim.
What had she been told?

 

“Deal with your losses –
Send your daughters-in-law
Back to their homes.”
But, the plan had a flaw.

 

Ruth did not want to return!
She told Naomi she’d stay.
Orpha decided to go back.
Each woman to her own way.

 

We each have a choice.
We think we’re paralyzed, but we’re not.
We may lack energy and will power;
We may feel in our losses, we’re caught.

 

Ruth knew she couldn’t run
From the pain life threw at her.
She chose to stay and face her life,
And be in a place she could matter.

 

To turn evil into something good,
She was loyal to her mother-in-law.
She broke ties with her past
And looked ahead at what she saw.

 

She saw through eyes of faith.
Naomi had taught her to use God’s eyes –
Do more than just endure;
Keep your faith and be kind and wise.

 

To endure the evil of today’s world,
Cling to one another in love –
And look out for those in need.
Use your discerning power from God above.

 

Amen?

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