Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘faith’

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!

Steps to a Lovely Life


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Be aware – Be sensitive –

Be quick to admit – Ask forgiveness –

Embrace the right – Reject the wrong –

Obey God – Trust – Endure – Mature.

Eph. 4:14-16

Outsiders


Jesus on the Cross

Jesus – simple, yet complex

Outsiders

A prophet is known
by the company he keeps.
If Jesus were a true prophet,
the right people would be His sheep.

But baaaaad people hung out
with Jesus – sinners of the worst sort.
Jesus scandalously kept company
with tax collectors, folks report.

His circle included prostitutes.
He dined with people of ill repute.
How did He respond to complainers?
Did He have a good word of refute?

No, He told the story of the lost –
Lost coins, lost sheep, lost kids.
Find the coin, search for lambs,
Be relentless finding others, Jesus bids.

But, though we’re concerned,
We have our limits, right?
Do we seek unending until we find?
No, it’s not about us and our plight.

It’s about God who searches.
It’s about our Lord who actively calls.
He needs us all …  you and me.
Invite the outsiders. Break down walls.

Amen?

Giving


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GIVING

As a mother gives her love
Freely, without thought of return,
We are told also to give
Without “What’s in it for me?” concern.

Tell me what makes you anxious.
Does worry to earth add a minute?
Look closely at your life;
Is anxiety frequently in it?

Do you fret too much about money?
Is your mind on your demise?
Work, leisure, politics, the unknown –
Do you fret? Is that wise?

Anxiety is a human experience.
It seems to transcend time.
There always has been earthly woes,
Poverty, illness, and crime.

Consider the bison cows and their calves.
Look at what God does.
He provides their food and beauty,
And He’ll care for you – just because.

You, too, are His prized creation.
His love and provisions are yours.
Only doubt will cause you worry.
Let His promises fill your pores.

Beyond disease, death, and decay
Are the gifts from God above.
God provides for all our needs.
Rest confidently in His love.

How do you find such perfect rest?
The answer is in God’s Word.
You gain such peace by giving.
Does that sound a bit absurd?

Reflect on Him who dwells in you.
Accept His wonderful gifts.
Go out and give your blessings.
Be lifted as He lifts.

Make Us One


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I take notes when I listen to the sermon in church. It helps me  internalize the message in a way that sticks. Then, I can share with my husband, Bob, whose mind wanders during sermons. We discuss it on the way home and I read my notes to him. Usually they are in poetic format. That’s how my mind holds on and interprets.

Here is my take on Rev. Jean Johnson’s message from John 17: 2-26.

MAKE US ONE

May the love I have for you
Also be in you.
May my words echo in your heart
And ring loud and true.

Each day I pray for you and yours,
For health and strength and peace.
My prayers include family and friends,
My kids, my sis, my niece.

I pray for us and our health, too,
And ask for family unity.
Jesus prayed that we be ONE –
Mend divisions between you and me.

From time’s beginnings, splits occurred –
From Adam, to disciples, to now.
Jesus asked God to make us one
Stop our bickering somehow.

Set aside our differences.
Teach us, Lord, to pray
That we can love as Jesus loved.
Make us one today.

Amen?

 

 

 

Easter Sadness


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I have heard holidays are sad times for some people. There are more suicides near the various holidays each year than at other times of the year. Have you heard that? Have you ever related to such sadness? I’m not THAT sad, but this was not a typical Happy Easter day.

I grew up in a typical American family in the center of California. At least I thought we were typical. Since then I have begun to question what is “normal” – is there such a thing as “typical”? In my world, I Love Lucy and Bugs Bunny made me laugh, Sundays were church and family time, gatherings at our house or at relatives’ homes were the norm for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, when I found myself in a funk this year as Easter approached and no family was coming to gather, I should not have been surprised, right? Wrong! I was caught off guard! Where is the laughing, carefree Bugs Bunny when you need him?

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Our church hosted a potluck after church today –  Easter Sunday; designed just for folks like Bob and me whose family is a thousand or more miles away. Ham would be provided. Last night I created my favorite comfort food for the occasion- scalloped potatoes Andre’ style. I put them in the garage refrigerator for safe-keeping. I spent an hour this morning up in my sanctuary, as usual, in prayer and Bible Study, in meditation as I listened to the robins singing outside the the window. “He is risen indeed!” Shake it off, Jan! ReJOYce! It’s Easter!! Pick up your music. Pick up your Easter lily. Pick up your spirits. Get to your house of worship!

We arrived at church 45 minutes early to practice with the choir. Surely potatoes au gratin and “Up From the Grave He Arose” would lift my sagging spirits. Oh no! I forgot the potatoes where I had safely stored them in the garage refrigerator last night! A dear friend, Susan, who arrived early to work on the potluck volunteered to drive back to our house to get them. Only five minutes away, thank God! Christian friend to the rescue! God bless her. She put them in the church oven and returned to her seat in the pew just as the service started.

I perused the church bulletin. The songs were not “He Lives!” or “Hallelujah, He is Risen.” Instead, “Low in the Grave He Lay” and “In His Time” with a sermon topic, “Failure.” What? Here I am feeling low, missing family, beating myself up for forgetting to bring the potatoes, and the sermon topic is about FAILURE? I drew a sad face next to it! I was not prepared for a downer message from the pulpit! But then as the service began, we all sang, “He Has Made Me Glad!” and the choir sang, “In Christ Alone/Solid Rock.” My spirits were lifting and I paid particular attention to the words of the next song, “Hymn of Promise,” by Natalie Sleethe. The second verse especially spoke to me:

   “There’s a song in every silence, speaking word and melody;
   There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
   From the past will come the future; what it holds a mystery,
   Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

What a wonderful segue into the sermon. Listen carefully, Jan. Take your sermon notes in poetry – as you usually do – and see what “Failure,” as spoken by Reverend Jean Johnson, says to you:

Silence is in Failure.
Shouts in Victory.
Resilience lies in Failure –
Lessons there for you and me.

Moral Victory or Losing?
Which lesson do you see?
Is the score the truest measure
Of a win for you and me?

Defeat: Success is gone.
Rationalization: Better now.
Reality: Acknowledgement –
There’s a future – somehow!

Failure feels miserable.
Hope seems surely gone.
But the loss is temporary.
New beginnings greet the dawn.

God doesn’t call it quits.
He fills our loss with LOVE.
His peace is ours eternal;
Ours is Victory from above.

Christ defeated death and darkness.
Shouts of VICTORY ring ever true.
His resurrection is our promise.
Hope rings eternal for me and you.

Amen? Amen!

I drew a cross next to that sad face – and on the other side of the cross, a happy face.

No need to stay in a funk! Listen to the last verse of Natalie Seethe’s “Hymn of Promise.”

“In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity:
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

Thank You, God. Thank You for Jesus… for His life, His death, and His resurrection. Thank You for the promise of Eternity. Thank you for helping me see You, the source of all life and hope, all joy and peace, all compassion and justice – alive and victorious this day and always. May my life be a witness to the new life You offer. You are new every morning. So am I! Happy Easter!

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Family and Friends


There are friends who are family and family who are friends.
There is joy in knowing the love never ends.
There is joy in the morning and there’s joy in the night.
But the God-joy eternal is the best joy in sight!

We are blessed by our family and by our friends, too,
But the blessings of faith bring the best love to you –
Because God is the maker of friends who uplift.
He takes fleeting moments and wraps them up as a gift.

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If you have the fortune to have a best friend who’s your gift,
If that friend is there for you to give you a lift,
I hope you thank God every day of your life –
Especially if that friend is your husband or wife.

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And if in your family you are blessed with a pet,
The love and devotion may be the best it can get!
For an animal gives unconditional love –
The kind we can learn if we’re connected above.

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I thank God today for family and friends – true-blue,
For the two-legged ones and the four-legged, too.
May I always be faithful to love joyfully.
Dear loved ones, be assured, you can count on me.

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