Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Good News’

Who is This God?


Last Sunday was Trinity Sunday.
Trinity… Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
A matter of FAITH.
Read John 16: 12-15. Then ask yourself…

Who is this God who comes to us as a Teacher?
Why is there a prevalence of evil in this world?
If God really exists, as we see Him in our Design,
Then why does our Designer allow hate to be hurled?

If our Intelligent Design didn’t just evolve,
Does there have to be a Benevolent Creator?
With all the violence and disasters and cruelty,
Where is the Creator, the Good and Evil Separator?

If we begin with an observation of what we see,
Our starting point limits us to only what is rational.
What about the place FAITH plays in our belief?
Faith is belief in the unobservable; Sometimes it’s irrational.

Our faith IN God is FROM God through the Holy Spirit,
From the quiet inspiration of the TRUTH Christ revealed.
God climbs down to us, revealing Himself to us
Through the Holy Spirit, the Teacher, through whom lives are healed.

Quietly, the Holy Spirit opens us up to the Good News.
Boldly we affirm our faith in a Loving Father.
How can we see the love in a hurting world of sin?
Be the Love; Live the Faith. Dwell on hate? Nope, why bother?!

(Sermon notes – from JanBeeks’ take on what she heard
Rev. Jean Johnson preach on May 26, 2013)

End of Your Rope?


Rope_knot : rope fastened in knots

Do you need encouragement? Read John 5:1-18. It’s about a man who seemed to be “at the end of his rope.” He had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. For “a very long time,” he had been lying by a pool near Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. The pool was surrounded by “a great number of disabled people,” waiting for the water to be stirred. Scripture teaches that healing would come only to the first person who entered the pool after the water was stirred. When Jesus saw the man, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

For most of us, that question comes across as rather strange. “Well, duh! Why else would I be lying here?” would have been a rather disrespectful answer, don’t you think? A simple, “Yes,” would have sufficed. But the man replied, “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Some people might read that as whining. They might interpret the man as one who lacked creativity or tenacity or sufficient faith or courage. I have even heard pastors and Biblical teachers speculate that he might have made his paralysis a way of life, and was content to just be there, maybe begging for a living or thriving on the sympathy of others. But, I think this man was at the end of his rope, and Jesus saw his tenacity, appreciated his struggle, and His heart went out to the man. He did not chastise him for complaining that he had no help. He simply said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

The story tells me, when I am at the end of my rope, it’s OK to complain to Jesus. It’s OK to cry to Him when there is no one to help you.

Imagine your rope is stiff jute, hanging only halfway down from the ceiling. You’ve tied a secure knot and you’re hanging on, but you’re tired of the struggle. Your grip are getting weak. By faith, you DO want to be made well. You rely on Jesus. He changes the rope to a bungee cord and it stretches to the floor where you can get your feet on the ground again. Pick up your mat (or your rope) and walk.

That was today’s message for me. Hang on until by God’s grace, you CAN walk again – or you can compensate – you can rely on other attributes that multiply in you – and make life do-able again. Then – healed by faith, count your blessings, and go out to tell your story! Radiate God’s Hope so that others can keep on keepin’ on when they come to the end of their ropes.

Here are today’s sermon notes (message from Rev. Jean Johnson, adapted – interpreted – and rendered in poetic form through my filters):

How to Get Well

Are you at the end of your rope?
Do you really want to be healed?
What are you doing to create a knot
And hang on where the knot is sealed?

What Super Glue sealed the knot tight?
Your fingers grasp at the end of straws
Looking for what solutions dangle there –
Within reach of your grasping claws.

Are you responsible for catching the clues?
Is healing a matter of finding and grasping?
If we whine and passively hang without doing,
Is this the key to healing that’s lasting?

No, firmly clasping that knot you’ve made
Requires faith and strength and tenacity.
Ultimately, healing comes from God’s grace.
Our gratitude gives that rope elasticity!

That’s the Good News! Bounce on down!
Untie the knot and let go of the rope.
By God’s grace – His goodness alone –
Walk, healed by Faith, to radiate God’s Hope!

Do you need encouragement? Read John 5:1-18. Hang in there!

Make Me An Instrument


Make Me An Instrument

The words to the song below were written in honor of a dear, talented, generous, Montana friend, Larry Zabel, who went to his eternal home last month. I will try to post a video with the words so that you can hear the tune and words. Keep in mind, it’s an amateur video sung by a Grammy whose voice used to be soprano… I try it in both octaves, just so you can choose which one fits your voice. Be forgiving, dear blogging friends!

Larry leaves behind a legacy of service to our Lord through his hands working magic on canvas. He was truly an instrument of Our Master, showing the majesty of God’s creation and the wonder of God’s people. I am thankful for his many artistic donations which enabled the work of dozens of civic organizations. God’s love exploded from Larry’s heart, palette and brushes onto his canvasses.

Another dear and talented Ennis friend, Gerry Gerron, painted a portrait of Larry Zabel. He will donate it to hang in our beautiful Madison Valley Medical Center. The work of many artists has been enhanced by the talents and inspiration of Larry, who so generously gave of himself. Gerry’s rendering of Larry is one example of how that inspiration plays itself out. The song/poem below is my small offering toward keeping that legacy alive and honoring the man who did so much in his lifetime to be God’s instrument.

Image

Verse 1:

If I can be a student in my Master’s schools,
If I could be a vessel to carry Love’s Views,
If I could be a light to shine His Good News,
Then my life will not be in vain.

Chorus:

Lord, make me an instrument in Your hands,
Make me an instrument in Your hands,
Make me an instrument in Your hands,
And my life will not be in vain.

Verse 2:

If I can be a beacon to show His Way,
If I can be a shoulder to end a friend’s dismay,
If I can be a fountain, His love to spray,
Then my life will not be in vain.

(Chorus)

Verse 3:

If I can be the arms to lighten someone’s load,
If I can be the path to show a friend The Road,
If I can be a spark to help His Love explode,
Then my life will not be in vain.

(Chorus)

 

(Video with the tune in my next posting)

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