Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

Bird in a Gilded Cage


 

Bird in a Gilded Cage

I’m only a bird in a gilded cage.
I’m trapped in a pent-up life.
I see the blue sky and the world out there,
But I’m locked in a world of strife.

I know I have friends who are here with me.
I feel their support and love;
But they can’t quite reach all my problems here –
I’m counting on the Lord above.

He’s not just a God who is far removed.
He’s my Savior, Deliverer, Friend.
I take all my strife to the Lord in prayer
And count on the Holy Spirit to descend.

Come into the cage of Your gilded bird.
Come into my heart today.
Take all of my troubles and grant me peace.
Give me love, JOY, and patience, I pray.

Amen

A Crippling Spirit


Sunday’s Sermon Notes
Based on Luke 13:10-17
Rev. Carol Shellenberger, guest minister

“We don’t do that here!” the Elder scolded.
“But I’ve got religion!” the vocal praiser replied.
Well, you didn’t get it here,” the Elder frowned.
“No, I guess not,” the rebuked man sighed.

Are we the Elder type who covers praise
With a snuffer of scorn and frowns?
Or have we “got religion” here
That celebrates the King of Crowns?

Jesus crowns the vocal spirit.
God rewards the spirit-loving and the free.
Traditions and laws have their place,
But they’re not to squelch God’s love in me!

Jesus told the disgruntled crowd –
The folks who objected to His healing touch –
That the Sabbath is holy, and so’s the act of healing.
Obey the laws, but regard the Lord’s example as much!

The condition of our heart and spirit counts more
Than the pious adherence to laws and tradition.
What matters most is the way we act in love
To follow Christ’s example, to improve another’s condition.

Lord, call forth in me the power of Your Spirit.
Help me lift up my neighbor and love with compassion.
May I find balance in love, law, and tradition –
Freeing myself and others to “Do that here” in Christ-like fashion.

After the sermon, my friend, Jim Groshong, and I presented some special music. We sang “How Great Thou Art” to the accompaniment of his guitar and my accordion. Ordinarily in our church, the response to special music is silent smiles and occasionally a group “Amen” (when invited by the pastor to vocalize). The congregation has been reminded on more than one occasion that clapping is not an appropriate response. “We don’t do that here!” because it is a worldly form of recognition to the performer(s) rather than a worshipful response that recognizes the gift as an expression for the glory of God.

Well, today’s sermon was delivered by a guest pastor. The congregation must have been listening to her message as carefully as I did! They took it to heart. When Jim and I finished singing, our Presbyterian congregation (sometimes known as the “Chosen Frozen”) burst into spontaneous applause. No one chastised them. No one said, “We don’t do that here!” Hallelujah – the Holy Spirit sang through us, touched the tear ducts of some, and moved others to applaud – to the Glory of the Lord. Wonders never cease!

Amen?

Amen!! 

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)

Pentecost Sunday


If I were creating human beings as God did in the beginning of time, I’d add a part that I think God forgot to include. He put a belly button on our abdomen, but I’d have a button on each person’s chest. The button would be like Siri on my new iPhone. Press it and “Presto!” I could ask my brain to speak in whatever language I needed at the moment. I could ask it to translate what I am hearing. I could ask it questions and the button would activate a response! Isn’t that what God did for the people in the temple on that first Pentecost Sunday around AD70? With the help of the Holy Spirit, the people spoke in languages previously unknown to them.

This coming Sunday, May 27,2012, is known on the Christian calendar as Pentecost Sunday. Catholics and Protestants alike celebrate this Holy Day.  On the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox calendars, the date for Pentecost Sunday is June 3rd. Historically it is the day the Holy Spirit descended with tongues of fire on the apostles and other followers of Jesus. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday. It commemorates the “Birthday of the Church.”  Red is the ceremonial color of Pentecost, depicting the color of the flame – and the movement of the Holy Spirit. The ways in which churches celebrate this event in its liturgical calendar are as rich and varied as the churches are themselves. Red flowers might adorn the alters, symbolizing the renewal of life, the coming of the warmth of summer, and the growth of the church at and from the first Pentecost. Music that is especially composed for Pentecost often is performed on this special day. I will sing with a small group of friends. Our song is an example of a Pentecostal message. The words are beautiful:

(Refrain) Send down the fire of your justice,
Send down the rains of your love;
Come send down the Spirit, breathe life in your people,
and we shall be the people of God.

(Verse One) Call us to be your compassion,
Teach us the song of your love;
Give us hearts that sing,
Give us deeds that ring,
Make us ring with the song of your love.

(Verse Two) Call us to learn of your mercy,
Teach us the way of your peace;
Give us hearts that feel,
Give us hands that heal,
Make us walk in the way of your peace.

There are two other verses, each as beautiful as these. If you Google “Send Down the Fire,” you will discover other songs with that title, but the one with these words that I appreciated most is found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wai-9zpmXQY.  The students are listed as LOMC Swing Choir Tour — 2009. Their motions add to the meaning of the lyrics. I have asked what LOMC stands for and am awaiting an answer. Meantime, I encourage you to go and celebrate this Pentecost Sunday with the true meaning of the day. Join these YouTube singers with “hearts that sing” and “hearts that feel.” Move into the world with “deeds that ring” and “hands that heal” as  you walk in the way of Christ’s peace. Be His compassion!

You may not have a Siri button built into your chest. You may not be able to speak in tongues and be understood in all kinds of languages, but you have a love button built into your chest. It was planted there by the Holy Spirit. Go out this Pentecost Sunday and use your love to teach others of God’s mercy and His desire for us  to live together as one people throughout the world – working for peace on earth.

I am only one person and I can’t do everything, but I am one who can make a difference to one. Maybe the one will be you. Happy Pentecost Sunday. Use your love button! God Bless You.

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