Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

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?

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?

 

 

 

Where is God?


Tragedy is a common denominator;
We all face it from time to time.
It saddens and isolates us.
It covers our hearts with grime.

The suffering we all endure
Is not foreign to our friends.
It is not foreign to our Lord.
God is in the darkness around each painful bend.

God sent His Son to the cross for us.
There is not a place He will not go.
He walks beside us in our desolation.
His presence is a comfort; don’t you know?

But God is not the cause of our sorrow.
Death – an early earthly departure –
is not the will of God; His heart breaks, too.
He gives us free will. Misuse of it breaks His heart – sure!

When we are in pain, we cry out to God
The way Jesus cried out from the cross.
“Why hast Thou forsaken me? Where are you?”
He answers, “I am here! I cry with you for your loss.”

Christ on Cross Illustration

Welcome


Welcome to the new year. Welcome to new friends. Welcome new ides. Welcome new insights –  revelations – growth – enlightenment. Life is good! I am having a wonderful time here in the fun of the sun in southern California. My pup loves it, too. So does my husband. Back home in Montana I am told they had one hundred mile per hour winds today. Yuck! Cold I can take. Snow I can appreciate. But raging winds? No thanks! I am happy to be here.

Thanks for coming to visit my blog today. I will try to find time each evening to share with you a few of the fresh insights that this new year has offered.

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Come walk and talk awhile. Let me share my first couple stanzas from last Sunday’s sermon notes – taken at Bloom in the Desert Ministries in Palm Springs. Rev Kev is quite the pastor. As I recorded his words through my poetic filter, I heard him say:

We welcome all who welcome all.
We open our hearts to you.
We see ourselves from the inside out.
We love as God loves you.

We gather in the presence of God.
We are His Light.
We hear the Word, receive Good News,
Imagine the fun of Snoopy’s flight…

And then he launched into a Snoopy, Linus, Red Baron story to illustrate other points he was teaching and preaching, but my mind took flight. Rev Kev read the scripture about Jesus’ baptism, the meaning and importance of baptism, and the way in which we mortals put our own spin on things. We over-think. We over-define. We see one another, too often, from the outside – make judgements, never give ourselves the chance to really see one another as God sees us. We limit ourselves and others in the process.

Once upon a time Bob and I left a church because the minister, Reverend Diane, decided to marry her female partner of a decade. How do you react to that? Hmmm…?

Come walk with me. Talk with me. Churches are splitting over this issue. Families are splitting over this issue. People are being threatened and killed over this issue. What would Jesus say?

Rev Kev introduced us to his husband. “We welcome all who welcome all.”

Bob and I talked as we walked in the desert. TazE, our sweet Boston Terrier, was a great listener.

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Welcome! Come walk and talk with us. See you tomorrow?

Morning Prayer


Lord, thank You for the morning –
For the quiet of the night –
For the stillness of the dawning –
For the promise of the light.

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Thank You for the candles
Which flicker in the room,
Twinkling in the starlight,
Eliminating gloom.

Their gentle light reminds me
There’s strength contained in fire;
So manage and and maintain it.
Unchecked, its results are dire.

Like candle flames, my life is
A flicker on the earth.
I thank You for my parents
Who loved and gave me birth.

Work in and through me, Jesus;
Let Your Light shine intense.
With God all things are possible.
His outreach is immense.

I pray for all my children –
And each grandchild as well.
I thank You for their presence.
Give them peace and patience – Make it swell!

Thank You for the promise
Of each new, unlived day.
Help me make the most of it
By walking in Your Way.

In Christ’s Name I pray,
Amen

 

Increase Our Faith


Increase Our Faith

Sermon Notes
–  from a message by Rev. Jean M Johnson based on Luke 17:5-10

If the disciples of Christ felt clueless,
How can I know anything for sure?
If they lived with the King of Peace,
Why weren’t their thoughts clear and pure?

They lived and rubbed elbows with
Our Lord, the Christ, Savior on earth.
They were with Him, hearing His parables,
Watching His miracles; some knew Him from birth.

Yet, they asked Christ to increase their faith.
Maybe it wasn’t a request to increase their hearts.
Maybe they were asking Him to increase their hands –
Give them the will to work and do their parts.

Because they had faith, the disciples needed
The humility for doing the mundane, daily grind.
Obeying and following Jesus means quietly doing
The duties of loving and serving with no thanks in mind.

Don’t ask for a great faith to do great things.
Be content with faith the size of a mustard seed
To do the work of serving God humbly,
Listening for the Holy Spirit to reveal every need.

Amen?

Hmmm… My prayer for today is one of gratitude for my God and for His Son, Jesus Christ, and for my faith. Yes, it is small as a mustard seed! But, is it sufficient to do God’s Will today? Oh Lord, increase my humility. Increase my ability to hear and see the needs around me. Increase the capacity of my hands and feet to be the hands and feet God uses for His small tasks here on earth. You have given me ears to hear, dear God, and eyes to see the needs around me. Increase my willingness to respond to Your nudges and help me do so with no expectation of recognition. Thank You for the fruits of the spirit alive and well in me: love, joy, and peace. I know faithfulness is a gift from You, also. Help me share those fruits and radiate the gifts freely today.

In Jesus Name –
Amen!

No Expiration Date


 

Feeling lost? Need to be found? Need help finding your way? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then Sunday’s sermon was for you! As for me, I always need help finding my way through the maze of life’s choices!

The sermon was titled, “How Far Will the Love of God Go?” Based on Luke 15:1-10, preached by Rev. Jean Johnson, with poetic notes taking the usual liberties, I titled the poem, “No Expiration Date.” 

Jesus was not very selective
In the company He chose to keep.
He sought the lost and sinful
The way a shepherd searched for lost sheep.

Like Our God who searches for us,
Jesus looked for the lost day and night.
He didn’t give up when others might;
He kept looking until the lost were in sight.

He went to the ends of the earth.
He even descended into Hell!
He was there with the Good News,
With the story of salvation to tell.

Hell is separation from God –
So Jesus went to an estranged abyss.
Even after His crucifixion,
He lowered Himself to such as this.

He entered solidarity with those
Who had lost their way in darkness.
He brought the light of God to show
The Hope of Salvation in all that starkness.

No matter what you do to try
And remove yourself from God’s reach,
There is no place you can go –
Not even Hell – that God cannot breach.

God will go to limitless lengths
To find you and bring you home.
There is no time limit, no expiration –
The Shepherd seeks until He finds His own.

Amen?
Amen!

 

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