Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

New Life


… the strength of His — ?

How would you finish that?

Here are my notes from Easter Sunday’s sermon.

What does this message say about God’s strength?

When you die, your body is buried.

Life’s circumstances can bury us, too.

But God comes and unburies us.

That’s the Easter story – true.

God grants us peace in Truth.

He promises to save our souls.

He removes the stone that

Seals us from our goals.

I cannot roll the stones away;

They’re too heavy for me to lift.

But Jesus, in His death & resurrection

Opens the sealed. What a gift!

In His death of pain and suffering,

Jesus took our stones of grief.

He opened The Way to joyful life –

He cleared the Path. What a relief!

Life unburied is a new creation.

Christ took the old – rolled it away.

Christ is risen – your old life’s buried.

What will you do with New Life today?

A Honey of a Sermon


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Proverbs 16:24
“Gracious speech is like clover honey –
Good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.”

Many of you know about my habit
of taking notes during the sermon each Sunday.
I hear better if I record on paper
what I process through the ears
to the brain through the fingertips.
Often the preacher wouldn’t recognize
the message as I interpret it.
But that’s okay – when my mind wanders
It’s generally related to something
she just uttered – and eventually
I get back to the voice in front of me.
Your mind doesn’t ever wander during
speeches or sermons, does it?
Here’s what I heard/processed
from Rev. Jean Johnson’s sermon today.
By the way, the scripture was not
the Proverb listed above!
The scripture that inspired the sermon
was actually John 12:20-30.
But, nevertheless, what I heard was:

A Honey of a Sermon

From the cardiac care room
Patients looked out to see a cross
Lighted and perched atop the church
On the street across.

The patients were looking
For new life – a new heart.
Waiting for a new spirit after
Their chest was torn apart.

What would you do
With a heart and spirit anew?
Would you take advantage
Of the fresh start given to you?

As we live our lives aware
Of the sin that we repeat,
Do we work to try and get
A clean heart with loving beat?

Working to receive a clean spirit
Is not the way to receive it.
All we need to do is accept
The forgiveness Jesus gave; just believe it!

Jesus gave each of us a chance
To have a clean start each day.
His death on the cross gave us
A chance to walk straight in His Way.

The crucial function of His relationship
To give us new life and a new heart
Was demonstrated by His resurrection.
Relate to Him in acceptance today for your fresh start!

Amen?
Amen!

Jan Beekman
3/18/18

Taste


spices-flavorings-seasoning-food.jpg

TASTE

It’s a matter of observant living
To determine your preferred taste.
Experience, family, childhood
All form the world we’ve faced.

Some choose spices like ginger.
Some put honey in their tea.
Some wear clothes of pinks and blues.
Reds and greens are right for me.

Is religion a matter of taste?
Do we make God what we like?
Do we choose our Scriptures
As we’d select a trail to hike?

Do we choose to interpret
What we think the words should mean?
Is ours a God of condemnation,
Or does He wipe our sin slates clean?

Is your God one who loves us all
Or does He only favor those
Who are righteous through and through –
From their heads down to their toes?

The “Chosen People” are the ones
Who are called to show what it is
To be totally, wholly, unconditionally
Loved by God, to be forever His.

We are called to love as freely
As God loved us as sinners.
He didn’t reserve His affection
For only the faultless winners.

If that had been the message,
We’d all be lost for sure
Since none of us is spotless, perfect.
None of us is sinless, pure.

God sent His Son, Jesus,
To help us get a taste of living His Way.
Love extravagantly as Christ did.
Determine to taste and spread His love today.

Amen?

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?

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