Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Lord’

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?

 

 

 

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Inside Lookin’ Out


Inside Lookin' Out

Today’s a good day
To be inside lookin’ out.
The wind’s a-howlin’
And the snow’s a-blowin’
But inside lookin’ out,
All’s well with the world!

It’s a good day to be
Thankin’ the Good Lord
For all the many blessin’s.
For a fire in the the fireplace,
A radiantly heated floor,
A pup on the hearth,
Food in the crockpot,
Friends close by,
A lovin’ spouse
who shovels the driveway
If I need to get out.

But, I don’t need
To go nowhere!
Nowhere but here –
Inside lookin’ out!

It’s Not About Me


Several years ago, when we first moved from California to Montana,
I wrote the following poem and posted it on my mirror as my “mantra.”
I read it every morning and carried it in my heart.

Lord, guide my feet in Your Will today.
Help me be what You want me to be.
Show me what You want me to do –
And help me walk in Your Way.

Then, today as I was browsing the recent history of some of my favorite
WordPress bloggers, I came across the following poem –
Posted on http://changeindirections.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/a-prayer-for-guidance/
on behalf of Rev. Mychal Judge, “FDNY chaplain and first official casualty of 9/11.”

Lord, take me where you want me to go;
Let me meet who you want me to meet;
Tell me what you want me to say,
and keep me out of your way.

ImageThank you, Rev. Mychal Judge, for helping me see that my use of “Your Way” and your use of “your way” are different – and yet inextricably related. Thank you to whomever posted this last August from a church newsletter … and thank you, Lord, for helping me find it because Rad Change reposted this “Prayer for Guidance.”  Rev. Mychal’s poem is a necessary part of making my poem/my thought process complete. It’s the message my minister, Rev. Jean Johnson was trying to help us understand last Sunday. In essence, she said, “Get out of the way, It’s not about YOU!”

I added Rev. Mychal’s poem to mine. It’s a constant and real reminder to stay out of the way, but stay in THE WAY, by walking in God’s Way. It reminds me to recognize that God is the Guide, the One in the Driver’s seat, the Creator, the One who is worthy of praise and recognition. Get out of God’s way and let God WORK through me! There is no end to the GOOD God can do through us, if we just get out of the the way.

It’s not about me!! 

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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

Help for Troubled Children


Sermon Notes
Guest Speaker – Michael Kalous

“Intermountain Thoughts”

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He lived in one hundred one places –
Cars, tents, parking lots, too,
Foster homes and back roads.
A hard life for years – quite a few.

The boy had a loving mother,
But his dad was a troubled guy.
God sent the boy Christ-like people
Who helped dry the tears he’d cry.

Then God sent him to InterMountain
Where his dorm parents were saints.
They gave him unconditional love –
Listened compassionately to his complaints.

With people behind him like his Grandma Grace,
And people with him who showed Christ’s love,
He found our Lord and Savior
And got to know our God above.

With God’s help and these beautiful people,
The damage of his young life faded.
God is able to use him now
And bless others whose bodies and souls were invaded.

With the common bond of a wounded soul,
He can tell his story and feel others’ pain.
He can reach out to a hurting world.
His road of suffering leads to God’s gain.

About seven years ago, when I first learned about Intermountain in Helena, Montana, I was a new member of Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT. A boy named Chip came to speak to us that summer about how he and his four siblings had been saved by an adoptive parent and a program at Intermountain that provided Christian counseling to struggling children and families. Kids like Michael who were physically, mentally, and/or sexually abused and young boys like Chip who were abandoned and/or neglected found the loving, professional help they needed. In addition to a school for pre-school through 8th grade children, there are four cottages on the site. Each one is “home” for up to eight children – and a set of highly trained, loving “dorm parents” live with them. The professional staff at Intermountain also goes into homes and public schools to provide support for parents and teachers. Most of the children aided by Intermountain have what is known as “attachment disorder” because of the way the adults who should have loved and protected them the most let them down in one miserable way or another. It is hard for them to trust any adult.

So, when people like Michael “make it good,” survive in spite of the odds, and go on to finish high school and college, become counselors, and return to the facility to “give back,” they have a greater opportunity for success. They create a “common bond with a wounded soul.” Their background makes them believable. It serves as a springboard to convince the troubled, mistrusting youngster that someone else CAN understand their plight. God uses their sad history to save another soul from a lifetime of continued abuse, neglect or abandonment. The cycle can be broken.

My gratitude goes out to Michael and to all the counselors at Intermountain and at children’s shelters across the world. May your rocky path serve as a lighthouse – a beacon to help others find their way toward a healthy and secure future. With God’s help, you can help heal the wounds and allow God’s children to love and trust again.

With gratitude for what you do and an understanding of the financial needs to carry on your programs, my husband and I donate a small amount monthly to Intermountain. I invite my readers to consider doing likewise. If each of us helped a little, it would add up to a lot – and more needs could be met. God bless you! And God bless the givers who help to make your work possible.

To learn more about Intermountain, log on to: http://www.intermountain.org/   Help meet the needs of a troubled child who is learning to trust again!

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Heaven is Here


I sometimes drift into negative thinking, remembering my shortcomings of the past, projecting them into my present. You don’t ever do that, do you? I engaged in that kind of harmful reminiscing this morning when God hit me upside the head and scolded me: “Knock it off! Open up your devotional for today and see what I have to say!”

OK, OK, I don’t know why I was dredging up that old stuff. Sorry, God! Totally unproductive, I know. OK, what does “Mornings with Jesus” have to say today?

The scripture for today is Philippians 3:13-14, “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it…” I paused. Taken hold of what? Paul is being pretty vague here, Lord. What should he have taken hold of? Read on, Jan! OK, OK…  “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal…”  Just a minute, Lord. What goal? I can understand the bit about forgetting what is behind. I can see the wisdom in understanding that we can’t change one single thing about the past and so it is pointless to dwell on it. But, how do I strain toward the goal if I am not sure what the goal is?

“Beeeee paaaayshunt!!” God urged. Read on!

“… the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

There! Now, let me read that again. “I do not consider myself YET to have taken hold of IT. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:13-14 (emphasis mine)

Now I get it! “It” is the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward. Heaven is the prize. And, the best news of all… Heaven is right here! Right here where I live. Right there where you live! Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Here – on earth – where His Will is done, – here is Heaven on Earth!

Lord, as I love in gratitude for this place where I live and for its people, help me strive (yes, even strain) to make “IT” a more heavenly place. Let the peace of Christ rule in my heart – and let thankfulness for today and bright hope for tomorrow radiate from my life through YOU. In Christ’s Name I pray, Amen!

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