Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘love in action’

Prophets – Bah Humbug!


If you’ve been following my blog awhile, you know I take notes in poetry as I listen to the sermon in church on Sundays.

white house on green grass and green mountain

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you’re new to my blog, welcome! Thank you so much for following. You help me know with your “likes” and comments that I am not just writing into cyberspace. There are real people out there – my blogging “friends” – who may be touched, encouraged, tickled, or illuminated by my posts. If I help you somehow along this rugged path of life to step a little lighter, see a little brighter, or love each other “righter”, then I have accomplished my purpose.

Here are the notes reflecting the message I gathered from yesterday’s sermon. After the service, I told Rev. Jean Johnson, our pastor at Madison Valley Presbyterian, “Your message spoke to me. I think I’ll blog this one.”

So, here it is:

Prophets – Bah Humbug!

Who needs a prophet?
They are annoying, I think.
At best, they are pests.
At worst, they stink!

Tell ’em to take
Their soapboxes away
To some other place.
They harp doom everyday.

Isn’t it enough to try
To be good to each other?
Isn’t it enough
To love sister and brother?

Here we are this Advent
Being called to goodness and hope.
John the Baptist says we
Need baptism and repentance to cope.

He persists in saying
Mountains must be flat.
Paths must be made straight.
Who needs all that?

We like our high mountains.
We like crooked paths, too.
Who needs these prophets?
Do they annoy you?

Well, to be honest, I must
Tell you these truthtellers
Are important to us.
They’re really not such bad fellers!

They call us to be humble.
They show us the Christ-like way.
They remind us of past errors
And guide us to a better way.

Prophets help us discover
How love is better than hate.
They show us what really matters.
Heed them. Invite them in. It’s a date!

Be the love to the loveless.
Don’t worry and think you’re too small.
Listen to the wisdom of the prophets.
Their message is good for us all.

Let God’s light shine through you.
Be the prophetic face of love.
Go out and BE a prophet.
Share the message from God above.

Amen?

 

T = Trust


Day #20 – T = Trust

It’s been quite a ride! My A-Z series on “What Makes Me Happy?” Is drawing near an end, but today I TRUST you’ll continue reading, and I’ll continue to be inspired with new, pertinent topics. Thank you for being here. The ability to TRUST makes me happy 😃

T rusting brings

R espect and

U nderstanding and

S afety to vulnerability

T rusting is essential

In a world where parents feel a need to teach their children NOT to trust, we must be the models of trustworthiness. We must exude the love 💕 and safety we wish covered the earth.

The opposite of trusting is mistrusting, of course, and that creates worry and anxiety. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could feel free as a people to just trust? To just teach trust?

It’s probably Pollyanna thinking… unrealistic, you say. But, can’t we teach caution without teaching fear? Without causing worry and anxiety?

My go-to guide is Scripture. Jesus shows us the way. He talks about the birds being clothed so splendidly, so why worry about what we’ll wear. He showed us how He fed the multitudes, and told us not to worry about where our next meal is coming from. “Do not fear,” He taught us.

Philippians 4:6-7 is Paul’s message to the people of Philippi in which he cautioned them about worry. “Don’t worry about anything;” he wrote, “instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

So, the way to live in TRUST is to read, study, and apply the TRUTH of Scripture. Trust in God. Trust in what Jesus taught us. Sounds simple, huh? No, it’s not.

In today’s world we worry about safety. We hear of innocent people being murdered all the time.

In today’s world we worry about international affairs, divisiveness, wars, prejudice, and how it’s tearing us apart. We feel helpless to create that peace Paul wrote about. God’s Peace. Where is it? How can we exude it? How can we be the change we want to see in this world? How can we trust those people and situations that seem so untrustworthy?

My only solution is to remember the words of Paul, “Pray about everything.”

And remember/think about the words that remind us of how our simplest acts can make a difference to those we touch… and to those whose lives are affected by what we do.

R. Buckminster Fuller wrote, “Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.

Like tomorrow, if you’re in the USA, we can each make a difference. Go vote (if you haven’t cast an absentee ballot already). Every vote DOES matter!

Reach out to your neighbor in love. Reach out with help to a friend in need. Reach out to a fellow blogger with affirmation. Tell them that the words you just read made a difference for you. They resonated. Trust that your small acts add up to big differences.

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. In your shared weakness, you exhibit trust and you strengthen others.

Just TRUST!

He’s gotcha in the palm of His hand. Here’s my mantle in this season of Thanksgiving.  Remember to thank God for all the ways He loves and protects you. Trust Him!

May the peace of Christ that surpasses all human understanding be yours today.

Life’s a Teeter-Totter


Twenty-seven years ago I wrote the poem that’s framed in the picture above (when I still considered myself a kid). I presented it as a birthday gift to my mom. When she left this earth a few years ago, I inherited the poem and the ceramic, musical mice in the teeter-totter that accompanied it.

Yesterday a blogging friend wrote a piece about “Balance.” She asked if it gets easier to find balance in life as we get older. I recalled this poem and told her I would post it today.

Rereading it now with 27 extra birthdays under my belt, I believe the “IFs” in here still are relevant today. And without that foundation of love, I would imagine finding balance is a bigger life-long struggle than it is for those whose home, mother, family and friends provided the love and stability we all crave.

What do you think?

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Life is Like a Teeter-Totter

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Life is like a teeter-totter,

Full of ups and downs.

Kids learn to roll and toss with it,

To shake away the frowns,

If they have had a loving home

To lean back and reminisce on when they roam.

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Life is like a teeter-totter,

Full of bounces and of bumps.

Kids learn to rock with a jolly jump

And shake away the lumps

If they have had a loving mother

To hug them tight and with kisses smother.

.

Life is like a teeter-totter,

It works better in pairs.

They keep each other balanced

And handle life in shares –

If they have had their mother’s arms

To guard against abuse and harms.

.

Life is like a teeter-totter,

Full of laughs and silly giggle.

Full of noise and wonderment –

Girls to squeeze and boys that wiggle –

If they have been secure in love,

Both from home’s hearth and God above.

.

Thank you, Mom, for filling my life

With love. More ups than downs, for sure.

You seemed to know my every need.

For every hurt, you had a cure.

Happy Birthday, Mother dear –

I thank God every day that you are near!

.

.

If you had a happy, loving home, with a mom who provided that sense of security and the ready help when you needed it, I bet you are able to keep life’s teeter-totter in better balance than those folks who missed that connection. How would you characterize your childhood? Did you have a mom who helped you have a greater chance for a balanced life?

Share Your Saltiness!


Share Your Saltiness!

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(If you’ve followed my blog

for awhile, you know it’s my habit

to take poetic notes while listening

to Rev. Jean Johnson’s sermons

in our Ennis, Montana Presbyterian Church.

If you’re new to JanBeek, now you know!

Here are my notes from today’s message

based on the scripture in Mark 9:38-50)

.

I take salt for granted.

I simply know it’s good.

I understand it preserves

and flavors food – as it should.

.

Salt is a part of life.

It’s here among us all.

So, why did Jesus talk

About lack of salt this fall?

.

Where’s the Good News

In Jesus’ message of salt?

If salt loses its taste,

Am I, dear Lord, at fault?

.

We, as the church, are called

To be the Salt of the Earth.

If we lose our saltiness,

We forget our Christian birth.

.

Born into the faith, we’re given

The spices of zest and grace.

We’re called to season every need,

To help each hurting face.

.

Our salt is meant to sprinkle

Both saint and sinner – the same.

Remember, we all are sinners, too,

So share your saltiness in Jesus’ name.

.

Amen?

(And this Sunday afternoon I’m wondering,

Do you s’posed Jesus might have had this

salty sharing in mind? Come on over!)

Oh goodness! Is that sacrilegious? Or just some of my saltiness spilling out?

Words and Music


What do words and music have in common?

In this week’s Time magazine, Yo-Yo Ma made several interesting points. “Music is organized sound…” he said. And he continued by adding, “…just as words are organized alphabet.” We could go on to see that writing is organized words, and profound literature is carefully organized thought. Without organization, there would be chaos. Disorganized notes are noise. Words disorganized are meaningless.

Like music, words must be varied to create beauty. In today’s Daily Word devotional, the message said, “… harmony cannot be achieved if we are all singing the same note. When we add our own uniqueness to everything we do, we add depth and meaning.” Our individuality shines through our words, thoughts, and actions, as well as our music.

Music needs all eight notes on the scale and every sharp and flat in between to create great symphonies, exquisite melodies, pleasing harmonies. Likewise, our voices, whether sharp or flat, congruous or dissonant, need to be heard. Our thoughts need to weigh in.

Yo-Yo Ma said our world demands discussion if there ever is hope for harmony. Discussion can resolve discord. Democracy demands discussion. Life demands organized sound, notes of harmony, organized words, civil discourse, if we ever are to have peace.

Ponder those thoughts and join me in prayer: “Almighty Creator, may our words and our music add rich depth and meaning and peace to our world!”

Amen?

Let your words weigh in. Which of your blogs added to peace in our blogging world recently? Is that one of your goals?

Remaining Useful


When your hair is sparkling silver

And your chest is wrinkled skin,

How can your life be useful?

How can you keep your grin?

I’ll tell you all my secret –

It’s not too hard to know.

You have to find your niches

And stay useful as you grow.

You can’t let age impale you

And make you feel extinct.

You have to keep on growing

And keep your life distinct!

So find out where your passions

Lead you to volunteer –

And soon skin and hair tone

Will bring you cause to cheer!

It’s only when we’ve given

A life of service sincere

That we can join the chorus

In a heartfelt round of cheer.

We must resolve to remain useful.

We must share our time with glee.

Then the outer image fades away,

And our joy is all they see!

Chico Paints Bob


Chico and Bob sit at the table

Chico paints as well as he’s able

Amazing indeed, with arms so small,

That he can create such art at all

But Chico doesn’t let his different condition

Thwart his creativity or hinder ambition

He can do what he sets his mind to do

Such an inspiration to me and you!

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