Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘sermons’

Poetic Sermon Notes


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Well, my friends, it is Sunday. As such,  you know I attended church this morning. Listening carefully to the message from Rev. Jean Johnson, I did my usual: I took my notes poetically. The sermon was based on Mark’s account of the disciples’ conversation with Jesus shortly before His death. In Mark chapter 10, verses 34-45, Jesus delivers His famous message of “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.” The story unfolded this way:

Downward Mobility

Jesus told the disciples
His destiny: the cross.
He warned of His death.
They couldn’t accept the loss.

He told them of the cruelty
That would precede His rise.
So why did all that followed
Come as such a surprise?

James and John asked Him
If they could sit left and right
Of Him in His glory
(Requests that proved them not so bright!).

They didn’t see the meaning
Of the future Jesus faced.
They didn’t see the torture
And know how the pain would taste.

Jesus tried to redirect
The thoughts of James and John.
He tried to reexplain
The path the Christ was on.

The other disciples were jealous
That the two made their pleas first.
They thought James and John
Would be first to end their thirst.

But Jesus rebuked the ones
Who jockeyed to be at His side.
He told them their requests
Showed unsightly, unhealthy pride.

“He who would be first,” He said,
“Must be willing to be last.”
The disciples puzzled at this
Until long after the first Easter had passed.

The way of Jesus is a path
Of downward mobility for all
Who come to serve and give
Their lives in answer to Christ’s call.

 

Don’t try to read the notes on the bulletin cover below… they are what I typed above. I just am posting them here to show you the form in which they first appear from Jean’s sermon to my ears through my fingertips to the bulletin cover. Yes, I listen and write simultaneously. I am often asked, “How do you do that?”

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My only answer is, “It’s a gift.” I hope you appreciated my sharing it with you today. It was a sermon that spoke to my heart because indeed, I have come to serve and to give and to answer Christ’s call to share my talents.

Happy Sunday!

Accept His Love


 Here are my sermon notes from today’s message

by Rev. Jean Johnson

at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church

in Ennis, Montana…

based on Mark 10:17-31

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“Come Follow Me”

 

The rich young ruler

Appears in Gospels, three.

He must be very important.

Who is he to me?

.

Well, he was told to sell

Everything he owned

And follow after Jesus –

Leaving riches he had sown.

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Jesus looked at the man

And loved him through and through.

He offered him eternal life.

Has He offered that to you?

.

Yes, Jesus tells us

To come and follow Him.

He loves us even though

His request seems mighty grim.

.

He wants us to relinquish

All the things we have and love.

He asks that we give all

In response to God above.

.

”All” may not be the same

For you as it is for me,

Because it’s all we love so much

That it’s taking away what’s free.

.

Depending on possessions

For comfort and for peace

Takes away the chance for gifts

And blessings that never cease.

.

The rich young ruler

Wouldn’t give up a thing,

And so he lost the chance

To eternally hear the angels sing.

.

Don’t make the ruler’s error.

Don’t miss God’s gifts for thee.

Give up the things that bind

And accept His love for free.

 

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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)

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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?

Let His Love Light Shine


Sermon notes from 6/3/18 – Rev. Jean Johnson’s message inspired by Mark: 2:23 – 3:6 – filtered through the ears & pen of Jan Beekman

Let His Love Light Shine

 

We are servants of God,

So, do not lose heart.

The glory of God has shined

In and through us from the start.

 

Jesus Christ is our Lord.

He rose victorious from the dead.

His resurrection assures us

When we die, we’ll live instead.

 

The Lord surely restores us.

He guards and lovingly guides us.

The Lord, our God, is here

In us; seeking, He finds us.

 

Through the Holy Spirit,

God communicates. Hear Him speak.

We are called to carefully listen –

To obey boldly; don’t be meek.

 

Christ’s Glory is the glory of

Truth and Love shining through

In the midst of death and decay.

It’s forgiveness for me and for you.

 

God calls us to continually be

Followers in Truth and Love.

Our job is to live the Gospel message.

Let His Light shine through you from above.

 

Amen?

Amen!

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

Let’s Do It!


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Let’s Do It!

God has entrusted us
With treasures of great worth.
Hope and inspiration are ours.
God gives us each other – and Christ’s birth.

God gives us, by His grace,
The gifts of immeasurable treasure.
He gives us the abilities
To use these gifts without measure.

We don’t get to choose
What treasures we receive,
But we are allowed to choose
What we do or achieve.

To fulfill our life’s purpose
Or to ignore our responsibilities
Is a choice we each make.
What are your possibilities?

We can double our gifts
Or we can ignore or bury ’em.
We can share our gifts
Or we decide they’re too heavy to carry ’em.

We will be rewarded according
To the return to  God on our gifts.
Our talents are ours to use or
We’ll watch dismayed as our reward shifts.

God will take from the selfish
The wonders He placed in their hands.
He’ll rebuke the ungrateful ones
Who ignore His service demands.

So, are we giving back double
The abilities God generously gave us?
Do we accept them and honor Him
By using the gifts that can save us?

He gave us comfort so we
Can return comfort to others.
He gives us perfect directions
For how to use our gifts for our brothers.

So, let’s do it!
Amen?

Jan Beekman

-based on a sermon by Rev. Jean Johnson
-reflecting on Matt. 25:14-30
11/19/17

Make Me an Offering


It is Stewardship Sunday.
What does that mean to you?
If you are a member of a church, you might think it is a time
when the church leaders seek to “Fleece the Flock.” 
Our sermon today was titled, “The Offering.”
As is my habit, I took notes as I listened.
Here are my internal reflections as I heard the message:

The Offering

What do I have that God needs?
He doesn’t need my money.
What do bees have that God needs?
You think He needs their honey?

What do I have that I alone produce?
My offering to God is FROM me.
What do I have that is unique to me?
It’s a gift from me that’s FREE.

What can I give to God who has it all?
He doesn’t need my $$ bills.
My offering is not FOR God;
It’s given in gratitude TO God
For a life of chills and thrills.

What do I have that God wants?
He wants my love and trust.
What do I have that’s free from God to me?
His love, my faith, and TIME. Give it to God? I must!

What does God need with my money, I wonder.
It is not for God, you see.
What does my giving mean? Is it plunder?
No, it’s a THANK YOU to God from me.

My checkbook is my stationery.
It’s how I give thanks for breath.
I’ll write my thanks, my gratitude to God,
With JOY and WISDOM until death.

What do I have that God wants?
More than anything, it is my faithful free TIME.
I can waste my TIME or spend it
In service to God. The choice is mine.

Lord God, take me
– and my time –
I am yours.

Make me an offering.

Amen?
Amen!

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