Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘spiritual gifts’

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!

The Fruitful Life


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The Fruitful Life

A fruitful life is a colorful life –
Divided into seven parts each week.
Each part spreads its own seeds
In the places we go to the people we meet.

As the parable told in the Sower of the Seeds,
Some fall on the soil of fertile ground;
But others land in rocky places
Where shallow dirt lets wind blow them around.

We seldom know when we scatter the seeds
What the end result of the planting will be.
All we can do is continue to sow,
Knowing the growth may not be something we see.

A fruitful life is a colorful life –
Spreading seeds in the rain and the snow;
A willy-nilly, free-wheeling fling –
Throwing smiles and good will wherever you go.

Some smiles are returned immediately;
Others take time to sink in.
Some good will is received gratefully;
But some deeds need repetition to link in.

Like a dormant spring bulb
Lying deep in cold soil,
The seeds of your fruit may be waiting
For warmth and water, lest they spoil.

This poem lay dormant for almost a month while Bob & I went on a trip to CA for Christmas and the new year. While traveling, we attended our “old” home church. The sermon was providential. My “sermon notes” in poetic format complete the ideas of my original unfinished entry:

From Pastor Jim Stochl, based on Mark 12:28-31

To each of us is given
A special, unique gift.
Some are teachers, others preachers,
Others encouragers who give us a lift.

A gift in the arts blesses us all,
While service is other folks’ passion.
If music is your special gift,
You need to share it in joyful fashion.

Whether your gift is administration
Or you’re blest with the gift of prayer,
Whatever God has given you in abundance,
Use it to God’s Glory everywhere!

To find and recognize your special gift,
To work for God with all your strength and love,
Is a joy with no expiration date;
So give from your heart for His Glory above.

Amen!

 

Birthdays Bubble By


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     Have you read Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life? I’m reflecting on Warren’s description of our SHAPE (Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences) as I write in my journal each morning. It’s a journal designed to recount the five purposes Warren has written about – and apply them in our daily walks. When I spend quality time reflecting, words bubble out like the birthdays that zip on by – faster and faster as time goes by!

Birthdays Bubble By!

When I think of the abilities
My God has given me – 
The music, joy, enthusiasm – 
And birthdays that bubble by with glee,
I want to share them all.

When I think of the personality
My God has gifted me – 
The confidence and gregariousness
That come bubbling out so easily,
I want to care for all.

When I think of the experiences
My God has granted me – 
The love, the depth of sweet success
That radiate so freely,
I want to bare my all.

When I think of the future
My God has promised me –
The peace, the quiet wisdom
That grow so constantly,
I want to heed God’s call!

     Do birthdays bubble by for you? Does acknowledging your gifts of S.H.A.P.E. make you want to heed God’s call? What is Your God calling you to do with your Spiritual Gifts, your Heart full of love and gratitude, your Abilities and Personality, and your Experiences? Share, Care, Bare your soul to the Giver of your gifts, and Heed God’s call today! You are made wondrously unique – and what you have to give is unique. Birthdays bubble by – – – time’s awastin’ – – – Let’s blow outta here!!

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