Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Wisdom’

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.

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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?

 

If You Were Busy


My husband’s great-grandmother, Laura Foster, was an amazing woman. She lived 98 years. She remembered the day her mother cried because Abraham Lincoln was shot.

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Great-Grandma Laura Foster was a talented, always busy woman who spoiled her great-grandchildren with a consistently tempting, freshly stocked cookie jar. She shared her talents generously, appreciated, collected, and wrote inspiring poetry, and created beautiful hooked rugs, one for each great-grandchild.

I just discovered one of Laura Foster’s favorite poems this week while going through some old family scrapbooks and albums. Let me share a poem with you that she copied into her scrapbook.

If You Were Busy

If you were busy being kind,
Before you knew it, you would find
You’d soon forget to think t’was true
That somebody was unkind to you.

If you were busy being glad,
And cheering people who were sad,
Although your heart might ache a bit,
You’d soon forget to notice it.

If you were busy being good,
And doing just the best you could,
You’d not have time to blame some man
Who’s doing just the best he can.

If you were busy being true
To what you know you ought to do,
You’d be so busy you’d forget
The blunders of the folks you’ve met.

If you were busy doing right,
You’d find yourself too busy quite
To criticize your neighbor long
Because he’s busy being wrong.

R. Foreman, poet

 

Let me add a stanza of my own – in tribute to Great-Grandma Foster:

If you were busy being wise,
You’d see the world through kinder eyes.
With a heart of love, you’d live to share
Your blessings with folks everywhere.

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Laura Foster certainly shared hers.
Are you busy sharing your blessings, too?

Live Well, Live Wisely


LIVE WELL, LIVE WISELY

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There’s something to be said for staying hungry!

But, is that foolishness? Is it living well? Living wisely?

Well, it depends upon what you are hungry FOR!

To live wisely and well, I find I must remain hungry for soul food!

 

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Yes, the kind of soul food you find in the healthy section of a grocery store helps, but that’s not all!

 

It’s not the kind of soul food you find deep fried …

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The soul food for which I hunger is found in the soul-finder, the heart stimulant, the words of Scripture.

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My go-to Bible is The Message, by Eugene H. Peterson. This brilliant theologian recently died (like within the month)… what a loss! His translated words of the Bible speak to me. I hunger for the messages translated into everyday English – helping me learn ways to live well, and live wisely. Here is a perfect example:

James 3:13-18

“Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live; not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom – it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.

Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.”

 

Live well. Live Wisely.

I ask myself:

Is your life an open book?
Can anyone open the pages and take a look?
Are there hidden pockets tucked inside?
Times you’ve cheated, fudged, or lied?

Is there mean-spirited ambition
Hidden in the corners of your heart?
Do you claw your way to the top
Instead of helping others get a start?

Do you ever boast and boost yourself,
Trying to look smarter than you are?
Are you hot one day and cold the next,
Playing the golf of life well over par?

Do you sow discontent or seeds of envy
By flaunting talents, putting others down?
Or are you humble, discreet and honest?
Do you cause a smile instead of a frown?

Living well includes treating yourself
With honor and true respect,
Giving others the credit they deserve, and
Sharing with love more than they expect.

Do you see a neighbor in dire need?
Do you step up to lend a hand?
Part of living wisely and living well
Is finding the gold nuggets in the sand.

Search for beauty among the ugly.
Look beyond the outer shell.
Share your heart and soul with abandon…
Then you’ll know you’re living well.

 

Are you living well and wisely?

Loss, Lament & Loyalty


Loss, Lament, and Loyalty

 

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Sermon Notes by Jan Beekman
from the sermon today
based on the scripture – Mark 12:38-44 –
Preached by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana

 

Naomi’s son had died.
She was alone and old.
Her future was grim.
What had she been told?

 

“Deal with your losses –
Send your daughters-in-law
Back to their homes.”
But, the plan had a flaw.

 

Ruth did not want to return!
She told Naomi she’d stay.
Orpha decided to go back.
Each woman to her own way.

 

We each have a choice.
We think we’re paralyzed, but we’re not.
We may lack energy and will power;
We may feel in our losses, we’re caught.

 

Ruth knew she couldn’t run
From the pain life threw at her.
She chose to stay and face her life,
And be in a place she could matter.

 

To turn evil into something good,
She was loyal to her mother-in-law.
She broke ties with her past
And looked ahead at what she saw.

 

She saw through eyes of faith.
Naomi had taught her to use God’s eyes –
Do more than just endure;
Keep your faith and be kind and wise.

 

To endure the evil of today’s world,
Cling to one another in love –
And look out for those in need.
Use your discerning power from God above.

 

Amen?

I’ve Been Thinking


Life is fragile!

On this day when another mass shooting occurred,
and 12 people were innocently shot down
in Thousand Oaks, CA,
we need this book,
“I’ve Been Thinking” by Maria Shriver.

A friend of mine, Gloria Wilson, shared a few pages from it on FaceBook.

The prayer below is one that resonated with me.
I hope it speaks to you,, too.

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I am grateful for my faith
which helps me know for sure,
my future is in God’s hands.

God help us as a nation… as a world.

Help us to JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Why Write?


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One reason we write:

It etches wisdom deeper

Into heart and mind.

Give me another reason why you write.

(Your answer doesn’t

Have to fit this 5-7-5

Lovely Haiku form)

But it could 🤪👌🏽

In the Eye of the Storm


PEACE

In the eye of the storm, the wisest people of the Carolinas are letting everything go. I read in one of my devotionals this morning a quote from C. Joybell C., “… the day I knew peace was the day I let everything go.”

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Hurricane Florence is thrashing the already battered east coast near Wrightsville Beach with strong winds (92-100 mph) and heavy rains that could trigger catastrophic floods inland. People who value their lives more than their things are evacuating (or already have).

Things can become so important to us that we risk our lives to protect them. Oh, I know, there are many reasons residents in the eye of the storm have chosen to stay put. Not all are for the love of their things. But, by putting too much importance on things, we also risk our peace of mind.

C. Joybell C. suggests that letting things go is a pathway to peace of mind.

Value life most. Know peace.

Ponder it. What things would you stay to protect in the eye of the storm?

Can you “let everything go?”

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