In my last post I told you I was headed to see my sis. Well, here we are!
Bob & I enjoyed our lunch with Sally & my niece, Jodie. It was family “catch up time.”
After lunch we went to pick up my grand-nephew, Liam, at his school. Bob helped him load his donations of 811 food items for his school’s Thanksgiving Food Drive.
Liam’s heart for others is so apparent! He is donating these items to the school anonymously … not wanting to “get credit” because he “won” last year… and he wants someone else this year to be able to win the prize for collecting the most.
We are headed tonight to Liam’s Boy Scout Dinner. Liam’s daddy, Bill, has roasted a 20 lb. turkey to contribute to the feast. This family is amazing!
Kind words are easy Spoken from a sincere heart They can change a life
Think of all the words You might speak to folks today Do they pass the test?
Are they lily pure? Is every word uplifting? You can’t take them back!
Words spoken with love Can be the perfume of life Hurtful words just stink!
We have declared November to be the month of kindness and gratitude. Not just kindness to those who are kind to us, but kindness to to everyone and everything. Kindness to ourselves, our neighbors, our pets, the neighbor’s pets, our plants and trees… even kindness to those who hurt us!
Let our words be like the fertilizer that helps others to change and grow.
What’s a word you might say today from your sincere heart that will brighten someone’s day? It doesn’t have to be eloquent. It isn’t flattery. It’s just simple and honest.
I love that you are here on JanBeek today. You make my day brighter with your “like” and your comment.
But, you really lift my spirit when you are inspired to take the message to heart – and go out and LIVE a LIFE of LOVE.
Sing along with this beautiful song that reminds us to speak and sing and think and live in the perfume of “Wonderful Words of Life.”
Feed your mind loving words… “Wonderful words, beautiful words, wonderful words of life” and then go out and feed others!
If you’ve followed my blog for a week or more, You know that I attend the Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana each Sunday, and I take sermon notes. I take them in poetry – that’s just the way my brain filters the message as I hear it. It helps me listen, and remember, and share with Bob when we get home.
Today’s sermon by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley, was titled, “What is Heaven Like?” Here’s my take-away on it:
If Heaven is as it should be, Then I’m gonna sit on the bank Of a beautiful river with my rod And thank God for every yank.
But I know Heaven is beyond My wildest imagination. I know it’ll be flowing with life, With no death, tears or stagnation.
I’m gonna ask God for help to Understand what Heaven is like; And since I have a Harley here, I’m gonna ask if I’ll have my bike.
I’m gonna ask God for help to Understand how I’ll recognize The loved ones who went before me. Will I know ’em when I look in their eyes?
Our Bible assures us that we Will experience joy beyond bounds, So I’m sure I’ll know the angels Who’ll welcome me with glorious sounds.
I know I’ll be healed and whole In Eternity with those I love. So, Heaven will be as it should be When I join my Lord in Heaven above.
When I get to Heaven, I’m gonna Run and leap like a frisky deer. So, when I leave this earth, friends, Don’t weep, don’t cry; Take joy and cheer!
It’ll be Thanksgiving with all our loved ones gathered ’round, and it’ll feel like a Homecoming!
On her September 26th blog, aroused calmkate posted this:
I think kindness is the key to all that I might be
if I’m kind to others they might be kind to me
if I live in kindness there will be more harmony
any kindness I convey radiates an awesome way
if no kindness in their heart for me move away, let them be
they are kind to others I will see just healthier for me to flee
please try your kindness key it might just set us free
I responded with, “…Kindness is indeed the key to living a meaningful, happy life. It is ours to give, whether or not it is reciprocated. The ones who lack the “Kindness Key” are locked out of so much joy, but they don’t have to rob ours! Our kindness is ours to give – and the more we give away, the more we have. It’s like love that way.”
The 6 Keys to Kindness
Yes, kindness is a key… but there are keys to kindness, too. Here are a few that come to my mind:
Self acceptance (it’s hard to be kind to others while being mean to yourself!)
Compassion (we need to open our eyes to others’ needs and exude empathy)
Courtesy (being kind involves being courteous – even in the face of rudeness)
Gentleness (yes, responding with a gentle heart is a necessary turn of the key)
Grace (this word is a gift from God… sometimes it is only through the help of the Holy Spirit that we can return kindness in the face of hurt)
Patience (often I need to count to 10, or 25, before I can respond with kindness… it’s not my human nature for my first response always to be kindness)
It is the joy of having breakfast with your granddaughter and her family! Look at these darling great-grandchildren:
Sienna is 5 months old and she in in 8-12 month sizes!! Aren’t those the most kissable cheeks you’ve ever seen?
This is the happy big brother, my great-grandson, Xander. His favorite trick today was pulling his sister’s socks off!
The busy parents, Drew & Hope, have their hands full! I was happy to be able to spend time with them.
Hope shared some of her photos from two days ago, our Halloween here in the USA. She dressed the kids up, but the snow and lousy road conditions kept them from Trick-or-Treating. It’ll be something Xander can look forward to next year.
I had fun talking with Xander about his little sister.
Yes, “Happiness Personified” is time with my Great-Grandkids. We have a date to meet here again in a couple of weeks. Good plan, don’t you agree?
Don’t grow too fast, little ones!
See ya later, my friends. What’s your idea of “Happiness Personified?”
On my last post, I said, “See ya tomorrow,” and expected to “bee” on my way,
but then I got this award from Yeka at YBP – It’s All About Love:
Yeka accompanied the award with this note:
As you’d know by now, I’m all about LOVE! And I believe in spreading love with the highest levels of passion!
In gratitude to you for your gracious outpouring of love, I’d love to give back love a billionfold. This is my happy way of saying THANK YOU!!!
What better way to do that than to SHARE THE LOVE! I’ve come up with a special award that I believe we should all receive and generously pass on.
I’d like to start off our happy LOVE FLOW by nominating fellow bloggers who live out love and inspiration here on our WP community.
My intention is to spread our LOVE community-wide and so I’d appreciate your happy participation. And if you choose not to participate, I hope your nomination puts a smile in your heart knowing that you are loved and appreciated.”
Her nomination DID put a smile on my face… and so I continued reading and she helped me know how to do #1 … although it’s not quite at the top.
I thank you, Yeka for this award. Let me share your guidelines:
Attach the BEE LOVE AWARD LOGO on top of your post.
Share your Definition of LOVE and How You Live Out LOVE.
Nominate your fellow bloggers who live out love
and inspiration on WP. (Love knows no limits, so nominate as many
fellow bloggers you’d like to shine your light on!)
Reka’s Definition of LOVE:
“Love is the ultimate reason we were born. We live for love. We live through love. We live to love.“
How Reka is Living Out LOVE:
She wrote: “LOVE is action to me. So, in my own simple way, I love by helping others become the best versions of themselves. I help them realize how sweetly blessed and richly loved they truly are. I celebrate them!”
Reka’s BEE LOVE AWARD Nominees (I am just showing you mine… it’s part of her1st Batch ….. She said there are “More Happy Batches to come!!!” You can see them when you click on the link to her original blog.
We purchased some pears at CostCo this week. If you have ever shopped CostCo, you know there’s no such thing as buying a “little bit” of anything. So, when we had a pear for breakfast this morning and realized they are perfectly ripe, ready to eat now, I wondered, “What am I going to do with all these pears?”
Then I began reading the CostCo magazine that came in this week’s mail.
In the Farm to Table section, there was a perfect answer to my dilemma – Pear and Pumpkin Protein Smoothie. Take a look:
By coincidence, I just happen to have all the ingredients on hand. Oh happy day!!
It’s always the right time to reach out a helping hand!
At the AARP Annual Awards dinner in Helena, MT tonight, Bob & I were awarded a wooden Montana serving plaque as a thank you for our years of service to the Ennis communty. (Thank you, Elaine Forsberg, for nominating us). We do so little compared to so many others!! But, we know every helping hand matters.
What an honor to be among a room full of people from all over our state who enjoy serving others during these, their senior years. Our community of Ennis is filled with people who work tirelessly to help others in a variety of unheralded ways. On behalf of all of you who volunteer to help others at:
The Senior Center
The Madison County Library
The Lion’s Club (Park & Auction, etc.)
The Madison Valley Medical Center
The Food Bank
The Ennis Arts Association Festival
The Fly Fishing Festival
The Ennis Children’s Community School
The Senior Companion Program
The Ennis Schools
The MVWC (Madison Valley Woman’s Club – Nearly New)
Etc., etc., etc
We thank you … and we encourage you to keep on giving of your time, talents and love.
This award is for all of you who volunteer!
Tell me some of the ways YOU enjoy volunteering your time.
Today was a beautiful blue-sky day
to go 4-Wheeling on LUCILLE
(our red-headed ATV who is a BALL)
We drove in our pick-up pulling Lucille on a trailer
to the Macatee Bridge area about 25 miles south of Ennis.
There we met friends, unloaded the ATVs
and headed up into the Gravelly Range
past the Talc Mine.
The day could not have been more beautiful!
We had our bear spray with us.
We were headed to the Cottonwood area
where a couple of hunters
were mauled by Grizzleys last week.
There were 6 guys (That’s Bob on the right)
and 3 of us gals
Yes, when we got up to 8,000 ft. level at the look out,
it was time to bundle up!
I covered my ears,
Barb covered her neck,
and Caroline covered her head and neck!
Barb’s dog, Charley, was not afraid of the cliffs.
Our TazE stuck mostly to the rocky lower levels.
Both dogs enjoyed the freedom to explore.
Our goal was to see the Aspen gold-
Autumn in the Rocky Mountains is a spectacular time of year.
The landscape became more beautiful the farther up we traveled.
This is what we traveled up the Gravelly Range to the Ruby Valley to see!!
When we got up to Monument Ridge at 9,587 feet,
it was gorgeous, but really cold as the wind
came right off the left-over snow
on the higher mountains.
Black Butte had snow tucked in all its crevices.
Caroline bundled up to stay warm.
Coming back down, we made a potty stop and let the pups do a little more roaming.
Barb, Don & Charley were ready to be on our way.
We passed at least two dozen of these harvested tree stacks
on our way to and fro.
The forest service has been very busy
cutting down dead trees and clearing out areas
near the road that might cause a fire hazard.
Besides the gorgeous golden aspen groves,
my other favorite scene is this red barn on the Ruby River.
Isn’t it gorgeous?
We passed some grazing cattle
before following the signs and our friend, Chuck,
who led us back to our vehicles
where we loaded the ATVs and headed home.
See the cool beaver dam we passed on the way down?
Back down in the Madison Valley,
the Madison River,
and the Macatee take-out,
we were ready to return home
and share our great trip with you.
My husband, Bob, is a retired beekeeper. During the 25+ years that he worked with honeybees, he had as many as 2000 hives. I have a passion about saving these insects. It’s about saving our world!
Gotta love those little insects –
The fuzzy little gals who sting.
They are essential to us, you know.
Important all year, not just in spring.
No, I don’t recommend you hug ’em. They wouldn’t like it any more than you. But, I do recommend you protect them. Just think of all that they do.
While the honeybee is out working To gather nectar and return to her hive, She is pollinating the flowers To produce the food that keeps us alive.
One out of every three bites of our food Is related to the work of the bees. As they move from flower to flower, They pollinate ground crops and trees.
Entomophily is the scientific name Of the pollination activity. It is crucial to the production Of many crops and their proclivity.
Celery, strawberries, beets and mustard, Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and such All rely on the honeybee for pollination. Without their work, we wouldn’t have much.
Turnips and peppers, papaya and watermelon, Oranges, coriander, cantaloupe, apples for you. Squash and pumpkins, zucchini and quince, Lemons, limes, and most fruit you love, too.
Alfalfa needs bees, and avocados do, too. Lima beans, string beans and green beans, Almonds and most of the nuts we eat… I could go on, but you get what it means To have honeybees in our world. You can see why protection’s a must. So, get the word out to love those bees! They are essential to life; of that you can trust!
Get the word out!
Honeybees don’t want to sting you. They have barbs on their stingers, you know; So when they sting to protect themselves or their hive, Their stinger stays in you – and they die. Oh no!
Don’t pinch the stinger out of your skin; Just scrape it with your fingernail. Get it out quickly so less poison goes in you, And put ice on the spot. Don’t whimper and wail!
Bees are social insects who gather together To divide up the work in hive and in field. They create the honey for their own food, And use the pollen like bread. Quite a yield!
A beehive is sterile – more clean than a hospital. The bees line their entrance with propolis. It sterilizes their feet when they cross the threshold. They have a lot of tricks that would be good for us!
You gotta love those honeybees! They are essential to our life on earth. If we don’t protect them and do the research, Our lives here won’t have much worth!
Thank you, Roth Poetry, for writing about our bees on your post! It would be great if all my readers would share this post with your friends. Get the word out! Gotta Love Those Honeybees!
I don’t know who took this photo
(I’ll let you know if I find out),
but isn’t it gorgeous?
That’s the Madison Range seen from our Madison Valley.
The prominent mountain is called “The Sphinx.”
From angles farther north, the two parts of it seem joined
and the front looks like the face of the Sphinx
(hence its name).
This view is about 20 miles south of our house.
We see it from this angle
when we go out four-wheeling on our ATV.
Anyway, I just wanted you to see it.
Too pretty not to share!
I am always exploring ways to add more meaning to my daily life. Are you?
I want a greater understanding of:
who I am,
how to decode the world around me
what my purpose is here on earth,
and how I can live more intentionally to fulfill that purpose.
Do we need to have reached some “state of enlightenment”
in order to decode the world around us?
In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
wrote the following,
“Some traditions do see such understanding as
a gift or ‘awakening,’ but we believe it is a skill
that can be developed.”
Seeing the Spirit Within
“Such understanding” is defined by the Brussats as the ability to decode the world around us by seeing the sacred in everyday life. They suggest that we look to see the working of the Holy Spirit in our common activities: cooking, eating, working, walking, listening, visiting, praying … Recognize the Spirit moving in our lives through encounters with places, things, people, nature, and animals. Know that the message of the Holy Spirit personifies the greatest commandment: Love One Another. Cultivate the ability, the skill, to tune into the Spirit within you.
Loving One Another unconditionally is made possible by our ability to see the divine in one another. When we value each other’s gifts, when we see every other human being as a Child of One Creator, then we are better able to respond to the Spirit within us.
In his foreword to Spiritual Literacy, Thomas Moore wrote, “It’s odd that after thousands of years of great spiritual example… we have to remind ourselves that spirituality is to be found in everyday life.”
Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy
The Brussats created an Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy with pointers on how certain practices can spell greater meaning in our daily lives.
I have an affection for using the alphabet as a stimulus for positive thoughts. I wrote an A-Z series last year on the subject, “What Makes Me Happy?” It was the start of my 180 consecutive days of blogging here at JanBeek.
So, I am naturally attracted to the Brussat’s Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy. I intend to use it as a new A-Z series here on JanBeek. In so doing, I hope to encourage you, my readers, to cultivate a spiritual vision while keeping an eye on the secular world. I hope to learn with you how we can unite our world views with our spiritual views. Wake up our Spiritual Literacy!
Restore Lost Bonds
I don’t want to live in La-La Land. I don’t want to experience a broad, impenetrable chasm between my social and my spiritual life. Thomas Moore explained that the Brussat’s purpose in writing Spiritual Literacy was to “restore lost bonds between spirit and matter, body and mind, church and home, work and prayer.”
I want my secular and spiritual lives to be in alignment. Do you?
Let’s explore together ways to add more meaning to our daily lives, ways to decode the world around us, ways to live more intentionally to fulfill our purpose. Okay? Are you with me?
It’s God’s number for “completeness.” On the 7th day he rested.
Seven is our house number.
Seven is the number of grandchildren I have.
Seven is my birthday month.
Our phone number ends in a 77.
So does our PO Box number.
Our current house is the 7th dwelling
my husband and I have shared in our 57 years of marriage!
But, my friends, 7 is not my number for completeness. It’s the number that causes me to look in amazement at all this synchronicity – and realize, “This is good!”
But, I am nowhere near complete – and neither is this JanBeek blog! This is good – and it’s fun, but it’s not great yet!
I’m a work in progress, ending my 7th decade on earth … and ready to enter new challenges, new learning, new sharing. Growing in knowledge and grace. Striving to blog with intention and purpose – to make a positive difference for my faithfilled blogging friends.
I look forward to making new friends and keeping in touch with those who’ve hung in there with me. Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. Please try to check in with me daily and see what’s new – and leave me some encouragement, too!
I will continue to share what I am passionate about as I enter this 8th year of blogging.
As I approach my 8th decade on this earth, I share the love, joy and peace that are mine through faith. I express my gratitude. I seek help with expressions of patience, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I share ways life is a blessing and ways I have learned to manage the challenges life tosses at us. I write about things I care about (like today’s fire at Notre Dame). Sometimes I write just to entertain. Every now and then I just wanna make you laugh (like Jesus is Walkin’ on Water Again).
I hope my sharing helps and inspires and encourages my followers.
I’m hangin’ in there, and I hope you do, too!
Send seven of your friends this way., will you?
Let’s grow together!
I was headed yesterday to visit a friend who lives about an hour away. Stuck in traffic, waiting for a very long, very slow train to pass, I was getting more and more grumbly. I was late for lunch! I decided drumming my fingers on the steering wheel and complaining was doing no good. I should change my mindset – think about what makes me happy instead.
So, I started this mental activity of alphabetically coming up with a list of things that make me happy. I texted a few to my friend (along with an apology and explanation for why I was late) and finished the list just about the time the looooong train finally finished crossing the intersection:
What Makes Me Happy?
Antelope and Accolades
Birthdays and Beaches
Christmas and Comfort
Dogwoods and Dawn
Easter and Enthusiasm
Friends and Family
Grandkids and Gratitude
Hospitality and Hugs
Integrity and Inspirations
JellyBellies and Justice
Kids and Kisses
Learning and Laughter
Music and Mountains
Neighbors and Nourishment
Opportunities and Oysters (on the half shell)
Puppies and Possibilities
Quiet and Quirkiness
Relaxation and Roses
Scripture and Springtime
Thankfulness and Trust
Understanding and Unconditional Love
Visitors and Vacations
Writing and WordPress
Xander and Xylophones
Yodeling and Yellow
Zoos and Zebras
So, try it! Next time you’re stuck in traffic, instead of grumbling and strumming, think about what makes you happy. You’ll pass the time with a smile instead of a frown, and the train will fly by!
Today is the day Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for a life-time appointment to the Supreme Court of the USA. It is a day of deep national divide. Many are feeling relief that our right to be “innocent until proven guilty” has been affirmed. Others are feeling emotional despair. On this day of huge chasms, how can we create, maintain and foster a spirit of hope?
Here are three ideas for creating hope in this, our own personal, world of conflict:
1. Let Go
In a heartfelt article in this month’s Daily Word, a devotional published by Unity, I was encouraged today to “let go of trying to change things…, take some deep breaths, and rest in tranquility for a while.”
The devotional referred me to Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” I really need that gentle rest for my soul today!
I decided to look and see how that passage was translated in The Message by Eugene H. Peterson. His Study Bible often gives me an insight that the King James or the NIV (New International Version) don’t. Sure enough, in our more modern vocabulary, The Message in Matt. 11:29-30 begins, “Are you tired? Worn out?”
Wow! Yes, after a few days of being drawn into conflicting testimonies, angry shouting, accusations and denials, and crowds protesting, I am tired. I am worn out. I am deeply troubled. I am looking for harmony!
The Message version goes on to say, “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythm of grace… Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
That’s what we all need! We need to live freely and lightly. We need to enter each day in an unforced rhythm of grace. We need live each day with a renewed sense of hope. Let go!
2. Be Nuts!
This month’s National Geographic magazine had a timely, pertinent article by Anne Lamott titled, “Despite Perils, Decide to Hope.” Her beginning sentence reads, “You would almost have to be nuts to be filled with hope in a world so rife with hunger, hatred, climate change, pollution, and pestilence, let alone the self-destruction or severely annoying behavior of certain people.” But she goes on to tell us that she lives in a state of “boundless hope” most of the time. She must be nuts then, right? How does she do it? She says she lives in hope by being optimistic, trusting, and confident that those she loves will be okay, no matter what.
That’s what we all need! We need to be more optimistic. We need to be more trusting. We need to be more confident that everything is ultimately going to be okay. Let go of what we cannot control. Focus on what we have the ability to change. Start with our own attitudes.
3. Take Action
In this week’s Guideposts magazine there is an article titled, “Heartfelt.” It tells about a Salvation Army crafts project – sewing red hearts. Called “Others,” it began in Bangladesh in 1997 with the goal of helping single women become financially able to support themselves and their children without prostituting themselves. Since its onset, “Others” has helped 1600 women in Bangladesh come out of human trafficking and step into a brighter future. The article was so compelling that I went to the website: guideposts.org/hearts-for-others and donated to the cause. For $10. or more, OTHERS will send you two handmade hearts. My donation will help other women find hope where there is despair.
With the internet and its world-wide reach, there are literally millions of places we can reach out to take action for causes in which we believe – issues for which we feel a deep compassion. Additionally, within our own communities there are dozens of places we can volunteer to offer our services.
Volunteering was one of Ann Lamott’s thrusts in her National Geographic article. She said, “Create goodness in the world and that gives us hope… ” Her examples include helping with school labs, with building water wells, cleaning up estuaries and water sheds. She said by volunteering, we wake “to the momentousness of life – the power of loving hearts.”
In my little town of Ennis with less than a thousand people, I volunteer at our local Food Bank (distributing food to the less fortunate), our Senior Center (working as a sous chef to prepare meals for folks 55 and over who come for nourishment and camaraderie), and at the Madison Valley Medical Center (greeting, answering phones, guiding patients to needed services, fund raising for needed hospital equipment, etc.). Volunteering does indeed give me the opportunity to make a difference where I can … and focus on the areas where I have the power to create goodness.
Creating Hope in a World of Despair
So, how can we adopt an attitude of hope, of optimism, trust, and confidence in a world of conflict? We don’t do it by pointing fingers. We don’t do it by accusations and finding someone else to blame. We don’t do it by closing ourselves in a closet and avoiding exposure. We don’t do it by looking out for #1 and to Hell with the rest of the world! We do it, I believe, by following the greatest commandment. It is the sub-title of my JanBeek blog: Love One Another.
Look for the good. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Emulate it. Praise it. Tell people how much they matter. Treat others with respect. Listen. Value one another. Give others hope and encouragement. Serve with kindness. Focus on being compassionate. Find your niche. Let your cup overflow. Love One Another. Spill out HOPE!
Tell me one thing you can do this day or this week… just one thing… to create HOPE in our desperate world. Let Go. Be Nuts. Take Action. How will you reach out?
About a year ago I stopped writing in WordPress. My email account associated with it was full and overflowing. The task of keeping up overwhelmed me. Something had to give. So, I just stopped blogging. It’s been a good reprieve.
Then, about a month ago I flew home to Montana from a family reunion in California and brought a cold virus with me. It turned into pneumonia and threw me for a nose dive! I was so zonked by it that whole days went by in my pajamas, too drained to get out of bed or off the couch! I had way too much time to think. My husband got the bug from me. The only difference between my pneumonia and his “walking pneumonia ” was that he was too stubborn to lie down! As soon as he felt better, he went skiing. Relapse! He spent a couple days in his pj’s, too. Then when he felt better, he went skiing again. After the second relapse, he gave himself a week before he was on a ladder, painting the eaves. I gave myself the full month … in fact it’s been five weeks. Finally, I am better. I feel like I am going to survive! God bless the friends who brought food, called, prayed, visited, shopped for me, found good books to keep me entertained and still, and sent cards of encouragement! I am so grateful.
During this time of forced rest, I had time to think. Time to evaluate my life. Time to reprioritize. Time to read one of my favorite WordPress bloggers, Janet Riehl, order and savor her newest book, Sightlines, and time to be inspired by her insights and talents enough to sign up for an eight-week Writers’ Workshop. I’m back! I’m committed to starting a writing project and finishing it. I’m ready to rejoin the world of the living and make my voice heard.
We have been praying for my cousin, Cliff, who had esophageal cancer, had his esophagus removed and part of his stomach… and then had the remaining part of his stomach stretched to connect where the esophagus used to be. It was an amazing surgery and he has been in a recuperation mode for a couple of weeks now.
Today Cliff went HOME. And as you can see in the picture above, he is a happy camper!!
Thank you for continuing to pray for Cliff Hurn as he gains strength and is able to resume a more normal life again.
Modern medicine is amazing, isn’t it? It’s a miracle that they can do these kinds of surgeries!!
I’m off to bed soon. Tomorrow is a big day. We will fly to PA to see my sis and stay with my niece and her family. I am excited about it!
Sermon notes from today’s service in Ennis. Montana – Rev. Steve Hundley Taken in poetry as I listened – written through JanBeek’s filters.
Church: A Miracle of God
I can’t scold you today – Not because we are in this place, Not because I’m in a good mood, But because of the love in this space.
Because of the words of Paul (the ones our Paul read so well today), I am encouraged to join in With what Gentle Jesus had to say.
He wrote to the Thessalonians While he was out traveling, making a tent, “We were gentle among you,” He said. “We spoke soft words – whispered encouragement.”
Paul’s words to other churches Were not so gentle and kind. But to the Thessalonians, He set aside Sternness – and praised the ties that bind.
The Gospel is a powerful book. It can and does transform lives. We are astonished at how God’s Word Teaches, changes folks, lives, and survives.
The church, like the one in Thessalonica, Is a place where people love and give. They pray for you, they stay with you, They make life better and help you live.
Our old church in McAllister, Montana was built in the early 1900s. It has no running water, so when we use it for church services once a year, we have to rent a porta-potty, chase the mice away, and clean the mouse droppings from the chairs and alter.
But, it is a place that reminds of how simple God’s church can be. It doesn’t have to be a large, elaborate cathedral to be worshipful.
It is not the building that makes a church. In the early days, many of the “church services” were held in people’s homes. Some people in today’s world still hold their worship services in living rooms, tents, or on an open hillside. The Miracle of God that is His Church is not the place, but the people.
Wherever we gather, with the focus on worship of our God, He is with us. That’s what Paul was telling the church of Thessalonica.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 was what our scripture volunteer, Paul Carlson, read to us today:
“Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous, and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory. And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”
As Christians, members of His Church, that is our goal: to hear His Word, and respond to it by encouraging, comforting, and urging fellow Christians to live lives that demonstrate He is indeed at work in us. That is what makes our church “God’s Miracle.” Not the building, but we, the people.
Whether we are in our old McAllister treasure, or our salmon-colored church in downtown Ennis, our job is to love one another, support one another, and spread the Word to those who may not know the Peace of Christ that “passeth all understanding.”
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
God Bless You, my friends. I hope you have the joy of a supportive church family. And I pray that you are one of those who is God’s hand at work in this world. Have a lovely Sunday night.