Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Waiting


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There is more than one way to interpret the word “wait.”
The photo above shows you a waitress who is “waiting” on a table.

Some waiting is defined by
an expectation of something
or someone to come…
like a good friend.

Other waiting is short-term, self-imposed, self-defined…
…. like waiting for your food to digest before
that next meal or dessert after a huge Thanksgiving dinner!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

What are you waiting for?

Today is the first day of Advent.
As a Christian, that means we have 40 days of waiting.

The season of Advent lasts through Christmas Eve.
When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday,
it is the last or fourth Sunday of Advent.
In Eastern Orthodox churches,
which use the Julian calendar,
Advent begins earlier, on November 15,
and lasts 40 days, rather than 4 weeks.

40 days of waiting for the coming of the Christ Child
… waiting for Christmas.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

The word “Advent” stems from the Latin word adventus,
which literally means “coming” or “arrival.”
Our sermon at my church this morning
dealt with this topic of waiting…
waiting for that special arrival.

Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds
spoke about a children’s book
(I think it was a Dr. Seuss)
that depicted a “waiting place”
as a “useless place”
but she encouraged us
to view waiting differently.

She asked us what we do when we are waiting.
Some people find something to read.
Others play on their phones
or engage in conversation with a friend.
Some write letters or cards
or they reach out to help a neighbor.
Spend the waiting time productively.

I wrote this conclusion as I listened:

There is a lot we can do while we wait.
Think about the good things we can do.
Gracious God, help us make waiting useful.
Let’s fill it with good things for me and You.

We can live during this time of waiting
With love and hope in our heart.
We have control over our actions.
We can spread peace – today’s the day to start.

Ready? Begin!

Psalms 27:13-14
I believe that I shall look upon
the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong,
and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a wonderful season of Advent.

Love and hugs to you!

Make your waiting a time of love and compassion!
Reach out today!

Happy Day After


Happy Day after Thanksgiving! It’s a heat wave – we’re finally above freezing! The icicles are melting.

Time to “cool it” and let the turkey and stuffing settle while making turkey soup with the leftovers.

Our dear friends, the Humphreys, invited us to share the Thanksgiving feast with them. Such a lot of food! God bless them; they sent half the leftovers home with us. We are enjoying them a lot!!

Bob and I tried not to overstuff ourselves. Not easy!!

Kathy set a really pretty table.

Meantime, in Maryland, our friend Laina is recuperating from surgery, so her daughter, Katy, came over and created a phenomenal meal. Take a look at that turkey. Isn’t it beautiful? Katy’s sister and her fiance’ joined them. Thank God for our technology, we are able to share photos and greetings with one another.

In California, our son, Ty, and his wife, Monika celebrated Thanksgiving with his in-laws, two of his kids and two grandkids at a time-share in Napa. Here is a wreath they made with expressions of their gratitude. Don’t you love it?

On Thanksgiving Day, Ty and his son (our grandson,Jordan) plus his daughter (our granddaughter, Faith) and her husband participated in a “Turkey Trot.” Good for them, huh?

I have a wonderful picture of the whole family, but with my two great-granddaughters in the photo, I can’t post it. You’ll just have to imagine it!

I hope your Thanksgiving weekend
is filled with more family and friends
gathering to celebrate your blessings with you.

Do keep in touch, OK?

Love,
JanBeek

Happy Day Before


Happy Day Before…. the rest of your life … a day of gratitude in the USA,… I pray you are well, anticipating a happy tomorrow, and living the good life.

Thank you for checking out JanBeek today. What are your tomorrow plans? We are planning to go to dinner with dear friends who live just a mile away … that is, if we can get out of our driveway! Look at what’s happening outside:

It’s pretty from the inside looking out! I’m not complaining. We have had several relatively dry years – so we can use the moisture! I just pray the roads are clear enough that we can get out tomorrow!

Yup, like that turkey who avoided the chopping block, I am grateful for life! Grateful for love and health, and all God’s blessings. What are you grateful for today? I pray that you’re feeling blessed, too.

Cheers!
Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow…
Happy Day Before…

Love to you and your family,
JanBeek

Reblog #16 – Our Mortality


Fear of Death?

Are you afraid of death?

I posted this blog about 4 years ago… and that fellow in the photo below has since gone to his eternal home. We all will meet again someday if we are believers. Are you? Let’s explore this topic together this Thanksgiving week as we thank God for each day He gives us, OK?

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When I asked this friend, “Are you afraid of death? he quickly responded, “Nope!” with assurance.

2018… yesterday, I had an ultrasound. The radiologist not only took a million pictures, but then she called in her senior partner and asked for her assistance.

Oh my! What were they seeing? How many angles did the image need?

By the way, it was my kidneys and bladder areas, not something less complicated – like my hand. (By the way, this year I broke my little finger in a fall… and believe me, I have learned there is nothing simple about your hand!!)

Later in the afternoon I received a call from the medical center. It didn’t surprise me when they asked me to schedule an appointment ASAP for an MRI. They needed a more definitive picture of whatever is in there. Something that’s not supposed to be, of course.

Photo by Chris J Mitchell on Pexels.com

Would your mind do what my mind did under the circumstances?

Would the big “C” word enter your mind? And would you contemplate your own mortality?

I did – and I am!

When I go to the medical center tomorrow and they receive the MRI results, and they say, “Your days are numbered. You are full of cancer,” would I panic?

No!

Why not? Well, all our days are numbered, aren’t they? Nobody’s going to get out of here alive.

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

But, would I like to live a healthy 100 years
and then die peacefully and unexpectedly
in my sleep one night?

You bet!!

But, what are the chances? Pretty slim!

However, in today’s world, a person who has enjoyed good health and is living a healthy life style should expect to live at least into his/her 80’s. Don’t you agree?

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After all, my parents lived into their late 80s, and so did both my in-laws. Genetically and socially, I expect to do the same. Wait, though…  I’m not quite 80 yet. (That was 2018… I am 82 or 83 already… but who’s counting?)

How would I feel about an eminent death sentence?

How would YOU feel? Have you faced such a challenge and overcome it?

My husband, Bob, was diagnosed with prostate cancer about a dozen years ago.

First step: We called my older cousin who is a Prostate Cancer Survivor “Poster Child.” We received tips from him. He recommended we get on line and learn everything we could about the disease and the treatment options. Go to renowned specialists (he named two). Get a second opinion. Keep a positive outlook. Pray. Share. Ask friends and family to pray with you. Seek professional advice. Research your options. Be your own best advocate. Remain positive.”

Second step: We did all those things, and Bob chose cryotherapy – he had his prostate frozen – and he is “in remission.” Cancer free – and living the “Golden Years” with me!

If I should learn that my days are short, I would miss my loved ones here on earth, of course. But would I be afraid of dying? As my friend said when I asked him that question, I can emphatically say, “Nope!”

I know where I’m going. I know my Redeemer lives and has a place reserved for me in Heaven. And, I pray you BELIEVE, too. Then, we can be assured we will see each other in Paradise and we will enjoy eternal joy together.

See you there someday …Hopefully not too soon!

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.
We certainly have much to be thankful for, don’t we?

Love,
JanBeek

Reblog #15 – Relationships


This blog was posted in my “Embrace” series a year or so ago. Many of you, my faithful followers, saw it and commented. Thank you so much!

It is worth revisiting! I have several new friends since then, so I think this is a good one to reblog as we approach this Thanksgiving Day 2022. Gathering with friends and family reminds us of the blessing these friendships are to us.

My devotional this morning in These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith, quoted Col.1:11-12 and reminded us, “Being in a healthy relationship is no small task.”

It went on to tell us, “It takes work, sacrifice, and understanding.” Yesterday I reblogged a post titled, “Partners” that pointed to those same requirements for lasting relationships.

I recommend that
you click on the “Best Friendship Songs” below
and listen as you read my Haiku renderings
on this subject of Relationships.

Relationships are
What this life is all about
Friends are our life’s gifts

We need each other
Going through life alone won’t work
Loneliness smothers

We’re never alone
When we’ve a relationship
With God, our Maker

Put God first in life
Let Him help you bind your love
So it never breaks

In an article in Woman’s Day Magazine, I quote:

“Whether you’re starting out a new relationship,
have been married for years,
simply love your friends,
or adore your family,
there’s always a way to
incorporate God
into each of the unique relationships
in your life.”

Choose relationships
Grounded in mutual love
With respect at center

Seek Godly friendships
Not just with your great neighbors,
But with every one

Especially when
You are choosing a life’s mate,
Be centered in God

Men, listen to this:
If she does not know your God,
She doesn’t know real love.

Don’t give up on her!
Teach her about the Savior
Save relationships

Embrace your friendships
Love one another fully
Treasure your family

I am grateful for
The love of my family
I can count on them

I pray your friends care
For you as mine do for me…
And know I love you!

You are blogging friends
Who visit JanBeek to say
“I care about you”

I am inspired by
The way I can count on you
To come, read, and write

God bless you, dear friends
Your relationship matters
It’s more than on-line

It’s alive in me
You’re a friend I depend on
I can count on you!

Have you been listening
To that collection of songs?
Lots of good words there!

Like: “Live your story”
“Know our love will never die”
“Hold on to your friends.”

Thank you for visiting JanBeek today.
You matter to me.
Thank you for being my friend.
See you tomorrow.

My niece, Jodie, with me and her best friend, Melissa…
Such treasures in my life!!

Who do you treasure as a best friend?

Reblog #14 – Partners


Four years ago I posted this blog, feeling grateful for my lifetime partner, dear, precious, faithful Bob Beekman.
Today I am reposting it with even greater gratitude and a few more photos for the fun of it.

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PARTNERS

Partners add dimension

To our self-focused lives.

They draw us out

To form a bigger circle.

If we are blessed indeed

With a loving partner who

Accentuates our strengths

And helps us build up

Our areas of weakness,

Then we have cause to

Celebrate with abandon!

Everyday is a gift

Of celebration with

My life-time partner,

Bob!

I wish for you
the blessing of
a “Bob”
in your life!!

Have a blessed Friday
and come back
and see us again this weekend.


Love,
JanBeek

1 Corinthians 13:4-7Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians says love endures all things. Thank God, Lordy, Lordy, my Bob certainly has endured all things! What a blessing that he put up with me all these 60+ years!!

Welcome to JanBeek and my month of reblogging.

Who is your neighbor?


This post was originally blogged last year.
I was inspired to repost it for you today
because Dr. David Jeremiah wrote this in his devotional today
in response to the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37:

Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

“Jesus’ point was this:
Your neighbor is anyone with a need
that you are able to meet.
Look for a neighbor whose need you might meet.”

People may excite in themselves a glow of compassion…
by going and seeking an object that requires compassion.
Henry Ward Beecher

The post was part of my “Embrace” series
and it was titled. “Embrace Everyone.”

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Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com
Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com
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Embrace Everybody
and
Recognize our Commonality
while we
Celebrate our Differences

Know that
We are more alike
than different.
More binds us than separates us.

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Embrace Everybody.
Work to make this world
A better place because
You are in it.


May tomorrow
be a new day of new hope
and greater unity.
Let’s each do our part
to make it so.

Embrace Everybody.
Oh, and take care of our bees.
We need them!

Who will you meet who needs a hug from you today?
Reach out, my friends … here’s a virtual one from Bob & me!

See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Reblog #12 – Grace Alone


This post was titled God’s Grace – first posted in November of 2018… Reblogged today for your pleasure and reassurance.

green trees

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com


“I am under the canopy of God’s Grace,”
the story in my Guideposts devotional assured me.


portrait of teenage girl playing outdoors


I know it without a doubt. I am guided by the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures.

“Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough troubles of its own.”
Matthew 6:34


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Accept each day as a gift.
The present is a present.
Open it – and live in the NOW!

I am sure you know:

God’s grace is sufficient
when you believe
and
live intentionally
in FAITH.

belief bible book business

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God
through whom we have gained access by faith
into this grace in which we now stand.”
Romans 5:1-2

Grace alone which God supplies;
Strength unknown He will provide…
Every soul we long to reach
Every heart we hope to teach
Everywhere we share…
It’s only by His Grace.

Do take time to hear Scott Wesley Brown sing this for us:

God’s grace – and peace to you – dear friends,

PEACE now and forever!

Bee well.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

Reblog #11 – Smile


It was September two years ago when we were in the midst of the pandemic, isolated, sequestered, missing friends and family. I posted this blog titled “Smile.” It’s time this cold, snow sparkling in the sunshine day in November to repost it. I hope it makes you smile. It brought a smile to MY face!

Smile when your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
Though there are clouds in the sky
You’ll get by – if you’ll just smile!

Do you know that song?
I’ll share it with you …
Along with some things
that made me smile today:

Everyone needs a blue-footed booby for a smile!
And I dare you to look at this cross-eyed owl trying to see that ladybug – and not smile!!
This snowy egret got its feathers ruffled over SOMEthing!
I used to have a pet goat when I was a kid. This one made me smile big time!

(Change the Thursday to Friday on the following meme) And that “Good Night” can say “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” (depending on where you are in th world).
But before I leave you, I told you I’d share that song with you.
It’s not the current version of “Smile” by Katy Perry.
It’s the version from the 1950s when I was a kid (a freshman in high school -to be exact!)!
Here it is. Smile!


This is one of Nat King Cole’s songs that I loved the most.
Its message is so important for us in this world today.

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you’ll just smile!

Hug each other tight…
Just like these rainbow lorikeets


SMILE!!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

Reblog #10 – Prayer


Prayer

openhands-thanking

Prayer is the topic of a book study we are doing with our pastor these weeks of November 2022. But, back in 2015, it was also a topic of discussion and the title of our guest minister’s sermon. Take a step back – and join me:

Prayer was the title of our sermon on Sunday, August 16, 2015 by Rev. Carol Shellenberger of Bozeman, MT. Here are the notes I took while I listened to her very meaningful and inspiring message:

Turning to the Lord in prayer
Is a habit I cultivate.
Turning to the Lord with concern
Is wise, before it’s too late.

But turning to the Lord in praise
Is a minute-by-minute habit.
It’s not just a request for courage
When we’re afraid. It’s a joy. Grab it!

Prayer is a source of inspiration.
Our Father has so much to give.
Prayer is a way to receive it…
The gift of wisdom; abundance to live.

Some folks expect too much or too little,
Looking for extraordinary results
Or doubting that God even hears.
But prayer is a part of us – like our pulse.

Turning to the Lord in prayer
Tells God we are here – and so is He.
We know He is wherever we are.
I know my Lord cares and answers me.

Prayer is not just a matter of speaking;
It’s conversation, but it’s silence, too.
If you never stop talking in prayer to God,
You never hear what He’s saying to you,

In Luke 11, Jesus teaches His disciples
To pray in a wise, simple way.
Recognize the power of God
And reflect on what this version has to say.

It’s a personal, approachable prayer
To Abba, our Papa, our Dad.
It invites us to be honest with God,
Especially when we’ve been remorsefully bad.

Be specific in naming your sins.
From your core, tell Him of your failure and fear.
Then look for the way your Savior responds.
Notice His Spirit within you. Feel His Love near.

God may not answer in ways you expect.
Our Lord is not Santa Claus in disguise.
Listen and look for God’s exquisite response.
He cares, He hears, and His response always is wise.

In faith, hope and trust,
Just PRAY!

Amen.

Take your troubles to the Lord today.
The Holy Spirit is in you – always ready.
The God of Creation who created you
Is here to help you … Helpfulness is steady.

There is nothing quite like prayer in song –
especially when it is Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion!

I have you in my prayers tonight, my friends.

Look up for your purpose!

Be safe. Be well…
See you tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

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