Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Embrace Imagination


#1 A

Play the video below
as you imagine
why these various pictures
are in this blog.



Imagine what
they might have to do
with my life today
and in the future.

Imagine if you
took a series of pictures
to capture your life today
and project your future….
what would they include?

#1 B
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7 A
#7 B
#8
#9
#10
#11
#12
#13
#14
#15

Embrace Imagination!

#1 A & B = The dreamcatcher brought the Dream

#2 = But there are hoops and triangles to jump through

#3 = Before the Trinity – God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit can help the Dream come

#4 = So head on down Pintail Ridge, and

#5 = Turn toward the north

#6 = Get on Highway 90 and stay on it to Missoula

#7 A = Have fun on the 3 hour trip by texting my daughter in Switzerland

#7 B = Include Daughter #2 in our texting and picture exchange

#8 = Compare our arthritic fingers – and see her straight ones – realize what heredity can do!

#9 = Pass the time with Bible Study… begin with Moody’s look at Thessalonians 1 & 2

#10 = After dropping Bob off at the Missoula hospital for his MRI, go get breakfast

#11 = Choose the pesto bagel, but only eat half now

#12 = Save the other half for when Bob is finished and can join me for that yummy sandwich

#13 = Tell him he can find the Bagels on Broadway – right across from the Missoula Courthouse

#14 = Head back home where dreams do come true – full circle – back to Ennis and the beautiful Madison Range…

#15 = … and a bouquet of beautiful tulips that say Happy Mother’s Day weekend is coming – Go Capture your Dream!

Embrace Imagination!

This is where dreams all come true!

Behind the storms of life
Blue sky waits to emerge
Catch your dreams in your dreamcatcher
And let your imagination run wild!



What would your series of pictures
look like to capture your day,
your dreams,
your views of the world?

Imagination runs wild!!

Tell me!

See ya tomorrow
(God willing)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Embrace Hugs


Doesn’t it feel good to meet with your friends
Who have had both their COVID-19 vaccines
And feel comfortable hugging again?
Don’t lose sight of what hugging means:

When I hug you my squeezing says,
“I love you! I have missed our touch.”
When I hug you my body says,
I am so happy to be near you. I’ve missed you so much!

Song of Solomon 2:6

“Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Sometimes the hugs from our pets
Have to take the place of others we love –
But it’s that feeling of unconditional caring
That’s wrapped in a hug – whether human or dove.

Photo by Selegna Du00edaz on Pexels.com

Mark 10:16

And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

Your hug is so important
Better than an alligator hug is:
… a kitty kiss!
Better than a piggy hug and kiss is:
… a real bear hug! (Or is it??)
There’s nothing quite like a threesome hug!

Genesis 33:4

Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him,
and fell on his neck and kissed him…

Yes, when we see a cuddly little soft and sweet baby
We just want to hug and squeeze and kiss them all over!
Photo by Madeline Bassinder on Pexels.com
Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com
Photo by Rheza Aulia on Pexels.com


Embrace One Another
Embrace Hugs

It’s so good to be able to hug again!

Love to you,
my sweet blogging friend.

See ya tomorrow

Embrace God’s Will


Elfchen (or Elevenies) are 11 word poems
in the configuration of 5 line stanzas,
each with a count of 1+2+3+4+1.

God
Is here
He’s always near
I feel His presence
Listen

God
Speaks clearly
Read His Word
And follow His Commandments
Obey

God
Knows best
Open your heart
Feel Him inside you
Trust

God
Is patient
He always understands
He waits for us
Follow

LISTEN
OBEY
(Relax… God’s gotcha covered)
TRUST
FOLLOW
(Yes, “Where He leads me I will follow –
with JOY!)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

I’m headed for church this morning.
I hope you are, too.


See you later.

Embrace May Flowers


Happy May Day!

Time for a new wreath!

When I was a child at Bonita Elementary School in Crows Landing, California (yes, there is a town by that name), May Day was a very special occasion.

In the classroom on the morning of May 1st we made baskets of paper or ribbon. Then we went out into the fields around the school and picked wildflowers. We hung our baskets on doorknobs around town, rang the doorbell, and hid in the bushes as we watched the surprised resident answer the door and find the colorful, hanging gift. In it was an invitation to come to the school that afternoon for our May Pole Dance.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com
Sometimes we used our school colors for the ribbons
Other times we used an assortment of colors

It was not uncommon for us to dress in special costumes, but sometime, like the first picture of the Maypole, we would dress in white. Notice the flower wreaths in our hair. Ah yes, we went all out!

We’d weave in and out of each other to create the braided base on the Maypole. You can tell this last picture is recent. Back in the 40s and 50s no girls would be caught dead coming to school in Levis!! We would have probably been sent home!

Music would accompany our dance around the Maypole … The YouTube below shows that in some places, May Day still is celebrated in today’s world.

It’s a more complicated process than you might imagine!

I wonder if they still do
the baskets with flowers
in school rooms
and neighborhoods anywhere?

I love May flowers!

If you don’t have a wildflower field nearby,

maybe you can go to FTD and order your May Day flowers today!
There are lots of beautiful arrangements from which to choose!

Have a Happy May Day, my friends.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Embrace May Flowers!

Do you do anything special for May Day?

See ya tomorrow. (God willing)

Embrace Your Roots


When I hear the word “Roots,”
I think of the TV program
that captivated the nation
in 1977 when it first
was aired on ABC.

Roots is an American television miniseries based on Alex Haley‘s 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The series first aired on ABC in January 1977. Roots received 37 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and won nine. It also won a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. It received unprecedented Nielsen ratings for the finale, which still holds a record as the third-highest-rated episode for any type of television series, and the second-most watched overall series finale in U.S. television history.[1][2] It was produced on a budget of $6.6 million.

If you are a genealogical buff, “Roots” conjures up images of family history … and maybe links to Ancestry.com.

When I see or hear the word “Roots,” I also think of this scripture:

Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

Roots
Buried deep
Connect to vine
Result in the branches
Mine

John 15:5

“I am the vine, you are the branches:
He that abideth in Me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without Me you can do nothing.”

My roots are planted deep in faith.

Rooted and Grounded
In the name of the Lord
Rooted and Grounded
By the Holy Ghost

If you want to go to Heaven
You have to be
Rooted and Grounded
In the Name of the Lord!


Embrace Your Roots –
Examine where they are grounded.
How do they stabilize you?
What comes to mind when you hear the word
ROOTS?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

See ya tomorrow (God willing)


Embrace Purpose


What is your purpose?
Has anyone asked you that question recently?
Have you asked it of yourself?

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Another way to ask the question is:
What is my life’s goal?

When I asked my husband Bob, yesterday
He responded,
“To give God credit for everything.”

We talked about the difference between
Internal and external purposes.

Internally we live a life filed with gratitude to God.

Externally, how do we show or express it?

Bob responded,
“Accept your lot without complaints”
and
“Be His hands and feet –
Extending His Kingdom on Earth.”

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

Like these mountains,
Life and purpose have so many layers.

What is God’s purpose for me?

This is the prayer I pray
each morning before I leave
my sanctuary to begin my day in the world:

“Dear Lord,

Guide my feet in Your Way today.
Help me meet who You want me to meet.
Tell me what You want me to say,
And keep me out of Your way!

Help me be who You made me to be.
And teach me to be still
So I can know what You want me to do.
Help me walk in You Will.”

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Romans 8:28

“And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to His purpose.”

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

In today’s These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,
the message resonated with me as I contemplate my purpose:

“I pray and ask God to give me the words I need.
The time to share is now so that everyone will know
the Love of God.

By speaking and writing about God’s love and glory,
we are passing this knowledge on to future generations.

Whether singing worship music,
reading devotionals aloud,
or writing about God,
I am given opportunities to
help the whole world
know and develop
a closer relationship with God.”

That’s my purpose!
Share the love, joy and peace
that are mine through Christ.


I want everyone to feel it!!

Father, please give me the words
to share so everyone will know you.

I LOVE this series of pencil drawings of Jesus with the children!

In my Mornings with Jesus devotional today,
the message fit this topic perfectly.
Cynthia Ruchti, wrote

“A recent project at our house has tested our mettle as a couple…”

She went on to explain how their old 1913 house is crooked.
Trying to “install straight, factory-squared windows into an opening
that is anything but perfectly square has been cause for…
discussion.”

“What a telling picture of the reasons Jesus was so adamant
that … the foundational layer of our souls
has to be built plumb and true,
more meticulously than anything that will come after.”

“Jesus said that JOY is foundational to our lives as Christ followers.
If joy is solid, anchored well, and secure because of our trust in His promises,
anything else we build on top of that will have much greater chance
of aligning with His purpose for us.

We won’t be ‘half a bubble off’ if His joy bubbles inside us.”


Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

I aim to be inspired by
His Word,
His Life,
His Love,

His Gift of Grace,
and His Purpose
for my life.


(That’s the internal purpose)

Externally,
my purpose is to share that
love, joy, peace, faith and unity
that are mine…
with the hope that you
are inspired to share it, too!

Keep looking up!

Is anything in your house noticeably crooked?
When you pass that spot, don’t straighten it!
Look up!

Use it as a reminder of the importance
of building your life of faith on Jesus
and the meaning of the cross.
Jesus is plumb and true, and
by His death on the cross,
you are, too!!

What is your purpose?
What inspires you to live according to your purpose?


Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Small Delights


What are the small delights that enchant you?
Keep you coming back for more?
What are the small delights that entice you
To return again to your favorite store?

I love wreaths and flowers;
I take delight in their display.
I delight in springtime when its warm
And I can walk in the sunshine and play.

I love Michaels, the craft store, that has
All the items for projects galore.
That’s the place that’s my go-to
For creative activities – and more.

Prayers, pictures, and greetings
From Elaina, my daughter #2
Bring morning smiles and giggles
“Let me share my soup with you!

Let me show you my sweet kitty,”
She declares as she pictures her cat.
We share the things that delight us
In our daily morning chat.

My friend, Lisa, in South Carolina
Finds beauty in sunrises and purrs.
I love the way she shares with me
The views and delights that are hers.

Lisa’s cat
Lisa’s sunrise in South Carolina

The small delight that grows
To enormous size and glee
Is the joy I find in friendship.
Friends are so dear to me.

Laina & DeDe

Laina and our daughter, DeAna
Have been friends since high school days
They find great delight in togetherness…
A relationship where love always stays.

Caroline’s photo of ducks in lake

Some small delights in nature
That we often take for granted
Are ducks on the lake with snowy borders
And evergreen trees God has planted.

“I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
Isaiah 61:10

I delight in having great neighbors
Who bake beautiful cookies and share
The tasty treats from their kitchen.
I delight in those friends over there!

(Thanks, Robin & Whooter & Sue Welna!)

A delight I’ve been waiting for
Is the opening of this daffodil bloom.
Thank God for the coming of springtime
And the flowers I see from this room.

My husband will tell you that nothing
Delights him like a bowl of ice cream.
His favorite is mocha almond fudge –
That’s his idea of a dessert dream!

Photo by Lisa Oliver

I take great delight in rainbows.
They keep God’s promise visible & true,
This one over the McAlllister Church
Is a small delight just for you!


Here’s my delightful sunset
reflected over the Madison Range.

Have a delightful Wednesday.
See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I delight in your comments.

Embrace the Present


Is your memory slipping? Mine is. The bad news is, my sweetheart’s memory is slipping down the same slope as mine. That’s not good news. For 59 years, we’ve covered for one another. Now we need someone else with a blanket and a diary… the blanket to cover our faux pas – and a diary to go back and retrieve the lost information!

I told you about the blue suitcase and our dual denial, right? http://www.janbeek.blog/embrace-laughter

Do you recall … neither of us remembering the actual color, size, and details of our luggage? Did you laugh with us? Well now, it is a situation where BOTH of us forgot about receiving something a year ago… denying it, causing someone else a lot of frustration, and needing a huge dose of forgiveness for the trouble we caused.

Ah, the mind is a sad thing to lose!!

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Now is what we have
Tomorrow isn’t here yet
Sift through sands of time

Yesterday is past
Remembering helps us learn
Embrace the Present

Diaries are fun… a great way to keep track of the present
and go back to retrieve what we want to remember!

Check out the expansion of that idea of living in the moment at this previous blog: https://janbeek.blog/2020/11/16/one-day-at-a-time

Haibun (俳文, literally, haikai writings) is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and frequently includes autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem,[1] short story and travel journal.

In the Haibun above, I addressed the short story and the diary idea in my prose – and then added a two-part Haiku to the story. Thanks for the inspiration from Dwight Roth who often contributes Haibun to d’versepoetry.com … and does it so well. Check out today’s post from Roth Poetry:

Being Alive

/ rothpoetry

I’m glad you shared today with me.

Looking shaggy –
I need a haircut!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Embrace the Present

Embrace Growth


Growth comes in many different forms
Physical, psychological, spiritual –
Three of the ways we grow.
Am I growing?
Are you?
Huh?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes, like the caterpillar,
We have to STOP to grow.
We have to hide out.
We learn to quit.
Don’t push.
Rest.

Photo by Manuela Adler on Pexels.com

So, I determined several days to rest.
I rested last week and yesterday.
I didn’t come here to blog.
Hear the Holy Spirit.
Settle my mind.
Listen.

My days of rest from blogging
Were focused on listening –
Receiving His guidance,
Feeling God leading,
Really tuning in,
Growing.

Photo by Ryanniel Masucol on Pexels.com


Now I’m sitting with a box on my head.
I’m waiting expectantly –
Hoping that someone
Will lift the box –
Lead me
Home.


And when I am again safely home,
Lift the box and help me
Emerge from chrysalis
To spread my wings
And grow into
Butterfly!


Embrace Growth!

Happy Sunday to you!


May this be a week of emergence and growth.

Hugs to you!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Cheers!

Do you ever try to push things through and discover roadblocks?

That’s been my experience this week on more than one front.

Photo by Vlad Cheu021ban on Pexels.com

Trying to push my agenda is harder than rolling hay –
Especially when my agenda is not in sync with the Lord’s.

Photo by Ali Pazani on Pexels.com

Trying to push through an agenda is like filming –
Pointing the camera at the place you want to be
And discovering that you have no film to get there.
GO BACK AND RELOAD!! Take time to pray.

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Life often puts us at crossroads where we choose –
Do we go right or left? Or do we turn around?
What did your script say? And who wrote it?
Are you finding your own way or letting God lead?

Are you on your own time schedule or are you listening?
Do you relinquish control and hear the Holy Spirit saying,
“God’s Perfect Timing is perfect. Let go! Let it flow.”
Stop pushing. Stop filming. Stop writing. Stop blogging.

Just stop!

Photo by Song kaiyue on Pexels.com

Then, when you start up again, be deliberate! Be intentional.
Be collaborative. Be teachable. Be flexible. Be patient.
God’s Perfect Timing is Perfect!

TRUST!

Use it wisely!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

I’ve been living my passion this week…
Loving, learning, listening, sharing God’s grace.

Finding the pastor God has in mind for our church –
and trying to arrange the perfect timing for a visit.

I took a break from WordPress to focus.


It was good to take a break.


Please add our Pastor Nominating Committee to your prayer list…
and help us EMBRACE GOD’S PERFECT TIMING!

See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Bee well!!

Embrace Your Passion


Embrace your passion –
Figure out just what it is,
Then LIVE your passion.

Yesterday I lived –
I lived passionately –
But I did not blog.

Even though blogging
Is an important passion,
I did not write it.

Sometimes you need to
Set aside pen and paper –
Set aside writing –

And LIVE your passion!
I listened to the Spirit
And followed its voice.

Photo by Prashant Gautam on Pexels.com

My most important passion is what this blog’s sub-title spells out: spreading love, joy, peace, faith and unity.

In the process of living out my faith, I spend time every morning in my “SanctuAiree” among the angels, Bibles, devotionals, birds level with me in the trees, and the Holy Spirit alive and well. surrounding and in me. I listen for that still small voice – and try to obey its directives.

As the contact person and secretary for our Pastor Nominating Committee, I have worked consistently for over a year – collaboratively with my wonderful, dedicated team – to find the pastor we think God has in mind for us. We see a light at the end of the tunnel … and are praying for wisdom and discernment. Yesterday I worked on that project. I am passionate about helping to find the “right” person to lead our congregation into the future. It is a huge responsibility – and we take it very seriously.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do you have a project about which you are passionate? Are you living that passion? Do you see a light at the end of your tunnel? I’d love to hear about it.

Have you defined your purpose in blogging? Are you feeling like your purpose is being fulfilled? Are you passionate about it? Cristian Mihai in “The Art of Blogging” tells us often that unless we are writing about things we are passionate about, our messages will fall flat.

Sometimes I feel that my messages are not resonating with my readers. When I get that feeling, I have to back up and ask myself, “Who are you writing for?” If one or two of you respond, if I have reached into the heart of just one other blogging friend out there, that has to be enough. It’s not a numbers game! YOU are the only reader who matters. I am sharing my passion with YOU.

My passion is to LIVE in such a way that at the end of the day, I can say to myself, “I did what the Holy Spirit called me to do today, and I did it with gusto. I did my best – and now I can rest.”

My daddy and my Holy Father in Heaven said,
“Well done, Jan!”
Their voices matter!

Embrace Your Passion!

See ya tomorrow
(God willing)…
JanBeek

Happy Sunday!


Mine was a busy Sunday.
How was yours?
Where did you look today?

Looking for beauty
Can sometimes be elusive
When your eyes are closed

So open your eyes
To find the beauty around.
It is everywhere!

Where do your eyes look?

Do you look at it?
The “it” that’s blocking your view?
Where do your eyes go?

Look up to enjoy
The beauty, not the blockade!
Listen for the sounds.

The amorous dove
Is cooing to his partner:
“Come with me and rest.”

“It is the Sabbath –
A day to stop and relax.
Let’s go to our nest.”

“Are you listening?
Don’t look down – the nest’s not there.
Let’s fly to our roost.”

“You go if you want.
I’m perfectly happy here.
Cozy. Protected.”

“OK. I give up.
Every bird is not the same.
Be happy sitting…

But I want to go
Exploring other vistas.”

“Maybe tomorrow!”

Like that female dove,
Sometimes we seem to be stuck
In our own small rut.

Afraid to venture
Out into this great big world
To meet challenges.

There are lovely views
On horizon’s other side –
Beyond folds of light.

This view is Lisa’s –
It’s in North Carolina.
Sent to me with prayer.

I may not go there –
Not today or tomorrow.
But maybe someday.

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

I want to explore
The beauty of Lisa’s world.
Its vistas call me…

Just as our preacher,
Dawn, who was in the pulpit,
Felt Africa’s call.

She shared her stories
With us in church this morning.
They were amazing!

Photo by Shelagh Murphy on Pexels.com

She spoke of children
Where poverty and illness
Put them at great risk.

Experiences
Shared with us in church today
Brought love of strangers.

Madison County Food Bank

“When were You hungry and I fed You?
When were You thirsty and I gave You drink?
When were You a stranger and I welcomed You?
When were You naked and I gave You clothes?
When were You sick or in prison and I took care of You?”

“Whenever you did one of these to the least of these, my children, you did it unto Me.”


Paraphrased from Matthew 34-40

Love Stories from Africa

Our guest speaker told of her missionary trips to Uganda and Ghana, South African areas where she was called by God to go – not to speak of religion – but show the love of Christ through her actions. She helped children with cancer, families with loved ones dying of HIV-AIDS, orphaned children, farmers in need to seeds to plant their crops, or goats to provide milk, or workers who needed motor bikes to get to their places of employment. She danced to the music of the natives, and walked barefoot in the sands of these foreign lands.

Judgement turned to admiration. She gained appreciation for the resilience of these people. The poverty rate was 80% in many of the remote regions of the north. Improving their health care and job opportunities was the goal of the USA funding that she managed. The people had so little that every bit of help was doubly appreciated. They had so little, and yet they had so much. So much love. So much beauty.

Beauty comes smiling at us
Everywhere we turn
If we just open our eyes
See the love – and learn!

Learn to treasure all
the people God has made.
Reach out to those you meet.
Love them all – be not afraid!

Love is all we need.
Gotta keep it real simple:
Love God – Love People!!

Embrace Sunday.
Embrace God and Love One Another.
See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Hugs,

JanBeek

Embrace Bird Songs


Bird Songs – Haiku
by JanBeek

Let’s embrace bird songs.
They bring music to our souls.
Delight in their sounds!

The following video is a 42 minute delight.
It displays 80 birds,
identifies them for you,
and plays their songs.
I LOVE it!

I recommend that you
play it as background music
as you read the rest of my blog
and go about your day.

Peek back at it every now and then –
because the close-up pictures of these birds
and the words that identify them
and the settings where you find them
will be sure to delight you!

I woke this morning to the sound of doves cooing.
They have built their nest in the eaves
Outside my bedroom window –
Crafted it with twigs and leaves.

Partner doves made their home there
And sang their song, “I hid hid hid it!”
Soon they’ll lay their eggs there
And change their song to “I did did did it!”

But their nest is not hidden from us.
We can see their coming and their going.
Their song brings us daily happiness.
Our day starts with shared music – enjoying!

.

After you have listened to some of that first video, check this one out. It is just the dove…
Then go back to that first one. Let it mesmerize you!
(You can slide the red bar at the bottom of it to go back to where you left off.)

“Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”

Psalm 144:15

Just as each bird has its song,
People have songs that identify them.
Some are blues, some jazz or rock and roll,
Others are known by their favorite hymn.

As I listen to music on my Amazon device
And I hear one I wanna put in my cart,
I say, “Alexa, add that to my favorites.”
My list – like a bird song – comes from my heart.
.

Take a break from the bird songs,
and listen to a song that touches my heart.
I can’t help but sing along whenever it plays:


In my “Happiness Project”
(one sentence journal)
the verse at the top of the page
today was:

“It is neither wealth nor splendor,
but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.”

– Thomas Jefferson

.

What Creates Happiness for You?


I used to find my greatest happiness in the classroom – working with young children.
Then I found it in my home with my husband and two children.
Neither of those sources, however could be defined as “tranquil.”

It wasn’t until we moved here to Montana, we both retired, and we bought a house with an upstairs “SanctuAiree,” that I found my place of tranquility. Surrounded by trees with singing birds outside and my Bibles, devotionals, and angels inside, I am at peace. Inner peace is my definition of tranquility and happiness. How about you?

For me, there are few things in life which create more tranquility than the sound of a dove cooing. Our God used a dove as the carrier of good news (it returned to the ark with an olive branch to announce “Dry Land! It’s here! It’s here!”) The dove is a symbol of peace.

What a way to wake up in the morning! And then they greet me on the rooftop when I am in my SanctuAiree.

Doves are little gifts from God.
I love them and their song.

What is your favorite bird song?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

I hope you’ll be singing when you leave here!

(You can go back to that first video and continue enjoying those bird songs)

See ya tomorrow (God willing).


Magpie – A Haiku

by JanBeek

Cloudy break of day
A large, angry magpie dives
Down on peaceful dove

Photo by shravan khare on Pexels.com
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Best Friends

A pup and kitty
Best friends – inseparable
Love that matching pair

Simple Love

Tucked under your chin
I feel completely secure
It’s true, simple love

Watching

Watching for a friend
Positioned so demurely
Aren’t I attractive?

Fawn is Flower

Tucked in beautifully
Fawn waits patiently for Mom
Remember Flower?

Beautiful Buck

Beside the lake’s edge
A beautiful buck listens
Are you thirsty, too?

Embrace Animal Photography

Embrace animals
And those who photograph them
They’re a happy lot

I hope my animal photographs
Most of which are taken by an anonymous photographer
Made you smile the way this darling baby and her pup are smiling
They certainly cheered me!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

Have a Fabulous Friday.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)!

Embrace Laughter


Comic Tammy

If you can laugh at yourself,
Laughter will always be with you.
We do the darndest things!!

Flight Attendant

On our trip home from Eugene, Oregon via Seattle, WA, we “lost” our carry-on suitcase. Because of a shortage of overhead bin space, we were asked to leave our carry-on at the entrance of the plane. At the end of the flight, the cart rolled out with all the luggage and ours wasn’t on it. There was a blue bag like ours, but it had a strange-looking lock on it, and it was a little bigger than ours, and the color wasn’t exactly right.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We figured somebody had accidentally picked up the wrong bag. We reported the missing bag to the flight attendant.

“You’re sure this isn’t yours?” she asked.

“We’re sure!” we both chimed in.

So, this gracious masked flight attendant escorted us to the Alaska Airlines Passenger Assistance desk.
On the way we exchanged pleasantries.
She discovered we’d been married 59 years.
She asked about our destination.
We asked about her life.
We had plenty of time to share.
It was a long walk to the help desk.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

At the customer service desk, the attendant took our phone number and other contact information and assured us that we’d be contacted when the person who mistook our bag for theirs realized their mistake and returned it.

We thanked her again and got her contact info from her. Later she sent us a picture of herself unmasked so we’d recognize her if she came to visit us in Montana. We really hope she will!!

As we were headed for our next departure gate to continue our travel home to Bozeman, MT, we saw another flight attendant wheeling a blue carry-on toward the help desk. Something caused us to turn around, follow him, and inquire about that suitcase when he got to the Alaska Airlines customer service area.

Our sweet and helpful flight attendant still was in that area. She came over to see the blue bag that was left behind and get an update on what was happening. The two attendants looked at the bag, turned the tag on it over and examined the name/address on it.

“Beekmans?” the male attendant asked?

“Yes,” we replled.

“This is your bag!” he told us.

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

We felt soooo stupid! We BOTH had denied that bag could be ours. We had created a hassle for the flight attendant and ourselves. NEEDLESSLY. We felt like such morons! We profusely apologized. They chuckled. We laughed out loud… a laugh filled with embarrassment.

Our sweet flight attendant patted us on the back. Gave us a comforting smile and said, “It could happen to any of us. Don’t worry!”

She said she wanted to adopt us as her “Marriage longevity role models.”

Thank you, Lisa!!

Ah, 59 years together! We often tell folks it takes the two of us to complete one another… two halves make a whole.

At that moment we thought we had both become slightly senile. Neither of us felt like half of a whole!! Maybe a quarter?

We can’t afford to have BOTH of us lose a few marbles. HELP!!

As we rolled our bag – hmmm… why hadn’t we noticed that lock on there before? Hmmm … was it really this size? Hmmm … why hadn’t we noticed the shade of blue?

We got the giggles. We laughed at our own feeble-mindedness and decided what we needed was a good glass of wine, a taco snack, and a chance to just sit and relax before we boarded the next flight.

I received a text from our dear flight attendant. She assured us that we were the highlight of her day. She sent us a picture of her beautiful family and invited us to come visit her if we are ever in the area where she lives. I can just hear her sharing the story about this “adorable old couple, married 59 years, not recognizing their own suitcase” and getting a good laugh for years to come.

We’re able to laugh about it, too. We hope she really will take us up on it and come to visit us in Montana!

The moral of the story:

The next time you do something stupid, give each other a high five. Get a good laugh at yourself, and realize:

You are not alone!
Laugh together.
No one can laugh AT you,
if they are laughing WITH you!

Embrace laughter.

Photo by Blue Bird on Pexels.com

And, by the way,
do you have some kind of bright florescent ribbon
that we can tie onto our luggage?


Something that we can’t mistake for someone else’s?

Send it along to us!!
And have a great Thursday!



Love,
JanBeek

Hah!!

Oh- and by the way, that girl at the top with her tongue out?
That’s Bob’s niece, Tammy.
She has a great sense of humor.
As a nurse – especially during this COVID-19 pandemic,
Laughter has been a saving grace!
Gotta keep your spirits up!!

Thanks, Tammy, for all you do to help others!

Embrace Being Home


Home
Warm, cozy
Feeling loved here
Love the feeling here
Embraced

Dormant
Under ground
Seeds and bulbs
Lie waiting for sun
Flowers

Collections
Called clutter
Some don’t understand
It carries our history
Memorabilia

Our good neighbor took this photo of our home with his drone.
Yes, here it is April 14th and we had a snow flurry today!
But spring WILL come. Beeeee patient!

Travel
Far Away
But return again
It waits for you
Home

We enjoyed being able to fly to Oregon to be with Bob’s sister, to support her and her family with our love during this time of loss. But, it felt so good to be back… Ennis is such a welcoming place. Yes, EMBRACE BEING HOME!

P.S. Elfchen are poems with eleven words, written in a pattern of 1+2+3+4+1… Aren’t they fun?

Cheers!

Thanks for stopping by to welcome me home!
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Embrace Life


“To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.”

-Thomas Campbell

Today we are celebrating the life of my brother-in-law, Stan.
He gave us many reasons to smile.
He will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.

If you could write your obituary,
celebrating your life,
what would you want folks
to say about you?

Here lies __________________ (insert your name)
S/He was __________________ (insert an adjective)
We could count on him/her to ____________________ (what could folks count on you for?)
His/Her life was noted for ________________________ (what’s your legacy?)


Have you discovered how to discern His Will?
Are you asking God each day to help you do His Will?

How are you using your time today?
Time is our greatest gift.
Use it wisely!

We’re in Oregon with Bob’s sister.
Priceless time!

I am praying that you
have a Marvelous Monday!

Hugs to you.
See you tomorrow (God willing)…
JanBeek

Embrace Your Journey


The word “Race” implies competition when you “Run the Race.”
But life lived in competition rather than collaboration is a lonely one.
When I was an elementary school principal back in the 1980’s,
I wrote our school theme song using the California Poppies tune.

The California Poppies song went like this:

“Poppies, golden poppies, gleaming in the sun,
Closing up at evening when the day is done.
Pride of California, flower of our state,
Growing from the mountains to the Golden Gate.”

The words I wrote for our Caswell Elementary School in California were:

We’re the Caswell Cougars.
We are Number One!
Green and yellow banners
Waving in the sun.
Caswell is a place for
Learning and for fun.
We’re the Caswell Cougars;
We are Number One!”

One of my fellow principals objected to our song.
She felt I was in competition with her school.
I responded, “There’s room at the top
for more than one.
Come up and join us!”

As I have journeyed through this life,
I am going and growing.
I am understanding better
where my colleague was coming from.

Thirty years later I can look back
And I can see my competitive spirit
At work in that school song…
Unintended yes, but obvious to others.



If life is viewed as a race,
then there is room for only one at the top.
The race goes to the swiftest.
But a journey has room for many.

Hold my hand as we walk this path.
Pray with me. stay by my side.
Soon enough we will reach the mountain top
And when we do, celebrate with me.

Today Bob & I are journeying to Oregon
where we will join his sister and her family.
We will gather to give back to one another
The love we have shared on this life’s journey.

We will hear the echo of Bonnie’s husband
As their daughter and son speak of the ways
Their dad sent out, sowed, and radiated love
During his 86 years here on this earth.

As we travel today, Bob and I acknowledge
The grace of God that has allowed us to share
These six decades with one another –
And we take not one of those chapters for granted.

Stan Hunt’s chapters on earth have ended,
But we know his story doesn’t end here.
We know death is not an end to our journey;
It is a beginning of our eternal life – forever with our Lord.

We will share, hug, and weep for our loss,
And we will assure one another of the faith we have.
We know we will see one another in eternity.
We will continue the journey – writing our masterpiece!

Have a beautiful Sunday, my friends.
I send you my love
as we journey this life together.


See ya tomorrow (God willing),
JanBeek

Embrace Inner Strength


Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

“Why do we need compassion?
Experience tells us that it brings inner strength.
It also benefits others
and we face many unnecessary problems
when we lack it.

To understand this
we must develop a holistic way
of seeing the bigger picture,
which means we must use our intelligence.”

Dalai Lama@DalaiLama



Inner Strength brings peace
When we use it to create
Inner compassion

Then compassion brings
Inner strength when we use it
To show outer peace

Peace be with you, my friends.
Tomorrow we’ll be on our way to Oregon
to be with my sister-in-law
as we celebrate the life and memory
of her husband of 60+ years.

May your soul
Rest in peace, Stanley P Hunt.

And my dear WordPress Friends,
May your day be filled with peace and blessings,
compassion and inner strength.
God bless you!

Hugs,
JanBeek


P.S. May you find sweet peace that passes understanding.

Embrace Haibun


There are days when it seems harder than others to put on a happy face, don’t you agree? I don’t have a lot of those, so when I do, they usually are memorable.

I remember one such day when my dad was out of sorts. He was a business owner. Not the typical image of a “business owner” that comes to mind when you hear that description. His business was a Tallow Works. Do you know what that is? It’s a place that picks up dead animals from farmers and ranchers and meat scraps from butcher shops. All parts of those animals and scraps are processed. It’s a smelly business.

It’s devastating
Beloved animals die
Someone hauls them off

This is called a Haibun. It is a brief couple of paragraphs of prose, followed by a Haiku that adds dimension to the prose!

Oh, Lordy, Lordy!! My blog is supposed to share love, joy, peace, faith, and unity. How I got off on a kick of wanting to share various forms of poetry is all Dwight Roth’s fault! Blame him! He tried my Shadorma poetry and invited me to try his Haibun.

https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/2021/04/08/on-fire/

But he can’t be blamed for my morbid Haibun and photo today. My mind just went there after reading a post by someone who was recalling a sadness from their childhood. That day when Dad and I went to pick up a dead horse sticks in my memory because the horse was a child’s pet. It wasn’t like one of a herd of beef cattle or some old cow that got into the clover field, ate too much, bloated, and bit the dust!

My experiences with my dad, riding with him on weekends as we went to various farms to pick up the dead animals, usually were not sad times. I treasured one-on-one time with Daddy, and I was happy to get that time under whatever circumstances! The death of animals didn’t seem morbid to me. It was just part of the cycle of life! You know – like egg to tadpole, froglet to frog!

But on that particular Saturday, the animal’s young owner was there, crying as Dad hauled her beloved horse into the truck and we drove away. The horse did not represent the cycle of life. It was too young, and so was its owner! That was a day when it was harder to put on a happy face, you know?

This weekend Bob & I are headed to my brother-in-law’s funeral. He was 86. He led a good life. He was a believer who knew where he was headed when he left this earth. But, he had just had a knee replacement – just a week before – and he thought he had a lot of years left to enjoy the greater mobility that knee would give him. However, it is not our privilege to count our days!

Dying is, indeed, part of the cycle of life!

“Everyone who lives
and believes in me
will never die.
Do you believe this?”

— John 11:26

S’pose that horse and sweet little girl will be reunited in Heaven?

It’s the life cycle
Beloved animals die
Are they in Heaven?

Bye for now.
See ya tomorrow –
God willing!

JanBeek

Embrace your Open Heart


No, not like open heart surgery!
It’s your open heart of love and compassion!
It’s an open heart, ready to listen and respond.

In Chapter 8 of Nehemiah,

“…all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”

With open hearts, they “lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord.”

Do you listen eagerly with an expectant mind and heart? Do you listen with a mind that genuinely wants to know more? If so, you will hear the Lord speaking to you when you earnestly pray.

Photo by lucas souza on Pexels.com


Yesterday I was encouraged to listen – to engage “ears that really hear” – as I bowed in reverence to God while up in my sanctuary. I was feeling badly that no one from our Beekman family was scheduled to be in Oregon next Monday for Bob’s brother-in-law’s funeral. Bob’s sister, Bonnie, lost her husband, Stan, last week. Bonnie has three brothers. Two are in California and plan to go to Stan’s burial later this month. It is scheduled to occur in his hometown cemetery in southern CA. But, we are here in Montana … and were not planning to attend either event. We had lots of excuses. None of them seemed to be holding water!

God spoke loudly and clearly to me
as I opened my heart
to His message
in the daily devotional,
In Touch,
by Charles Stanley.

“So many things clamor for our focus,
but nothing is as important
as what the Lord has to say.
He is worthy of our undivided attention.”

“Open your heart,” God said to me.
“Nothing is more important in your life
next week than to be with Bonnie.”

So we will fly to Oregon on Sunday. We will be there to demonstrate our open hearts of love for Bob’s sister and her family. We will not live with “If Only” in our hearts.

It will be a short trip. We’ll return here for those other important obligations on Tuesday… but the Sunday/Monday things can wait. God said “THIS IS MY MESSAGE TO YOU.” And He said it loud and clear. “Open your hearts. Open your wallets. Reschedule what you planned to do here. Find ways to delegate. You’re not indispensable here. Schedule your plane, rental car, and hotel. BE THERE!”

So, dear WordPress friends, if you don’t see a post Sunday or Monday, you’ll know why. How many consecutive days I have posted is not a number that is worth worrying about. Opening our hearts to our loved one who has lost her spouse… that’s the focus!

They were with us when we celebrated Bob’s 80th two years ago.

“Rest assured that whoever listens to God’s Word
with an open heart and alert mind
will receive from Him.”

Charles Stanley

I love the Lord, for He heard my voice;
He heard my cry for mercy.
Because He turned His ear to me,
I will call on Him as long as I live.

Psalm 116:1-2

If God can turn His ear to me
and respond with an open heart of love.
Who am I not to return the gesture?

Are you ready to
EMBRACE YOUR OPEN HEART, too?


I’m off to volunteer this afternoon at the medical center’s vaccination center.
Yay!

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Shadorma


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Click click click
The sound of typing
Is silent
There’s no click
Tapping on today’s keyboard
I miss it. Don’t you?

I love learning new poetic forms. Today Rahul Gaur introduced me to the shadorma. His example of it is superb. You can find it here: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/84993506/posts/3274493365

Smoke Words Every Day Tumse Na Ho Payega

The roaring
Of an angry cat
Who’s hungry
Tells you “Run!”
Especially a lion –
Not a pussy cat!



The shadorma is a six-line, 26-syllable poem (or a stanza – you can write a poem that is made of multiple shadorma stanzas). The syllable count by line is 3/5/3/3/7/5. So, like the haiku, the lines are relatively short. Rather poetically, the origin of the shadorma is mysterious.

Embrace Shadorma
Give it a try!

Embrace Maturing


Embrace Maturing –
Not everyone does with age;
Some remain childish!

Happy Birthday, Son,
Our 56 year old boy –
You’re God’s gift to us!

I posted some pics
On my Facebook page today.
Here’s WordPress sharing:

Maturity is to be embraced.
Never fear growing older.
It is a privilege denied to many –
Embrace aging and getting bolder.

Life is full of great surprises.
Improving since those Little League Days.
From riding toy horses and tractors
To inheriting a Porsche and a smile that stays.

If you have your dear wife and your health,
If you have friends, a good job, and kids
Who love and appreciate who you are,
With God’s help, you won’t land on the skids!

Our son, Ty, always was a great ham.
He played George’s role in the school play
When he was about ten-years-old.
Of course, a star was born that day!

We’ve always been proud of who he is –
Pleased as punch with the man he’s become.
A devoted husband, a loving grandpa, too –
And to many a neighbor, a reliable chum.

His faith in the Lord has strengthened with age,
The maturity of his belief’s a wonder to behold
May he live a long, fruitful life in retirement –
And never fail to share God’s wisdom. Just be bold!


Our daughter-in-law, Monika by his side
Is a marvelous complement to our son.
May they live to a ripe old age together –
In the end hearing, “Well done, good and faithful ones!”

Love from Mom & Dad Bee

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today-
Embrace Maturing!

See ya tomorrow.
Happy Birthday, Ty – and Bill Welge, too!

Embrace Rising


Embrace your rising –
Overcoming differences,
Gaining Unity.

Embrace compassion
As you rise above hatred
And join Christ in love.

He rose from the dead
That we might be free of sin –
Free to simply love.

The occasion calls
For us to rise up with Him
In common purpose.

One in heart and soul,
We rise above pettiness
Gaining commitment.

We are invited
To rise up and overcome.
Embrace your rising!

Out from the tomb like Jesus…
Up from the grave like Lazarus,
Rise Up!

If Jesus rose from the tomb today…

Have a Blessed Monday!
I send you my love and prayers…
Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Easter!


He is risen indeed!

My day started with a 7:00 am Sunrise Service at our Madison Range putting green.
The sun worked to peek out through the cloudy sky.

A small, but appreciate gathering
lifted voices to sing
“He Arose!”
and
“He Lives!”

Mule deer gathered close by to listen to our singing
and nibble at the emerging greenery.
Spring is just thinking about making its debut here!

Usually right after sunrise service, we go as a group to the Baptist Church and enjoy a yummy breakfast of assorted baked goodies and egg casseroles. This year, because of COVID-19, we had to be content to go home and make our own breakfast. Afterward, we went to church where we wore masks, socially distanced, and enjoyed the sermon of the day delivered by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley.

It was Communion Sunday as well as Holy Easter Sunday.
A very meaningful ritual … being able to partake in person with other Christian friends.
Our sermon topic was “Sometimes It Causes Me to Tremble.”

What are your earliest
Memories of Easter Sunday?
Yellow crocuses, dogwoods,
And eggs hidden slightly away?

What are your earliest
Memories of recognizing in your life
God, the Risen Christ?
Do you have to think twice?

My memory was on a morning
When I’d victoriously ridden
My bike down a steep hill –
Suddenly God was not hidden.

I’m reminded of Mary Magdalene
With the other Mary who saw
That Jesus was not in the tomb.
An angel said He’d risen – such awe!

They were terrified to realize
You can’t escape God in Jesus.
They told no one what they heard –
Too scared… a Savior to relieve us?

They thought their hopes and dreams
Had been buried and sealed away,
Buried with Him – they believed.
They all deserted Christ that day.

Peter had denied Christ three times.
The other disciples hid in fear.
Have we also denied the messenger
Who told us Jesus is alive and here?

The Easter miracle assures us
Our crucified Lord is running free.
He is waiting for us to come out
Of hiding to see Him. He waits for me!

Am I ready to believe the story
Of a man who dies, but rose again?
Am I ready to understand that He
Suffered that agony to free me from sin?

The Risen Christ stands before me
With nail prints in His hands and side.
Am I ready to hear the Good News
And know there’s no where I can hide?

With fear and amazement this Easter,
I will not go away from the empty tomb-
Back to daily routine, forgetting Him.
No, with reverence I acknowledge Christ in this room.

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres
Ineffably sublime.

All hail, Redeemer, Hail!
For Thou hast died for me.
Thy praise shall never, never fail
Throughout eternity.

Amen.

EMBRACE EASTER

It comes but once a year
Yet its significance
Lives in our hearts daily…
Thank God for the gift
of His Son
who secured my spot
and yours
in heaven.

Praise Him! Alleluia!
Amen!

Oh, and in the afternoon,
we had the joy of a visit from our granddaughter, Hope,
and her husband, Drew, and their two children
(our great-grandchildren, Xander and Sienna).

Hope & Drew
Xander
Sienna
Hunting for Easter eggs
Hope with Sienna
Isn’t this a fun appetizer tray?
And for a larger crowd,
how about this one?

Did you send out and receive a few Easter cards this season?
I did.. and I enjoyed every one.
I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you:

That was decorated with a glitter cupcake by our darling Ruby…
with a note added from her big brother, first grader, Cord.
So precious!!

And now,
the eggs are gone.
The Easter ham left-overs are in the fridge.
The family departed.
The dishes are looming large –
Begging to be done…
But first, join me and the Easter bunny, will you?
Sit down and relax.
Contemplate the day…
Think about what Easter means.
Thank God for the gift of His Son.
Let’s drink a toast to Eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom.
The dishes can wait!
My computer’s about to run outta battery…

Hope you had a Happy Easter weekend.


Have a good night.
See ya tomorrow.

Sending lots of love,
JanBeek

Embrace Emptiness


Lest our cup be emptied,
There’s no room for any more.
Lest we leave the empty tomb
We won’t know what is in store.

So, let’s embrace the emptiness
With gratitude and grace
Knowing that on the morn,
We’ll see the Savior’s face.

Meantime, in the emptiness
Of this quiet Holy Saturday,
Contemplate the miracle of His grace
And thank Him for coming our way.

Today we experience loneliness
Like the day after a loved one’s funeral…
But tomorrow we will understand
The gift He gave of Life Eternal.

God bless you, my friends.
I send my love,
JanBeek

Embrace Karfreitag


Embrace Karfreitag!
That’s German for “Sorrowful Friday.”
The same day named “Guode Friday”
in Old English back in the 1200’s.

I always wondered how it got named “Good.”
What’s good about the Friday when Christ died?
I’m more apt to agree with the Germans”
It’s a sorrowful day!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Baltimore Catechism from 1885
says it is “Good Friday”
because it’s the day
Jesus showed his great love for mankind.

Matthew 27:46

And about three o’clock
Jesus cried with a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema tabachthani?”
that is,
“My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:59-61

“Joseph took the body,
wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
and placed it in his own new tomb…
He rolled a big stone in front
of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
were sitting there opposite the tomb.”

Today is the day when Jesus seems gone.
Mary and Mary Magdalene
wept in front of the giant rock
that was between them and the One they loved.
Can you imagine their despair?

The reason I am embracing “Karfreitag!”
is because I think it would be a shame
to jump from Sorrowful Friday
to the joy of Easter morning
without sitting for a day
and contemplating the
sorrow that surrounded
Christ’s death.

Imagine yourself at the tomb.
Imagine the shock of finding
Jesus gone…
with the stone rolled away.

Tomorrow is called
“Holy Saturday.”
This is all that is written about it:

The next day the Pharisees
and chief priests went to Pilate.
“Sir, they said, we remember
that while he was still alive
that deceiver said,
‘After three days I will rise again.’
So give the order
for the tomb
to be made secure
until the third day…”

What would you have thought
if you had seen this scene
on the day after Jesus died?

Holy Saturday
is a day to pause
gather our thoughts,
process what happened,
and get ready for the
beautiful message
of Easter.

See you tomorrow.
Love to you,
JanBeek

Before you go,
treat yourself to this wonderful rendition
of one of my favorite hymns
by a phenomenal boys’ choir …
joined by the wonderful men’s voices
of the King’s College Choir.
You’ll be glad you did!


Embrace Enthusiasm


Are you enthused about life?
Have you overcome great strife?
Are you ready to step out enthusiastically
To conquer your challenges gleefully?

I am enthused because I look forward to returning to my volunteering today at the Madison Valley Medical Center. Ever since this pandemic shutdown last March, all the volunteers were told to stay home, socially distance, be safe, and wait this thing out. So this wonderful group of ladies who have annually saved the hospital the salary and benefits of at least two full-time staff members (as well as raising thousands of dollars in fund-raisers to donate for medical center needs) have been shut out. Yes, it was for our own safety… as well as others … but TODAY I GET TO GO BACK!!

I’m 3rd from the left second row…
And yes, you read that correctly –
it’s 31 thousand seven hundred dollars!

I am also enthusiastic today because after a year of searching with the Pastor Nominating Committee for a new pastor to lead our congregation forward following this strange year, we can see a light at the end of the tunnel! Our pastor of 32 years died and we’ve had a wonderful interim pastor who went out of retirement to help us. He is enthusiastically looking forward to returning to the retired life. I am looking forward to taking the next steps with our committee and our #1 candidate – – – enthusiasm bubbles over in all involved! What a wonderful way to approach Easter Sunday!

Today is Maundy Thursday. It’s the day Jesus invited the disciples into the upper room, washed their feet, and served the Last Supper. It was not with enthusiasm that they heard Him say He would die, be buried, and rise again in three days. They didn’t understand. But, I understand – so I am enthused!

The Last Supper

I am enthusiastic about the coming of Easter. I know we must endure the pain of “Good Friday” – wondering what’s good about the day Jesus dies on the cross. But, we know the rest of the story, so we can live through the remembrance of Christ’s misery because we know the way the story ends.

As a child I remember being enthusiastic about the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts. I see no harm in that, but as an adult the focus on Easter eggs doesn’t enthuse me… not unless the story that accompanies them is the reminder of the empty tomb when the child finds the plastic egg with no candy in it… and that child is the one who wins the Golden Egg – and realizes the empty egg was the favored one!

I just returned from volunteering at the medical center as a “Purple Lady” … member of the Auxiliary. I am enthused telling you that the two nurses and a host of staff members made it possible for around 120 Madison County residents to receive their vaccines today. Many of those were receiving their second shot. I enthusiastically look forward to “herd immunity.”

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com
COVID-19 BE GONE!!

Here is my Haiku series celebrating enthusiasm:

Enthusiasm
It’s a feeling of great joy
Anticipation

It’s sweet engagement
In delightful chosen tasks
Active involvement

Looking bright ahead
Accomplishments come at last
Feeling in God’s Will

Seeing smiles around
Others feeling included
Successful efforts

Anticipating
Hearing “Congratulations!”
It’s a job well done

It’s shared excitement
Knowing we have done our best
Enthusiasm!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Embrace Enthusiasm

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today
Have a Blessed Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

What are you enthusiastic about today?

I’m enthused that you are here, my friend.
Bee well!!
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace ExpectationS


Yesterday I posted a question,
“What do you expect
When you hear Expectation?”
Today I added an S to the word.

What does that do to the meaning for you?
Derrick Knight responded yesterday saying,
“Expectation can sometimes be a touch optimistic.”
The picture of the pregnant gal shows such optimism to me.

She is probably more than “a touch” optimistic!

Photo by Laura Garcia on Pexels.com

Expectation to me is personal.
It is what I am looking forward to – or not.
But the added S causes it to take on a different nuance.
“Expectations” often come from others in my mind.


In Luke 21:26, the expectation the men felt was the “or not.”

“… men fainting
from fear and the expectation
of the things which are coming upon the world;
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

Photo by Aaron Kittredge on Pexels.com

But in Philippians, the expectation is that optimistic viewpoint Derrick was talking about:

Philippians 1:20

As it is my eager expectation and hope
that I will not be at all ashamed,
but that with full courage now as always
Christ will be honored in my body,
whether by life or by death.

Expectations from others can often produce stress. People sometimes put pressure on us to be more than we feel capable of being.

On the other hand, expectations can be motivating. Is someone expecting you to perform right now? Is that person an encourager, telling you, “You can do this! You’re strong enough… smart enough… capable enough”?

Embrace those expectations!
Believe those accolades.
Let that encouragement motivate you.
You are not given more than you can do…
… with God’s help!

I just listened to a podcast with Bob Goff interviewing Anne Lamott.
She touched on this topic of “given more than you can do.”
Quite interesting!
Her take is different, but equally as valid.
You may want to go and hear that podcast.
(I hope this link will take you there)
https://dreambigframework.com/podcast-1/326anne?utm_term=0_be8b3e9633-80b1855f1d-132966261

In yesterday’s Daily Word,
the word for March 30, 2021 was “Expectation.”
The statement at the top of the page was,

“Expectation keeps me passionate about my life.”

In the article expounding on the subject, the message emphasized was:

“Expectation keeps me in a state of gratitude…
I claim peace, prosperity, and joy in prayer.
I carry a confident expectation into my daily life.”

In the midst of this pandemic, with social distancing, mask-wearing, and the administration of vaccines becoming more and more politicized, it is sometimes difficult to follow the advice of that Daily Word message. Sometimes when the expectations of the world weigh us down, when dissension and divisiveness try to bury our joy, it is easy to fall into a dark mood.

So, the message today is to take those expectations
And color them brightly with the promises of Easter.
Remember that today marks the day that Jesus was
Honored with a flask of expensive perfume poured on him.

The disciples who were scornful were reminded
To keep their focus on the expectations of Christ:
He knew He would die, be buried, and rise again.
My expectation is to do the same – due to His sacrifice.

I am planted today with the expectation
That I will grow from the Sea of Expectations
To rise in encouragement and hope-
So that I can spread that optimism to others.

EMBRACE POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS

Have a Happy, Meaningful Holy Week.
Whatever you are being called to do,
believe you can, expect that you will.
Get on with it!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

I expect to
See ya tomorrow!

Embrace Expectation


Photo by Laura Garcia on Pexels.com

What do you expect
When you hear “Expectation”?

Embrace Guidance


What does the word GUIDANCE mean to you?
What comes to mind?

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

When I put the word “guidance”
in my Pexel image search,
this picture of a smart phone –
bringing the GPS image to mind –
came up on my screen.
Is that your idea of guidance?

Photo by Michael Block on Pexels.com

What kind of guidance does this second image bring to mind?
Maybe allowing your surroundings,
the sun and moon, the mountains, to guide you?
Do they give you a sense of direction?
Is that what guidance means to you?

Photo by Anand Dandekar on Pexels.com

A lighthouse guides ships through the night-
Especially in a storm when it is hard to see the shore.
This kind of guidance involves a light that points the way,
gives a warning, keeps the vessel from crashing into the rocks.

Photo by Prashant Gautam on Pexels.com

I searched through many photos
before finding the light
that spelled guidance to me –
and this one sort of does it.

It’s the Light that dawns
Each morning as I look to the heavens
And ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
It’s the light of God that shines in and through me.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Guidance that comes through prayer
And the study of God’s word
And time spent listening for His direction
Is the guidance I can count on.



Isaiah 30:21
21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
“This is the way; walk in it.”

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Where do you get your guidance?
Do you pass it along to others
Who are on the journey of life with you?
Wise guidance from fellow believers is treasured.

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

If you look to others for direction
And you play “Follow the Leader,”
Be sure your guides are tuned in
To the God of your Salvation!

In this Holy Week as we anticipate Easter,
Look for guidance in prayer and the scriptures;
Look for guidance in other Christ followers.
Give guidance to the lost and help them.

Help them find their way this Holy Week
To the foot of the cross where Jesus
Showed us with His death and resurrection
The true pathway to our final destination.

Jesus prays for our guidance daily

Let Him be your guide…
And rejoice in the path He shows you:
The LIGHTED Path to Eternal Life.
Hallelujah! May He be your Guide forever!

EMBRACE GUIDANCE

Amen!

Have a Happy Holy Week!
I send you lotsa love and hugs.
JanBeek

Embrace Help


Have you ever listened to someone for a minute and thought
“Their cornbread isn’t done in the middle” ??

My beef stew this noon needed cornbread to accompany it.

And the cornbread WAS cooked all the way through.
What does this have to do with Palm Sunday?
Sometimes I stew over the way the disciples
led Jesus to his demise in Jerusalem.

It’s rather corny to suggest that they
were half baked. But they were!
They didn’t have a clue about what
Jesus was about!

Even though he told them
He was going to die
and rise again in three days,
they were as clueless
as those peppers in my stew!

“Hosanna!” they shouted.
“Hosanna in the highest!”

Do you know what Hosanna means?
I thought it was an expression of celebration.
Nope, it means, “Help me!”
And that’s just what He did.
But, like half-baked cornbread,
they had no idea how He was helping them.

Today’s sermon notes from the message
by Rev. Steve Hundley at the
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana
was titled,
“Going Through the Motions”

Imagine a small church in a small town.
Imagine how the congregation is feeling down.
Their brothers and sisters are being slaughtered.
They’ve forgotten what Jesus did for their sons and daughters.

Imagine the preacher having just received Mark,
The book that recalls Jesus’ light in the dark.
The description of the first Palm Sunday
Leaves out important things that happened that one day.

Mark doesn’t talk about the presence of crowds.
He does write that some shouted aloud
“Hosanna!” but he made the folks sound mundane,
And he paints the disciples as being quite lame!

Abraham was asked what he thought of the telling.
He said he thought it was just what they were yelling.
“Hosanna” means HELP US and that is what
Jesus did as He told them He’d empty His cup
on the cross that day. Listen up!

He said He would rise again, but they didn’t understand.
We’re like that – just marching along with the band.
Help us this Holy Week to do more than go through
The motions to recognize what You had to do.

Lord, You’ve known the clamor of over 2,000 Sundays
When people wave palm branches as if it’s fun days.
Allow us to stop just going through the motions,
And instead prayerfully express our devotions.

You gave Your life on the cross, O Lord,
So that we might understand where we’re headed toward.
It’s not a deep dark hole for eternity without You.
It is Heaven with You – fully baked – clear through!

Help us, O Lord, to live this Holy Week
Fully alive – remembering You – the One we seek.
You are the bread of life – who died and rose again.
You’re the yeast in life who will come again. Amen!

EMBRACE the HELP
that only God can give.
Hosanna!

He came.
He lived.
He died.
He rose.
He will come again.

Don’t just go through the motions this Easter
EMBRACE the HELP that Jesus offers us
By His life, His teaching, His example,
And let your example be “baked clear through!”
Amen

Have a blessed week.
Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Tranquility


The ticking of the clock –
The music of chimes’ agility –
The puppy in the corner snoring –
Ah, such tranquility!

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Ecclesiastes 4:6

“Better is a handful of quietness
than two hands full of toil
and a striving after wind.”

The windmill worked its way
Into the ground with daily spinning.
Standing quiet and tall, the hills
Live in tranquility – stillness winning.

Tranquility is not always stillness;
Sometimes it is purposeful motion –
Tossing away burdens and keeping
Hours of exercise and devotion.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Proverbs 14:30

“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.”

Tranquility at the core of your soul
Is the result of a heart filled with love.
Your bones cry out in joy when you
Let peace and calm in from above.

The Prayer of St. Francis

When you sow peace, love, hope,
Light, faith, pardon and joy,
Tranquility enters your being –
And no earthly tension can destroy.


James 3:18

“And a harvest of righteousness
is sown in peace
by those who make peace.”

Inside my kitchen cabinet

Arriving at a state of tranquility
In the midst of all this earth’s pain
Is like standing in a gorgeous garden
After a long, earth-quenching rain.

Derrick & Jackie’s garden

Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.”

And to that we might add,

“Blessed are the gardeners,
for they shall find tranquility
in the beauty of their creation.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A sure path to tranquility:
Keep your eyes on the Son.
Easter is coming and so we know
Death did not win… Eternal Tranquility won!!

EMBRACE TRANQUILITY

SEE ya tomorrow (God willing)

What will you do today
to feel the tranquility
that is God’s gift to you?

I’m sending Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Proximity


Proximity
Is nearness
Space that’s measured
Feeling a treasured presence
Closeness

Tomorrow may be in heaven…
But there is a tomorrow for all Children of God

Movement
Closing in
Walking toward you
Feeling your loving care
Proximity

Bonnie & Stan
60 years of standing together,
Leaning on one another
Treasuring proximity

Movement
Closing in
Walking toward you
Feeling your loving care
Proximity

Dream
Embrace Proximity
We never know
How long we’ll have
Together


Bob & Jan
59 years and treasuring our proximity

Wishes
Are important
Dreams stay big
My wish for you:
Proximity

My sister-in-law, Bonnie, had the gift of her children and grandchildren’s close proximity yesterday as she dealt with the grief of separation. Hopefully they will ease the pain with beautiful shared memories. One of my other sisters-in-law sent me these pictures of Stan today. (If you follow my post, you know Bonnie’s husband died yesterday). I will post a few of Ann Beekman’s photos here so you can feel the proximity of this crazy family – full of joy and love for one another.

The Beekman/Hunt/Payne family guys
Stan clowning behind Bob & Bruce
Bonnie & Stan at a family dinner
Bonnie & Stan at our granddaughter, Faith’s wedding
Stan & Bonnie after an Hawaiian trip
A souvenir hat from Hawaii
Stan loved hats –
Guess where this one came from!

May the memories of my dear brother-in-law remain alive in our hearts
And the proximity of his character comfort and sustain all his loved ones.

What’s a favorite memory you pray
your family and friends will use
to help them remember you
when you are gone?

What photo will keep you in close proximity to them?

Here’s mine!

Stand by me
Lean on me
Embrace Proximity

See ya tomorrow
JanBeek

Embrace Kindness


Bob’s brother-in-law, Stan, died
At noon today, Oregon time.
Our hearts are heavy, of course,
But we hear heaven’s bells chime.

The Lord is blessed to receive
His creation back into His arms.
Our arms ache for one more hug,
One more poem with all his charms.

We’re not the only ones who’ve lost
A loved one to death this year.
This pandemic has taken too many
And this virus is not over, we fear.

As Stan was lying in his hospital bed,
Health care workers included his daughter, a nurse.
So many of our faithful ones have stepped up to help
Or else this COVID-19 would have been much worse.

The kindness shown by the hospital staff
Helped the family cope with their loss.
The kindness we all show every day
Is a way we live what we learn at the cross.

Stan’s death was not the result of the virus,
But his departure carries with it the sting
Of a beautiful life ended on earth.
Can we focus now on how the angels sing?

Showing kindness to the folks we meet
Is a way to acknowledge their pain.
We know everyone has a burden to bear;
And many don’t have the words to explain.

My neighbor has a treasured pet who is sick,
My friend lost her brother yesterday.
My husband’s fisher buddy needs surgery,
And my granddaughter has bills she can’t pay.

The man with the gun was bullied in his youth,
And he took out his hate in a store.
The victims’ families are beside themselves.
We all are wondering how we can take any more.

Embrace kindness as a first line of defense.
Embrace kindness as the action you choose.
Embrace kindness, for you know in your heart
It’s the way to show love and help hate defuse.

Bible Verses about ‘Kindness’

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.— 1 Corinthians 13:4-5


As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.— Colossians 3:12

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.— Galatians 5:22-23

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.— Ephesians 4:32

EMBRACE KINDNESS TODAY
(and every day!)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow
(Lord willing)

Embrace Comfort


Embrace Comfort

Embrace
The comfort
Offered by others
Then return the favor
Comfort

Comfort
Makes life
A little easier
Even in our sorrow
Care

Whisper
Your cares
To our God
He hears every word
Believe

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Reach
Hold hands
Hug your friends
Even virtual hugs matter
Express

Love
Is comfort
Comfort in Action
Never underestimate your love
Increase!

Last night Bob & I received word that his brother-in-law, Stan, was in ICU. He had fallen in the shower and was unconscious. The paramedics came, performed CPR, broke three of his ribs in the process, but made sure he was breathing. Took him to the hospital. Stan and Bob’s sister, Bonnie, live in Oregon. We can’t hop in the car and go there, but thanks to technology, we can reach out in love. We can pray and ask our friends to pray, too. God hears. God cares. We can show we care, too.

Today we learned that the family has asked for Stan to be taken off of life support. He never regained consciousness… and if he survived, his brain would not be functioning properly. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not continued life on this earth, but the peace and comfort of eternal life. Thank God for our faith. We know we will meet again in heaven.

There are so many ways to show love. What are some of the ways you embrace comfort across the miles?

EMBRACE COMFORT



Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.


Hope to see you tomorrow.

I’m sending my love your way.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Knowing our dear Stan is departing his earthly body,
I am sending this lovely video
“If Tomorrow Starts Without Me”
to comfort
our sweet Bonnie and their children,
Tammy & Todd…
and all the Hunt/Smith/Beekman family
with my love.
May they find it comforting.

Embrace Borrowed Time


Another Massacre

Ten people were killed, including a veteran police officer, during a mass shooting Monday inside a grocery store in Boulder, Colo.

Another Senseless Loss of Lives

Another Sick Man with a Gun

Police officer among dead in Boulder, Colorado supermarket shooting

I could have been in that supermarket, in line to get my vaccine. You could have, too.

Many of us live as though there is no tomorrow. We simply have no concept of a world without us and yet each second the clock ticks away is one less second off our lives and as David said, “It is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

WE ARE LIVING ON BORROWED TIME

Psalms 90:10
The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span[a] is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.

James 4:13-14
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.


The average life span (world-wide) is less than 70 years but should we live beyond 70 years those extra years are seldom years of joy and happiness. Too many of our elderly in the USA are in nursing homes, separated from family, suffering from illness and loneliness.

If you are like Bob & me: in your 80s and relatively healthy, living independently in your home, count your blessings, praise God, and take no breath for granted!

Our whole existence is a gift from God. From the day of our birth until the day of our death we are on borrowed time.

What is the Meaning of Life?

One of the great questions of all time is, What is the meaning of life?

The Bible is filled with answers to that important question.

Eccl. 12:13
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Mark 12:30
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”

I am blessed to use my time to spread love, joy, peace, faith and unity. That is my blog’s purpose. In my retirement – in my borrowed time, I share my love with you and I gratefully worship my Creator, calling out God’s name. Sharing the name of Jesus and living with the Holy Spirit as my guide. I live with an attitude of gratitude and a response of generosity, forgiveness, obedience, and integrity. I know each day is a gift. Each breath could be my last.

WE NEED TO BE USING OUR TIME WISELY

Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

Jn. 6:28-29
28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

As Christians we are not to manage our time the same way the world manages theirs. We must make sure that we seek God in everything that we do. We are to organize our time and plan wisely for the future. There are time management apps that we can download on our phones that we should all take advantage of. If you’re old school a simple notepad or calendar will help.

We are to take care of the most important tasks first. We should pray for God to remove procrastination and idleness from our lives. We should seek to do God’s will daily.

GOOGLE Rick Warren’s 25 Important Bible verses… pray about each one.

EXAMPLES OF WASTING TIME

The Prodigal Son as described in Lk. 15:11-13 wasted his wealth, his strength, his youth and his energy on riotous living but mostly he wasted his time.

Samson wasted his strength and testimony with a woman who was of the enemies of God.

The rich farmer in Lk. 12:16-19 was preoccupied with the wealth of this world and gave no thought to the world to come.

Continually meditate on Scripture and allow the Lord to direct your life. Everything in this life will burn. Don’t put your focus on the world.

A woman who had been living a very high-pressured life moved with her family from the city to the country. The family had resolved to reduce the stresses and tensions that they had been under by entering into a gentler, easier life-style. A neighbor called on the mother one day and noticed something that had been pinned on the family bulletin board. She asked about it and the mother said, “Oh, that’s a poem that represents what our moving here was all about. The poem starts out, “Lord slow me down..” But I haven’t had time to read the rest of it.”

Before Tonight’s Sunset:

  • Thank God for another day on this earth
  • Pray for souls of the people whose lives were senselessly lost in yesterday’s massacre – for the families of the victims* – and for that sick man and his family
  • Pray for an end to hate
  • Pray for peace in our world
  • Reach out to someone and express your love and appreciation for him/her
  • Determine what you can do tomorrow to make this a better world – right where you are

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

God Bless You!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)


* Here is one of the victims – a father of seven children,
the youngest of whom is seven years old.

Dear Lord,
please put an end
to this senseless hate
and needless killings.
Help us just love one another!!
Amen


EMBRACE YOUR RESET OPTIONS

It’s five o’clock in the morning
I’ve slept the whole night through
But five is too early to rise for me
Is it too early for you?

I pushed the reset button
And told my mind to relax
But it just wouldn’t stop sayin’
Go dig in the fridge for some snacks!

Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.com

I found some left-over pizza
And a bottle of wine jumped out, too
But it’s only five in the morning
Too early to drink and to chew

Go back to bed said my senses
Close up the computer and fridge
But that pizza looked so tempting
Come join me – we’ll eat just a smidge!

Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.com

When I saw in the corner a bottle
Of that left-over yummy red wine
So what if it’s five in the morning
Come join me – it tastes mighty fine!

Reset the clock for tomorrow
It’ll be here before we are through
And maybe you can slip under the covers
Before anyone else has a clue

Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.com

This ain’t my usual posting
No scriptures or sermon notes here
But, heck it’s five in the morning
And the Devil needed his reset, too!

EMBRACE YOUR RESET OPTIONS



Thanks for clickin’ in to JanBeek
See ya tomorrow?

Or maybe at a decent time later today…

Embrace the Journey


“On the Road to Easter”
was the title of today’s sermon
by Rev. Steve Hundley
at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana

Come join me as we EMBRACE the JOURNEY

Lent is upon us and
Easter is only two weeks away.
Next week we’ll celebrate
Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem that day.

Jesus arrived in glory.
Then, we see Jesus carry
His cross to Golgotha.
We’ll journey to where they’ll bury
His body in the rocky tomb
Before Easter will finally dawn.
The journey is a painful one –
A time when His family thinks He’s gone.

It reminds me that life
Is a journey of great proportion
And we have markers along the way.
Some show where others made their fortune.
But few of us have monuments
Built to mark our stopping places –
Like Lewis and Clark’s various markers
And Jesus’ stopping spots – sacred spaces.

Our journey needs places of rest –
Places where we feel lifted up
The way Golgotha lifts us to Jesus
Knowing His death & resurrection gifted us.

Jesus spoke about His death
But the disciples didn’t want to hear.
They thought of death as an enemy.
Jesus said death means resurrection’s near.

Like a seed buried in the ground,
We must die and be buried to rise.
Jesus told His disciples He’d draw
The world to Himself with words so wise.

He spoke of His death as if
He had already died. He said
His death would serve God’s purpose.
His impact continues to grow – He is not dead!

As Easter approaches, we look
At the cross and make our way
To the Light; it illumines our path
To His miracle that happened Easter Day.

Hallelujah! Easter is coming!
Embrace the Journey.
Amen

Morning’s Comin’
We can make it though the Night!

Thanks for joining me on JanBeek today.
Have a beautiful Sunday afternoon/evening.

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Vision


I will be the rock of your salvation
In the hour of your deepest need,
You’ll find that I am here.
I am the God who sees.

I will lift you up again.
I will reveal and heal.
No need to feel despair.
I am the God who sees.

Embrace Vision.
Glory, glory Hallelujah!
Every knee will bow to Me.
I am the God who sees.

I see you.
Believe.

Embrace Authenticity


Authenticity:
Being who you’re meant to be –
It’s transparency.

It is no holds barred.
It’s vulnerability.
Open up your heart!

It is being seen –
Being appreciated –
Appreciating.

Appreciate those
Who are showing great courage
By being open.

Authenticity
Should always be rewarded
There’s no place for hate!

My heart is breaking.
The Asian community
Is hurting today.

Eight nonsense killings –
Six of those killed were Asian.
Questioning motive?

Coincidental?
I have trouble believing
It’s accidental.

Photo by Al-Azik Maulana Koentjoro on Pexels.com

Eradicate hate!
Hate has no place in our hearts.
Just love each other!

Anti-Asian words
Must come out of ignorance.
Don’t “they” know we’re ONE?

We’re all God’s children…
Created in His image.
Authentically His!

Let your voice be heard.
Speak with authenticity:
Speak loudly with LOVE!

What can each of us do to help eradicate hate?
What can we do to allow everyone to enjoy authentic freedom?
What can we do to demonstrate our oneness?
Embrace Authenticity!

Photo by Tuu1ea5n Kiu1ec7t Jr. on Pexels.com

Appreciate Beauty!

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

Honor the intelligence and love of all God’s people.

Be authentically proud of all who step up to serve.


Bee Authentically YOU –
You were made to be YOU… and it was no accident!
God Bless You!

Embrace Thoughtfulness


Embrace Thoughtfulness

It’s Thoughtful Thursday
A day to step back – reflect
What does today hold?

I won’t jump right in
I’ll stand at the water’s edge
Dip my toe in it

Think about the day
Ponder possibilities
Hear my soul speaking

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Embrace Thoughtfulness
Listen to thoughts as water
Falls with purity



Pile rocks as you pray
Putting important things first
Each rock is a task

Choose them carefully
Tasks are opportunities
Order thoughtfully

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Let your thoughts reflect
Then allow them to emerge
As a daily plan

Pause, pray and listen
Plan, and then jump in with faith
Embrace Thoughtfulness.

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Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence
and if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things.


Have a calm, thoughtful, and a purposeful Thursday.

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Embrace Mornings


Begin your morning
By clicking on this music.
Play it while you read.

Gaither Instrumentals

“Let me hear in the morning
of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.”

(Psalm 143:8)

Begin each morning
Asking God for direction.
He’ll happily point.

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His finger won’t trap
You in a dead-end pathway.
No traps with Jesus.

Start each of your days
By asking for direction.
Plan with the Son’s words.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.”

(Lamentations 3:22-23)

Begin your morning
With a prayer list to follow.
Put your friends on it.

Let them know you care.
Reach out with a text or call.
Lift them each morning.

Psalm 143:8 NIV

8 Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go,
for to You I entrust my life.

Back up to that music…
Scripture fades in and out
as the pictures and the music changes.
So beautiful!

Like the words up there,
Mornings come and mornings go.
Embrace your mornings.


Let them be a time
When you pray for God’s guidance
To live life fully.

Psalm 5:3 NIV

3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.

Lisa Glines’ photo

Every morning, my friend Lisa and I exchange a prayer with/for one another Often it includes a photo of our morning scene. She lives on the east coast. Her sunrises usually differ from mine. Her sky beyond that iconic dead tree is full of life… full of promise for each new day. The lake beyond differs from my Madison Range here in my Montana morning.

Together we pray for one another… for God to guide us and grant us peace. I take such comfort in her prayers.

Do you have a prayer partner who lifts you up in prayer each morning? If not, I highly recommend you find one. Find a friend who will send you his/her sunrise. Enjoy beginning your day with a mutual prayer for love, joy, peace, health, happiness, and safety.

Turn your morning over to God and ask Him to guide your footsteps each day. Embrace Mornings. Embrace Prayer. Embrace Life.

Have a beautiful morning.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!
Didja make that corned beef recipe I shared yesterday?
Mine’s in the crockpot.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Your Irishness


  1. On St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, everyone is a little bit Irish. Some more than others, of course. Embrace your Irishness!
  2. Check out the recipes below and go shopping for those ingredients today!
  3. Prepare a crockpot of corned beef and cabbage (you can do it today… it’ll taste better tomorrow after it sits in its flavorings overnight)
  4. Play a medley of Irish jigs and reels to keep you in the mood
  5. Bake some Irish cupcakes for dessert (see recipe from Better Homes & Gardens below)

Corned Beef and Cabbage

By Lena Abraham Mar 8, 2021 Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage Horizontal Ethan Calabrese

Synonymous with American St. Patrick’s day celebrations, corned beef and cabbage is the perfect hearty meal for a chilly mid-March night. Though this slow cooker version can be done in 4 to 4 1/2 hours on high, the brisket cooks best low and slow. If you’re looking to venture outside the spice packet, try out the homemade blend on this corned beef brisket.

Got leftovers? Check out our favorite corned beef leftover ideas

 
Yields: 6
Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 9 hours

INGREDIENTS:

2 or 3 medium yellow onion, cut into large wedges

2 or 3 large carrots, cut into thirds

1/2 lb. stalks celery, cut into thirds

8 to 12 baby potatoes, halved

2-3 lb corned beef brisket 

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 or 3 Tblsp. pickling spice

2 sprigs thyme

2 or 3 bay leaves

1 head of green cabbage, cut into large wedges

Directions

  1. Add onion, carrots, celery and potatoes to bowl of your crock pot. Place corned beef on top and season generously with salt, pepper, and pickling spices. Scatter thyme and bay leaves over meat and fill slow cooker bowl with water until it is almost completely covering the meat.
  2. Cook on low for 9 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 to 4 1/2 hours, until meat is tender. Add cabbage to crock pot and cook on high for 45 minutes to 1 hour more until cabbage is tender and cooked through. Remove meat and vegetables from slow cooker, slice and serve.
Hide a few 4 leaf clovers under the dinner plates…
Good luck finding them!!

Pot o’ Gold Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes I instantly think of Guinness cupcakes. This cupcake idea comes with a festive surprise inside to wow anyone who takes a bite.

By Alissa and Elise McGeehan
Source: Better Homes and Gardens


Share: Pot o’ Gold Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Recipe Summary

hands-on: 1 hr
total: 1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 24
Nutrition Info

Pot O' Gold Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • ¾ cup special dark cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s)
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur or caramel-flavor coffee creamer
  • ⅓ cup butterscotch-caramel sauce (such as Mrs. Richardson’s)
  • ½ cup assorted green and/or gold sprinkles

Directions

  • Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350°F. Line twenty-four 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with cupcake liners. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Step 2 – Melt the 1 cup butter in a saucepan over medium-low. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in Guinness, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and granulated sugar. Continue stirring until smooth.
  • Step 3 – In the bowl of an electric mixer combine brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Add melted butter mixture and beat on medium-low until cooled. Reduce to low. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until eggs are incorporated.
  • Step 4 – With mixer on medium, add flour mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. (They will be nearly full.)
  • Step 5 – Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Let cool in pans 5 minutes; remove to wire rack. Let cool.
  • Step 6 – For frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the softened butter on medium-high until creamy. Reduce speed; add powdered sugar, liqueur, caramel sauce, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  • Step 7 – Push the large end of a large pastry tip into center of each cupcake, twist to remove a plug of cupcake; set plugs aside. Fill each cupcake with approximately 1 teaspoon of the sprinkles. Trim off half the cupcake plugs and place in holes to seal in sprinkles. Pipe or frost cupcakes. Makes 24 cupcakes.
A refreshing drink to go with your dessert!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow!
See ya then…
Tell me how your day goes!

Don’t forget to look for that pot o’ gold under the rainbow!

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Embrace Monday


Monday

Embrace Monday now
It’s the only day you have
Live today fully!!

Embrace this new week
It’s the only week you have
Live this week fully

Today is the day
To be completely alive
Tomorrow’s not here

Morning will slip by
Gone – in the blink of an eye
But, there’s afternoon

Wet your plants today
Dance a jig in your front yard
Go ahead, be weird

Yes, you can be weird
Yes, you can be silly, too
Walk in the sunshine

Each minute is new
Each breath is God’s gift to you
Take none for granted

Embrace your beauty
Embrace it every Monday
Embrace Monday every day

Embrace your husband
Embrace the friends that you love
Be weird with others!

It’s okay to laugh
At the funny thoughts that come
Embrace your weirdness

Let’s Embrace Monday
It’s the only day we have
Tomorrow’s not here

Thanks for popping in on JanBeek

See ya tomorrow.
Maybe…

Embrace the Wind


Can’t embrace the wind!
Even if we think we would like to…
It can’t be contained!

Yesterday I delivered some paperwork to a friend
who is doing Bible Study with me once a week.
It was a quiet Saturday morning –
no wind (unusual for our windy valley).
My friend wasn’t home, so I left the papers
on her doorstep and texted her.
When she returned home,
the paperwork was long gone.
The wind had come up and blew
the packet to heaven only knows where!

Today’s sermon at the ZOOM meeting of
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
here in Ennis, Montana
was titled, “The Wind Blows Where it Will.”

Inspired by the scripture:
John 3:1-17
(the story of Jesus & Nicodemus & the Holy Spirit)
here are my sermon notes
taken as I listened to
Rev. Steve Hundley
this morning:

The Wind Blows Where it Will

In the conversation between
Nicodemus and Jesus, two worlds collide.
One is worldly and the other is
Focused on where the Holy Spirit abides.

We often try to shrink our God
Into something we can understand.
But, we can’t fit God’s image
Into something in this earthly land.

The dilemma we face is that
We can’t think of God beyond
Our own human capacity.
That’s why it’s hard to respond.

John paints a picture of Nicodemus
As a man of great knowledge.
“Rabbi, we know…” he says,
Addressing Jesus with a nudge.

Nicodemus thinks he has God
Sized up and understood.
He’s sure he knows how He fits
Into this world… Oh, that we could!

Nicodemus tries to rope Jesus
Into the narrow realm of “We know…”
But every attempt fails.
Jesus is a mystery – a wind that’ll blow.

It blows beyond our knowing.
The Spirit blows beyond our capacity
To understand with our finite minds.
Does that surprise you and me?

We all have questions about the hereafter.
No one can refute the image we hold,
For our God’s life-giving grace
Is bigger than can ever be told.

The wind of the Spirit blows
Into darkness and brings light.
But we cannot see clearly
What God makes possible in His sight.

This scripture asks Nicodemus
To let the Spirit carry him to
A place beyond his imagination.
It asks the same expansion of you!

“Rabbi, we know…”
Ah, such assumptions!

John 3: 1-17

3:1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[e] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[f] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[g]
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Can’t embrace the wind!
Even if we think we would like to…
It can’t be contained!

Let’s try to embrace
The beauty of God’s Spirit
As it blows in us!

That’s a Bob Goff quote.
His Spirit is Love personified.
His book is “Love Does.”
Do you know it?

And how about this oldie but goodie?
Blowin’ in the Wind…
Questions Nicodemus might have asked Jesus:

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
And with Easter upon us,
the answer was hangin’ on a cross.
Praise God, He is risen indeed!

The wind of the Spirit blows
Into darkness and brings light.

The Wind Blows Where it Will

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
May the Wind of the Spirit
Blow Light into your darkness today.

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Perseverance


This quote came in the mail today from Billy Mills, national spokesperson for “Running Strong for American Indian Youth” – a project associated with Christian Relief Service.

The synchronicity of the arrival of this in mailbox today was not lost on me. I already had spent my hour up in my sanctuary reading my Bible, devotionals, and praying for you – and other family and friends on my prayer list (yes, you are there!). Among the names on my list is “Native American Youth.” Lord knows their needs and yours.

The word that was my “Take-Away” from that time upstairs today was “Perseverance.” And that’s BEFORE the mail came with this gift! Go back up and read it again… “Collective Perseverance…” and HOPE …Resilience and Certainty in tomorrow – – – Tomorrow: a better day!

Persevere in those choices!!

It’s perseverance
That changes maybe’s to YES.
Chase the doubt away!

To make an impact
Just practice perseverance.
Keep your dreams alive.

God says you are Unique…
Designed for Greatness!!

Being persistent
As you work to problem solve:
The road to success!

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I can’t just sit here
Expecting success to come.
Gotta go get it!

It’s perseverance –
Working to make it happen
That completes the goal.

What are you working
To complete with great success?
Live with that purpose.

Persevere with Purpose

But tenacity
Ain’t easy when we don’t see
The results we need.

Positivity
Is hard to always maintain
When we keep failing.

But unless we fail,
We’re not trying hard enough!
Gotta fail to learn.

3 “Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5And hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out His love
into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,
whom He has given us.…”

Romans 5:3-4

Don’t let the fact that
There’s certain failure keep you
From taking chances!

Folks who developed
The vaccines we are using
Failed many times.

Before succeeding,
They conjured up their courage
And kept on trying.

That’s the way it is!
So Embrace Perseverance
And live your purpose.

1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded
by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance
the race marked out for us,”
Hebrews 12:1

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Look at that runner;
He did not win his first race!
But perseverance paid off.

What race are you in?
What’s marked out for you to do?
Step out and do it!

Embrace Perseverance!

59 years and still counting

Long term marriages like ours don’t happen accidentally.
Takes lots of perseverance.
Believe me!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

Before you click out,
leave a comment below, will you?

What is the “race marked out for you” today?

Embrace Obedience


Obedience
First listen
Learn to absorb
Take it all in
Heed

We all know what it means to be obedient, right? Listen, absorb, heed…
Did you hear any of these expressions when you were growing up?

“If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about!”

“Why?? Because I said so, that’s why!”

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“Yours is not to question why. Yours is just to do or die!”

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Where did those images of obedience come from? Certainly not from a Loving Father.

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He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”Luke 11:28


“If only you had paid attention to My commandments!
Then your well-being would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”
Isaiah 48:18

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“If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land”
Isaiah 1:19

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“And we are witnesses of these things;
and so is the Holy Spirit,
whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
Acts 5:32

Who or What to Obey?

Obedience
Differs with
Who you obey
Make it “The Word”
God

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Samuel said,
“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.”
1 Samuel 15:22

To heed God’s Word
Is better than honey
Better than palaces
Better than money

To heed God’s voice
As He whispers in your ear
Is to hear His angels speaking
And to cherish what you hear

Obedience to the teachings
Of wise men and women, too
Is the road successful people
Travel daily. How about you?

Are you tuning in to wisdom
Are you listening really well?
If so, then your obedience
Will show – others will tell.

They’ll tell of your goodness.
They’ll see what brings you peace
And they’ll want to have a share
In the joy that will not cease.


“But this is what I commanded them, saying,
‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God,
and you will be My people;
and you will walk in all the way
which I command you,
that it may be well with you.’
Jeremiah 7:23

When we live in obedience,
We can sing with the best of them:
It is well with my soul –
And we can can pray for the rest of them!

Embrace Obedience!
Easter is coming… when we set aside time
To thank our God for sending the Perfect Example
Of what Obedience – even to the cross – looks like.

Praise God!
Hear – Heed -Obey!

Jesus – simple, yet complex

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I pray my Embrace series is encouraging you.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Common Sense


Proverbs 16:22

“Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.”

No one wants to be thought a fool.
No one wants to be seen as someone who lacks common sense.
When we hear stories about foolish people,
we say to ourselves,
“Thank God that’s not me!
I’d never build a house on the sand!”

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

What is our modern day “House on the Sand” story?
Can you think of a typical story that demonstrates
lack of common sense in today’s world?

Not just the foolish MAN!!
What a about those spendthrift women?

Today is the day President Biden signed an “American Rescue Plan” –
A stimulus package to the tune of 1.9 trillion dollars. Wow!
Hopefully it will create the millions of jobs promised
And give struggling lower-middle class and poor families a future.
Does it make sense?

We need to renew our economy, no doubt about it.
How do we find the “light in the darkness”?
Are the acts of getting checks out and getting the vaccine out
And into people’s arms steps in the right direction?
Seems sensible to some – but not all!

Total COVID-19 deaths in the USA as of today: 527,726.
Something needs to be done… no doubt about it.
Are we on a sensible path to end the pandemic?
Mobilizing thousand of vaccinators and creating new places –
That’s sensible.

President Biden reminded us of the things we couldn’t do.
He talked about the ways we have been divided as a country.
His reminder of the way people are walking in fear today
Was not news to any of us. We see and hear it every day.
Divisions are not sensible!

When will things get back to “normal”? What’s that?
What will “normal” look like when we come to our senses?
Will we have learned the lessons this pandemic
May have been sent to this earth to teach us?
Let’s be sensible.

More vaccines manufactured is in the future,
New tools to make it easier to get the vaccines,
Confidence in the safety of the vaccines –
Practicing CDC guidelines and being unified….
That’s good common sense.

But just as I was writing this, someone I love
Wrote to me and said she would not be getting
Her vaccine and neither will her husband.
Why not? What is the sense in the refusal?
Is my common sense and hers the same?

Seems to me that people who refuse
To wear a mask or get themselves vaccinated
Are living selfishly for themselves…
Their purpose is not to protect others.
Is that common sense?

Today is the one year anniversary
Of this COVID-19 pandemic’s announcement.
Sadly our nation and world are forever changed.
We have lost way too many dear friends.
It makes no sense.

Let’s build our future on the solid rock
Of unified common sense and faith in our democracy.
Let’s plan tomorrow with hopes and dreams
That address how much we need each other.
Embrace common sense!

Thanks for wearing a mask!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek .
See ya tomorrow.

Wrdless Wednesday