I remember glimpses of my childhood – an Ozzie & Harriet family with Dad going off to work and Mom staying home…
I remember our small, sparkly white house on the end of Fig Lane in Newman, at the center of California’s hot San Joaquin Valley…
I remember sitting around the radio in the living room listening as a family to “The Cisco Kid” and “One Man’s Family” and “Inner Sanctum” …
I remember Dad’s three-tiered tulip bed and the day I picked a bouquet of them and got into trouble…
I remember being scolded, and as I stood there with a fist-full of the precious blooms saying to Dad, “I no pick the flaws… maybe Sally pick the flaws!”
I remember walking down Fig Lane with my sister, Sally, headed to P Street School wearing my Mary Jane’s…
I remember how proud I was of those new shoes…
I remember trips every September to San Francisco to get new school clothes: new shoes, a new dress, underwear, a sweater, a coat… the essentials…
I remember eating crab legs at Fisherman’s Wharf while I gazed at the boats coming in and going out of the harbor…
I remember my first plane trip, flying to Seattle to be with my mom’s family there when her mom died…
I remember Dewey Wright, my first true love, and the Valentine card he gave me in kindergarten, and how he chased me around the playground until I caught him …
I remember moving from that little white house at the end of Fig Lane to a house out in the country right next door to my Dad’s mom…
I remember the day my cousin, Billy, came to live with us – and how upset he was – and how upset I was when he tore our doll house apart and scattered our toys…
I remember dashing past a gobbling turkey who chased me to my grandma’s back door after school…
I remember my father’s tears when his mother died…
I remember moving out to that God-forsaken place twenty miles from nowhere to begin life anew, with Dad going into business with Uncle Igino and Uncle Melio …
I remember the smell of the Pacific Tallow Works that was about 150 yards from our house, and how impossible it was to close up the house tight enough …
I remember Tiofila and Engracia and Dalia, my sweet little Spanish-speaking playmates, whose mom made fantastic tortillas, and the day they were transported back to Mexico by some cruel authorities…
I remember crying for days when I heard Dalia had died on that trip back to Mexico …
I remember Manuel Ynzunza, his basketball skill, and our first kiss out behind the cafeteria … oh, the thrill of it…
I remember “Dimples,” my Cocker Spaniel who had four puppies – and the fascination of observing the births …
I remember riding a horse, unable to control it, and being pushed into a barbed wire fence, putting a gash in my right leg …
I remember how impossible it was for Mom to leave the office unattended to take me to the doctor (she was Dad’s secretary-bookkeeper), so she taped my gash closed and how it healed leaving a big scar …
I remember the day my Aunt Jean, Billy’s mom, came to take him back … how I was filled with mixed emotions, sorrow and relief …
I remember my mom’s older sister, Aunt Evelyn, coming from Washington to visit and bringing clothes my cousins had outgrown, and Mom spending nights altering them to fit Sally & me …
I remember walking at least a mile (seemed like five) to catch the school bus and riding for at least an hour (seemed like five) while we picked up other kids to go to Crows Landing Elementary School…
I remember Mrs Yetter, my third grade teacher, who was almost bald…
I remember my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Ethel Horwedle, and how she wrote her cursive E, and how she let me sing to the tunes of the square dance records, and let me teach the class new square dance moves…
I remember Mrs. Marlow, the principal’s wife who was my 7th and 8th grade teacher… how she let me go during spelling class to help the kindergarten teacher (because, “You don’t need the spelling lesson,” she’d say after giving me a pre-test on which I always got 100%) …
I remember wearing an “I Like Ike” button and learning in 8th grade about each of his cabinet members as they were one-by-one appointed…
I remember Howard Thorkelson, our class genius, who got polio when we were in 8th grade and was gone a long time… returning in a neck and back brace for our graduation…
I remember learning to play the clarinet and doing so well that the band leader invited me to play with the high school band…
I remember being too small to fit into a high school band uniform, and having suspenders that pulled the pants up under my armpits…
I remember playing an accordion duet with Evelyn at our 8th grade graduation, but don’t remember Evelyn’s last name …
I don’t remember a lot of things, but I remember feeling cared for, and feeling like I could become whatever I set my mind to, and not realizing we were poor…
We actually weren’t you know. We had each other. We had love. We had everything.
I wrote this post back in February of 2012 as a new blogger. I decided today would be a good day to revive and update it, because it is as pertinent today (maybe even more pertinent) as it was eight years ago!
Work at Loving!
Like you, I want to be more kind, more loving, more at peace. In giving, we receive. Kindness is reciprocal. Peace of mind is a gift to those who live in the fullness of LOVE. But, in a world full of hate and devisiveness, illnesses like depression and the current Corona Virus, we have to work at loving and finding peace!
Very few of us have the privilege of finding a spot like this one where we can sit quietly at the top of a peaceful place and just breathe the clear air slowly.
Where can we find peace in the midst of our bustling real world?
Work to Find Time to Know Him
I schedule TIME each morning to be with the Holy Spirit. In my quiet meditation time that morning back in 2012, I stumbled upon 2Peter 1:2-7. The question that starts that scripture caught my heart. “Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace?”
I was reading the Living Bible, paraphrased – a large print copy that used to belong to my father-in-law. Gratefully, I inherited it when he passed on to his eternal home. This passage was underlined. Grandpa Beekman had double-underlined the next sentence, “Then learn to know Him better and better.”
Meditation and Study Time
My sanctuary time each morning is all aboutgetting to know Him better, and listening for His still small voice. As I study God’s Word, and get to know Him better, there are many benefits. The rest of this passage spells them out – and I easily connected the idea of “increased faith” with the reality of “increased love.” But there is a long pathway that leads to increased love (which equates to more of God’s kindness and peace). It takes plain old good, hard work!
2Peter 1:3 “For as you know Him better, He will give you, through His great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: He even shares His own glory and His own goodness with us!”
Study to Know His Goodness and His Promises
I have added the capitals to “His.” The Bible doesn’t capitalize it. For me, the word requires a capital case letter when the him/his is not just any old him or his, but the One HIM, our Lord and Savior, God. So, when I share in His glory and goodness, it is special indeed! The scripture doesn’t stop there, though.
2Peter 1, Verse 4- “And by that same mighty power, He has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings He promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us His own character.”
Wow! What a promise!! How can I attain such blessings? Some would say it is totally by His grace. I don’t have to DO anything. Just because I BELIEVE I am His “chosen,” I will receive all these blessings. Well, not according to 2Peter 1: 5-7. Read on!
Work at Increased Faith
“BUT, to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what He wants you to do.”
(That’s always a trick to discern what He wants me to do!)
With Patience, Put Aside Your Own Desires
“Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have His way with you.”
I am reminded of my oldest grandson, Mikey. He’s now 28, but when he was barely able to pull himself up by his mother’s apron strings and stand knee-high next to her, he would tug on that apron as she warmed his bottle in hot water on the stove. Sure he was starving to death, he would cry, “Paaaay-shuns! Paaaay-shuns!”
(Ah yes, we long for paaay-shuns even as we are barely able to verbalize a sentence!)
Walk the Path to Grow in the Capacity to Love
“This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply.”
Grow to love. Grow in faith. Work at it.
Take the path that has “exercise stops” along the way.
Exercise your goodness first – the goodness Christ has given you.
Then stop to exercise wisdom – the knowledge we gain as we study God’s Word and practice being more and more like Christ.
Next, exercise selflessness and self-control, the fruits that the Holy Spirit has planted in you.
Practice patience and gentleness.
Your next stop on the exercise trail is labeled “Gratitude.” It is there that you learn to be grateful for the gifts you have been given while you focus on the gifts in others.
Put On Your Jesus Glasses
When you put on your Jesus glasses, you see the goodness, compassion, and faithfulness of others as God sees them. When you put on your Jesus glasses and appreciate all that is unique and wonderful about others, you see them as God’s creations. You have exercised enough now to love them.
Love Takes Effort!
Love is a gift worth working for. Thank God, He has freely loved us long before we knew how to love Him back. But now we do! We are getting to know God better and better. Praise the Lord!
The Bottom Line
Yes, the bottom line is the key:
Love One Another.
What will you do today to demonstrate your love for others? Tell me about it!
One of the devotionals I read each morning as I sit in my rocker up in my beautiful sanctuary is “In Touch” by Charles Stanley.
The word that’s cut off at the bottom of that cover photo is “dependent.”
Yes, I am blessed to be dependent! I am dependent on God for my very existence. I am dependent on His scripture, the Bible, for my daily bread! I am dependent on others for my companionship and the fulfillment of my daily mission: to follow the leading of Christ.
What will you do to encourage someone else today? Pray about it and follow where God leads you with a receptive and obedient heart.
I promised a week or so ago that I would post pictures of the main plates at our Madison Valley Ranch “Food & Wine Pairings” dinner gathering. Zach, one of the coordinators, said he’d send his photos to me. I was so busy enjoying the meal and chatting with friends that I forgot to get my phone out of my pocket!
Zach didn’t send photos, but I recently received these from another of the event’s participants:
Anyway, a promise is a promise. I said I’d share the photos. Needless to say, they don’t do justice to the tastes and the ambience. I wonder when computers will emit food smells?
My child, you are worrying too much. remember who I am there is nothing too hard for me. You may not see it, but I have everything planned out for you.
Verse of the Day:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
Each morning I begin my day sitting in this old rocking chair that Bob’s great-grandpa built. It’s up in the corner of my favorite room in the house – my sanctuary.
You can see Mornings with Jesus, my #1 devotional, on the chair in front of my “All Things Grow with Love” pillow. The picture above the photo of room is today’s page. My bookmark reminds me daily of my 2020 resolution: “Walk the Talk.”
Prov. 3:5-6 is the verse on that card. It’s one of my favorite scriptures. With it tucked firmly under my belt and in my heart each morning, I read the daily devo and write in large, fat letters the 2 to 6 words that are my “take away” for the day. You can see “SIMPLY TRUST HIM” is today’s message.
At the top of my devo page I write my plan for the day … the part of it that God directs to my angelic perch from His heavenly Holy Spirit’s leading. It helps me to “Walk the Talk” when I put my trust in what He has “up His sleeve.”
What are your plans for this beautiful Sunday? I hope you take time to pray. The Faith Step that’s partly covered by my bookmark in the devo picture says, “Recall the times when Jesus answered your prayers in ways you didn’t expect. If you’re praying for something right now, don’t keep Him in a box. Expect Him to answer beyond your expectations.”
Go ahead. Listen for His leading. Step out confidently today with plans God sets before you.
Jesus responded, “ Didn’t I tell you that you would seeGod’s glory if you believe?”
Pray with me, “Thank You, Jesus, for praying with us and for us. Thank You for Your presence in our lives. Now, as we walk the talk, guide our feet where You want us to go today. Help us meet who You want us to meet. Whisper what You want us to say. Help us be who we were made to be. Show us what You want us to do as we walk in Your will. Amen”
It’s a day for love. Love is so easy to SAY… but while saying it is important (when it is sincere), it’s not the word that counts. It’s the heart and the action behind that word. You know that! So, what did you DO this week, what did you do yesterday, what did you do today to SHOW your love?
Bob Goff is one of my favorite authors. About 8 years ago my granddaughter gave me his book, Love Does, as a Christmas gift. Have you read it? Do you know this zany, whimsical, amazing man? Check him out at this link… Google it – and listen to him. He will inspire you to DO LOVE!!
LOVE DOES by Bob Goff
176,359 views • May 11, 2012
Yesterday our Madison Valley Woman’s Club had a Valentine party. My friend, Kittie, came dressed for the occasion. I love her spirit! Don’t you?
We decorated chocolate covered strawberries to take home to our loved ones, and we created/decorated Valentine’s cards to give to someone special in our lives. (Oh, and we got to eat some of those strawberries, too. Yum!)
It was a fun activity… but the real fun was delivering our gifts to our “Special Valentine” today.
Of course, you know who mine went to… but I also decorated an extra couple of the strawberries and made a card for our pastor, Steve, and his wife, Elaine, and delivered them to their house yesterday afternoon. Love does! Love shows. Love cares.
Last Sunday Steve & Elaine hosted a fellowship at their house after church. Our mutual friend, Christine, created these skewers to add to the goodies we all enjoyed. Someone else lovingly made the bean dip.
Jim led us all in singing some of our old favorites. “Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play.” Ah yes, music is an automatic transmitter of love, don’t you agree?
I inherited a book from my mom. It is tattered from loving years of use. It is titled, The Modern Hymn Book. It was printed in 1924. There is a bookmark on the page where my mom’s favorite hymn is, “Blessed Assurance.”
Ah yes, on this Valentine’s Day, this song is a great reminder. There is no greater love than the love of our Savior who demonstrated LOVE DOES with His whole life. How blessed I am to have had a mother who marked the page, loved the song, and knew that story well. The song was copyrighted in 1873… and its words are as pertinent today as they were then. The tune is known around the world. Let’s sing it!
And let’s remember the Truth of real AGAPE love on this day of LOVE. John 3:16 – my favorite verse: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Yes, God is the ULTIMATE example of Love Does.
“I love You Lord, and I lift my voice to worship you, O my soul rejoice. Take joy , My King in what You hear; May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.”
All across China, people are talking about Dr Li Wen Liang. He was the doctor who discovered the novel corona virus and in the early morning of February 7, 2020 at 2:58 am, he was promoted into glory and went home to be with our Father in heaven.
Back in December last year, he was arrested for being a whistleblower ‘spreading rumors’ about a mysterious pneumonia like virus. This morning we found out he was in fact a fellow brother in Christ. Our hearts are deeply moved by his sacrificial choice to spread awareness about the virus despite the risks he faced, especially to his reputation and to his own health.
He continued to care for patients up until he was infected himself. What a legacy to leave behind of what it means to be like Jesus to those hurting in a time of crisis. He chose to be an example of Immanuel, ‘God with us’ to the people of Wuhan.
Can you imagine the joy he must have felt as he entered into eternity and heard the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”?
So today, please pray for his family, especially his wife who is also infected and 8 months pregnant with their second child. May God heal them supernaturally and give them grace, peace, strength and comfort during this time.
Dr Li Wen Liang penned a deeply touching Chinese poem. It is translated below into English. The original Chinese is there, telling of how he would miss his family, his beloved Wuhan, and then he quoted 2 Tim 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
He went on to write, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
“The Hero Who Told The Truth” Here is a captivating, heart-touching Chinese poem I’ve tried to translate into English. It was written in memory of Mr Li Wenliang, a Christian doctor and whistleblower who died from the corona virus himself after being punished for issuing the first warning about the deadly corona virus outbreak. 我不想當英雄。 我還有爹娘， 還有孩子， 還有懷孕臨產的妻， 還有許多的病人在病房。 盡管正直換不來善良， 盡管䢛途迷茫， 可還是要繼續進行， 誰讓我選擇了這國這家， 多少委屈， 等打完這仗， 垂淚如雨仰天遠望。 “I don’t want to be a hero. I still have my parents, And my children, And my pregnant wife who’s about to give birth, And many of my patients in the ward. Though my integrity cannot be exchanged for the goodness of others, Despite my loss and confusion, I should proceed anyway. Who let me choose this country and this family? How many grievances do I have? When this battle is over, I will look up to the sky, With tears like rain.” 我不想當英雄。 只是做為醫生， 我不能眼看著這不明的病毒， 傷害著我的同行。 還有那多無辜的人們， 他們盡管已奄奄一息， 可眼睛裏總望著我， 帶著生命的希望。 “I don’t want to be a hero. But as a doctor, I cannot just see this unknown virus Hurting my peers And so many innocent people. Though they are dying, They are always looking at me in their eyes, With their hope of life.” 誰成想我競死了！ 我的靈魂分明在天上， 望著那張白色的病床， 床上分明是我的軀體， 軀體上還是那熟悉的臉龐。 我的父親母親在哪？ 還有我親愛的妻子， 那當年我苦苦追求的姑娘。 “Who would have ever realised that I was going to die? My soul is in heaven, Looking at the white bed, On which lies my own body, With the same familiar face. Where are my parents? And my dear wife, The lady I once had a hard time chasing?” 天上有一道光！ 那光的盡頭是人們時常說起的天堂。 我寧願不去哪裏， 我寧願回到武漢我的家鄉。 那裏有我新買的房子， 每月還要還貸的賬。 我怎能舍得， 我怎能舍得！ 沒有兒子的爹娘， 該有多麽悲傷； 沒有了丈夫的寶貝， 該如何面對這未來的滄桑。 “There is a light in the sky! At the end of that light is the heaven that people often talk about. But I’d rather not go there. I’d rather go back to my hometown in Wuhan. I have my new house there, For which I still have to pay off the loan every month. How can I give up? How can I give up? For my parents without their son, How sad must it be? For my sweetheart without her husband, How can she face the vicissitudes in her future?” 我分明死了。 我看見他們把我的軀殼， 裝進一個袋子。 在袋子的近傍 有許多死去的同胞， 象我一樣， 在黎明時分， 被推進火的爐堂。 “I am already gone. I see them taking my body, Putting it into a bag, With which lie many compatriots Gone like me, Being pushed into the fire in the hearth At dawn.” 再見了，難舍的親人。 永別了，武漢我的故鄉。 但願你們在災難過後， 還記得曾經有人， 努力地讓你們盡早知道真相。 但願你們在災難過後， 學會正直， 不再讓善良的人們， 遭受著無盡的恐懼， 和無奈的悲傷。 “Goodbye, my dear ones. Farewell, Wuhan, my hometown. Hopefully, after the disaster, You’ll remember someone once Tried to let you know the truth as soon as possible. Hopefully, after the disaster, You’ll learn what it means to be righteous. No more good people Should suffer from endless fear, And helpless sadness.” “那美好的仗我已經打完了， 應行的路我已行盡了， 當守的道我守住了。 從此以後， 有公義的冠冕為我留存。” 《聖經》提摩太後書4:7 “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness.” 2 Timothy 4:7, Holy Bible
Rest in peace, Dr. Li Wen Liang. God bless you – and God be with your dear family. We all will pray for your wife, your son, and your unborn child. May God miraculously heal her and save your children. Amen
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I hope this story touched your heart as it did mine. Please join me in prayer for Mrs. Liang and the victims of this deadly virus. Pray for a cure!
The coldness of this Montana winter inspired our Rev. Steve Hundley to pray to our Lord using snow and ice as metaphors that grabbed my attention last Sunday at our church.
I asked Steve for permission to share his Pastoral Prayer with you. I think it is so poetically and beautifully written, I hope you will appreciate it as much as I do.
“We come to You, O Lord, at a time when much of our valley has been gripped by snow and cold – when roads have been clogged and winds have been strong and some have struggled to keep warm.
Let the coldness of this season raise the question of our own spiritual temperatures.
Has our relationship to You been frozen and stiff?
Are the ways of our hearts clogged by snowdrifts of apathy and indifference?
Do the lines of communication between us sag and break beneath the iciness of neglect or doubt?
Send now a warming trend into our lives. Let there be a melting of our hearts, and a surrender to Your will and Your Way. Grant that the icicles of pride and loneliness may fall from our hearts, and that the heat of Your love and grace may break up the ice floes that have kept us apart.
Transform us into centers of warmth that will radiate Your presence into the cold-hearted world around us. Show us how to be Your light, like the warmth of the sun, warming the earth.
Grant peace to those who are anxious and renewal to those who are tired. Instill in our nation a longing and a desire for the common good. Let Christ come and touch us now so that all our problems may be small ones, dwarfed in the magnitude and beauty of His presence.
For in Christ there is no coldness, but eternal springtime.”
This is a prayer that I will read each morning during these cold, winter months … and pray to our Lord that indeed He will “transform [me] into a center of warmth that … radiates [God’s] presence into the cold-hearted world around us.”
I posted earlier today from my cell phone while we were up at Big Sky. Bob was enjoying a day of skiing with Nancy, his ski buddy, while I was inside making new friends, keeping warm, and reading the book that our Ennis Book Club will be discussing at tomorrow’s meeting.
I also browsed the shops at the Big Sky mall and photographed a few things (taking them home in my camera is way better than buying them!).
I enjoyed the trip to Big Sky from Ennis. The snow was so beautiful!
But once we arrived at the ski area, I was more than happy to avoid the cold and stay in the lodge. Some of you may think that’s crazy; others of you may relate. I didn’t learn to ski as a child, broke my leg as a teen, took a long time to heal, and have a fear of falling down and breaking it again. I prefer to stay in the lodge!
A Guy Named Kenny
Before Bob & Nancy could get from the parking lot to the lodge (where they had dropped me off), I met a guy named Kenny. Well actually, he met me. I was sitting quietly in the corner with my book when he approached me. Told me I reminded him of his grandma. I learned all about his family … and was in deep conversation with him when Bob & Nancy arrived. Even got his grandma’s chicken soup recipe! (Should have taken Kenny’s picture for you!) Nice guy!
After Bob & Nancy went up to ski, I went to Montana Jack’s for an Irish coffee. I was sitting with my book at the bar, sipping my drink when a guy about my son’s age sat down and struck up a conversation with me. I found out he was from Colstrip, MT and his wife is a child psychiatrist working with Autistic children. The darling, young waitress treated me to a delicious piece of apple pie to go with my coffee. She adopted me as her Grandma and so did my new friend from Colstrip (I love it).
Back Home Again
Returning home, we nearly got stuck in the drifts that had blown onto our driveway. I was reluctant to go out again, but Bob really wanted to treat me to a Happy Anniversary dinner at our favorite Ennis restaurant, The Alley Bistro. So, we braved the weather and had a great evening. We managed to return home and inch our way through the snow drifts safely. It was a Happy Anniversary indeed. Thanks for all your good wishes.
Time for bed… but first I have to finish that book. Somehow today I didn’t get much reading done. Had too much fun making new friends. Can you relate?
Today’s sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana was inspired by Matthew 5:13-20
If you have been a JanBeek follower, you know I usually post on Sunday afternoon the notes I take while listening to the morning’s sermon. Most of the time, I take the notes poetically – because that’s how my brain hears the message. Here is today’s:
Be the Salt and the Light
When did you first feel old? Was it when your kids were teens? Their language came from another world – It was hard to figure what it means.
Teens aren’t the only ones with strange language. Jesus had some pretty weird expressions, too. “You are the salt of the earth,” He said. What does that mean to you?
Salt is used to purify, to season, and to seal. It was the seal of the covenant and it put out fires. What did Jesus intend when He called us salt? Did He intend us to be a spice? My soul inquires.
He said we are to be the “Light of the World.” What does that mean? I want to know. This is supposed to be “The Christian Century,” But where is our light, friends? Where does it glow?
Jesus told stories about the insignificant. He told of lost coins and mustard seeds. He spoke of the lost and the powerless. He commanded us to take care of their needs.
The things we do as Christians can have A lasting affect on others’ action and thought. They watch us, question us, sometimes imitate us – When we’re quietly going about doing what we ought.
We ARE the salt of the earth and the world’s light. We need to play the part and let our faith shine from above. We can’t forget who we are – nor get cluttered with junk – Or we’ll lose our effectiveness to spread God’s love.
So, what “junk” clutters your life, blocks your light, and dilutes your salt?
It doesn’t needs to be literal “junk” like that in this junk yard.
It might be over-emphasis in an area that takes you away from what you would like to be doing instead.
It might be worry over something that may or may not happen.
It might be possessions that we need to clear out… cuz most of us have too much “stuff.” (I know I am leaving way more “junk” than I should in my house for my kids to sort through and throw away someday.)
What is your “junk” that clutters your actions and your thinking?
Salt is Spice – – Spice Up Your Life
In my sermon notes, I wrote, “The things we do as Christians can have A lasting affect on others’ action and thought…”
By spicing up our life, I mean our actions and thoughts might include:
the sweetness of sugar as we reach out to help others
the enhancement of salt as we perform random acts of kindness
the zestiness of pepper as we sprinkle joy and laughter to those around us
the longevity of curry as we continue to connect with long-lasting friends and family with love
the healing power of tumeric as we exhibit compassion
Be the Light
Being the “Light of the World” is a matter of shining love in the darkness. Before the regular sermon, Pastor Steve gave a special message directed to the children today. He sat on the chancel steps, invited the kids to come sit with him, and he handed them a candle. He lit his own candle and said, I would like to light your candle, too, but I’m afraid if I did, then I wouldn’t have a light on mine.”
The kids looked at him quizzically. “Don’t you agree?” he asked them.
They shook their heads, “No.”
“Really? If I light your candle with mine, then I will still have light?”
“Yes,” they nodded as they held out their candles.
Sure enough, he lit their candles with his, and there was not less light… but more!
The message here is clear… BE THE LIGHT. SHARE THE LIGHT. SPREAD THE LIGHT. LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!
I found this “Japanese Wisdom” on Facebook. People had commented about it and clicked their “likes” and “loves” and “sad” … and that one person who was “sad” was probably the one who wrote an irate comment denouncing the title.
Oh my, how sad that someone would see this and be incensed that the Japanese took ownership! Hey, I don’t care who thought it up first, I just love it. And I think it is more than true: “If you don’t know, shut up!”
There is no reason to be offended by something as clever and universal as this. Just embrace it!
I am headed to have breakfast and go to church. I will pray for that caustic person who was offended to have a peace-filled day. “If it’s not nice, don’t say or write it!”
Next Tuesday Bob & I will celebrate our 58th anniversary. We still have that spark alive and well! We started celebrating already by going to a wonderful “Food & Wine Pairing Event” last night.
Later today, when Zach, the coordinator of the event, sends me pictures, I will share the photos of the various plates with you. They were small portions, but delicious and beautifully presented. No one left hungry. It was quite something!
Bob thoroughly enjoyed his conversation with our friend, Els, afterward. During the meal he got to sit next to Doug Badenoch, the wine guru from The Wine Gallery in Bozeman, MT. Doug was the one who chose the wine pairings. He did a great job.
Today is a snowy, cold day in Ennis. It’s a good day to stay hunkered inside.
We ALL want to make a positive difference in this world – right?
One way to make a difference is simply to be kind and helpful! But there is no “simply” about that.
It takes a concerted effort sometimes to respond with kindness. Our natural, almost automatic, first response when someone is being mean or unkind to us is to snap back… at least that’s the way it used to be with me.
It has taken me 80 years of living to learn to guard my tongue! And sometimes, even now it gets the best of me. But I usually am quick to realize it when that happens, and I am never reluctant to ask for forgiveness.
The problem is sometimes I am too self-centered to even realize I have hurt someone with my words!! That never happen to you, does it?
I guess I’m not perfect yet.
Another way to make a difference is simply to plant love. But there is no “simply” about that either.
Sometimes the seeds of adversity and division get the best of me.
I watch something on TV or I read something in a magazine or newspaper that is hateful or just plain false and deceptive. And I let that simmer in my soul. I want to lash out at the TV person or rip up the newspaper.
But surely that never happens to you!
Just Love One Another
It’s easy to say, but ever so hard to do! But if we want to make a positive difference in this world, it has to be all about LOVE first and foremost!
Be Forgivingof Yourself
Even when we try hard, we may not always be the loving person God intended us to be.
But we can make a difference if we learn to forgive ourselves for those mistakes of character. Others see and are encouraged by our ability to overcome!
Be Forgiving of Others
Another way to make a difference in this world is simply to be forgiving of others. But there is no “simply about that either.
Sometimes I want to use a “mad” icon. “Sad” just doesn’t do it. It’s not enough.
I want to show the world that what was said or done just makes me angry.
But anger never solved any of this world’s problems. It only exacerbates them, ya know?
Forgive the ones who anger you, Pray for your understanding of their position. Try to figure out where they’re coming from. Forgive their ignorance (hah!)!
Disagree without being disagreeable!
Be a PeaceMaker
And yet another way to make a positive difference in this world is to be a PEACEMAKER!
Pray daily for the wisdom,
obedience to God,
and the humility
that it takes to be a peacemaker, and to make a positive difference in this world.
It’s not a task for the Lone Ranger, the Lone Stranger, or the Lone YOU! It takes the LOVE of the HOLY SPIRIT working in you.
Know that God is your heart… so Pay attention to His Leading!
He will always lead you to Love, Peace, and Making a Positive Difference!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I’m headed off to TOPS. (Those are my friends who help me keep the weight off. They make a difference in my life!)
We are a divided country. The words “they” and “them” are heard more frequently today than ever before in my 80 years of life.
What is causing this? And what can we do about it? Here is one man’s suggestion. I think it is so true.
Right on! It’s as true in China (where the Corona virus is rampant, and citizens are bravely speaking out against a government that acted slowly on the knowledge of the virus), as it is in the USA where election rhetoric is hateful and divisive.
So how do we begin to “fight for each other?”
From his prison cell in Rome, Paul wrote to the people of Colosse. He had visited there before his imprisonment. His letter to them in the book of Colossians was written to encourage them, just as we, the people of this divided world, need encouragement today.
Colossians 2: 1-3 “I want you to know how much I am struggling for you… and for all those who have not met me personally. My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart, and united in love, so they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the world rather than on Christ.”
Colossians 3:12-14 “Therefore… clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive what ever grievances you may have against one another… And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Yes, the Bible has words of wisdom, words of advise for ALL in times of trouble. We need only open its pages to find scripture that directs our paths toward the unity we all seek. In Colossians, Paul tells us to put on:
… and in so doing, we will find the peace of Christ living in our hearts. We are members of one body. We are ONE. We need to know that without a doubt and act accordingly.
Don’t let hateful rhetoric divide our oneness into the “they-them” and “we-us” mentality!
Pray you learn to trust Your heart and mind and senses. Then you’ll find balance.
I pray your Sunday was a day of balance.
Balance between church and worship, fellowship and football, food and entertainment, work and play.
It was Super Bowl Sunday in the USA. The San Francisco 49’ers were my choice, but the Kansas City Chiefs played a fantastic game and won it fair and square. We had fun watching the game with friends and cheering each team for their good plays. It’s not about winning or losing for me… it’s about sportsmanship and skillful plays and watching good sports. It’s about sharing the day with friends – and serving them some of our favorite things.
I will end this day with that Lakota prayer at the top, knowing God hears me and will indeed help me to “walk in balance with the passing of each glorious sun.”
Yesterday I posted “What’s Important?” and listed concerns that are most important to me. A year ago I might have answered that question far differently. God, Family, Friends… those will always remain high on my list of “What’s Important?”
But yesterday my #1 answer was Climate Change. I am among a growing number of people world-wide who is realizing how real and devastating this issue is.
As a result of my #1 concern being listed as a “tag” on my blog, I had the opportunity to become familiar with a new (to me) blog site: Climate Change Take Action Now. I thank them for leading me to their link: https://newsonclimatechange.com/
When I logged on there, I was delighted to find a link to DiCaprio’s inspirational speech to the United Nations on the climate change topic:
What are the items, ideas, concepts, people, activities that come to mind?
It’s a sobering question in today’s world, an important question to address, and your answer really should direct your thoughts, time, and actions.
What’s My Answer?
Your answer to that important question most likely will be very different from mine. That’s okay, because it is a crucial question – and it needs to be answered personally. Here are my thoughts:
Our earth’s survival … especially in light of climate change and the way it is causing floods, earthquakes, forest fires, animal deaths, a reduction of safe human water supply, etc.
Our USA democracy’s future; the future of our adherence to the constitution, and the results of the 2020 presidential election
Morals… our ability as a people in the world to live in Christ-like love, treating one another with respect and compassion
Sharing our resources, caring for one another, using our sense of kindness and our resources and talents to be all God made us to be
Tell me what you would add in terms of “What’s Important to You?”
Making a Difference
Even though my list starts out with global and national concerns, and I am committed to doing whatever I can, the place where I feel we can do the most good is on that one-on-one contact. If we look at those giant problems, we sometimes conclude they are too big for us to do anything about them, even though they may be “most important” to us.
So, bottom line, while I support “Pure Love Does” to educate children in third world countries, and I reach out with “Clean Water” donations and other monetary ways to support worthy causes, what’s most important to me is what I do day after day in tangible ways:
After 5 weeks of vacationing with friends and family in California, and two days of sorting through 5 weeks of piled-up mail, I am back in the routine (sort of). Missed my sanctuary time this morning… am headed up there now (as soon as I post this).
As you can see, looking beyond into the living room, my Christmas decorations still are up. That was today’s job – along with bill paying. Had to get right on it after breakfast cuz I had a friend coming over.
That’s only a portion of the mail we accumulated at the post office while we were gone. Most of it was junk. That went into another pile to be thrown away.
After lunch we took a break and I did some of my usual: checked at the P.O. for more mail, visited my “Senior Friend” who lives alone, and visited friends in the Manor Nursing Home. It was good to see them after all this time away.
As I was leaving the house, headed to the P.O. and Manor, our neighborhood “pets” greeted me. They were out in the field, and then crossed the driveway in front of me. They stopped in the sunshine over in the neighbor’s field and looked at me. “Welcome Home!” they seemed to say!
Not to be outdone, my friend, Jacquie, sent me a photo of her neighborhood “pets.” They were walking along her driveway… a mama moose and her youngin’ – so adorable!
Approaching my friend, Ray’s house, his neighborhood “pets” were lounging in his yard. Ah, it is so good to be back in the place where the deer and the antelope roam (and the moose too)!!
Back home, I helped my friend with the Christmas tree and other remnants of the holidays. They needed to be taken down and put away. And my house needed tidying. Thank God for Tracy. I couldn’t have done it without her!
How did you spend your day?
Thanks for dropping by. Leave a comment for JanBeek, will ya?
When I posted this morning, I told you today was a beautiful day to travel. We stayed in a lovely Wyndham Hotel (La Quina in Twin Falls) last night. I highly recommend it.
It was a terrible day to travel yesterday. But today made up for it.
Let me show you some of the sights we enjoyed on our trip home. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. The camera doesn’t do them justice, but you can get the idea.
The tracks in the snow are evidence that our neighbor came down our driveway earlier today. He blew off our walkway and prepared a clear spot for us to enter the house. God bless him!
Are you blessed with helpful neighbors like ours? I hope so!
It was a wonderful trip to California and back. We had a marvelous set of experiences with family and friends. Thank you for traveling along vicariously with us!
But, as much as we enjoyed the trip, the friends, the time with family, the sun-filled desert, the reunions with colleagues and former classmates, the Tahoe area skiing, etc., you know…. there’s NO PLACE LIKE HOME!
It’s good to be back in the Madison Valley where the Madison River beckons people from all over to the world to come and fly fish… and where the big sky smiles a welcome and neighbors are so grand.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. Which of my photos from today’s travel did you like best?
Reaching out to help others Is a gift some people cultivate. No matter what they are going through, They take time to stop and make a date With friends who seems to need them. Because their friends know they care, They know they will sincerely listen And pray for them. It helps to talk and share.
They set aside their own struggles And they focus in on your trouble. They look into your eyes and see your heart. They pull you close into their compassionate bubble. You know they hear with ears of love. You know they link to God in sincere ways. They will take your concerns to our Lord and Savior. He hears their cries … and with them prays.
I want to be that kind of a friend. I want you to know how much I care. I want you to open your heart and know I’m a person with whom you can share Your problems and your struggles. I will listen with my very soul. I will pray to Jesus for God’s help. Yes, showing love and kindness is my goal.
Some people find it hard to reach out; They want to solve their troubles on their own. But sharing is an important part of healing. Don’t try to do it all alone. Even if you just go to a friend and sit, Say nothing… just find peace in being there, A good friend will hear you with a heart That reaches yours. You’re a synced pair!
I pray you have such a friend. I pray you know the joy of caring in that way – Both as a giver as well as a receiver.
Please add our friend, PETER, to your prayer list. God knows why.
You are blessed to be a blessing. May you have a blessed day!
They say all good things must come to an end. We are on the tail end of our five week break from the cold Montana winter. It’s been a wonderful set of experiences with family and friends.
If you’ve been following along, you know we left Ennis, Montana on Dec. 23 and spent Christmas Eve and the week following at our son’s in Placerville, CA.
You may remember that we went from there to Bob’s older brother’s in central CA where we spent New Year’s Eve and a few days after.
Then we enjoyed a weekend in Redlands, CA with dear friends who live 50% of the year in our MT “hood.”
On January 6th we began our 2 week stay in a rented condo facing the 9th fairway of the Rancho Las Palmas Country Club in the sunny Coachella Valley. While there we had the joy of hosting, entertaining, feeding, and sharing time with a dozen or more family and friends.
Plus, we took time for walks in the desert and time for ourselves in the relaxation of the jacuzzi.
From Rancho Mirage we returned to the San Joaquin Valley where we spent a few days with Bob’s younger bro & his family – and then a few days with my BFF, Marcie. In Turlock I had a whirlwind of lunches and reunions with long cherished friends, some of whom I had not seen in the 20 years since I retired.
And now, as I said, all good things must come to an end. We are on our way back full circle to our son’s in Placerville, CA. Then onward to Montana. It’s been a great trip. Our last night with Marcie included another reunion with a dozen long-time friends. Lotsa hugging. Lotsa laughter. Lotsa love shared.
Time flies when yer havin’ fun!
I pray you’re havin’ fun, too.
Thanks for sharing the highlights of our CA adventures with us.
What have you outgrown? Did you toss or leave behind? What is worth keeping?
Life is a journey With daily choices; Keep what’s important!
Make new; keep the old Friends are never discarded – Not your soul sister!
Thais is my friend – She was my college roommate – My wedding bridesmaid.
Bruce and Ann are friends Who also are related: Bob’s younger brother.
We never outgrow our good friends They live and grow in our heart And if we are very fortunate Our family and we never part . We never outgrow deep abiding faith It stays in our souls and it grows With each passing day in wonderful ways It sustains and inspires as love flows. . With luck and the grace of our Lord, We retain the most important part: Good health, curiosity, a keen alert mind, And a life full of friends who never depart.
We’re ready for a table full of good friends, long-time buddies with whom we’ve kept in touch through the years. If you had a table for a dozen friends tonight, who would you invite?
Do you enjoy keeping in touch with long-time friends?
This morning I posted “No Friend Like an Old Friend” with pictures of the long-time friends I met with yesterday.
Among the long-time friends I posted pictures of was Ly, my favorite hair stylist, whom I have known since 1979. Today she gave me a new hair cut and helped me get my “perky” back.
Also, today I had the privilege of reconnecting with dear friends from my years of working in the Ceres Unified School District. I was Caswell Elementary School’s principal from 1988-1997. Some of my favorite people to work with met me today for lunch. Most of them also are retired now. What a joy!!
Have you had the opportunity to reconnect 20 years later with co-workers who were instrumental in tour personal and professional growth? If so, you know what a JOY and a privilege this day was for me.
If not, I pray you will live 20 years into your retirement and have the delight of reconnecting the way I did today. It was indescribably wonderful. I wish you this kind of joy.
Thank you, dear Caswellians, for a wonderful day. I love you!
There is an old saying that goes like this, “There’s no friend like an old friend.”
I choose to say it this way, “There’s no friend like a long-time friend.”
We’re not old… we’re forever young at heart! We, the heart of the “Turlock Union High School Class of ’57” Met at Latif’s Restaurant in Turlock yesterday. Doris and I came from out of state. It was such a joy to see everyone doing so well. None of us used a walker or came in an electric wheelchair. That’s actually pretty amazing given the fact we’re all in our 80’s.
Do you have “long-time friends” with whom you stay in touch? It is such a blessing!!
No post about long-time friends would be complete without a picture and mention of my dear Marcie. She’s here in Turlock. We stay with her when we come back to the valley. We are soul-sisters. She’s a gift from God.
I pray that as you read about these long-term relationships, you are inspired to reconnect with long-time friends of your own. Maybe there is a person out there that you have lost touch with. Someone you care about. Reach out today!
He and his wife, Celia, are friends of our daughter and her husband.
In the years since we first met “Theu,” he has retired and has become a phenomenal photographer of birds in his region.
Gérald Theurillat has a FaceBook page where you can see more of his wonderful photos and learn the names of these gorgeous animals. I recommend you visit him there if you love birds as I do, and if you want to learn more.
Leave a comment on Theu’s FB page – and tell him “JanBeek sent me.”
Have a Wonderful Weekend, my friends.
Today is the day Bob & I pack and get ready to leave this beautiful spot.
We’ll leave early tomorrow morning. Pray for our safe travels, okay? Next destination is Turlock, in central California, where I graduated from Turlock Union High School back in 1957 (yes, I know… that makes me ancient!) – But, no, I don’t feel old!
(BTW, I get to meet on Monday with a bunch of my class of ’57 girlfriends. Ain’t that a fun thing to anticipate?)
Like Theu’s beautiful birds, I still am soaring high and loving every minute!
Visit Gérald Theurillat ‘s website and let him know you appreciate his wonderful photography as much as I do.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. Send your friends, will you?
I’d like to have 1,000 followers for the fun of celebrating the announcement of my 1,000th post.
Cristan Mihai is a blogging guru who started his blog within a month of when I did in 2012. His posts on “The Art of Blogging” have taught me so much about how to create and continue to improve my JanBeek, Loving One Another website. A constant piece of advice that Cristian repeats at least weekly is: “Punch Those Damn Keys.”
In his “About” introduction to himself on his website, Cristian wrote:
“Cristian Mihai (born 25 December 1990) grew up in Constanta, Romania. And he’s still growing up, or at least trying to. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he gets lucky and writes something good. He can’t, however, draw a straight line. No matter how much he tries. Not even with a ruler. And, please, don’t ever ask him to sing.”
You can tell by that introduction that he has a wonderful sense of humor. You know he is an English-as-a-second-language blogger. You would never know that by visiting his website. His English is perfect! And his tips, ideas, lessons about how to improve are priceless. He offers his services in a number of ways – and he is sponsored by several companies on his website. He’s a full-time blogger. He tells us that TENACITY is one of the most effective qualities if you want to grow your blog.
What’s ironic about his “The Road to 1,000th Order” blog?
He posted today “The Road to 1,000 …” the same day I received this notification of congratulations from WordPress:
Posting for Readers
I am not selling anything on my blog, so I won’t get 1,000 orders… But I would love to get 1,000 followers! And I am pleased to know I have posted that record 1,000 number of times – pleased because I know my posts and my readers have grown and improved through the years.
I post for my readers… and to my readers. I post to encourage, inspire, educate, and occasionally just to share my love, to share my joy or to entertain.
I post to show you the scenery, people, activities, and animals in whatever corner of the world I am today, knowing it may be very different from your surroundings. I enjoy seeing where you are and what you are doing.
Each day one or two new folks join us. Each day between 70 and 120+ folks from around the world visit JanBeek. Of those an average of 15 to 20 click “like” to let me know they have been there. If I am lucky, 8 or 10 will leave a message (usually it is only 2 or 3 comments, however). Usually I have no idea who more than 75% of my visitors are (except that WordPress tells me where they are from).
Encouraged or Discouraged?
Are those numbers typical? Are they encouraging or discouraging?
They are neither. They just are what they are. The “Discover” site on WordPress has 42,500,197 followers!! What would I do with that? I’d have to hire several private secretaries to keep up!!
It is not the numbers that keep me posting. One thousand posts since 2012… of those, the last 148 have been consecutive. It is not the numbers… it is the contacts, the friendships, the connections with people I have come to love here – or conversations with those I love in other walks of my life, as well. I hope to meet face-to-face someday the new friends like Derrick and Richard who are so kind with their messages of affirmation.
It was 148 days ago when I decided to make blogging a priority after my devotional time each morning.
It was 148 days ago when I committed to taking that part of Cristian Mihai’s advice, that “Get serious about it,” very seriously.
Just “Punch those damn keys!” Say what you mean – and mean what you say. Get passionate! Share what you care about. Be the change you want to see in the world … one word, one post, one action, at a time.
Cristian Mihai – The Art of Blogging
Cristian has 131,548 followers and often offers them perks… like today, “A random person will be selected among those who order until we reach #1000 will receive six months of reblogging, one sponsored post per month for a duration of six months, and a one-on-one Skype chat with me.”
I am one of Cristian’s 1,000. I ordered his on-line book, “The Art of Blogging,” and I subscribed to some one-on-one tutoring from him. He gave me some great advice about formatting, headlines, content, and networking. I recommend you take him up on his offered perk today. Who knows, maybe you will be the 1,000th person! He’s offering a great reward!
Yesterday I posted a picture of friends who came to share this beautiful place in Rancho Mirage, CA with Bob and me.
This morning I logged in to WordPress and found the most delightful responses to that post, as well as the Sunday post about baptism. My blogging friends’ responses were so upifting!
Thank you, dear readers, for taking the time to read and respond. You warm my heart! I blog to share my joy, my love, my blessings … because they are overflowing. I can’t contain them! God gives me more than I can keep to myself!
“Then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
Yesterday’s post from Derrick was a barn at sunrise that filled my heart to overflowing. I love his photography and blog. Do you know it?
And to have vats that overflow with new wine, I must remember to stay connected to the Vine!
Sharing the joy of God’s beauty with friends present and far away is prompted by my relationship to the Vine… Dear God who is the source of all joy. Indeed He fills my cup with love…
I pray that you feel the joy of God’s grace today, too. I pray that your cup is overflowing with love. I am so grateful for your visit to JanBeek and the sharing your uplifting comments. Thank you!
I love playing around with various poetry forms. I love learning about new forms. Yesterday I encountered a “Dalit” for the first time. Do you know it? It is 4 lines of 8 syllables each. I thought that would be fun to try. Here we go…
The choice is yours – choose joy today. We are blessed to be in sunshine. I select happiness today, And it splashes over to you!
Yes, even if you are in rain or snow, you can have sunshine in your heart. My heart prays for peace in war-torn places. My heart prays for safety for those in Harm’s Way. My heart prays for rain in Australia and stability in all places of turmoil. My heart prays for joy in your heart. Choose joy!
Try a Dalit poem. Share it! And Have a Marvelous Monday! See ya later.
It’s three o’clock in the morning and I can’t sleep, so I am up reading and commenting on some of the blogs I follow. One of them is Annika Perry’s Writing Blog. The picture above is linked to a delightful collection of random memories beautifully written. Treat yourself by clicking on the link below.
I guarantee it won’t put you to sleep, but will prompt you to create a list of “I Remember” vignettes of your own.
Originally posted on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine: Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020 This is the first post by …