Loving One Another


Looking for Greater Meaning

I am always exploring ways to add more meaning to my daily life. Are you?

I want a greater understanding of:

  • who I am,
  • how to decode the world around me
  • what my purpose is here on earth,
  • and how I can live more intentionally to fulfill that purpose.

Do we need to have reached some “state of enlightenment”
in order to decode the world around us?

photography of book page

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
wrote the following,
“Some traditions do see such understanding as
a gift or ‘awakening,’ but we believe it is a skill
that can be developed.”

Seeing the Spirit Within

“Such understanding” is defined by the Brussats as the ability to decode the world around us by seeing the sacred in everyday life. They suggest that we look to see the working of the Holy Spirit in our common activities: cooking, eating, working, walking, listening, visiting, praying … Recognize the Spirit moving in our lives through encounters with places, things, people, nature, and animals. Know that the message of the Holy Spirit personifies the greatest commandment: Love One Another. Cultivate the ability, the skill, to tune into the Spirit within you.

close up of tree against sky

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Loving Unconditionally

Loving One Another unconditionally is made possible by our ability to see the divine in one another. When we value each other’s gifts, when we see every other human being  as a Child of One Creator, then we are better able to respond to the Spirit within us.

In his foreword to Spiritual Literacy, Thomas Moore wrote, “It’s odd that after thousands of years of great spiritual example… we have to remind ourselves that spirituality is to be found in everyday life.”

Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy

The Brussats created an Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy with pointers on how certain practices can spell greater meaning in our daily lives.

I have an affection for using the alphabet as a stimulus for positive thoughts. I wrote an A-Z series last year on the subject, “What Makes Me Happy?” It was the start of my 180 consecutive days of blogging here at JanBeek.

So, I am naturally attracted to the Brussat’s Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy. I intend to use it as a new A-Z series here on JanBeek. In so doing, I hope to encourage you, my readers, to cultivate a spiritual vision while keeping an eye on the secular world. I hope to learn with you how we can unite our world views with our spiritual views. Wake up our Spiritual Literacy!

Restore Lost Bonds

I don’t want to live in La-La Land. I don’t want to experience a broad, impenetrable chasm between my social and my spiritual life. Thomas Moore explained that the Brussat’s purpose in writing Spiritual Literacy was to “restore lost bonds between spirit and matter, body and mind, church and home, work and prayer.”

I want my secular and spiritual lives to be in alignment. Do you?

Joint Effort

Let’s explore together ways to add more meaning to our daily lives, ways to decode the world around us, ways to live more intentionally to fulfill our purpose. Okay? Are you with me?

Let’s begin with A.

Tomorrow.

A = Attention

Happy 7th Anniversary


I received this notice today:

img_6733-e1555470462888.png

 

Seven is my magic number!

It’s God’s number for “completeness.” On the 7th day he rested.

Seven is our house number.

Seven is the number of grandchildren I have.

Seven is my birthday month.

Our phone number ends in a 77.

So does our PO Box number.

Our current house is the 7th dwelling
my husband and I have shared in our 57 years of marriage!

IMG_1491

But, my friends, 7 is not my number for completeness. It’s the number that causes me to look  in amazement  at all this synchronicity – and realize, “This is good!”

But, I am nowhere near complete – and neither is this JanBeek blog!  This is good – and it’s fun, but it’s not great yet!

I’m a work in progress, ending my 7th decade on earth … and ready to enter new challenges, new learning, new sharing. Growing in knowledge and grace. Striving to blog with intention and purpose – to make a positive difference for my faithfilled blogging friends.

I look forward to making new friends and keeping in touch with those who’ve hung in there with me. Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. Please try to check in with me daily and see what’s new – and leave me some encouragement, too!

I will continue to share what I am passionate about as I enter this 8th year of blogging.

As I approach my 8th decade on this earth, I share the love, joy and peace that are mine through faith. I express my gratitude. I seek help with expressions of patience, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I share ways life is a blessing and ways I have learned to manage the challenges life tosses at us. I write about things I care about (like today’s fire at Notre Dame). Sometimes I write just to entertain. Every now and then I just wanna make you laugh (like Jesus is Walkin’ on Water Again).

I hope my sharing helps and inspires and encourages my followers.

I’m hangin’ in there, and I hope you do, too!

Send seven of your friends this way., will you?
Let’s grow together!

thankyou_clip1

What Makes You Happy?


What Makes You Happy?

beach blue sky cheerful clouds

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

I was headed yesterday to visit a friend who lives about an hour away. Stuck in traffic, waiting for a very long, very slow train to pass, I was getting more and more grumbly. I was late for lunch! I decided drumming my fingers on the steering wheel and complaining was doing no good. I should change my mindset – think about what makes me happy instead.

So, I started this mental activity of alphabetically coming up with a list of things that make me happy. I texted a few to my friend (along with an apology and explanation for why I was late) and finished the list just about the time the looooong train finally finished crossing the intersection:

 

What Makes Me Happy?

  • Antelope and Accolades
  • Birthdays and Beaches
  • Christmas and Comfort
  • Dogwoods and Dawn
  • Easter and Enthusiasm
  • Friends and Family
  • Grandkids and Gratitude
  • Hospitality and Hugs
  • Integrity and Inspirations
  • JellyBellies and Justice
  • Kids and Kisses
  • Learning and Laughter
  • Music and Mountains
  • Neighbors and Nourishment
  • Opportunities and Oysters (on the half shell)
  • Puppies and Possibilities
  • Quiet and Quirkiness
  • Relaxation and Roses
  • Scripture and Springtime
  • Thankfulness and Trust
  • Understanding and Unconditional Love
  • Visitors and Vacations
  • Writing and WordPress
  • Xander and Xylophones
  • Yodeling and Yellow
  • Zoos and Zebras

 

So, try it! Next time you’re stuck in traffic, instead of grumbling and strumming, think about what makes you happy. You’ll pass the time with a smile instead of a frown, and the train will fly by!

bridge clouds cloudy dark clouds

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Share Your Smile


Mother Theresa said, “Peace begins with a smile.”

I believe it.

Do you?

Shortly after we

Moved to Montana,

I joined the

Madison Valley

Writers’ Group.

Smiles helped me

Make friends.

Shared writing

Helped us

Get to know

One another better.

.

Here is a poem

I wrote back then.

It’s still pertinent

(maybe even more so)

Today… don’t

You agree?

.

A Smile

.

“If you see someone without a smile,” the old saying goes,

“Give ’em one of yours.” It’ll chase away their woes.

It won’t hurt you a bit and it don’t take no time.

Might even be returned, and won’t cost you a dime.

.

If you see someone without a smile, maybe they just need

The kind of cheer you got – to bring ’em up to speed.

You might throw in a handshake, or a “Howdy, how ya be?”

Might be their first friendly touch in a day or two or three.

.

Might be they’d like to tell you how they truly are,

‘Cuz usually when folks ask that, they don’t really car.

So, add some hospitality to the smile you send their way,

And shucks, you never know, ya might just make their day!

Oh, and by the way,

That’s my DollyWolly,

DeDeBee’s Smile.

Ain’t it great?

“Peace begins with a smile.”

Hey, Bloggers


Hey, Bloggers,

How ya feelin’ today?

Have ya found yer smile,

Or did the blues get in the way?

.

Hey, Bloggers,

What’s your mood today?

Have ya found yer happy,

Or did some news get in the way?

.

Hey, Bloggers,

How’s yer heart today?

Do ya feel the love in there,

Or did some muse get in the way?

.

Hey, Bloggers-

I read yer post today.

It set me here to thinkin’

‘Bout what you had to say.

.

Hey Bloggers,

When life gits pure insane,

Come visit me at JanBeek

And I’ll help your spirit gain

. That smile you lost,

. A renewed sense of happy, and

. Hearts for Loving One Another

❤️💕♥️💕❤️💕♥️💕❤️

Drop by anytime.

Hey, Bloggers –

I got love to spare!

Come share ❤️💕♥️


adult background beach blue

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

 

How to Create Hope in a World of Conflict

 

Today is the day Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for a life-time appointment to the Supreme Court of the USA.  It is a day of deep national divide. Many are feeling relief that our right to be “innocent until proven guilty” has been affirmed. Others are feeling emotional despair. On this day of huge chasms, how can we create, maintain and foster a spirit of hope?

Here are three ideas for creating hope in this, our own personal, world of conflict:

1. Let Go

In a heartfelt article in this month’s Daily Word, a devotional published by Unity, I was encouraged today to “let go of trying to change things…, take some deep breaths, and rest in tranquility for a while.”

The devotional referred me to Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” I really need that gentle rest for my soul today!

I decided to look and see how that passage was translated in The Message by Eugene H. Peterson.  His Study Bible often gives me an insight that the King James or the NIV (New International Version) don’t. Sure enough, in our more modern vocabulary, The Message in Matt. 11:29-30 begins, “Are you tired? Worn out?”

Wow! Yes, after a few days of being drawn into conflicting testimonies, angry shouting, accusations and denials, and crowds protesting, I am tired. I am worn out. I am deeply troubled. I am looking for harmony!

The Message version goes on to say, “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythm of grace… Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

That’s what we all need! We need to live freely and lightly. We need to enter each day in an unforced rhythm of grace. We need live each day with a renewed sense of hope. Let go!

2. Be Nuts!

This month’s National Geographic magazine had a timely, pertinent article by Anne Lamott titled, “Despite Perils, Decide to Hope.” Her beginning sentence reads, “You would almost have to be nuts to be filled with hope in a world so rife with hunger, hatred, climate change, pollution, and pestilence, let alone the self-destruction or severely annoying behavior of certain people.” But she goes on to tell us that she lives in a state of “boundless hope” most of the time. She must be nuts then, right? How does she do it? She says she lives in hope by being optimistic, trusting, and confident that those she loves will be okay, no matter what.

That’s what we all need! We need to be more optimistic. We need to be more trusting. We need to be more confident that everything is ultimately going to be okay. Let go of what we cannot control. Focus on what we have the ability to change. Start with our own attitudes.

3. Take Action

In this week’s Guideposts magazine there is an article titled, “Heartfelt.” It tells about a Salvation Army crafts project – sewing red hearts. Called “Others,” it began in Bangladesh in 1997 with the goal of helping single women become financially able to support themselves and their children without prostituting themselves. Since its onset, “Others” has helped 1600 women in Bangladesh come out of human trafficking and step into a brighter future. The article was so compelling that I went to the website: guideposts.org/hearts-for-others and donated to the cause. For $10. or more, OTHERS will send you two handmade hearts. My donation will help other women find hope where there is despair.

With the internet and its world-wide reach, there are literally millions of places we can reach out to take action for causes in which we believe – issues for which we feel a deep compassion. Additionally, within our own communities there are dozens of places we can volunteer to offer our services.

Volunteering was one of Ann Lamott’s thrusts in her National Geographic article. She said, “Create goodness in the world and that gives us hope… ” Her examples include helping with school labs, with building water wells, cleaning up estuaries and water sheds. She said by volunteering, we wake “to the momentousness of life – the power of loving hearts.”

In my little town of Ennis with less than a thousand people, I volunteer at our local Food Bank (distributing food to the less fortunate), our Senior Center (working as a sous chef to prepare meals for folks 55 and over who come for nourishment and camaraderie), and at the Madison Valley Medical Center (greeting, answering phones, guiding patients to needed services, fund raising for needed hospital equipment, etc.).  Volunteering does indeed give me the opportunity to make a difference where I can … and focus on the areas where I have the power to create goodness.

Creating Hope in a World of Despair

So, how can we adopt an attitude of hope, of optimism, trust, and confidence in a world of conflict? We don’t do it by pointing fingers. We don’t do it by accusations and finding someone else to blame. We don’t do it by closing ourselves in a closet and avoiding exposure. We don’t do it by looking out for #1 and to Hell with the rest of the world! We do it, I believe, by following the greatest commandment. It is the sub-title of my JanBeek blog: Love One Another.

Look for the good. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Emulate it. Praise it. Tell people how much they matter. Treat others with respect. Listen. Value one another. Give others hope and encouragement. Serve with kindness. Focus on being compassionate. Find your niche. Let your cup overflow. Love One Another. Spill out HOPE!

Tell me one thing you can do this day or this week… just one thing…  to create HOPE in our desperate world. Let Go. Be Nuts. Take Action. How will you reach out?


Jesus is Walkin’ on the Water Again!

I saw the fish ajumpin’ –

Areachin’ for my fly.

I saw the trout acomin’ –

Then turn; I don’t know why.
.

Then Jesus walked beside me –

Come right up to my boat

And skeered them fish to leavin’.

He sure done git me goat!

.

I’ll try another bugger,

And when I set me hook,

I’ll check to make sure Jesus

Ain’t there. Take a good look!

.

Cuz sure as them’s raisin’ –

Ya, sure as there is play,

I thought I seen my Jesus

Walkin’ the river today!

.

It weren’t no sacred Sunday.

I ain’t done nothin’ wrong.

But maybe He’s attracted

To the river’s bubblin’ song.

.

I sure as heck cain’t blame Him.

That river calls me, too.

I don’t suppose that river song

Has ever attracted you.
.

Huh?

Ya ain’t the only one!!

Ya got a fish story to tell!??


May your National Day of Prayer

be a day when your heart strings

are connected to God’s heartstrings

HeartStrings

Enter a caption

And may your prayers be answered

with all the love God, in grace and mercy, can muster.

Amen!

I’m Back!


About a year ago I stopped writing in WordPress. My email account associated with it was full and overflowing. The task of keeping up overwhelmed me. Something had to give. So, I just stopped blogging. It’s been a good reprieve.

Then, about a month ago I flew home to Montana from a family reunion in California and brought a cold virus with me. It turned into pneumonia and threw me for a nose dive! I was so zonked by it that whole days went by in my pajamas, too drained to get out of bed or off the couch! I had way too much time to think. My husband got the bug from me. The only difference between my pneumonia and his “walking pneumonia ” was that he was too stubborn to lie down! As soon as he felt better, he went skiing. Relapse! He spent a couple days in his pj’s, too. Then when he felt better, he went skiing again. After the second relapse, he gave himself a week before he was on a ladder, painting the eaves. I gave myself the full month … in fact it’s been five weeks. Finally, I am better. I feel like I am going to survive! God bless the friends who brought food, called, prayed, visited, shopped for me, found good books to keep me entertained and still, and sent cards of encouragement! I am so grateful.

During this time of forced rest, I had time to think. Time to evaluate my life. Time to reprioritize. Time to read one of my favorite WordPress bloggers, Janet Riehl, order and savor her newest book, Sightlines, and time to be inspired by her insights and talents enough to sign up for an eight-week Writers’ Workshop. I’m back! I’m committed to starting a writing project and finishing it. I’m ready to rejoin the world of the living and make my voice heard.

Stay tuned!

Reflections


My confession, admission, and plea to God today is this:

None of us lives to just self alone;
Each of us lives for the other.
Whatever we do, be it rosy or blue,
Reflects on our sister and brother.

None of us sits on the judgment seat.
We’re not assigned to decide
If someone’s dull or bright, wrong or right,
Sending them to a corner to hide.

None of us lives a faultless life,
Though we try our utmost to seek
The humble hill to fulfill Your will
In our deeds and the words we speak.

We stumble and fall and fail to be
Examples of the upright and strong.
Try as we may, we know that someday
We’ll have to account for each wrong.

We’ll each have to stand before Your judgment seat
And review how we’ve spent every minute.
So, Lord, help us give every day that we live
All the love and the grace You put in it.

Help us to generously welcome all
To be part of whatever we do.
None of us lives to ourselves alone;
We always reflect on You.

Amen?

Amen!

Love Transforms


It is Well With My Soul
“Love Transforms”

heart of love

Listen to:
“It is Well With My Soul”
https://youtu.be/AHe_qmo3gX4

It’s Sunday.
Time for the Sermon Notes…
and as I post these, I remind myself
that I must continue to live in an attitude of gratitude
and a response of generosity,
faithfulness, obedience, and
integrity.

In that effort, I must not just attend church
and take sermon notes,
but I must walk the talk!
Love Transforms.
God’s Love…
as it lives and breathes in me
and as I exhibit it honestly to others.
Especially to the hurting,
the lonely,
the ill,
and the downtrodden.

Lord Help me BE the Love!

Here  are my sermon notes from today
– a reflection on Luke 8:26-39 –
as preached by Rev. Jean Johnson,
and interpreted by me…

Love Transforms

Sometimes folks with illness
Are defined by what is wrong.
Haunted by their ailments,
They can’t join or go along.
.

They feel as if they may as well
Be dead … they’re barely alive…
So many problems – terrible issues;
They long to live and thrive.
.

People who ignore the sick ones
May think they’re doing what’s right,
But Jesus sees new life in them.
He heals them – so now their future’s bright.

.
But naming the nameless, and
Loving the loveless can bring fear.
People don’t know how to react
When the broken are filled with cheer.

.
Transformation can be scary.
Hope can be frightening to some.
But the ones who are held down
Can be freed when the Son says, “Come!”

.
Free in Christ, and healed by God,
The dwntrodden can know new joy.
God doesn’t intend for us to dwell
In death, while alive. Fear’s a ploy.
.

Fear’s a ploy that shackles us;
It comes in many forms.
But God can bring new life to you.
Accept and proclaim it. His love transforms.

.
God blesses you!
Reach out to an ailing friend.
Bring God’s love to them.
Bring them joy without end.

.

Amen?
Amen!

heart of love
See ya tomorrow!

 

Time with Friends


Time with Friends

My TOPS Buddies
I thought I had posted this for you yesterday.
Found it in my drafts folder.

Linda-Jeannie-Diane-Jan

This is (left to right) – Linda,
Jeannie (in pink – the inspirational leader
I posted about earlier today),
Diane, and me. We were having a great time
at the Sip ‘n’ Dip Lounge, watching the mermaid
swimming in the aquarium behind us there.

I showed you that mermaid video, didn’t I?
I couldn’t believe her stamina!
If you ever go to Great Falls, MT,
be sure to visit the Sip ‘n’ Dip.

Our mermaid swam in that tank for nearly two hours
without a break! Must have scaly skin for sure!

My TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) friends
gave me this certificate at the convention:

Tops-angel-certificate.jpg

How kind of them, huh?
I enjoy my time with them,
and
appreciate their help as I
attend meetings and weigh in each week
to keep my weight at a healthy level.
They say my enthusiasm helps them, too.

If I had a nice aquarium,
I bet I could get enough exercise
that I wouldn’t have to worry about
weight gain. You think??

We really do have a good time together.
What did you do for fun this weekend?
Tell me about it.

heart of love
See ya tomorrow.

 


Some people are natural encouragers

They live as an example to others

They set goals and make them

Then set out to help sisters and brothers.

My friend, Jeannie, is such a person

She’s an inspirational gal

I’m blessed to be able

To call her my friend. What a pal!

If you have such an encourager

Who lifts up your spirits each day,

Give him or her a big hug

And then help someone else on their way.

See you tomorrow

Finding Understanding


Finding Understanding

speak-hear-understand.jpg

Have you found The One
Who understands your thinking?
You are surely blessed!

Finding understanding
Is a gift beyond compare.
If you’ve such a friendship,
Guard it lovingly with care.

It’s taken half a decade
For my spouse and me to see
Eye to eye and to hear correctly
What the other expresses silently.

I’ve a life-long girlfriend who
Understands my silent sighs.
Ours is a priceless friendship.
No need to hide or disguise.

I hope you’ve had the pleasure
Of a relationship like mine.
Such understanding is a treasure
Greater than gold. It’s so fine!

It takes practice to be a hearer
Who catches the whispers in the air.
But, if you really love someone,
You can do it. Just listen… feel…  care!

heart of love
See you tomorrow

Montana Four-Wheeling


Montana Four-Wheeling

flowers+snow-peaked mtns

Up, up, up we went on our Polaris side-by-side

Until we felt like we were at the top of the world –

The top of the Tobacco Root Range

ATV at mtn top

We took a very rocky, steep mountain trail
and passed by some phenomenal scenes
to get to that high mountain view
where the air was so fresh and clean.

The skies were threatening, but the rain held off.

Fence w Lake

Sureshot Lake always is an inviting place.
There were kayakers out on the water.
It’s quite a trail to get there!
We stopped at the one out-house available on the trek.

IMG_7406

Four guys and a dog… all chatted while Caroline and I used the facility.
(Tom, who let me ride along with him, is on the right)

4 guys + dog

No friend like a like-minded, outdoorsy, ATV-ing friend!
I am blessed to know this wonderful lady.
Thank you for your love, Caroline!

Caroline & Jan

I wish this panoramic picture was brighter for you to see the vista better!
Pictures just don’t do it justice!

caroline-panorama-40-lake.jpg

The wildflowers were beautiful.
Hard to capture their charm!

We traveled back past the rushing stream as we headed home.

Rushing Stream

It was a long, windy road back down the mountain
before it leveled off…

Gravelly Range road

Then a long, scenic road home
through sheep and goat farms
(should have got some pictures of them) …

long road home -ATV

Many thanks to Tom Riggs for letting me ride along
on his Polaris Ranger side-by-side!

From Gravelleys to MadisonValley

There’s our Madison Valley down there.
We were a long way up (above the 8,000 ft level).
Home is at 5,000 ft
I love our view!

Home Sweet Home

DFC65354-507F-47A1-A36B-3055C71E4C91

When are you gonna visit Montana?

Come and go ATV-ing and then
come sit awhile on the porch with me!

heart of love
See ya tomorrow

Stay Positive


Stay Positive

Stay positive.png

Today is my Happy Day!

Today is a good day to be alive!

I get to go out four-wheeling in the mountains with friends.

Bob is going fishing – and I don’t drive the four-wheeler.

I could, but only to the grocery store and back on flat, back roads.

Not on rough, rocky, twisty-turny steep and dangerous mountain trails!

Well, they don’t have to be dangerous… but they woud be if I was driving!

So, a friend whose wife is choosing to go to a meeting instead of going ATVing

Has invited me to occupy his empty seat in his Polaris Ranger side-by-side.

We’ll be with a few other “Happy, Warm, and Genuine People.”

Stay tuned for pictures. It should be a beautiful day!

heart of love
See ya later!

Hear the Angels


Hear the Angels

Hear Angels w Heart.jpg

Angels are watching over you
They are singing you a song
It will ease your troubled heart today
Listen carefully – and then sing along!

heart of love
See ya tomorrow

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