Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Embrace Emotions


The Scream by Edvard Munch

My second grandson was the screamer.
He spent the first couple years of his life doing it.
He certainly knew how to let his emotions out!

Screaming may not be the best way as an adult
To emote your emotions!
What are some healthy ways to let these feelings out?

Fear

But some fear is real and intended
It’s good to embrace fear when a bear is growling at you
It’s good to fear a runaway truck or an avalanche
Know when to embrace fear!

Anger

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Screaming in anger at a situation you can’t control
may not be the best way to embrace your emotion
But anger in itself is not wrong
Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers
Embrace righteous anger!

Sadness/Grief

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In Daily Guideposts today, Erika Bentson wrote,

“Cowgirls don’t cry!”
She admitted that she is “not the type to carry tissues”
but instead she can “brush over ]her] feelings.”
“Mourning doesn’t come easily to me,” is how she began.
Even in the face of her father’s death, she “stayed strong – mostly.”

In the end of the article, Erika quoted a friend who told her,
“Tears are a testament to what a great dad he was.”
She encouraged her to let the emotions show.
“Don’t be ashamed that you’re human,” she told her.

Embrace your sadness!
Allow your grief to play out!

Ezekiel 36:26

“I will give you a new heart,
and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take your stony, stubborn heart
and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Embrace your tears!
Let them flow.

Shame

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Speaking of
“Don’t be ashamed that you’re human,”
what about it?
Does shame have a place in our emotional outlet?

Psalm 34:4-5

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

Psalm 31:17

“O Lord, let me not be put to shame,
for I call upon You;
let the wicked be put to shame;
let them go silently to Sheol.”

Where does that emotion of shame fit in?
When we have screwed up and we know it,
When we have said something without thinking,
When we have done something to hurt someone else,
It is the shame we feel that causes remorse.
It is the remorse that leads to repentance.
It is the repentance that leads to “calling out”
And it is calling out that leads to forgiveness.
Do not wallow in shame.
Face your actions,
face your emotions,
and clear your conscience.

Confront your shame and eliminate it!

Despair

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do not despair!
Replace despair with hope.
Despair is not a healthy emotion.
We are humans, prone to error,
But we are not desperate!

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed…”

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This is one of my favorite verses.
It is my faith that keeps me from despair-
And my prayer for you is that regardless of your circumstance,
you also can have the faith “which surpasses all understanding.”

Do not embrace despair!

Peacefulness

I feared that my second grandson, the Screamer,
would grow up to be a very disgruntled human being.
I should never have let that emotion embrace me.
Embrace the peacefulness of hope!
Embrace the peacefulness of letting go.
Embrace the peacefulness of knowing
God’s got this!!

There’s Nick – at peace with self and nature.

The emotions that accompany peacefulness
are joy, contentment, satisfaction, and submission.

Nick and Celine’s slippers with their peaceful dog

Embrace Peace!

Pride

What about that emotion of pride?
Pride in self? Pride in your accomplishments –
Pride in the person your children or grandchildren have become –
What about pride?

Proverbs 11:2

“When pride comes,
then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.”

Romans 12:16

“Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be haughty,
but associate with the lowly.
Never be wise in your own sight.”

Bob is reading a book right now titled, Soul Survivor, by Philip Yancey.
In it he learned about thirteen people who influenced Yancey’s life.
One of them is Gandhi who always traveled third class.
When asked why, his response was,
“Because there is no fourth class.”

Humility

In the last years of his life, Gandhi adopted a man with leprosy.
Daily he bathed him and changed that man’s bandaged.

Proverbs 22:4

“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”

Gandhi was invited to meet the King of England.
Gandhi approached the king wearing only his loincloth.
A bystander asked him why he was dressed so scantily.
He responded, “He is wearing enough clothes for both of us,”

Gandhi embraced the emotion of humility to the extreme.
As a result, he was indeed rewarded with “honor and life,”
but his riches were not in gold and silver,
for he disdained material possessions,
his riches were in honor, peace, and a meaningful life.

When you go to Google and enter Gandhi’s name,
Mahatma Gandhi – Wikipedia, it will tell you:
“Mahatma Gandhi,
as he is known by his followers with reverence,
preached the philosophy of non-violence
which has become even more relevant today.
His commitment to non-violence
and satyagraha (peaceful resistance)
gave hope to marginalized sections of India.”

Humility is a Wonderful Emotional Outlet!

Embrace the emotions
associated with humility:

joy
compassion
contentment
satisfaction
and leave all your worries behind!

See ya tomorrow.

Tell Me:
Which emotion will you embrace more today?
And which will you try to release?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek!

Embrace Gifts


We
All have
Gifts to give
All others do, too
Embrace

Embrace
The gifts
Celebrate others’ gifts
Open them with care
Receive

Gifts

Recognize
And see
What others give
To enhance your life
Appreciate

Name
Your gifts
Use them lovingly
Share them with humility
Blessings

Gifts are blessings to be shared

Share
Love and
Time and compassion
Remember that you matter
Engage

Engage
In life
With your heart
Wide open to receive
Gifts

Gifts
Don’t always
Come all wrapped
In pretty Christmas packages
Discern

Precious
Loving gifts
Often are disguised
In very simple acts of
Humility

You
Have gifts
Unique to you
Never underestimate your impact
Shine

Shine
Your gifts
With loving kindness
Embrace the many opportunities
Smile!

Thanks
For coming
To JanBeek today
Your loving presence here
Matters

Elfchen or Elevensie is a poetic form that uses eleven words in a configuration of 1,2,3,4,1. Did you recognize it as you read my post today? If you haven’t already, you should try it. It’s fun! Thank you, Richard at Big Sky Buckeye for inspiring me and sharing your gift! Check out his blog, my friends.

See ya tomorrow

P.S. I found this insightful You.Tube presentation on the subject of GIFTS… gifts of the Holy Spirit. I thought it was quite well done – and a good addition to the topic, Embrace Gifts. If you have time, I highly recommend it.


If we don’t feel safe yet
Traveling to places we want to go,
Then let’s embrace virtual travel.
Go with me to the most beautiful country:
Switzerland!!

My daughter, DeAna, lives in this gorgeous country –
I’ve shown you this picture recently of them in front of their restaurant:

De & Andre’ have three boys,
Mike, Nick, and Chris.
This week I received photos from Mike
( I think it was him who sent them)
sharing a wonderful meal they all enjoyed
at Mike and Tania’s apartment.

Natalia (Chris’ girlfriend) is in Colombia,
so she was not able to be there in person.
Thanks to ZOOM, however,
she was in the room for an hour!!
There is Nick with Celine:

(That’s Mike and Tania in the middle…
And Chris with Natalia on the right)

I love the internet because it allows
Long-distance grandparents
To be part of their grandkids’ lives.
Thank you, dear grandsons, for sharing with us!

Travel with me to other parts of
Switzerland!

Doesn’t it make you want to go there?
It really is picture postcard perfect everywhere you look!!

We forgive you, Andre’,
for taking DeDe with you
to this beautiful country.
If there is some place in the world
where we HAVE to travel
because our family is there,
we can think of no better place than
Switzerland!!


Here is our daughter, De,
singing a duet with our youngest grandson, Chris.
At the end he says, “My ball of rice!”
That’s his reference to Natalia.
So sweet.
Aren’t they cute?

Thanks for joining me,
dear blogging friends.
Sante’!! To your health!!
Have a good night.

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

A Heart to Comply


Time for the weekly sermon notes.
We had ZOOM church this morning with the
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana – sermon preached by
Rev. Steve Hundley

As you know, if you’ve followed my blog
for a couple of weeks or more,
I listen intently to the pastor’s message
and I take notes in poetry,
tying to capture the essence of the message.
Here is today’s attempt:

Steve titled it, “Vocational Temptation”
I re-titled it “A Heart to Comply”
Read on and you’ll see why.

“My brother made me do it!”
That’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ to it!
We rolled tires down a quarter mile hill
I was dared to hit a cow. Could I do it?

Yup, the tire hit the cow.
The ow hit the ground with a thud.
Oh my! The cow landed hard –
Topped over and bam! Hit the mud!

I got punished big time for it.
I was told not to hurt God’s life.
Yet later, I saw my dad kill a cow –
And heck! He didn’t think twice!

There must be differet standards
For different kinds of behavior.
Temptations effect each differently.
Temptations weren’t new to our Savior.

He can identify with the Christian
Who goes to the club to play golf
Instead of going to church that day –
And excuses himself with a cough.

It’s not hard to give in
To the temptations around us.
When we do, don’tcha know
God doesn’t punish or ground us.

God understands we’re mortals
Who are prone sometimes to neglect
The things we know we ought to do.
He gives us time to repent and reflect.

Jesus went from being told by a voice
That God is proud of Him, God’s Son,
To being a man in the wilderness
Tempted by the devil – but God won!

For 40 days and 40 nights the devil
Tempted Jesus to give in to him.
But angels were there, and scripture, too.
Jesus didn’t let God’s light grow dim.

The light of God shone brightly
As Jesus resisted the devil’s invitation
To become more than He already was –
To rule the whole universe and all creation.

The Lord is asking us today
To resist the temptation to forego
His Word and do something wrong.
Instead, live in God’s Love – Let His light show.

Lord, let my life be consecrated
To You, my Savior, and may I
Use the gifts You’ve given me
With gratitude … and a Heart to Comply!

Amen.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Have a super rest of your Sunday.
Hugs to you!

Embrace Questioning


Embrace Questioning!
Do we embrace all questions?
Like, “Are you stupid?”

No, it’s not questions,
But the act of questioning
That deserves embrace.

Not all questions are
Developed with pure motives.
Embrace those that are!

Embrace a pure heart
Full of inquisitiveness.
Ask because you care.

When you meet someone
Ask their name and remember –
Use it lovingly.

Ask about their life.
Listen with sincere interest.
Listening’s a gift.

Questioning’s one thing;
Listening is another.
They go hand in hand.

When I think of questioning with a pure motive and listening with an open heart, I think of Job. Even if you are not a Christian, seeped in the Bible stories, you have heard the expression, “The patience of Job.” (That’s pronounced Jobe… not job, like Steve Jobs, the American business magnate). What made the prophet, Job, come to mind?

Job is presented in the Bible as a good and prosperous family man who is beset by Satan with God‘s permission with horrendous disasters that take away all that he holds dear, including his children, his health, and his property. He struggles to understand his situation and begins a search for the answers to his difficulties. Searching for answers involves questioning. He does so without condemning God. He maintains his trust in God to ultimately work for his good – even when he is in the worst of his turmoil.

What a desolate looking man!
What must he be saying to God?
What questions would you be asking?

What does Job ask God?
“He demands answers from God Himself. Job wants to know why bad things happen to good people. He knows it’s not right, and will not accept the saccharine answers of his friends.”

God, “Why Have You Made Me Your Target”? (Job 7:20)

God explains to Job that to us mere mortals sometimes there are no words—no rationalizations—that can make sense of the unhappiness we endure.

Trauma happens and we have to accept it. Explanations may make us feel better, but they mislead. Ultimately, Job, like all of us, must endure suffering not knowing why … or if the question even counts.

Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.

The Book of Job asks “why good people suffer,” but never actually answers the question. What it does do, is correct misconceptions about why we suffer. The truth of this wonderful tale is that man can’t know everything. 

Again, let me repeat, “Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.”

How does this story relate to your life and mine?
Have you ever questioned why life was
throwing stones at you that you didn’t deserve?

Or have you questioned why you didn’t get a job that you knew you deserved?

This happened recently to my son. He applied for a job that he knew he was qualified for. Another person was chosen instead. He got a form letter of rejection. Instead of falling into a fit of depression or raging in disbelief, he called the person who did get the job and congratulated her. He asked if there was anything he could do to support her in her assignment – and he asked her to keep an eye out in case she saw a position in the future for which she thought he might be a good fit.

Within a day, he received a call back and an extension of his responsibilities was offered along with a significant pay raise.

Now, I’m not suggesting that every time you ask the right questions with the right motive, you’ll get a pay raise!

No, it’s not that simple. But, what embracing questioning does is it changes your focus. The right questions – in the right spirit – make the difference between misery and openness. The difference between depression and expression. The difference between pessimism and positivity.

Embrace a pure heart
Full of inquisitiveness.
Ask because you care.

Don’t question, “Why you?”
Instead ask, “What can I do?”
“Can I be of any help?”

Your attitude counts.
Humility is the key.
Embrace questioning!

My son posted this meme
the day before his interview.

God is good.
All the time!
Even to the Jobs of this world!
Be patient in love.
Your pay raise is coming!!

Hah!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Got any questions??
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Humility


Humility Reigns
Its opposite is boasting
Let others do it!

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with
compassion,
kindness,
humility,
gentleness
and
patience.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Luke 14:11

For all those who exalt themselves
will be humbled,
and those who humble themselves
will be exalted.”

Photo by Vu0103n Long Bu00f9i on Pexels.com

With humility
Offer whatever you have
With a cheerful heart

Photo by Timothy Paule II on Pexels.com

Good to be brilliant
But bragging about your smarts
Dulls intelligence

Let the compliments –
Accolades about your job –
Come from other folks

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

So, be generous
With giving out accolades
Show your gratitude

Photo by Gary Barnes on Pexels.com

Thanks for your service
Thanks for your affirmations
You give so humbly

Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

Humility Reigns
It’s not easy to achieve
In a “You deserve it” society

Step out of your skin
And step into others’ lives
Everyone needs praise

My favorite singer in the 1950’2

You can find the words
Tell someone they’re marvelous
It’s not hard to do!

Proverbs 27:2

“Let someone else praise you,
and not your own mouth;
an outsider,
and not your own lips.”

Hugs to you
from Bob & me

We think you are marvelous!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Aging


I could have called this “Embrace Maturity,”
but that would have been pussyfooting around the issue.
Not everyone matures as they age,
but aging is not an option.

You do it or you die.

However, I embraced this meme when I saw it:

Aging is a privilege only given to the lucky ones, you know.
So, yes, I will count this year …
but at 81, I sometimes forget if it is 80 or 81
and if I try to get by with the lesser number,
I have an 82 year old husband who is quick to remind me.

Hah! Can’t fool him…
He keeps a check on me – – –
but he’s not big on donuts.
Darn!

My daughter
(most of you have met her on this blog in the past –
DeDe – lives in Switzerland)
sent me this a little while back.
She particularly liked it
because one of Bob’s nicknames for me
is “Rocky”

Most of you also know that I have a sanctuary
where I spend the first hour most every morning…
and in it I have three antique rockers.
Ah, yes, it’s the perfect image of me!

But the chair that brings us
mutual joy
is the one we put in the back of our ATV
and pull out when we stop for a break.
The best way to embrace aging
is to find a hobby that you can enjoy
with someone you love.

For Bob and me, it is joining friends
and going four-wheeling
on these wonderful Rocky Mountain trails. ..
stopping to fish the mountain lakes.
Ah, that’s livin’!!

What hobbies
make your aging process more enjoyable?
One of our mutual hobbies
(besides four-wheeling)
is teaching Sunday School.

Here are darling Ruby & Cord.

COVID got in the way
of being able to meet each Sunday morning
with these two darlings and one other…
and then these two moved away.
As they age, their mom sends us pictures.

Getting picture from family and friends
is a great way to welcome the new day
and look forward to the next time you can visit.

Aging is easier to embrace if you have dreams –
something to look forward to, right?

We dream of next October –
when COVID-19
will be controlled
and it will be safe
to travel to see our daughter,
De, and her husband, Andre’ –
and stay in one of the hotel rooms above the restaurant.

As we age,
some of the benefits
outweigh the struggles
that come with aching joints
and lowered energy levels.

One of them is,
when your grandkids act up
and get on your nerves,
you can just send ’em back to their folks!

Couldn’t do that when you were younger
and they were your own kids!

Gotta look for the perks in this aging process!

Oh my!
Take ’em home!!

Another advantage of aging
is that we have time to reminisce
about the “Good Ole Days”
and the songs we used to sing
that these youngsters with their guitars and drums
don’t seem to understand anymore.

And if those songs
and the memories they bring
aren’t enough to make you feel good
about still being on this earth,
try singing this one:

Another way to “Embrace Aging”
is to relish the extra time
you have to just find a good book,
pour yourself a hot chocolate or a glass of wine,
curl up in front of a warm fire,
and spend some uninterrupted quality time.

When you were younger, that luxury was seldom yours, right?

Now, if you are a youngster (under retirement age)
reading this blog,
you are probably thinking that I am a dreamer.
You’re right. I am!
And each day I dream up all kinds of things
to keep me exuberant about life.

Yesterday it was effervescence.
The day before it was … oh, do I have to go back that far?

Nope!
A trick to aging gracefully is to remain playful.
Keep your hobbies,
and make up ways to keep the sparkle alive.
Take those boots that were left at the front door
and get creative!

If you can’t get out because you’re snowed in –
and you’re longing for sushi,
but the nearest place is an hour away,
send money to your kids
and tell them to go out for sushi on you.
But make sure they send you a picture…
and drool all over the computer screen
when they send it!

Ask your friends to send you a picture
of the table they decorated for some recent holiday –
and then marvel at their creativity
as you sit down for the 10th night in a row at your kitchen counter…
thanking God for your life,
your food, your kids, and your kitchen counter.

A trick to embracing aging
is to always remain thankful for your blessings…
even if they aren’t at a yacht club!!

Now, here’s a couple who knows how to live it up:
My friends, the Rosens.

Embrace Aging
by feeding your mind
Hope, Truth and Love
on a daily basis.

Don’t let your mind tell you you’re OLD.
That’s a state of mind for the senile.
It’s not for you!

Tell your mind
that aging just adds to your story…
and you’re not finished telling it yet!

Have fun, my friend.
Make room for sunsets.

Photo by Trung Nguyen on Pexels.com

Look forward to sunrises.


And believe in miracles…
Because you are one!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Effervescence


Don’t you love that word?
Effervescence is bubbly;
Bubbly is delight.

So, smile, Bob!

Bubbles bring smiles –
They bring us celebrations.
We hear them giggle.

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

Effervescence helps
Make water taste lots better.
See our Soda Stream?

It is our new toy;
Changes our pure well water
Into bubbly treat.

Yes, I know the “J”
In Montana Majesty
Is replaced by “G”

That’s because MAGIC
Is the root word intended
Montana’s MAGIC!

And this new machine
Changes water magically
Into a great treat.

See the bubbles?

We have a dear friend
Whose special name is Sparkles;
She’s effervescent!

She lights up a room
Whenever she enters it –
Effervescent friend:

Like the fire there,
Her light is warm and friendly.
Have you such a friend?

What else in your life
Sparkles with effervescence?
Water, friends, and what?

The faith that’s in me
Sparkles with the love of Christ.
Bravely let it out!

I share the Good News
Through my blog and with my life.
It’s my Bubble Source!

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Son Shine bubbles up –
Creates my effervescence!
What makes YOU sparkle?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

By the way, did you miss my “Embrace” message yesterday?
It was “Embrace Rest” – and so I took a break!!

I really enjoy this Don Ho song.
It takes me to Hawaii.
Brings back bubbly memories.
Do you have a favorite song
that bubbles up happy memories in you?

EMBRACE EFFERVESCENCE!!

Embrace Inspiration


“How do you define inspiration?”
I asked my husband, Bob, that question at breakfast this morning.
He said, “Enthusiastic Appreciation that Motivates.”
I nodded. Yes, when we are inspired, the next step is action!

Photo by Martin on Pexels.com

We may not be inspired to physically climb mountains,
But inspiration will lead us to climb higher than
We would without that motivation, right?
I am motivated to be grateful for all my blessings.

In my gratitude, I know I am blessed to be a blessing.
I am inspired to reach out in love to those around me.
I am inspired to share the things that keep me moving.
I am motivated to want to help my friends move forward, too.

Actions do speak louder than words, but words count!
I can bless my friends and family with affirmative thoughts,
Just as you inspire me by your positive comments.
I am grateful for the way you inspire me.

Today is “Presidents’ Day” in the USA – a day to remember –
Remember and be grateful for the two presidents who
Inspired our nation to form as one union and then to unite
After a Civil War that tore us apart: Washington and Lincoln.

In my Daily Guideposts today, the writer, John Dilworth,
Was inspired by Colossians 3:23 to write about his experience
With President Jimmy Carter’s Air Force One when the
Then President Carter visited the base where he was stationed.

His picture of Air Force One is a reminder of the way
The team of cadets worked at the fueling station
With total commitment, unified teamwork, and
Precise execution to service the President’s plane.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com
(This may not be the president’s plane – but you get the idea)

Col. 3:23

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

What inspires you to total commitment?
When have you experienced total team commitment?
Where have you seen precise execution of a task?
What do you think inspired each of those situations?

John Dilworth ended his message with this:

“Today as we honor our past and current presidents,
I must ask myself, ‘How can I do my best for the president today?’
… One thing we can all do every day is pray for the president.”

Pray for our world’s leaders, for their discernment, safety, and effectiveness.

Here is my Elfchen for today –
Inspired by Proverbs, chapter 15
(An “Elevenie” – poem with 11 words in a pattern of 1,2,3,4,1):

Inspiration
Gentle Answer
Wise loving correction
Happy heart, cheerful face
Understanding

Put on your happy face –
And be inspired to do something for somebody else today.
Start now!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Hearts


Happy Valentine’s Day!!

As I write this,
my heart is breaking.

Broken-Hearted

I just discovered this morning that my dear friend, Leena’s son, Vince, died suddenly on Friday. No warning! He was about the age of my son, Ty. Vince worked at our local grocery store. I saw him there often … always a smile, always a cheerful greeting. He was at work Friday. Friday night after dinner, he was sitting in his chair at home with his parents, and he just stopped breathing. Can you imagine the shock??

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

Prayers for All Grieving

My heart is broken
for Leena and Bob and their family.
My prayers go out to all of you
who have lost a loved one this year.

Your hearts are grieving, too,
as you face this first Valentine’s Day
without that special person.
God bless you! Link heartstrings with mine.

Heart strings

In our ZOOM church service this morning,
I provided the “special music.”
It was inspired by the February 14th message
in Charles Stanley’s In Touch Daily Devotional.

“When facing all kinds of difficulties,
many of us have a tendency to power through
in our own strength. But the reality is
that’s never effective – at least not for long.
God wants us to come closer to Him.

When we stay focused on Jesus,
we can take comfort in knowing
He’ll lead us through the hard places.

As you continue walking with Him,
trust that He already knows
what will happen in your life –
and that regardless of what lies ahead,
He will never leave you.”

EMBRACE HEARTS
Lord, link mine to yours –
And link ours to one another.
Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com
Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow

Embrace Hearts with one another –
Offer your love and support to heal.
Heal the broken-hearted by sharing.
Share your love with a song or a meal.

Not everyone has a heart full of love today;
Some are feeling quite empty.
Lord, fill their hearts with the love of God –
And encourage others to “Go With Him” today.

Hugs from JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Blooming


Let’s embrace blooming –
Both the blooming of flowers
As well as ideas.

Let’s embrace blooming –
Blooming of plants and ideas
As well as people.

Let’s embrace blooming –
Blooming of people today;
The world needs blossoms!

Charles StanleyIn Touch Magazine cover

One is fully bloomed –
One is on its way to bloom –
A couple are curled.

To fully open,
We must face toward the Son Light.
Do not turn away!

You, too??

Blossoms need sunlight.
We need the light of the Son
In order to bloom.

Isaiah 35:1-2a

“The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.”

Your soul will sparkle;
It will bloom and grow in love
If you walk humbly.

As long as Christ leads
We can make it all the way;
We can bloom and thrive.

Let your blossoms dance!
Follow in obedience.
Let your spirit shine.

My choice for the look alike contest.
Don’t you love those smiles?
“Smilers never lose, and frowners never win.”
Listen to the song below!!

Your smile’s contagious
When you blossom from inside.
Let’s Embrace Blooming!

You deserve this award!

Your blogging sparkles
And your face reflects the Son.
You’re brilliant and bright!

Fertilize others
With words of encouragement.
Continue to bloom!

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com
God bless You!!

My heart bubbles over with gratitude for God’s Bright and Brilliant Light.
May it continue to bubble over in our hearts and lives.
“Open up your heart and let the sunshine in!”
Listen to the sunny song below –
It’s a favorite from my childhood.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Wonder


Do you ever wonder what’s real and what’s not?
Do you wonder what’s truth and what’s fiction?
Do you wonder why certain things happen?
Do you wonder what tomorrow will bring?

What if you grew up with a dad
Who was a Special Effects Artist?
What would the world seem like
To you if this was your daily reality?

Special Effects Video

Ever wonder what life would be like
If you had not met the person who
Is front and center in your life now?
Who would be with you instead?

Smooshed kisses –
Watch out noses!!

Ever wonder how God created
The beauty of a rainbow or sunset?
The colors of the variety of birds?
Or every zebra’s stripes unique?

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com
Double rainbows – no less!!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
No two are alike!!

Ever wonder how He could make
Each snowflake different?
Each eye unique – unlike any other?
Each voice to sound like no other?

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com
No two are alike… amazing!!
Each eye is unique.
No two are the same.
Amazing!!

Did you ever wonder if our eyes grow over our lifetime? When we’re born, our eyes are about two-thirds smaller than they’ll be when we reach adulthood. People’s eyes stop growing in length by the age of 20-21, when they reach about 24 millimeters. But the weight of the eyes’ lenses continue to increase over time. Isn’t that a wonder?

Ever wonder how I knew that? Used to be we had a huge set of encyclopedia that we bought from a door-to-door salesman. Encyclopedia Britannica. Outdated by the time it was published. Ask Siri today. Ask Alexa. Carry your encyclopedia in your pocket. Ever wonder how our kids could survive without their cell phones?… And about those voices:

People recognize us by our voices.

Ever wonder what life would be like
If the only thing we bothered to talk about
Was the good that we see in others?
This is a poem my mom had memorized:

Wouldn’t this old world be better
If the folks we meet would say
“I know something good about you,”
And then treat us just that way?

Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy
If each handclasp warm and true
Carried with it this assurance,
“I know something good about you”?

Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If the good that’s in us all
Were the only thing about us
That folks bothered to recall?

Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If we praised the good we see?
For there’s such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me.

Wouldn’t it be nice to practice
That fine way of thinking, too?
You know something good about me!
I know something good about you.

(Louis C. Shimon)

Mom posted that poem along with many others on a cardboard that she had hanging inside her kitchen cabinet door. She gathered the poems as a new bride in 1937. They were cut from the weekly newspaper. I have that cardboard posted inside my kitchen cabinet door here in Montana. It’s fading fast and becoming harder and harder to read… but I have most of them memorized now, too!

Ever wonder what your life would be like
If you were born to a different mother?
You wouldn’t be you, would you?
What if your mother had different attributes?

My mother loved poetry (obviously) –
And so that love of words well spoken
Rubbed off on me – and I wonder
What would life be like without poetry?

I wonder what life will be like
when there is no more COVID-19.

Laura Sullivan is a musical artist
Whose poetry and piano expertise
I shared with you in a previous blog:
https://janbeek.blog/2020/12/15/shared-poetry-music/

Ever wonder what this world would be like
Without the wonder of music?
The streams would have to stop and
The wind would have to cease.

Ever wonder how one could live happily
Without having a sense of wonder?
What do you wonder about, my friend?
What gives you a sense of awe and wonder?

(By the way, that “Nature Sounds” video will play for 10 hours.
Do you think the image or sound will change after a while?
Ever wonder how they did that?)


Sending my love and hugs.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Wonder which of your friends
would like a link to this post?

Bob & Jan
at breakfast
on our 59th anniversary
yesterday.

Thank you for all your positive comments and good wishes.
I wonder what blogging would be like if I didn’t have YOU in it?
Not a pretty thought!

EMBRACE WONDER!!
Come back tomorrow.

Embrace Marriage


Happy 59th Anniversary today to my sweetheart, Bob, my life’s partner!!

February 11, 1962
Bob & his brother, Bill…
The week when we first met…
What a ham!!
While we were dating, and engaged,
I was bridesmaid in Bob’s sister, Bonnie’s wedding.
Our engagement was “trying times”

Bob & I both have a deep faith. It was God who put us together. It was our faith and prayer that kept us together. During our engagement, he was in Germany, in the army. I was in college, wanting to enjoy college life. I broke up with him. But, God knew we belonged together. He made sure we got back together again! (Thank You, God!) And He helped us stick it out all these years through good times and bad. I’m so grateful!!

In the car – after the wedding – headed for the reception
We were married nearly three years
before I became pregnant
There’s DeDe and Ty with Bob –
-blowing out his birthday candles

Our children, Ty & DeAna, have been such a blessing in our lives. Thank You, God, for the gift of these children!! During our early married years (after the first 8 months in Germany), we lived in Turlock (for a year) and then San Francisco and San Mateo. Bob worked for Shell Oil and then went back to college (San Francisco State). He earned his teaching credential and then coached wrestling and taught Driver’s Ed at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, CA.

Bob curled his hair when he became a beekeeper in the 70’s.
We had lots of fun on weekends in the winter
going skiing together.

We moved from the Bay Area back to the San Joaquin Valley in CA. Bob took over his Dad’s beekeeping business when his father retired. Did you know that beekeepers with hair that is close their head (hair that gets greasy or sweaty) are targets for bee stings? With a perm, the bees couldn’t get to the scalp.

You ask why he didn’t just wear a hat like most beekeepers do? Bob hates wearing a hat! He didn’t wear protective gloves either. Those are topics for another day!

I was teaching in Hughson, Ceres, and Modesto, CA in those days.
Then I moved into administration for a dozen years.
Principal and Curriculum Coordinator
Time passed.
Gray hair started to change our appearance!
We both claim we were the one who loved the most!!
After retirement, we were able to travel.
I dyed my hair for awhile before I learned to embrace the gray.
(That’s a good topic for another day)

Our Daughter, De

In 1987, our daughter, DeAna, married Andre’, a Swiss (the first cousin of our AFS exchange student).

She wore my wedding dress 25 years after I did!

I have written about De & Andre’s fairy tale story in the past. She moved to Switzerland when our first grandchild was “in the hopper.” That was nearly 30 years ago! Every other year we would go to visit them (so, no, we didn’t really wait ’til retirement to travel … we just got to do more of it after Bob left beekeeping and we moved here to Montana).

Thank you, Diana Housel, for this gorgeous photo of our dear Montana!!

This is the village of Vissoie, Switzerland where DeDe and Andre’ live now.
Andre’ and De have three boys.
Our Swiss grandsons are Mike, Nick & Chris.
We hope to travel there this October to spend time with them.
Virus, be gone!!!

You will recall, they have a restaurant there!
We NEED to go and see it in person!!

Our Son, Ty

Our son, Ty, blessed our family in 1989
by marrying his sweetheart, Monika.
The two of them adopted four children.
Sam, Hope, Jordan & Faith are young adults now.
I’ve written about them here on my blog.
Our lives are so enriched by this extended family.
Ty & Moni live in CA, near Lake Tahoe.
This picture of them was taken of them
at our youngest granddaughter, Faith’s wedding.
We hope to travel to CA to be with them this year in June.
Virus be gone!!

Pleeeease God, help us be able to travel to CA in June!
I need to see my darling great-granddaughter, Cosette!

Life is Full

Life is full of love and joy and promises for a bright tomorrow. We have so much for which to be grateful. We know we are blessed to have one another and to have lived into our 80s and remained married to that same partner for nearly 60 years.

Embrace Marriage, my friends! And EMBRACE YOUR LIFE’S PARTNER if you are fortunate as I am to have one!

Today, February 11, 2021, our 59th anniversary, starts our 60th year of marriage, doesn’t it? When a baby turns one, they are starting their 2nd year on earth. Yes, that’s the way it works! Sixty years with one life partner!! I am extremely blessed!

With God every day is full
of simple delights
and unexpected joys.

Couples that pray together, stay together.
And it helps to do other things together, too!

On Super Bowl Sunday, we had a Pizza Party.
We made our pizza together.
Turned out pretty well!
We plan to keep on doing things together
as long as the Good Lord allows…

The road is long… and
We’ve come a long way together.

With God’s grace and blessings,
we will continue to travel this road of life together
for many more years to come.
We don’t know what the future holds,
but we know Who holds the future…
and we let Him lead us.

Happy Anniversary,
Sweetheart Bob.
I love you!

Wherever you lead me, I will follow…
I’ll go with you, with you, all the way!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed February 11th.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Wisdom


Thank you, dear blogging reader, for tuning in to Day #40 of my “Embrace” series.

Forty is a meaningful number in the Bible.
But its significance is not limited to biblical application.
Forty days:

  • is mentioned 146 times in the Bible.
  • is used to designate important time periods in the Bible.
  • is the number of days before his temptation, that Jesus fasted: “forty days and forty nights” (Matthew 4:2, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2).
  • is the period from the resurrection of Jesus to the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:3).
  • carries significance in today’s world: Minus 40 degrees, or “40 below,” is the only temperature that is the same in both Fahrenheit and Celsius.
  • was important in the Middle Ages: when the bubonic plague gripped Europe, ships would be isolated in harbor for 40 days before passengers could go ashore.
  • is the origin of words we use in today’s pandemic: The Italian word for 40 is quaranta—hence quarantine.
  • is the number of weeks a typical pregnancy actually lasts – Forget nine months!

The wisdom of Jesus’ emphasis on 40 came from God.
Our wisdom has the same source.
All we need to do is tap into it!

James 3:17

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

Proverbs 1:7

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Colossians 3:16

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

That state of peaceful happiness,
that contentment,
comes from our ability
to seek wisdom
and to follow the leading
of those words of instruction.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Daniel 1:17

“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”

Wisdom is not relegated to the aged.
Daniel was a boy of 17 when he was chosen.
You are chosen today to tap into
The wisdom God has for you!

Proverbs 13:20

“Walk with the wise and become wise.”

God gives us true friends
Who are wise and wonderful.
They are His gifts to us
To help us EMBRACE WISDOM

He has chosen friends for us
Who are wise and full of grace.
They walk into our hearts
And leave their footprints all over it!

Watch for those friends
as God puts them in your path!

In today’s Daily Guideposts, Ginger Rue wrote, “…you become like the five people you spend the most time with.” She told a story about how her husband, “Sweet Dwight,” is a person she wishes to emulate. “I hope someday to have a heart like my husband’s: wise, and full of grace… and always looking for the best in people.”

Who is a star in your life, an example of wisdom and grace? Are the five people you spend the most time with people whose lives you wish to emulate? Can you name them?

Bob is a star in my life… and so are CG & Caroline
Terry & Jim are stars in my life
Marcie is the friend everyone wishes s/he had!
She always looks for the good in everyone.

Daniel 12:3

“And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

Psalm 147:4

“He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. “

If the God of Heaven and Earth has named the stars,
And if He has created all that is seen and unseen,
How surely can we count on His wisdom, and
How assured we can be of His Wisdom if we but ask.

Look for the wisdom in the friends you choose.
Embrace the love in their hearts that shines
Like the stars in the sky – and reflects
The wisdom of their Maker who is alive in them.

EMBRACE WISDOM

I pray you have the JOY
of wise and loving friends.
They truly are God’s gifts to us.
Terry & Elaine are two of my wise stars.

Thank You for them, God!

Thank you for visiting JanBeek today.
May the words of my blog
And the thoughts in my heart
Inspire you to reach out to your life’s stars.

(They can be friends we spend on-line time with…
especially in these days of COVID-19 social-distancing!)

Thank them…
and thank God
for His wisdom
that sent them to you!


Remember, we become
like the five
we spend the most time with.
Choose wisely!!

See ya tomorrow.


How do you define adversity?
It is symbolized by tough times.
It is exhibited by disagreements.
It represents challenges.

How do we deal with adversity?
Why should we embrace it?
Misfortune means misery, right?
Calamity and distress are its partners.

But the Bible says, “The Lord is
A stronghold in times of trouble.”
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed.
“Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”
(Psalm 34:10b)

So let us embrace adversity
By understanding it is a vehicle
That strengthens us just as fire
Tempers steel and hardens it.

We are called to share each other’s burdens.
That is one of the purposes of church:
Congregations are called to care for,
Encourage, empathize, and strengthen one another.

“The church is a network of shoulders
Supporting the collective weight
Of everyone’s troubles, lifting burdens,
Helping others find rest for their weary hearts.”

(Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries)

God often uses hard times to get our attention.
When things are going great,
we are not so quick to turn to Him.
But trials drive us to our knees for answers and comfort.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield,
my heart trusts in Him,
and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise Him.

Photo by Luna Lovegood on Pexels.com

The adversity that I faced recently was the death of my “favorite student,” Ty Stiles. The picture above could easily have been him. His early death was “misfortune” to the highest degree! I have told you about him in several recent blogs. Yesterday was his Memorial Service at Monte Vista Chapel, his home church in Turlock, CA. I was blessed to be able to attend it virtually because the church recorded it on a YouTube broadcast.

How do we face the “misfortune” of such a loss? Only by our faith! Only by knowing God keeps His promises and Ty has gone to Heaven. We will go there some day, too. We will all be reunited. In the meantime, adversity turns to adventure. We are invited to live our lives with thankfulness for the privilege of knowing one another. We are asked to change our perspective from “I can’t handle this,” to “”I can’t handle this on my own, but I can with Jesus’ help.”

Let the adventure of today’s challenges bring strength when we feel weak, safety when we feel danger, comfort when we feel distress. Let us be the ones who stand tall and say, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” Be ever ready to leap for joy and with your song, ever praise the Lord who is our strength.

Pray for his comfort and strength, rather than praying that he’d simply remove difficulties. Embrace Adversity. Be the shoulder others lean on. God will bless you!

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Writing Poetry


In my devotional time this morning, I read an article that spoke to me of the way poetry fits into my life … a life that is filled with the wonder of poetic healing. I am impelled to share it with you because I hope it will inspire and validate your poetic instincts the way it did mine.

Before you read it, you may want to scroll to the bottom here and click on Laura Sullivan’s piano music. Listen to it as you read Jacqueline Suskin’s inspiring article.

Finding the Poetry in Everyday Life

by Jacqueline Suskin
From – Posted on Jan 25, 2021
A professional poet provides tips on healing your life by adopting a poetic mindset.

Poet Jacqueline Suskin; photo by James Adam Taylor

There’s a saying: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” These days, the battle feels especially hard. From everyday challenges to the forces dividing our nation, it’s fair to ask: How can I bring more joy to my life? More peace?

My answer: poetry.

I’m a professional poet. For a decade, I earned a living doing a project I called Poem Store… I wrote a story I wrote a few years ago for Guideposts about how poetry can be a vital part of someone’s prayer practice …

What is it about poetry that makes it such a powerful, universal language?

Poetry reveals beauty in the smallest details of creation. It finds light in the darkest shadow. It is a guide and a teacher, reminding readers that life is a miracle, something to be celebrated. Good poetry tells deep truths about joy and pain, triumph and grief. Like the Psalms, poetry explores every aspect of human experience, shying away from nothing and expressing gratitude for everything.

That’s why I believe poetry can be healing for anyone. You don’t have to be a professional poet.

Here are some suggestions for cultivating a poetic mindset, gained from a lifetime of writing, teaching and finding my place on this planet:

1. Be in awe of everything.
A dictionary definition of awe is “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.”

… The poetic mindset starts with the idea that nothing is an accident. Everything is interrelated and plays a part in a greater whole. Therefore, everything deserves notice and even celebration.

The signs are everywhere. Autumn leaves swirling in wind. A luminous raindrop on your window. The sight of someone you love peacefully asleep. Stars on a clear winter night. (And I, JanBeek, have to interject here: the sight of snowflakes dancing outside on your patio)

Even on your hardest day, a glance around will reveal something miraculous. When I focus on the intricate grandeur of nature, I feel myself relax. My mind unclenches from my problems, and I know that something larger is present, no matter what happens.

Awe is easy to cultivate. Close your eyes. Now open them. What is the first thing you see? Look closer. Ask yourself: How was this thing made? Where did it come from? What does it look like, feel like, smell like, maybe even taste like? What is good about it? What does it remind you of? Does it bring happy thoughts or sad ones? Why? What does it tell you about yourself or the divine?

I’m willing to bet your randomly selected object is full of meaning. A poetic mindset helps you tune into that significance whenever you want. It’s an inexhaustible source of healing, refreshment and inspiration.

2. Make pain your teacher.

Are you brokenhearted and angry? There’s a poem for that…

A poem is a place where you can pour out your hardest feelings. Make the words shout, burn. Don’t be afraid. You can always throw the page into the fireplace once you’ve filled it. Or seal it in an envelope and come back to it later.

Poetry can be a repository for everything difficult in your life.

But there’s more. I find that when I write about something I’m struggling with, my negative feelings begin to ebb. By writing, remembering, I am forced to admit that not everything is so bad. The world is complicated. There is darkness and light. Forgiveness comes into view.

The more I put everything on the page—the whole truth, not just an edited version—the more I ask why things happened. If I could have done things differently. Whether my poem is trying to teach me something. Here’s part of a poem I wrote while I was grieving a loved one.

You were a shining man
always giving us a reason to rejoice
and so you still are, you always will be.

Writing about grief helped me widen my perspective. I learned that memories are emblems of ongoing life after death. That doesn’t end my grief. My grief teaches me a healing truth.

3. Seek what inspires you.

Life isn’t perfect, but you can live with love and trust anyway.

Poetry helps us remember this essential piece of wisdom. What comes from God is good, and there is always goodness to be found once you train yourself to look.

Poetry to me is a form of praise. I build poems from things I see, people I meet and thoughts and feelings found deep inside. As I present those treasures in poetic language, I am celebrating what is good in them. My poems have an innate optimism. Poetry looks for the bright side of life, whatever is inspiring and beautiful even in the midst of hardship.

To see the world as a poet is to be aware of beauty wherever you go. A poet believes that beauty is a clue to the essential nature of existence. Pay attention to that feeling of joy as you spot a delicate tracery of dew in a spider’s web on your morning walk. The beauty, and your joy, are helping you see something deeply true about life.

4. Open yourself to a new perspective.

Few objects are more humble than the pencil. Yet, for me, a pencil is holy. Every pencil is special because I imagine the thoughts and images that it can be used to create and communicate. What are the holy objects in your life? A poet looks for what is beloved in everything, no matter how ordinary.

That is what makes poetry a force for healing. When you look for what is beautiful, good, true and holy in everything around you, you are really looking for God. When you write down what you see, you are engaged in a deep form of prayer.

When your mind and your heart develop this habit of poetic prayer, you cannot be overcome by the world’s troubles because you carry a treasury of goodness inside yourself.

Your poems don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to rhyme. They don’t have to impress anyone. All they need is a new perspective, that of a poetic mindset.”

Plan to write at least one poem a day.
Let your awe or pain or dreams inspire you.

Thank you, Jacqueline Suskin.
Your Guideposts article inspired me.
I hope it inspires my WordPress friends, too.

EMBRACE WRITING POETRY

Here’s a poem
from a fantastic musician,
Laura Sullivan,
who also dabbles in poetry.
If you’re unfamiliar
with her music,
do yourself a favor
and click on
the YouTube
at the bottom here.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Do you have a poem to share?
I’d love to have you
share something poetic
in the comments section here.

See ya tomorrow


So, what is mercy?
Is it something that you need?
No?! So you’re perfect?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Well dear, guess again!
We’re all in need of mercy.
It’s undeserved grace.

You ask, what is grace?
Well, it’s undeserved mercy!
Don’t you just love it?

Definitions are
Often so convoluted.
Good thing for mercy!

Mercy me! Oh my!
I sure need grace and mercy.
Both are found in prayer.

Prayer for Help, Mercy and Grace

Prayer from Rev. Steve Hundley
PASTORAL PRAYER
prayed at
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
ZOOM service
2-7-2021

“Loving God, we thank You that You treat us as if all were one; and each one as if there were only one.  We thank You that we are all held together in Your love; and none are beyond Your caring reach.  Thank You that You hear our prayers:

  • the prayers we feel awkward about;
  • the prayers we are hesitant to pray;
  • and, the prayers we feel that we do not know the right words to pray.

Thank You that You know us well enough to hear our thoughts, our yearnings, our stumblings, our grumblings, our secret hopes and fears, even when we dare not, or cannot put them into words.  We are eternally grateful that anytime we turn toward you, the arms of Your grace and love are there to enfold us with Your love that cannot be bought, earned, or bargained for.  Since it is the gift which You give and which we can only receive, give us wisdom to joyfully receive it.

O Lord, this past year has reminded us just how fearful and fragile; yet, precious and wonderful life can be.  We need Your help. So Jesus, grant us this: the ability to as easily recognize and celebrate the beautiful as we are able to itemize the ugly.  Grant us the ability to as easily praise as we are to condemn.  Grant us the ability to as easily unite as we are to divide.  Grant us the ability to as easily support and help one another as we are to ignore.  And, grant us the ability to as easily express joy as we are to display our disappointment.

Grant us some sense of worth and accomplishment which places the mark of meaning to our days.  In spite of the many limitations this pandemic has placed on our daily lives, grant us some sense of purpose, that tomorrow is something to look forward to, rather than to dread.  Encourage us to reach outside of ourselves, and find ways to express our faith and love in ways that would benefit this world and its people whom You love. 

Jesus grant us this: though life tumbles in, and almost everything seems to crumble around us; when the simple things we took for granted seem a distant memory; when hope frays and a simple touch, or a caring hug is something we remember we used to do; O Lord, find some special way to hold us in the palm of Your hand.

We pray for this wonderful yet sometimes unhappy…this divided yet dependent…this brave but fearful, mixed-up world we live in.  We have created enemies by the misuse of its power; and, what could have been a blessing for all has become a curse to many by our misuse of its abundance.  O Lord, give us and the leaders of this great nation the will to break out of destructive patterns, and grant us peace in our time. “

Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we pray this prayer in the name of Our Father Who art in Heaven… Amen!

So, what is mercy?
Is it something that we need?
You bet! Every day!!

Have a wonderful week.
I pray for your health, happiness, and safety –
every day!
Thanks for visiting.
See ya later,
Love, JanBeek

Before you leave, take a few minutes to treat yourself to the story behind “The Prayer” and hear the most beautiful voices (my bias) in the world. Where do you see God’s mercy at work in this duet??

Embrace the Progress


Sedoka is a traditional Japanese unrhymed poetic form
comprising two three-line ‘katauta’
with a syllabic sequencing
of 5/7/7, 5/7/7

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Bold and beautiful
They’re leaning on each other
Sympathizing and learning
Learning how to thrive
In a world of white privilege
Embrace the progress

Femininity
Can be carried way too far
Masculinity can, too
Appreciate self
Enjoy unique attributes
Let’s all embrace the progress

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

I invite you to try your hand at a Sedoka.
It’s fun! See a sample at this link:
https://poetscornerblog.wordpress.com/2021/02/06/for-the-weekend-a-sedoka-i

Embrace Connections


https://smarturl.it/ThanksForTheDance

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Did you click the link?
The link was “Thanks for the Dance”
From Leonard Cohen.

If you didn’t hear –
Didn’t see the video,
Go up and do it!

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

EMBRACE CONNECTIONS
Look into another’s heart
See the hidden pain

Learn to disagree
Learn to listen with your heart
Show your compassion

Connections can save
The loneliest from despair
Suicide is real

Express your concern
Let your compassion embrace
Those in depression

Depression is real
Too often it is hidden
Inside solitude

Leonard Cohen’s poem
Hit me right between the eyes
Took me to my niece

‘Twas nineteen years old
When her life appeared hopeless
Jumped Golden Gate Bridge

Photo by Mohamed Almari on Pexels.com

‘Twas two weeks later
When her decomposed body
Washed its way ashore

Only dental charts
Helped to identify her
Memories are raw

Never imagined
Her pain was so very deep
Didn’t see the signs

So much is known now
Nearly forty years ago
We just weren’t aware

Today it’s rampant
Especially Montana
Third in the nation

Growing suicides
It’s not a good statistic
Something must be done


These are images from Leonard Cohen’s impactful video. (Haven’t watched it yet? Go back up to that link. Take five minutes and then come on back.) The poetry and his raspy, musical voice will touch your heart. You’ll carry it with you.

You’ll ask yourself, “What Happens to the Heart?” and you will want to be more aware, more compassionate, more helpful. You’ll look in your friend’s eyes. You’ll study your loved one’s face. You’ll ask questions. You’ll care. And you’ll want to know WHAT CAN I DO? When you see sadness, despair, loneliness, you’ll want to help. How??

There are visible
Ways we can show how we care
Check out resources

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness


Embrace Connections
They can make the difference
YOU are important!

Thanks for dropping by JanBeek

Sending you love and hugs
Stay Connected!!
See ya tomorrow


Embrace Reading


I love reading
Almost as much
As I love writing –
How about you?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As a teacher,
Reading to my students
Was my favorite time
Of every school day.

Every day when the students
Came in from lunch
Hyper and excited,
A good book settled them.

As a retired adult,
Spending time in
A captivating book
Is like being in a candy shop.

But some of my friends
Would rather color
Or watch TV
Or shop on-line.

How do you feel
About books and reading?
Do you relish a good read –
Or would you rather garden?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Reading a good book
Takes you to gardens
And castles and wonders
Around the world.

Reading a good book
Increases your vocabulary
And helps you soar
To heights beyond your reach.

I’m not telling you
Anything you didn’t know.
So, tell me about a book
That carried you skyward.

I’m all ears!
Recommend a good book to me.

Embrace Reading!

That’s me – reading “The Wing Ding Dilly” by Bill Peet
to a 4th grade class in California.
Their teacher, Mrs. Souza,
invited friends on FB
to ZOOM read to her class.
I volunteered.
You should try it!
It was such fun!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

Embrace Success


How do you define success?

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

S tanding
U p
C atching
C laps
S alutations and
S miles

Defining success is step one to attaining it.
We have to know what we want to see
before we can know if we’ve attained it or not.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, you set a goal … like getting a degree…
And when you achieve that goal,
Then you can say, “Yay! I succeeded!”
Right?

But what if your goal is elusive?
What if you’re not sure about the outcome?
How do you achieve success?
Is it a journey?

Heehee… did you laugh?
Well, the point is, success is not a journey!
Success is a cycle!
It’s not a destination.
It’s a process that has no end.

Photo by Drew Rae on Pexels.com

In my “Refuel*” devotional time a couple of days ago, I heard a theory about the Cycle of Success that made perfect sense to me. I hope it speaks to you the way it did to me.

* Bayside Church – Refuel devotional – http://bit.ly/devo020221

Cycle of Success

  1. TEST – take risks, be creative
  2. FAILURE – fail forward! Don’t lose your enthusiasm. All success involves trial and error.
  3. LEARN – it’s not what you know that counts; it’s what you do with what you know.
  4. IMPROVE – how does what you learn improve you or your quest?
  5. REENTER – back up to the top – begin again – test
Photo by Kyle Loftus on Pexels.com

Success is a series of Ah-Hahs. It is a LIGHT that keeps on shining. It is never done.

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” …

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” –

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” … (It’s not a road, it’s a cycle!)

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” –Confucius

“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better. Jim Rohn

“Setting goals is the first step into turning the invisible into the visible. Tony Robbins

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. Napoleon Hill

Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be. Zig Ziglar

One of my measures of success
in this blogging world is
getting comments from my friends.

What are your goals?
How do you measure your success?
Tell me about it…

Bob says, “Here’s my definition of success!”

Have a great Thursday evening and Friday.
See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek


Embrace Action


Wordless Wednesday.
Time for Action
I love you!

Hugs, JanBeek

Embrace February!


This is one of my favorite months.
I always look forward to February 11th.
That’s our anniversary.
And I look forward to the 14th…
A day devoted to just loving one another.
Start collecting Valentines’ wishes now.
Send one each day to a different somebody.
Let’s express “I love you” out loud
to at least one person every single day this month.
Start right now!

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com
Share a love poem with me!

See ya tomorrow.
Hugs & Lotsa Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Confidence


These two little darlings exude happiness, confidence, pure joy…
I can’t help but smile when I look at them. (I bet you’re smiling, too)
I’ve been saving this photo for just the right time.
Today is it!

In my devotionals this morning, I read an article by Brenda Wade, Ph.D.
Brenda is based in San Francisco. She hosts a radio talk show, “Modern Love”
and she facilitates trainings on relationships. Her article in the Jan.-Feb. Unity magazine,
Daily Word, is titled, “Overcoming Racism, Healing from Shame, Opening to Love.”

“The love and peace we want to know in our lives begins inside of us,” Dr. Wade wrote.
“This has been on my mind lately as I’ve dug deeply into … my work, leading anti-racism trainings.”

In her article, she went on to describe an incident in her life that deeply affected her self-image. She was only 6-years-old.

“One day at school, my classmates and I were told to line up two by two and hold hands. I extended my hand, but the girl standing next to me refused to take it. ‘I can’t hold your hand,’ she said matter-of-factly. ‘My mother told me your skin is brown because it’s dirty.’ I was confused. My skin was brown, but it certainly was not dirty.”

Photo by Matheus Viana on Pexels.com

It took years for that little 6-year-old to deal with the hurt. Her young brain just didn’t understand. She felt immediate rejection, pain, and the sting of shame. The notion that there was something wrong with her kept her from telling the teacher or her parents. She just carried that message of inferiority with her and it was reinforced by a high school principal who ignorantly expressed surprise that someone of her color could score so high on her tests.

It was further reinforced in graduate school when a department chair “was more interested in my race than my qualifications” – and as an adult when “a landlord candidly admitted he was denying me housing because I am African American.”

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

How does someone overcome
such prejudicial treatment
and regain the confidence
that ALL PEOPLE deserve?


That is the question Dr. Walker
deals with in her profession.
She conquered it in her own life with
“years of psychological work,
spiritual practice,
self-care, and healing.”

Dr. Brenda Wade wrote,
“When we feel too hurt or afraid
to let ourselves out,
it becomes impossible
to let others in.”

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Embrace the confidence
that there is
hope and a future
and a return of self-confidence
when self-insight
and self-love
can be applied.

The pain of those early wounds go deep.

We know that
we ALL have a responsibility
to respond to one another in love,
with compassion and respect,
and to stand together hand-in-hand
to obliterate oppression and prejudice.

Embrace that future
with
confidence and determination!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Pastoral Prayer

Yesterday during our ZOOM church service, our pastor, Steve Hundley, offered the following prayer. It is just what I needed to hear as I embrace with confidence the power of prayer and the belief that God hears, God cares, and God answers us when we cry out to Him:

“How many times in Your earthly ministry, O Lord, did You touch the fevered brows of those who were ill; or, the trembling hands of those who were afraid; or, the sagging shoulders of those bowed down in grief?

Walk among us now, we pray, and touch us for the same reasons…
* Let those who are ill in body or in spirit feel the power of Your presence, and sense that healing is taking place.
* We pray for all those sick with COVID throughout our nation and world…
* Give those who are constricted by fears and anxieties a feeling of relaxation in Your grace.
* Let peace flow over them like a river, carrying them away from self-preoccupation and into the openness of love and sharing…
* Pour out the hope of Your resurrection upon those who are grieving the loss of loved ones…
* May they walk the Emmaus Road with You and feel their hearts strangely and wonderfully warmed…
* In the chaos and uncertainty of the coming weeks and months, give us confidence of faith in knowing that You are Lord of our lives and Lord of this world, and that You are working Your purpose out…
* As Your children, O Lord, You know how often we recoil from those things that should not frighten or upset us in this world. Comfort us with Your presence, and teach us so to live within the disciplines of faith, so that, we are never without You.”

Amen                         

Embrace with Confidence,
my friends,
the knowledge that you
regard all God’s Children as equals…
and determine never to inflict on anyone
the pain of rejection
or the sting of shame.

As God’s children…
Let us live as One.
Let’s just walk around makng the world a better place!
Embrace Confidence!

Hugs to you.
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Embrace Your Power Source


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

What is your power source?
Where do you get your ideas?

Today’s sermon on ZOOM with the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana, preached by the Rev. Steve Hundley
attributed our power source to
(well, what do you think a minister would say?)…
God
Jesus Christ’s teaching
The Word
Scripture
Of course!

But, beware!

Steve began his sermon today with a children’s message. He shared this (paraphrased by me, of course):

My dad was a forester. He used to cruise the timber to decide what to cut and what to leave to keep the forest healthy. He usually went with a fellow forester – a guy who was not known for his great sense of direction. They would head out in different directions, and when it was time to regroup, my dad told his partner that he’d call out. “You answer,” he told him, “and I’ll call again. Back and forth until you find your way back.”

But, what happened was an ole hoot owl responded back to his partner when he called out, and he followed the direction of the owl. It got him way off track. When my dad realized what was happening, he honked the horn of the truck, and finally the two men were able to reconnect and head for home.

Moral of the story: Listening to the wrong voice can get us lost. We need to listen to the voice and teachings of Christ in order to stay on the right path.

Photo by Andru00e9 Cook on Pexels.com

The Church’s Spiritual Power Source

(Inspired by Mark 1:21-28 – story of Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue
and being interrupted by a man who was demon-possessed)

The people of the church
Were astounded when Jesus
Taught with authority –
More astounded than by exorcism.

When we think of a teacher image,
We rarely think of provocative
We have our dull stereotypes.
But Jesus, the Teacher, was rare.

Wouldn’t you think His act
Of removing an evil force
Would have trumped the act
Of teaching the Word of God?

No, removal of an unclean spirit
Was not what the people raved about.
It was Jesus, the Teacher, who
Inspired the people to be amazed.

Do Jesus’ teachings still have
The power to transform and amaze?
Do Jesus’ teachings still have
The power to unite and inspire?

The teachings of Jesus and the
Growing of churches and believers
Are synonymous; did you know that?
Let’s join a weekly Bible Study.

Listen to the right voice…
The voice of Jesus telling His parables.
I’ll lead a Bible Study and we’ll all
Tune in to Jesus’ voice – OK?

Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM.
We’ll begin with Luke 15:11-24.
It’s the story of the Prodigal Son.
Look for your ZOOM invitation.

Invite a friend to join us!

Hope you had a wonderful Sunday.
Enjoy your evening.
See you tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Let me know if you’d like a ZOOM invitation to join us.
If so, send me an e-mail address.
Embrace Your Power Source!

Embrace a Tree


Hug a tree for me
Find one you can wrap your arms
Around and hang on

Trees are like people
Some are so big that you can’t
Quite get around them

Like giant redwoods
All you can do is admire
Their magnificence

Some are just loners
They stand apart from others
Saying “Look at me!”

Some are connected
So tightly to each other
There’s no room to join

Others form a line
Saying, “Come and join us, but
You must look like us.”

Others welcome all
They are so hospitable
You just flock to them

Some are quite fruitful
They produce enough to share
And do every day

Others hide their fruit
Above gnarled exterior
Daring you to touch

Some are cold, distant
Dark and often depressing
Warning, “Keep away!”

I love trees who shine
Like bright, colorful people
Beckoning us near

Prickly trees are
Ones we try to steer clear of
Lest we should get caught

The young and tender
Beckon us to hold them tight
And protect their growth

Trees that nourish us
Are like the fruit-filled people
Who say, “Let me share.

Come see what I have.
Come taste of its sweet goodness.
I am rich with love.”

“Come sit beside me
Please let me give you some rest.
Come and embrace me.”

“I won’t hold my love
High above and out of reach;
Won’t put you at risk.”

“I’ll spread out my arms
And keep you safe from all harm.
I’ll listen. You talk!

Tell me your troubles.
Sit beneath my shade and rest.
Come, embrace a tree.”

We come in colors
Bright and shining as the sun.
Bare – when summer’s done

Trees are like people:
We hide our troubles inside
Deceptive faces.

Let’s learn from our trees.
Let’s let true colors shine through;
Show your true beauty.

Unlike this odd tree,
Keep your roots firmly grounded.
Embrace a tree now!

Any old tree will do!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Tell me, what’s your favorite tree?
Which one is like you?

Bob & I send our love.
See ya tomorrow.

“Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing.”

—From “When Autumn Came” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
     translated by Naomi Lazard

Embrace Curiosity


Photo by Tucu0103 Bianca on Pexels.com

Do you have a burning question?

As a teacher of elementary children for nearly a quarter of a century and the mom of two very curious children, I can tell you that one of the most annoying questions is “Why?”

I remember the day I finally asked my father, “Why not?” when he told me NO. I was about 20 years old! Can you imagine? Being raised in a family where when Dad said, “No,” that was final? No questions asked. Just obey?

My kids were not like that. It was a different era. They asked, “Why?” before they knew how to say, “Chocolate!”

I think a measure of a child’s intelligence
may be how many times s/he asks “Why?”
The explorations,
poking,
questioning,
prodding,
relentless
inquisitive nature
of some children and adults
can be downright annoying,
though.

Seldom straight or smooth

The path may not be a straight one…
And it may be hard to determine where it leads,
but curiosity will keep you (and them) moving forward.
There is a huge NEED to know what’s beyond the bend!

As parents and teachers
we sometimes want to shield our children
from the unknown.
There may be danger out there.
I had a tendency to be protective.
I know that’s where my dad was coming from
when he said, “No!”

But squelching curiosity
because of fear of the unknown
is a dangerous path.
It can lead to many
missed opportunities
and
lost happiness.

Instead of being annoyed
by the “Why?” and the “Why not?”
we need to teach ourselves
and our children the importance of
always questioning.

Accepting “No”
for an answer
without questioning
can lead to
stagnation.

Instead of squelching curiosity,
let’s turn our questioning into
research with a purpose.

Curious people don’t just look
Curious people see
Curious people don’t just see
Curious people question
Curious people don’t just question
Curious people probe

With a thirst for answers,
Curious people are relentless.
They keep asking until
They find answers that satisfy.

Curiosity changes our perceptions.
It changes our way of seeing things.
It helps us gain the wisdom
That less curious people
Spend a life-time chasing.

Francoise Sagan is credited with that quote.
Who was he?
Are you curious?
I was.


Françoise Sagan (born Françoise Delphine Quoirez; 21 June 1935 – 24 September 2004) was a French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Sagan was known for works with strong romantic themes involving wealthy and disillusioned bourgeois characters. Her best-known novel was her first – Bonjour Tristesse (1954) – which was written when she was a teenager.

Want to know more?
Put her name in your Google search engine.
We are so blessed to have an encyclopedia at our fingertips.
Folks with insatiable appetites for answers
can ask the who, what, why, when, and how questions
and Siri or Alexa or Wikipedia are right there.
What a gift these are to the curious.

Imagine what Einstein might have done with today’s technology!!!

EMBRACE CURIOSITY!
Let your “Why?”
be followed by
active listening,
thoughtful reading,
and the
explorations,
poking,
questioning,
prodding,
trying again,
inquisitive nature
that those children and adults
exhibited who were
downright annoying.
Go ahead!
Be annoying!

All Aboard!!

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
today.

I’m curious.
What are you up to?
What are you curious about?

Embrace Light


Can’t bring lasting light
If the light is not in you
External light fades

The light that sustains
Is internal light from God
Your face reflects it

It shines from your soul
Whose batteries are from God
They never expire

Matthew 5:16
“In the same way,
let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Psalm 119:105

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Freely share your light
With all those who are near you
Let it shine brightly

May your light inspire
Those who need to know your Source
Let your light shed peace

You can let the Light
Shine through your soul to others
You have that Light, too

As a Child of God
His peace infiltrates your soul
Let that peace escape

Embrace the Light!

My 1962 kindergartener, Ty Stiles, after whom I named my first child, died yesterday. I told you about him in a previous post: https://janbeek.blog/2021/01/09/embrace-hope/ on January 9th.

We have been praying for Ty. He had stage 4 liver cancer that metastasized. He was home on Hospice Care with his wife, Roxanne. Ty was a Child of God whose faith was strong. He told Roxanne that he wanted to – and was ready to – go to Heaven.

In my “Embrace Blueness” post 3 days ago, I shared how a broken heart resembles angel wings… and I wrote, “Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.”

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

My faith informs me that
Ty has seen a great light.
He is in heaven…
and one day I will see
“My Favorite Student” again.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

May light shine from you
As easily as birds’ songs
Cheering all near you

Thanks for visiting.
I pray you feel the warmth
of that LIGHT within you.

Let it shine!!!
Let it sing of God’s love in you.
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs, JanBeek

Embrace Relaxation


Thank you, Larry Stoltz
Gorgeous Photography
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have a peaceful , relaxing Wordless Wednesday.
Embrace Relaxation!
Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Humor


I need some humor
Laughing makes me feel better
I bet you agree

I have a great friend
Who sends me laughter weekly
Let me share some here

Sometimes my dear friend
Finds things with a naughty streak
Try not to censure!

Okay, I better
Draw this to a sudden close
Before I offend

Beware the bears!
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Blueness


Reblogging a fellow blogger’s post… Thank you, mkvecchitto!


A Renewing Force Within
by mkvecchitto

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Malleable are lists of sins we accrue

a barter between gains we’ve won and debts we owe

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

Exhausting – holding this constant guard

Even stormy melancholy seas are drenched in

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Healing power pulses in each flaw

like a broken heart that still beats

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I was going to call my blog today “Embrace Healing,” but the I came across the post above. I decided that post is a gift in blueness – and it speaks more to my mood today than “healing” does.

Today I am blue… because the note I received from my former student’s mother-in-law, Marilyn, left me with no hope for Ty Stiles’ earthly healing. I studied my broken heart and looked again at Marilyn’s words. “He told Roxann [his wife] that he is ready to go to Heaven.” As I prayed for Ty’s last days, I looked at that broken heart again.

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

Did you ever realize that the two parts of a broken heart are angel’s wings?
Look again!

God’s angels spoke to me and reminded me that death is not final. Jesus conquered death. Ty is a believer. Ty is called according to His purpose. Yesterday Ty’s church members gathered outside his home for a prayer vigil. One of his cousins made the gathering into a FaceTime chat so he could see/hear the prayers being offered on his behalf (and if he was unable to hear and comprehend, at least I know his wife, Roxann, could. The prayers were for her, as well.

As I shared in my “Embrace Reassurance” blog a couple days ago, God hears. God cares. God answers. Sometimes HEALING does not come in the form of a magical cure. Sometimes it comes as RELEASE.

Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.

God bless Ty Stiles!

My heart is with you as you leave the pain
and embrace the beautiful blueness of Christ’s Kingdom.
Someday I’ll join you there, Ty.
Meantime, keep the Pearly Gates polished!

Thanks for joining me at JanBeek
and thank you for praying for Ty and Roxann.
See you tomorrow.

Embrace Extravagance


What?
Embrace Extravagance?
I have to be kidding, right?

Photo by Kamaji Ogino on Pexels.com

Extravagance is kin to outlandish.
Extravagance means excessive.
Right?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wrong!
Extravagance doesn’t need to mean outlandish.
It can be thought of as abundance.

Extravagance is
Abundance of some good food –
Okay if it’s shared!

Extravagance is
An abundance of pure love –
Beautiful when shared

Extravagance is
The overflow of blessings –
Lovely gifts from God

Life is extravagantly wonderful!

When the night sky touches your soul,
When other bloggers touch your inner core,
It’s a sign of the extravagance of others
That keeps you longing for more

In his “Keys to Living Life”

Today, January 24, 2021, Rahul Gaur wrote a blog so powerful that I HAD to share it. First I tweeted it. I have never shared someone else’s blog by tweeting it before. I have reblogged a few. This one is so impactful that I need you to click on Rahul’s name and go to it. See it for yourself. It is extravagantly beautiful! Here are a couple of sentences that particularly touched me:

“The soul is the lost intuition
and the listening switch of your body.
When you need to see things beyond as they are,
to see things as they were meant to be,
you listen to the orchestra of your soul.⁣”

I listened with my soul to today’s sermon

Sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana

Thy Kingdom Come

“Thy Kingdom Come” is
a political statement –
Except we believe
in a heavenly kingdom.

It’s not a worldly kingdom.
It is “THY” kingdom come.
Let God’s Kingdom reign,
Not MY domain – not MY will.

As a pastor, I am sometimes
Guilty of saying, “Look at me!”
I do the “my” and not “Thy” message
And have to learn to lose self.

We all need to learn to be
De-throned … and let
God’s Kingdom be the focus.
Peace, reconciliation & hope are God’s.

God’s Kingdom is not attainable
On our earth. It is not!
Utopia here in our world
Is not within our reach.

No earthly political order
Will ever be the Kingdom of God.
God’s Kingdom is like a seed.
It’s like a net in the water.

The seed one day will sprout.
The net will gather fish.
God’s work on earth is extravagant,
But the Kingdom is elusive here.

The Kingdom of God is at the door.
It takes eyes of faith to see
What lies beyond the threshold.
It is there though we see it not.

When we say “Thy Kingdom COME,”
We might more easily say GO.
Go from You into me…
God’s Kingdom lives in each of us.

It’s an awesome fact that
The Kingdom of God is in you.
We must not lose hope or faith
And we must not live in satisfaction.

Never be satisfied with what is.
Only when we submit to God’s Kingdom
Does it really COME. So care!
Care for the poor; release greed and pettiness.

It’s liberating to know when
We turn our lives and our futures
Over to our Extravagant God –
We’ll see His Kingdom coming into the world.

Amen?

“Listen to the orchestra of your soul.”
Rahul Gaur
Keep you ears open to soulful listening…
Thank you, Rahul, for your blog.
Thank you, Rev. Steve, for your message.
Thank You, God, for your Kingdom of Love.

Embrace Extravagance!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

Embrace Reassurance


Bee ye reassured
God’s surely with you today
He won’t desert you

And you have a host
Of others who are with you
On each of life’s steps

So, be reassured
By the love of all your friends
Who are there for you

Thank your friends for their
Calls and their conversations
About their blessings

It reassures you
To know you are not alone
In your solitude

Capitalize it!
Make that you into a “You.”
Trust in our Savior

You are not alone
Be reassured that your prayers
Are heard and answered

Yes, be reassured
That God hears your heart’s yearnings.
You’re heard; God responds.

God hears you in prayer
So, embrace reassurance
Know that God is there

Thank for visiting JanBeek

Tell me what reassures you when you need it.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Reason


Reason required to:
Reach resilience
Rebuild Trust
Repair relationships
Require responsibility
Review daily briefings
Reach across aisles
Revive compassion
Reassure doubters
Resist rumors
Release resentment
Return to mutual respect
Reject falsehoods
Retain faith
Rescind travel ban on Muslims
Rejoin Paris Climate Agreement
Restore Federal loan repayment pause
Renew ban on evictions and foreclosures due to the pandemic
Refuse divisiveness
Resurrect trust in the press
Renew dedication to our constitution
Remember to pray
Rely on God’s plans for our lives and for this world
Reason Required… so,
EMBRACE REASON!

Reason Rallies Renewal

God Bless America
and
God Bless You!
See ya tomorrow.
Hearty Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Calm


Let’s all embrace calm
Quiet our souls and listen
Hear each other’s hearts

Let’s all embrace calm
Be still and let minutes pass
In loving silence

Embrace calm with me
Sync your heart to the tick-tock
Of peaceful minutes

Embrace calm today
Reflect on the poignant words
Of Amanda’s poem

Anderson Cooper
Interviewed that young lady
Then posted a link

Many people wrote
Responded to interview
With posts like this one:

Replying to @andersoncooper and @TheAmandaGorman
“Awww I loved that,
you all sat and talked about poetry for at least 5 minutes.
So relaxing.
Probably the least stressed ya have been for 4 years.
Words have power for good too..
let’s rinse off the negative.”

Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration Poem:
“The Hill We Climb”

It was posted in paragraph form.
I am sure that’s not how she wrote it.
I have tried to separate the stanzas as she might have,
I am sure I don’t have them all right, but I tried…
and the poem is so beautiful that
even written as prose – it is downright gorgeous!



Mr. President, Dr. Biden, Madam Vice President, Mr. Emhoff, Americans and the world,


When day comes we ask ourselves
where can we find light
in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry a sea
we must wade.
We’ve braved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet
isn’t always peace.
In the norms and notions
of what just is isn’t always justice.
And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we’ve weathered
and witnessed a nation
that isn’t broken,
but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country
and a time where a skinny black girl
descended from slaves
and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one.

And yes, we are far from polished,
far from pristine,
but that doesn’t mean
we are striving to form
a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge
our union with purpose.
To compose a country
committed to all cultures, colors,
characters, and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes
not to what stands between us,
but what stands before us.
We close the divide
because we know to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true.
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried
that we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat,
but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone
shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to her own time,
then victory won’t lie in the blade,
but in all the bridges we’ve made.
That is the promise to glade,
the hill we climb if only we dare.
It’s because being American
is more than a pride we inherit.
It’s the past we step into
and how we repair it.
We’ve seen a forest that would shatter
our nation rather than share it.
Would destroy our country
if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy
can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith we trust
for while we have our eyes on the future,
history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption.
We feared it at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour,
but within it, we found the power
to author a new chapter,
to offer hope and laughter
to ourselves so while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert, how could catastrophe
possibly prevail over us?

We will not march back to what was,
but move to what shall be a country
that is bruised, but whole,
benevolent, but bold,
fierce, and free.
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction
and inertia will be the inheritance
of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain,
if we merge mercy with might
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind
a country better than one we were left.
With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest
we will raise this wounded world
into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the West.
We will rise from the wind-swept Northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the Lake Rim cities
of the Midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked South.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
in every known nook of our nation,
in every corner called our country
our people diverse and beautiful
will emerge battered and beautiful.
When day comes,
we step out of the shade
aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light.
If only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

-Amanda Gorman,
USA national poet laureate

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Let’s embrace calm –
and be brave enough
in our calmness
to “step out of the shade
aflame and unafraid…”

Ready to join the cause of unity and peace.
Ready to work for social and racial equality.
Ready to do our part to make the world
a better place.

Love to you,
JanBeek

Embrace Trust


Mark 11:24

Trust in the power of prayer

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

I prayed for a day like today and trusted it would happen – and it did! I’m feelin’ good!

I hope you’re feelin’ good today, too…
With new hope and TRUST in a brighter future.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Proverbs 28:26

Trust in wisdom

“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”

Yes, wisdom can be illusive, but you can find it!

Wisdom is found in the Bible. Read it, trust it, believe it, and practice it!

Isaiah 12:2

Trust in the Future

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

With young people like
young poet, Amanda Gorman,
how can we not TRUST the future?

It’s a new day.
It’s a new dawn.
It’s time to TRUST
that God’s gotcha covered.

Have a beautiful rest of your week.

TRUST in your ability to make the world a better place.
Plan on it… Do it!
Let’s all come together in love and unity.
Be trustworthy!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Everybody


Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com
Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com
Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com


Embrace Everybody
and
Recognize our Commonality
while we
Celebrate our Differences

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

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

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


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

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

See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBee

Embrace Courage


In these days of national crises,
It’s easy to feel powerless.
It’s easy to duck our heads and hide.
It’s easy to take the role of cowardice.

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com
Couldn’t find a picture of the head in the sand!

Our uncertainty about the future
Stirs in us anxiety and fear.
But stronger yet is our faith.
We take courage. God is here.

This letter from Amy Klobuchar,
A politician I have come to admire,
Came to me in today’s mail.
Her message calms the fire.

Jan,

Today’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. comes at a time when his work and his message are more important than ever. The forces of division that are trying to convince us that our neighbors are our enemies have been loud in recent months — but I still believe as I always have that there is still more that unites us as Americans than separates us.

Our nation is coming together to reject violence and authoritarianism. This is the spirit that we must bring into the future. We must heed the words of Dr. King, that we are all “tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Thank you,
Amy
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Turning to the wisdom of the scriptures,
We can gain resolve and be brave.
We can shine a light and be courageous.
God tells us how to behave.

Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the Lord your God goes with you;
He will never leave or forsake you.”

Joshua 1:6

“Be strong and courageous,
because you will lead these people
to inherit this land
I swore to their ancestors
to give them.”

Yesterday kicked off a week of celebrations
in preparation for this Wednesday’s inauguration.

The rioters at our nation’s capitol last week were intent on “taking back the country” by overturning the Biden/Harris election. They were convinced that the election was fraught with fraud. Hundreds of court cases were brought against election officials. Each case lost or was thrown out. Even judges appointed by President Trump found “no fraud existed.”

The actions of the rioters were not what Martin Luther King would have sanctioned. They were not what God in His scripture advocates. Paul, in his letter to the people of Corinth said what we need to hear today:

1 Corinthians 16:13

“Be on your guard;
stand firm in the faith;
be courageous;
be strong.”

He was not speaking to rioters.
He was speaking to give courage
to the people of Corinth
to stand against oppressors.

Part of today’s problem in the USA (in my humble opinion) is that there is a host of Americans who have decided the people on the side of the law are the oppressors. They have painted Donald Trump as their liberator. A huge portion of our citizenry still is convinced the election was stolen. For only the second time in our history, the outgoing president will not be there at the inauguration to wish the incoming president well – and to encourage a peaceful transition of power. It is sad, indeed!

The most important thing we can do as a nation – and in fact, as a world – is to pray. Ask God to give courage and steadfastness to those people who have been elected to lead us forward. Join together in asking for a peaceful transition. There are (hopefully) many such prayer meetings occurring today and tomorrow. Here is one of them:

That’s just a picture of an invitation.
Can’t click on it to go there from this post.
But, you should be able to find many similar events.

As we EMBRACE COURAGE and stand in the power and love of Christ, we must be discerning. Listen for the voice of God’s Truth. Try not to believe misleading rhetoric. Be sure we stand in God’s Will as we act by His strength.

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us
a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power,
love, and
self-discipline.”

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Embrace Courage, my friends.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Listening


This is the image I put on the front of this week’s church bulletin:

Sermon topic: “Listening for God.”

If you’ve followed my blog for a week or more,
you know that Sunday afternoon’s blog usually is devoted to
sermon notes from this morning’s worship service
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana – sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley.

Today’s sermon, “Listening for God,”
was based on the story of Hannah, Samuel, and Eli
as told in 1 Samuel 3:1-20 and John 1:43-51.

Listening for God

Sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
Poetic notes by Jan Beekman

I was known to be able
To sleep through anything.
I inherited that trait
from my grandma. You could sing
At the top of your lungs
And she would not awake.
That’s a trait I retained
Through most of my life’s daybreaks.

But later in life I found
I would awaken at midnight
And be unable to go back to sleep.
I couldn’t nod off, try as I might.
And in the wee hours I find
The bad things seem worse.
They magnify in the darkness.
Sleeplessness is a curse!

So, how must it have been
When Samuel heard God’s voice
In the middle of the night –
Must’a made him puzzle – not rejoice!
His mother, Hannah, also
Heard God’s voice when barren.
He told her she’d give birth,
So she promised her babe she’d be sharin’.

When her baby, Samuel, was born,
She kept her promise to God
And gave her child to Him
By delivering him to Eli’s sod.
Samuel grew up in the church.
One night Sam heard the sound
Of a voice calling out his name.
He went to Eli in a running bound.

Eli told him it was God
Calling him to listen and hear.
It took courage to listen and accept
That it was the Lord speaking clear.
Samuel’s whole life changed that night
As he suddenly became a man.
He learned to listen without fright
And obey God’s voice… just as we can.

There are lots of voices we hear
In our nights that lack sweet slumber.
Are we listening to the true voice of God
Or is it somebody else – or thunder?
While we wake to the world’s troubles,
Sometimes it’s hard to discern and hear
The Word of God – and live what He commands.
Declare our willingness, and know God is near.

There is grace and hope knowing
When Samuel listened, he changed
From a boy to a Man of God –
And his future was rearranged.
Take courage and respond with
“Speak, Lord, your servant is ready
To hear and respond, and live out
Your words to me. Keep me steady.”

Amen

Eli assured Samuel it was God speaking to him.

There were a couple dozen of us tuned in to this ZOOM church service today.
Thank you for joining us via this blog
I pray you are tuned in to hear God’s voice, too.

Proverbs 2:1-5

Make your ear attentive…

“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

A Bible verse from our son, Ty, today

To be sure your steps
Are on the path the Lord sets
Embrace Listening

… and practice obedience!
Here’s one of the hymns we sang during our ZOOM service this morning:

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.
Have a great Sunday afternoon/evening.


Embrace differences.
Appreciate each other.
Yes, love your neighbor.

Each person’s unique.
No two of us are alike.
Makes the world better.

But we must avoid
Drawing early conclusions.
Reserve your judgements!

Congratulations,
Tahneek Rahman,
For this excellent short film.

Today’s message says,
“Thank you for embracing this.
God bless your Sunday!”

See you this afternoon.
Hope you are able to go to church this morning.
Our church will meet on ZOOM.
I’ll keep you in prayer and
I’ll post my sermon notes later.

Pray for our nation’s peaceful transition of power.
Pray for the safety of all our people.
Pray for an end to this COVID-19 pandemic.
Pray for us to appreciate and embrace our differences.

Come on back later today!
Love, JanBeek

Join the PeaceMakers


Here in Ennis, Montana, we have a group of ladies who love to sew. They call themselves the PieceMakers. Piece by piece, they sewed quilts to send to retired service men and women.

When COVID-19 hit, piece by piece they made masks. I am not sure they still are doing so, because we are being told the hospital-type masks are the only really safe ones … and we are being encouraged to put our other cloth masks away.

Bob & Jan in hospital-type masks.

Meantime, today’s world causes me to “Embrace Peacemakers” – and pray that we can return to a country of sanity and safety.

Today’s Bible Verse
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.”

Matthew 5:9

In the name of peace, I invite you to join other “Prayer Warriors” Tuesday night to pray for a peaceful transition of power here in the USA on Wednesday.

It is troublesome to see all the military and the barricades being erected in our nation’s capitol. Troublesome to think that they are necessary in order to preserve the peace and save the lives of our elected leaders who are being threatened.

Because that is a photo of the announcement, the link above won’t work Try this one:
http://www.facebook.com/orhamidbarps

It will take you to a page that has this image on it – and you can click that you are interested (if you are). If not, be sure to raise your own voice independently to God asking for peace in our nation on January 20th and beyond… or form a prayer group of your own. The threats are real… and very troublesome.

Embrace Peace!
Embrace Love,
Unity,
Respect

Pray for PEACE.
See ya later.
God Bless You!


What are you grateful for today?

Just as children are grateful for their parents,
their homes, their teachers,
their food,
and so much more,
so we as adults must remember
to express gratitude for those same things
and for one another.

How do you express your gratitude?

I really appreciate this video
and express my gratitude
by sharing it with you.
No, you can’t click on this one…
it’s just a photo.

Before you click on the video below,
look up at that man’s face.
See the kindness in his eyes.
See the bit of a smile on his lips.
Notice he is looking at his passenger
in her pretty turquoise scarf.
Anticipate what you think he may be saying to her.
Notice the bouquet of red roses blurred in the foreground.
Now – click on the video below
… and be prepared to be touched!

You may not have been able to understand the words
this Iranian man was speaking to his wife,
but your understanding of the message was clear.
Right?
Didn’t it warm your heart
and reinforce the need to be grateful for one another?


When I think of my family, gratitude bubbles up inside me.

1) I am grateful for my husband’s love… for me and for our children.
2) I am grateful for bouquets of roses. (I could see him passing a bouquet on to others to share love.)
3) I am grateful for the happy home my parents provided for me was a child.
4) I am grateful that my husband’s parents were faith-filled, loving parents, too.
5) I am grateful that my children provided loving homes for their children.

Pass it on!!

There is no greater gift we can give our children than to love one another.
Be grateful for that love and keep it alive!

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

As you EMBRACE GRATITUDE,
think of 4 or 5 things you’re grateful for today.
I’d love to have you share a few of them in the comments below.

We may be blurry, but we’re together!
I’m grateful for our family.
(That was last year… I look forward to being together again in 2021)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Blessings


Video by my friend, Caroline Feldman.
We were looking at this blessed sunrise together this morning.

When God starts your day with this kind of a blessing,
how can your day go wrong?

TRUST in His blessings!

You just gotta smile, right?

This is the day that the Lord has made,
I will reJOYce and be glad in it!

Go ahead, click the arrow again!
Sing along! You can’t help but smile as you do!

How have you felt God’s blessings in your life this day?

Let me hear from you!

See ya in my prayers…
Love, JanBeek

Embrace Compassion


Image result for scripture about having compassion for others

Embrace Compassion
Be kind to one another
Be quick to show love

Ephesians 4:32

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. … Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you. “

What the world needs now is love, sweet love …
and it needs to be exhibited by showing compassion to one another…
especially to those whose attitudes, beliefs,
and ways of expressing themselves
are different from our own.
Be a compassionate listener!

1 Thessalonians 5:11-14

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

What can people do
In a world filled with trouble?
Display compassion!


Try to understand –
Look for commonality.
Rise above the fray.


Don’t join arguments –
Don’t fuel the fires of anger.
Instead, be the frey!

Frey: the god of fertility and dispenser of rain and sunshine.
No, I’m not suggesting you can be a god…
But you can be a dispenser of sunshine, right?
You can take a deep breath, smile, and rain on the fires of hate.

You can see the beauty in others.

Each person has strife.
No one’s life is perfection,
But we’re God’s children.

As such, we are called
To bear each other’s burdens.
Embrace compassion.

This is as valid today as it was the day it was recorded in 1966…
In fact it’s even more true in today’s world.
Don’t you agree?

What the world needs now
Is more love and compassion.
Start spreading it now!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace One Another


My word for 2021 is “Embrace.”
Each day during my devotional time,
I am prompted with a word or two
that tells me what to embrace today.
Yesterday it was “Silence.”
Did you miss me?
I was silent.
No blog.

Today
I am prompted to say,
“Embrace One Another.”
You may be thinking, “But…
How can we embrace one another
in the midst of this pandemic
when Social Distancing
is required?”
How?

Is there someone in your life
that you can hug like that today?

However,
I am afraid that
many people will respond,
“No, I can’t hug anyone like that right now.”
So, are there other ways to “Embrace One Another”
besides hugging? Think about that!
What can you do?
Write!

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

You embrace me when you
embrace my ideas,
respond to my post,
send me a text,
smile at me,
affirm
me.

How can I embrace you
without being able
to come close and
hug you tight?
I’ll pray for you
and text you.
Respond.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Send me a picture of a flower
e-mail jan@janbeek.blog
Send me a comment
telling me that
you do care!
Embrace.
Now!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting my blog today.
Will you take the next step?
Embrace One Another.
Embrace me!
God Bless
You!

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Cute Puppies


Found on FaceBook – so cute!
Happy Puppy
This is our Boston, TazE, when we first got her.
She is now ten years old!

I just needed a diversion today
away from politics and religion
and anything serious.
So, I decided puppies
were a great way
to get my head cleared
and put a smile on my face.
Don’t you agree?
A little dab of puppy
does it!

Today at d’Verse, De Jackson, asked us to write a Quadrille poem (exactly 44 words) with the word dab in it.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com
Photo by Samson Katt on Pexels.com
Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com
Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com

How about you?
Do you have a favorite pup picture to cheer me?
Or a favorite puppy story?
Time to share!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.