Reaching out to help others Is a gift some people cultivate. No matter what they are going through, They take time to stop and make a date With friends who seems to need them. Because their friends know they care, They know they will sincerely listen And pray for them. It helps to talk and share.
They set aside their own struggles And they focus in on your trouble. They look into your eyes and see your heart. They pull you close into their compassionate bubble. You know they hear with ears of love. You know they link to God in sincere ways. They will take your concerns to our Lord and Savior. He hears their cries … and with them prays.
I want to be that kind of a friend. I want you to know how much I care. I want you to open your heart and know I’m a person with whom you can share Your problems and your struggles. I will listen with my very soul. I will pray to Jesus for God’s help. Yes, showing love and kindness is my goal.
Some people find it hard to reach out; They want to solve their troubles on their own. But sharing is an important part of healing. Don’t try to do it all alone. Even if you just go to a friend and sit, Say nothing… just find peace in being there, A good friend will hear you with a heart That reaches yours. You’re a synced pair!
I pray you have such a friend. I pray you know the joy of caring in that way – Both as a giver as well as a receiver.
Please add our friend, PETER, to your prayer list. God knows why.
You are blessed to be a blessing. May you have a blessed day!
They say all good things must come to an end. We are on the tail end of our five week break from the cold Montana winter. It’s been a wonderful set of experiences with family and friends.
If you’ve been following along, you know we left Ennis, Montana on Dec. 23 and spent Christmas Eve and the week following at our son’s in Placerville, CA.
You may remember that we went from there to Bob’s older brother’s in central CA where we spent New Year’s Eve and a few days after.
Then we enjoyed a weekend in Redlands, CA with dear friends who live 50% of the year in our MT “hood.”
On January 6th we began our 2 week stay in a rented condo facing the 9th fairway of the Rancho Las Palmas Country Club in the sunny Coachella Valley. While there we had the joy of hosting, entertaining, feeding, and sharing time with a dozen or more family and friends.
Plus, we took time for walks in the desert and time for ourselves in the relaxation of the jacuzzi.
From Rancho Mirage we returned to the San Joaquin Valley where we spent a few days with Bob’s younger bro & his family – and then a few days with my BFF, Marcie. In Turlock I had a whirlwind of lunches and reunions with long cherished friends, some of whom I had not seen in the 20 years since I retired.
And now, as I said, all good things must come to an end. We are on our way back full circle to our son’s in Placerville, CA. Then onward to Montana. It’s been a great trip. Our last night with Marcie included another reunion with a dozen long-time friends. Lotsa hugging. Lotsa laughter. Lotsa love shared.
Time flies when yer havin’ fun!
I pray you’re havin’ fun, too.
Thanks for sharing the highlights of our CA adventures with us.
What have you outgrown? Did you toss or leave behind? What is worth keeping?
Life is a journey With daily choices; Keep what’s important!
Make new; keep the old Friends are never discarded – Not your soul sister!
Thais is my friend – She was my college roommate – My wedding bridesmaid.
Bruce and Ann are friends Who also are related: Bob’s younger brother.
We never outgrow our good friends They live and grow in our heart And if we are very fortunate Our family and we never part . We never outgrow deep abiding faith It stays in our souls and it grows With each passing day in wonderful ways It sustains and inspires as love flows. . With luck and the grace of our Lord, We retain the most important part: Good health, curiosity, a keen alert mind, And a life full of friends who never depart.
We’re ready for a table full of good friends, long-time buddies with whom we’ve kept in touch through the years. If you had a table for a dozen friends tonight, who would you invite?
Do you enjoy keeping in touch with long-time friends?
This morning I posted “No Friend Like an Old Friend” with pictures of the long-time friends I met with yesterday.
Among the long-time friends I posted pictures of was Ly, my favorite hair stylist, whom I have known since 1979. Today she gave me a new hair cut and helped me get my “perky” back.
Also, today I had the privilege of reconnecting with dear friends from my years of working in the Ceres Unified School District. I was Caswell Elementary School’s principal from 1988-1997. Some of my favorite people to work with met me today for lunch. Most of them also are retired now. What a joy!!
Have you had the opportunity to reconnect 20 years later with co-workers who were instrumental in tour personal and professional growth? If so, you know what a JOY and a privilege this day was for me.
If not, I pray you will live 20 years into your retirement and have the delight of reconnecting the way I did today. It was indescribably wonderful. I wish you this kind of joy.
Thank you, dear Caswellians, for a wonderful day. I love you!
There is an old saying that goes like this, “There’s no friend like an old friend.”
I choose to say it this way, “There’s no friend like a long-time friend.”
We’re not old… we’re forever young at heart! We, the heart of the “Turlock Union High School Class of ’57” Met at Latif’s Restaurant in Turlock yesterday. Doris and I came from out of state. It was such a joy to see everyone doing so well. None of us used a walker or came in an electric wheelchair. That’s actually pretty amazing given the fact we’re all in our 80’s.
Do you have “long-time friends” with whom you stay in touch? It is such a blessing!!
No post about long-time friends would be complete without a picture and mention of my dear Marcie. She’s here in Turlock. We stay with her when we come back to the valley. We are soul-sisters. She’s a gift from God.
I pray that as you read about these long-term relationships, you are inspired to reconnect with long-time friends of your own. Maybe there is a person out there that you have lost touch with. Someone you care about. Reach out today!
He and his wife, Celia, are friends of our daughter and her husband.
In the years since we first met “Theu,” he has retired and has become a phenomenal photographer of birds in his region.
Gérald Theurillat has a FaceBook page where you can see more of his wonderful photos and learn the names of these gorgeous animals. I recommend you visit him there if you love birds as I do, and if you want to learn more.
Leave a comment on Theu’s FB page – and tell him “JanBeek sent me.”
Have a Wonderful Weekend, my friends.
Today is the day Bob & I pack and get ready to leave this beautiful spot.
We’ll leave early tomorrow morning. Pray for our safe travels, okay? Next destination is Turlock, in central California, where I graduated from Turlock Union High School back in 1957 (yes, I know… that makes me ancient!) – But, no, I don’t feel old!
(BTW, I get to meet on Monday with a bunch of my class of ’57 girlfriends. Ain’t that a fun thing to anticipate?)
Like Theu’s beautiful birds, I still am soaring high and loving every minute!
Visit Gérald Theurillat ‘s website and let him know you appreciate his wonderful photography as much as I do.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. Send your friends, will you?
I’d like to have 1,000 followers for the fun of celebrating the announcement of my 1,000th post.
Cristan Mihai is a blogging guru who started his blog within a month of when I did in 2012. His posts on “The Art of Blogging” have taught me so much about how to create and continue to improve my JanBeek, Loving One Another website. A constant piece of advice that Cristian repeats at least weekly is: “Punch Those Damn Keys.”
In his “About” introduction to himself on his website, Cristian wrote:
“Cristian Mihai (born 25 December 1990) grew up in Constanta, Romania. And he’s still growing up, or at least trying to. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he gets lucky and writes something good. He can’t, however, draw a straight line. No matter how much he tries. Not even with a ruler. And, please, don’t ever ask him to sing.”
You can tell by that introduction that he has a wonderful sense of humor. You know he is an English-as-a-second-language blogger. You would never know that by visiting his website. His English is perfect! And his tips, ideas, lessons about how to improve are priceless. He offers his services in a number of ways – and he is sponsored by several companies on his website. He’s a full-time blogger. He tells us that TENACITY is one of the most effective qualities if you want to grow your blog.
What’s ironic about his “The Road to 1,000th Order” blog?
He posted today “The Road to 1,000 …” the same day I received this notification of congratulations from WordPress:
Posting for Readers
I am not selling anything on my blog, so I won’t get 1,000 orders… But I would love to get 1,000 followers! And I am pleased to know I have posted that record 1,000 number of times – pleased because I know my posts and my readers have grown and improved through the years.
I post for my readers… and to my readers. I post to encourage, inspire, educate, and occasionally just to share my love, to share my joy or to entertain.
I post to show you the scenery, people, activities, and animals in whatever corner of the world I am today, knowing it may be very different from your surroundings. I enjoy seeing where you are and what you are doing.
Each day one or two new folks join us. Each day between 70 and 120+ folks from around the world visit JanBeek. Of those an average of 15 to 20 click “like” to let me know they have been there. If I am lucky, 8 or 10 will leave a message (usually it is only 2 or 3 comments, however). Usually I have no idea who more than 75% of my visitors are (except that WordPress tells me where they are from).
Encouraged or Discouraged?
Are those numbers typical? Are they encouraging or discouraging?
They are neither. They just are what they are. The “Discover” site on WordPress has 42,500,197 followers!! What would I do with that? I’d have to hire several private secretaries to keep up!!
It is not the numbers that keep me posting. One thousand posts since 2012… of those, the last 148 have been consecutive. It is not the numbers… it is the contacts, the friendships, the connections with people I have come to love here – or conversations with those I love in other walks of my life, as well. I hope to meet face-to-face someday the new friends like Derrick and Richard who are so kind with their messages of affirmation.
It was 148 days ago when I decided to make blogging a priority after my devotional time each morning.
It was 148 days ago when I committed to taking that part of Cristian Mihai’s advice, that “Get serious about it,” very seriously.
Just “Punch those damn keys!” Say what you mean – and mean what you say. Get passionate! Share what you care about. Be the change you want to see in the world … one word, one post, one action, at a time.
Cristian Mihai – The Art of Blogging
Cristian has 131,548 followers and often offers them perks… like today, “A random person will be selected among those who order until we reach #1000 will receive six months of reblogging, one sponsored post per month for a duration of six months, and a one-on-one Skype chat with me.”
I am one of Cristian’s 1,000. I ordered his on-line book, “The Art of Blogging,” and I subscribed to some one-on-one tutoring from him. He gave me some great advice about formatting, headlines, content, and networking. I recommend you take him up on his offered perk today. Who knows, maybe you will be the 1,000th person! He’s offering a great reward!
Yesterday I posted a picture of friends who came to share this beautiful place in Rancho Mirage, CA with Bob and me.
This morning I logged in to WordPress and found the most delightful responses to that post, as well as the Sunday post about baptism. My blogging friends’ responses were so upifting!
Thank you, dear readers, for taking the time to read and respond. You warm my heart! I blog to share my joy, my love, my blessings … because they are overflowing. I can’t contain them! God gives me more than I can keep to myself!
“Then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
Yesterday’s post from Derrick was a barn at sunrise that filled my heart to overflowing. I love his photography and blog. Do you know it?
And to have vats that overflow with new wine, I must remember to stay connected to the Vine!
Sharing the joy of God’s beauty with friends present and far away is prompted by my relationship to the Vine… Dear God who is the source of all joy. Indeed He fills my cup with love…
I pray that you feel the joy of God’s grace today, too. I pray that your cup is overflowing with love. I am so grateful for your visit to JanBeek and the sharing your uplifting comments. Thank you!
I love playing around with various poetry forms. I love learning about new forms. Yesterday I encountered a “Dalit” for the first time. Do you know it? It is 4 lines of 8 syllables each. I thought that would be fun to try. Here we go…
The choice is yours – choose joy today. We are blessed to be in sunshine. I select happiness today, And it splashes over to you!
Yes, even if you are in rain or snow, you can have sunshine in your heart. My heart prays for peace in war-torn places. My heart prays for safety for those in Harm’s Way. My heart prays for rain in Australia and stability in all places of turmoil. My heart prays for joy in your heart. Choose joy!
Try a Dalit poem. Share it! And Have a Marvelous Monday! See ya later.
The last time we walked in this desert, we had our Boston, TazE, with us.
The desert was greener and healthier looking. Our walking path this year had dog tracks, reminding us of our furry friend. She’s back in Montana being well cared for. Our rental this year doesn’t allow pets.
There’s been a fire since our last visit here. The desert brush all is scorched.
But it still is a peaceful place to walk. I knew we were 3/4 of the way around our course when this familiar landmark showed up.
It is a beautiful, clear blue sky 70 degree day. Wish you were here!
Do you have a peaceful place to walk undisturbed where you are?
It was invigorating!
Meantime, back in Montana, the antelope are enjoying a peaceful day, too. But their weather is considerably different from what we’re experiencing here in southern CA. Look at the picture my friend, Elaine, sent me today:
We are happy to be taking a sunshiny break for awhile. Our friends from Ennis just came to join us for a couple days. Yay! Wish you were here, too.
An especially bright spot in the heart of downtown Faribault is the Second Street Garden, a pocket garden with positive messages like this one. Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo August 2019.
BY NATURE, I AM a quiet observer. Not introverted. But a watcher, a listener, the person who mostly sits back, especially in a room filled with strong personalities.
But that doesn’t mean I embrace overpowering people, especially those who talk over and at others. That type of self-centered behavior bothers me, bothers being a tempered word choice. Lack of empathy, understanding and compassion hurt personal relationships, communities, countries. I see too many people driven by their goals, their agendas, their misinformed/uninformed assessments of others and of situations. Their “I’m right” and “I don’t care if I’m hurting you” perspectives.
How do you fix that on a personal level? The answer: We usually can’t. I’ve learned that unless someone is willing to engage in civil dialogue, it’s probably a waste of time to even have a discussion. I can only control how I react. And sometimes the best way to react is simply to walk away, to let it go, to extract myself from those who are toxic, who lack empathy and the ability to think beyond themselves.
The Minnesota Nice part of me screams, “That’s not very nice!” But the reality is that we all deserve respect. To be heard and understood and loved. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
My thought on this blog is that Audrey is so right! As a culture, we seem (in the USA) to be losing sight of common courtesy. We seem to be forgetting the power of mutual respect. We seem to be going down a rat hole… and it’s not pretty!
So, Audrey’s blog spoke to me. We DO have a choice. We do not have to travel down that ugly hole. We can walk away “from those who are toxic, who lack empathy and the ability to think beyond themselves.”
I posted “Walk with Me” a couple of days ago. It was a physical walk around our beautiful neighborhood here in Rancho Mirage, CA. Yesterday Bob & I walked around the beautiful polo grounds in the La Quinta/Indio area.
Today, I am walking again… but this time, it is around a desert path in Thousand Palms. I send funny little kisses to you… from Snapchat … with a tooth in the way. Oh my!
Thank you, Audrey, for your thoughtful blog. I am taking it to heart. If there are toxic people out there, intent on spreading hate, I am walking again…
… Not around the neighborhood or the lake or the desert, but walking way from hate and disrespect.
This week Bob & I visited El Paseo Drive in Palm Springs, CA. It was a beautiful day to window shop those exquisite boutiques. But, ooh-la-lah, heaven forbid we go inside!! The prices are out of sight! However, if is is not a lovely shirt or a cute, little apron with a cute saying on it, then it is a convincing salesman with a free gift he is handing out in sweet little bags.
I made the mistake of accepting the bag and then being drawn into his shop where he had a “Miracle Cream.” He invited me to sit down so he could put it around one of my eyes. “Look at how it removes the puffiness and lightens the dark bags,” he said.
Bob followed me in and the slick salesman invited him to come and see how much better that eye looked. “We men don’t care about the aging process,” he told Bob. “But women – they care – and your wife would love this cream. If it can do this much in one very short treatment, imagine what it can do with weekly treatments over a few months!”
The salesman offered to throw in an additional jar of “finishing cream” for FREE …. if we would buy one jar of the miracle cream.
“How much?” Bob asked.
“Only two hundred…” he paused before quietly adding “ninety-nine” at the same time Bob was gasping at 200 and missed the 99. Wow, only $300. for that miracle cream. A bargain! Just think it’ll last a month or more!!
Aging Like Sea Glass
Yes, I have a well-earned patina! Yes, I add a few wrinkles with each passing year. Yes, my skin lacks the freshness of my youth. Yes, I care about AGING. In fact, I embrace it! It’s not true that men don’t care about it. They want to age like sea glass, too.
External vs. Internal Beauty
I want the wrinkles that come with age to be a beauty that expresses my inner peace and radiates my inner joy. This dear photo by Nandhu Kumar depicts a lovely lady whose face sparkles with an inner beauty and a well-earned patina that is envious! Don’t you agree?
This sweet man’s face and his gesture of affection radiates a love so real, so dear, so beautiful that only the waves of time can achieve it. His face reflects his journey – and the changes he has gone through to achieve that beauty. Hers, on the other hand appears to have endured many fewer tumbles through the tide. Maybe she’s his daughter … or maybe she used that “magic cream.” Her face doesn’t reflect the inner glow, however wrinkle-free it may be, does it? She looks a little apprehensive to me.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not opposed to outer beauty!! I don’t knock those who get monthly facials or buy expensive creams or have face lifts. (I actually put a pretty costly cream on my face every morning. It’s a Lacome – designed as a sunscreen and wrinkle reducer – hah!)
Look at this lovely “elderly” model. She has a job that requires special care of hair and skin. Gotta look good on camera! A few lines add character, don’t you agree? The only way to avoid those lines is to stop smiling, stop frowning, stop expressing emotion. Even Botox doesn’t take them all away!!
Yes, I’d like to reduce my frown marks (those railroad tracks on my forehead). I was warned when I was in my twenties that this would happen if I didn’t stop frowning. But how do you keep a straight face when you’re teaching a room full of twelve year olds or scolding a 4th grader who just punched a classmate? Why should you keep from smiling when you’re confronted with a class of giggling kindergarteners? How do you avoid the wrinkles on your nose when that’s what your face does a million times a day? My dog, TazE, doesn’t seem to mind!
Ride the Waves and Go With the Flow
I want to age like sea glass. I want my hard edges to soften. I want to be picked up gently and admired by those who appreciate what these 80 years of life have meant to them and to me… what I’ve learned, and what I can pass along. I want to enjoy the journey, and always remember to be grateful for each day the Good Lord gives to me. I want to ride the waves and go with the flow.
You with me?
Ride the waves with me… and share your wisdom, too. How do you feel about aging?
Here I am – comfortably settled in this beautiful condo in Rancho Mirage, California. Southern CA is so beautiful! The temperature outside is a wonderful, windless 73 degrees and warming. Join me!
Share some poetry with me. I love poetry. Lately I have been engaging in a series of Haiku using the three lines of 5-7-5 syllables to pour my heart out. But, is that the intent of Haiku? Does each form of poetry have a built-in intent?
Free form seems to be in vogue these days. I have enjoyed exploring it.
“The most important thing I have learned about being a poet is that writing poetry is more about attending than intending, more about silence than sound.”
But is listening something we do with headsets when we are out in nature? What about the rustle of the leaves and the sound of the birds? What about listening to the silence?
Welcome to My World
As I sit in the quiet of my patio In the sunshine of southern California, A golf cart buzzes by, A club whacks a ball, A ball flows silently toward its target, A hummingbird hovers near the feeder, Unsure of my presence, it lands And sucks silently from the red nectar.
As I sit in the comfort of our living room, In the ambience of southern California living, A symphony plays Boyce Concerto Grosso in B Minor, The dishwasher runs quietly behind me, My fingernails tap those damn keys, And Cristian is proud of my persistence – It’s the key to successful blogging, he says. I am attending – and so are you.
Happy Sunday to you, my friends. What are your plans for today? Whatever you do, wherever you go (even if you stay home), you will have an opportunity to be kind (even if only to yourself).
Choose kindness. Be right!
If you have followed my blog for a week or more, you know I attend church on Sundays and as I hear the message, I take notes – usually in poetry.
Today we attended the First Presbyterian Church in Redlands, CA. It is a beautiful church in the heart of the city with a mission statement: “Living in the Heart and Mind of Christ at the Heart of the City.” The service was conducted with five languages spoken alternately while the English translations were printed in the bulletin.
It was WONDERFUL to hear the melodic and unusual tongues of Urdu, Indonesian, Banyan, and Chichewa spoken – as well as the familiarity of English.
The pastor, Cheryl Raine, spoke on the topic, “The Mind of Christ.” The scripture on which the sermon was based, Philippians 2:5-8 was read orally in a language I had never heard of before. English-only folks like me read it in English in the bulletin while we listened with fascination to Wilson Kayange whose native language is Chichewa.
Morning has broken… like the first day – Blackbird has spoken … here’s what he’ll say: Look for the sunrise… it’s the new year – Praise for the morning… filled with good cheer.
We are God’s people … we live in His love. We are Christ’s people… we need a good shove! We try not to stagnate … living in our own will. We empty ourselves … and try to let Jesus refill.
Leaning on our own mindfulness… we stumble and fall. We’re two days out from Epiphany … listen for His call. He asks for patience and grace … decisions slow made. He tells us to avoid selfishness… my renewal was paid.
Paid by our Lord … with His blood on the cross. We’re asked to set aside self-interest … at Jesus’ cost. Self-empty to love and serve others … As an offering, place our lives before God… Pray daily for His extravagant grace.
Transform my mind … make it more like Christ’s mind. Give me obedience … and cause me to be kind. Give me extraordinary focus … on the way I can link my mind to others’ needs … Let Your love escape with every blink!
The essence of His love… is lodged in me and grows with each day I live and breathe … and God knows I am choosing self-emptying … instead of selfishness. God help me to live in Your will each day … in selflessness.
Following the sermon, there were more prayers and affirmations in the various languages before we sang one of the closing hymns… a favorite of mine: “Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord.”
Our unison prayer, following the offering of our gifts, affirmed the sermon message and the inspiration of the hymn’s words:
“Holy God, thank you for reminding us that we are to have the same mind as Christ Jesus, for Christ willingly emptied himself for the sake of others. In humility, we gathered these first gifts of the new year for your ministries through this beloved faith community. Help us to be ever faithful to your word and your ways as we seek to glorify you with our very lives. Amen.”
As I left the service and digested the messages of kindness, self-emptying, love, and selflessness … the importance of adopting “The Mind of Christ,” I found this meme. The “listening and loving” and the “be at peace with herself” resonated with me. The “healthy boundaries” are important as we seek to live with “the mind of Christ” in a spirit of joy – the spirit Christ personified.
Happiness in Kindness
As I sang, “Teach us to know the Truth that sets us free” and “Use us to make the earth like Heaven above,” and “… yield ourselves to Thee, time, talents, all,” I realized that when I yield to God’s will, spread love and peace using my time and talents, and wear laughter and curiosity, spreading kindness, I am not only making myself happier, but I am spreading happiness to those around me.
Choose kindness. Be right!
What will you do today to spread happiness to those around you?
Ever wanted to Wear your angel wings right now? Why wait for heaven?
Here I am in wings Before my heavenly home How did that happen?
Sadly, fifty-eight Beautiful souls were gunned down; But their souls live on.
Riverside City Has many wings on display For would-be angels.
They’re just waiting for Angelic folks like I’m not – Ready to pose there.
Doesn’t it look fun To pretend you’ve earned your wings Long before you do?
Keep working at it! You, too, can look angelic… Now – try acting it!!
After our angel tour in Riverside, we went with Janet and Charley to the Mission Inn. The Christmas decorations all still were up – only of course, the outdoor light display was not twinkling. We could see all the light bulbs, though. Must have been a million of them.
I hope you had a happy Saturday, too. You can see mine was quite enjoyable. I think I already see some feathers growing …
“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” Dolly Parton
We are headed for a weekend with our dear friends, the Ducsays. They live 6 months in our “hood” in Montana and 6 months in Southern California. We are in miserable 😩 CA traffic. But, if ya wanna see your friends, Dolly Parton would tell us, ya gotta put up with the traffic.
When we went to our son’s for Christmas, we stopped overnight at a half way point, and woke up to snow covered cars the next morning. Dolly would say, “If ya wanna see family who live two days away, ya gotta sacrifice a little time and comfort.”
Last night we had dinner with Bob’s brother and his wife. We enjoyed this week’s visit with them. Don’t feel like we had to “put up” with anything to enjoy their company. But, they had to “put up” with us! We’re so grateful for their love and hospitality!
What “rain” do you have to “put up with” in order to see your next 🌈 rainbow 🌈?
That Dolly Parton quote was part of an excellent post by Barbara Franken today. Her blog inspired these thoughts of mine. Check it out! There is lots of “meat” in it to chew on. Not hard to “put up” with her at all!
Barbara’s WordPress site is “Me, My Magnificent Self.”
Back in 2012, shortly after I first started blogging, I posted this poem that I wrote at least 20 years ago. It is more true today than it was then… and fits perfectly into the theme of the blog I posted earlier today.
Have Faith and Step Out
Don’t overlook your life’s importance
or minimize your worth.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on an allowance
or on Social Security;
No matter where you are in life,
You have so much to give.
The vital part of your life
Never disappears or fades away.
Each of us is vital to God.
He gives us the courage to go out and live,
to heed His call and step out in faith
on a new journey today.
In faithful obedience, lean forward to hear Him; He doesn’t shout. His call is quiet and personal. Get serious. Listen carefully. Are you up for a new journey? Have faith and step out!
Thanks for checking back in with me. See ya tomorrow.
In joy you step out Trusting every step you take Listening for His Word
Guided by scripture, And not your understanding, You can Walk the Talk!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Listen for His Leading
In my Daily Guideposts 2020 devotional today, Kim Taylor Henry told us about her trip to the Holy Land. God took away her fear of traveling to that part of the Middle East. She listened to His prompting when an invitation showed up on social media. Signing up for the trip was a leap of faith.
Is there a place you would like to visit, a spot you’d like to go, but for whatever reason, you are hesitating? Take it to the Lord in prayer, and listen for His leading.
I have had Maine and Nova Scotia on my “Bucket list” for about a decade now. I am not sure why that part of the world is calling me. Is it the lobster? The ocean? The farm stays? A cruise opportunity? In my 80 years on earth, I have never taken a cruise. Many (if not most) of my friends have. I can die happy without ever going on a cruise, but I feel God calling me to that part of the world. I wonder why?
Maybe It’s the Lighthouses
I have had a long-standing love of lighthouses. I wrote about them back in November of 2018
God places in our hearts other reasons to have certain places on our Bucket List. Usually for me, the places I want to travel have little to do with the place. They have everything to do with the people. (That’s why we have traveled to Switzerland so many times… our daughter and her family are there!)
If you have followed my blog for awhile, you will recognize these people below as my cousin, Janine, and her husband, Cliff. I posted about Cliff’s battle with esophageal cancer last November 9th. Since that time he has been through Hell and back… and is a determined survivor.
Janine and Cliff moved a year or so ago from the Seattle, Washington home where we last saw them – about 5 years ago, I think – to Clinton, north of Seattle on Whidbey Island. Wikipedia tells me Clinton is on this 3.7 sq. mi. piece of land whose total population back in 2010 was less than 1,000. I am sure it grew by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Wikipedia has a few delightful pictures of it on their website:
But, it is not the scenery that draws me to this place. As I said, my motivation is the people I love. As I listen for God’s leading, God calls me to the love.
What is the next step you’re ready to take? Are you leaning on your own understanding?
Ask God to make your path straight. Listen for His leading. Then step out in faith.
2020 is a year for 20/20 CLARITY. It is a time for New Beginnings. What will they be?
THESE DAYS, Daily Devotions for Living in Faith, ended its 2019 entries with this prayer:
“God of all our beginnings, plant your hope so deeply within us that we never lose it. Show us the beauty of small beginnings and nurture Your life within our own lives.”
It did not occur to me until yesterday that the decade to come, the 2020s, lends itself so perfectly to the idea of CLARITY. When you have 20/20 vision, you have CLARITY. You have perfect eyesight.
The message at the “Jesus Culture” church in Folsom Sunday was delivered by a dynamic young woman named, Debra Giles, whose topic , “Every Word,” was all about looking into scripture, and looking at ourselves, and looking toward the future with Clarity.
20/20 VISION (12-29-19 sermon notes)
This is the end of The fuzzy and mean teens decade. This is the beginning of 20/20 Clarity. You are made In God’s image and you’ll see Clearly in these next ten years. You are made in God’s image, And you will hear through 20/20 ears. You are made in God’s image And this is the decade to say What is in your heart. Speak clearly from your 20/20 heart today. Speak, hear, and see with Clarity.
20/20 Clear Vision or Blurry?
As you welcome this new year, this decade of the 2020s, are you wiping the clouds from your life? Are you sweeping the fuzzy deterrents from your path? Are you putting away the distractions that keep you from moving forward with clarity? Have you decided what those things are?
Looking Clearly Forward and Backward
I am looking through 20/20 lenses at the freshness of this new day. I am looking at opportunities with clear anticipation. I am taking a backward glance at the things we have given away… and am grateful for the love and joy those things are bringing to others.
An example of such a thing given away is the little red Porsche that Bob & I used as our only means of transportation when we were first married. It is definitely a California car and I can see with clarity that it belongs here, with our son, Ty, and not parked in a garage in Montana because the dirt roads and snow-covered terrain are not conducive to safety for its low-slung frame. Our son loves it… and is taking such good care of it. Clearly, it belongs here!
With clear vision, I am looking forward to a future filled with new joys, new opportunities, and new friends. I see our church growing in love and filled with the Holy Spirit. I see our neighborhood enhanced by new (and old) friends building new homes and moving into our “hood” with their uniqueness and their hospitality a welcomed addition.
Happy New Year
It’s New Years Day, and many people are creating their list of New Year’s Resolutions. Can you see with clarity what your 2020 commitments need to be?
We were asked at dinner last night what our plans for the new year are. What are our commitments/resolutions? We went around the table. My grand-son-inlaw, Kyle, had a wonderful, impressive list. I commend him for his 20/20 vision of what he hopes to accomplish. When it came my turn, I said, “Walk the Talk” – – – see why?
What is your 20/20 Vision?
Have a wonderful January 1st – and do “Walk the Talk!”
Forgiveness is a two-way street. Not only do we need to forgive others, but we need to forgive ourselves. Sometimes that is much harder than forgiving others.
So, as this decade of 2010 to 2019 ends, commit your heart to forgiveness. Let go of any hurts from others. Tell them so. And let go of those regrets that creep into your heart and cause you to scold yourself.
None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all say things and do things and think things that we regret afterward. Forgive yourself … and move on!
Let those mistakes (sometimes intentionally placed in our lives … so not mistakes at all) be building blocks toward a better you! With 20/20 CLARITY, let this new decade be a time of strength and sincerity, compassion and courage, challenge and change, faith and fearlessness.
Know in the midst of life’s struggles that you are never alone. In my devotional this morning, I am reminded of God’s love for me and His changelessness with Ps. 59:10
It is our fluctuating emotions that cause us to ask for forgiveness and then take back the guilt that God has taken from us. We try to forgive, but we remember. We remember our own wrongs. We suffer the wrongs others have inflicted on us, carrying them in our hearts long after we think we have given them to God. The devo from Guideposts for today tells me, “Stop that!”
Accept His forgiveness. Acknowledge His death that took away our sins. Know His changeless love and His unconditional acceptance of us. And pray with me the prayer Rebecca Barlow Jordan wrote as our “Faith Step” for today in the last entry of Daily Guideposts 2019:
“This coming year, as I confess any wrong things in my heart to Jesus, (either my own wrongs or those inflicted on me by others), remind me to thank Him for His changeless love and acceptance. (And help me imitate His unconditional love as I interact with others… and with myself.
We had a wonderful day yesterday – the day of Bob’s 81st birthday. It started at our son’s house in Placerville where happiness definitely knocked on our door and entered in full array!
We went to church with our family at “Jesus Culture” in Folsom. We filled a row in the congregation of more than 1,500 people. It was amazing! Every seat was filled. People were standing in the aisles. The music and the message were God-inspired.
After church we visited dear, long-time friends whom we had not seen in a decade. We learned that our friend has stayed in touch with us (between years of Christmas cards) by following my Facebook posts. She doesn’t click “like” or leave a message, so I had no idea that she was one of my regular followers. When we got together, the years dissolved … and it was like we had never been apart. Do you have friends like that?
After that wonderful visit, with a delicious lunch and memorable, heart-felt, warm conversation, we returned to our son’s house where we celebrated Bob’s 81st birthday. Our daughter-in-law and granddaughter made Bob’s favorite birthday “cake,” a Jamoca-Almond-Fudge pie. Mmmm!
I pray that the happiness we feel be in your heart today. May it knock on your door, stay late, and leave the gifts of peace, love, joy and good health behind.
Psalm 90:12 (The prayer of Moses – the man of God)
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
80th Birthday – 2018
A year ago this day, we also were here in Placerville with our son and his family, joined by friends who came to celebrate Bob’s 80th birthday. The picture above shows Bob with the card Ty & Monika created for him using candy bars to accentuate the message.
The days between then and now find us both slowing down a bit. He finds it necessary to catch cat naps during the day more often. Outdoor chores take a toll on the back and leg muscles. Physical activities (like downhill skiing) are still fun, but hours on the slopes, taking the double diamond runs, without a break… well that’s not a good idea anymore.
How can we accept the aging process that seems to limit our energy? Well, duh … what’s the alternative? We die – or we become grumpy – or we listen to our bodies and take those breaks when the need arises! Aging gracefully means thanking God for all the things we CAN still do … and not focusing on the things we CAN’T do anymore… at least not at the speed and length of time we used to. Right?
Number our Days
We know our days are numbered… and only God has the answer. We know Jesus Christ promised He would come again and take all who believe with Him to our eternal home. Only God has the number of that day, too. So, our job is not to worry about what the numbers are, but to live fully for as long as He gives us.
That photo of Bob with our son, Ty, granddaughter, Faith, and her husband, Kyle was taken at our house in Montana last Thanksgiving.
A year ago Bob went skiing with Ty & Faith here in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This year, the crowds and the conditions caused Bob to say, “Let’s wait til we come back through in January and ski then.”
Someday Bob’s skiing may be limited to pulling our great-grandchildren on a sled in the snow… that is if we are fortunate enough to live long enough to gracefully accept the limitations that numbered days may bring!
Meantime, there are spring times and summers, autumns and early winters when the fishing is great in Ennis, Montana…
And there is always yard work that beckons him to keep the lawn trimmed, the flowers healthy, and the weeds at bay…
… and in the winter there is rarely a time when there is not snow to shovel!
We look forward to the numbered day on our ATV when we can enjoy with friends the beauty of the mountain trails above our Madison Valley.
Gain a Heart of Wisdom
Yes, looking at what we CAN do and not dwelling on the things we find more difficult to do as we add to the number of our days… that’s part of wisdom.
So is taking time daily to read God’s Word, and apply his principles to our lives.
In Psalm 90, Moses’ prayer also says, (in verse 10) “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass and fly away.”
Thank God, Bob can say, “The best of them are here and now… and with God’s blessings the best are also yet to come.”
They may quickly pass (as we age they seem to fly by more quickly with each sunrise and sunset), but we do not focus on the trouble and sorrow.
Focus on your blessings, my friends. Focus on the CANS, not the CAN’Ts!!
Enjoy each day… and look for the wisdom it contains.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek on the occasion of this wonderful 81st birthday. See ya tomorrow.
John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His Glory… full of grace and truth.”
Meaningful Conversations help lead to Meaningful Relationships.
The grace and truth of “The Word” are two of the most essential elements of meaningful conversations.
“The Word” is Christ – His Love – and His Example to us.
The “thinking, talking, and acting” in faith are essential elements of meaningful relationships.
Importance of Intimate Words
Meaningful conversation is not small talk. It is heart-felt, genuine sharing from your soul. It’s transparent. It doesn’t have to be long. It has to be deep and authentic. It has to be free of intimidation, and opening intimate… knowing it is spoken in TRUST.
From “This Day’s Thought,” an anonymous quote reminds us:
“The love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, love isn’t love till it’s given away.”
Yesterday we went with Ty, Monika and Sam (our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson) to Amador County, California. Kevin (the one in the black jacket) was a high schooler – and friends with Ty in their teens. Distance cannot keep us from remaining friends with Kevin, his wife, Karen, and their beautiful daughter, Morgan.
Just as we stay connected with them through annual Christmas cards and occasional phone calls, and face-to-face visits whenever we can, we also stay connected with Kevin’s parents. Our honest, open, intimate sharing of life’s joys and struggles keeps our friendship alive and meaningful. It’s a blessing!
Just as “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we [see] … His Glory… full of grace and truth,” so it is that this son of our flesh, a gift from God himself, dwells among us full of grace and truth. We are so grateful for the way in which he and Monika open their hearts and home to the greater family … and allow us to converge on them en mass!!
We are a diverse group of people, connected by the Love of Christ, the Blessings of the Spirit, and the determination to remain open and honest with one another. It ain’t always easy. It ain’t always purrrdy! But, it is always worth it… and it is what God calls us to do.
Love One Another
I Corinthians … “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always preserves.”
May the love in your heart reach out in honest, intimate, trust-worthy conversation. May it protect and preserve your relationships. May it be
free of intimidation
openly intimate, and
shared in TRUST.
Tell me about a relationship you are keeping alive with intimate words of love and caring.
Christ First at Christmas Family, Food and Fellowship Fun Around the Tree
I hope you had a Christmas filled with Family, food, and fun, too. I pray your memories are as sweet as mine. Merry Christmas, my friends. May the spirit of the holidays live in your heart and bring you joy – all year long!
This post is sooo inspirational. Soooo beautiful. Sooo timely. I cried as I viewed it. I just have to share it with you. DO take time to view the video. You will be blessed.
The original painting of Jesus painted by Akiane Kramarikat age 9 was hidden from her for over a decade. Finally she was able to reunite with it for a moment before it shipped to its new owner. She is an amazing artist.
What’s your intention? Is it clear to you today? Is it apparent?
Have you defined it? Does “it” have a single word? For me, it is PEACE.
Actually PRIDE Has nothing to do with it. It’s HUMILITY.
It is sincere love Given with no thought to gain Anything returned.
Anonymity is the most beautiful way Share your loving heart.
Set pride aside and just live intentionally to spread PEACE in these troubled times. Speak no ill of another. Pray for those who disappoint you. Pray for those who hurt you. Sincerely care for the transformation of those who sow seeds of hate. Be the LOVE you wish to see in the world. It starts with YOU and me!
I am headed to my Writers’ Group. I’ll share this blog with them. Where are you headed?
Most Valuable Player = Motivate Validate Praise That’s ME (and all my TOPS friends!)
What is TOPS?
TOPS is a national organization designed to help folks like me Take Off Pounds Sensibly and keep those pounds off. It is not a diet program, but a supportive organization that focuses on Mind Over Platter. Sensible meal choices, portion control, and self-control are three of the ways TOPS encourages reaching and keeping healthy weight goals.
I joined TOPS in 2012 shortly after Bob & I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. I saw myself in those anniversary photos and said, “Who’s that???” I had gained 20 pounds in about twenty years – a pound a year. It just crept up so slowly that I didn’t notice how out-of-shape I was! See those chubby cheeks? I needed help to get back to my goal weight.
Today I am back down those 20 pounds and am encouraged each week when I go to my TOPS meeting to keep the pounds off. I have to face the scale and tell my TOPS friends (most of whom are KOPS – Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) whether I gained, lost, or “turtled” this week. (Turtling is staying the same.) That accountability is important to me.
I was the happy TOPS “Best Loser” today. Every 1/4 lb. counts. I lost 1/2 lb. (Yay!!) It’s so easy to put the pounds on this time of year. I think of my TOPS friends and that scale every time I put a piece of candy or a Christmas cookie in my mouth. I am not asked to deny myself… Just be smart about how much and when I eat those sweets!
Is Weight Watching Part of Your Routine?
If, like me, you have to watch what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat – or you are prone to gain unwanted pounds, you might also look into seeing if there is a group like TOPS in your vicinity. The dues are only $5 per month. There are no foods you have to buy. No extra costs. Just a wonderful group of supportive friends. I am so grateful to my TOPS friends.
I encourage you to seek friends who are MVPs for you, too. Motivators Validators Positive friends who Praise and encourage you.
Winnie the Pooh said, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
Yesterday at church, the smallest people there took up the largest place in my heart… and the hearts of the congregants. I didn’t have my camera with me to show you a picture of the “Terrific Tuesday” children who sang Christmas carols to the congregation and recited a memorized Bible verse into the microphone. But, you just have to imagine these three darlings along with five others ranging in age from 4 to 10 – – – singing and reciting praises to our Lord. It was glorious!
Ruby, Cord, and Hailey were joined by five others yesterday as they sang, “Father Abraham,” and “Silent Night,” and synced hand motions to “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”… Oh my! Every face in the church was bursting with God’s JOY as we watched these darling little ones.
Elaine Hundley, our Pastor Steve’s wife, delivered the sermon. Steve is off in Virginia at his mom’s side as she lies dying. As we pray for Steve and his mom, Faye, our congregation also is mourning the death of Reverend Jean Johnson, who died after a difficult surgery and related difficulties. She had been the pastor here in the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church for 32 years.
If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I take notes in poetry as I listen and internalize the sermon. Elaine called her sermon, “Second Chances” as she talked about Zechariah’s muteness due to unbelief – and the second chance he received after acknowledging his baby boy’s name is John. In my notes, I focused more on the message to Mary – and her response to Gabriel and to God. Here is what I wrote as I discerned the message yesterday. I called it Believe and Trust:
Based on Luke 1:26-56
Think about Gabriel’s messages To Zechariah and to Mary. He told each their child’s name And spoke as if a voice from a fairy.
Zechariah was a priest and he Should have believed the voice. But he doubted – and became mute. Like Zechariah, we have a choice.
We can believe as Mary did, Or doubt as Zechariah chose to do. The result of Mary’s faith Was rich in blessings. So it is with you.
When God speaks to us, we know Blessings are ours – if we trust. Through faith, we are free to rejoice; We are free to believe – We must!
Mary’s song speaks as if God Already has done what He said. She praises the gift of His Son. She didn’t look on her fate with dread.
Sometimes, like Mary, we face unknowns. Like her, we are called to accept The challenges God gives us as gifts. Know God’s in charge, so have no regrets.
Christmas is a season in which, as we light the Advent candle – there is a new focus each week. We await the birth of the Christ Child with a focus on JOY this week. I pray you find JOY in this day – and project nothing but HOPE, PEACE and JOY to all you meet.
As Pooh said, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” What’s taking up room in your heart today?
Look for the smallest ways to believe, trust, and spread the Good News! Wheeee!! Take JOY into your heart! (It’s no small thing.)
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. I hope it brought you JOY today. See ya later.
The season of Christmas is one of my favorites. It’s a time to socialize with friends and to shop. It’s a time to enjoy the great outdoors on the slopes. It’s a time for cards and cookies and eat ’til you pop!
What are you up to? What’s your favorite kind of fun this time of the year? Have some “Christmas Time Fun” and tell me all about it!
I have a dear friend in California who is sending inspirational scripture with music and devotionals each day during this season of Advent. Today she sent a link to a song that started my day with a smile.
The song, composed in the minor key, is perfect for this season. Do you know it? The choir and soloists are superb:
“Come to set us free, come to make us your own. Come to show the way to your people, your chosen. Open our lives to the light of your promise. Come to our hearts with healing, come to our minds with power, come to us and bring us your life.”
For me, Advent is the season of Adventure – a season of reaching out to others in love while we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child each Christmas.
I know many of my readers are people of other faiths, and I respect your right to worship the One God in your chosen way. But, I hope you feel a sense of greater love, more generous giving, and the promised peace during this holiday time of the year. I hope the drama, the stress, and the conflict are minimized in your life… and you can find JOY in the hustle and bustle of the season.
Gracious God, Be with my Word Press friends this season. Bring them JOY and PEACE. Help them live with compassion and reach out in love. In His name I pray, Amen.