Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

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.

One With Us


Sermon Notes from today’s ZOOM worship service
of the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Delivered by Rev. Steve Hundley
Poetic notes taken by JanBeek

One With Us

Have you ever spoken honestly
And in the process provoked
A person to anger?
Perhaps you even joked

About what you said.
You’re trying to be forgiven.
Be careful what you say and do.
Beware the life you’re livin’.

Jesus was with a crowd
Of sinners at the Jordan.
What had Jesus done to need
Forgiveness? What secrets hoardin’?

Sometimes we find ourselves
Guilty by association.
So Jesus had reason to be
Thought a sinner by the Jewish nation.

John the Baptist, however,
Knew Jesus was sinless.
So he didn’t want to baptize Him.
But his protest was winless!

Jesus was determined to be
Baptized by John, even though
He was sin-free. So we wonder,
Why did He need it? Want to know?

He wanted to be baptized
In order to be One with us!
Like Him, we need to be
One in Christ and eliminate fuss!

If Jesus was willing
To step down and be One
With all of us sinners,
Who are we, when all’s said and done?

We are all sinners, invited
To come to the river, too.
Be one with our brothers and sisters.
I’m all for it. How about you?

The sermon was inspired by the scriptures: Acts 19:1-7 and Mark 1:4-11
which were eloquently read to us by our pastor’s wife, Elaine,
from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message Bible”

ACTS 19 1-2 Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?”

“We’ve never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?”

“How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.

“In John’s baptism.”

“That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.”

5-7 And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God’s actions. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day.

MARK 4-6 John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.

7-8 As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”

9-11 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

PRAYER OF CONFESSION: 

God of all mercy, in our baptism You have marked us as Your own; You have given us a new identity and made us part of the body of Christ.  In doing so, You have called us to rise to new life and live together in community.  However, we have not been faithful to Your call.  We have forged our own identity and held to destructive habits.  We confess we have failed to welcome others, and broken our bonds with our brothers and sisters, and served ourselves more than You.  Forgive us, we pray, for the sake of Christ, our Savior.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON:  John 1:12

Hear the good news!  God said to Jesus, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with You I am well pleased.”  We have a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weakness, who has been tempted as we are, yet is without sin.

In Christ’s name we may draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, and there find mercy and grace to help in time of need.

As forgiven sinners, may we go out into the world
and make a positive difference.
May we…

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

If you have not heard former Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s You Tube message today, I recommend you click on the link here. His message, reinforcing the need for UNITY in our USA, is quite powerful. God Bless Arnie! We all need to step up in support of Democracy as he has done!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2021/01/10/arnold-schwarzenegger-twitter-speech-capitol-nazis/

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
If you missed my last post, “Embrace God”
with Steve Hundley’s Pastoral Prayer,
I invite you to go to it.
Like Arnold’s speech, it is a powerful message.

See ya tomorrow.

Just As God Embraces Us…

… we need to embrace God! We need to lean on Him and let Him enfold us in His loving care. We need God now more than ever! Feel God hugging you as you reach out to Him.

Today during our ZOOM worship service, Rev. Steve Hundley delivered a powerful Pastoral Prayer. As he explained to us (the two dozen members of the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT who logged in) during his introduction to the prayer, “I am relying heavily on the prayers of the Reverend Dr. Peter Marshall, who was elected Chaplain of the United States Senate on Jan. 4, 1947.”

PASTORAL PRAYER

“We know, Almighty God, that in this desperate hour, we as a nation need You.  We need Your strength, Your guidance, Your wisdom.  These are problems far greater than any human wisdom can solve, for what shall our leaders do in such an hour?  May Your wisdom and Your guidance come upon the President, the President elect, the Senators and Congress men and women, to whom have been entrusted leadership.  May the responsibility in the midst of this pandemic and civil unrest lie heavily on their hearts, until they are ready to acknowledge their helplessness and turn to You.  Give them courage, and the moral integrity to confess that they don’t know what to do.  Only then can they lead us as a nation beyond human wisdom to You, who alone has the answers.

Strengthen the courage of all our elected representatives—sincere men and women who want to do what is right, if only they can be sure what is right.  Make it plain to them, O Lord.  And then, start them out on the right way, for You know that we are hard to turn.

Forgive them for the blunders they have committed, the compromises they have made.  Give to them to courage to admit mistakes.  Take away from us, both as a nation and individuals, that stubborn pride which, followed by conceit, imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism.

Save our leaders, O God, from themselves and from their friends—even as You have saved them from their enemies. 

  • Let no personal ambition blind them to their opportunities.
  • Help them to give battle to hypocrisy wherever they find it.
  • Give them divine common sense and a selflessness that shall make them think of their call to service and not gain.

May they have the courage to lead the people of this Republic, considering unworthy the expediency of following the people.

Lord, we pray for the families of the thousands who have died this week alone of this terrible and relentless virus.  We pray too, for the families of those who lost their lives and were injured in our nation’s capital.  Bring an end to the violence that would cost just one of our citizens their lives.  We pray for a peaceful transition of leadership, in our nation’s capital in the coming weeks.    

We pray for those within our own community who have contracted and been exposed to the Corona virus.  Heal them and protect them from any long-term effects of the virus.

We pray too for those people whose needs You place on our hearts. Hear and answer, we pray, that You will forgive us all our unworthiness; cleansing us from every ignoble thought and unworthy disposition that we may be renewed in spirit and mind and heart, through Jesus Christ, our Lord… Amen.”

Thank you for visiting JanBeek today.
I will post my sermon notes a little later.

Hugs from JanBeek to you.

Embrace Hope


My Favorite Student

Teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites.
Right?

Ty, Roxanne (Merri), Jan & Bob

See that young man on the left up there?
His name is Ty.
He is my favorite!

(Well, in honesty… don’t be dismayed
if you’re one of my students….
I have lots of favorites, OK?
But Ty… well, read on!)


Ty was my kindergarten student in 1962-3.
Every day when he stepped off the school bus,
the girls all stopped what they were doing.
“Hi Ty!” they would swoon.
Yes, even kindergarten girls
recognize a sweetheart when they see one!

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

And every day when it was time to go home,
the girls all waved to Ty,
“Bye, Ty!”
they would swoon.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I was a newlywed.
It was my second year of teaching.
I decided if I had a boy someday,
I would name him Ty.
And I did!

Here’s my Ty with his little sister, DeAna.

Ah yes, my Ty is a sweetheart, just like his namesake!

See the sweetness sparkle?
Both Tys are a little older now!

So why the HOPE title?

Yesterday I heard the devastating news
that my favorite student, Ty,
has been diagnosed
with Stage 4 cancer.
It has metastasized.
He needs our prayers.
My heart is heavy,
but I am a believer…
and HOPE
is what believers do,
right?

Day before yesterday I posted this scripture:

“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“Plans to prosper you
and not to harm you.
Plans to give you hope
and a future.”

Jeremiah 20:11

I know God has Ty tucked into the palm of His hand,
just as He holds our world in His hand.

I know God is watching over Ty and his treatment process.
But, won’t you add your prayers to mine?
“Dear Lord, please give healing to Ty.”

I wrote about Ty when he came to visit us
here in Montana a couple of years ago.
Here is the blog link:
https://janbeek.blog/2019/05/25/gift-from-the-heart/

A Gift from the Heart

After Ty & Roxanne left, they sent us a thank you gift for our hospitality. He created this cross for us. It hangs on my dining room wall as a constant reminder of my special student, Ty Stiles.

Notice the three bars?
Ty said they represent the Trinity.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Please Heal Ty!!

Embrace Hope

“May the God of Hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him.”

Romans 15:13

The reign of Christ,
both present and in the future,
is our foundation of Hope.

Take Peace

“And in despair I bowed my head
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will toward men.

Then peeled the bells more loud and deep –
God is not dead, nor doeth He sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail –
With peace on earth, good will toward men.”

Embrace Peace.
Embrace Love.
Embrace Joy.
Embrace Prayer.
Embrace Hope.

See ya tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting
and praying with
JanBeek

Embrace Patience


An Elfchen is an Elevensie …
A poetic form that has 11 words,
1+2+3+4+1 = 11

It’s fun. Try it!

Open
Your petals
To fully bloom
Takes time; Embrace patience
Love

We all have it

Love
Flows out
And creates beauty
From what was dormant
Shine!

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.com

Slow
And steady
Wins the race
Take each step faithfully
Patience

I love you!

Disagreements
Become larger
When they smoulder
Bring them to light
Patiently

Hostility
Becomes Hatred
When we’re misunderstood
Explore ideas with respect
Honor

Exercise compassion with
love
consideration
and
respect

Embrace Patience

Let’s just love one another, okay?
See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Bee well!!

Embrace Unity


“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“Plans to prosper you
and not to harm you.
Plans to give you hope
and a future.”

Jeremiah 20:11
Photo by Bhavitya Indora on Pexels.com

It’s a day when we in the USA
Are feeling particularly vulnerable.
A day when we ponder the meaning
Of the troublesome events of yesterday.

It was a day of Troubled Waters
When our fragile democracy
Seemed on the brink of collapse,
A day some imagined, but not I.

I knew we were a country deeply divided,
A country needing a renewed sense of unity,
But never did I think our Capitol
Would be under siege by our own people.

Thousands gathered at the “Trump March.”
Many thought Trump was at the front leading them.
He was not.
They just kept coming…
and they roiled over into the Capitol building.

Not just one of the rioters was killed in the debacle,
but 3 health care workers also lost their lives.

In the aftermath, when the Senate and Assembly
resumed their stations and continued
the task of counting the electoral votes,
a new sense of purpose seemed to emerge.

It took an attack on our democracy
for our lawmakers
to unify and recognize
the importance of our constitution.
The tone was bipartisan.
The future is hopeful.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

A ray of hope
for the unification
of this divided country
was launched yesterday.

A seed of collaboration was planted.

The importance of
“Love Thy Neighbor”
seemed to be elevated.

Yesterday I posted a meme that read:
“We’ve tried hate.
We’ve tried wars.
We’ve tried destruction.
They only caused more pain.
Let’s try something different…”

…and the “different” was
peace
love
empowerment
collaboration.

Today let’s reinforce that commitment.
Let’s try
Open and Honest Communication,
Building bridges instead of walls,
LET’S EMBRACE UNITY!

EMBRACE UNITY!
Let’s honor
One Nation Under God.
One world for us all,
One CREATOR of us all.

Back in 1970, Paul Simon was inspired to write the words to the song,
“Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”
The video below is the story of how that song came to be.
The words are just what we need today…
A Bridge Over [these] Troubled Waters.

Let’s Embrace UNITY.
Let’s see how that turns out!

I hope you took time to hear that You.Tube story. It’s powerful.
Believe me,
the song is just what we need today.

“When you’re weary
Feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes
I’ll dry them all.
I’m on your side.
Oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street,
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you.
I’ll take your part.
Oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down…
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Sail on silver girl
Sail on by… More

Source: Musixmatch

Photo by Mohamed Almari on Pexels.com
I’ll drink to that:
UNITY!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
A comment about your reaction

to the song and the turn of events would be appreciated.

How are YOU feeling today?
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Peace


The events at the United States Capitol in Washington DC today were more than disturbing. I watched about a half an hour of President Trump’s speech to thousands of his followers who came to his rally this morning near the Capitol Building in Washington DC. His speech was so disturbing that I had to shut it off.


About 10 minutes into his speech, I wrote to a friend saying, “I am listening to a rabid crowd that is listening to this delusional dictator/cult leader. So troublesome!! He’s so dangerous!”

About 10 minutes later I wrote, “I am praying for peace. I’m worried about his power base believing the election fraud lie and being riled up… He is damning ‘Weak Republicans’ and obviously trying to plan a coup… inciting insurrection. He said there were ‘explosions of bullshit’ – and the crowd loved it! He said, ‘The media has become the enemy of the people’. The crowd applauded. This man is dangerous.”

I couldn’t stand what I was hearing, so clicked out of it and turned on XM Radio’s Escape while I finished my breakfast and then went to my dental appointment. Bob & I were gone for the day. It was a beautiful drive to Bozeman and back along the Madison River.

I got my teeth cleaned, we did a little grocery shopping, and when we returned home, we turned on the TV.

Can you imagine our dismay? Sure enough, that “rabid crowd” was incited to violence. They had stormed the White House and in the mayhem a woman was killed and the entire Senate and House proceedings to affirm the electoral counts that would confirm the election of Biden/Harris had been halted.

As I write this, the Senate and Assembly are back in session. It is nearing midnight in Washington DC and they promise to stay in session until their job is done and the electoral votes are properly counted. The rioters were cleared out, of course. But very few were arrested, as far as I can tell. Why not? What they did was despicable and unlawful.

They were incited by the rhetoric of our President Trump. I heard it. I could switch it off and tune into some music and go on a nice drive. But those rioters were caught up in it. They didn’t turn it off. Their actions were …

… well, I can’t find the words. I can’t describe how concerned I am about our country, how disappointed I am with our president and his unwillingness to accept defeat. I cannot put into words how concerned I am about what Donald Trump may do in the next 14 days (until he is out of office) to put the USA at risk. His behavior is not rational. I heard him. I saw him. I saw the results. Did you?

How are you feeling about it?

Let’s Embrace PEACE.
Pray for peace.
Be the peace we need to see.
Feel the peace.
Breathe.

What do you say?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
and listening to me vent.
See ya tomorrow.
I hope it’s a better day.

Embrace Joy with Gladness


Joy bubbles up from deep within
And spills out with gladness.
Expressing joy with eager anticipation
Erases all the madness.

Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

The world around may sizzle
With turmoil, loss, and pain,
But those need not define us.
Choose gladness and see gain.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Peek through the gloom with love
And watch the scenery change
From gloom and doom to cheerfulness.
Embrace joy; keep gladness in range!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

“This is the day the Lord has made;
We will reJOYce and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

ReJOYce and dance, my friends.
Be glad in the Lord and sing.
Set your mind on the positive;
Let your heart in gladness ring.

Begin your day with a question,
Ask the Lord, “Whatcha got in store?”
Then follow his lead and smile –
His joy is to give you more!

More beauty and more power,
More love and gladness, too
Are waiting round the bend
In God’s storehouse for you.

So let joy bubble up from deep within.
Let gladness radiate from your face.
Practice living in His presence
And let His love fill this space.

“Love unlocks doors and opens windows
that weren’t ever there before.”

Mignon McLaughlin

Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on Pexels.com

My prayer for us today:

May we live with an attitude of gratitude,
And send out the essence of gladness,
Relieving distress and doing our best
To erase all traces of sadness.


Amen

Hugs from JanBeek

Thanks for visiting.
See ya tomorrow.
Bee Glad!


Embrace Prayer


In today’s Daily Guideposts 2021, the writer, Amy Eddings, wrote about a time when she prayed relentlessly for guidance and courage – and felt her prayers were going unanswered. Have you ever felt that you were praying relentlessly for something and your request(s) seemed to be falling on deaf ears?

I remember last year when Australia was on fire and so many animals were dying and losing their habitats. I prayed along with the rest of our world for rain… but the fires raged on.

I have recently been praying incessantly for our Pastor Nominating Committee at our church. If you have followed my blog for awhile, you have read my sermon notes on Sunday from our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church. You know our pastor of 32 years died a year ago and we have a wonderful temporary pulpit fill who came out of retirement to help us. Rev. Hundley needs to be able to re-retire. So, we are searching for a solo pastor and I am praying hard. I believe in the power of prayer – and I believe in God’s perfect timing. Don’t you?

So, will you add my prayer request to your prayer list?
“Lord, help the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Pastor Nominating Committee
find the person God already has in mind for us.
Help them find the right new pastor
to lead the congregation into renewed spiritual growth in 2021.”

My husband, Bob, has been praying incessantly, too.
He is on our church’s leadership board
and as such is the “elder” in charge of Buildings and Grounds.
Our church owns an old church that is about 10 miles out of Ennis
in a tiny little village called McAllister.
The church was built in the 1880’s.
MVPC uses it once a year to maintain its
tax-free status as a “place of worship.”
It is in a serene country setting on a little over an acre of land.
It has electricity, but no water or septic system.
The church is for sale. We’re praying for the right buyer.

McAllister Church

Please add this to your prayer list, too, will you?
“Lord, send the right buyer to Rikki at Berkshire-Hathaway in Ennis, MT
– a person who will treasure this historic building
and use it for wholesome purposes.”

Gerry Mooney Photography
McAllister Church

When we EMBRACE PRAYER
and pray with a right spirit,
God hears, God cares, God answers.

Philippians 4:6,7: Pray about everything

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your request to God.”

1 John 5:14: God always hears

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

EMBRACE PRAYER

GOD BLESS YOU
and keep you safe and healthy.
That’s my prayer for you today.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Have a blessed Monday.
See ya tomorrow.

This is my favorite prayer… and I pray it fervently.
It spells out my purpose in life … to be an instrument of God’s peace…
TO SPREAD LOVE, FORGIVENESS, FAITH, HOPE, LIGHT AND JOY…

Sing along … and be blessed!

EMBRACE PRAYER

Embrace The Word


“The Word was the Source
of Light and Life”

Today’s message from Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana was titled
“God’s Creative Word.”

The scripture reference was
John 1:1-18
(with reinforcements from Genesis)

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

God’s Creative Word

Trying to decipher John’s
Interpretation of Christ’s birth
Is like trying to grasp smoke.
He says God’s Word created the earth.

And he explained that the Word
Was the Light and the Life – – – Rejoice!
He speaks as John the Apostle
And switches to a heavenly voice.

John strips away the layers covering
The original Word of God to earth.
He helps us hear with spiritual ears
The meaning of Christ’s unusual birth.

The Book of John is ethereal
As he shares God’s creative power.
He emphasizes that saying is doing
Words are like a bud that produces flower.

So, when we say something,
We need to think of the impact
Those words have on others.
Words spoken ripple out – no taking them back!

Just as God’s Word has the power
To create light out of darkness,
Our words also have the power
To create beauty out of starkness.

So, a lesson of John’s Gospel
Is to warn us: Watch what you speak!
If you speak untruths carelessly,
The results will not be what you seek.

Life and death are in the power
Of the tongue – – – We eat its fruit.
If you want your daily meal sweet,
Use your tongue’s power for Truth.

The Word became flesh and made
His home among us – He appeared
In the form of our Savior, Jesus.
Start here – Start where darkness was cleared.

Be Light for a Dark World.

Everlasting God,
remind us again
that Your Son is the light of the world,
the way, the truth, and the life.
Lead us by your light and truth.
Looking for Jesus,
let us find Him
knowing that it is He
who has come looking for us.

Embrace the Word, my friends.

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I’ll see you tomorrow.

Keep the Christmas spirit alive
All Year Through!
Embrace Words of Love


Theme for 2021


Do you have a theme picked out for 2021?
Several of the bloggers I follow
have selected and shared
their themes
for 2021.

My husband, Bob,
said his theme is
“Don’t Let the Old Man In.”


Mine is
“Embrace”

Each day this year I will pray for
the revelations of God’s Will
for the new day,
and I will ask Him,
“What (or who) shall I embrace today?”

January 1st it was “JOY!”

I Embrace JOY!

There is room for JOY
In this life of mine.
There is room for it ‘cuz
This life is mighty fine.

January 2nd I embrace
God’s Will for my day.
Read His Word and
Walk in His Way.

His Way – His Will –
always includes compassion!

Have a blessed weekend, dear friends.
What (or who) will you embrace today?

Most people when asked
what they missed most in 2020
said it was HUGS!

Thank God for the people close enough to you
that you can safely hug
even in the midst of this pandemic.

What are your plans for today?
Our day will be a quiet one
here in this beautiful place.
I hope yours is as peace-filled.
God is shining His Light
down on you.
Be at peace!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

Open Your Hands


My hands are open

Open your hands
Empty them of needless 2020 stuff
Open your hands
Today’s treasures will be enough

Enough to satisfy
Your every need today
Enough to bless you
And send you on your way

Springtime in the Rockies

Open your heart
To the blessings of today
And be ready for the new ones
That will surely come your way

Sit quietly and contemplate

Open your mind
To the endless possibilities
That this new year holds
And prepare for the unexpected

Fishing near the Tetons

Open your eyes
To the wonders of God’s creation
Open your soul
To appreciate each situation

Appreciate the old
(Kevinleaguephoto)

Open your mind
To see the beauty in the old
Even the broken and decrepit
Has beauty to unfold

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Open your imagination
To find the beauty of the heart
Look into the gentle eyes
And let your life be a part

Of the world of need around you
Of the hurting and the lost
Open your hands
Give love; don’t count the cost!

Photo by Trung Nguyen on Pexels.com

Open your hand
To take another’s.


Take my hand, Lord…
Lest I fall…
(Be sure to take time if you can
to enjoy the YouTube version
of that lovely song below)
Sing along!

Have a Wonderful 1st day of 2021, my friends.
Thank you for visiting JanBeek.
Bee well!
I’ll see you tomorrow.

Be encouraged by your faith
And the promises of God
for a better tomorrow!

I CAN Embrace


I can embrace the future.
I can be ready for a fresh start.
I can take time to review
This past year and take heart.

Take heart that new beginnings
Offer us blessings to uncover.
Take heart that compassion’s awakened;
We’ve new opportunities to discover.

I can embrace the promises
That change and growth bestow.
I can be energized by
Welcoming strangers I’ve yet to know.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I can embrace the reality
Of dreams yet to fulfill,
Knowing God is ever faithful
When I’m living in His will.

As Bob Goff says, “Dream Big!”

I can embrace the coming year
With prayers for those in need –
And reach out to serve the hurting
With generosity – release the greed!

I embrace the coming decade
And hope to live rightly through it.
I embrace the coming vaccine –
It’ll be effective – we always knew it.

We knew that this pandemic
Could not stay with us forever.
There are too many blessed people
Out there who are creative and so clever.

But I am not waiting for the shot
To stop the misery and relieve the pain.
I embrace the fact that LOVE
Is what will make us whole again!

So, PEACE, my dear WP friends,
I send you the best medicine of all
For the end of this misery-filled year:
A smile, a virtual hug, a word of grace, an answer to your call.

Just like Bob Goff, Love Does,
He puts his cell phone number on his book covers.
Call on me … and I will answer every time:
(406) 599-9678

Happy New Year!
Big Embraces to you,
With Love, JanBeek

I CAN RELEASE


I CAN RELEASE

My Journal

My Journal prompts me to decide
What it is today that I CAN
And I WILL release.
It’s not always easy to decide.

In this end of 2020
With the start of a fresh new year
Just around the corner,
I CAN release the old.

I CAN release what obstructs
And I CAN make room
For the new, the better.
What must I release?

First I must REFLECT.
What was good in this mess?
What was worth keeping?
What should I have learned?

I have learned to sift –
Sift through the garbage of the year
And find the jewels. and keep them –
Throw out the garbage!

Kindness wins!

Reflect on the kindnesses
Offered to me from others…
And keep those thoughts alive
While I release the ugliness.

Every struggle contains lessons.
Reflect on the things
COVID-19 set before us.
Did it teach interdependence?

It’s not a problem faced
By just one country or state.
This pandemic is a world-wide
Challenge… we’re ALL effected.

Release the idea of “Me First” –
Release the “We’re the best” mentality.
Absorb the understanding that
We’re all this together.

“No man* is an island –
No man stands alone –
Each man’s joy is joy to me –
Each man’s grief is my own.

(*human)

We need one another,
So I will defend
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.”

Release the idea of supremacy –
And reflect on God’s creation.
Know He made us ALL in His image.
Reflect on what that means.

When you hurt, I hurt.
When you are hungry, I MUST
Reach out to help you – and
Find the nourishment you need.

Images of people in food lines
Stretching for blocks,
And people waiting for vaccines
In “First come-first served” lines

GRIEVE ME!

There is enough food,
Enough resources in this world,
To meet each (hu)man’s need –
We just need to share!!

Release the tensions of this
Election year in the USA
And reflect on the voter turnout,
The level of participation.

Release the divisiveness
And concentrate on the idea
Of POWER in UNITY.
Work toward unification.

Release all attitudes of angst.
Reflect on the love shared –
And determine to be the change
We hope to see in 2021.

I CAN
and
I WILL.

WATCH ME!

Bee an angel and join me!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.
Happy New Year!

Two Birthdays in Big Sky


Where’s the perfect place
to celebrate a birthday
if you live in Montana?
Well, Big Sky, of course!

Bob & Jan in Big Sky on Bob’s 82nd birthday

And what’s the best way to celebrate in Big Sky when you get there?
With a friend who shares the same birthday, of course!

Caroline & Chuck Feldman –
CG’s birthday was today, too.

It was their first trip up to Big Sky
through the Jack Creek Canyon …
and the day could not
have been prettier for the trip!

Headed up to Big Sky via Jack Creek Canyon
Jack Creek thawing
I love the jack fences when they are snow covered!
Gorgeous blue sky and snow-covered peaks
Montana Jack’s – the perfect spot for lunch
Easy to socially distance
Tables set 10 feet apart
Complimentary dessert for the birthday boys!
To heck with a plate and spoon –
We all ate outta the dessert plate!
We stopped for some extra fun on our way out.
Of course, we masked up when we were not eating.
Everyone was equally obedient.
Can’t be too careful in this COVID world!
We hate wearing them… it’s hard to breathe….
But we’d hate more to get the virus, so we comply!
My friend, Doris, sent me this meme this morning.
While up at Big Sky, I saw a lot of mask-wearing
that confirmed the concern!!
Back home to Ennis – cross the Madison River
It was a lovely trip –
and a memorable, fun day.
Back Home with my feet up…
Time to kick off my boots!

I hope your Tuesday was a Terrific as ours.
Do you have a birthday to celebrate this end of the year?
If so, I hope you do something memorable.

Have a Happy last week of 2020…
time to kick it off, too!

Photo by YI on Pexels.com


Where would you like to kick 2020 off to
while you welcome 2021?
A beach in Hawaii might be nice!

Thanks for visiting Big Sky with me vicariously today.
We all need to look forward to a safe, healthy 2021
I wish you could travel here for real.
We’ll take you up Jack Creek Canyon!

Hugs,
JanBeek


Yesterday it was Ray …
the guy with Bob
and that gorgeous trout.
Catch,
pose,
take photo,
release!

Happy Birthday yesterday, Ray!
A new boat for your special day?
Wow!! What a gift!
My Precious Husband

Happy Birthday, dear BobbyBee.
Today you are 82, but you don’t look it.
You don’t feel it most days either!
Thank God for your refreshed health!

This is livin’!!
Here’s to many more years of fishing fun!
Here’s to many more summers of ATVing…
… and enjoying the trails with your PUP!!
Here’s to happy visits with Peter
and other former students and friends!
Don’t look at me like that!
Comb your hair and let’s go…
Let’s head up to Big Sky…
with our buddies, the Feldmans.
Happy Birthday to Chuck, too!
Wish we could travel to Switzerland
to be with our daughter, DeDe!
… or to California to be with our son, Ty,
and with Faith & Kyle (granddaughter & her hubby)
Through Jack Creek Canyon to Big Sky

But… we are blessed to be right here
in beautiful south-west Montana
and a trip to Big Sky will be
a wonderful birthday celebration.
Let’s go!

Pie for your birthday?
Coming right up!

Happy Birthday, Bob!

Who’s Birthday?


Today it’s Ray!

Happy Birthday Ray!

And tomorrow?

Too Big a Pill to Swallow?


Is that idea of a virgin birth
too big a pill for you to swallow?
It gets in the way of faith
for a whole lot of folks.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon
by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, MT
dealt with that subject…
the virgin birth.
He titled it:

Conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and Born of the Virgin Mary


It’s a stumbling block for many
To think of a baby born of a virgin…
The idea can seem like a fairy tale.
It can be a pill too big to swallow.

Some people believe Christ was
Half God and half human.
Only One who is fully God
Can atone for our sins.

Only one who is fully human
Can experience our suffering and pain.
So many deny Jesus’ duality:
Jesus was born divine and became human.

Philippians 2:7
“But made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.”


This verse is our first statement of faith:
He found Himself as human
And humbled Himself.
He chose to be dependent on humans.

Jesus could not have been born
Without that simple peasant girl;
And He suffered all the human pain
And a cruel and painful death.

It’s a gigantic leap of faith
To fully believe the virgin birth.
But, take comfort in knowing
Even the disciples had trouble.

Even though they walked
With Jesus on this earth,
They had trouble believing
He was the Holy Son of God.

The initial act of faith
Is not that total belief.
The initial act of faith
Is to invite Jesus into your heart.

When your own life is changed
By the love of Christ in you,
Then your faith will grow;
You will share that faith with others.

Jesus sees the pearls in the dust.
Not what we are, but
What God intends us to become.
In Christ, our faith can help us get there.

We don’t begin as full believers.
We begin as that dependent manger child.
We begin looking for a Teacher of Wisdom,
And Jesus, the Holy Son of God enters.

Let Him walk with you.
Let Him help your faith to grow.
When it comes to faith,
The heart is one step ahead of the intellect!

Pastoral Prayer

by Steve Hundley

We have run our yearly race to Bethlehem, O Lord, and many are tired from what has been a very difficult year.  We know that You did not mean it that way, but intended for Your Son’s birth to bring us peace and joy and renewal, and a sense of togetherness that comes from this season of love and giving.

In the stillness of this moment we turn our hearts to You as the needle of a compass points to True North.  Amidst all the tension of this year, may You remain at the center, calling us to hope and to clarity of purpose.  On the eve of a new year, give guidance to us and the nations of the world, as we seek to find our way out of this pandemic.  Incline our hearts to modesty, honesty, and compassion.  Let us be tender to all of those in need, especially the young, the old, the tired, the poor, the sick, and all who are struggling just to survive.,,

So many have died these last 10 months, O Lord.  Hold in Your arms those who grieve, whose spirits are distressed by the loss of loved ones, or jobs, or homes in all of the uncertainty that surrounds them.  Speak to us in our worship, we pray, in something heard or seen or felt, that we may go from this place of worship with a renewed sense of Your presence in our lives.

Let the months before us bring rest to a weary world and hope to millions who continue to dwell in darkness.  Use us who wait before You to accomplish Your will, through devotion and imagination and love.  We pray this prayer in the name of Christ our Savior… Amen

May you, my dear WP friends,
find the peace,
comfort,
hope,
and clarity of purpose
for which we pray.

This describes my purpose! I will declare His coming
and live in modesty, honesty, and compassion.

How about your clarity of purpose?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Don’t forget to comment below.
I would love to hear about
your Sunday and your purpose.
Hugs!!

See ya tomorrow…

Live Life Forward


I CAN …

If you’ve followed my blog for a week or so, you already know that I journal most days in this little book that is dedicated to my dear and daring daughter, DeAna. I don’t write in it EVERY day, but often I do, when I am up in my sanctuary, motivated by my devotionals. Today was such a day.

Look ahead, my friend
Live Life Forward
Stare out the windshield
Not the rear view mirror

Look toward the future
Find the unexpected gifts
Share the love and grace
You find at every turn

Share the laughter
Share uninhibited joy
Share compassion
Ease each others pain

Find the hidden treasures
‘Neath the tears of sorrow
Let them wash you clean
Ready for tomorrow

Look ahead, my friend
Don’t let the past upset
Live life forward
And bury all regret

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

I have positive thoughts about today.
It’s snowing here…
and it is beautiful outside.
It’s warm and cozy inside.
I pray you are cozy, too.



Thanks for visiting JanBeek
And thank you to all my faithful followers –
Your comments make my day!
See ya tomorrow.

A photo taken from a drone by my friend, Whooter,
showing you how pretty it is
when the snow is beginning to turn things white.
Happy Christmas Weekend!

A Blessed Christmas


I am grateful for you, dear WordPress friends.
I pray your day was blessed indeed.
Merry Christmas!

ZOOM Christmas

Did you get to actually be with your family? Or did you ZOOM with them as we did? The picture above is Christmas Eve morning. Bob & I had the opportunity to see and talk with (left to right) our son, Ty, [then that’s us], group shot of our grandson and granddaughter with our son’s in-laws, then my niece, Jodie & her husband, Bill and son, Liam, from their home in PA, our daughter #2 Laina in the Baltimore area, and our daughter-in-law, Monika, in CA. We had a wonderful hour-long conversation. Next best thing to being together in person! Thank you, ZOOM!!

Bob gave me this wonderful, warm sweater.
Laina sent us this warm greeting this morning.
She is such a thoughtful, loving daughter!
Our grandson sent us this adorable picture,
thanking us for the slippers we sent to him and his adorable girlfriend.
My dear friend, Terry, gave me this Willow Creek angel for Christmas.
You know how angels are an important part of my life.
How sweet and thoughtful of her!

What are the gifts that brightened your day today?
I hope you are feeling as blessed as we are.

A photo from our daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland
brightened our Christmas. So nice to see her
with her hubby, two of her 3 boys, plus her mother-in-love.
Our dear neighbor, ,Scott, treated us to a very special bottle of wine.
We are decanting it to enjoy it with our special dinner…
a standing rib roast. Wish you could share it with us!
We’re looking forward setting up and learning to use this gift from our son and his wife.
Technology continues to amaze us… the advances are amazing!

Bob & I are using our relatively new smoker to smoke a standing rib roast for our Christmas dinner. Like technology, things like smokers and cell phones require a learning curve. We’re on the uphill side of that curve!

We called our neighbor/friend, Whooter, for help this morning when we were trying to figure out how to do this. Dear Whooter texted us back, sent us a photo that made our day, and gave us the advice we needed. Love that guy!!

I’m sure he didn’t intend me to broadcast this photo,
but you needed a good laugh, too, right?

Whooter gave us a great recipe for a rub to put on the meat, and meat thermometers to help us know we are headed in the right direction in the smoking process. God bless him! Do you have neighbors who are life-savers for you at times like this?

Our good friends, the Delektas, had a present under our tree today.
It’s a gorgeous knife that will be the greatest tool for carving this roast
if it ever smokes sufficiently for us to eventually eat it!
Don’t get in the way, TazE… it’s sharp!!

As we prepare for our Christmas dinner, we are listening to the horrible news about the bombing in Nashville this morning. So sad that there are such sick people out there! How could someone intentionally do something so devastating?

Our prayers go out for those who were injured and prayers of gratitude that there are no known fatalities. We have friends who live in Nashville- not far from this blast. And I have a cousin who lives there. My heart goes out to all those in Harm’s Way. We all are affected by such atrocities. It makes us all feel vulnerable. It saddens my heart.

God be with those firefighters who were injured.
May they recover fully and be home with their families soon.

I am enjoying this beautiful pillow that our friends, Sue & Jerry gave us this Christmas.
What’s a favorite gift that you have been given?

Thank God for each minute you are given to share
the love, joy, and peace that are Jesus Christ’s gifts to us.
Have a very Merry Christmas, my friends.
Our standing rib roast WILL be done soon.
I am counting on it.

Sigh…
The smoker keeps shutting off.
We may have to call Whooter again!
(That’s just an internet photo!!)

Merry Christmas, my friends.
What did you do today?

See ya tomorrow.

Hugs from JanBeek, Bob & TazE!

Never Go Back!


No, I don’t want to go back!
I don’t want to revisit the old normal.
Surely as we move from 2020
to a new year, we’ll create a better normal.

This is my prayer this Christmas:
Lord, help us learn what You
have in mind for us to learn
from this rare year we’ve just survived.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Letter from a Wordsmith

With his permission, I am sharing with you the first part of a Christmas letter I received this week from my former pastor, Rev. Brent Mitchell. He is a master wordsmith! He said what’s in my heart so much better than I could have said it.

“Mark it how you will,
2020 was a year not lost,
but forever to be remembered
for both its absences
and its unexpected gifts.

By the middle of March,
it became apparent that
what we thought as normalcy
had left its predictable confines
for parts unknown,
leaving no forwarding address.

Masked and gloved,
we were left to fend for ourselves
absent even the comfort
of shaking hands
or intimate conversations,
the communion around tables,
camaraderie of birthdays celebrated,
the sacred closeness of hospital visits.

Absent of the humanizing connectivity,
of those familiar and holy intersections,
we were left to laugh alone,
to cry alone,
and hope in seclusion.
It cost us treasures we never knew
were so valuable
and time that cannot be recalled.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“But admit it:
There were unexpected gifts.
There were letters we finally wrote,
the books we never touched until now,
the prolonged stillness that allowed us to think again,
and listen to what our hearts were saying.

We talked to God
because the hours got quiet enough
to hear His still small voice.
It happened because we watched enough TV
to realize we had watched TV enough,
and golden silence gave us gifts
that weren’t insipid.

“I think, in short, that if we were paying attention,
not only did we get older,
but almost certainly wiser
because even a painful awareness
of what lurks in our hearts and minds
is worth more than gold.

The gift was rediscovering
at a visceral level
that we really are never alone;
nor in the absence of everyone,
are we left unloved.

“My prayer is that when this is over,
and it will one day be over,
we won’t forget the things we learned
the hard way this year:
that God willing,
we’ll never go back
to the tired normalcy of endless distractions,
of busyness as usual,
and the noise that never ends.”

The Mitchell Musings
December 2020
Peace to you.
Good Night, my friends.
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve Day.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I leave with you my hopes and wishes
for a most Blessed Christmas.

I CAN Keep it Simple


If you have followed my blog for a month or more,
you have seen this journal before.
The topics are inspired by life and living.
I have written about:
I CAN
Volunteer
Share
Bee Hospitable
Tackle Transitions
etc.

Little did I know when I wrote some of those how difficult some would become. Hospitality requires guests, right? Well, so much for that! Most of our friends are afraid in this pandemic world to socialize.

Little did I know how hard it would become to volunteer. Most of my volunteer activities are forbidden right now. I can’t be a “Purple Lady” at the medical center desk. Our auxiliary couldn’t hold its fund raiser this year. We couldn’t earn the money to donate for new equipment and/or medical supplies as we have done in the past.

Yes, that’s right… $31,700. donated .
And remember, we are a little town of about 1,000 residents!
We couldn’t have our usual Madison Valley
Medical Center Christmas party.

Little did I realize how many opportunities I would have to “Tackle Transitions.” Back in June of 2018 when I wrote on that topic, God knew what was coming, but none of us had a clue. My transitions poem was prophetic:

Times of transition
Can be disconcerting –
Facing the unknown
Running, dodging, skirting.

Life is full of changes;
Nothing stays the same.
Rolling with the punches –
Listening for our name.

In the “roll call” of life,
Showing up to be
Ready for transitions
Sometimes is difficult for me.

But I know the Leader
Is my Maker who decides
What my next assignment is.
In Him my life abides.

So, embrace the coming changes;
Set aside all fear and sorrow.
Joyfully put your hand in His;
He’s gotcha covered for tomorrow.

Choosing JOY in the midst of this pandemic is not easy.
My list of “I Can” do’s has changed this year.
But, I try to keep it positive:

I CAN
Believe
Only Imagine
ReJOYce
Whistle!

You recognize some of those. They became blogging themes.
This morning’s I CAN prompted today’s post:

I CAN
Keep it Simple

No large family gatherings
No stockings stuffed with toys
No sounds of giggling laughter
From excited girls and boys

No trudging through the snow
With accordion on my back
No carols at windows
Or St. Nicholas with his sack

It’s a different sort of year
COVID-19 has changed us quite a lot
We cancelled our travel plans
And we altered what we bought

Christmas Day will be different
We can mourn the things we miss
Or we can vow to keep it simple
Pray for those we cannot kiss

The virus and death took too many –
They’re in Heaven with our Lord
Let us focus on Christ Jesus
And the grace He richly poured.

Believe the Christmas promise
Jesus came to save our souls
Eternity knows no endings
His love comforts and consoles

Keep it Simple!

This nativity is over a hundred years old.
It belonged to my grandmother.
I treasure its simplicity.
My sister is one who went to her eternal home this year.
Sally would have been 83 on December 20th.
Eternity knows know endings.
I will see her again someday.
I Believe!
Thank You, Jesus!!

Have a Beautiful Christmas Week!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See you tomorrow.

A Day to Remember!


December 21st

On this day in the year 1937, Walt Disney’s animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was introduced to a delighted American public. My sister was one day old. I was born a year and a half later.

Yesterday I posted a poem about God whistling through the trees – and added some other whistlers to the post. Here’s one of my favorite tunes to whistle:

I grew up with loving this movie and the song…


The drawings that created the animation for the movie were mostly done by Bill Peet. I met Bill Peet in the late 1960’s at a California Teachers’ Association Reading Conference. What a delightful man! Bill worked for Walt Disney as an artist most of his career. In his early 50’s, he retired from Walt Disney Studios and began publishing children’s picture books. This was one published in 1967, the year my daughter, DeAna, was born.

Bill Peet


Have you ever heard of him? Are you familiar with any of his books? I think many of the more than 30 books he wrote and published for children are available today on Amazon Books… especially in the Used Books section. I don’t think any are still being printed. But, I should research that. His home page lets you see this creative author/illustrator: http://www.billpeet.net/

Many of my Bill Peet books were autographed. I bought them at the CTA conferences and had the author personalize them to me and put his signature on them. I have given most of those to my daughter-in-law, Monika, who home-schooled our four California grandchildren.

Looking at that list, I remember hearing Bill read to us “The Wingdingdilly.” I remember his infectious laugh. That”s such a cute story! Here are a couple of his books that I still have. All his books have a wonderful moral to them. Many of them are written in poetic rhyme. His wonderful sense of humor comes through, just as it did when he produced the drawings for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Don’t you love his whimsical artwork?
Jennifer the automobile was already old in 1933…
Her best friend was a scrawny, stray cat named Josephine.
This is the story of a timid, scrawny little squirrel afraid to come down out of his tree…
Adorable!
How can tiny little gnats save those big animals of the forest during hunting season?

Another of Bill Peet’s books that I still have is Fly Homer, Fly – copyrighted in 1969, its pages’ edges are mouse chewed – don’t know how that happened – but not so bad it ate into any of the words! Homer is a simple farm pigeon who lives in an abandoned barn. Homer befriended a bedraggled sparrow who was blown by a storm into the barn. The adventures begin when Sparky, the Sparrow, convinced Homer to fly off to Mammoth City with him in search of Pigeon Park where every day was supposed to be a feast day.

And then on this day in 2020…

You just gotta try to find Fly Homer Fly… The pigeon & sparrow adventures reminded me of my youngest grandson, Chris, who arrived today in Colombia from Switzerland.

Yesterday Chris flew via Geneva – Madrid – Miami. And then he realized he had forgotten his American passport. He could not fly on from Miami to his next scheduled stop. So he had to go back to Geneva and have his brothers drive there from Sierre (a two-hour trip) to deliver his USA passport to him… and 52 hours later he finally got to his destination. Whew!! Can you imagine?? Might even beat Homer’s adventures!

I introduced you to our grandson, Chris, back in November of 2018 when he came to live with us for awhile and joined the Job Corps in Anaconda, Montana. Then COVID-19 hit and the government threatened to close the Job Corps centers that were run by the Forest Service. Anaconda was one of them. That was right about when Chrissy’s parents were here visiting. So, he decided to go back to Switzerland. He’s now studying to be a nurse. He met Natalia on-line… and I told you about their romance back in early 2019. Refresh your memory:
https://janbeek.blog/2020/02/23/love-on-the-internet/

Bob & Jan with Chris in December 2018

A Day to Remember

Our grandson will remember this day forever… and someday he will laugh about it with his grandkids, just the way his grandparents are enjoying the story today. It was a surprise to us that Chris made this trip! I hope you are enjoying the story, too… and like us, I hope you are saying a prayer for those crazy kids who choose to fly across the world in this COVID environment. Ah, love knows no barriers! God bless them!

And God bless us all.
Bee safe this Christmas week, my friends.
Do yourself a favor and go check out Bill Peet!
See ya tomorrow.
Keep your sense of humor alive.
It’s vital!

Love that”kid” …
Bee safe, Chrissy!


Hugs, GrammyJanBeek


As I sat
in my sanctuary
this morning,
with the painting of Jesus praying
looking at me,


I stopped
and appreciated the peace,
the quiet,
the calmness.

I tuned my ears
to God
and
what do you think I heard?
God whistled at me!

No, God didn’t whistle like Roger Whittaker.
He didn’t even whistle like this obsessed whistler below.

No, God whistled through the trees outside in my snow-covered yard.

Didn’t take long for the snow to blow off the trees!


The wind was blowing at about 30 miles per hour.

Some people might find that sound
annoying
or
frightening.
I found it inspiring.

Here is the poem it inspired:

God Is Whistling

God is whistling
At me this morning
The trees are dancing
Sending out a warning

A storm is coming
The sky is darkening gray
We’re going to have snow
Again on Christmas day

I listened to His whistle
For in it there was joy
I heard His song announcing
The coming of His Boy

I can whistle His arrival
I can join God’s happy tune
‘Cuz I celebrate this season
Christ the Lord is coming soon

Alice Paschal drawing

I imagine those doves are cooing
as they peer down on the Christ Child.

I can whistle a cooing sound of a dove.
Try it.
God is listening.

I can whistle. Can you?
Whistle a love song.
Whistle a Christmas carol.
Whistle along with your favorite song of the season.
Here’s another Roger Whittaker for your listening pleasure:

I hope that made you smile.
Nothing like a cheerful whistle!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

I love you!


Have a Marvelous Monday.
See ya tomorrow.

Play Along!


Mary played along.
She didn’t complain.
Mary sang a song.
What a role model!

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon was titled,
“Responding to God’s Call.”
Luke 1:26-38 was the scripture passage.
Mary responded with such grace and faith.
Listen to Rev. Steve Hundley’s message
at today’s Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
-recorded through Jan’s poetic filters.

Responding to God’s Call

Luke described the coming
Of the Angel Gabriel to Mary.
Many artists have been inspired
To depict the scene; they’re varied.

Some created majestic scenes
With mountains and waterfalls,
But that wasn’t the vision recorded.
It’s a simple scene when God calls.

Gabriel doesn’t ask permission.
He simply tells her what will be,
The Bible says she was perplexed.
More in shock, it seems to me.

Whatever plans Mary may have had,
God comes and intervenes.
Like Mary, God has plans for us.
Listen to this story; hear what it means.

We can plan our lives carefully,
But often we’re face with interruptions.
Unexpected events order our future;
Often they keep us from corruption.

God’s plans always exceed ours.
But still, we have questions galore.
Unlike Mary, we ask for clarification.
We want to understand more.

It’s not every day an angel appears
And announces what’ll come next.
But often life chooses us
And leaves us totally perplexed.

In real life, we have choices.
We can say yes or shout NO!
We can become stoic and look away;
We can be stubborn and refuse to go.

When God throws us curve balls,
We might become angry and defensive.
We might throw our hands up
And become bitter; but that’s expensive.

It costs us our peace of mind.
It takes away unexpected joy.
If Mary had been so inclined,
It might have cost her that Baby Boy!

Let it be to me according
To your Word, O Lord, my Christ.
When You send Your instructions,
May I say “Yes!” without thinking twice.

Nothing is impossible with God.
Tune in!
And play along!!
Amen

Photo by Keenan Constance on Pexels.com

There may be an angel standing by your fire, sending out signals and you’re unaware.
There may be a message blowing in the wind, and you can’t hear it.
There may be an assignment God is giving you, and you don’t know it.
Tune in! Listen up! Play along!!

Jan with Great-grandson, Xander

Notes during the Pastoral Prayer today:

“God came into a troubled world.
Come again, Lord Jesus,
For we, too, are troubled.
We need You.

We are suffering.
Pain is taking its toll.
Come and bring power and healing
To those who are hurting.

Bring comfort to those
Who have lost loved ones.
Come again, Lord Jesus.
Bring deliverance.

We wait for You.”

Amen

Every heart is longing for our King
Whether they know it or not.
Let your light shine.
Sing!
Play along!!

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed Sunday.
See you tomorrow.
HUGS!

Care About Stats?


Do You Study Your Stats?

What do your stats tell you?

Talented musician and poet, Laura Sullivan, can look at her stats and know they spell SUCCESS.
No doubt about it! When you earn your living as a musician – and you play to be heard, getting two and a half million listeners has got to be a rush. Don’t you think?

How About You?

How about you?
Do you care how many followers you have on WordPress?
Do you count a successful post by how many likes you get?
Or by the number of comments?
Or by the viewers the stats show?

Looking at your daily stats
can reveal patterns
that give you clues
about what titles
or numbers of posts per day
can do.

BUT, they can be very discouraging.

What?
All that effort
and
only 16 likes or comments?

When I look at my stats
by the years instead of weeks or months,
Wow! How encouraging!
What a lot of improvement
I made after I decided
to post on a regular basis!

Hmmm,
do those stats
define success for me?

No! I won’t let numbers define me!
But, look at those likes and comments for this 2020 year.
Now, that can get my blood
rolling through my veins
at a quicker pace,
can’t it?

Is it Numbers?

Oh no, wait!
Are numbers why we do this?
Are we motivated by our ability to reach out?
Do our world views show us what we’re about?

Beware the Comparison Game!

When Cristian Mihai (The Art of Blogging) shows us his world map, every continent is colored in. It’s easy to play that comparison game – and decide you’re never gonna be good enough. Don’t fall into that trap!!

Define Your Purpose

Why do you blog?
Is it for numbers?
I doubt it!

Some people do it for money …
they are full time bloggers and stats mean income.
I understand that.
But, my guess is that the majority of us
are in it for the joy of
being inspired
and
being an inspiration.

That’s my purpose!
To spread positivity and optimism
and to help us all
just “Love One Another”
more unconditionally.


When I get a response
like the one below,
that’s what makes it all worthwhile.
That’s what makes my heart swell.

I want to be a “Beacon of Light and Hope.
Don’t we all??

Yesterday I receive this comment:

Whose Light?

Yes, I want to be a beacon of hope and light …
and be unafraid to tell you where that light originates!
I can’t fulfill my purpose alone!
Only as I am connected to my source
am I authentic enough to inspire.

It’s not a candle that keeps burning on its own!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The flame is “This Little Light of Mine” and I don’t intend to hide it under a bushel!
Let it SHINE!!!

Who or what electrifies your light?
What prompts your posts?
Is it to inspire?


Let the stats speak…
But don’t let them be your only motivation.

SHINE!

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.


I have told my WP friends this story before, but it was a while back… and since then, many of you are new to JanBeek, so it bears repeating:

My friend, Bob Jorgenson, born with Cerebral Palsy, was bright as a tack. His parents brought him every Sunday to church in his wheel chair. They sat mid-way up in the sanctuary with him. They stayed after church for fellowship. They helped people understand what Bob had to say – because Bob’s speech was compromised – but he had so much to say!

Homer and Ruth knew their son would not live a long life, but they packed ten life-times into Bob’s 35 years. They took him to Europe, to Disneyland, to Asia, to the Holy Land. They built a train track and a miniature train in a circle around their wooded property, and fixed up the engine so that Bob could run the train and give train rides to various groups of kids who came to experience the wonder of it.

When Bob was on his last breaths, lying helpless and speechless in his hospital bed, Homer sat with him. He had Bob’s favorite hymnal. As he turned the pages, Homer asked Bob to blink when he came to a song Bob wanted to hear.

Homer was singing “It is Well With My Soul” to his son when Bob breathed his last.

I never hear this song without welling up inside. My heart smiles.

I hope your soul smiles as you hear it, too.

Merry Christmas!

Love, JanBeek

Christmas Music


Want a treat?
Tune in to the Bozeman Symphony concert on YouTube.
The first part is strings, but hang in there …
… the second section is brass (French horn, trumpet, and trombone).
That was Bob’s and my favorite.
It’s whimsical, delightful, cheery.
Just what I needed this morning…
Only one week before Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas!
Have a Healthy and Happy One.
Love,
JanBeek

See ya tomorrow

Thanks for visiting.
You comment would make my day:
What’s YOUR favorite Christmas music?

Missing Or Giving?


This is Vissoie, Switzerland.
Our daughter and son-in-law have a restaurant here.
Isn’t it beautiful?

We missed our visit with them this year. We are not even able to go to California to celebrate Christmas with our son and his family there. I bet we are not alone. Many of you are missing your visits with your family this Christmas, too.

We’ll miss being with our son, Ty, and having my sister, Sally with us this year.

What are you missing?

Photo by Maximiliano Ignacio Pinilla Alvarado on Pexels.com

Like this sad looking dog, we can sit around and look all mopey.
We can focus on what we’re missing.
Or we can go to Ann Kaplow’s blog this morning,
try focusing on the positive,
and answer her question,
“Can you find something to celebrate in today’s images?”

Ann Koplow
Check out her blog below.

Ann KoplowThe Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Celebrate the fact that even though we feel the darkness of this Coronavirus and the isolation caused by this pandemic, we also can experience the LIGHT! The Light still shines – and we can reflect it!

Focus on the Reason for the Season

Let us not focus
On the things we are missing
But on our blessings

We have so much to give!
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Basic needs are met
And we have great resources
Enough to share them

When your needs are met
Leave the reptilian brain
And share your great smile

Food, clothing, shelter –
Not all people are so blessed.
Take these for granted?

No! Let’s treasure them.
Now we can go beyond them –
Reach out to others.

What do we have to give?

You have love to give
You have compassion to give
And you have kindness

Focus on giving
Blessings are overflowing
Share them with others

As long as you give
Know your cup will be refilled
You can’t out-give God!

In this weary world
People long for what you have
Share your love – give faith!

Have a little faith
Not in the things of this world
But in the True Light

Take the LOVE He gives
And let that love shine through you
Give a little FAITH!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed Thursday.
Count your blessings!
See ya tomorrow.

No, no Retards!


Ready to Be Touched

My high school buddy from the Stone Age, Doris, sent me a story today. It was written by a guy (no name available) who recalled an experience that stuck with him and changed him forever.

Did the title of this blog draw you in? Stay with me.

The story writer told about the way a young Downs Syndrome man impacted the hearts of all he touched. I was moved by the story – and decided it was too good to keep to myself. I hope it touches your heart, too.

Photo by Paul Efe on Pexels.com

Nicky’s Lesson for Us All

In 1979, I was managing a Wendy’s in Port Richey, Florida. Unlike today, staffing was never a real problem, but I was searching for a someone to work 3 hours a day only at lunch. I went thru all my applications and most were all looking for full time or at least 20 hours per week. I found one however, buried at the bottom of a four inch stack, that was only looking for lunch part time.

His name was Nicky. Hadn’t met him but thought I would give him a call and see if he could stop by for an interview. When I called, he wasn’t in but his mom said she would make sure he would be there. At the appointed time, Nicky walked in. One of those moments when my heart went in my throat. Nicky suffered from Downs Syndrome. His physical appearance was a giveaway and his speech only reinforced the obvious. I was young and very sheltered. Had never interacted on a professional level with a developmentally disabled person. I had no clue what to do, so I went ahead and interviewed him. He was a wonderful young man. Great outlook. Task focused. Excited to be alive. For only reasons God knew at that time, I hired him for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week to run a grill.

I let the staff know what to expect. Predictably the crew made sure I got the message, “No one wants to work with a retard.” To this day I find that word offensive. We had a crew meeting, cleared the air, and prepared for his arrival.

Nicky showed up for work right on time. He was so excited to be working. He stood at the time clock literally shaking with anticipation. He clocked in and started his training. Couldn’t multi-task, but was a machine on the grill.

Now for the fascinating part… Back in that day, there were no computer screens to work from. Every order was called out by the cashier. It required a great deal of concentration on the part of all production staff to get the order right. While Nicky was training during his first shift, the sandwich maker next to him asked the grillman/trainer what was on the next sandwich. Nicky replied, “single, no pickle no onion.” A few minutes later it happened again. It was then that we discovered Nicky had a hidden and valuable skill. He memorized everything he heard! Photographic hearing! WHAT A SKILL SET.

It took 3 days and every sandwich maker requested to work with Nicky. He immediately was accepted by the entire crew. After his shift he would join the rest of his crew family, drinking Coke like it was water! It was then that they discovered another Rainman-esque trait. Nicky was a walking/talking perpetual calendar! With a perpetual calendar as a reference, they would sit for hours asking him what day of the week was December 22, 1847. He never missed. This uncanny trait mesmerized the crew.

His mom would come in at 2 to pick him up. More times than not, the crew would be back there with him hamming it up. As I went to get him from the back, his mom said something I will never forget. “Let him stay there as long as he wants. He has never been accepted anywhere like he has been here.”

I excused myself and dried my eyes, humbled and broken-hearted at the lesson I just learned. Nicky had a profound impact on that store. His presence changed a lot of people. Today I believe with every fiber of my body that Nicky’s hiring was no accident. God’s timing and will are perfect.

This Christmas, I hope we all understand what we are celebrating. We are all like Nicky. We each have our shortcomings. We each have our strong points. But we are all of value. God made us that way and God doesn’t make mistakes. Nicky certainly wasn’t a mistake. He was a valuable gift that I am forever grateful for.

We are celebrating the birth of the ONE that leveled the playing field for all of us. God doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, republican or democrat, or black or white. He doesn’t care if your chromosome structure is perfect. He doesn’t care what level of education you have attained. He cares about your heart. He wants us all to love and appreciate the gift HE gave us on Christmas, His son, the Savior, our salvation. His Son that was born to die for our sins. To pay our debt. To provide us a path for eternity.

So this Christmas, let’s check our hearts. There is a little bit of Nicky in all of us and I suspect there is a Nicky somewhere in your life who is looking for the chance to be embraced. Thank God for that. Thank God for His perfect gift, Christ Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

Alice Paschal Nativity

Peering Down

Another of my high school friends, Kristy, sent me this sketch done by a 93-year-old friend of hers. What a wonderful rendition of that glorious Christmas Day! Like those two doves, my husband, Bob, and I are sitting in the rafters, peering down on that magical scene – marveling at the love Christ brought down to earth. Grateful for those who share His love in stories, words and actions.

Ready to Learn

May we all be like the workers in that restaurant long ago – ready to learn to love, learn to accept, learn to wrap our arms around the most vulnerable. May we learn to see one another through Jesus glasses, from the inside out.

My New Years glasses

My resolution for 2020 was to “Walk the Talk.”
Little did I know when I created those
20/20 Perfect Vision glasses
last January 1st
what a challenge
that would be!

I posted the picture
of that little girl
in early January,
determined to talk less
and to do more.

Lenten Breakfast 2020

No Way of Knowing

I had no way of knowing when we celebrated the first of five planned Lenten breakfasts leading up to Easter that it would be our last. COVID-19 hit, our gatherings were shut down, and social distancing eliminated these opportunities.

Time

Time to read more,
time to think more,
time to reflect
on stories
like the one
at the top
of this blog.

How will you spend
the rest of this 2020 year?
What will you do to
Walk the Talk
and
Show the Love of Christ
with those you meet?
Think
about
it.

I love you.
Thanks for taking time to read
JanBeek.
I hope it inspires you.
Bee well!
Bee LOVE.

See ya tomorrow.

Shared Poetry & Music


Laura Sullivan is a Grammy Award-winning pianist whose soothing music is available on YouTube, Facebook, my Alexa, etc. In addition to her musical talent, Laura is a poet. She shared a couple of her poems this week and I was so impressed that I asked her if I could share them with you. She agreed.

Thank you, Laura, for sharing your poetry with us.

Laura’s musical talent needs to be shared, too. Take time to listen here, and if you enjoy it as much as I do, you may want to tune in to more. A link to her talent is here: https://www.facebook.com/musicbylaurasullivan

Have a peace-filled day, my friends.
Click on that arrow.
Come sit a spell and listen with me.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Relax!!
I have you in my prayers.
God bless you.
JanBeek

It is Well


It is well… with my soul.

You may know the song, but do you know the story behind it?

It is well worth your time to listen to this wonderful explanation

and to hear the gorgeous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come
Let this blest assurance control
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul!

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Source: MusixmatchSongwriters: Bliss Philip P / Spafford Horatio / Langley Leanne

When peace like a river attendeth my way…

It is well with my soul.
May it be well with your soul, too.
God bless you!
Have a wonderful week.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

Swept Up in the Current


Today’s sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
at Ennis, Montana’s Presbyterian Church
was titled, “Swept Up in the Current of God’s Love.”

In my typical fashion, I listened
and took notes in poetry to capture the message
as I was received it.

I like this image for today’s bulletin cover
because the message as I pondered it was:
“Listen for the angels’ announcement.
Listen with your heart, and
Be swept up into the
realms of JOY!”

Based on and reflections from
Luke 1:39-55

Mary rushed to tell Elizabeth
The anticipation of Jesus’ birth.
But Elizabeth already knew it…
Elizabeth knew it? How on earth??

Mary felt a song swell up
And bubble over inside her.
She sang acceptance and praises.
Elizabeth beamed beside her.

We don’t think of God exploding
Into our lives this season.
Our upside-down world seems to forget
The JOY, the Message, the Reason.

The story of Mary and Elizabeth
Reminds us of the glories of the event.
To make Christmas more meaningful,
We need to focus on the love sent.

Mary and Elizabeth didn’t make the joy.
They WERE the joy – growing in them.
God’s presence exhibited the miracle.
The peace and JOY of God began then.

We’re not the master of all this.
The grace and love are gifts.
We’re the grateful recipients.
With Jesus’ birth, the world shifts.

The angels announced the Savior.
The vulnerable baby was born.
His life changed our destiny.
No longer are we lost or forlorn.

Mary’s Magnificat is a message
To all of us to be steady –
Steady for Christ’s coming.
Listen with your heart – be ready!

Be prepared to be swept away
By the current of God’s love.
Be prepared for that Bethlehem baby
Who came to save us from above.

Thanks to Elaina for our Nativity gift
which arrived at our doorstep today!

Yes, the angels announced that heavenly Baby
Who came down from God to us.
Now we’re awaiting the angel
Who’ll announce an end to all this fuss.

No, Reverend Steve didn’t add that last stanza to his sermon…
but I just couldn’t help myself!
Don’t you love that COVID angel?
No?

Ah, come on… let’s add the need for
a freedom announcement.

Freedom from the pain of this pandemic.
Freedom from the need to wear masks,
socially distance,
stay at home,
and
isolate.

Can you read the mask’s label?
“Coughy filter”
Hah!
Get it??
Bob & I are wearing our masks
whenever we go out.
Are you?

Don’t let this Coronavirus get to you…

Don’t take to the bottle to try and drown the pain!!

Make wise decisions!

Keep your eyes and your ears tuned to the Holy Spirit
and be ready to be “swept up in the current of God’s love.”
Jesus’ birth is the reason for the season –
And the grace and hope He brings
will keep you swimming
in love and joy.
Believe!

JOY comes in the morning!
My friend, Lisa Glines,
sent me this sunrise picture this morning.

The following poem
came from Lisa
yesterday as I was waiting
for Bob’s angiogram results.

“Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”

Jaime and Kathy played the piano and keyboard as Jim played the saw for some special music this morning.

I always imagine that saw being the only instrument some old cowboy had on hand in some distant days gone by… and learning to eerily try to play a tune on it must have been quite an interesting pastime!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

I hope you enjoyed these tidbits of my Sunday.
Bee safe!
See ya tomorrow.
Bee well!!

reJOYce


Count your blessings, my friend.
You are blessed indeed –
God is with you every step,
Taking care of your every need.

ReJOYce in the reason for the season
Remember it is about God’s Son.
It’s not about Xmas at all
Don’t leave out Christ – He’s the One!

reJOYce!!

Photo by Bekka Mongeau on Pexels.com

There are plenty of reasons
To be sad this time of year –
Especially when looking down.
But look up… See here!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Life is so full of things to say
Thank You to God for…
Lift your eyes to the sky
And look for so many more.

The ability to look at life
Through eyes of gratitude
And find JOY even in times of trouble,
That’s a healthy attitude!

Reaching out to friends
Who will hear and join you in prayer –
And believing in its power…
You will find real JOY there!

Make friends who’ll pray with you…

Philippians 4:4-6

“Rejoice in the Lord always…
Let your gentleness be evident to all…
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.”

… Good friends hug and cry with you, too!
Good friends join hands in mutual support!

Thank you for your love, prayers and support yesterday
when I was waiting for the results of Bob’s angiogram procedure.
You’re a treasure.

I reJOYce in your presence in my life.
Have a blessed weekend.
See ya tomorrow.
Love & Hugs,
JanBeek

Enjoy this beautiful, inspiring song and…
Keep Lookin’ Up!!

Only Imagine


In my journal yesterday, I created a six stanza Haiku. It’s where I’m comin’ from on this day when I delivered Bob (my sweet husband of 58 years) into the hands of a surgeon. It’s a relatively straight-forward procedure… an angiogram to determine any heart issues that were not detected with the x-rays and EKGs. Bob is in good hands… and I am here in the hotel room relaxing:

What is Heaven like?
I can only imagine.
I see glimpses here.

The help of a friend
The love of dear family
Colors of sunrise

The pureness of snow
Unconditional pet love
Hidden surprises

Gorgeous scenery
Flower pedals opening
Precious solitude

Whiskers of kittens
Soft and abundant kisses
Marvelous sunset

Magnificent Son
The warmth of welcoming arms
And eternal rest

The help of a friend
22 at Bob’s 80th in 2018
The love of family
Colors of sunrise
Pureness of snow
Unconditional pet love
Hdden surprises
Gorgeous scenery

Thank you to Curtis Wallace for his gift of photography.

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Such joy in flower petals opening – and sunflowers seeking the sun

Precious solitude… but not aloneness!
Whiskers of kittens
Our daughter DeDe, kissing her hubby, Andre’

Thank you, God, for soft and abundant kisses.

Our great-grandson, Xander, in Hope’s arms

Kisses know no age
Kisses reach into our hearts
Gratefully receive

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com
Begin Eternity Now
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Magnificent Son
Thank you for your sacrifice
So freely given

The warmth of welcoming hugs
Sending tight, heartbeat hugs to Bob
as he undergoes his heart procedure
My daddy’s hugs were the tightest!!

… and eternal rest –
That’s where my daddy is now.
What is heaven like?

I can only imagine!

Hugging blankets works
When hugging arms aren’t available

Just got a call from the hospital.
Bob is out of surgery.
Heart looks good.
No blockages.
No stents needed.
Thank you, God,
for hearing and answering prayer.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
and praying with me!
You’re the best!
See ya tomorrow.

Wonderful People


Count your many gifts
Put your great friends at the top
They make life worthwhile

I love the people –
Those wonderful, caring folks
Here to serve others

Going about their lives
Spreading sunshine in their path
Lifting our spirits

We all need the boost
Their existence brings to us
Be sure to thank them!

Thank you for being
a wonderful person
and making this a better world!

Thank you, Laina!

Who is that wonderful person
who makes your world a better place?

That’s what friends are for!

Love ya,
JanBeek

Protected


I’m told Mother’s milk
Protects a baby at birth
And provides comfort

Photo by Cleyder Duque on Pexels.com

It’s a bit risque’
To post such a photograph
But it proves a point

Innocent Babies
Who nurse on their mother’s milk
Have immunity

Like that babe in arms
We, too, are safe – protected
In the arms of God

Job 11:18

“And you will have confidence,
because there is hope;
you will be protected
and take your rest
in safety.”

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Prayer of Protection

The light of God surrounds me
The love of God enfolds me
The power of God protects me
The presence of God watches over me
Wherever I am, God is.

My Sanctuary

I repeat that prayer
As I begin every day,
Standing in this spot.

I turn off the light
And let God’s light shine through me –
Reflecting His Love.

Everywhere I go,
I have faith that everything
Has His protection.

My view from my sanctuary

The Bible is full
Of protection promises
Here’s three hours worth!!!

No, I don’t expect you to sit here for three hours
and listen to all these scriptures, but they prove a point…
just as that nursing baby proves a point.
Protection is out there.
Protection is yours.
“Wherever I am, God is.”
Believe it! Own it!

God is my refuge… my Savior.
Jesus said, “Never will I leave you.
Never will I forsake you.”

I pray you feel His protection this day, too.

God bless you!

I hope you found comfort here.

The Lord is my Shepherd….
He refreshes my soul
and guides me along the right path.
Fear no evil…

See you tomorrow.
Hugs, JanBeek

Dogs in Heaven?


Today a good friend of ours
Is having to say good-bye
To her furry companion
Such days make me cry

Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

The doggy’s name is Hannah.
She’s been a faithful friend.
Companionship and a love –
Giving comfort to the end

Photo by Szabu00f3 Viktor on Pexels.com

I wrote this poem for my friend, Fran, as a comfort as she sees Hannah off on her final journey. Bon Voyage, dear pup. You’ve been a treasured friend for over 15 years. You’ve earned you eternal reward!

I Believe

I don’t have to understand
In order to believe.
I just have to trust –
And know it’s okay to grieve.

When tragedy strikes –
Like the death of a friend –
I don’t have to comprehend
Why my friend’s life must end.

I can just believe
There’s a heaven and a hell.
My friend will ascend
To eternity to dwell.

In heaven are the ones
Who lived by the Cross.
They accepted God’s grace,
So their death is not loss.

There are people and pets
In that paradise up high.
I don’t have to understand –
Just anticipate the sky!

Photo by Ruvim on Pexels.com

Rest in Peace, Sweet Hannah.
Your cross to bear has ended –
Your life you shared and blended.
Your soul to heaven ascended.

See ya round the bend!

Have a blessed Saturday.
Say a prayer for my friend, Fran.

These pictures below are from a book by Cynthia Rylant titled, “Dog Heaven.” It was a gift to us from the Colorado State Veterinary Hospital staff after our beloved Boston, Angela, died following a two year bout with cancer.

And thank God there are fields for romping in Heaven.

See ya round the bend.
(Do you have a pet waiting for you in Heaven?)

God bless ya!
JanBeek

The Reason


The Reason for the season
Is not always clear.
Today as I was decorating,
This message caught my ear.

Time to decorate
For the coming of Jesus.
It’s Holiday Time.

Time to decorate
The foyer and entryway;
Put up Christmas wreaths.

This fresh wreath is in the cool foyer
This one’s in the entry
(on the other side of the foyer).
See the stairs to my sanctuary there?

Time to decorate
Dining room and kitchen, too.
Poinsettia in place.


Time to decorate
Living room and outside, too.
Hang lighted snowflake.

Time to decorate
For the coming of Christmas
Where is the manger?

Is Jesus in your decor?

I can decorate.
The reason for the season
Must be apparent.

Bring out the hand-made stockings
and all the memories
those stockings bring to mind!
When I hang this little guy
on the tree, I remember
Bob’s years as a beekeeper.
Bob’s Aunt Nora made this one.
She lives on in our hearts.
Before we had TazE,
we had two other Boston Terriers:
Angelo and Angela.
Their memories remain alive with these ornaments.
Remembering our Bostons
is part of the Christmas joy.

Look carefully at that picture.
Santa is back there…
But in front of him is a clay manger scene.
It looks pretty primitive.
That’s because it is!
Out son made this as an art project
in Sunday School when he was about 6 years old.
He’s now 55.

Do you keep such works of art
and take them out each year
to treasure the memories?

Can you guess
what this is?

It is a case from a friend who visited from Africa –
and in the case are these darling manger scene figures
made from grasses:

They remind me of our dear
friend from Zimbabwe, Lamiel,
who lives in my heart.
Grandma Beekman’s Christmas egg

When the Christmas decoration boxes come up from the basement, with them come so many memories.
This is a real egg with a window cut out by my dear mother-in-law, Laura Belle Beekman.
She painted it red, decorated it, and added a musical angel to the center of it.
It was my Christmas gift from her in the early 60’s, shortly after Bob & I were married.
With her Faberge’ style eggs, she comes alive again – and lives in our Christmas decor.

See the date on this?
1971!!

When I hang this ornament on our tree each year,
my Hillsborough, California kindergarten class comes alive.
This one with our kitty,
was the sample I made as my students were creating theirs –
with a picture of themselves on their ornaments.
One of those students, Heidi, still has hers.
She posted it on FaceBook last week.
What a treasure!
Heidi is now 55!!

The boxes of ornaments are filled with memories.
Not all can go on the tree…
But it’s such fun to decorate.

How are you doing with your holiday decorations?
Have you put up a tree?
Or do you have a Menorah?
Or an Advent Wreath?
Tell me about your decorating fun this time of the year.

And meantime, click on the link below
and enjoy two of my favorite singers
singing one of my favorite Christmas songs.

Merry Christmas is coming…
Enjoy your decorating!
And don’t forget the
REASON for the SEASON!!
See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

Is God Asleep?


Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on Pexels.com

Where’s God?
Is God asleep?
It seems to me
In these days of COVID
He is fast asleep at the helm.
Where do His miracles abide today?
God does not sleep in dark times;
He lights a candle and waits for our
enlightenment to see His path and find the dawn.

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

Yesterday was Quadrille Monday at d’Verse.
Lisa asked us to use the word abide
for our prompt
and write a Quadrille –
– poem of 44 words.

Photo by Jane Pham on Pexels.com

I was inspired by Dwight at Roth Poetry
who wrote his quadrille using
“Abiding Love” as his subject.
Thank you, {{{Dwight}}} –
I loved your poem.
You will, too, dear WordPress friends!
Check it out at

rothpoetryAbiding Love

Join the fun at https://dversepoets.com

Rest assured –
God is not sleeping!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Try a quadrille – and share it with me, ok?

44 words…
Choose your own theme using “Abide” in it.
It’s fun!

See ya tomorrow.

Do You Journal?


Do you journal?
Do you write most days –
Only here on WordPress?
Do you write in other ways?

Journaling on WordPress
Is a great opportunity,
But I might not say
All that occurs to me.

My journal from Marcie & Monica

I have a wonderful journal –
A gift from two good friends.
They gave it to me last year
Knowing my journaling never ends.

Today I wrote an entry
About how November’s end –
And how Christmas is coming
Right around the next bend.

But, I don’t want to squander
All the lesson November brought,
So I recalled all the Take-Aways
Each November devotion brought:

Which of those take-aways
Speaks to your heart today?
Which will you carry with you
As you travel on your way?

Each day I read the message
And in a word or five,
I take the thought I need
This day to live and thrive.

I invite you to also journal
If it isn’t already a habit.
Find a booklet that fits your taste
Then think your thoughts and grab it!

Grab that booklet daily
To augment the things you say
On WordPress to your friends here.
Your grandkids will love it some day!

This is another of my journals

Do you journal?
Do you write most days –
Only here on WordPress?
Do you write in other ways?

Journaling can be very therapeutic.
It can get things off your chest.
Then you can refer back to it.
It can be comforting at best!

If you don’t journal in a booklet,
Try it, my friends, start today.
You may discover, as I did,
It’s a place to finish your “say!”

Reading your journal later
Is like looking in a rear view mirror.
It helps you see what was
And makes today seem clearer.

Try it! You’ll like it!!

Bye for now.
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs from JanBeek

This song by Roy Clark tells us, “I never stopped to think what life was all about…”
Well, I find that journaling helps me to that as I can recall “Yesterday When I Was Young” by looking back…


Here is
Rev. Steve Hundley’s sermon
as recorded through the
poetic listening ears
of Jan Beekman
at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana
Based on this scripture:
Mark 13:24-37

Steve Hundley and Jim Forsberg provided the music today, too.

Keeping Awake

Advent season begins today.
It was 2020 years ago
When the star shone bright
And shed its light on the baby below.

We must always be ready
For His return; don’t know when
He will come to take us
Home with Him. ‘Til then…

We can’t expect to be alert
Every second of every day.
God does expect us to rest.
“Keep awake 24-7” He did not say!

But in several scripture passages,
It does warn us, “Keep Awake!”
Be ready for the Master’s return.
We pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” for Heaven’s sake.

We can’t stay on tiptoe forever
Without the muscles starting to ache.
We can’t keep our eyes always open;
Expecting to do so is a mistake.

God’s not telling us to forego
The rest He knows we need.
He’s just telling us to always care
About His return – Show it with each deed.
❤ ❤ ❤
“Bee” ready for His coming!

Don’t say goodbye to Thanksgiving too soon!
Keep that Attitude of Gratitude in your heart every day!
Thanks for visiting
JanBeek

See ya tomorrow.

Give Cheerfully


Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

2 Corinthians 9:7

“Each of you should give
what you have decided to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

I give cheerfully
Not out of obligation
But from abundance

I am richly blessed
So I can be a blessing
I give cheerfully

You are richly blessed
Your needs are taken care of
Reach out to others

You give cheerfully
Out of a generous heart
And God blessed you

Thank You!

Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

Have a blessed first Sunday in Advent!
It is a season of HOPE and ANTICIPATION.
I pray your season be filled with love and generosity.

Do you have a child or grandchild in your family who would love to see this video explaining the meaning of Advent? If so, pass this along. It’s wonderfully kid friendly… and a good way to begin the season of gifts and giving.

Before I go, let me give a gift to you:
The gift of music by Laura Story…
The blessing of faith in the “what ifs” of life…

God bless You!
See ya tomorrow.

Hugs from
JanBeek

Repurpose Your Life


Photo by Tim Samuel on Pexels.com

Mark Collins‘ prayer in Daily Guideposts today spoke to me.
He wrote:

“Lord, let me repurpose my own life
toward Your will
and not mine.”

What is your life’s purpose?

What have you determined to be your life’s purpose? Has it always been so?

Seems to me this pandemic has given us time to pause and reconsider what our life’s purpose is! This virus has been like a stop light – a red signal – “Wait here!”

As I paused and considered my life’s purpose this morning, I decided my purpose has shifted with each quarter century of my life. Have you considered how age, the passing of time, and the changing of circumstances have impacted your life’s purpose?

Maybe my purpose SHOULD always have been “to glorify God” – but did I know that? Did I live according to that calling? No!

Life seemed so simple as a child!

First Quarter

In that first quarter of my life, the innocence of childhood helped me see others with a purity of heart, but most of my purpose was pretty self-centered.

To be honest with myself and you, most of age 0 to 25 was devoted to serving self.

Second Quarter

Then in the second quarter, my life’s purpose shifted from self to family. With marriage and children, it was important to turn the focus from myself to my husband and our children.

These were the years when my career flourished and I spent a lot of time devoted to my job. But even as I did so, it all came back to bringing in the resources to provide a better life and more opportunities for us and our children.

Age 25 to 50 my life’s purpose was mostly devoted to serving family.

Photo by Arthur Krijgsman on Pexels.com

Third Quarter

In the third quarter of my life, I moved from being a mom with kids at home, and being a teacher in the classroom working with children, to being a cheerleader for my young adult children and a leader for teachers.

Even after I retired, my role as a cheerleader for my children and grandchildren and as a leader in various organizations where I volunteered was focused on how I could reach out to help.

My purpose in life from age 50 to 75 seemed to be to serve others.

Fourth Quarter

And then came this fourth quarter of my life. The period from 75 to 100 is when I have come face to face with the purpose God intended for me all along: to glorify Him.

Everything I do these days is intended to fulfill the purpose the Lord intended for me: to serve God.

I look for ways to BEE what He made me to BEE… to use the talents He gave me … and to use them for HIS PURPOSES.

I look for ways to DO what God needs me to DO to BEE His hands and feet on earth.

I find places where the love, joy and peace that are mine are lacking… and I try to spread those Fruits of the Spirit wherever I go.

What Really Matters

How much more meaningful
my life would have been
if I had spoken this prayer
by Mark Collins years ago:

“Lord, let me repurpose my own life
toward Your will
and not mine.”

Photo by Paulo Mu00e1rcio Dos Santos on Pexels.com

Don’t wait until the fourth quarter of your life to repurpose!
Ask God today to help you discern what He has in mind for you.
You can serve family and others more effectively if you:

1) Pray for God’s guidance
2) Listen for the Holy Spirit to guide you, and
3) Use your gifts, talents and time to serve God first.

In so doing, God will bless you in ways you can hardly imagine!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

By using your time,
gifts and talents
for the glory of your Creator,
you will find true joy,
a true sense of fulfillment,
and an REAL answer to:
What is my life’s purpose?

Score what really matters NOW.
Don’t wait until the fourth quarter!!

See ya tomorrow!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

A comment below
telling me what you have defined
as your life’s purpose
would be so interesting to me.
Do consider commenting!

Global Gratitude


Sue Dreamwalker wrote this today, “I will be joining the Global Day of Gratitude. This Thanksgiving we need to give thanks for family and friends, and grow our New soul family as we reach out and create New Connections all over the World… As we reach out with our hearts to create Unity and Peace.”

Sue DreamwalkerWalking The Storm

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The day called “Thanksgiving” has drawn to a close this challenging year of 2020. But as Dwight Roth reminded us in his post yesterday, it is not just a day to be reminded to be grateful for all our blessings, but it also is a day called “National Day of Mourning for Native Americans.” Check out his informative and poignant post:

rothpoetryBlinded By Comfort

Photo by Gabriela Custu00f3dio da Silva on Pexels.com

In the midst of plenty, I am reminded of the suffering of many. I am reminded of the sacrifice of many. I am mournful as I realize the injustices that brought me to the place of comfort where I am today. I apologize to my Native American friends … and yet I know nothing I can say or do today can erase the truth of what white people did to these dear people. I want to be thankful for what I have – (and I am) – but I recognize the cost… and I am humbled in my position of plenty – and trying NOT to be “Blinded by Comfort.”

I hope your Thanksgiving Day was a day of small gatherings … not the big family crowd we are used to on this day. I hope you kept it intimate and safe. We did. Just four of us. But in our hearts we included you all… and thanked God for your presence in our lives. WordPress is a wonderful community – and I am thankful for your shared thoughts, your insightfulness, and your faithful visits to JanBeek.

Our table in Montana

Throughout the day, we texted with our family in California and Maryland and Switzerland and bemoaned the fact that we can’t all be together this year. But, we thanked God for our health and our many blesssings. With the magic of WhatsApp and Messenger and FaceTime, we shared pictures. I hope you were able to do the same thing.

Our son’s table in California
Our son, Ty, at the end of the table.

Monika is taking the photo. Her parents were able to join them along with our grandson, Sam, on the left and our granddaughter, Faith and her husband, Kyle, on the right. Two other of our grandchildren are missing here. COVID says, “Keep it small.” Tough task!

Relaxing after dinner

We feel blessed to be able to share this important day with our pastor, Steve, and his wife, Elaine. Thank God for friends near and far who can join us in these days of social distancing and masks and fear – and can help us feel less alone!

Thank you, Elaine, for being such a dear friend!

I hope you were able to share the day with loved ones, too… and that you had reasons to count your blessings in the midst of this very unusual year.

My joy and gratitude overflow.
I hope it spills out globally –
and it is contagious!

I hope you had a safe and happy Global Day of Gratitude
while remembering our Native Americans …

Happy Native American Day!
God bless the Indians!!

Tell me about your Thanksgiving Day.
What did you do?

I’ve Got Peace


I’ve got peace like a river…
Do you?
Sing along!!

Don’t worry if you get the words mixed up.
I did!
I’m singing alto.

I hope you hear Alexa
with the melody in the background.
Add your voice to mine…

I love this song!

Take Peace!
Have a Terrific Tuesday.

Bye for now!
See ya tomorrow.

You got peace like a river
in YOUR soul?
I pray you do…

Hugs,
JanBeek

Find Peace


I can find peace –
It’s here in my heart.
Living in trust
Is a good place to start.

Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels.com

I can find peace
In stillness and prayer.
Don’t need to go far –
Peacefulness is there.

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Find peace in the world –
Find oneness with all.
Find joy and contentment –
No need for a wall.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Peace in relationships –
Peace from above.
Just radiate inner peace –
And reach out in love.

Isaiah 32:17

“The effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness
will be quietness and confidence forever.”

Photo by Ololade Masud on Pexels.com

Pray today for
peace,
trust,
stillness,
unity,
joy,
and
contentment .
They are waiting for you…
Just ask!

Sending my love.
Hunkering down.
How about you?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow.