Loving One Another

Archive for March, 2019

The Forgiving Father


Happy Sunday, my friends. Did you attend church today?

We did – and I took my usual sermon notes in poetry.
And we sang a great version of the scripture lesson.
I share it with you below.

classic close up draw expensive

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

The scripture the sermon was based on was Luke 15:1-32.

It is a familiar passage for most Christians.
It includes the parables of three things LOST: a Sheep, a Coin, and a Son.

The song we sang  after the sermon was a beautiful poetic summary of the scripture.
The words, written in 1999 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette are so “right on!”
I HAVE to share them with you.
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As you read these lyrics, try singing them to the tune of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” It’s magical! It’s gorgeous!!

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God’s Great Love is So Amazing

 

Verse 1

God’s great love is so amazing!
See a shepherd with his flocks!
Ninety-nine are safely grazing;
One is lost among the rocks.

That good shepherd goes and searches
Till he finds the one astray.
So God says to fill our churches
With the ones who’ve lost their way.

Verse 2

God in love is always seeking!
See a woman with her broom!
For a single coin she’s sweeping
Every corner of the room.

When it’s found she calls each neighbor,
Telling friends from all around.
So God says to search and labor
Till God’s precious ones are found.

Verse 3

God keeps waiting, searching, yearning!
See a father’s heartfelt joy!
Thankful for the son’s returning.
He runs out to greet his boy.

To the angry older brother,
Hear the father’s patient call.
So God says to love each other,
For in Christ, God loves us all.

man holding boy

 

My sermon notes are not as professional as the poem above.
They lack the a-b-a-b rhyme scheme.
Mine is based on an a-b-c-b scheme.
You probably can’t sing them to a chosen tune.
But they capture the message I heard being preached.
See if you can relate to how our pastor took this scripture
and spun it into a lesson for us all.

The Forgiving Father

Sermon notes 3/31/19
Jan Beekman’s “take-away” on
Rev. Jean Johnson’s message
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana

 

Leave ninety-nine vulnerable
For the sake of finding one?
The Lost Sheep story tells us
That’s exactly what Jesus woulda done.

 

Leave a pocketful of change
For the one coin lost?
Yes, that’s what Jesus said.
Look carefully at the cost!

 

The cost of losing valued
Possessions can be very high.
We leave behind the flock
And fly off to pie in the sky!

 

Open your eyes to the One
Who is right in your midst.
The Shepherd among us
Seeks the lost. He insists.

 

The least among us are
Lost until they’re found.
We’re to be the seekers
Who search, listening for the sound.

 

Listen for the lost sheep’s plea,
And know, in fact, we are they.
We all need to be rescued
From the flighty life we live today.

 

Jesus really spoke not of
Coins and sheep, but us.
We are the ones who need
To be found. We must!

 

We must seek and be found
By Christ who loved us first.
Let’s join His rescued sheep
And rejoice as He quenches our thirst.

 

Christ shows us God’s real joy
With the parable of father and son.
The wayward boy returned home.
He was lost, now found. Victory won!

Welcome Home!
Come join the party.

Amen?

Tell me about the message at your church or temple or synagogue today.
What was your take-away?

 

 

31 Daily Take-Aways


Happy 31st of March to you!

How do you start your day?
I read “A Spirit-lifting Devotional” each morning called “Daily Guideposts.”

Each morning as I meditate on the day’s message, I summarize the “Take-Away” for that day in one to seven words- and write it on the blanks provided on two pages at the end of each month.

I also use that page to pray about what God wants me to do that day. I plan the day out at the top of the page. Sometimes it happens just like that. Other days, God intervenes and unexpected things happen. Here is today’s plan:

I write the chosen words on the page provided and review the messages for the month. These are the 31 “Take-Aways” for this month of March:

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Prayer for Today:

Today I am praying to keep a humble spirit.
I ask God to help me see the Extraordinary in the Ordinary.

I remember that Jesus hears and answers us every time we pray.
He may not always say YES, but if we pray with a humble heart,
and ask Him to put a right spirit in us, and we pray in His Will,
we are more likely to get a positive response.

What is your prayer for today?

beads cross prayer rosary

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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Have a blessed Sunday, my friends!

True Friends


On a site whose by-line is “Love One Another,”
I can’t forget to remind you to be sure to
return the unconditional love
given to us by our “True Friends,” our pets!

BostonTerrier-friend

Our Boston terrier is a real love
At eight and a half she thinks
She still is two.

We have had about eight Bostons
During our 57 years together.
They provide relief!

Relief from the seriousness
Of life on this planet –
They make you laugh.

If you’re a pet lover,
I don’t have to tell you –
They are True Friends!

Here is our TazE. What a blessing she is!

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Let’s get acquainted!

“Play” is TazE’s middle name!
She loves to romp on the grass
and chase her favorite toy, the ball.

But any stick will do!

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TazE is a bringle and white Boston.
See the touches of brown in her black body?
She started showing a little gray
around her eyes at about 6 years old.

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By eight and a half, she has quite a bit of gray.
She loves to go for rides in the car or ATV with us.
Her bed and blankey MUST go along with her!

TazE in bed

Boston Terrier Origins

Bostons are a USA registered breed:  “The American Gentleman” (or Lady)
bred by combining an English Bulldog and a white English Terrier.

In the 1800s, a breeder in Boston, Massachusetts named Robert Hooper
acquired a dog of this mix named Judge.

Judge is the founding dog of the Boston Terrier breed.

Bostons have a similar body and pushed in nose as this darling pug.

adult black pug

Photo by Charles on Pexels.com

Check out why Boston Terriers are the best
at https://www.facebook.com/animalloversno1/videos/2053512254888184/

What to Look For:

Like this cute little Boston puppy, it’s wise to choose one who has black hair around both its eyes. We had a Boston once with white hair around one of his eyes;
that eye was much more susceptible to infections,
very sensitive to light, and eventually after a
battle with a cat’s claws, the eye had to be removed.
That was Buster, our first Boston.
He was a love…. but
we learned to look for the black markings around both eyes
like this little puppy.

When tey are young, their ears flop like this.
Usually it takes about 6 weeks for the ears to stand up straight.

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Do you have a favorite breed of dog or cat?
Tell me about your favorite furry friend.

Resurrection Doublet


girl holding white rabbit during daytime

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A Doublet is
A couplet form created by Adelaide Crapsey
The title is incorporated into the poem, effectively creating a 3-line verse.
The title is not rhymed, nor does it need to be any particular length.
The couplet is written with 10 syllables per line or less.
Rhyme scheme: aa

 

Easter Resurrection is

Coming soon enough

Focus from rabbits and eggs is tough

 

What Defines You?


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https://torobravophotographyblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/cropped-mexican-women-1.jpg

What defines this woman in your mind?

 

Thank you,  jair_100 at

toro bravo photography

who specializes in Street Photography,

for this beautiful photo

of a

Mexican woman.

 

I was mesmerized by her face. I can see that you were, too.
You captured her tired and weathered soul. You captured her work ethic.
She is a woman who worked hard all her life, and continues to do so.
Externally, her lines define her character. Her eyes define her outward condition.
Some say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but I cannot judge.
We really can’t tell what is going on inside her.
She is beautiful.

 

But we all have heard “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

 

What defines us?

 

I pondered that question as I read your blog, jair, re:

The 3-Level Theory of Performance applied for Street Photography

I read it and decided The 3-Level Theory of Performance is a theory that can be applied to life in general, not just to Street Photography.

In your blog dated 16 enero, 2019  

you quoted Nadia Comaneci when she said,

“I noticed from a young age there are only three kinds of people in the world. Three kinds of people in the gym. Three kinds of people walking the streets. Three kinds of people working in every company:

  • The first group of people, the coach tells them to do 10 exercises, and they do only 7. They make an excuse, or they say, “7 is good enough, why do 10?” These people never win and are the perennial losers in whatever field of endeavor they are in. They cut corners and do sloppy work.
  • The second group of people, the coach tells them to do 10 exercises, and they do 10. These people will win, sometimes. They at least do what is asked.
  • And then there is the rare, third group, and I (Nadia) am in that third group. The coach tells them to do 10 exercises, and I always did 15. Always over-deliver. And this is how I won 5 Olympic Gold Medals.”

 

That Beautiful Mexican Woman

Look again at the picture toro bravo photography took of that elderly, lined, tired-looking, Mexican matriarch. She obviously is in the third group! When 10 was enough, she did 20! She never slacked. She has not quit yet! Her lines define her… exposed to the sun, stead-fast and reliable, she makes sure her family is fed. She receives few accolades, but she does not rely on external praise to do what must be done. She knows. She over-delivers. She deserves 10 gold medals!

What defines you?

If  toro bravo photography took a picture of you and posted it, what would people say or surmise about you? Are you in the rare third group?

Is our outward appearance a true test of our definition?
Is our behavior a better test of our definition?
What is it that really matters?
Can anyone see through our eyes into our soul?

Think about it.

What do you say?
What defines you?

 

Lenten Thought of the Day


We all need to consider how our words, actions, and our silence is affecting those we do not understand. Lord, help us!

Dr. Jimmy Walters

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This morning, I found myself humming the familiar Lenten Hymn, “Were you there.” The full refrain is “Were you there when they crucified my Lord.”

I started to think about this lyric and how it could be posed to me and to us right now in human history.

How is our God being persecuted today?

I started to consider the LGBTQ+ community and the persecution they face, especially youth and adolescents who are committing suicide at an alarming rate because of the persecution they face. (Read more here https://www.thetrevorproject.org/…/pr…/facts-about-suicide/…)

I reflected on Veterans who commit suicide every 65 minutes in this country, battling PTSD and addictions, trauma and despair. How many do we walk by in the streets, ignore at work, avoid at all costs.

How do we treat those with mental health illness (1 in 5 Americans), and how do we treat vulnerable children and adults who are…

View original post 200 more words

Keepers of the Aquarium


Are you a Fisher of Men
or
A Keeper of the Aquarium?

person in blue long sleeve shirt and black pants using fishing rod

Photo by Kong Ruksiam on Pexels.com

“Too many churches have stopped being fishers of men, and have become keepers of the aquarium,” said Pastor Ray at Bayside Church in Sacramento, CA in his Refuel devotional today.  http://baysideonline/devotionals/refuel-2018

(Go to today’s refuel: 3/28/19)

Check it out.

Pastor Ray suggested that as “Keepers of the Aquarium” we miss the chance to reach out beyond our own to help others. He suggested ways we might be effective “Fishers of Men.”

Our Aquariums

The imagery of us church-goers just swimmin’ in our own little tanks and feeding off of one another and keeping to ourselves tickled and troubled me. Tickled, when I realized we, like these jellyfish, all look about the same – very little diversity – and we’re swimming around in our own little circles, taking care of each other. Troubled, when I see that even in our own little space, our feelers are not quite touching most of the time!

jellyfish inside an aquarium

Photo by Nguyen Tran on Pexels.com

 

Be Inspired

The devotional (I hope you clicked on the link and heard the message) inspired me to look again at my servant/service role.

Oh sure, Bob & I are teaching a Sunday School – – – three darling little 3 to 6 year olds – – –  they feed our souls! But, how are we being Fishers of People? How are we reaching outside our aquarium to spread the Good News to others in the world?

Blog

One way is by the messages we post on our blogs. JanBeek is all about “Loving One Another.” Not just those in our aquarium, but in the lakes and rivers and big blue sea, too. I love my growing list of followers. I love that you represent countries outside the USA and states outside Montana! I hope you find inspiration here. I aspire to inspire and increase your belief in the grace of God, your faith in our fellow human beings, and the desire to reach out in love.

How Do We Show Our Love?

Yesterday I heard on FaceBook a fantastic message by the founder of https://www.charitywater.org/  I joined (with a small monthly pledge) the “Spring” to help provide clean water to more people in the world. Hopefully, the message of the Deliverer of Living Water will accompany the new wells provided by the teams who go to care for and share with these needy folks. Look at their website and see the teams of young people who are traveling to impoverished areas and bringing new hope. It’ll warm your heart!

So far, the statistics for CharityWater reports these successes:

35,281

Water projects
funded

 

9,562,163

People will get
clean water

 

37

Local partners

 

27

Countries

All donations (100%) go to the clean water projects. Salaries and administrative expenses are paid by companies, partners, philanthropists who contribute for that purpose. My little amount each month goes directly to the intended purpose: to fund clean water projects and delivery to those in need. Yay! That’s one way to swim outside your aquarium!

 

Find a Need Beyond Your Aquarium

Maybe you’ll look at ways you can improve your service to others, too. Reach out to your neighbors, your local Food Bank, Medical Center, Senior Living facility, Library, etc. There countless “fish” out there in your local sea of troubled waters who need what you have to give.

Reach Beyond Your Borders

Look for world-wide worthwhile projects that touch your heart. I am a follower and advocate of Bob Goff’s Love Does project. Another of my small monthly pledges helps this international project that touches my heart.

Bob Goff says, “We have been fighting for human rights and providing education to children in conflict zones for over 15 years.”

You’ll see him on his website – smiling his goofy smile and inviting you to get involved.

 

Bob Goff

Bob is a New York Times best selling author (Get his book titled, Love Does, if you have not already read it). He was a recognized lawyer for over 25 years. In 2001 he saw a need in India and founded what is now known as Love Does.

 

100%

Bob promises, “We understand it can be daunting to know where to give your time and financial resources. We promise that 100% of every dollar you give will go directly to fund our international programs.”

 

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I promote LoveDoes.org because I have confidence in the work it is doing to improve the lives of countless people in need. Especially his work providing educational opportunities for children is near and dear to my heart. I receive regular updates.

Bob Goff says, ” At Love Does we strive to be transparent.  We have years of a proven track record and we want to invite you in to be curious. Ask questions! We want you to feel comfortable with where you are investing.”

Search Your Heart

Find the places, the people, the needs that touch your heart. Act today to reach out. Don’t get stuck in your aquarium!

starfish on brown stone

Photo by Guillaume Meurice on Pexels.com

 

Be a Fisher of People – not just the Keeper of Your Aquarium!

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