Each morning I wonder what Bible verse will speak to me today. I wonder what phrase I will “take away” with me. I wonder how I can keep my faith alive, growing, and contagious.
I read today’s page in Daily Guideposts 2020 and I go to my Bible to read the chosen scripture in its larger context. And then I write the “take away” on the page provided at the end of the month.
These WONDERful phrases keep the Wonder alive in my life.
I pray that perhaps these phrases can help keep the wonder alive in your life, too.
Know God is Always With You
Use Your Talents for Common Good
Be a Ready Helper
Find Strength in Faith
Always Be Honest
Trust in God’s Leading
Keep Faith Alive
Be a Blessing
Love Without Condition
Trust God’s Faithfulness
God’s Love is Perfect ❤
Set Your Affairs in Order
Praise God for His Creativity
Always Show Your Love
Pray for Our Leaders
Help Others in Need
Play a Song of Perseverance
Make Me a Loving Servant
Thanks for Friends, Love, and Laughter
Praise God for His Protection
Concentrate on the Positive
Thank God for Grit!
Wear Your Faith Visibly and Honestly
Commit to 40 Days of Sacrifice
Put Faith Into Action
Lean on Him for Wisdom and Strength
You may consider getting your copy of Daily Guideposts 2020 for your morning devotionals. There are still ten months left to enjoy and be inspired by its daily messages. I find it to be a WONDERful way to start my day.
I breathe His fresh air and head up to my sanctuary.
There His hands embrace me and I feel His touch as I dig into His Word.
As I read, He guides me to new sources of His love and to fresh understandings.
I follow some WP blogs that add to my Bible experience. This morning I logged in to a WP blog titled “TheFather’sFeet.” The cover picture today is a WONDERful painting that the blog author, Donna Nielsen, found on the web. We don’t know who painted it, but isn’t it beautiful?
I asked Donna Nielsen if I could use the picture and tell you about her blog. I go to it each morning to enhance the WONDER of my time up in the Angel Room.
She said, “By all means.”
She explained that her blog is titled The Father’s Feet because, “I want to draw my readers to the Father’s feet with me and receive guidance for our lives.”
Donna posts two or three scripture passages and then comments on them before ending in a prayer of praise, thanksgiving, and acknowledgement, with a call for help on a particular part of our walk each day. Her subtitle is FAITH.
The Art of Blogging
One of the bloggers I have followed from Day 1 on Word Press is Cristian Mihai who writes on The Art of Blogging. His tips always are right on! His coaching is helpful for those of us who are trying to improve our blogging skills. Isn’t that all of us?
This week he reminded us that blogging is not about numbers. It’s not about how many followers or how many “likes” or how many comments we get. It’s about the people. “Build relationships,” he told us.
Cristian continued by reminding us that it’s about passion. Write about things you really care about, he instructed.
You can’t improve your blog if you don’t know WHY you are blogging, he said. Cristian Mihai always reminds me that I need to be clear about my purpose. What do I hope to accomplish?
People, Passion, Purpose, Precision, and Pleasure
I wrote to Cristian thanking him for the 3 P’s of successful bloggers, but then suggested we need to add two more P’s: precision and pleasure.
I need to be precise about what I write. Make sure the words are spelled correctly, the grammar is correct, and the format is pleasing. Add sub-titles. Add pictures. Edit out superfluous words. Read it aloud to myself or my dog. Make sure it sounds real.
No one will return to a blog that is sloppy or one that uses objectionable language. Or at least not many people will. We all know that. Those kinds of words and messes turn me off!
And the 5th “P” of successful blogging is pleasure.
I take pleasure in writing
about the things I am passionate about.
I get enormous pleasure out of
communicating with the people who leave comments.
I love getting to know people from India,
Sri Lanka, Canada, Venezuela, Germany, Finland, etc…
I really enjoy looking at where y’all are from.
As long as you’re having fun, taking pleasure in the writing process, and enjoying the connections that your blog makes possible, I think you’re on the right track. As long as you write about your passions (one of mine is this “Loving One Another” subject), and as long as you stay true to your purpose and do it with the greatest precision you can muster, then I think you are a blogging “artist.”
I’m glad you are here at JanBeek.
I hope we can get to know one another,
encourage one another,
and give each other feedback as often as possible.
Proverbs is a wonderful book of wisdom. Have you read it clear through? I read one chapter in it everyday. It has 31 chapters. This month I’ll read three chapters on the 29th. We don’t have a 30 or 31 in February! Then on March 1st I will start over again, but with a different translation. I find the various translations help me gather new and deeper meanings.
Today’s chapter 27 verse 19 is a perfect example of the way different translations can add different nuances:
The Message paraphrased version by Eugene Peterson
“Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart.”
The NIV (New International Version)
“As water reflects a face, so man’s heart reflects the man.”
KJV King James Version
“As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.”
Each of those passages refers to the way a person’s heart reflects to that person (and maybe to others) who that person really is. Right? But, when I went to the CS Lewis Bibleparaphrased, I found this translation:
“Just as water reflects the face, so one human heart reflects another.”
To me that CS Lewis version says it is not just a matter of looking at the way our heart reflects to ourselves who we really are … and can be seen in our facial expressions… but it also says our “heart-scape” influences how we see others.
We see others through our own heart content and our own heart lenses. We may be blind to who they really are, like this girl on a branch is blind to her own reflection. We often don’t see ourselves as others see us. And we don’t see others as they intend to be seen.
Does your face mirror your heart? Or are there cracks in the space between your heart mirror and your face?
Do you see others through a lens of love, or is your heart-scape distorting what you see?
How Do I See Thee and Me?
Do I see thee through a clear lens, a pure heart, a heart of love and compassion?
Ask yourself: Do I see Me the same way? Do I see myself as God sees me? His redeemed, forgiven, beloved child? Am I gentle with myself? Am I open and positive? Do I see the positivity in others?
I see thee dearly. I see me clearly. We are not merely clones; we are beloved, unique children of God.
I love you! Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Have a blessed day!
In her devotional this morning, Cynthia Ruchti reminded me it’s Ash Wednesday. She wrote (on this Feb. 20 devotional in Daily Guideposts), “… my sins have been incinerated, a fine layer of ash is all that remains – and that layer has been blown away by the breath of Jesus’ mercy.”
What a wonderful image that is! She reminded us of the devastation of the 2019 California fires that left whole neighborhoods (in fact major parts of whole cities, like Paradise, CA) incinerated. She mourned, “The ash was so fine it left only a dusting over the footprint of each lost home.”
Cynthia reminded me that Ash Wednesday is “a time of reflection, self-sacrifice, spiritual discipline, and fasting to prepare the heart for Easter.” Her “Faith Step” at the conclusion of the message was: “Our humanity and our sinfulness have been conquered in Jesus and we are free. Ashes to joy. Dust to life. Live victoriously.”
At http://www.Christianity.com the author wrote: “Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.”
I am ready to embrace this season. I am ready to “live victoriously.” I am ready for “Dust to dust” to become “Dust to Life.”
I am ready for “Ashes to ashes” to become “Ashes to Joy.“
Breathing is the process of taking air into the lungs and expelling it back out into the world.
It’s important to understand what it means to breathe and to really have a deep understanding of the word.
To do that, let’s take a look at some of the absolute best quotes about breathing. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Best Quotes About Breathing:
1. Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life. – Giovanni Papini
2. Just breathe. – Author Unknown
3. Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a beautiful refusal to become anything less than infinite. – D. Antoinette Foy
4. Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. – Oprah Winfrey
5. Inhale the future, exhale the past. – Author Unknown
I like that last one… for it is when we can breathe out the past that we make space for the now.
More Great Quotes
6. The trick to life is to just keep breathing. – Johnny Lung
7. Learn how to exhale, the inhale will take care of itself. – Carla Melucci Ardito
8. When the breath is unsteady, all is unsteady; when the breath is still; all is still. Control the breath carefully. Inhalation gives strength and a controlled body; retention gives steadiness of mind and longevity; exhalation purifies body and spirit. – Goraksasathakam
9. The wisest one-word sentence? Breathe. – Terri Guillemets
10. Only those who know how to breathe will survive. – Pundit Acharya
11. If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance. – Andrea Boydston
12. Pause, breathe. Repair the universe, then proceed. – Author Unknown
13. Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. – Thich Nhat Hanh
14. Without full awareness of breathing, there can be no development of meditative stability and understanding. – Thich Nhat Hanh
15. Breathe, it’s just a bad day, not a bad life. – Author Unknown
It’s a good life when at 81 you still are downhill skiing and you can go with your ski buddy up to the top of Big Sky and enjoy the freshness of the Good Life. That’s where Bob & Nancy are today.
It’s not a bad life when you can look out your window at the Madison Range, Jack Creek Canyon and Fan Mountain, and breathe in the freshness of the air, and know how blessed you are!
Breathe in the fresh air Fill it gently in your lungs Release all tension
Breathe deeply – – – Release Now, go out into the world And plant a love seed
It’s a grand Tuesday! Thanks for visiting JanBeek. See ya tomorrow.
“Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to the taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
Proverbs 24: 13-14
That honey jar on the right with the bees and hearts was given to us 8 years ago for our 50th wedding anniversary from Bob’s beekeeper nephew and his wife. Bryan Beekman is a California beekeeper with about 10,000 beehives. His wife, Michelle, has the “Honey Hut” on their property in Clovis.
No, I have not kept that honey for 8 years!! (But, I could have if I wanted to… honey never spoils unless you add water to it! They found good, edible honey in King Tut’s tomb!)
A jar like that only last a few weeks in our house before it has to be refilled. We pour from it into the honey bear. It’s easier to pour out of the bear. I keep both of those containers in the cabinet to the right of the stove. A warm spot is best for storing honey. Never refrigerate it!! When the jar is empty, we refill it from a 5 gallon jug that we keep in the warm room downstairs.
Look carefully at the jar. The letters almost are all washed off. It used to say, “Happy 50th, Bob & Jan.” I need to take it back to Michelle to have it repainted one of these trip to California! But would that be like restoring an antique? Would it lose some of its value?
Honey as a Gift
Because Bob’s a retired beekeeper, folks often give us honey as a gift when they return from their travels. This jar was a gift from a friend in Maryland. Notice the label says, “100% Pure Raw Varietal Honey.” That’s important! You want to know from which flowers the bees gathered their nectar. Honey has flavors as distinct as wines or berries or the smell of various flowers. Pure orange honey has the taste of the smell of the orange blossoms. I love it!
Describing Honey Flavors
However, some honey label writers get carried away, just as some folks who describe the flavors of wine do on their labels. I don’t often taste the earth or the tobacco in a glass of wine. And I can’t taste “vanilla-marshmallowy goodness” in this Pacific Northwest honey. However, I believe them when they say it’s pure and raw.
Preserving Honey’s Attributes
Pure means it hasn’t been mixed with other stuff… and raw means it hasn’t been heated above a certain temperature. Heating honey too much (like boiling it on the stove or in the microwave) kills many, if not all, of its healthy qualities.
If you love honey as we do, remember to bee wise in the way you select and buy it, and remember to bee wise in the way you store and preserve it. And remember to use it as a substitute for sugar as often as you can. It’s better for you – and it takes less honey to taste the sweetness than sugar. Also, honey is the browning agent in waffles or bread.
No, it’s not a love affair between me and my youngest Swiss grandson, Chrissy. But, Chrissy is the reason for my blog topic today.
I was shocked earlier this week to learn that Chrissy has a girlfriend. I didn’t know it. I hadn’t heard anything about it! And Chris lived for about 5 months here in Montana last year… it’s not like we’re distant relatives!
I was delighted to learn the news, because Bob & I have been praying everyday for Chris… asking God to keep him safe, help him find happiness, help him be accepted into the nursing program he has applied for, and help some smart young female discover what a sweet. lovable guy he is – and give him the love and affirmation he needs and deserves. I know God listens to my prayers. I was convinced He would answer these fervent requests.
Then I learned in a text exchange with our daughter (Chrissy’s mom) this week that not only has Chris found a girlfriend, but he found her with the magic of the internet!
I tell you, friends, it’s a new world out there! Our young people have prayers answered by a very hip God Almighty! Chris has been communicating regularly with darling Natalia – using the wonders of FaceTime, no doubt.
Long Distance Romance
I am not an old-fashioned 80-year-old Grammy who objects to internet match-making. I figure this is a big world, full of wonderful people all over the place. The person God intends for us may not live in our part of the world. In the olden days, people didn’t know about some distant soulmate unless they happened to travel to that foreign land and happened upon them “accidentally.”
In today’s world, Match.com and other dating sites link people up from across the world. I don’t know if that’s how Chris met Natalia or not, but if it is, good for him! What fun!!
Cut the Distance
In today’s world, if you spend enough time seeing and talking to one another on-line, and the sparks fly across the miles, there will come a time when (if you can afford it) you want to cut the distance and meet face-to-face.
If you think I was shocked to learn that Chris has a girlfriend, imagine my surprise when I discovered last Thursday that the next day Chris was flying 6,000 miles to meet Natalia and her family face-to-face. AMAZING!!
No, that’s not a picture of them, but it IS a couple from the part of the world where they are… and I can just imagine that might be them!
I did a little research and found the city where he is… the only city in Colombia with access to the ocean. I can imagine how beautiful it is. I researched ten top things to do in and around Cali… and of course I sent my grandson an e-mail suggesting a few of them for the two of them. Silly me! Natalia lives there! Of course she will know the top spots! And she’ll be able to give Chris suggestions a whole lot better than this long-distance, inquisitive Grammy can! But, the Devil made me do it! Hah!!
What Will They Do?
He probably won’t take her salsa dancing… that’s one of the things I learned Cali is famous for. I restrained from sending him the step-by-step instructions on how to learn to salsa in five short minutes! But I did send a link to a hot night spot where salsa dancing is featured!
He probably won’t take her out to a bee yard, but this is a picture of a Colombian beekeeper – – – and after all, Chrissy’s Grampy is a retired beekeeper! Wouldn’t you think he’d want to teach her all about that part of his family heritage?
He’ll probably take her to a restaurant more than once. My guess is, that’s about as close as he’ll get to the idea of salsa. But who knows? He’s full of surprises these days!!
Chris will probably take a walk along the shore – and enjoy many beautiful sites. I’ve asked him to take some more pictures and share them. Do you think he will? I hope so!!
Where Will it Go From Here?
What happens next?? Your guess is as good as mine! I don’t know if the relationship is meant to go beyond wonderful FaceTime conversations and a memorable trip to see her face-to-face and meet her family. Only God knows. But, in the meantime, I am grateful he made the trip there safely; he sent us one picture; he shared with me what city she lives in (so my curiosity could be satiated); and he and Natalia look happy together.
Ain’t love grand? Do you have an internet love story to tell?
Stay tuned. I’ll let you know what happens next when I find out!
Have you ever participated in a soup exchange? I’ve been to several cookie exchanges, but today was my first soup exchange.
With most containers of soup, a recipe was provided.
This recipe was attached to a jar of soup ingredients. What a great idea… we get to dump it into 7 cups of water and make our own!
We got to take a quart of each soup home with us. And we had a tasting party before we left.
I brought this one. No way I could begin to give you a recipe. It had clam chowder, cheddar cheese, potatoes, onions, fresh crab lumps, garlic, etc. A menagerie that turned out pretty tasty!
We didn’t get a recipe for this “Barefoot Contessa Corn Chowder” either. But, it was deeelicious. It had big potato chunks and bacon in a creamy corn broth.
Here’s a recipe for a soup that was not present. Chicken Parmesan … I don’t have one of those new-fangled slow cookers, but I bet my old crock pot would work just fine. The ingredients sound wonderful. I am going to make this as soon as we finish up all the samples I brought home.
in addition to the soup recipes, our librarian (who organized the event) put together a packet that included these tips and tricks on freezing soup.
Love One Another
You may be wondering how this post fits my blog’s theme of “Loving One Another.” (Or maybe you’re not wondering at all.) Anyway, you know that one of the ways we show our love for one another is at meal time.
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” is an age-old saying that I have found to be quite true.
And a good way to show our love to our family and friends is to invite them to a feast. It’s an age-old practice.
We like to host pot-lucks for our friends in the “hood.” Everyone brings a favorite dish and we enjoy fun, food and fellowship.
At church, potlucks are a regular occurrence. I think I am going to suggest our church host a soup exchange one of these Sundays. But, I will ask people to bring their own quart jars to fill. Today we brought our soup assortment home in zip lock plastic bags. That was a bit awkward. But it worked.
I hope you had a joyful day, too. Tell me about it!