“Each of you should give what you have decided to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
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
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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!!
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!
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.”
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:
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Thank you for checking in with JanBeek today. If you are one of the newbies here, welcome!!
You may not know that I take sermon notes in poetry most Sundays, and then I share them here. I do… and I enjoy helping you hear what I heard through my poetic filters. Comments always appreciated.
Sermon by Reverend Steve Hundley Madison Valley Presbyterian Church Ennis, Montana Notes by Jan Beekman
God is Great, God is Good!
Thanksgiving celebrations Have a history with friends. This year with COVID, Most will find unwelcomed ends.
Reunited old relationships Were important to reflame. Old traditions are important. What’ll we do to reclaim?
What can we do to overcome This year of so many deaths? How can we truly be thankful When so many breathed last breaths?
Remember to give thanks For life – no matter how short. Help the family say good-bye, And trust God. Give no retort!
There is no way we can Make whining acceptable. Suck it up and give thanks For life! … Be respectable.
Praise and give thanks to God For the daily gifts He gives. Blessed be the Lord of all. Blessed be our God. He lives!
Psalm 100 gives praise No matter the troubles and strife. Remember the password to God: “Thank You!” God, thank you for life!
Rev. Steve told a story about a family Thanksgiving a few years ago where his mom ALWAYS asked him to be the one to provide the blessing. But on this particular Thanksgiving, his four-year-old second cousin interrupted and said HE wanted to say the blessing this year. Steve’s mom told him he could, assuming Steve would follow up with the REAL blessing.
The four-year-old cleared his throat and declared, “God is Great – God is Good – Amen!” Steve’s mom asked, “That’s it?” And the boy responded emphatically, “Yes! That’s it!” Then she turned to Steve, expecting him to expound further. Steve simply said, “Amen!”
Yes, that’s it … that’s all we need to know: “God is Great! God is Good! Amen!”
Steve’s opening prayer this morning: “Father in heaven, we give You thanks for life and for all of the experiences that life brings us. We give You thanks for joy, hope, peace, and answered prayers, but we also give You thanks for our trials, sorrows, and pain. We give You thanks for our land, for the beauty of the landscape, for the riches it provides for our living, for the people and cultures among us. Above all things, we give You thanks for our hope in Christ, for the life and freedom that will ultimately be ours. Teach us to cherish all Your gifts. Teach us also to use all these resources for the good of society and for glory to You. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.“
*AN AFFIRMATION OF THANKSGIVING
I believe in the God of fruit time and harvest, who makes the land to bear gifts in its time and fills our tables with the bounty of His hand.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who was the first fruit of those who slept, and brings us to spiritual tables where our cups overflows.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, who causes us to remember all things for which we are grateful and teaches us to see a relationship between our gifts and the Giver.
I believe in the world as the arena of my spiritual life, where I am to share my table with the poor and my hospitality with the stranger; for in so doing, I shall fulfill the desires of my great and good God who has given me everything, and of His Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Thank you for joining me for our Sunday service. If you find yourself in Ennis, Montana on a Sunday morning, do come and join us at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church. 308 W Hugel St, Ennis, MT 59729 (406) 682-4355
May the Lord Bless and Keep You safe now and always.
I’d love to see how you complete one or both of those sentences.
I have given them a lot of thought lately.
Write your sentence before you look below for what I wrote.
I’m alive for a reason. I’m alive because my number hasn’t come up yet! My purpose in life is – to love – to accept love gratefully, – to spread that love far and wide – and to help others seek the Source of that joyous, peace-filled love.
I don’t love because I expect love in return… (but that usually happens). I love because God first loved me, my parents loved me, and I have been blessed with family and friends who love me. My cup overflows… and I NEED to share it.
How did you finish the sentence?
Have a great weekend. Live for your purpose! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek