Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Archive for January, 2021

Embrace Your Power Source


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

What is your power source?
Where do you get your ideas?

Today’s sermon on ZOOM with the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana, preached by the Rev. Steve Hundley
attributed our power source to
(well, what do you think a minister would say?)…
God
Jesus Christ’s teaching
The Word
Scripture
Of course!

But, beware!

Steve began his sermon today with a children’s message. He shared this (paraphrased by me, of course):

My dad was a forester. He used to cruise the timber to decide what to cut and what to leave to keep the forest healthy. He usually went with a fellow forester – a guy who was not known for his great sense of direction. They would head out in different directions, and when it was time to regroup, my dad told his partner that he’d call out. “You answer,” he told him, “and I’ll call again. Back and forth until you find your way back.”

But, what happened was an ole hoot owl responded back to his partner when he called out, and he followed the direction of the owl. It got him way off track. When my dad realized what was happening, he honked the horn of the truck, and finally the two men were able to reconnect and head for home.

Moral of the story: Listening to the wrong voice can get us lost. We need to listen to the voice and teachings of Christ in order to stay on the right path.

Photo by Andru00e9 Cook on Pexels.com

The Church’s Spiritual Power Source

(Inspired by Mark 1:21-28 – story of Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue
and being interrupted by a man who was demon-possessed)

The people of the church
Were astounded when Jesus
Taught with authority –
More astounded than by exorcism.

When we think of a teacher image,
We rarely think of provocative
We have our dull stereotypes.
But Jesus, the Teacher, was rare.

Wouldn’t you think His act
Of removing an evil force
Would have trumped the act
Of teaching the Word of God?

No, removal of an unclean spirit
Was not what the people raved about.
It was Jesus, the Teacher, who
Inspired the people to be amazed.

Do Jesus’ teachings still have
The power to transform and amaze?
Do Jesus’ teachings still have
The power to unite and inspire?

The teachings of Jesus and the
Growing of churches and believers
Are synonymous; did you know that?
Let’s join a weekly Bible Study.

Listen to the right voice…
The voice of Jesus telling His parables.
I’ll lead a Bible Study and we’ll all
Tune in to Jesus’ voice – OK?

Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM.
We’ll begin with Luke 15:11-24.
It’s the story of the Prodigal Son.
Look for your ZOOM invitation.

Invite a friend to join us!

Hope you had a wonderful Sunday.
Enjoy your evening.
See you tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Let me know if you’d like a ZOOM invitation to join us.
If so, send me an e-mail address.
Embrace Your Power Source!

Embrace a Tree


Hug a tree for me
Find one you can wrap your arms
Around and hang on

Trees are like people
Some are so big that you can’t
Quite get around them

Like giant redwoods
All you can do is admire
Their magnificence

Some are just loners
They stand apart from others
Saying “Look at me!”

Some are connected
So tightly to each other
There’s no room to join

Others form a line
Saying, “Come and join us, but
You must look like us.”

Others welcome all
They are so hospitable
You just flock to them

Some are quite fruitful
They produce enough to share
And do every day

Others hide their fruit
Above gnarled exterior
Daring you to touch

Some are cold, distant
Dark and often depressing
Warning, “Keep away!”

I love trees who shine
Like bright, colorful people
Beckoning us near

Prickly trees are
Ones we try to steer clear of
Lest we should get caught

The young and tender
Beckon us to hold them tight
And protect their growth

Trees that nourish us
Are like the fruit-filled people
Who say, “Let me share.

Come see what I have.
Come taste of its sweet goodness.
I am rich with love.”

“Come sit beside me
Please let me give you some rest.
Come and embrace me.”

“I won’t hold my love
High above and out of reach;
Won’t put you at risk.”

“I’ll spread out my arms
And keep you safe from all harm.
I’ll listen. You talk!

Tell me your troubles.
Sit beneath my shade and rest.
Come, embrace a tree.”

We come in colors
Bright and shining as the sun.
Bare – when summer’s done

Trees are like people:
We hide our troubles inside
Deceptive faces.

Let’s learn from our trees.
Let’s let true colors shine through;
Show your true beauty.

Unlike this odd tree,
Keep your roots firmly grounded.
Embrace a tree now!

Any old tree will do!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Tell me, what’s your favorite tree?
Which one is like you?

Bob & I send our love.
See ya tomorrow.

“Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing.”

—From “When Autumn Came” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
     translated by Naomi Lazard

Embrace Curiosity


Photo by Tucu0103 Bianca on Pexels.com

Do you have a burning question?

As a teacher of elementary children for nearly a quarter of a century and the mom of two very curious children, I can tell you that one of the most annoying questions is “Why?”

I remember the day I finally asked my father, “Why not?” when he told me NO. I was about 20 years old! Can you imagine? Being raised in a family where when Dad said, “No,” that was final? No questions asked. Just obey?

My kids were not like that. It was a different era. They asked, “Why?” before they knew how to say, “Chocolate!”

I think a measure of a child’s intelligence
may be how many times s/he asks “Why?”
The explorations,
poking,
questioning,
prodding,
relentless
inquisitive nature
of some children and adults
can be downright annoying,
though.

Seldom straight or smooth

The path may not be a straight one…
And it may be hard to determine where it leads,
but curiosity will keep you (and them) moving forward.
There is a huge NEED to know what’s beyond the bend!

As parents and teachers
we sometimes want to shield our children
from the unknown.
There may be danger out there.
I had a tendency to be protective.
I know that’s where my dad was coming from
when he said, “No!”

But squelching curiosity
because of fear of the unknown
is a dangerous path.
It can lead to many
missed opportunities
and
lost happiness.

Instead of being annoyed
by the “Why?” and the “Why not?”
we need to teach ourselves
and our children the importance of
always questioning.

Accepting “No”
for an answer
without questioning
can lead to
stagnation.

Instead of squelching curiosity,
let’s turn our questioning into
research with a purpose.

Curious people don’t just look
Curious people see
Curious people don’t just see
Curious people question
Curious people don’t just question
Curious people probe

With a thirst for answers,
Curious people are relentless.
They keep asking until
They find answers that satisfy.

Curiosity changes our perceptions.
It changes our way of seeing things.
It helps us gain the wisdom
That less curious people
Spend a life-time chasing.

Francoise Sagan is credited with that quote.
Who was he?
Are you curious?
I was.


Françoise Sagan (born Françoise Delphine Quoirez; 21 June 1935 – 24 September 2004) was a French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Sagan was known for works with strong romantic themes involving wealthy and disillusioned bourgeois characters. Her best-known novel was her first – Bonjour Tristesse (1954) – which was written when she was a teenager.

Want to know more?
Put her name in your Google search engine.
We are so blessed to have an encyclopedia at our fingertips.
Folks with insatiable appetites for answers
can ask the who, what, why, when, and how questions
and Siri or Alexa or Wikipedia are right there.
What a gift these are to the curious.

Imagine what Einstein might have done with today’s technology!!!

EMBRACE CURIOSITY!
Let your “Why?”
be followed by
active listening,
thoughtful reading,
and the
explorations,
poking,
questioning,
prodding,
trying again,
inquisitive nature
that those children and adults
exhibited who were
downright annoying.
Go ahead!
Be annoying!

All Aboard!!

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
today.

I’m curious.
What are you up to?
What are you curious about?

Embrace Light


Can’t bring lasting light
If the light is not in you
External light fades

The light that sustains
Is internal light from God
Your face reflects it

It shines from your soul
Whose batteries are from God
They never expire

Matthew 5:16
“In the same way,
let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Psalm 119:105

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Freely share your light
With all those who are near you
Let it shine brightly

May your light inspire
Those who need to know your Source
Let your light shed peace

You can let the Light
Shine through your soul to others
You have that Light, too

As a Child of God
His peace infiltrates your soul
Let that peace escape

Embrace the Light!

My 1962 kindergartener, Ty Stiles, after whom I named my first child, died yesterday. I told you about him in a previous post: https://janbeek.blog/2021/01/09/embrace-hope/ on January 9th.

We have been praying for Ty. He had stage 4 liver cancer that metastasized. He was home on Hospice Care with his wife, Roxanne. Ty was a Child of God whose faith was strong. He told Roxanne that he wanted to – and was ready to – go to Heaven.

In my “Embrace Blueness” post 3 days ago, I shared how a broken heart resembles angel wings… and I wrote, “Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.”

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

My faith informs me that
Ty has seen a great light.
He is in heaven…
and one day I will see
“My Favorite Student” again.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

May light shine from you
As easily as birds’ songs
Cheering all near you

Thanks for visiting.
I pray you feel the warmth
of that LIGHT within you.

Let it shine!!!
Let it sing of God’s love in you.
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs, JanBeek

Embrace Relaxation


Thank you, Larry Stoltz
Gorgeous Photography
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have a peaceful , relaxing Wordless Wednesday.
Embrace Relaxation!
Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Humor


I need some humor
Laughing makes me feel better
I bet you agree

I have a great friend
Who sends me laughter weekly
Let me share some here

Sometimes my dear friend
Finds things with a naughty streak
Try not to censure!

Okay, I better
Draw this to a sudden close
Before I offend

Beware the bears!
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Blueness


Reblogging a fellow blogger’s post… Thank you, mkvecchitto!


A Renewing Force Within
by mkvecchitto

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Malleable are lists of sins we accrue

a barter between gains we’ve won and debts we owe

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

Exhausting – holding this constant guard

Even stormy melancholy seas are drenched in

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Healing power pulses in each flaw

like a broken heart that still beats

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I was going to call my blog today “Embrace Healing,” but the I came across the post above. I decided that post is a gift in blueness – and it speaks more to my mood today than “healing” does.

Today I am blue… because the note I received from my former student’s mother-in-law, Marilyn, left me with no hope for Ty Stiles’ earthly healing. I studied my broken heart and looked again at Marilyn’s words. “He told Roxann [his wife] that he is ready to go to Heaven.” As I prayed for Ty’s last days, I looked at that broken heart again.

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

Did you ever realize that the two parts of a broken heart are angel’s wings?
Look again!

God’s angels spoke to me and reminded me that death is not final. Jesus conquered death. Ty is a believer. Ty is called according to His purpose. Yesterday Ty’s church members gathered outside his home for a prayer vigil. One of his cousins made the gathering into a FaceTime chat so he could see/hear the prayers being offered on his behalf (and if he was unable to hear and comprehend, at least I know his wife, Roxann, could. The prayers were for her, as well.

As I shared in my “Embrace Reassurance” blog a couple days ago, God hears. God cares. God answers. Sometimes HEALING does not come in the form of a magical cure. Sometimes it comes as RELEASE.

Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.

God bless Ty Stiles!

My heart is with you as you leave the pain
and embrace the beautiful blueness of Christ’s Kingdom.
Someday I’ll join you there, Ty.
Meantime, keep the Pearly Gates polished!

Thanks for joining me at JanBeek
and thank you for praying for Ty and Roxann.
See you tomorrow.

Embrace Extravagance


What?
Embrace Extravagance?
I have to be kidding, right?

Photo by Kamaji Ogino on Pexels.com

Extravagance is kin to outlandish.
Extravagance means excessive.
Right?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wrong!
Extravagance doesn’t need to mean outlandish.
It can be thought of as abundance.

Extravagance is
Abundance of some good food –
Okay if it’s shared!

Extravagance is
An abundance of pure love –
Beautiful when shared

Extravagance is
The overflow of blessings –
Lovely gifts from God

Life is extravagantly wonderful!

When the night sky touches your soul,
When other bloggers touch your inner core,
It’s a sign of the extravagance of others
That keeps you longing for more

In his “Keys to Living Life”

Today, January 24, 2021, Rahul Gaur wrote a blog so powerful that I HAD to share it. First I tweeted it. I have never shared someone else’s blog by tweeting it before. I have reblogged a few. This one is so impactful that I need you to click on Rahul’s name and go to it. See it for yourself. It is extravagantly beautiful! Here are a couple of sentences that particularly touched me:

“The soul is the lost intuition
and the listening switch of your body.
When you need to see things beyond as they are,
to see things as they were meant to be,
you listen to the orchestra of your soul.⁣”

I listened with my soul to today’s sermon

Sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana

Thy Kingdom Come

“Thy Kingdom Come” is
a political statement –
Except we believe
in a heavenly kingdom.

It’s not a worldly kingdom.
It is “THY” kingdom come.
Let God’s Kingdom reign,
Not MY domain – not MY will.

As a pastor, I am sometimes
Guilty of saying, “Look at me!”
I do the “my” and not “Thy” message
And have to learn to lose self.

We all need to learn to be
De-throned … and let
God’s Kingdom be the focus.
Peace, reconciliation & hope are God’s.

God’s Kingdom is not attainable
On our earth. It is not!
Utopia here in our world
Is not within our reach.

No earthly political order
Will ever be the Kingdom of God.
God’s Kingdom is like a seed.
It’s like a net in the water.

The seed one day will sprout.
The net will gather fish.
God’s work on earth is extravagant,
But the Kingdom is elusive here.

The Kingdom of God is at the door.
It takes eyes of faith to see
What lies beyond the threshold.
It is there though we see it not.

When we say “Thy Kingdom COME,”
We might more easily say GO.
Go from You into me…
God’s Kingdom lives in each of us.

It’s an awesome fact that
The Kingdom of God is in you.
We must not lose hope or faith
And we must not live in satisfaction.

Never be satisfied with what is.
Only when we submit to God’s Kingdom
Does it really COME. So care!
Care for the poor; release greed and pettiness.

It’s liberating to know when
We turn our lives and our futures
Over to our Extravagant God –
We’ll see His Kingdom coming into the world.

Amen?

“Listen to the orchestra of your soul.”
Rahul Gaur
Keep you ears open to soulful listening…
Thank you, Rahul, for your blog.
Thank you, Rev. Steve, for your message.
Thank You, God, for your Kingdom of Love.

Embrace Extravagance!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

Embrace Reassurance


Bee ye reassured
God’s surely with you today
He won’t desert you

And you have a host
Of others who are with you
On each of life’s steps

So, be reassured
By the love of all your friends
Who are there for you

Thank your friends for their
Calls and their conversations
About their blessings

It reassures you
To know you are not alone
In your solitude

Capitalize it!
Make that you into a “You.”
Trust in our Savior

You are not alone
Be reassured that your prayers
Are heard and answered

Yes, be reassured
That God hears your heart’s yearnings.
You’re heard; God responds.

God hears you in prayer
So, embrace reassurance
Know that God is there

Thank for visiting JanBeek

Tell me what reassures you when you need it.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Reason


Reason required to:
Reach resilience
Rebuild Trust
Repair relationships
Require responsibility
Review daily briefings
Reach across aisles
Revive compassion
Reassure doubters
Resist rumors
Release resentment
Return to mutual respect
Reject falsehoods
Retain faith
Rescind travel ban on Muslims
Rejoin Paris Climate Agreement
Restore Federal loan repayment pause
Renew ban on evictions and foreclosures due to the pandemic
Refuse divisiveness
Resurrect trust in the press
Renew dedication to our constitution
Remember to pray
Rely on God’s plans for our lives and for this world
Reason Required… so,
EMBRACE REASON!

Reason Rallies Renewal

God Bless America
and
God Bless You!
See ya tomorrow.
Hearty Hugs,
JanBeek

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