Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Archive for January, 2021

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

Embrace Calm


Let’s all embrace calm
Quiet our souls and listen
Hear each other’s hearts

Let’s all embrace calm
Be still and let minutes pass
In loving silence

Embrace calm with me
Sync your heart to the tick-tock
Of peaceful minutes

Embrace calm today
Reflect on the poignant words
Of Amanda’s poem

Anderson Cooper
Interviewed that young lady
Then posted a link

Many people wrote
Responded to interview
With posts like this one:

Replying to @andersoncooper and @TheAmandaGorman
“Awww I loved that,
you all sat and talked about poetry for at least 5 minutes.
So relaxing.
Probably the least stressed ya have been for 4 years.
Words have power for good too..
let’s rinse off the negative.”

Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration Poem:
“The Hill We Climb”

It was posted in paragraph form.
I am sure that’s not how she wrote it.
I have tried to separate the stanzas as she might have,
I am sure I don’t have them all right, but I tried…
and the poem is so beautiful that
even written as prose – it is downright gorgeous!



Mr. President, Dr. Biden, Madam Vice President, Mr. Emhoff, Americans and the world,


When day comes we ask ourselves
where can we find light
in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry a sea
we must wade.
We’ve braved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet
isn’t always peace.
In the norms and notions
of what just is isn’t always justice.
And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we’ve weathered
and witnessed a nation
that isn’t broken,
but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country
and a time where a skinny black girl
descended from slaves
and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one.

And yes, we are far from polished,
far from pristine,
but that doesn’t mean
we are striving to form
a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge
our union with purpose.
To compose a country
committed to all cultures, colors,
characters, and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes
not to what stands between us,
but what stands before us.
We close the divide
because we know to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true.
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried
that we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat,
but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone
shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to her own time,
then victory won’t lie in the blade,
but in all the bridges we’ve made.
That is the promise to glade,
the hill we climb if only we dare.
It’s because being American
is more than a pride we inherit.
It’s the past we step into
and how we repair it.
We’ve seen a forest that would shatter
our nation rather than share it.
Would destroy our country
if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy
can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith we trust
for while we have our eyes on the future,
history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption.
We feared it at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour,
but within it, we found the power
to author a new chapter,
to offer hope and laughter
to ourselves so while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert, how could catastrophe
possibly prevail over us?

We will not march back to what was,
but move to what shall be a country
that is bruised, but whole,
benevolent, but bold,
fierce, and free.
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction
and inertia will be the inheritance
of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain,
if we merge mercy with might
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind
a country better than one we were left.
With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest
we will raise this wounded world
into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the West.
We will rise from the wind-swept Northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the Lake Rim cities
of the Midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked South.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
in every known nook of our nation,
in every corner called our country
our people diverse and beautiful
will emerge battered and beautiful.
When day comes,
we step out of the shade
aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light.
If only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

-Amanda Gorman,
USA national poet laureate

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Let’s embrace calm –
and be brave enough
in our calmness
to “step out of the shade
aflame and unafraid…”

Ready to join the cause of unity and peace.
Ready to work for social and racial equality.
Ready to do our part to make the world
a better place.

Love to you,
JanBeek

Embrace Trust


Mark 11:24

Trust in the power of prayer

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

I prayed for a day like today and trusted it would happen – and it did! I’m feelin’ good!

I hope you’re feelin’ good today, too…
With new hope and TRUST in a brighter future.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Proverbs 28:26

Trust in wisdom

“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”

Yes, wisdom can be illusive, but you can find it!

Wisdom is found in the Bible. Read it, trust it, believe it, and practice it!

Isaiah 12:2

Trust in the Future

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

With young people like
young poet, Amanda Gorman,
how can we not TRUST the future?

It’s a new day.
It’s a new dawn.
It’s time to TRUST
that God’s gotcha covered.

Have a beautiful rest of your week.

TRUST in your ability to make the world a better place.
Plan on it… Do it!
Let’s all come together in love and unity.
Be trustworthy!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Everybody


Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com
Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com
Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com


Embrace Everybody
and
Recognize our Commonality
while we
Celebrate our Differences

Know that
We are more alike
than different.
More binds us than separates us.

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Embrace Everybody.
Work to make this world
A better place because
You are in it.


May tomorrow
be a new day of new hope
and greater unity.
Let’s each do our part
to make it so.

Embrace Everybody.
Oh, and take care of our bees.
We need them!

See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBee

Embrace Courage


In these days of national crises,
It’s easy to feel powerless.
It’s easy to duck our heads and hide.
It’s easy to take the role of cowardice.

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com
Couldn’t find a picture of the head in the sand!

Our uncertainty about the future
Stirs in us anxiety and fear.
But stronger yet is our faith.
We take courage. God is here.

This letter from Amy Klobuchar,
A politician I have come to admire,
Came to me in today’s mail.
Her message calms the fire.

Jan,

Today’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. comes at a time when his work and his message are more important than ever. The forces of division that are trying to convince us that our neighbors are our enemies have been loud in recent months — but I still believe as I always have that there is still more that unites us as Americans than separates us.

Our nation is coming together to reject violence and authoritarianism. This is the spirit that we must bring into the future. We must heed the words of Dr. King, that we are all “tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Thank you,
Amy
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Turning to the wisdom of the scriptures,
We can gain resolve and be brave.
We can shine a light and be courageous.
God tells us how to behave.

Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the Lord your God goes with you;
He will never leave or forsake you.”

Joshua 1:6

“Be strong and courageous,
because you will lead these people
to inherit this land
I swore to their ancestors
to give them.”

Yesterday kicked off a week of celebrations
in preparation for this Wednesday’s inauguration.

The rioters at our nation’s capitol last week were intent on “taking back the country” by overturning the Biden/Harris election. They were convinced that the election was fraught with fraud. Hundreds of court cases were brought against election officials. Each case lost or was thrown out. Even judges appointed by President Trump found “no fraud existed.”

The actions of the rioters were not what Martin Luther King would have sanctioned. They were not what God in His scripture advocates. Paul, in his letter to the people of Corinth said what we need to hear today:

1 Corinthians 16:13

“Be on your guard;
stand firm in the faith;
be courageous;
be strong.”

He was not speaking to rioters.
He was speaking to give courage
to the people of Corinth
to stand against oppressors.

Part of today’s problem in the USA (in my humble opinion) is that there is a host of Americans who have decided the people on the side of the law are the oppressors. They have painted Donald Trump as their liberator. A huge portion of our citizenry still is convinced the election was stolen. For only the second time in our history, the outgoing president will not be there at the inauguration to wish the incoming president well – and to encourage a peaceful transition of power. It is sad, indeed!

The most important thing we can do as a nation – and in fact, as a world – is to pray. Ask God to give courage and steadfastness to those people who have been elected to lead us forward. Join together in asking for a peaceful transition. There are (hopefully) many such prayer meetings occurring today and tomorrow. Here is one of them:

That’s just a picture of an invitation.
Can’t click on it to go there from this post.
But, you should be able to find many similar events.

As we EMBRACE COURAGE and stand in the power and love of Christ, we must be discerning. Listen for the voice of God’s Truth. Try not to believe misleading rhetoric. Be sure we stand in God’s Will as we act by His strength.

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us
a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power,
love, and
self-discipline.”

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Embrace Courage, my friends.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Listening


This is the image I put on the front of this week’s church bulletin:

Sermon topic: “Listening for God.”

If you’ve followed my blog for a week or more,
you know that Sunday afternoon’s blog usually is devoted to
sermon notes from this morning’s worship service
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana – sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley.

Today’s sermon, “Listening for God,”
was based on the story of Hannah, Samuel, and Eli
as told in 1 Samuel 3:1-20 and John 1:43-51.

Listening for God

Sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
Poetic notes by Jan Beekman

I was known to be able
To sleep through anything.
I inherited that trait
from my grandma. You could sing
At the top of your lungs
And she would not awake.
That’s a trait I retained
Through most of my life’s daybreaks.

But later in life I found
I would awaken at midnight
And be unable to go back to sleep.
I couldn’t nod off, try as I might.
And in the wee hours I find
The bad things seem worse.
They magnify in the darkness.
Sleeplessness is a curse!

So, how must it have been
When Samuel heard God’s voice
In the middle of the night –
Must’a made him puzzle – not rejoice!
His mother, Hannah, also
Heard God’s voice when barren.
He told her she’d give birth,
So she promised her babe she’d be sharin’.

When her baby, Samuel, was born,
She kept her promise to God
And gave her child to Him
By delivering him to Eli’s sod.
Samuel grew up in the church.
One night Sam heard the sound
Of a voice calling out his name.
He went to Eli in a running bound.

Eli told him it was God
Calling him to listen and hear.
It took courage to listen and accept
That it was the Lord speaking clear.
Samuel’s whole life changed that night
As he suddenly became a man.
He learned to listen without fright
And obey God’s voice… just as we can.

There are lots of voices we hear
In our nights that lack sweet slumber.
Are we listening to the true voice of God
Or is it somebody else – or thunder?
While we wake to the world’s troubles,
Sometimes it’s hard to discern and hear
The Word of God – and live what He commands.
Declare our willingness, and know God is near.

There is grace and hope knowing
When Samuel listened, he changed
From a boy to a Man of God –
And his future was rearranged.
Take courage and respond with
“Speak, Lord, your servant is ready
To hear and respond, and live out
Your words to me. Keep me steady.”

Amen

Eli assured Samuel it was God speaking to him.

There were a couple dozen of us tuned in to this ZOOM church service today.
Thank you for joining us via this blog
I pray you are tuned in to hear God’s voice, too.

Proverbs 2:1-5

Make your ear attentive…

“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

A Bible verse from our son, Ty, today

To be sure your steps
Are on the path the Lord sets
Embrace Listening

… and practice obedience!
Here’s one of the hymns we sang during our ZOOM service this morning:

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.
Have a great Sunday afternoon/evening.

Embrace Differences


Embrace differences.
Appreciate each other.
Yes, love your neighbor.

Each person’s unique.
No two of us are alike.
Makes the world better.

But we must avoid
Drawing early conclusions.
Reserve your judgements!

Congratulations,
Tahneek Rahman,
For this excellent short film.

Today’s message says,
“Thank you for embracing this.
God bless your Sunday!”

See you this afternoon.
Hope you are able to go to church this morning.
Our church will meet on ZOOM.
I’ll keep you in prayer and
I’ll post my sermon notes later.

Pray for our nation’s peaceful transition of power.
Pray for the safety of all our people.
Pray for an end to this COVID-19 pandemic.
Pray for us to appreciate and embrace our differences.

Come on back later today!
Love, JanBeek

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: