Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Archive for February, 2021

Embrace Focus


Do you focus easily?
Do you see things with clarity?
Do you hear with understanding?
Do you embrace the concept of focus?

Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
focused on the cross… but not just any old cross …
the cross of Christ, the one on which He died for us.
The one we are to pick up and carry.
Here are the notes I took
as I focused and listened to
Rev. Steve Hundley preach on the subject:
“The Cross of Christ”

The disciples heard Jesus say,
“Take up your cross and follow me.”
Matthew 16:24-26 says,
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, 
“If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 
25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 
26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world
and forfeits his soul?
Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

What does it mean today to believe
And to accept Jesus – take His cross?
We’d like Jesus to be specific.
Would carrying it be like an albatross?
He said “Take up YOUR cross.
But, not ANY cross… What’s the difference?
My cross can be quite worldly.
Do I carry it with reverence?

The world we live in is full
Of crosses in every size and form.
How do we know we’re carrying
The one meant for us when we were born?
The cross that brings healing
And restoration to our world
Is the one Jesus asks us to carry,
Not the cross of destruction hurled.

A cross of love and reconciliation
Can be used and turned to mean
Violence or passivity, both can
Represent abuse and pain. Don’t lean
On a fatalistic cross – or else
You’ll find despair and even death.
Instead, pick up Christ’s cross.
It’ll bring peace to your last breath.


The Bible reassures us that
Pain and suffering will be ours;
But God will meet us where we are.
We’ll receive the peace He showers
On us when we take His cross
And follow Him and His voice.
Let’s FOCUS on God’s saving promise.
Take up His True Cross. It’s your choice!

Amen

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Photo by u266b u266a on Pexels.com
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com
Photo by William Mattey on Pexels.com

Thank you for sharing our worship service notes
and one of our hymns with me today.
I hope you are able to find church family
with whom to worship in these pandemic days.

If you’d like to join our ZOOM service next Sunday, send me your e-mail
and I’ll forward the ZOOM invitation, bulletin and song sheet to you.

That’s me up there taking this picture with Bob beside me!
ZOOM with us. We’re an informal bunch!
Share, drink your coffee, ask questions…
FOCUS on the message

Thanks for visiting with JanBeek today.
Have a beautiful Sunday afternoon/evening.
See ya tomorrow.

P.S. – Here is another version of “Were You There?”
Soooo Beautiful!!

Embrace Hugging


My daddy and me
Doin’ what comes naturally

I love that old musical from the 1950’s, Annie Get Your Gun. It is an American musical Technicolor comedy film loosely based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon based on the 1946 stage musical of the same name.

Does hugging come naturally to you?
If so, from whom do you think you inherited that quality?
Bob and I had that conversation after breakfast this morning.
His mom and dad were not huggy folks.
Mine were… especially my affectionate daddy.

Me and Daddy
when I was about 14 or 15.

Bob didn’t learn to be huggy from me.
He came that way… and I feel so blessed.
Marrying someone who was stand-offish
Would have been put me to a terrible test!

Doin’ what comes naturally
Isn’t the same for you and me.
I reach out and hug strangers –
At least ’til this pandemic distanced me.

Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com

Bob and I are huggy people
We showed our kids the joy of touch
But not all children are so blessed
Some are abused; some aren’t touched that much.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

When our daughter, DeAna’s best friend, Laina,
Lost both her adoptive parents at a young age,
We were blessed to say, “Come be in our family.”
Having a “Daughter #2” was a blessing quite sage!

Our Laina keeps in daily touch. She wrote
A message to me yesterday.
I asked her if I could share it here.
This is what she had to say:

Embrace MomBee🥰

I keep waiting for your blog theme to be “Embrace Hugging” or similar.  Technically embrace does mean to hold someone closely in your arms so it’s almost funny to use the 2 words together. 

Well here’s my mini blog for the day.

We just don’t hug enough anymore.  For one reason, we can’t because of social distancing but also we don’t because we won’t take the time to do something that’s so extremely important.  

My genetic nature resisted hugs growing up. I inherited that from Marilyn my Irish born biological grandmother and apparently her daughter my biological mother was the same way. I was adopted by a very different personality. 

I would feel myself stiffen up and become uncomfortable when someone hugged me. My (adoptive) mom was very loving and caring. She was a hugger and I reflect back on those hugs and feel bad for my involuntary reaction. I would squiggle (squirm+wiggle) away as fast as I possibly could leaving her unfulfilled.  Being a teenager and young adult I was too self-absorbed to notice the sadness on her face or to recognize her need for physical contact. If only I could go back in time and have a “do over”!  I would give her a proper hug. It would be a long squeeze and I wouldn’t let go until SHE squirmed to get free. Knowing her, she wouldn’t ever squirm! we’d still be hugging! Hugs instantly boost OxyContin levels. It’s scientifically proven. Hugs help to heal feelings of loneliness and isolation and anger. An extended hug increases serotonin levels and increases good mood. It strengthens the immune system. So why don’t we do it more? We need to do it more! I guess I can’t tell you to hug a stranger because they might smack you or scream but definitely hug those you love whenever they are near… I can’t wait to give you both long hugs in person. I promise I won’t squirm away.

Laina and “MomBee”

That picture of me with Laina is one of my favorites. I often use it as the “sign off” photo on my blog – edited to just be me. I had forgotten that it was taken on the occasion of my 80th birthday when Laina came to be with us and help us prepare for and carry out a party that included about 50 of our best MT friends. Laina lives in Maryland – and her trip here was such a gift. Helping us was for her, “Doin’ what comes naturally.”

Hugs may not come naturally to all of us.
But it is something we can learn…
and enjoy… and realize
how important that intimacy is.

Our daughter, De, with hubby, Andre’

Yesterday our grandson, DeAna’s youngest son, Chris, went to Vissoie
to have dinner at his parents’ restaurant and to give them a long overdue hug.
It had been over a month since he had made the trip up the mountain to see them.
I wrote to him afterward and said,
Thank you for going to be with your parents
and for giving your mom great big, heart-felt hugs.
We all need them.

DeAna and Chris

This morning he wrote back and said,
“Oh! It was my pleasure!
It’s been too long since I saw them,
I needed to squeeze their booooooones.

Can’t wait to squeeze yours, too!”

(Chrissy got that expression, “Squeeze yer bones!” from his GrampyBob…
It’s one of his favorites.)

Whose bones do you need to squeeze today?
Go do it!
Go and make hugging one of those things that is
“Doin’ what comes naturally!”

Thank you, Laina
for sharing your story with us.
Thank you for enhancing our family.

Thank you, blogging friends,
for visiting JanBeek today.
Hugs to you!
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Single Timeless Moment


From Psalm 90:1-2:  “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

Photo by ritonn.photo on Pexels.com
Life’s amazing blessings
God’s Book of Life
unfolds Single timeless moment
Richer than any gold […]

Single Timeless Moment — Big Sky Buckeye

This blog is so beautifully written. I just HAVE to share it with you! Thank you, {{{Richard}}} for your shared talent, your positivity, your heart. Friends, treat yourself… click on the link to Big Sky Buckeye above. You’ll love it. I promise.

Embrace Stretching


There are so many ways to stretch
And so many meanings to the word
Stretch your body and your mind
Stretch and let your soul be heard

Flexibility of mind and body
Are a result of regular stretching
Reaching just beyond your limits
Helps you find the goal you’re fetching

No one needs to feel they’re stuck
At a level that’s not satisfying
Keep stretching, reaching, believing
And you’ll get to where you’re trying

Our minds are powerful tools
They take us where we want to go
Stretch your vistas with good books
Let them round out what you know

It’s not just body and mind that stretch
When you apply the “Elastic Principle,”
Look for life’s other areas
Where you want to be invincible!

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Stretching our ideas to help us be
More flexible in odd situations
Helps us be more successful
In all sorts of challenges or vocations

Do you know the Tijuana Brass?
It was one of my favorite groups in the late ’50s & ’60s
His music stretched across the world!

My mind stretched immensely when
I traveled to Europe as a newlywed
I thought the USA was the world’s haven
And I found multiple havens instead!

Don’t squirrel away in a tiny space
Limiting your mind to prejudicial thoughts
Stretch your experiences and horizons
By seeking out new, delightful spots

Stretch your imagination in order to see
Sites that inspire you to face with glee
Each new day and its many wonders
They’re right here – and they’re free!

Are those the cutest baby owls you’ve ever seen?
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Stretch your imagination to create
Space in your life to wander afar
Walk along paths of flowers blooming
And stand beneath your favorite star

Embrace stretching and soon you’ll see
The world through eyes expectantly
Looking at the mundane differently
Participating in life gleefully

Embrace Stretching!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
You help me be a possibilitarian!
See ya tomorrow.

How will you stretch gleefully today?

Embrace Multi-Tasking


Photo by Marek Levak on Pexels.com

I’m multi-tasking
I’m typing and I’m breathing
You can do it, too

Concentration is
Overrated, don’t you think
You can split your time

Photo by Lu00e9o Vinu00edcius on Pexels.com


Prove that you’re clever
Say, you can walk and chew gum
All at the same time

Spread your joy with smiles
How’s happy multi-tasking
Raising your spirits?

Be a multi-tasking champ!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Share a smile …

See ya tomorrow

Embrace Silence


Today was a day to embrace silence.
Put away the TV rhetoric.
Turn off the music and chatter.
Just listen to the silence.

Back in 2017 I wrote about silence.
Time to resurrect that post:

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

Silence is resounding in my ears.
Silence wipes away confusion and fears.
Silence speaks as all nature rings.
Silence breaks as songbird sings.

Silence whispers compassion’s song –
Let’s me contemplate yesterday’s wrong.
Allows God’s grace to fill this space
Instead of wallowing in my own disgrace.

Silence brings new life to God’s Word.
It lets the Holy Spirit speak and be heard.
It opens my heart to name the nameless
And enter their world blameless and shameless.

Open my heart, Lord, in silence to know
All that You’re saying, all that You show
Through challenges booming or hugs soft and sweet.
Help me to hear You in ALL that I meet.

Jan Beekman
11-30-2017

Embrace Emotions


The Scream by Edvard Munch

My second grandson was the screamer.
He spent the first couple years of his life doing it.
He certainly knew how to let his emotions out!

Screaming may not be the best way as an adult
To emote your emotions!
What are some healthy ways to let these feelings out?

Fear

But some fear is real and intended
It’s good to embrace fear when a bear is growling at you
It’s good to fear a runaway truck or an avalanche
Know when to embrace fear!

Anger

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Screaming in anger at a situation you can’t control
may not be the best way to embrace your emotion
But anger in itself is not wrong
Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers
Embrace righteous anger!

Sadness/Grief

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In Daily Guideposts today, Erika Bentson wrote,

“Cowgirls don’t cry!”
She admitted that she is “not the type to carry tissues”
but instead she can “brush over ]her] feelings.”
“Mourning doesn’t come easily to me,” is how she began.
Even in the face of her father’s death, she “stayed strong – mostly.”

In the end of the article, Erika quoted a friend who told her,
“Tears are a testament to what a great dad he was.”
She encouraged her to let the emotions show.
“Don’t be ashamed that you’re human,” she told her.

Embrace your sadness!
Allow your grief to play out!

Ezekiel 36:26

“I will give you a new heart,
and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take your stony, stubborn heart
and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Embrace your tears!
Let them flow.

Shame

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Speaking of
“Don’t be ashamed that you’re human,”
what about it?
Does shame have a place in our emotional outlet?

Psalm 34:4-5

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

Psalm 31:17

“O Lord, let me not be put to shame,
for I call upon You;
let the wicked be put to shame;
let them go silently to Sheol.”

Where does that emotion of shame fit in?
When we have screwed up and we know it,
When we have said something without thinking,
When we have done something to hurt someone else,
It is the shame we feel that causes remorse.
It is the remorse that leads to repentance.
It is the repentance that leads to “calling out”
And it is calling out that leads to forgiveness.
Do not wallow in shame.
Face your actions,
face your emotions,
and clear your conscience.

Confront your shame and eliminate it!

Despair

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do not despair!
Replace despair with hope.
Despair is not a healthy emotion.
We are humans, prone to error,
But we are not desperate!

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed…”

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This is one of my favorite verses.
It is my faith that keeps me from despair-
And my prayer for you is that regardless of your circumstance,
you also can have the faith “which surpasses all understanding.”

Do not embrace despair!

Peacefulness

I feared that my second grandson, the Screamer,
would grow up to be a very disgruntled human being.
I should never have let that emotion embrace me.
Embrace the peacefulness of hope!
Embrace the peacefulness of letting go.
Embrace the peacefulness of knowing
God’s got this!!

There’s Nick – at peace with self and nature.

The emotions that accompany peacefulness
are joy, contentment, satisfaction, and submission.

Nick and Celine’s slippers with their peaceful dog

Embrace Peace!

Pride

What about that emotion of pride?
Pride in self? Pride in your accomplishments –
Pride in the person your children or grandchildren have become –
What about pride?

Proverbs 11:2

“When pride comes,
then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.”

Romans 12:16

“Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be haughty,
but associate with the lowly.
Never be wise in your own sight.”

Bob is reading a book right now titled, Soul Survivor, by Philip Yancey.
In it he learned about thirteen people who influenced Yancey’s life.
One of them is Gandhi who always traveled third class.
When asked why, his response was,
“Because there is no fourth class.”

Humility

In the last years of his life, Gandhi adopted a man with leprosy.
Daily he bathed him and changed that man’s bandaged.

Proverbs 22:4

“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”

Gandhi was invited to meet the King of England.
Gandhi approached the king wearing only his loincloth.
A bystander asked him why he was dressed so scantily.
He responded, “He is wearing enough clothes for both of us,”

Gandhi embraced the emotion of humility to the extreme.
As a result, he was indeed rewarded with “honor and life,”
but his riches were not in gold and silver,
for he disdained material possessions,
his riches were in honor, peace, and a meaningful life.

When you go to Google and enter Gandhi’s name,
Mahatma Gandhi – Wikipedia, it will tell you:
“Mahatma Gandhi,
as he is known by his followers with reverence,
preached the philosophy of non-violence
which has become even more relevant today.
His commitment to non-violence
and satyagraha (peaceful resistance)
gave hope to marginalized sections of India.”

Humility is a Wonderful Emotional Outlet!

Embrace the emotions
associated with humility:

joy
compassion
contentment
satisfaction
and leave all your worries behind!

See ya tomorrow.

Tell Me:
Which emotion will you embrace more today?
And which will you try to release?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek!

Embrace Gifts


We
All have
Gifts to give
All others do, too
Embrace

Embrace
The gifts
Celebrate others’ gifts
Open them with care
Receive

Gifts

Recognize
And see
What others give
To enhance your life
Appreciate

Name
Your gifts
Use them lovingly
Share them with humility
Blessings

Gifts are blessings to be shared

Share
Love and
Time and compassion
Remember that you matter
Engage

Engage
In life
With your heart
Wide open to receive
Gifts

Gifts
Don’t always
Come all wrapped
In pretty Christmas packages
Discern

Precious
Loving gifts
Often are disguised
In very simple acts of
Humility

You
Have gifts
Unique to you
Never underestimate your impact
Shine

Shine
Your gifts
With loving kindness
Embrace the many opportunities
Smile!

Thanks
For coming
To JanBeek today
Your loving presence here
Matters

Elfchen or Elevensie is a poetic form that uses eleven words in a configuration of 1,2,3,4,1. Did you recognize it as you read my post today? If you haven’t already, you should try it. It’s fun! Thank you, Richard at Big Sky Buckeye for inspiring me and sharing your gift! Check out his blog, my friends.

See ya tomorrow

P.S. I found this insightful You.Tube presentation on the subject of GIFTS… gifts of the Holy Spirit. I thought it was quite well done – and a good addition to the topic, Embrace Gifts. If you have time, I highly recommend it.

Embrace Virtual Travel


If we don’t feel safe yet
Traveling to places we want to go,
Then let’s embrace virtual travel.
Go with me to the most beautiful country:
Switzerland!!

My daughter, DeAna, lives in this gorgeous country –
I’ve shown you this picture recently of them in front of their restaurant:

De & Andre’ have three boys,
Mike, Nick, and Chris.
This week I received photos from Mike
( I think it was him who sent them)
sharing a wonderful meal they all enjoyed
at Mike and Tania’s apartment.

Natalia (Chris’ girlfriend) is in Colombia,
so she was not able to be there in person.
Thanks to ZOOM, however,
she was in the room for an hour!!
There is Nick with Celine:

(That’s Mike and Tania in the middle…
And Chris with Natalia on the right)

I love the internet because it allows
Long-distance grandparents
To be part of their grandkids’ lives.
Thank you, dear grandsons, for sharing with us!

Travel with me to other parts of
Switzerland!

Doesn’t it make you want to go there?
It really is picture postcard perfect everywhere you look!!

We forgive you, Andre’,
for taking DeDe with you
to this beautiful country.
If there is some place in the world
where we HAVE to travel
because our family is there,
we can think of no better place than
Switzerland!!


Here is our daughter, De,
singing a duet with our youngest grandson, Chris.
At the end he says, “My ball of rice!”
That’s his reference to Natalia.
So sweet.
Aren’t they cute?

Thanks for joining me,
dear blogging friends.
Sante’!! To your health!!
Have a good night.

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

A Heart to Comply


Time for the weekly sermon notes.
We had ZOOM church this morning with the
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana – sermon preached by
Rev. Steve Hundley

As you know, if you’ve followed my blog
for a couple of weeks or more,
I listen intently to the pastor’s message
and I take notes in poetry,
tying to capture the essence of the message.
Here is today’s attempt:

Steve titled it, “Vocational Temptation”
I re-titled it “A Heart to Comply”
Read on and you’ll see why.

“My brother made me do it!”
That’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ to it!
We rolled tires down a quarter mile hill
I was dared to hit a cow. Could I do it?

Yup, the tire hit the cow.
The ow hit the ground with a thud.
Oh my! The cow landed hard –
Topped over and bam! Hit the mud!

I got punished big time for it.
I was told not to hurt God’s life.
Yet later, I saw my dad kill a cow –
And heck! He didn’t think twice!

There must be differet standards
For different kinds of behavior.
Temptations effect each differently.
Temptations weren’t new to our Savior.

He can identify with the Christian
Who goes to the club to play golf
Instead of going to church that day –
And excuses himself with a cough.

It’s not hard to give in
To the temptations around us.
When we do, don’tcha know
God doesn’t punish or ground us.

God understands we’re mortals
Who are prone sometimes to neglect
The things we know we ought to do.
He gives us time to repent and reflect.

Jesus went from being told by a voice
That God is proud of Him, God’s Son,
To being a man in the wilderness
Tempted by the devil – but God won!

For 40 days and 40 nights the devil
Tempted Jesus to give in to him.
But angels were there, and scripture, too.
Jesus didn’t let God’s light grow dim.

The light of God shone brightly
As Jesus resisted the devil’s invitation
To become more than He already was –
To rule the whole universe and all creation.

The Lord is asking us today
To resist the temptation to forego
His Word and do something wrong.
Instead, live in God’s Love – Let His light show.

Lord, let my life be consecrated
To You, my Savior, and may I
Use the gifts You’ve given me
With gratitude … and a Heart to Comply!

Amen.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Have a super rest of your Sunday.
Hugs to you!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: