Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Archive for the ‘Bible Lessons’ Category

Who’s Your Best Friend?


At a memorial service last weekend,
175 friends and family gathered
From all over the USA to honor
My friend, Phyllis Wasick.

Phyllis died over two years ago
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Folks couldn’t celebrate her long life (88)
At that time; travel & gatherings shut down.

So now, as travel and gatherings resume,
We were able to gather together
To praise and celebrate our “Best Friend.”
I say that collectively intentionally!

Here is Phyllis with her daughter, Lisa
This was about a year before Phyllis
Went to be with her other best friends
Who had gone on to eternity before her.

At the memorial celebration of life
A few of her best friends were asked to speak.
It was not a “open mike” – that would have been crazy!
Everyone would have wanted to talk!

When asked, “Who was Phyllis’ best friend – really?”
The answer was, “The one she was with!!”
She made each one of us feel special.
She made each of us feel important.

She lived a life of love and inclusiveness.
She was a true friend to all and a servant, too.
She worked at the Food Bank, the church,
The library, and was a treasured Book Club member.

At the service, her great grandchildren
Gathered up front, led by one of her grandsons,
And they sang, “You are my Sunshine!”
Yes – the world was brighter with Phyllis in it!

So, who is YOUR best friend?
How would folks answer that about you?
Do you make each person you are with
Feel special, appreciated, and important?

It is a wonderful quality to posses.
I used to tell Phyllis, “I want to be you
When I grow up!” I am still growing –
And improving – with the memory of

Phyllis Wasick tucked deep in my heart!
Who inspires you to be everyone’s
Best Friend? It certainly was a lesson
Jesus taught every day of His ministry!

Click on that link to hear a piano rendition
of that song with the lyrics for you…
Sing along!!

Psalm 133:1

“1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”

A friend encourages unity and interdependence. No divisiveness lives in a true friend.
Jesus was a friend to all ages!

A best friend cares about you
A best friend is a good listener
A best friend is someone you can confide in
A best friend knows how to keep sharing confidential
A best friend is supportive and trustworthy
A best friend loves you just the way you are
A best friend keeps in touch

Be a best friend to whoever you are with!
Maybe I can emulate my friend Phyllis-
With the help of God’s grace living in my heart
And the Holy Spirit within to guide me.

You can, too!

Jesus is my best friend!
And He helps me be more like Him every day…
Phyllis does, too!

Thanks for visiting my blog today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Love,
JanBeek

Be Upbeat


Too many downers
Try to pull us asunder
Let’s be resisters

Let’s just be upbeat
Just look on the sunny side
Let’s resist darkness

Find good in others
Let’s shine light in the darkness
We need your sparkle

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

“When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.”

Psalm 94:19

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The world needs your cheer
Be excited for today
Be inspiring

You can lift others
Out of their pessimism
Make joy contagious

Faith is the power
That helps you stay connected
To joy that abounds

So, just keep the faith
Keep letting God shine through you
He’ll keep you upbeat!

Cheers!

What are you feeling positive about today?
Share your good news!
We all need your smile.

(My good news is that my hand is healing.
The swelling is going down.
I was able to get my watch on today…
It fit over my hand for the first time
since the fall and broken finger April 20th.
The fingers are learning to bend again.
That’s my good news. What’s yours?
)


See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Be Fruity!


Are you a fruitcake?
Filled with fruits of the spirit?
Let me hear a YES!!

Do you grant to God
Permission to infuse you
With His divine gifts?

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

What are those divine gifts?
Do you have them memorized?
Are they yours – living fruits in you?

Each day as I walk down
the circular staircase
from my sanctuary,
I repeat my 12 step program:

Thank You, God, for the
1) Love,
2) Joy, and
3) Peace
that are mine!

Give me help, God, with
these Fruits of the Spirit
that I need help to exhibit:
4) Patience,
5) Kindness,
6) Goodness,
7) Faithfulness
(which brings blessings).
8) Gentleness, and
9) Self-control.

Help me
10) live humbly
with an attitude of gratitude
and
11) a response of generosity,
forgiveness,
12) Obedience and Integrity.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen

When you pray daily
Asking God to give you fruits,
Trust, my friends, He will!


Be fruity!

Oh, and don’t forget to
keep smiling, my friends.
Fruity people are happy folks!!
Be a fruitcake!

Happy and content is how God created us.
Let’s claim that idea!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing) –
Hugs!

If you’re happy
and you know it,
you can be a little fruity
like Jack Hartmann
and sing along
with this song for
all kids and young at heart!

He’s a fruitcake personified!!

All Are Welcome


I bet you choose love, too.

Today in church, the choir taught the congregation a new hymn. At least it was new to us. About verse three, the congregation couldn’t hold – they had to (simply HAD to) join in… and the message resonated with everyone there.

I was reminded of the slogan at Bloom in the Desert where we attended several different Januarys when we vacationed near Palm Springs, CA: “We welcome all who welcome all.”

Wouldn’t it be grand if all people could exhibit that level of inclusivity?

Aren’t those lyrics wonderful?
Did you find yourself singing along?

Hallelujah! Love is grown in this place! I am so happy to worship in a place where “All Are Welcome.” I just wish we could cultivate more diversity in our little corner of Montana. We came from California 15 years ago. Our community in CA was made up of people from many ethnicities. I miss that! Montana does have a large Native American population, though. I wish more of them would move into southwest Montana!

Meet a couple of very talented brothers:

What can we
– as diversity-loving citizens –
do to encourage more of that
“We Welcome All” attitude
in our world?

Share some ideas with me.

Big hugs to you.
Have a beautiful Sunday.
Cheers!
Left hand is gaining flexibility
and strength every day.
Thanks for your prayers.
Keep smiling!!


I send my love to you.
See you tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Suck it Up!


Come on! Suck it up!
Surely, it can’t hurt that much.
On with therapy!!

You expect some gain?
Expect flexibility?
Well, stretch the limits!

Beyond comfort zone
Lies the land of Great Promise.
Let’s strive to arrive.

Photo by Vlad Cheu021ban on Pexels.com

I went to occupational therapy today. A compression glove should help reduce the swelling on this hand now that the pins are out and the hand can move again. But just wearing a glove isn’t going to get my fingers back to being functional again. I gotta work at it!

Darci, the therapist gave me a glob of silly putty. Do you remember playing with that when you were a kid? Rolling and squeezing the putty is the order of the day. It feels like I am rolling a bale of hay and trying to squeeze it! Ouch! The little finger (the one that was broken) and the ring finger next to it (the one that was taped to the broken pinky to give it stability) both are hyper-sensitive and stiff. Suck it up, Jan! You can do this! No pain, no gain, remember?

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Have you tried putting on a sweater with just one functional hand? Or better yet, pulling your pants up single-handed? No fun! Can’t play my accordion. Have trouble cutting a piece of meat. Try folding the laundry with only one hand. Oh, brother, suck it up, Jan! There are a whole lot of people in this world worse off than I am. Think positively!!! Grab that silly putty and get to work!

I can do this!
Grin and bear it!!

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”

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

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to tread on the heights.”

“Finally, be strong in the Lord
and in his mighty power.”

What kind of struggle do you face these days?
Are you needing to just “Suck it up” and do it?
Have you prayed to the Lord for help?
I’ll pray for your strength and tenacity…
You pray for mine, OK?
Thanks!

Have a great weekend.
See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Love,
JanBeek

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Patience & Tenacity


This title has been nagging at me
for the past few days.
Patience and Tenacity-
We all need them!

Impatience causes
Untold distresses for us.
Slow down. Breathe deeply.

Choose tenacity –
Hold tight to the task at hand –
Perseverance reaps rewards.

Healing progresses
On its own slow timetable –
Just like most progress.

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

My hand’s not ready
To grasp yours firmly today.
It’s stiff and it’s sore.

But with some patience
And lots of tenacity,
That day is coming.

Photo by Swapnil Sharma on Pexels.com

Meantime, I can reach
With my strong dominant hand
And accept your help.

Tonight Bob & I had a wonderful dinner provided by our friends/neighbors. We had a lovely day made brighter by some sunshine and an ice cream treat to celebrate the good news: the pins are out – and my broken finger is healing in its socket perfectly! God is good!! Thank you for your prayers. I feel them!!

We went outside and took off our Montana winter jackets,
and enjoyed our ice cream in the soooo welcomed sunshine!

Yay!! We think summer
is thinking seriously
about staying around for awhile.

Patience, Jan!
Tenacity is the word of the day
for our prayers for warmer weather, too!

HOPE is the measure
of faith in His promises.
Hang in there, my friends!

Hebrews 10:23

“Let us hold fast the confession
of our hope
without wavering
for He who promised
is faithful.”

Have a wonderful rest of your week.
Each day it will be easier for me to post.
Meantime – easy does it!
Stay in touch, please.

See ya later, alligator!


Love to you,
JanBeek

Wear Red!


Today was a day
we were encouraged
to wear red.

My cast insures
that I’ll wear red
whether I want to or not!

Hello from Bob & me

Tomorrow the pins
will come out
and the cast
comes off!

Then my prayer
is that the swelling
decreases & flexibility
begins to return.

That will be
a time to celebrate.
Don’t you agree?
Wheeee!

Oh, but why
“Wear Red”
You ask?
It’s Pentacost!

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on Pexels.com

Tongues of fire
Descended on the folks
Gathered at the Temple

The tongues of fire
Were the Holy Spirit
Entering the Disciples

Here’s how the story goes:

At the Last Supper, Jesus instructed His disciples to go out into the world to minister and heal the sick on their own. Fifty days after Jesus’ death, the Holy Spirit (with tongues of fire) descended onto the disciples, allowing them to speak in tongues. All the people from all parts of the world who were gathered there were able to hear the Word in their own language as the apostles (filled with the Holy Spirit) spoke to them. Some explanations say that it was the “Pentecostal experience” that allowed the apostles direct communication with God. The PBS News Hour explanation of Pentecost says, “That signaled a major shift in the religious landscape and laid the foundation for what would become Christianity.”

Pentecost shares roots with the Jewish holiday, Shavu’ot. Since that holiday’s liturgical color is red, to symbolize the apostles “tongues of fire” and also the blood of martyrs, sometimes Christians will dress in red or decorate churches with red. Many churches hold baptisms and confirmations on that day, as well. (Our church was decorated in red and we held a fellowship hour after church celebrating the graduation of three of our young people from elementary to high school – and from high school to college.)

Many artists have tried to depict what
that day of Pentecost
must have been like
for the people there.

This is one of my favorites:

Here is another favorite…
It shows the people from various cultures,
each of whom speak a different language,
receiving the Holy Spirit.
God’s sign of UNITY
through and within
our diversity.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful
if we all could have a “Pentecostal experience”
where we understand every language
as if it were spoken in our own tongue?
No more language barriers?

How are you celebrating Pentecost today?
Are you wearing red?
Let’s all celebrate
UNITY
through and within
our diversity.

LOVE is why Jesus came!
Pentecost is a day
to celebrate His continued presence
through the Holy Spirit
sent to live in each of us!!

God bless you.
See you later…
After the pins come out!

Love,
JanBeek

Renew & Express Hope


The word for 2022 (that I chose on January 1 before I knew how MUCH I would need it) is STRENGTH.
What kind of strength do we need each day in order to survive and thrive? I asked myself that question today as I realized it’s been the longest stretch of non-blogging that I have had in several years. My last post was when I dug to the bottom of my strength barrel and pulled out “Speechless.”

The deaths in Ukraine and that ongoing conflict drained me. The Texas mass shooting sucked the drops that were left. I felt lifeless. Then I discovered that two of my dear friends I do Bible Study and Bingo with each week in our nursing home – two of them – died this week. My heart is hurting!

Where does my strength come from?

Isaiah 41:10

“God strengthens you
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
God has promised us His strength.
He will never give you a trial you are unable to handle.”

Personal Strengths Defined

  • Wisdom. Creativity. Curiosity. Love of learning. …
  • Courage. Authenticity. Bravery. Persistence. …
  • Humanity. Kindness. Love. Social intelligence.
  • Justice. Fairness. Leadership. Teamwork.
  • Temperance. Forgiveness. Modesty/Humility. Prudence. …
  • Transcendence. Appreciation of beauty and excellence. Gratitude. Hope.

Notice that the last of those personal strengths defined is “Transcendence,” and the last of its characteristics is Hope. Seems to me those should be first. They transcend all the others in my mind!

Without hopefulness
Life has no sense of purpose
Can’t cope without hope

Hope renews our strength
Hope helps us face tomorrow
Hope is essential

Take my life, Lord.
I give it to You.
Take myself.
Renew my strength.

Take my hand – and let it move – please!

Take my hand – and let it move – at the impulse of your love!
I pray the pins come out easily!
(One more week til that appointment)

I pray the joints move with ease as I exercise them
in the ways I have been taught to do.
I pray I am able to use my life again
consecrated to the Lord
and the work He has for me.

Let’s hear that hymn again…
and let’s internalize it.
Let’s renew our sense of HOPE
and let’s express it in ways that
encourages others to give –
Give HOPE for this day,
Hope for all healing,
Hope for His Love
to flow through us always!
Sing along!!

I’m back…
the one-handed bandit…
Back to send words of
faith, love, joy, hope, and unity
to a hurting world.
Pass it on, my friends!
The world needs the strength you have to give.

See you tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Slow Down!


A beautiful, bright yellow, little bird found its demise this morning. Flying too fast, confused by reflections in our large kitchen window, it crashed into it. Sometimes birds who do that are just stunned, After lying on the ground a while, they get up and fly away. This one was not so fortunate.

There is a bird that looks just like this one
that is flying from tree to tree outside the kitchen window.
Obviously, it is looking for its buddy.
My heart goes out to the poor, lonesome one.

I am reminded as I see this little beauty of the lesson to be learned here:
SLOW DOWN
and
LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING!

If you’ve followed my blog this past month, you know I didn’t do that! I was walking too fast – and I was not watching where I was going. I caught my right shoe on the top of the (higher than normal) curb, and down I went! Fortunately, I caught the weight of my fall on my left pinky finger. Not my head or hip. Not my right hand. Not my face. It could have been so much worse. I have lots to be thankful for. But the message is clear. SLOW DOWN!

Photo by Song kaiyue on Pexels.com
Isaiah 40:31

But they who wait for the Lord 
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

But, if you run, make it be in a safe place to do so… and keep your eyes on the road ahead. And when you walk, be purposeful. Look ahead. Be alert. When you wait, wait patiently. Pray for guidance. Listen. Be discerning. Be obedient.

I’ve got time for slow dances in the kitchen now. The Lord said, “Rest. Ice that hand! Exercise those fingers. Go to your occupational therapy sessions, and skip all those other obligations for now. Wait!”

OK, Lord. I am listening.

Are you listening, my friend?

Slow down! And have a safe, sane, and happy Tuesday.

That picture is a reminder of another time a year or so ago
when I was walking too fast and not looking where I was going.

Oh my… not a very fast learner, am I??
S’pose I got the message this time?

Have you??

See ya later –
Love,
JanBeek

Looking forward to a healed, useful hand again!

Here’s a wonderful song (I had not heard it before) about that message of slowing down… so true!

Relinquish


Let’s just relinquish
Let’s give away our troubles
Let’s trust our Maker

It’s easier said
Easier than to be done
But it’s what we’re told

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me,
all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you,
and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light.”

Today I woke after a good night’s sleep.
Feeling a throbbing, I looked over at my hand;
It was more swollen than when I went to bed.
The pins holding the pinky in place were buried.

Yesterday I visited the occupational therapist.
She put compression sleeves on the fingers.
They are designed to reduce the swelling.
Maybe it would have been worse without them.

Who knows?

It doesn’t do any good to complain,
To mope around and feel sad and blue.
You gotta keep on the sunny side of life –
And a good way to do that is to let go!

Let go of the doubts and relinquish grumbles.
Find someone who’ll hold your hand and assure you
That everything is gonna be okay – be patient!
Give your troubles to God and put on a smile.

Bob and I seem to trade off times for help.
There I am holding his scarred up hand!
Now it’s his turn to gently hold mine.
We are so blessed to have one another!

I pray that you have loved ones beside you
Who comfort and assist you when you need it.
It’s easier to see the sunny side of life
When God gives you family and friends who care.

So relinquish your troubles to those who can
Be the hands and feet of God beside you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and accept it!
Let others share the sunny side of life with you.

Photo by Dio Hasbi Saniskoro on Pexels.com

God bless you!
“Bee” well…
Reach out and “Bee” someone else’s helping hand!!


See ya tomorrow (God willing)-

Love,
JanBeek

17 more days til the pins come out!

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