Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Bible Lessons’ Category

Why Practice Giving?


Why practice giving? What’s in it for me?

Many Ways

There are many ways to “give.” My mailbox is overflowing everyday this time of year for requests to give – donate to St. Judes or St. Joseph’s Indian School; donate to Foot and Mouth Painters or Salvation Army; make an extra donation to Guideposts or my church or the Food Bank. And don’t even ask me how many text messages and e-mails I receive each day from political candidates! Yes, giving money is one way to practice giving… and if you have dough to spare, there are needy, worthy causes out there.

But do you know for sure what percentage of your hard-earned bucks are going to the intended cause? Can you see the light in the eyes of the recipient?

Face-to-Face

Giving face-to-face changes your life as well as the recipient’s. Pay it forward in the grocery line. Give a hug. Share your talent at a nursing home … maybe it’s a visit and a hug or a half hour of your time to read a little from your favorite poems. Maybe it’s a meal in your home with friends you’d like to have a chance to know better. And you’d like them to know each other. Maybe it’s transportation to an appointment for someone without a car. Perhaps it is time with a child (yours or someone else’s… doesn’t matter… just be there!).

Think of giving in non-monetary terms. Give of yourself. Give joyfully! Why?

Give as the Lord’s Example

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Generosity Encouraged

2 Corinthians 9:6-9
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”

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God Bless You, dear Friends.
Have you decided on
an answer to “What’s in it for me?”

I hope you’re having a “good” day.
Thank you for being such generous givers!
Tell me about the last time you “gave” – what was it?

Merry Christmas!
See you tomorrow.

A Thought for Each Day


Many of you know that I spend my first hour each day up in my sanctuary.

The view from one sanctuary window

If you’ve been a follower for awhile, you may remember that one of the devotionals I read each morning is:

And I have posted in the past a list of “Take-Aways” for each day of the month. It’s been a few months since I did that. I did not post my list for November yet. Today would be a good day to do that. Perhaps you can find this list helpful. Adopt one a day, and take that message with you as you walk this rocky road called LIFE. Let it help you focus on a direction God is calling you.

November’s Take-Aways from Daily Guideposts

  • Remember Incredible Moments
  • Really “See” People
  • Choose Peace – Even in Chaos
  • Bee still to Hear/Feel God’s Grace
  • Keep Faith in Love
  • Accept God’s Extravagant Grace
  • Let Children Move, Moo, Climb & Clamber
  • Keep Your Faith Childlike
  • Always Give Your Best Effort
  • Let Your Life Praise God
  • Live in Grateful Peace
  • Unclog Your Life; Clean Up!
  • Bee Mindful of Relationships
  • Maintain Your Body
  • Know “Retirement” is a Misnomer
  • Use Your Reservoir of Love
  • Know God as Your Guide
  • Speak Only Tender, Kind Words
  • Hope Always in Him
  • Keep Eyes and Heart Open
  • Take Time to Feel God’s Presence
  • Serve Heartily!
  • Always Find Joy in Work
  • Bee Still and Listen
  • Let Space Be Transformed
  • Add Exercise To Your Routine
  • Cherish Family
  • Thank God For Your Many Blessings
  • Know God’s Working in You
  • Look into The Hearts ❤ ❤
Let everyday be Christmas!

I hope “A Thought for Each Day” will inspire you to be your best self, the person God made you to be, every day this month… and create a thoughtful habit for the New Year.

God bless you!
See ya later!

By the way, which of those “Take Aways” will you adopt for today?

God’s Miracle: Church


Sermon notes from today’s service in Ennis. Montana – Rev. Steve Hundley
Taken in poetry as I listened – written through JanBeek’s filters.

Church: A Miracle of God

I can’t scold you today –
Not because we are in this place,
Not because I’m in a good mood,
But because of the love in this space.

Because of the words of Paul
(the ones our Paul read so well today),
I am encouraged to join in
With what Gentle Jesus had to say.

He wrote to the Thessalonians
While he was out traveling, making a tent,
“We were gentle among you,” He said.
“We spoke soft words – whispered encouragement.”

Paul’s words to other churches
Were not so gentle and kind.
But to the Thessalonians, He set aside
Sternness – and praised the ties that bind.

The Gospel is a powerful book.
It can and does transform lives.
We are astonished at how God’s Word
Teaches, changes folks, lives, and survives.

The church, like the one in Thessalonica,
Is a place where people love and give.
They pray for you, they stay with you,
They make life better and help you live.

Our old church in McAllister, Montana was built in the early 1900s.
It has no running water, so when we use it for church services
once a year, we have to rent a porta-potty, chase the mice away,
and clean the mouse droppings from the chairs and alter.

But, it is a place that reminds of how simple God’s church can be.
It doesn’t have to be a large, elaborate cathedral to be worshipful.

Photo by Adrienn on Pexels.com

It is not the building that makes a church. In the early days, many of the “church services” were held in people’s homes. Some people in today’s world still hold their worship services in living rooms, tents, or on an open hillside. The Miracle of God that is His Church is not the place, but the people.

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Wherever we gather, with the focus on worship of our God, He is with us.
That’s what Paul was telling the church of Thessalonica.

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 was what
our scripture volunteer,
Paul Carlson, read to us today:

“Surely you remember, brothers and sisters,
our toil and hardship;
we worked night and day
in order not to be a burden to anyone
while we preached the gospel of God to you.
You are witnesses, and so is God,
of how holy, righteous, and blameless
we were among you who believed.
For you know that we dealt with each of you
as a father deals with his own children,
encouraging, comforting and urging you
to live lives worthy of God,
who calls you into His kingdom and glory.
And we also thank God continually because,
when you received the word of God,
which you heard from us,
you accepted it not as a human word,
but as it actually is, the word of God,
which is indeed at work in you who believe.”

As Christians, members of His Church, that is our goal: to hear His Word, and respond to it by encouraging, comforting, and urging fellow Christians to live lives that demonstrate He is indeed at work in us. That is what makes our church “God’s Miracle.” Not the building, but we, the people.

Whether we are in our old McAllister treasure, or our salmon-colored church in downtown Ennis, our job is to love one another, support one another, and spread the Word to those who may not know the Peace of Christ that “passeth all understanding.”

Philippians 4:7
“And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.”

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God Bless You, my friends.
I hope you have the joy
of a supportive church family.
And I pray that you are one of those
who is God’s hand at work in this world.
Have a lovely Sunday night.

See ya tomorrow.

Peaceful Sunday


A peaceful Sunday
Is my prayer for you today
I’ll see you later

One Kind Word


Kind words are easy
Spoken from a sincere heart
They can change a life

Think of all the words
You might speak to folks today
Do they pass the test?

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Are they lily pure?
Is every word uplifting?
You can’t take them back!

Words spoken with love
Can be the perfume of life
Hurtful words just stink!

Ever smelled a “Stink bug”?

We have declared November to be the month of kindness and gratitude. Not just kindness to those who are kind to us, but kindness to to everyone and everything. Kindness to ourselves, our neighbors, our pets, the neighbor’s pets, our plants and trees… even kindness to those who hurt us!

Let our words be like the fertilizer that helps others to change and grow.

One kind word can change someone’s entire day.
One kind word might even change a life.

What’s a word you might say today from your sincere heart that will brighten someone’s day? It doesn’t have to be eloquent. It isn’t flattery. It’s just simple and honest.

I love that you are here on JanBeek today. You make my day brighter with your “like” and your comment.

But, you really lift my spirit when you are inspired to take the message to heart – and go out and LIVE a LIFE of LOVE.

Sing along with this beautiful song that reminds us to speak and sing and think and live in the perfume of “Wonderful Words of Life.”

Feed your mind loving words…
“Wonderful words, beautiful words, wonderful words of life”
and then go out and feed others!

See ya later.

Mom’s Sunrise


Today is my mom’s birthday. She’d be 104 today. I woke early and was greeted by this gorgeous sunrise peeking over the beautiful Madison Range.

As I zoomed in on it, it became more vibrant.

Orange was my mom’s favorite color. Good morning, Mom! I see you smiling down from heaven. I remember your best days, and set aside the years when Alzheimer’s robbed you of the sparkle, the tenacity, and the wisdom that marked your best days.

Mom & Dad’s wedding picture 1937
Mom & Dad’s 30th Anniversary
Mom wore her Rebekah Lodge badges with honor and dignity.

Always involved in activities, Mom loved the Rebekahs (female branch of the Odd Fellows), and her bridge club, which weekly met in our living room. Even into her 80’s she loved her 20-Ands Club. She represented a lot of “Ands.” She was an impeccable dresser, beautifully groomed. Managed always to stay fit. She was probably the person who invented the “Selfie”!!

I wrote this poem on December 18, 2004 with Mom in mind. I used phrases she spoke in her last weeks on earth. She was big on giving orders – right up to her last days – even telling God when to take her “home.” She died the day after I composed this, on December 19th.

Before I Die

Before I leave this earth
I have a few requests
Listen up, my dears,
Tomorrow there’ll be tests.

Take my diamond necklace
And convert it into cash.
Use it for my funeral,
Then live life within the dash.

It’s too late for me, friends,
To change the things I’ve done;
But you have time to listen
And teach others of God’s Son.

“The Dash” is all the years
Between birth and when you die.
Those in-between years
Are where your stories lie.

Take my gold and silver,
Go out and help the poor.
Make amends for all the years
I lived from store to store.

Take my many angels,
Give them to folks who are
Ill, hurting, or lonely.
Tell them about the star:

The star of Bethlehem that
Was where the angels went
To see the newborn baby –
Our Lord from Heaven sent.

Take my many clothes and find
Folks who are in need.
Take the food that I have stashed.
Go to the hungry. Feed!

Take my shoes and slippers.
Take them all and give
Them to the cold and homeless.
Help them to warmer live.

Take my chairs and tables,
The lamps and bedding, too.
Give them to a Home or Mission.
They’ll help out quite a few.

Then look around your house, friends.
And see the excess treasure.
Take it to the needy.
You’ll be blessed beyond all measure.

Live your life within the dash
In loving generosity.
Before you leave this earth,
Reach out in pure humility.

Take your gold and silver.
Go out and help the poor.
God will bless you richly, and
You will never want for more.

Her diamond necklace DID pay for her funeral!

And we did give most of her angels away – my friend/former student, Lorei, hung them with a note on the doorknobs of the other residents at her care facility where mom lived. Mom had dozens of angels in her collection! And, we gave her clothes and other “stuff” to the people and places that could use them.

However, I have a few of her angels in my “Sanctuary” upstairs. My maiden name is “DeAngeles” (translates to “of angels” – in Italian). Mom lives in me… and today I celebrate her sunrise, her best qualities, and the gifts she instilled in me: self-confidence, unconditional love, tenacity, and a love of poetry.

Happy Birthday, Mom!
I am “Living in the Dash” just as you taught me.

What qualities did your mom instill in you??

Have a blessed Friday, my friends.
See ya later.

Be Ready!


Today’s sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT
was based on the story of Zacchaeus.
Do you know the story?

If not (or even if you do),
here it is in a nutshell:
https://youtu.be/Fe7dTNID6h8

(When you click on that link
and hear the story creatively told
in delightful, child-like cartoon format,
be sure to click the back arrow and return here!)

Find Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10

Pretend you are short (I don’t have to pretend).
Pretend your name is Zacchaeus and you are hated.
You are hated because you are a lying, cheating tax collector.
You are lonely.

Then you learn that Jesus is coming to your town.
You’ve heard about Him – and you want to see Him.
But, to do so, to see above the crowd, you have to climb a tree.
Pretend you are up in that tree … looking down at Jesus.

Get in the mood for today’s message!

Be Ready!

There is a growing epidemic
Of loneliness in society today.
Surprisingly, the loneliest are young adults.
Next are empty-nesters, they say.

A third group are the elderly
Who are often seen sitting alone.
Checking an empty mailbox,
They nurse their ailments and groan.

People out there in our world are lonely.
Often it’s for a reason they can’t control.
Other times, it seems to be choices they make –
Like Zacchaeus, who chose his greedy, tax-collecting role.

Loneliness affects all kinds of folks, good and bad.
We cannot overcome loneliness by ourselves.
It takes the love and compassion of someone else
Who notices our empty emotional shelves.

If you are struggling with loneliness,
And you have come to church to heal it,
Look around and know the love of Christ
Is in the hearts of those around you. Can you feel it?

Zacchaeus climbed a tree so he could see Jesus.
This lonely, short, little man wanted a view
Of the man he had heard so much about.
Would you climb a tree to see Christ? In faith, will you?

Be ready – if you are lonely and you look
For God and love by goin’ somewhere strange.
Be ready – because God will find you there.
He’ll find you where you are; and you will change!

Be ready!

I’m lookin’ up to find you!
Reach out to the lonely.
Reach out in prayer, in hugs,
in compassion.

Have a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Look up!!
See ya tomorrow.

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