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Archive for the ‘Bible Lessons’ Category

Peace of Mind


How do you find peace of mind?

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Pexels.com

In my devotional studies today,
the Moody Bible Institute’s “Today in the Word”
asked that question. What is peace and where do you find it?

If you go to Pexels.com
and put in the word “peace”
you will find many images
that suggest answers to those questions:

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

What does this one suggest to you?

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

Of course, this suggests prayer…

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

… and this has a Zen origin, right?

Photo by M Venter on Pexels.com

Many folks find peace by going out into nature and finding seclusion.

Photo by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya on Pexels.com

Others look for peace in communication
with others who are seeking the same goals.

Photo by Fernando Arcos on Pexels.com

Music provides a source of peace for me and many others.


My greatest sense of peace comes from my faith.
As a Christian, PEACE is not a place.
It is not an unattainable emotion.
Peace is a person!

My peace comes from God’s grace
in the person of Jesus.


John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I find evidence of that joy-giving peace all around me…
and I am assured of it as I read my Bible
and study the devotionals that reinforce my faith.

Today in the Word
has a study of The Gospel of Luke
titled, “Peace on Earth” this month.

In his introductory pages,
Dr. John Koessler wrote,
“This promise of peace belongs to
those upon whom His favor rests.”

Does His favor rest on you?

Photo by mododeolhar on Pexels.com

Thousands of years before His birth, Isaiah predicted Him:

Isaiah 9:6

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be upon his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.”

Then, when Isaiah’s prediction came true,
Jesus came to earth… the Prince of Peace,
Here to show us how to find His peace,
Here to show us how to live.

Ephesians2:14 put it this way:

“Jesus is our peace”
Because Jesus “came and preached peace to you
who were far away and those who were near.”

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

Jesus came, lived to show us and teach us, and died to save us.
Believing that is the road to His grace.
Believing that is the way to Eternal Life.
Believing that is the path to peace.

Dr. John Koessler wrote:

“Those who know the peace of Christ
become agents of peace themselves.
When Jesus first sent His disciples
to proclaim the kingdom,
He told them,
‘As you enter the home, give it your greeting.’


Matthew 10:12
(the traditional Jewish greeting, Shalom)

This was more than a social formality,
Christians are offering peace through
faith in Christ to others.
The shalom of Christ is more than a greeting.
It is a promise.
There is more to peace than a personal experience.
For the Christian, peace is a person.
Jesus is our peace.”

Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

Reach out!
Touch Him!
He is the Holy Spirit in you.
He is the King of Peace,
here to give you His peace.
Take it!

In Him is my peace of mind.
Where is yours?

I pray you find it in Him.
Merry Christmas!
He came to save you and me.

Love and peace to you,
JanBeek

Thank you, God, Lord, Christ Jesus, Holy Spirit
for the love, joy, and peace that are mine!

Waiting


Photo by Gary Barnes on Pexels.com

There is more than one way to interpret the word “wait.”
The photo above shows you a waitress who is “waiting” on a table.

Some waiting is defined by
an expectation of something
or someone to come…
like a good friend.

Other waiting is short-term, self-imposed, self-defined…
…. like waiting for your food to digest before
that next meal or dessert after a huge Thanksgiving dinner!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

What are you waiting for?

Today is the first day of Advent.
As a Christian, that means we have 40 days of waiting.

The season of Advent lasts through Christmas Eve.
When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday,
it is the last or fourth Sunday of Advent.
In Eastern Orthodox churches,
which use the Julian calendar,
Advent begins earlier, on November 15,
and lasts 40 days, rather than 4 weeks.

40 days of waiting for the coming of the Christ Child
… waiting for Christmas.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

The word “Advent” stems from the Latin word adventus,
which literally means “coming” or “arrival.”
Our sermon at my church this morning
dealt with this topic of waiting…
waiting for that special arrival.

Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds
spoke about a children’s book
(I think it was a Dr. Seuss)
that depicted a “waiting place”
as a “useless place”
but she encouraged us
to view waiting differently.

She asked us what we do when we are waiting.
Some people find something to read.
Others play on their phones
or engage in conversation with a friend.
Some write letters or cards
or they reach out to help a neighbor.
Spend the waiting time productively.

I wrote this conclusion as I listened:

There is a lot we can do while we wait.
Think about the good things we can do.
Gracious God, help us make waiting useful.
Let’s fill it with good things for me and You.

We can live during this time of waiting
With love and hope in our heart.
We have control over our actions.
We can spread peace – today’s the day to start.

Ready? Begin!

Psalms 27:13-14
I believe that I shall look upon
the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong,
and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a wonderful season of Advent.

Love and hugs to you!

Make your waiting a time of love and compassion!
Reach out today!

Reblog #15 – Relationships


This blog was posted in my “Embrace” series a year or so ago. Many of you, my faithful followers, saw it and commented. Thank you so much!

It is worth revisiting! I have several new friends since then, so I think this is a good one to reblog as we approach this Thanksgiving Day 2022. Gathering with friends and family reminds us of the blessing these friendships are to us.

My devotional this morning in These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith, quoted Col.1:11-12 and reminded us, “Being in a healthy relationship is no small task.”

It went on to tell us, “It takes work, sacrifice, and understanding.” Yesterday I reblogged a post titled, “Partners” that pointed to those same requirements for lasting relationships.

I recommend that
you click on the “Best Friendship Songs” below
and listen as you read my Haiku renderings
on this subject of Relationships.

Relationships are
What this life is all about
Friends are our life’s gifts

We need each other
Going through life alone won’t work
Loneliness smothers

We’re never alone
When we’ve a relationship
With God, our Maker

Put God first in life
Let Him help you bind your love
So it never breaks

In an article in Woman’s Day Magazine, I quote:

“Whether you’re starting out a new relationship,
have been married for years,
simply love your friends,
or adore your family,
there’s always a way to
incorporate God
into each of the unique relationships
in your life.”

Choose relationships
Grounded in mutual love
With respect at center

Seek Godly friendships
Not just with your great neighbors,
But with every one

Especially when
You are choosing a life’s mate,
Be centered in God

Men, listen to this:
If she does not know your God,
She doesn’t know real love.

Don’t give up on her!
Teach her about the Savior
Save relationships

Embrace your friendships
Love one another fully
Treasure your family

I am grateful for
The love of my family
I can count on them

I pray your friends care
For you as mine do for me…
And know I love you!

You are blogging friends
Who visit JanBeek to say
“I care about you”

I am inspired by
The way I can count on you
To come, read, and write

God bless you, dear friends
Your relationship matters
It’s more than on-line

It’s alive in me
You’re a friend I depend on
I can count on you!

Have you been listening
To that collection of songs?
Lots of good words there!

Like: “Live your story”
“Know our love will never die”
“Hold on to your friends.”

Thank you for visiting JanBeek today.
You matter to me.
Thank you for being my friend.
See you tomorrow.

My niece, Jodie, with me and her best friend, Melissa…
Such treasures in my life!!

Who do you treasure as a best friend?

Reblog #13 – Hug Your Neighbor!


Welcome to JanBeek and my month of reblogging.

Who is your neighbor?


This post was originally blogged last year.
I was inspired to repost it for you today
because Dr. David Jeremiah wrote this in his devotional today
in response to the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37:

Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

“Jesus’ point was this:
Your neighbor is anyone with a need
that you are able to meet.
Look for a neighbor whose need you might meet.”

People may excite in themselves a glow of compassion…
by going and seeking an object that requires compassion.
Henry Ward Beecher

The post was part of my “Embrace” series
and it was titled. “Embrace Everyone.”

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

Who will you meet who needs a hug from you today?
Reach out, my friends … here’s a virtual one from Bob & me!

See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Reblog #12 – Grace Alone


This post was titled God’s Grace – first posted in November of 2018… Reblogged today for your pleasure and reassurance.

green trees

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com


“I am under the canopy of God’s Grace,”
the story in my Guideposts devotional assured me.


portrait of teenage girl playing outdoors


I know it without a doubt. I am guided by the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures.

“Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough troubles of its own.”
Matthew 6:34


pexels-photo-6972241-e1543599183578.jpeg


Accept each day as a gift.
The present is a present.
Open it – and live in the NOW!

I am sure you know:

God’s grace is sufficient
when you believe
and
live intentionally
in FAITH.

belief bible book business

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God
through whom we have gained access by faith
into this grace in which we now stand.”
Romans 5:1-2

Grace alone which God supplies;
Strength unknown He will provide…
Every soul we long to reach
Every heart we hope to teach
Everywhere we share…
It’s only by His Grace.

Do take time to hear Scott Wesley Brown sing this for us:

God’s grace – and peace to you – dear friends,

PEACE now and forever!

Bee well.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

Reblog #10 – Prayer


Prayer

openhands-thanking

Prayer is the topic of a book study we are doing with our pastor these weeks of November 2022. But, back in 2015, it was also a topic of discussion and the title of our guest minister’s sermon. Take a step back – and join me:

Prayer was the title of our sermon on Sunday, August 16, 2015 by Rev. Carol Shellenberger of Bozeman, MT. Here are the notes I took while I listened to her very meaningful and inspiring message:

Turning to the Lord in prayer
Is a habit I cultivate.
Turning to the Lord with concern
Is wise, before it’s too late.

But turning to the Lord in praise
Is a minute-by-minute habit.
It’s not just a request for courage
When we’re afraid. It’s a joy. Grab it!

Prayer is a source of inspiration.
Our Father has so much to give.
Prayer is a way to receive it…
The gift of wisdom; abundance to live.

Some folks expect too much or too little,
Looking for extraordinary results
Or doubting that God even hears.
But prayer is a part of us – like our pulse.

Turning to the Lord in prayer
Tells God we are here – and so is He.
We know He is wherever we are.
I know my Lord cares and answers me.

Prayer is not just a matter of speaking;
It’s conversation, but it’s silence, too.
If you never stop talking in prayer to God,
You never hear what He’s saying to you,

In Luke 11, Jesus teaches His disciples
To pray in a wise, simple way.
Recognize the power of God
And reflect on what this version has to say.

It’s a personal, approachable prayer
To Abba, our Papa, our Dad.
It invites us to be honest with God,
Especially when we’ve been remorsefully bad.

Be specific in naming your sins.
From your core, tell Him of your failure and fear.
Then look for the way your Savior responds.
Notice His Spirit within you. Feel His Love near.

God may not answer in ways you expect.
Our Lord is not Santa Claus in disguise.
Listen and look for God’s exquisite response.
He cares, He hears, and His response always is wise.

In faith, hope and trust,
Just PRAY!

Amen.

Take your troubles to the Lord today.
The Holy Spirit is in you – always ready.
The God of Creation who created you
Is here to help you … Helpfulness is steady.

There is nothing quite like prayer in song –
especially when it is Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion!

I have you in my prayers tonight, my friends.

Look up for your purpose!

Be safe. Be well…
See you tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

Reblog # 9 – Embrace Joy


Reblogging from  my 2020 “Embrace” series… the word for today is JOY. Pass it around!

joy

Want to be happy?
Just embrace contagious joy.
Hang with happy folks!

Find reasons to smile.
Folks will smile back at you.
Smiles are contagious!

Bee contagious!!

Psalm 144:15

“Happy are the people whose God is the LORD.”

The Good News:

God is the true source of
happiness,
strength,
hope,
and wisdom.

Those who are in His favor
will always have these things.

Just as mopey people can pull you into the doldrums,
Happy People can lift your spirits and make you smile.
Happiness is a choice… choose it!
Beeeee Contagious!
Spread JOY!
SMILE!

See ya tomorrow (of course, God is willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Reblog #8 – Be at Peace


Seek the stillness
Seek the tranquility
See the peace within
The calm in you and me

Photo by Lisa Glines

Imagine a peaceful lake
Breathe contentment into your life
Relax and be a gentle presence
Turn away all stress and strife

Don’t try to hear me –
The wind drowns out my voice.
Just enjoy the scenery!

That is a video
Taking you down the driveway
to our home behind the trees

Photo by Nick Kwan on Pexels.com

Do not let the wind
Disturb your tranquility
The wind moves the clouds

The clouds paint pictures
The clouds bring much needed rain
Wind whips them away

Let the wind help you
Blow away any distress
And just be at peace

Smile, my friends!



When this post was first written,
Bob & I were headed out in the boat
to float the Madison River.
Since then, we have sold the boat.
A lot has changed in our lives.

I took this photo on my walk earlier the day this post was first written.

I took TazE for a walk by the river.
She loved it.
Today it is snowy and blowy here…
No river walks.
But I will post a few pictures to show you
what peaceful scenes our Madison River provides!

Many thanks to Ed Coyle for his talented photography

.

Come and visit us here someday!

Be at peace, my friends.

I gotcha covered in prayer.
Have a peace-filled day.


Love,
JanBeek

Reblog #2 – Reflections


NanoPoblano2022 asked us to reblog an old post during this month of November. One a day. I’m going to try to do that.

I added this image to the 2012 post. Back then, I did not understand how to use WordPress to its greatest advantage with memes and images that enhanced the words. My purpose in blogging today remains the same a it was a decade ago: to encourage love, joy, peace, faith, and unity among my blogging friends and to inspire us all to live a happier, more purpose-filled life.

My 2012 post:

.

“My confession, admission, and plea to God today is this:

None of us lives to just self alone;
Each of us lives for the other.
Whatever we do, be it rosy or blue,
Reflects on our sister and brother.

None of us sits on the judgment seat.
We’re not assigned to decide
If someone’s dull or bright, wrong or right,
Sending them to a corner to hide.

None of us lives a faultless life,
Though we try our utmost to seek
The humble hill to fulfill Your will
In our deeds and the words we speak.

We stumble and fall and fail to be
Examples of the upright and strong.
Try as we may, we know that someday
We’ll have to account for each wrong.

We’ll each have to stand before Your judgment seat
And review how we’ve spent every minute.
So, Lord, help us give every day that we live
All the love and the grace You put in it.

Help us to generously welcome all
To be part of whatever we do.
None of us lives to ourselves alone;
We always reflect on You.

Amen?

Amen!”

Happy Reblogging, my friends.
See you tomorrow.

Love,
JanBeek

S/He’ll Be Back!


It’s been a wonderful early winter Sunday.
It snowed all night last night!
Yes, I know… too soon!
It’s only mid-October.

See those footprints under the tree?
When I looked out the window this morning,
there was a deer,
nibbling on the berries in that tree.
By the time I dashed to get my camera/phone,
she was long gone!
I think she is the same doe
who visited us last week,
and chewed off/ spit out
the geranium blossoms that were in that planter.

Yes, she’s been here before.
I captured her on camera last spring.
She’ll be back!
She’s pretty… but she is a nuisance.
She thinks our plants were put there
to supply her salad bar!

Today’s sermon by Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds
dealt with this same theme: “He’ll be back!”

John 16:16
Your Sorrow Will Turn into Joy

16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.”

In my sermon notes today, I captured these main ideas,

Life doesn’t always turn out as we imagine.
Disappointments run the gamut.
The disciples were puzzled, not understanding
where Jesus was going and why He had to leave.
Jesus knew His disciples would grieve
and they would be mocked for believing in Him
as their Savior, so He wanted to encourage them.


20 “Truly, truly, I say to you,
you will weep and lament,
but the world will rejoice.
You will be sorrowful,
but your sorrow will turn into joy.”

He would not leave them for good…
He promised He’d send them
A Comforter (The Holy Spirit),
and then He would return to them.

Jesus told the disciples,
“The Holy Spirit is a gift
that will come in my absence.”

The Holy Spirit is with us today.
The Spirit is a nudge in the night,
the inexplicable comfort in times of distress,
a direct line to God (God on speed dial!)
Sometimes referred to as the Holy Ghost,
He will come to remind you of everything
Jesus taught during His ministry on earth.

Tragedy is tragedy-
However, there is a wisdom obtained
when we experience the goodness
and the tragedy together.

Life can take us on turns we don’t expect.
We’d like to trade pain and tragedy for comfort.
However,
disappointment and pain help us be
more fully connected to others
with empathy and compassion.
That ain’t always easy – that’s for sure!

Mary Grace concluded her sermon with this thought to ponder:
“We become stronger than what hurts us.
There is much hope in that.”


Are you like me?
Wouldn’t you rather just avoid that which hurts you?
Don’t hurts just feel like a trap?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

God is asking us to look at life’s challenges through Jesus glasses.
Don’t deny yourself the lessons learned.
When things aren’t working out, take another look!

Like that deer on my front lawn,
troubles and disappointments return.
But so do joys and blessings.

My cough has been quiet while I typed this.
It may return when I try to sleep tonight,
but it won’t last forever. JOY comes in the morning!
Hang in there, my friends.
I’ll be back!

Have a blessed week.
Today was my grandson, Chrissy’s 27th birthday!!

Happy Birthday, Toki!!
(He’s in Switzerland…)


Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment below.
I love having positive exchanges with you.


Grace to you,
JanBeek

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