Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Archive for the ‘Bible Lessons’ Category

Embrace Harmony


Live in harmony
Let your steps dance to the tune:
“Embraceable You!”

Romans 12:16-18

Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be haughty,
but associate with the lowly.
Never be wise in your own sight.
Repay no one evil for evil,
but give thought to do what is honorable
in the sight of all.
If possible,
so far as it depends on you,
live peaceably with all.

Living peacefully
Brings out the best in others –
Invites harmony.

Photo by Candelario Benu00edtez on Pexels.com

Beautiful to see –
Guys who live in harmony –
Enjoy company.

The relationships
Born of friendship and shared joy –
Beautiful to see.

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

Beautiful to be
Playing harmoniously –
Embracing friendships.

As my outer world
Reflects my inner spirit,
Harmony abounds.

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Happiness is when
what you think,
what you say,
and
what you do
are in harmony.

Mahatma Gandhi

My friend, Elaine Forsberg, recently left this earth for her eternal home. The memorial service for her was last weekend. She was a woman who raised her children to love God, follow Jesus, embrace harmony, and play harmonically. She did all those things herself. She taught by example.

Her son, Jim, plays the guitar and the saw! Her daughter, Peggy, also plays the saw… and the violin (magnificently). If you had attended Elaine’s service, you would have come away knowing this was a woman of great integrity – a woman who loved God – a woman secure in her destiny.

The Gandhi quote above fit Elaine Forsberg to a tee!

Besides loving God, Elaine loved music. She played the piano and made it possible for her children to appreciate the beauty of harmony.

The video below with its beautiful harmonies and gorgeous scenes of nature would be a favorite of hers. It’s a favorite of mine, I sang in the A Capella Choir all four years at the University of the Pacific. It was one of my favorite activities in college – and those harmonies still live in my heart.

To survive in peace and harmony,
united and strong,
we must have one people,
one nation,
one flag.

Pauline Hanson

My prayer today is this:

O Lord, may we learn to live in harmony.
May our world embrace harmonious unity.
Help us, God of Creation,
to learn to follow Your commandments.
There is no better way, we know, to live peacefully.
Help us “Embrace Harmony”
and spread its beauty to all we meet.
Today we focus on harmony, peace, wholeness, and joy.
Embrace us, O Lord,
as these thoughts flower in our consciousness –
and bring our dreams of world-wide harmony to vivid life.
Amen.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

May you feel the peace of harmony
in your heart today.


God bless You!
See ya tomorrow!

Embrace Enthusiasm


Enthusiasm:
Expressions of elation –
Show your excitement!!

Photo by Gilbert Anthony on Pexels.com

Like this flower child,
I’m over the top gleeful.
Timing perfection!

I’ve shared confusion
And dismay for the slowness
Of resolutions.

But if I let go –
And put it all in God’s hands,
His timing’s perfect!

I can’t tell you more
Than to say I see the light
At the tunnel’s end.

Yesterday I worked
All day to finalize the
Membership notice

Our Number One pick
Has accepted our first call –
Returning to preach.

The congregation
Will hear her message.
It’s all in God’s hands.

The Lord says, “Relax!
Know I have got you covered.
It’ll be alright.”


Embrace excitement!
Continue to be in prayer.
Let God surprise you.

You know I have been knee-deep
in the process of trying to find the pastor candidate
God has in mind for our Presbyterian Church
here in Ennis, MT.

It’s been nearly a year of searching.
By the end of this month,
I should be able to show you her face…
and tell you about her.
Meantime, she will return in a couple of weeks
and preach to our congregation
and they will be given the chance to vote.
If they approve,
then the Presbytery gets to vote.

The Lord says, “Paaay-shuns!!”

It will all happen in His perfect timing.
I believe that.
But, I can’t contain my excitement
at the prospects of what the future holds!

Pray with me that it all
happens as God intends-
In His perfect timing.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”


Esther 4:14

Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.



Wait expectantly!
Open your eyes to the
fulfillment of your deepest prayers!

Photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels.com

Embrace Enthusiasm!
Are you excited about something in your future?
What is it?

Embrace Hugs


Doesn’t it feel good to meet with your friends
Who have had both their COVID-19 vaccines
And feel comfortable hugging again?
Don’t lose sight of what hugging means:

When I hug you my squeezing says,
“I love you! I have missed our touch.”
When I hug you my body says,
I am so happy to be near you. I’ve missed you so much!

Song of Solomon 2:6

“Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”

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Sometimes the hugs from our pets
Have to take the place of others we love –
But it’s that feeling of unconditional caring
That’s wrapped in a hug – whether human or dove.

Photo by Selegna Du00edaz on Pexels.com

Mark 10:16

And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

Your hug is so important
Better than an alligator hug is:
… a kitty kiss!
Better than a piggy hug and kiss is:
… a real bear hug! (Or is it??)
There’s nothing quite like a threesome hug!

Genesis 33:4

Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him,
and fell on his neck and kissed him…

Yes, when we see a cuddly little soft and sweet baby
We just want to hug and squeeze and kiss them all over!
Photo by Madeline Bassinder on Pexels.com
Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com
Photo by Rheza Aulia on Pexels.com


Embrace One Another
Embrace Hugs

It’s so good to be able to hug again!

Love to you,
my sweet blogging friend.

See ya tomorrow

Embrace Your Roots


When I hear the word “Roots,”
I think of the TV program
that captivated the nation
in 1977 when it first
was aired on ABC.

Roots is an American television miniseries based on Alex Haley‘s 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The series first aired on ABC in January 1977. Roots received 37 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and won nine. It also won a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. It received unprecedented Nielsen ratings for the finale, which still holds a record as the third-highest-rated episode for any type of television series, and the second-most watched overall series finale in U.S. television history.[1][2] It was produced on a budget of $6.6 million.

If you are a genealogical buff, “Roots” conjures up images of family history … and maybe links to Ancestry.com.

When I see or hear the word “Roots,” I also think of this scripture:

Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

Roots
Buried deep
Connect to vine
Result in the branches
Mine

John 15:5

“I am the vine, you are the branches:
He that abideth in Me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without Me you can do nothing.”

My roots are planted deep in faith.

Rooted and Grounded
In the name of the Lord
Rooted and Grounded
By the Holy Ghost

If you want to go to Heaven
You have to be
Rooted and Grounded
In the Name of the Lord!


Embrace Your Roots –
Examine where they are grounded.
How do they stabilize you?
What comes to mind when you hear the word
ROOTS?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

See ya tomorrow (God willing)


Embrace Purpose


What is your purpose?
Has anyone asked you that question recently?
Have you asked it of yourself?

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Another way to ask the question is:
What is my life’s goal?

When I asked my husband Bob, yesterday
He responded,
“To give God credit for everything.”

We talked about the difference between
Internal and external purposes.

Internally we live a life filed with gratitude to God.

Externally, how do we show or express it?

Bob responded,
“Accept your lot without complaints”
and
“Be His hands and feet –
Extending His Kingdom on Earth.”

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

Like these mountains,
Life and purpose have so many layers.

What is God’s purpose for me?

This is the prayer I pray
each morning before I leave
my sanctuary to begin my day in the world:

“Dear Lord,

Guide my feet in Your Way today.
Help me meet who You want me to meet.
Tell me what You want me to say,
And keep me out of Your way!

Help me be who You made me to be.
And teach me to be still
So I can know what You want me to do.
Help me walk in You Will.”

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Romans 8:28

“And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to His purpose.”

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

In today’s These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,
the message resonated with me as I contemplate my purpose:

“I pray and ask God to give me the words I need.
The time to share is now so that everyone will know
the Love of God.

By speaking and writing about God’s love and glory,
we are passing this knowledge on to future generations.

Whether singing worship music,
reading devotionals aloud,
or writing about God,
I am given opportunities to
help the whole world
know and develop
a closer relationship with God.”

That’s my purpose!
Share the love, joy and peace
that are mine through Christ.


I want everyone to feel it!!

Father, please give me the words
to share so everyone will know you.

I LOVE this series of pencil drawings of Jesus with the children!

In my Mornings with Jesus devotional today,
the message fit this topic perfectly.
Cynthia Ruchti, wrote

“A recent project at our house has tested our mettle as a couple…”

She went on to explain how their old 1913 house is crooked.
Trying to “install straight, factory-squared windows into an opening
that is anything but perfectly square has been cause for…
discussion.”

“What a telling picture of the reasons Jesus was so adamant
that … the foundational layer of our souls
has to be built plumb and true,
more meticulously than anything that will come after.”

“Jesus said that JOY is foundational to our lives as Christ followers.
If joy is solid, anchored well, and secure because of our trust in His promises,
anything else we build on top of that will have much greater chance
of aligning with His purpose for us.

We won’t be ‘half a bubble off’ if His joy bubbles inside us.”


Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

I aim to be inspired by
His Word,
His Life,
His Love,

His Gift of Grace,
and His Purpose
for my life.


(That’s the internal purpose)

Externally,
my purpose is to share that
love, joy, peace, faith and unity
that are mine…
with the hope that you
are inspired to share it, too!

Keep looking up!

Is anything in your house noticeably crooked?
When you pass that spot, don’t straighten it!
Look up!

Use it as a reminder of the importance
of building your life of faith on Jesus
and the meaning of the cross.
Jesus is plumb and true, and
by His death on the cross,
you are, too!!

What is your purpose?
What inspires you to live according to your purpose?


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

Happy Sunday!


Mine was a busy Sunday.
How was yours?
Where did you look today?

Looking for beauty
Can sometimes be elusive
When your eyes are closed

So open your eyes
To find the beauty around.
It is everywhere!

Where do your eyes look?

Do you look at it?
The “it” that’s blocking your view?
Where do your eyes go?

Look up to enjoy
The beauty, not the blockade!
Listen for the sounds.

The amorous dove
Is cooing to his partner:
“Come with me and rest.”

“It is the Sabbath –
A day to stop and relax.
Let’s go to our nest.”

“Are you listening?
Don’t look down – the nest’s not there.
Let’s fly to our roost.”

“You go if you want.
I’m perfectly happy here.
Cozy. Protected.”

“OK. I give up.
Every bird is not the same.
Be happy sitting…

But I want to go
Exploring other vistas.”

“Maybe tomorrow!”

Like that female dove,
Sometimes we seem to be stuck
In our own small rut.

Afraid to venture
Out into this great big world
To meet challenges.

There are lovely views
On horizon’s other side –
Beyond folds of light.

This view is Lisa’s –
It’s in North Carolina.
Sent to me with prayer.

I may not go there –
Not today or tomorrow.
But maybe someday.

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

I want to explore
The beauty of Lisa’s world.
Its vistas call me…

Just as our preacher,
Dawn, who was in the pulpit,
Felt Africa’s call.

She shared her stories
With us in church this morning.
They were amazing!

Photo by Shelagh Murphy on Pexels.com

She spoke of children
Where poverty and illness
Put them at great risk.

Experiences
Shared with us in church today
Brought love of strangers.

Madison County Food Bank

“When were You hungry and I fed You?
When were You thirsty and I gave You drink?
When were You a stranger and I welcomed You?
When were You naked and I gave You clothes?
When were You sick or in prison and I took care of You?”

“Whenever you did one of these to the least of these, my children, you did it unto Me.”


Paraphrased from Matthew 34-40

Love Stories from Africa

Our guest speaker told of her missionary trips to Uganda and Ghana, South African areas where she was called by God to go – not to speak of religion – but show the love of Christ through her actions. She helped children with cancer, families with loved ones dying of HIV-AIDS, orphaned children, farmers in need to seeds to plant their crops, or goats to provide milk, or workers who needed motor bikes to get to their places of employment. She danced to the music of the natives, and walked barefoot in the sands of these foreign lands.

Judgement turned to admiration. She gained appreciation for the resilience of these people. The poverty rate was 80% in many of the remote regions of the north. Improving their health care and job opportunities was the goal of the USA funding that she managed. The people had so little that every bit of help was doubly appreciated. They had so little, and yet they had so much. So much love. So much beauty.

Beauty comes smiling at us
Everywhere we turn
If we just open our eyes
See the love – and learn!

Learn to treasure all
the people God has made.
Reach out to those you meet.
Love them all – be not afraid!

Love is all we need.
Gotta keep it real simple:
Love God – Love People!!

Embrace Sunday.
Embrace God and Love One Another.
See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Hugs,

JanBeek

Embrace Bird Songs


Bird Songs – Haiku
by JanBeek

Let’s embrace bird songs.
They bring music to our souls.
Delight in their sounds!

The following video is a 42 minute delight.
It displays 80 birds,
identifies them for you,
and plays their songs.
I LOVE it!

I recommend that you
play it as background music
as you read the rest of my blog
and go about your day.

Peek back at it every now and then –
because the close-up pictures of these birds
and the words that identify them
and the settings where you find them
will be sure to delight you!

I woke this morning to the sound of doves cooing.
They have built their nest in the eaves
Outside my bedroom window –
Crafted it with twigs and leaves.

Partner doves made their home there
And sang their song, “I hid hid hid it!”
Soon they’ll lay their eggs there
And change their song to “I did did did it!”

But their nest is not hidden from us.
We can see their coming and their going.
Their song brings us daily happiness.
Our day starts with shared music – enjoying!

.

After you have listened to some of that first video, check this one out. It is just the dove…
Then go back to that first one. Let it mesmerize you!
(You can slide the red bar at the bottom of it to go back to where you left off.)

“Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”

Psalm 144:15

Just as each bird has its song,
People have songs that identify them.
Some are blues, some jazz or rock and roll,
Others are known by their favorite hymn.

As I listen to music on my Amazon device
And I hear one I wanna put in my cart,
I say, “Alexa, add that to my favorites.”
My list – like a bird song – comes from my heart.
.

Take a break from the bird songs,
and listen to a song that touches my heart.
I can’t help but sing along whenever it plays:


In my “Happiness Project”
(one sentence journal)
the verse at the top of the page
today was:

“It is neither wealth nor splendor,
but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.”

– Thomas Jefferson

.

What Creates Happiness for You?


I used to find my greatest happiness in the classroom – working with young children.
Then I found it in my home with my husband and two children.
Neither of those sources, however could be defined as “tranquil.”

It wasn’t until we moved here to Montana, we both retired, and we bought a house with an upstairs “SanctuAiree,” that I found my place of tranquility. Surrounded by trees with singing birds outside and my Bibles, devotionals, and angels inside, I am at peace. Inner peace is my definition of tranquility and happiness. How about you?

For me, there are few things in life which create more tranquility than the sound of a dove cooing. Our God used a dove as the carrier of good news (it returned to the ark with an olive branch to announce “Dry Land! It’s here! It’s here!”) The dove is a symbol of peace.

What a way to wake up in the morning! And then they greet me on the rooftop when I am in my SanctuAiree.

Doves are little gifts from God.
I love them and their song.

What is your favorite bird song?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

I hope you’ll be singing when you leave here!

(You can go back to that first video and continue enjoying those bird songs)

See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Embrace Haibun


There are days when it seems harder than others to put on a happy face, don’t you agree? I don’t have a lot of those, so when I do, they usually are memorable.

I remember one such day when my dad was out of sorts. He was a business owner. Not the typical image of a “business owner” that comes to mind when you hear that description. His business was a Tallow Works. Do you know what that is? It’s a place that picks up dead animals from farmers and ranchers and meat scraps from butcher shops. All parts of those animals and scraps are processed. It’s a smelly business.

It’s devastating
Beloved animals die
Someone hauls them off

This is called a Haibun. It is a brief couple of paragraphs of prose, followed by a Haiku that adds dimension to the prose!

Oh, Lordy, Lordy!! My blog is supposed to share love, joy, peace, faith, and unity. How I got off on a kick of wanting to share various forms of poetry is all Dwight Roth’s fault! Blame him! He tried my Shadorma poetry and invited me to try his Haibun.

https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/2021/04/08/on-fire/

But he can’t be blamed for my morbid Haibun and photo today. My mind just went there after reading a post by someone who was recalling a sadness from their childhood. That day when Dad and I went to pick up a dead horse sticks in my memory because the horse was a child’s pet. It wasn’t like one of a herd of beef cattle or some old cow that got into the clover field, ate too much, bloated, and bit the dust!

My experiences with my dad, riding with him on weekends as we went to various farms to pick up the dead animals, usually were not sad times. I treasured one-on-one time with Daddy, and I was happy to get that time under whatever circumstances! The death of animals didn’t seem morbid to me. It was just part of the cycle of life! You know – like egg to tadpole, froglet to frog!

But on that particular Saturday, the animal’s young owner was there, crying as Dad hauled her beloved horse into the truck and we drove away. The horse did not represent the cycle of life. It was too young, and so was its owner! That was a day when it was harder to put on a happy face, you know?

This weekend Bob & I are headed to my brother-in-law’s funeral. He was 86. He led a good life. He was a believer who knew where he was headed when he left this earth. But, he had just had a knee replacement – just a week before – and he thought he had a lot of years left to enjoy the greater mobility that knee would give him. However, it is not our privilege to count our days!

Dying is, indeed, part of the cycle of life!

“Everyone who lives
and believes in me
will never die.
Do you believe this?”

— John 11:26

S’pose that horse and sweet little girl will be reunited in Heaven?

It’s the life cycle
Beloved animals die
Are they in Heaven?

Bye for now.
See ya tomorrow –
God willing!

JanBeek

Embrace your Open Heart


No, not like open heart surgery!
It’s your open heart of love and compassion!
It’s an open heart, ready to listen and respond.

In Chapter 8 of Nehemiah,

“…all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”

With open hearts, they “lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord.”

Do you listen eagerly with an expectant mind and heart? Do you listen with a mind that genuinely wants to know more? If so, you will hear the Lord speaking to you when you earnestly pray.

Photo by lucas souza on Pexels.com


Yesterday I was encouraged to listen – to engage “ears that really hear” – as I bowed in reverence to God while up in my sanctuary. I was feeling badly that no one from our Beekman family was scheduled to be in Oregon next Monday for Bob’s brother-in-law’s funeral. Bob’s sister, Bonnie, lost her husband, Stan, last week. Bonnie has three brothers. Two are in California and plan to go to Stan’s burial later this month. It is scheduled to occur in his hometown cemetery in southern CA. But, we are here in Montana … and were not planning to attend either event. We had lots of excuses. None of them seemed to be holding water!

God spoke loudly and clearly to me
as I opened my heart
to His message
in the daily devotional,
In Touch,
by Charles Stanley.

“So many things clamor for our focus,
but nothing is as important
as what the Lord has to say.
He is worthy of our undivided attention.”

“Open your heart,” God said to me.
“Nothing is more important in your life
next week than to be with Bonnie.”

So we will fly to Oregon on Sunday. We will be there to demonstrate our open hearts of love for Bob’s sister and her family. We will not live with “If Only” in our hearts.

It will be a short trip. We’ll return here for those other important obligations on Tuesday… but the Sunday/Monday things can wait. God said “THIS IS MY MESSAGE TO YOU.” And He said it loud and clear. “Open your hearts. Open your wallets. Reschedule what you planned to do here. Find ways to delegate. You’re not indispensable here. Schedule your plane, rental car, and hotel. BE THERE!”

So, dear WordPress friends, if you don’t see a post Sunday or Monday, you’ll know why. How many consecutive days I have posted is not a number that is worth worrying about. Opening our hearts to our loved one who has lost her spouse… that’s the focus!

They were with us when we celebrated Bob’s 80th two years ago.

“Rest assured that whoever listens to God’s Word
with an open heart and alert mind
will receive from Him.”

Charles Stanley

I love the Lord, for He heard my voice;
He heard my cry for mercy.
Because He turned His ear to me,
I will call on Him as long as I live.

Psalm 116:1-2

If God can turn His ear to me
and respond with an open heart of love.
Who am I not to return the gesture?

Are you ready to
EMBRACE YOUR OPEN HEART, too?


I’m off to volunteer this afternoon at the medical center’s vaccination center.
Yay!

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Rising


Embrace your rising –
Overcoming differences,
Gaining Unity.

Embrace compassion
As you rise above hatred
And join Christ in love.

He rose from the dead
That we might be free of sin –
Free to simply love.

The occasion calls
For us to rise up with Him
In common purpose.

One in heart and soul,
We rise above pettiness
Gaining commitment.

We are invited
To rise up and overcome.
Embrace your rising!

Out from the tomb like Jesus…
Up from the grave like Lazarus,
Rise Up!

If Jesus rose from the tomb today…

Have a Blessed Monday!
I send you my love and prayers…
Hugs,
JanBeek

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