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Archive for the ‘Bible Lessons’ Category

Embrace Spontaneity


Do you plan everything out?
Have a day planner filled to the brim?
Well, today I am suggesting you
Let go the plans. Let spontaneity in!!

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Every morning while doing devotionals,
I plan my day hour by hour.
But God often intervenes, and
I relinquish plans to His power.

Yesterday afternoon as I sat
In my chair with my computer,
I received a wonderful phone call
From a neighbor, a lovely recruiter.

Her daughter-in-law was celebrating
Her birthday at their house that night
My friend’s guests cancelled last minute.
We accepted the chance to stand in – with delight!

Spontaneity adds joy to life.
Without it we miss opportunities
To be open to infinite possibilities.
But unchecked, it can lead to calamities!

I love being spontaneous.
Usually it brings me enormous joy.
But, stop a second and ask in prayer,
Is this beneficial or will it destroy?

Last night our spontaneity
Led to an evening of fun and pleasure.
Affirmative thought and an open mind
Can bring you joy beyond measure.

Whitney, Kyndall, Kolby
Robin… the hostess with the mostess!!

Psalm 119:45

“I shall walk at liberty,
for I have sought your precepts.”

Let affirmative thought and an open mind
Be joined every day with sincere prayer.
Ask the Lord to guide your decision-making
And know He is always spontaneously there.

Cheers to you!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I hope you are encouraged to do something spontaneously today.
What will it be?

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

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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 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.”

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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 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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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!

Embrace Questioning


Embrace Questioning!
Do we embrace all questions?
Like, “Are you stupid?”

No, it’s not questions,
But the act of questioning
That deserves embrace.

Not all questions are
Developed with pure motives.
Embrace those that are!

Embrace a pure heart
Full of inquisitiveness.
Ask because you care.

When you meet someone
Ask their name and remember –
Use it lovingly.

Ask about their life.
Listen with sincere interest.
Listening’s a gift.

Questioning’s one thing;
Listening is another.
They go hand in hand.

When I think of questioning with a pure motive and listening with an open heart, I think of Job. Even if you are not a Christian, seeped in the Bible stories, you have heard the expression, “The patience of Job.” (That’s pronounced Jobe… not job, like Steve Jobs, the American business magnate). What made the prophet, Job, come to mind?

Job is presented in the Bible as a good and prosperous family man who is beset by Satan with God‘s permission with horrendous disasters that take away all that he holds dear, including his children, his health, and his property. He struggles to understand his situation and begins a search for the answers to his difficulties. Searching for answers involves questioning. He does so without condemning God. He maintains his trust in God to ultimately work for his good – even when he is in the worst of his turmoil.

What a desolate looking man!
What must he be saying to God?
What questions would you be asking?

What does Job ask God?
“He demands answers from God Himself. Job wants to know why bad things happen to good people. He knows it’s not right, and will not accept the saccharine answers of his friends.”

God, “Why Have You Made Me Your Target”? (Job 7:20)

God explains to Job that to us mere mortals sometimes there are no words—no rationalizations—that can make sense of the unhappiness we endure.

Trauma happens and we have to accept it. Explanations may make us feel better, but they mislead. Ultimately, Job, like all of us, must endure suffering not knowing why … or if the question even counts.

Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.

The Book of Job asks “why good people suffer,” but never actually answers the question. What it does do, is correct misconceptions about why we suffer. The truth of this wonderful tale is that man can’t know everything. 

Again, let me repeat, “Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.”

How does this story relate to your life and mine?
Have you ever questioned why life was
throwing stones at you that you didn’t deserve?

Or have you questioned why you didn’t get a job that you knew you deserved?

This happened recently to my son. He applied for a job that he knew he was qualified for. Another person was chosen instead. He got a form letter of rejection. Instead of falling into a fit of depression or raging in disbelief, he called the person who did get the job and congratulated her. He asked if there was anything he could do to support her in her assignment – and he asked her to keep an eye out in case she saw a position in the future for which she thought he might be a good fit.

Within a day, he received a call back and an extension of his responsibilities was offered along with a significant pay raise.

Now, I’m not suggesting that every time you ask the right questions with the right motive, you’ll get a pay raise!

No, it’s not that simple. But, what embracing questioning does is it changes your focus. The right questions – in the right spirit – make the difference between misery and openness. The difference between depression and expression. The difference between pessimism and positivity.

Embrace a pure heart
Full of inquisitiveness.
Ask because you care.

Don’t question, “Why you?”
Instead ask, “What can I do?”
“Can I be of any help?”

Your attitude counts.
Humility is the key.
Embrace questioning!

My son posted this meme
the day before his interview.

God is good.
All the time!
Even to the Jobs of this world!
Be patient in love.
Your pay raise is coming!!

Hah!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Got any questions??
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Humility


Humility Reigns
Its opposite is boasting
Let others do it!

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with
compassion,
kindness,
humility,
gentleness
and
patience.

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Luke 14:11

For all those who exalt themselves
will be humbled,
and those who humble themselves
will be exalted.”

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With humility
Offer whatever you have
With a cheerful heart

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Good to be brilliant
But bragging about your smarts
Dulls intelligence

Let the compliments –
Accolades about your job –
Come from other folks

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So, be generous
With giving out accolades
Show your gratitude

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Thanks for your service
Thanks for your affirmations
You give so humbly

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Humility Reigns
It’s not easy to achieve
In a “You deserve it” society

Step out of your skin
And step into others’ lives
Everyone needs praise

My favorite singer in the 1950’2

You can find the words
Tell someone they’re marvelous
It’s not hard to do!

Proverbs 27:2

“Let someone else praise you,
and not your own mouth;
an outsider,
and not your own lips.”

Hugs to you
from Bob & me

We think you are marvelous!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Inspiration


“How do you define inspiration?”
I asked my husband, Bob, that question at breakfast this morning.
He said, “Enthusiastic Appreciation that Motivates.”
I nodded. Yes, when we are inspired, the next step is action!

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We may not be inspired to physically climb mountains,
But inspiration will lead us to climb higher than
We would without that motivation, right?
I am motivated to be grateful for all my blessings.

In my gratitude, I know I am blessed to be a blessing.
I am inspired to reach out in love to those around me.
I am inspired to share the things that keep me moving.
I am motivated to want to help my friends move forward, too.

Actions do speak louder than words, but words count!
I can bless my friends and family with affirmative thoughts,
Just as you inspire me by your positive comments.
I am grateful for the way you inspire me.

Today is “Presidents’ Day” in the USA – a day to remember –
Remember and be grateful for the two presidents who
Inspired our nation to form as one union and then to unite
After a Civil War that tore us apart: Washington and Lincoln.

In my Daily Guideposts today, the writer, John Dilworth,
Was inspired by Colossians 3:23 to write about his experience
With President Jimmy Carter’s Air Force One when the
Then President Carter visited the base where he was stationed.

His picture of Air Force One is a reminder of the way
The team of cadets worked at the fueling station
With total commitment, unified teamwork, and
Precise execution to service the President’s plane.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com
(This may not be the president’s plane – but you get the idea)

Col. 3:23

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

What inspires you to total commitment?
When have you experienced total team commitment?
Where have you seen precise execution of a task?
What do you think inspired each of those situations?

John Dilworth ended his message with this:

“Today as we honor our past and current presidents,
I must ask myself, ‘How can I do my best for the president today?’
… One thing we can all do every day is pray for the president.”

Pray for our world’s leaders, for their discernment, safety, and effectiveness.

Here is my Elfchen for today –
Inspired by Proverbs, chapter 15
(An “Elevenie” – poem with 11 words in a pattern of 1,2,3,4,1):

Inspiration
Gentle Answer
Wise loving correction
Happy heart, cheerful face
Understanding

Put on your happy face –
And be inspired to do something for somebody else today.
Start now!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Hearts


Happy Valentine’s Day!!

As I write this,
my heart is breaking.

Broken-Hearted

I just discovered this morning that my dear friend, Leena’s son, Vince, died suddenly on Friday. No warning! He was about the age of my son, Ty. Vince worked at our local grocery store. I saw him there often … always a smile, always a cheerful greeting. He was at work Friday. Friday night after dinner, he was sitting in his chair at home with his parents, and he just stopped breathing. Can you imagine the shock??

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Prayers for All Grieving

My heart is broken
for Leena and Bob and their family.
My prayers go out to all of you
who have lost a loved one this year.

Your hearts are grieving, too,
as you face this first Valentine’s Day
without that special person.
God bless you! Link heartstrings with mine.

Heart strings

In our ZOOM church service this morning,
I provided the “special music.”
It was inspired by the February 14th message
in Charles Stanley’s In Touch Daily Devotional.

“When facing all kinds of difficulties,
many of us have a tendency to power through
in our own strength. But the reality is
that’s never effective – at least not for long.
God wants us to come closer to Him.

When we stay focused on Jesus,
we can take comfort in knowing
He’ll lead us through the hard places.

As you continue walking with Him,
trust that He already knows
what will happen in your life –
and that regardless of what lies ahead,
He will never leave you.”

EMBRACE HEARTS
Lord, link mine to yours –
And link ours to one another.
Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com
Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow

Embrace Hearts with one another –
Offer your love and support to heal.
Heal the broken-hearted by sharing.
Share your love with a song or a meal.

Not everyone has a heart full of love today;
Some are feeling quite empty.
Lord, fill their hearts with the love of God –
And encourage others to “Go With Him” today.

Hugs from JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Blooming


Let’s embrace blooming –
Both the blooming of flowers
As well as ideas.

Let’s embrace blooming –
Blooming of plants and ideas
As well as people.

Let’s embrace blooming –
Blooming of people today;
The world needs blossoms!

Charles StanleyIn Touch Magazine cover

One is fully bloomed –
One is on its way to bloom –
A couple are curled.

To fully open,
We must face toward the Son Light.
Do not turn away!

You, too??

Blossoms need sunlight.
We need the light of the Son
In order to bloom.

Isaiah 35:1-2a

“The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.”

Your soul will sparkle;
It will bloom and grow in love
If you walk humbly.

As long as Christ leads
We can make it all the way;
We can bloom and thrive.

Let your blossoms dance!
Follow in obedience.
Let your spirit shine.

My choice for the look alike contest.
Don’t you love those smiles?
“Smilers never lose, and frowners never win.”
Listen to the song below!!

Your smile’s contagious
When you blossom from inside.
Let’s Embrace Blooming!

You deserve this award!

Your blogging sparkles
And your face reflects the Son.
You’re brilliant and bright!

Fertilize others
With words of encouragement.
Continue to bloom!

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com
God bless You!!

My heart bubbles over with gratitude for God’s Bright and Brilliant Light.
May it continue to bubble over in our hearts and lives.
“Open up your heart and let the sunshine in!”
Listen to the sunny song below –
It’s a favorite from my childhood.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

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