Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

Have you Missed me?


I have tried posting on my blog since arriving in England. It won’t allow my pictures. Don’t desert me, though. Hang tight. I’ll be back, it’ll be worth the wait! Meantime, follow me on FB, ok?

http://www.Facebook.com/JanBeekman

Embrace Shortness


I’m five feet nothing.
That’s short.
But, I embrace shortness.
It’s fun!

However,
No one ever says
I’m beautiful
That’s reserved
for the statuesque.

But – cute?
Yup!

Photo by Anastasiya Gepp on Pexels.com
“Cute as a bunny”
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com
“Cute as a button”

Belly button??

It’s not just people and buttons and bunnies that are sometimes short.

Your temper can be short.

No one embraces a short temper!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I came across a short today…
One that I want to embrace:
It’s an invitation to a short story –
Really short –
Six words!

https://figmentsofadutchess.com/category/six-word-stories/

On her post, Marion Driessen
invited her readers to try it…
try writing a six word story.

Oh, I discovered later that the invitation
was posted on Posted on .
Do you suppose it still is valid?

I’m going to try it…
just a short trial.
I can embrace the fun of it…
Even if it is out of date!

She challenged her readers,
Write a story about SUPERSTITION in just six words.
Let a photo or image inspire you to write a story.
Or first write the story,
and then make or search
for a picture to go with it.

Then she suggested,
Publish your Six word story on your own website/blog
and paste the link to that post
in a comment to this one here at Figments. 
I will include your contribution in this post, forming a list of stories.”

OK… here’s mine!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Black cat crossed my path –
Doomed!

Photo by Isabella Mendes on Pexels.com

Yup, I’m doomed!
No way this short post
is gonna end up on
Marion’s website.

But, oh well,
it was fun anyway.
My blog is all about
spreading HOPE.
We can hope, can’t we?

You wanna try a six word short story?

Go ahead…
just for the fun of it!

Embrace Shortness!

Embrace Tenacity


When I searched to see if I have used this theme of tenacity already this year, I found a link to “Tenacity Defined” written a couple of years ago … before I started the current “Embrace” series. So, I decided it was OK to use the theme again because I have whole different take on it now.

https://janbeek.blog/2019/11/18/tenacity-defined/

So much has happened in these last three years since that 2018 post. Among the defining “happenings” is COVID-19. Impacting my view of life has been the way in which the pandemic exposed some of our worst tendencies. The issue of racism raised its ugly head. (I guess it never really was hidden)… but … In spite of the tenacity of people who to this day follow the non-violent teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., there has been an increase in violent crime – and especially racially motivated hatred.

I saw images of people of Asian descent being knocked to the ground, innocent little Chinese ladies being beaten, and people standing by observing these horrendous acts – and doing nothing to stop them.

Where does tenacity fit in to this line of thinking?

Jeremy Liew from Riverside, Connecticut wrote in Time Magazine this week, “The last year made me comfortable with being uncomfortable.” In his article titled, Newfound Empathy, he explains his discomfort, ending with, “I am still uncomfortable, but now I am confident. I appreciate who I am. I am grateful for what I have – my education and health, and my three annoying sisters.”

Jeremy’s tenacious attitude, at the tender young age of 13, does not come magically. He must have some role models out there who are helping him appreciate his uniqueness, and value his attributes.

The song’s theme of “Never Give Up” reminds me that change comes slowly, but it comes. Like MLK,Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech, we need to adopt that attitude of hope. Tenaciously hang on to HOPE. And then we need to live it! We need to be able to say, along with Jeremy Liew, “I am confident.”

Mom’s cardboard of poems

In 1936, when she was a bride, transplanted from Washington to central California, my mom had a habit of cutting favorite poems out of the newspaper and taping them to a piece of cardboard. She hung that cardboard inside her kitchen cabinet.

It is now hanging inside my kitchen cabinet here in Montana. I treasure it… and I hold tenaciously to the lessons those various poems teach me. What a legacy, huh? The poem above was brought to mind today by Ann Koplow’s wonderful blog. She titled her post:

Tell me something good

Ann KoplowThe Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Mom’s poem (poet unknown) ends with this stanza:

“Wouldn’t life be lots more happy,
If we praised the good we see?
For there’s such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me.”

It takes TENACITY to look for and find the good in others. But it is so worth it!! I have a plaque in my dining room that reminds me of this fact. Here it is:

In that Time Magazine article, Jeremy Liew went on to explain, “I was uncomfortable being singled out for how I look (I am an Asian American Pacific Islander). A year ago, people looked at me as f I had COVID-19 or brought it to my community…”

Since when do we traumatize people because of the way they look? Since when do we marginalize them and make them feel inferior?

You say, “Since time immortal”??

Well, I say, “Well, It is time to make a change!”

As the song at the top of this blog says, “I will take a chance to be who I’m meant to be. I won’t let fear keep me from trying. It’s time for me to make a change. Start living the life I want. I’m gonna reach for the sky way up high. I’m never giving up. It’s up to me to see who I can be. Make change reality. I’m never giving up.”

Not only do I need to live the life I want and be who God made me to be, but I need to spread that message to others. Find the gold in them. Encourage them to be all that God made them to be, too.

One of my favorite bloggers is Cristian Mihai “The Art of Blogging” … If you go to his About page and read his explanation of who he is, you will see that it ends with these 4 lines:

Sometimes I think I am who I am because someone has to be.

I believe it’s always strangers who ask the most difficult question.

‘Who are you?

I just wrote 1,500 words and I’m still not sure you know who I am.

https://cristianmihai.net/2020/11/23/who-the-fk-is-cristian-mihai/

https://cristianmihai.net/2021/06/24/a-simple-framework-for-using-your-inner-critic-to-your-advantage/

That last link is one of Cristian’s blogs that I think is so powerful that I told him he needs to bookmark it and read it when he is 80, because he writes about the trials of being a 20-something-year-old. He writes it now as a 31-year-old who has wisened beyond his years. He looks at life through very unique lenses. He is tenacious about passing along to others “The Art of Blogging” with the hope of improving us all.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

The road to our best self is a long and arduous one. No one ever said it was gonna be easy. After all, we’re only human! But in our humanity is a divine core. We were made in God’s image. We are His Beloved. So, when I talk about finding the gold, that’s the core I am talking about.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

Do you have something you are needing to do? Something you might feel ill equipped to accomplish? Or maybe, just not as strong as you thought you might be… and needing to take it one baby step at a time? Well, that’s where tenacity comes in. Start slowly… work yourself up to the full extent of your power … the power of the Holy Spirit in you.

Photo by Nina Uhlu00edkovu00e1 on Pexels.com

Mom used to tell me, “Everything worth having is worth working for!”

I believe it.
And that includes things like
love,
equality,
unity,
strength,
freedom,
peace,
clarity,
and
direction.


One thought at a time.
One step at a time.
One act at a time.

Embrace Tenacity!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Growth


Growth comes in many different forms
Physical, psychological, spiritual –
Three of the ways we grow.
Am I growing?
Are you?
Huh?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes, like the caterpillar,
We have to STOP to grow.
We have to hide out.
We learn to quit.
Don’t push.
Rest.

Photo by Manuela Adler on Pexels.com

So, I determined several days to rest.
I rested last week and yesterday.
I didn’t come here to blog.
Hear the Holy Spirit.
Settle my mind.
Listen.

My days of rest from blogging
Were focused on listening –
Receiving His guidance,
Feeling God leading,
Really tuning in,
Growing.

Photo by Ryanniel Masucol on Pexels.com


Now I’m sitting with a box on my head.
I’m waiting expectantly –
Hoping that someone
Will lift the box –
Lead me
Home.


And when I am again safely home,
Lift the box and help me
Emerge from chrysalis
To spread my wings
And grow into
Butterfly!


Embrace Growth!

Happy Sunday to you!


May this be a week of emergence and growth.

Hugs to you!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Cheers!

Embrace Your Passion


Embrace your passion –
Figure out just what it is,
Then LIVE your passion.

Yesterday I lived –
I lived passionately –
But I did not blog.

Even though blogging
Is an important passion,
I did not write it.

Sometimes you need to
Set aside pen and paper –
Set aside writing –

And LIVE your passion!
I listened to the Spirit
And followed its voice.

Photo by Prashant Gautam on Pexels.com

My most important passion is what this blog’s sub-title spells out: spreading love, joy, peace, faith and unity.

In the process of living out my faith, I spend time every morning in my “SanctuAiree” among the angels, Bibles, devotionals, birds level with me in the trees, and the Holy Spirit alive and well. surrounding and in me. I listen for that still small voice – and try to obey its directives.

As the contact person and secretary for our Pastor Nominating Committee, I have worked consistently for over a year – collaboratively with my wonderful, dedicated team – to find the pastor we think God has in mind for us. We see a light at the end of the tunnel … and are praying for wisdom and discernment. Yesterday I worked on that project. I am passionate about helping to find the “right” person to lead our congregation into the future. It is a huge responsibility – and we take it very seriously.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do you have a project about which you are passionate? Are you living that passion? Do you see a light at the end of your tunnel? I’d love to hear about it.

Have you defined your purpose in blogging? Are you feeling like your purpose is being fulfilled? Are you passionate about it? Cristian Mihai in “The Art of Blogging” tells us often that unless we are writing about things we are passionate about, our messages will fall flat.

Sometimes I feel that my messages are not resonating with my readers. When I get that feeling, I have to back up and ask myself, “Who are you writing for?” If one or two of you respond, if I have reached into the heart of just one other blogging friend out there, that has to be enough. It’s not a numbers game! YOU are the only reader who matters. I am sharing my passion with YOU.

My passion is to LIVE in such a way that at the end of the day, I can say to myself, “I did what the Holy Spirit called me to do today, and I did it with gusto. I did my best – and now I can rest.”

My daddy and my Holy Father in Heaven said,
“Well done, Jan!”
Their voices matter!

Embrace Your Passion!

See ya tomorrow
(God willing)…
JanBeek

Embrace Expectation


Photo by Laura Garcia on Pexels.com

What do you expect
When you hear “Expectation”?

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.”

Photo by ritonn.photo on Pexels.com
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 Wonder


Do you ever wonder what’s real and what’s not?
Do you wonder what’s truth and what’s fiction?
Do you wonder why certain things happen?
Do you wonder what tomorrow will bring?

What if you grew up with a dad
Who was a Special Effects Artist?
What would the world seem like
To you if this was your daily reality?

Special Effects Video

Ever wonder what life would be like
If you had not met the person who
Is front and center in your life now?
Who would be with you instead?

Smooshed kisses –
Watch out noses!!

Ever wonder how God created
The beauty of a rainbow or sunset?
The colors of the variety of birds?
Or every zebra’s stripes unique?

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com
Double rainbows – no less!!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
No two are alike!!

Ever wonder how He could make
Each snowflake different?
Each eye unique – unlike any other?
Each voice to sound like no other?

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com
No two are alike… amazing!!
Each eye is unique.
No two are the same.
Amazing!!

Did you ever wonder if our eyes grow over our lifetime? When we’re born, our eyes are about two-thirds smaller than they’ll be when we reach adulthood. People’s eyes stop growing in length by the age of 20-21, when they reach about 24 millimeters. But the weight of the eyes’ lenses continue to increase over time. Isn’t that a wonder?

Ever wonder how I knew that? Used to be we had a huge set of encyclopedia that we bought from a door-to-door salesman. Encyclopedia Britannica. Outdated by the time it was published. Ask Siri today. Ask Alexa. Carry your encyclopedia in your pocket. Ever wonder how our kids could survive without their cell phones?… And about those voices:

People recognize us by our voices.

Ever wonder what life would be like
If the only thing we bothered to talk about
Was the good that we see in others?
This is a poem my mom had memorized:

Wouldn’t this old world be better
If the folks we meet would say
“I know something good about you,”
And then treat us just that way?

Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy
If each handclasp warm and true
Carried with it this assurance,
“I know something good about you”?

Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If the good that’s in us all
Were the only thing about us
That folks bothered to recall?

Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If we praised the good we see?
For there’s such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me.

Wouldn’t it be nice to practice
That fine way of thinking, too?
You know something good about me!
I know something good about you.

(Louis C. Shimon)

Mom posted that poem along with many others on a cardboard that she had hanging inside her kitchen cabinet door. She gathered the poems as a new bride in 1937. They were cut from the weekly newspaper. I have that cardboard posted inside my kitchen cabinet door here in Montana. It’s fading fast and becoming harder and harder to read… but I have most of them memorized now, too!

Ever wonder what your life would be like
If you were born to a different mother?
You wouldn’t be you, would you?
What if your mother had different attributes?

My mother loved poetry (obviously) –
And so that love of words well spoken
Rubbed off on me – and I wonder
What would life be like without poetry?

I wonder what life will be like
when there is no more COVID-19.

Laura Sullivan is a musical artist
Whose poetry and piano expertise
I shared with you in a previous blog:
https://janbeek.blog/2020/12/15/shared-poetry-music/

Ever wonder what this world would be like
Without the wonder of music?
The streams would have to stop and
The wind would have to cease.

Ever wonder how one could live happily
Without having a sense of wonder?
What do you wonder about, my friend?
What gives you a sense of awe and wonder?

(By the way, that “Nature Sounds” video will play for 10 hours.
Do you think the image or sound will change after a while?
Ever wonder how they did that?)


Sending my love and hugs.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Wonder which of your friends
would like a link to this post?

Bob & Jan
at breakfast
on our 59th anniversary
yesterday.

Thank you for all your positive comments and good wishes.
I wonder what blogging would be like if I didn’t have YOU in it?
Not a pretty thought!

EMBRACE WONDER!!
Come back tomorrow.

Embrace Blueness


Reblogging a fellow blogger’s post… Thank you, mkvecchitto!


A Renewing Force Within
by mkvecchitto

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Malleable are lists of sins we accrue

a barter between gains we’ve won and debts we owe

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

Exhausting – holding this constant guard

Even stormy melancholy seas are drenched in

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Healing power pulses in each flaw

like a broken heart that still beats

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I was going to call my blog today “Embrace Healing,” but the I came across the post above. I decided that post is a gift in blueness – and it speaks more to my mood today than “healing” does.

Today I am blue… because the note I received from my former student’s mother-in-law, Marilyn, left me with no hope for Ty Stiles’ earthly healing. I studied my broken heart and looked again at Marilyn’s words. “He told Roxann [his wife] that he is ready to go to Heaven.” As I prayed for Ty’s last days, I looked at that broken heart again.

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

Did you ever realize that the two parts of a broken heart are angel’s wings?
Look again!

God’s angels spoke to me and reminded me that death is not final. Jesus conquered death. Ty is a believer. Ty is called according to His purpose. Yesterday Ty’s church members gathered outside his home for a prayer vigil. One of his cousins made the gathering into a FaceTime chat so he could see/hear the prayers being offered on his behalf (and if he was unable to hear and comprehend, at least I know his wife, Roxann, could. The prayers were for her, as well.

As I shared in my “Embrace Reassurance” blog a couple days ago, God hears. God cares. God answers. Sometimes HEALING does not come in the form of a magical cure. Sometimes it comes as RELEASE.

Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.

God bless Ty Stiles!

My heart is with you as you leave the pain
and embrace the beautiful blueness of Christ’s Kingdom.
Someday I’ll join you there, Ty.
Meantime, keep the Pearly Gates polished!

Thanks for joining me at JanBeek
and thank you for praying for Ty and Roxann.
See you tomorrow.

Embrace Extravagance


What?
Embrace Extravagance?
I have to be kidding, right?

Photo by Kamaji Ogino on Pexels.com

Extravagance is kin to outlandish.
Extravagance means excessive.
Right?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wrong!
Extravagance doesn’t need to mean outlandish.
It can be thought of as abundance.

Extravagance is
Abundance of some good food –
Okay if it’s shared!

Extravagance is
An abundance of pure love –
Beautiful when shared

Extravagance is
The overflow of blessings –
Lovely gifts from God

Life is extravagantly wonderful!

When the night sky touches your soul,
When other bloggers touch your inner core,
It’s a sign of the extravagance of others
That keeps you longing for more

In his “Keys to Living Life”

Today, January 24, 2021, Rahul Gaur wrote a blog so powerful that I HAD to share it. First I tweeted it. I have never shared someone else’s blog by tweeting it before. I have reblogged a few. This one is so impactful that I need you to click on Rahul’s name and go to it. See it for yourself. It is extravagantly beautiful! Here are a couple of sentences that particularly touched me:

“The soul is the lost intuition
and the listening switch of your body.
When you need to see things beyond as they are,
to see things as they were meant to be,
you listen to the orchestra of your soul.⁣”

I listened with my soul to today’s sermon

Sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana

Thy Kingdom Come

“Thy Kingdom Come” is
a political statement –
Except we believe
in a heavenly kingdom.

It’s not a worldly kingdom.
It is “THY” kingdom come.
Let God’s Kingdom reign,
Not MY domain – not MY will.

As a pastor, I am sometimes
Guilty of saying, “Look at me!”
I do the “my” and not “Thy” message
And have to learn to lose self.

We all need to learn to be
De-throned … and let
God’s Kingdom be the focus.
Peace, reconciliation & hope are God’s.

God’s Kingdom is not attainable
On our earth. It is not!
Utopia here in our world
Is not within our reach.

No earthly political order
Will ever be the Kingdom of God.
God’s Kingdom is like a seed.
It’s like a net in the water.

The seed one day will sprout.
The net will gather fish.
God’s work on earth is extravagant,
But the Kingdom is elusive here.

The Kingdom of God is at the door.
It takes eyes of faith to see
What lies beyond the threshold.
It is there though we see it not.

When we say “Thy Kingdom COME,”
We might more easily say GO.
Go from You into me…
God’s Kingdom lives in each of us.

It’s an awesome fact that
The Kingdom of God is in you.
We must not lose hope or faith
And we must not live in satisfaction.

Never be satisfied with what is.
Only when we submit to God’s Kingdom
Does it really COME. So care!
Care for the poor; release greed and pettiness.

It’s liberating to know when
We turn our lives and our futures
Over to our Extravagant God –
We’ll see His Kingdom coming into the world.

Amen?

“Listen to the orchestra of your soul.”
Rahul Gaur
Keep you ears open to soulful listening…
Thank you, Rahul, for your blog.
Thank you, Rev. Steve, for your message.
Thank You, God, for your Kingdom of Love.

Embrace Extravagance!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

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