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Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Embrace Christmas Memories


Time with family is memorable, indeed
We’re grateful for the ones who embrace the holiday mood
We’re blessed to have them open their home
And share their love and delicious food.

Our daughter, De, in Switzerland
shared photos of their beautiful meal
Imagine how plates like these
enchant your guests (think how they feel)!

The family in far-off Europe
included our grandsons with our De
I’m grateful for the internet
and the pictures she shared with me.

Nick, De, Mike & Chris

Here in California
Eleven of us gathered round –
add two big, rambunctious dogs
and laugh as kids and animals clowned.

Christmas Day was a time for fun
with love and gifts exchanged
Friends shared photos of their day
Our family did, too … we got arranged!

Thank you, Ty & Monika
for your gracious hospitality –
we’re blessed to have our son & spouse
share their life & love with Bob & me.

I pray your day was blessed
and you celebrated Christ’s birth
with those you love gathered round –
good food, warm hugs, and lots of mirth!

A note for this day-after-Christmas-morning: Faith (our granddaughter) and Kyle were headed home to S.Lake Tahoe last night and about 3 hours later had to turn around and come back to Placerville. The road ahead was closed due to heavy snow and lots of accidents ahead. The good news is that they were not involved in one of them… and we’re all safe and sound… feeling blessed!

Merry Christmas!
Bee 🐝 well!
Bee blessed!

Keep the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love in your heart year-round! May Jesus remain alive in you!

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Baby Jesus


jesus christ figurine
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

 

If you look for Me at Christmas

You won’t need a special star-

I’m no longer just in Bethlehem,

I’m right there where you are.

You may not be aware of Me

Amid the celebrations-

You’ll have to look beyond the stores

And all the decorations.

But if you take a moment

From your list of things to do

And listen to your heart, you’ll find

I’m waiting there for you.

You’re the one I want to be with,

You’re the reason that I came,

And you’ll find Me in the stillness

As I’m whispering your name.

Love, Jesus

 

background close up day daytime
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Merry Christmas, dear Blogging Friends.
May your day be filled with
love, hugs, and opportunities
to reflect on the real Reason for the Season.

I first posted this poem in 2018.
I decided it was worth posting again this year
because many of you are new followers,
and some of you who saw it three years ago
may have forgotten it … I did!

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Merry Christmas to you!

Celebrate that precious baby today.
Put Jesus in your heart to stay-
Carry Him with you in a blessed 2022…
We’re counting on it to be better each day!

What are your post-Christmas plans?
We’re getting ready to celebrate
my girlfriend, Sue’s birthday the 28th
and Bob 83rd b’day – the 29th the date.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace the Christ Child


One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know?”
The lyric I like most in it is, “Mary, did you know,
when you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God?”

And one of my favorite versions of the song is sung by the Pentatonix…

Have a listen… the words are powerful
and this quintet is magnificent!!

Did you know, the sleeping child you’re holding is the Great I Am?

Have a very meaningful Christmas!
Remember the meaning of the One.
Embrace the Christ Child – and
Thank God for His Only Son!

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.”

God bless you and your loved ones this Christmas.
I am praying for your health and happiness…
and for your faith in Christ which gives you eternal life –
Guaranteed!

Thank you, God!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Have a beautiful Christmas eve!
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Mi Familia


Mi Familia is such a blessing
We’re so glad we are here
The trip was long and arduous
But we traveled without fear

We knew God was with us
Your prayers were felt for sure
Thank you, God, for safety
With You our trip was secure

God bless “Mi Familia!” It is so good to be with them! Monika, our daughter-in-law, is taking the picture. That’s Ruthie & Darrell, her parents, on the left. Our son, Ty, is at the head of the table there… and of course, Bob & me. We’ll be joined on Christmas day by our grandson, Jordan, and his family – – – and our granddaughter, Faith, and her husband. They are expecting their first child (a baby girl) in April. We are so excited for them!

Monika and Ruthie fixed a wonderful dinner last night:
salmon and veggies and potatoes.
Yum!

We spent time talking
about our heritage
and remarking about
how much Ty looks like my dad,
his Grandpa Sal.
Can you see the resemblance?

Then we had fun
giving Bob a bad time
about his “honker!”
See how he inherited his nose
from his paternal great-grandfather Davis?
That’s his dad’s mother’s father.

Prior to dinner
we took time to toast “Cheers!”
to all the family and friends
who prayed us safely here –
and gave thanks to God
for answered prayers.

Outside the weather was chilly,
rainy, and then foggy …
but the spirit of Christmas
was alive and well,
warm and inviting.

Across the continent – and over the Atlantic to Switzerland,
our crazy, fun-loving grandson, Nick
(and his sweetheart Celine)
celebrated the birthday of the King
in their own way with a milkshake
from the Burger King!

Don’t you love the way the internet
shrinks the world and brings
“Familia” into our lives
from around the world?

Merry Christmas to you,
my dear blogging friends.
I pray that you have a meaningful,
love-filled holiday
with your family gathered round.

Remember the Reason for the Season…
and bring that Christ Child into your family circle.

God bless you.
Let me know what your Christmas plans are, okay?
I look forward to hearing from you…
and I thank you so much
for following my blog.
I post with you in my heart and prayers.

Bee Happy!
Bee Well!

I send my love and hugs.
Have a wonderful time with your family!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Bible Study


Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Tonight I enjoyed sharing the Bible
with friends at our local nursing center.
It’s a privilege to get to know these folks
whose hearts are soft and tender.

The Bible lesson tonight from Psalms
was about how to handle despair.
We all face such emotions at times –
especially during holidays everywhere.

When our families are far away
and we have no way of traveling,
it feels to some they are “trapped”
and their lives are unraveling.

But while Psalm 42 begins in sorrow,
expressing ways life is unfair,
the tone quickly changes to joy
when touting the wonders of prayer.

Psalm 42: 1-8

As the deerf pants for streams of water,g

so my soul pantsh for you, my God.

My soul thirstsi for God, for the living God.j

When can I gok and meet with God?

My tearsl have been my food

day and night,

while people say to me all day long,

“Where is your God?”m

These things I remember

as I pour out my soul:n

how I used to go to the house of Godo

under the protection of the Mighty Oned

with shouts of joyp and praiseq

among the festive throng.r

Why, my soul, are you downcast?s

Why so disturbedt within me?

Put your hope in God,u

for I will yet praisev him,

my Saviorw and my God.x

My soul is downcast within me;

therefore I will remembery you

from the land of the Jordan,z

the heights of Hermona—from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deepb

in the roar of your waterfalls;

all your waves and breakers

have swept over me.c

By day the Lord directs his love,d

at nighte his songf is with me—

a prayer to the God of my life.g

Photo by Oliver Sju00f6stru00f6m on Pexels.com

We talked about the way a waterfall
endlessly sends its spray below
and washes away all debris
in its consistent, cleansing flow.

God does that for each of us
when we turn to Him in prayer.
He washes away despair and
replaces it with love beyond compare.

At night God’s song reverberates
in our souls as we fall asleep.
“Joy to the World” we sang –
His peace is ours to keep.

May the peace of the Baby Jesus
be yours these precious holidays.
Live at peace with others –
and share Christ’s love always!

Tell others about the Good News
and let them know that God’s Word
is your ticket to peace and joy.
Let your actions be love that’s heard.

Lead or join a Bible Study
and let the message come alive
in the way you live each day.
Let’s all help the Good News to thrive.

Amen?

Merry Christmas season, my friends.
Be sure to take time for Bible Study each day…
It’ll brighten your path with the Lord’s Word as a lantern.

Do you have a favorite verse that speaks to you today?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace the Flow


Although the flow
May feel like a free fall,
Embrace the flow.
There’s Someone at your call.

He’s right there to catch you
When you’re about to land.
He won’t let you crash –
He’ll hold out His hand!

Yesterday Bob & I dashed off to Bozeman for three reasons –
and there ended up being four… oh actually five:

  1. Drop off his pickup at “Dark Horse Snug Tops” to replace the hinge on his hatch cover
  2. Go to an appointment with the nephrologist (what’s that? -the doctor who deals with the branch of medicine related to physiology and diseases of the kidneys-)
  3. Keep an appointment with the cardiologist (you all know that’s a heart doctor), and an unexpected
  4. X-ray of his abdomen… oh, and I was there for a 5th reason:
  5. To shop for the veggies to make vegetable soup for tomorrow’s fellowship at church

We were hoping that the nephrologist would say his kidneys show no signs of protein or amyloid deposits – and so a biopsy would not be necessary. God answered that prayer!

We were hoping the cardiologist would say all the preliminary tests are done and show no signs of AL Amyloidosis (the cancerous kind) – and so no more labs and scans before our trip to Mayo Clinic in January. God answered that prayer.

The unexpected x-ray showed yes, the abdomen area is full of air (that’s why it sounds like a kettle drum when you tap on it) – but it’s not fluid – and he’s not showing signs like pain or vomiting – so we won’t deal with that issue right now. God is good! We trust His timing on this – (and all our other decisions).

I got my veggie shopping done (Thanks, CostCo, for your lovely fruits and veggies) – and …

The pickup latch cover hinge was fixed and BONUS: they replaced the key mechanism that was troubling (God answers prayers you didn’t know to mention … He’s way ahead of you!)

So, go with the flow…

John 7:38

“Out of the believer’s heart
will flow rivers of living water.”

Today’s word in Unity‘s Daily Word is FLOW. The introductory thought is, “I flow with the nourishing life of God.” John 7:38 is the featured scripture. The devotional (quoting Lao Tzu) says, “The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things, without trying to.”

As believers, we know that “supreme good” is God. We know God is “The Flow.”

Unity‘s Daily Word goes on to say, “Whether I experience this flow as a current of a river, the swelling of ocean waves, or my body’s life-sustaining circulation, I am in sync with this flow, which by its nature knows which way to go and what to do.”

How refreshing is that thought to you? It nourishes my soul. By the Holy Spirit, I know God’s life is in me – moving, changing, dancing and singing. I am one with the flow. I need not dash and rush and worry about things happening on time! I need not worry about Bob’s heart and kidneys, his abdomen or his pickup. I need not worry about his lack of stamina on the drive home. Just go with the flow – and trust. Follow along in the car – and honk if his pickup drifts and he seems to be falling asleep!!

Sometimes the flow is slow and steady … and I am out there in a fiery mood, trying to rush it along.

Don’t be in a rush
To try to get too much done.
Let the smooth flow of God
Stop you mid-run!

Delight in the sneakiness
Of a red sunset’s glow,
And take time to relish
The soft taste of snow.

Embrace the joy
Of vegetables’ texture and smell,
The magic of herbs as they cook,
And bid stressing farewell!

Embrace the flow
Of God in your life.
Let Him slow you down
As you eliminate strife.

Don’t worry about health.
Don’t stress over unfinished tasks.
Just go with the flow –
And take time for some laughs!

Overflow this Advent season
with the love of Christ Jesus,
the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
and the easy flow of God
answering prayers
in your life.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace the Flow!

And Have a Relaxed, blessed Advent Season!

Embrace Mary


Christmas is coming
You see it everywhere you look these days.
But…
It’s not a “Merry Christmas”
I am wishing for you!
It’s a “Mary Christmas!”
That’s in contrast to a “Martha Christmas!”

Luke 10:38-42

New International Version

At the Home of Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Are You Mary or Martha?

If I am not totally aware,
it is easy for me to fall into the Martha role.
Company is coming!
I love entertaining.

But, if I am busy being Martha,
I find at the end of the evening
I didn’t engage
in a meaningful conversation
with anyone!

“Oh, Jan, Jan!” Jesus would say to me,
“prepare for your guests in advance,
so when they come,
you can sit down
and enjoy their company!”

But what if guests pop in unexpected?
Should I be the Mary who lets Martha do all the work?
Surely there is a happy medium here somewhere!

Work or Shirk?

If company pops in unexpected,
drop everything and enjoy the surprise!
They didn’t come to see your house.
They probably didn’t come to eat your food.
They are there to see you!
So it’s not a question of work or shirk!

Put on a smirk –
take off the apron –
set aside the work!

If you convince them to stay
and enjoy a snack or a meal with you,
invite them in to your kitchen
and continue to enjoy one another
as you fix up some goodies together!


‘Tis the season to enjoy the love of company –
‘Tis the season to spread the joy
and remember the reason for the season.
It ain’t stressin’ yourself out with
decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping,
and
entertaining like Martha!

It’s Mary –
the Christ Child –
the simplicity of the stable –
the spontaneity of good friends –
and the Good News!

Mary Christmas!

Have yourself a Mary Christmas!

Love to you…
Pop in – and sit awhile!

Let’s listen to some relaxing Christmas music
and have a cup o’ tea or hot cocoa!

Hugs,

JanBeek

Embrace LoveLiving


What is “LoveLiving”?
Duh, it is living in love!
Uh, but every day?

Are we allowed angst?
Are some days just terrible?
Are you wondering?

How do folks do it?
How do folks just hang in there?
We all face tough days!

Mom & Dad

Today would have been
My mom and dad’s 80th.
Don’t they look happy?

But don’t let smiles
Fool you into false thinking.
Days weren’t always great!

Sometimes Mom shouted
In frustration at my dad.
He’d just grin at her.

His was the sweetest
Grin and the biggest of hugs.
No one could stay mad.

But it’s not healthy
To keep everything inside.
He should have shouted!!

Silence brings ulcers!
LoveLiving ain’t always soft.
Sometimes it is hard!

Jesus taught us that!
He wasn’t always smiling,
Yet always loving.

Holidays are hard.
Families don’t always agree.
Disagree in love.

LoveLiving is loud.
Cry out loud if you need to.
Tell folks how you feel.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

But, no fair fighting!
Compassionately share all
And avoid ulcers!

Let your family in.
Share emotions openly.
Do it with respect.

Respect is the key
To living in love each day.
It is essential.

It will be 60
Years of marriage in two months.
Sixty LoveLiving.

Was it always fun?
No, there were troubling times.
But, we prayed them through.

Faith is essential.
Like a rope with three tough strands:
You, me, and the Lord!

Bonnie Beekman Hunt and Stan Hunt

At our granddaughter’s
Wedding two plus years ago,
All four Beekmans danced.

We were the last ones
Left on the dance floor to show
The fruits of long love.

Four Beekman siblings,
All married fifty-five plus.
Wasn’t always fun!

Bob & me at
Bonnie & Stan’s wedding

Shortly after this
I foolishly broke us off.
But Bob was steadfast.

He’s true LoveLiving.
Said, “Not YOUR way or MY way,
But it is OUR way!”

It’s so fortunate
That I bought into that stance!
So blessed with this man!

Here we are
at DeAna’s wedding

Then, twenty-five years
Later, our daughter, DeDe
Married her sweetheart.

Our LoveLiving has
Rubbed off on her and Andre’…
Not always easy!

But, sticking it out
Through the good days and the bad
Pays off in the end.

Monika and Ty with
DeAna and Andre’

Our son and his wife,
Ty and Monika Beekman,
Practice LoveLiving.

They celebrated
Thirty-two years together
This last September.

Ain’t always easy.
Some days a wing and a prayer
Were all that tied them.

Monika & Ty

But, LoveLiving is
Knowing it’s great to forgive,
And growing in love.

LoveLiving is hard.
Jesus never promised ease.
But He is with us.

Our Lord promised us
He’d help in times of trouble.
All we do is ask!

Jesus carries us
When our burdens feel heavy.
LoveLiving is hard!

Jesus carries us
When we can’t walk on our own.
Let Him lift you up.

Jesus quiets us
When we are feeling let down.
Give him your worries!

With holiday time
Comes the pressure we create
With long to-do lists.

Often we just need
To set all those lists aside
And do LoveLiving!

Seek the Lord’s presence.
Imitate acts of kindness.
Let His LoveLight shine!

Happy LoveLiving, my friends.
What will you do this week to spread the
LoveLight that shares the
REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON?

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com


May the Lord Bless and Keep You.
I send you lots of hugs and cheer.
JanBeek

Too Big a Pill to Swallow?


Is that idea of a virgin birth
too big a pill for you to swallow?
It gets in the way of faith
for a whole lot of folks.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon
by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, MT
dealt with that subject…
the virgin birth.
He titled it:

Conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and Born of the Virgin Mary


It’s a stumbling block for many
To think of a baby born of a virgin…
The idea can seem like a fairy tale.
It can be a pill too big to swallow.

Some people believe Christ was
Half God and half human.
Only One who is fully God
Can atone for our sins.

Only one who is fully human
Can experience our suffering and pain.
So many deny Jesus’ duality:
Jesus was born divine and became human.

Philippians 2:7
“But made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.”


This verse is our first statement of faith:
He found Himself as human
And humbled Himself.
He chose to be dependent on humans.

Jesus could not have been born
Without that simple peasant girl;
And He suffered all the human pain
And a cruel and painful death.

It’s a gigantic leap of faith
To fully believe the virgin birth.
But, take comfort in knowing
Even the disciples had trouble.

Even though they walked
With Jesus on this earth,
They had trouble believing
He was the Holy Son of God.

The initial act of faith
Is not that total belief.
The initial act of faith
Is to invite Jesus into your heart.

When your own life is changed
By the love of Christ in you,
Then your faith will grow;
You will share that faith with others.

Jesus sees the pearls in the dust.
Not what we are, but
What God intends us to become.
In Christ, our faith can help us get there.

We don’t begin as full believers.
We begin as that dependent manger child.
We begin looking for a Teacher of Wisdom,
And Jesus, the Holy Son of God enters.

Let Him walk with you.
Let Him help your faith to grow.
When it comes to faith,
The heart is one step ahead of the intellect!

Pastoral Prayer

by Steve Hundley

We have run our yearly race to Bethlehem, O Lord, and many are tired from what has been a very difficult year.  We know that You did not mean it that way, but intended for Your Son’s birth to bring us peace and joy and renewal, and a sense of togetherness that comes from this season of love and giving.

In the stillness of this moment we turn our hearts to You as the needle of a compass points to True North.  Amidst all the tension of this year, may You remain at the center, calling us to hope and to clarity of purpose.  On the eve of a new year, give guidance to us and the nations of the world, as we seek to find our way out of this pandemic.  Incline our hearts to modesty, honesty, and compassion.  Let us be tender to all of those in need, especially the young, the old, the tired, the poor, the sick, and all who are struggling just to survive.,,

So many have died these last 10 months, O Lord.  Hold in Your arms those who grieve, whose spirits are distressed by the loss of loved ones, or jobs, or homes in all of the uncertainty that surrounds them.  Speak to us in our worship, we pray, in something heard or seen or felt, that we may go from this place of worship with a renewed sense of Your presence in our lives.

Let the months before us bring rest to a weary world and hope to millions who continue to dwell in darkness.  Use us who wait before You to accomplish Your will, through devotion and imagination and love.  We pray this prayer in the name of Christ our Savior… Amen

May you, my dear WP friends,
find the peace,
comfort,
hope,
and clarity of purpose
for which we pray.

This describes my purpose! I will declare His coming
and live in modesty, honesty, and compassion.

How about your clarity of purpose?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Don’t forget to comment below.
I would love to hear about
your Sunday and your purpose.
Hugs!!

See ya tomorrow…

A Blessed Christmas


I am grateful for you, dear WordPress friends.
I pray your day was blessed indeed.
Merry Christmas!

ZOOM Christmas

Did you get to actually be with your family? Or did you ZOOM with them as we did? The picture above is Christmas Eve morning. Bob & I had the opportunity to see and talk with (left to right) our son, Ty, [then that’s us], group shot of our grandson and granddaughter with our son’s in-laws, then my niece, Jodie & her husband, Bill and son, Liam, from their home in PA, our daughter #2 Laina in the Baltimore area, and our daughter-in-law, Monika, in CA. We had a wonderful hour-long conversation. Next best thing to being together in person! Thank you, ZOOM!!

Bob gave me this wonderful, warm sweater.
Laina sent us this warm greeting this morning.
She is such a thoughtful, loving daughter!
Our grandson sent us this adorable picture,
thanking us for the slippers we sent to him and his adorable girlfriend.
My dear friend, Terry, gave me this Willow Creek angel for Christmas.
You know how angels are an important part of my life.
How sweet and thoughtful of her!

What are the gifts that brightened your day today?
I hope you are feeling as blessed as we are.

A photo from our daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland
brightened our Christmas. So nice to see her
with her hubby, two of her 3 boys, plus her mother-in-love.
Our dear neighbor, ,Scott, treated us to a very special bottle of wine.
We are decanting it to enjoy it with our special dinner…
a standing rib roast. Wish you could share it with us!
We’re looking forward setting up and learning to use this gift from our son and his wife.
Technology continues to amaze us… the advances are amazing!

Bob & I are using our relatively new smoker to smoke a standing rib roast for our Christmas dinner. Like technology, things like smokers and cell phones require a learning curve. We’re on the uphill side of that curve!

We called our neighbor/friend, Whooter, for help this morning when we were trying to figure out how to do this. Dear Whooter texted us back, sent us a photo that made our day, and gave us the advice we needed. Love that guy!!

I’m sure he didn’t intend me to broadcast this photo,
but you needed a good laugh, too, right?

Whooter gave us a great recipe for a rub to put on the meat, and meat thermometers to help us know we are headed in the right direction in the smoking process. God bless him! Do you have neighbors who are life-savers for you at times like this?

Our good friends, the Delektas, had a present under our tree today.
It’s a gorgeous knife that will be the greatest tool for carving this roast
if it ever smokes sufficiently for us to eventually eat it!
Don’t get in the way, TazE… it’s sharp!!

As we prepare for our Christmas dinner, we are listening to the horrible news about the bombing in Nashville this morning. So sad that there are such sick people out there! How could someone intentionally do something so devastating?

Our prayers go out for those who were injured and prayers of gratitude that there are no known fatalities. We have friends who live in Nashville- not far from this blast. And I have a cousin who lives there. My heart goes out to all those in Harm’s Way. We all are affected by such atrocities. It makes us all feel vulnerable. It saddens my heart.

God be with those firefighters who were injured.
May they recover fully and be home with their families soon.

I am enjoying this beautiful pillow that our friends, Sue & Jerry gave us this Christmas.
What’s a favorite gift that you have been given?

Thank God for each minute you are given to share
the love, joy, and peace that are Jesus Christ’s gifts to us.
Have a very Merry Christmas, my friends.
Our standing rib roast WILL be done soon.
I am counting on it.

Sigh…
The smoker keeps shutting off.
We may have to call Whooter again!
(That’s just an internet photo!!)

Merry Christmas, my friends.
What did you do today?

See ya tomorrow.

Hugs from JanBeek, Bob & TazE!

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