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Archive for the ‘Belief’ Category

Embrace Thoughtfulness


Embrace thoughtfulness.
Express appreciation.
Take none for granted.

Express thoughtfulness.
Embrace opportunities
To show gratitude.

Thank you, WordPress friends,
For being so very kind.
I love your comments!

“But I rejoice with a deep and holy joy
that now at length you have
revived your thoughtfulness for my welfare.
Indeed you have always been thoughtful for me,

But I rejoice with a deep and holy joy
that now at length you have revived
your thoughtfulness for my welfare.
Indeed you have always been thoughtful for me…”

Phil. 4:10

True Friends
express
thoughtfulness
to one another

Ba no kuuki wo yomu culture in Japan. The ability of “Sensing someone’s feelings” generates thoughtfulness in Japanese culture and “understanding the situation without words”

A Thoughtful Tenacious Man

Thoughtful is not just how you treat others, but it is how you treat yourself, too. It is how you embrace life.

Steve Jobs is a man who faced many challenges in his life – experienced enormous success – and endured failures that would have devastated a more thoughtful, tenacious man.

A while after he knew his life span was limited, he gave an address to a group of college graduates. It is labeled as “One of the Greatest Speeches Ever.” It will give you pause to be thoughtful … and to experience the rest of your life much more thoughtfully. Do take time to hear it (even if you have done so already).

Ten thoughtful take-aways from Steve’s message:

  1. Your beginnings in life do not have to define your life’s endings
  2. Being a drop-out does not have to make you a loser. Trust that it will work out OK.
  3. Tenaciously stumble into opportunities as you discover them. Grab them!
  4. Dropping out may give you a chance to drop in to something better.
  5. Find what you love and thoughtfully pursue it.
  6. Don’t be afraid to start over; enjoy the lightness of being a beginner again.
  7. Don’t lose faith.
  8. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
  9. Live each day as if it is your last.
  10. Death clears out the old to make room for the new… your life is limited. Make the most of it.

Embrace Thoughtfulness.
Live thoughtfully!

What did you think of that Steve Jobs address?

Thanks for visiting – and thoughtfully responding.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Morning Light


Embrace Morning Light
Streaming brightly through windows
Every day is new


Embrace Morning Light
Let it follow you inside
It illuminates

Embrace the Sunlight
Appreciate its brightness
Flowers follow it

Flowers turn to find
Sustenance in the Sunlight
We should turn also

Turn to the Maker
Of sun and light and wisdom
Let His LIght lead you

Psalm 43:3

“O send out your light and your truth;
Let them lead me;
Let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling.”

Go out in the Light.
Have a sun-filled day, my friends.
Where will the Light lead?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Defining Moments


In my reading this morning, These Days – Daily Devotionals for Living by Faith, I was inspired by the commentary of Robin Gallaher Branch of Memphis, Tennessee. The scripture that motivated her thoughts was from Ezekiel 1-2:1

The word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel,
son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans
by the river Chebar, and the hand of the Lord
was on him there.

What Does That Scripture Mean?

Study that painting. Obviously artists have been inspired by this scripture. But somehow, as I read it again, the depth of its meaning escaped me. I was not quite sure what to make of it. Robin Branch, on the other hand, saw “A Vision is a Divine Interruption.”

She wrote, “I tell my students this: Expect Divine Interruptions.”

Why? Because they occur regularly in the Bible.

And that is what she understood was happening to Ezekiel in this passage. She wrote, “He was minding his own business when the heavens suddenly opened.”

Another artist depicted the scene this way:

Wow! Robin Branch describes it in words, “He saw four living creatures in human-like forms. Each had four faces: those of human being, lion, ox, and eagle… When the creatures moved, their wings sounded like mighty waters.”

What did he do? Ezekiel’s response was, “I fell on my face.” (verse 28)

God Interrupts Our Lives

Ezekiel shows us what to do when God interrupts our lives with a vision, a dream, or an angelic encounter. Worship and wait to be addressed!

But, how many of us have had God present Himself to us in a vision or a dream or an angelic encounter?

Maybe more of us than we realize! Do we open our eyes and hearts to recognize those defining moments? Do we see the angels in our midst? Do we know God makes divine appointments with us? Do we feel His presence?

Live in Expectancy

Do you live in a state of expectation, looking to see God in others? Do you know God is making broken things brand new? I see God in you! I see God in the defining moments of my life.

Daily Word, a Unity Publication, provides a daily word (or words) to ponder. It has a short devotional to enhance the word. Today’s word was “Expectation.” In the commentary, the title was, “Expectation keeps my mind positive and my heart full.

“Living in a state of expectancy kindles a quiet excitement in my heart, keeping me passionate about life.”

If I live in expectancy, I encounter defining moments …

Moments that define us are often not recognized until years later.

What are Defining Moments?

Jan & Bob
1962

Of course, if you are married happily, you know a defining moment in your life is your wedding. That one is easy to recognize.

Defining moments are those that impact you, change your direction, or reinforce it. They change your thinking. They wake you up to an Ah-hah moment, or they sit quietly in your subconscious – ready for the day you are prepared to recognize their impact and put their lesson to work in your life.

I asked Bob, as we were together in our sanctuary this morning, doing our Bible Study and devotionals, “What are the defining moments of your life?”

Right away, he said, “Our wedding day.”

See, I told you.. that one’s a given. Especially for folks like us who have stuck it out through thick and thin for 59 years!

Not All Are Positive

Not all of your defining moments are going to be the mountaintop experiences. Some are experienced in the valleys of our lives.

One of mine was when I had a burst appendix. I thought I was constipated and that’s why I ached so much. I tried laxatives. I tried a therapeutic massage. It just got worse. Finally the pain was so intense, I couldn’t sleep and I was crying out. Bob took me at midnight to the emergency room in the hospital just 5 minutes from home. They ran a bunch of tests, took x-rays, thought it was diverticulitis. Sent the x-rays to the larger hospital in Bozeman (an hour’s drive away). The doctors there looked at them and called to say, “Get that lady in here right now! She has a burst appendix.”

Why was this a “defining moment”? A dear lady (one of our medical center volunteers named Donna) road with me in the ambulance to Bozeman held my hand and prayed with me the whole way. She was an angel on earth! She helped me survive the painful ride to the hospital. Once there, the doctors told me I could have died. At my age (I was 79 or 80), many don’t survive such an ordeal.

I learned:

  • it’s probably not a good idea to ignore excruciating pain or self-medicate
  • it’s not wise to diagnose your own ailment
  • a prayer angel can make all the difference between life/death and comfort/agony

Some Defining Moments are Very Positive

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

A mountaintop defining moment for me occurred when I was only 16 years old. It was the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. I was attending a summer “Music Therapy Clinic” at the College of the Pacific. One of our participants was a little boy named Jeremy. He about 4 years old and had never spoken. He had a voice. He could scream when he was upset. He could moan. He could whimper. But he had not spoken any words.

My music therapy counselor/teacher, Mrs. Harbert, was playing the piano. We all were sitting on the floor in a circle. Each of us had a child in our lap. Mine was Jeremy. Mrs. Harbert was playing a non-sensical, very rhythmic song. Its only word was “Hospodipomilwi.”

Hoss-poe-dee-poe-meal-wee

Hos-po-de-po-mil-we

Hos-po-di-po-mil-wi

I bounced Jeremy on my lap and sang quietly in his ear.

All of a sudden, Jeremy began to sing!! “Hospodipomilwi”

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

A year or so later, I saw Jeremy and his mom when I was shopping near the college. She said, “I can’t believe I used to pray for him to speak. Now I can’t get him to stop talking!”

I learned:

  • There is no greater thrill than to help a needy child
  • Music is magical
  • I wanted a career where I could work with children and music

God’s Divine Interruptions Change Us

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

We were living in California. Bob was still working as a beekeeper. I was retired. He wasn’t sure he was ready to retire yet, but we talked about it. We didn’t know where we wanted to live after his retirement, but we were pretty sure we didn’t want to stay in California. The state was growing in population faster than the the infra-structure could handle the numbers.

Then he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Life changed. We changed.

I won’t take you through the whole three year process, just suffice to say, it was a defining moment! His cancer caused us to reevaluate where we were, who we were, and where we wanted to be.

It is the reason we now live in this place we call God’s Country, Ennis Montana.

The Road of Life is Filled with Defining Moments

The road of life is filled with highs, lows,
mountaintops and valleys,
potholes and gravel.

When life knocks you down,
when you are going along
minding your own business
and the heavens open up,
or the bridge collapses
and you fall into a crevice,
remember Ezekiel.

He fell on his face.
He called out to God.
He waited for God to direct him.

Let God’s still small voice direct you.
Like my Donna,
watch for the angels all around you.

Let His strength illuminate your path.
Like Josh Williams, see God in others
and let their strength encourage you.


Let the defining moments speak to you.
Like Jeremy, find your voice
and sing!
Hos-po-di-po-mil-wi

Embrace Defining Moments



What are YOUR defining moments?

Embrace Multiplying


Daily Guideposts 2021 devotional today inspired this blog topic. After I chose “Multiplying” as my EMBRACE theme today, every place I looked, I saw evidence of answers to my question, “But what needs to be multiplied?”

When you hear/read the word “multiplying” what comes to mind? I asked Bob that question this morning after my devotional time while we were chatting at the breakfast table.

“Increasing comes to mind. Numbers come to mind,” he answered.

What comes to your mind?

In her blog this morning, Marva Seaton wrote about multiplying. She didn’t use the word, but the concept definitely was there.



It’s the love that is multiplied!

You can read the rest of Marva’s blog by clicking here: marvaseatonMake a Difference In The World

The first devotional that inspired this theme was in Daily Guideposts. The scripture passage was:

John 15:12 (MSG)

Love one another the way I loved you.

The prayer at the bottom of the page for today, June 24th read:

“All loving God,
we thank You
for those You’ve graced us with,
who offer
encouragement,
inspiration,
and hope.

Amen”

Embrace the people
who share that encouragement
with you.

In my mind,
that’s what needs to be multiplied:
faith
(in God and the Holy Spirit in you),
self-confidence,
strength,
hope,
and
love.

You have to believe in yourself.

Multiply your self-confidence.

Multiply your prayers.
Multiply your requests to God.

He is there to listen,
to respond,
and to make you great!

You can live your dreams…

What you need is all in you!

You can multiply your power
if you understand
God’s power is in you!

Starting last week,
her first week on the job,
our new pastor,
Mary Grace Reynolds,
sent out a “Weekly Word.”
It will be e-mailed to us every Thursday.

In it, she gives the congregation
glimpses into what the week will hold.
She shares announcements
and then she shares a scripture
and her “take-away” from that passage.

Today’s “Weekly Word” message fit right in to
the “Multiplying” theme:

Yes,
Embrace Multiplying!

Multiply your faith.
Reach out and touch. Share.
Believe in the power. Take courage!
Multiply the love, the affection, the healing, the embracing.

My hugs are included in this post to you.
Have a beautiful day!

See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace the Light


Today was a very important, memorable day at our church.
It was Father’s Day, yes…
and we honored our fathers and our Father in Heaven.
But the real LIGHT of the day
was the opportunity to be in church
on this special Sunday when
Mary Grace Reynolds,
was presenting her first sermon as
our official new pastor.
MGR is fresh out of seminary,
but she conducted the service
as if she had ten years of experience!
We are so blessed to have her
at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
here in Ennis, MT.
If you ever are in our area on a Sunday,
you MUST come and experience
the Holy Spirit alive and well in this little community!!

Her sermon title was, “There’s a Light On.”

If you have followed my blog for a week or more, you know that most Sundays as I listen to the sermon, I take notes – and most of the time I take them in some form of poetry. Today was no exception. Here is what I heard through my JanBeek filter:

I feel the Holy Spirit
Perched on my shoulder.
How we understand where we’ve been
Matters a lot as we grow older.

Even though this is a new beginning,
We sit on the blessings and woes of the past.
We incorporate these into who we are
As we step into the future – at last.

Genesis One spoke to me this week.
Looking at effortless, timeless majesty,
We are reminded of God’s control
As the mountains loom with no hesitancy.

God holds all the cards; we don’t!
The utility of history – truth and facts –
Reminds us to adapt historical records
As we articulate how God in creation acts.

God’s power was articulated in Genesis
By stories and memories told with persistence.
The Israelites were reminded of their God
Who breathed the world into existence.

The creation story reminded them of hope –
The hope and identity they have in God.
Our stories tell who and where we’ve been.
They reveal our cracks, our cobwebs, our sin.

We can look back at the God
Who turned the light on within us,
And we notice God’s sovereignty –
Grateful for how His Son freed sin from us.

The Israelites remember the pain
They had in exile for so many years.
We too remember the pain and grief
Of life – and thank God for drying our tears.

As we move as a church body
Into newness, remember the past.
Recall how He kept the light on –
And move joyfully into the future – at last.

God is in this place with us
Sure as the sun continues to rise.
We’re challenged to move forward now
Knowing we’re guided by the Light of God’s eyes.

There’s a Light On!
Embrace the Light!
Amen.

Toward the end of the service,
Mary Grace presented a beautiful Pastoral Prayer.
I took notes as I prayed this prayer with her:

Holy God, be with us.
Most High God, comfort and heal the afflicted.
Lord, grant Your presence.
Bring them out of their suffering.
Lord, we know You can – and You do.
Almighty God, whom we sometimes call Father,
pour out Your spirit on all fathers
who are working today
to provide food for their families,
and to keep them sheltered.
Eternal God, whom we still call Father,
You are so much more than earthly fathers.
Make whole what has been broken.
Most Loving God,
we give thanks for all those we call
father.
Thanks for all those
who sacrifice for their children.
God, whom we call Father,
we stand in praise and awe of Your Power.
Remind us
You are in the boat
and
You have the Light on!
Amen

Photo by William Mattey on Pexels.com

Hear our prayer, O Lord.
Hear our prayer, O Lord.
Incline Thine ear to us,
And grant us Thy peace.

Amen

Have a beautiful, blessed Sunday, my friends,
And a very Happy Father’s Day.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

The 7 Step Prayer Process


Has anyone ever taught you HOW to pray? Here is a 7 step process that my grand-nephew was studying today. I listened in.

  1. GRATITUDE: Get comfortable. Be still. Deeply breathe in. Breathe out by anxiety.
    Express Gratitude to God. Tell God what you are grateful for.
  2. AWARENESS. Revisit the times in the past 24 hours when you were the best version of yourself. Then talk to God about the times when you were not the best version of yourself. Talk to Him abut hw you will handle the situation better in the future.
  3. SIGNIFICANT MOMENT… recall a moment when you felt God was trying to teach you something through an event or action. Talk to God about that significant moment.
  4. PEACE: Ask God to forgive you for anything you have done that you feel badly bout. Ask for forgiveness, and ask God to fill Yyou with deep, deep, peace.
  5. FREEDOM: Ask God to help you be the best version of yourself. Ask him how you can change to be the person He made you to be. Ask God for the Courage and Strength to make this change in your life.
  6. OTHERS: Lift up to God anyone you feel you want to lift to Hi today. Ask for the specific way you want God to bless the people in your life that you care about. One at a time, bring them to God.
  7. OUR FATHER: Pray the prayer you might often say by rote. But this time, say it slowly and find meaning in each phrase:
    Our Father, who art in heaven
    Hallowed be Thy name
    Thy kingdom come
    Thy will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven
    Give us this day our daily bread
    And forgive us our debts
    As we forgive our debtors
    Lead us not into temptation
    But deliver us from evil
    For Thine is the Kingdom,
    And the Power,
    And the Glory
    Forever.
    Amen

Embrace Pentecost Sunday


Pentecost Sunday at MVPC

Today is the day we have been waiting for: Pentecost Sunday.
It is the day our pastor candidate, Mary Grace Reynolds,
presented the sermon for our congregation.
She not only preached, but she did the whole sheeebang!

Her prayers, her management of the announcements,
her Call to Confession and Assurance of Pardon,
her Children’s message, the way she interacted
with young and old … all were so lovely, so perfect!

After the service, the members stayed and cast their ballots.
100% of the members voted to affirm her candidacy.
100% of the members voted to affirm her “Call.”
That included her salary package, reimbursable items,
and general terms of employment – no dissentors! Hooray!

The Holy Spirit came in tongues of fire to the people
On that first Pentacostal Sunday. It enabled the people
to speak in the language of their hearer… a miraculous day.
Today felt miraculous to me. Thank you for your prayers!

We all prayed for this vibrant, young pastor
fresh out of seminary –
ready to serve the Lord!
Mary Grace Reynolds

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I post my sermon notes on Sunday afternoons. I take notes as I listen, and I try to capture the main points of the message in poetry. Here are my notes from today’s message:

A Greening

Inspired by the New Testament scripture:
Romans 8:18-30

Red is the color of love
. It’s cultural shorthand for things warm & vivid
It symbolizes the brightness of joy
Also paints emotions angry and livid

Red is the tongues of the Holy Spirit
Tongues of fire that came down from on high
Paul tells in the book of Romans
The meaning of the glory from the sky

The Holy Spirit brought hope to hearts
The Spirit intercedes for us
When we don’t put our scripture notes
In a binder & they shuffle, we fuss.

The Holy Spirit tells us to wait
Reorder the pages – and take a breath
Know that others are forgiving
They know a mistake is not sudden death

Going on – the meaning of colors –
The red enhanced by the color green
Is when the people tune back in
To hear the message – what does red mean?

The alms and cadavers and elements
Were explained as they impact the world
Hildegard’s approach to medicine explained
Kept us tuned in as new ideas unfurled

The power of nature to put forth healing
Was linked to the nature of creation
Nature is inclined to create new life
And it anticipates newness with elation

Humans, the Earth, and the Holy Spirit
Are trapped in a state of decay
The Holy Spirit gives us the tenacity
To hang in – to endure day by day.

The Holy Spirit helps us understand
The holiness of our yearning & pain
The pain is a signal that tells us
We need to endure, for God will remain

God gives us the Holy Spirit
To guide us into seeking solutions
Our hope is stored in what we don’t see
But leads us to resolution

It helps us resolve to be
The light that directs people to see
The Fruits of the Spirit in us
Lord, help the world see that love & peace in me.

Amen

My day started with a message from my friend, Lisa.
She sent me pictures of roses from her garden.
The red of these roses symbolizes love to me
And I share that love with you today, my friends.

Just as red comes in many shades,
So does the expression of how we care
Vary in a multitude of ways. Thank you
for reaching out and covering us in prayer.

God heard.
God answered.
God is good
All the time!

Welcome to Madison Valley Presbyterian Church, Mary Grace!

We are soooo delighted that the Holy Spirit led you here.

Lots of Love!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek on Pentecost Sunday.
Have a great rest of your day.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Trust


Where do you place trust?
Only in the hands of God.
Know He’ll pull you through!

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all ways submit to Him – and He will make your paths straight.”



See ya tomorrow.
Have a good night’s sleep.
Love,
JanBeek

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 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)


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