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…”
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:
Your beginnings in life do not have to define your life’s endings
Being a drop-out does not have to make you a loser. Trust that it will work out OK.
Tenaciously stumble into opportunities as you discover them. Grab them!
Dropping out may give you a chance to drop in to something better.
Find what you love and thoughtfully pursue it.
Don’t be afraid to start over; enjoy the lightness of being a beginner again.
Don’t lose faith.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
Live each day as if it is your last.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.”
I bounced Jeremy on my lap and sang quietly in his ear.
All of a sudden, Jeremy began to sing!! “Hospodipomilwi”
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!”
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
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
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.
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
Hear our prayer, O Lord. Hear our prayer, O Lord. Incline Thine ear to us, And grant us Thy peace.
Have a beautiful, blessed Sunday, my friends, And a very Happy Father’s Day. See ya tomorrow (God willing) – Love, JanBeek
Has anyone ever taught you HOW to pray? Here is a 7 step process that my grand-nephew was studying today. I listened in.
GRATITUDE: Get comfortable. Be still. Deeply breathe in. Breathe out by anxiety. Express Gratitude to God. Tell God what you are grateful for.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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:
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.
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.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek on Pentecost Sunday. Have a great rest of your day. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Enthusiasm: Expressions of elation – Show your excitement!!
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!
“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.”
Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.
Wait expectantly! Open your eyes to the fulfillment of your deepest prayers!
Embrace Enthusiasm! Are you excited about something in your future? What is it?
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:
“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
“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.”
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?