“The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”
I embrace prayers And I embrace the pray-ers Reaching out to God
As Bob & I prepare to embark on our trip to London and Switzerland, we are humbled by the number of prayers being offered on our behalf by family and friends. Bob came back from his Alaska trip a week and a half ago unfit to travel again… but with care and prayer, he is so much better – – – and his doctors have given him the ok to take this next trip. It’s been booked since last March! We leave Sunday. Oh, time is swiftly passing!
We know God hears – and we know our dear Lord is holding us in the palm of His hand. We are grateful for the intercessory support.
I know you have faced challenging times, too, and you know the power of prayer when you are navigating rough waters.
I know Jesus is a pray-er. He modeled the effectiveness of prayer for us. I am not sure how many times in the Bible it says Jesus went to a quiet place and took time to pray… but I know it’s a lot! If He counted on speaking to God in order to determine His next steps, who am I to try to go it alone?
So, I am up this evening talking to God, knowing Jesus intercedes for me, too… and I can feel the prayers of friends and family who have shared comments such as, “Let us pray that all goes smoothly,” and “Praying for you and Bob… Seeing family is worth the effort. God’s peace,” and “I hope all of your test come back negative and your travel plans run smoothly.” Thank you, WordPress friends!
With a community of believers out there, friends sharing their prayers and good wishes, and with my faith in scripture such as James 5:16, I can go to bed this night and sleep peacefully. I know the One who holds me also holds the future … and wants only my good.
Thank You, Lord, for the love, support, and comfort You send through my spiritual family.
Thank you for helping me relax and put these COVID test results and travel requirements in God’s hands. If this trip to London and Switzerland is meant to be, all my worries are for nothing. As the meme above says, “Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change.” Instead, Jan, put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters!
Now that I am safely tucked into the Man from Galilee’s hand, I can relax and go get a good night’s sleep!
Some days it takes courage to get out of bed! Some days it takes courage to look yourself in the mirror. Have you had days like that? Today was one of them for me!
So, I could go back to bed and feel sorry for myself – – or I could get up and face the day. I had to ask myself, WWJD?? (What would Jesus do?)
Jesus said to me, “Get up and face the day! Be courageous!” So, I did… and by noon the one black eye was better and the color had shifted so it was on the other eye, too.
“But Jesus turning and seeing her said, ‘Take courage, daughter…’ “
My devotional for today in Mornings with Jesus reinforced the prayer response. So, up and out I went!
We have been having day after day with skies filled with smoke from the fires that are all around MT, ID, CO, CA, and OR. The mountains have been invisible to us weeks on end. But today I could see the mountains!
By the time I spent a little time with a friend and returned home this afternoon, we had the clearest blue sky in months! See, if you have courage to face the day, God is good – and He will make you glad you did!
The moral of the story is, EMBRACE COURAGE!
Don’t let your hesitancy keep you from facing the day.
Get up, Get going, Get out, and Get happy!
God is good. Trust Him!
Please keep the firefighters and those in Harm’s Way in your prayers. Our son and his wife are sharing their home with a family of 8 who were evacuated from their home… but it is not destroyed… just in the evacuation zone … and the fire is still headed toward our granddaughter’s in S Lake Tahoe. So keep the prayers flowing!
See ya tomorrow – God willing!
EMBRACE COURAGE – and reach out to do what you can to help others…
Happy Sunday, my friends. I hope you had a great day. As usual, Bob & I attended church and I took notes as I listened to the sermon.
The message was delivered by Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds. The sermon was inspired by John 6:51-63.
I was amazed at how cleverly MGR took the scripture and applied it to today’s world.
John 6:51-63 NIV
51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. 60On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” 61Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.
The Living Bread
We come to church to seek comfort, But is that the point of our faith? Aren’t we called to be moved by Jesus? He appeared a bit delusional to His disciples.
Jesus suggested what was prohibited. People didn’t eat human flesh! That teaching came across blasphemous. Associating with Jesus caused them alienation.
Jesus’ message was meant to teach His followers that He was the food That would bring them into relationship With God … and not laws or codes.
God saves – Rituals don’t. God sent manna and now Jesus. First physical, then spiritual saving. Jesus told them, “I am the Bread.”
Trust Jesus to provide the catalyzing calories in our lives. Feed on Him daily!
God Bless You for visiting JanBeek today. I appreciate you.
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,”
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