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Archive for the ‘Giving’ Category

Embrace Beginnings


“I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth,
do you not perceive it?”

Isaiah 43:19
My dear friend, Elaine… I miss her!
Today she’s smiling down at us from
her Heavenly perch.

Are you beginning?
Some “new things” aren’t really new…
They’re reinventions.

Used to volunteer
Before COVID changed our world,
Helping some dear folks.

Now visitations
Are being allowed again.
So I’m beginning.

Today’s a fresh start.
Most of my friends are not there.
Time to make new ones!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, with eagerness
And joy, I begin again.
I have love to give.

The Holy Spirit
Planted an impulse in me.
Answer your heart’s call.

Where can you begin
To use your talents to help
Spread joy to others?

I’m smiling at the chance
to be of service again ❤

Bruises almost totally gone…
God is the Master rejuvenator!
Begin with passion and determination.

Tell me what you will do
to
EMBRACE BEGINNINGS
today!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Embrace the Extraordinary


LIFE’S TOO SHORT TO JUST GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS

“You know it, deep down- you’re not made for ordinary. Your life is meant to be an adventure, fueled by grace and inspired by big dreams to make the world a better place. But, stuff gets in the way. Whether it’s people who tell you to be practical, a version of a faith that keeps you small, or a few bruises that take you out along the way– we all have a longing to break out of the status quo and get after the life we’re meant to live.” – Bob Goff

That quote came from one of my favorite people in the world, Bob Goff, author of “Love Does.” He has a new website:

https://www.bobgoff.com/?cid=21c33def-d0e2-408b-9d77-fcda6e15e879

Today’s black eye

I may look like those bruises took me out along the way with that eyelid swollen and the bruise running down my cheek, but I am far from “taken out!” Instead I am thinking this is an “extraordinary” bruise from an “extraordinary bang” and I am blessed not to have suffered a concussion! My knock on the head is not stopping me from planning some extraordinary days ahead!

Likewise, the fires in CA and the flooding on the east coast and the hurricanes in Haiti and the war-torn people in Afghanistan may have stopped some people from feeling like they are living the “life we’re meant to live,” but such catastrophes cause us to also to thank God for our survival. They cause us to evaluate what’s ordinary and what’s extraordinary – what’s essential and what’s fluff.

Don’t look down and say, “Poor me!” Instead, look up, and thank God for the blessings that are still yours! That’s what I am trying to do today as I put a hot compress on that goose egg that still sits on my forehead – and plan for an extraordinary trip to England to meet our blogging friends, Derrick & Jackie in person, and to travel on to Switzerland to see our daughter and her family there. We haven’t been able to do that since COVID raised its ugly head. Waaay too long between visits with our DollyWolly!

As Bob Goff said, “Life is too short to just go through the motions.” Embrace the extraordinary! Be extraordinarily positive! Look at the bruises and the challenges – and remember, “whether its the people who tell you to be practical, a version of a faith that keeps you small, or a few bruises that … along the way,” they don’t have to pull you down. They don’t have to keep your dreams small. As Bob Goff says on his website and in his books, “Dream Big!”

Smile the bruises away.
Ignore those who put you in a box.
Embrace the faith that makes you extraordinary!

What are you planning for your future that will keep you living those “Dream Big” ideas?
Whatever it is, keep leaning on the One who answers your prayers!

The Fire Update in CA

Our son and his wife in CA still are safe from the Caldron Fire. They still are housing a family of 8 children and their mom who were evacuated from their home. They are living an extraordinary life right now, buoyed by all our prayers.

Our granddaughter in S. Lake Tahoe and her husband, Faith and Kyle, who were evacuated from their home, still are safely relocated for now in southern CA with their other grandparents. Today they received the gift of passes to visit Disneyland. It’s Kyle’s first visit there to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” The fire took a right turn just a mile from their house. Only God can control the wind! Answered prayers have saved their neighborhood. What an extraordinary God we have!

Continue to pray for extraordinary bravery and safety for our fire fighters.

Faith & Kyle

Please continue to pray for Faith and Kyle and their neighborhood…
and for Ty & Monika and their big hearts
which are open to such Christ-like help for their friends.

Monika and Ty –
an extraordinary couple

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Stay tuned!
And continue to be the extraordinary person God created you to be!

Embrace Contentment


Romans 12:18

“If it is possible,
so far as it depends on you,
live peaceably with all.”

With all the strife in the world today,
the least we can do is to live in peace
with ourselves, our neighbors, our families.
And if we see someone in need,
reach out a helping hand.
Heaven knows, regardless of how bad
things seem to be for us,
it never is hard to find someone
who is worse off than we are.

He complained about
Having no shoes for his feet
Others had no feet

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Be contented with the little things.
They really aren’t so little after all!

Philippians 4:11-13

“Not that I am speaking of being in need,
for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
I know how to be brought low,
and I know how to abound.
In any and every circumstance,
I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger,
abundance and need.
I can do all things
through him who strengthens me.”

These photos were sent to me by Daughter #2 in Maryland.
That tornado and car pile-up were about 8 miles from her home.
She is thanking God for the fact that the strong winds
she had at her house didn’t knock down trees
or create a power outage.

Philippians 4:6

Keep praying!

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Pray with Me

God Almighty, I honor and praise You
for the works of Your hands,
for the beauty of the earth,
for the love You have for Your people
and for the animals.
I ask you now to protect
those who are ravaged by tornadoes
and floods, fires, and hurricanes,
wars and injustices.
Help us to know and trust
that You are with us
and You hear and answer
the fervent prayers of Your people.

Save us, Lord.
Bring peace.
Bring safety.
Bring rain to those who need it
and sunshine to those
who need freedom from flooding.

Help us find contentment
in Your care and promises.

Amen

Jan’s black eye fading

Find contentment in little blessings (some of them are not so little):

  • my black & blue eyes are healing
  • the bump on my forehead is decreasing
  • our smoky valley has cleared a little (we can see the mountains again)
  • the firefighters are diligently working to contain the wildfires
  • my grandson, Chris, made it safely to Colombia (that’s him & his girlfriend, Natalia’s picture behind me there)
  • so far our granddaughter’s house in South Lake Tahoe has not caught fire – and they are safely evacuated to stay with their other grandparents in southern CA
  • our son & his wife’s house is safe from the fires (and they are graciously housing a family who were evacuated from theirs)
  • my husband’s doctor has okayed his fishing trip to Alaska (he leaves next Monday) – in spite of some health scares this week – he is better :o)
  • you came to visit my blog and share the message of contentment in your life (in spite of challenges) – I look forward to your comments ❤

God bless you!
See ya tomorrow (God Willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Firefighters


This is the image of the Caldron fire in Amador County, California… only 14% contained … with strong winds moving it northeast toward Tahoe. According to our daughter-in-law today, the fire has grown to 177,260 acres and has destroyed 653 homes.

The line on the right shows you the 5.77 miles from the fire to our granddaughter’s house yesterday. Today it has moved closer and ALL residents (22,000) of South Lake Tahoe have been evacuated. They have only one exit highway open – and it leads to Nevada.

The line on the left shows the 5.49 miles from the storm yesterday to our son’s house. The purple dot in the fire’s “mouth” shows the place where the home is of our son’s friends – the ones who were evacuated and are now living in Placeville with Ty and Monika.

It is hard in the midst of such danger, loss of property, loss of homes, loss of lives and livelihoods, to keep a positive attitude. But, we cannot allow ourselves to despair!

Trust is a huge key to sanity!
Gratitude is a huge key to sanity!

For our granddaughter, Faith, and her husband, Kyle, the running water they are appreciating today may not be from their own faucet, but it is in the home of life-long friends of her other grandparents…

… and they were able to evacuate their home with some clothes… not just the pajamas they were wearing like some who were rushed out of their homes in the dark of the night…

… and they have food, love, shelter, and their dog! Of course, there is so much for which to be grateful!

I prayed for Faith & Kyle’s safety.
I prayed for our son & his wife’s safety..
They are safe.
Thank You, God!

But, as I thank God for the safety of my loved ones,
I am remembering to be especially thankful
for the firefighters who continue day and night
to try and save people’s lives, homes, our forests,
and our cities/towns/businesses.
God bless our firefighters!

Keep smiling (if you can) through the storms of life…
And try not to let the struggles get you down.
They are designed to strengthen us!!

Remember the scripture that says,

Psalm 46:1-2,

7 “God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall
into the heart of the sea;
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”.


My grandson, Sam, told me a few days ago,
“Grammy, just wear dark glasses.”
Don’t forget to listen to the advice of your kids –
they are smarter than you realize!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Be a friend to a firefighter
Be a friend to your neighbor
Be a friend who gives someone in need
a reason to smile today.

That’s what friends are for!

Embrace Big-Hearted Folks!


Do you have big-hearted folks in your life?
How do you recognize them?

This morning my husband, Bob,
was driving to the nearest gas station
on a new mower for the church
that was donated by a big-hearted
anonymous donor when the mower stopped.
It didn’t have enough gas in it to get
the two and a half blocks to the gas station.

He was stalled in front of the house
of a lady we have known casually
(she used to work at a furniture store in town).
We didn’t know where he lived,
but Bob recognized her when
she came out and asked,
“Can I help you?”

A few minutes later she returned
from her garage with a gallon of gas
for Bob to put in the mower
so he could get to the station and fill up.

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Yesterday our son, Ty, learned that
a family of eight from his church
had to be evacuated from their home.
The Caldor fire is the one in El Dorado County,
CA where we were concerned that Ty & Monika
might have to evacuate, but their home
seems to be below the fire line sufficiently
for them to be “out of danger.” (We pray!)

Ty and Monika are such big-hearted people
that they offered their home to the family
while our son and daughter-in-law
moved temporarily into their RV.

Now our concern is for our granddaughter, Faith.
She and her husband are in South Lake Tahoe –
and the fire seems to be headed for their neighborhood.

PRAY!!

Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels.com

Our choir director/pianist for or church
fell from the top of her steps leading into
her garage a few weeks ago.
She dislocated her shoulder and tore
a bunch of ligaments – needing surgery.
She lives about 40 miles from here –
40 miles from the nearest medical
and physical therapy center.

Our big-hearted friends here in Ennis
opened their home to her and her pup.
They drove her the 50 miles from here
to the surgery center – and back/forth
to the major hospital over a couple weeks.
Big-hearted people like them keep
showing up in our lives.
How about your life?

Today Bob was using the new mower to
cut the grass at the church.
We have ordered a mulching kit for it,
but it is not here yet, so the grass
was piled up on the sides of the mow strips
as he cut the overgrown lawn.

Big-hearted friends who are members
of our church offered to go and help
rake and bag the lawn trimmings
and take them to the dump.

How kind!!

It is that heart full of love
that is big-hearted!

Reminds me of the story of
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
If you will recall, when he reached out
to the people in Whoville to help them,
“His heart grew ___ sizes that day!”

Do you remember how many sizes?

That’s the key to being big-hearted…
Reaching out to help others
without expecting anything in return.

Whether it is with a gallon of gas
or loaning your shelter to friends in need
or taking a friend to their doctor appointment
or providing food for a family who’s hurting
or bagging lawn clippings,
there are countless ways we can
use our big-hearted generosity
to make the world a better place.

Join me
as we extend our heart
to those around us…

and pray for those in need
of food, shelter, friendship, health, safety, etc.

We can’t do everything,
but we can do SOMEthing.

What will you do today?


Embrace Each Day


Each day in your life is a gift.
Embrace each with open arms.
Look for the positive ways
You can enhance the day with your charms.

Finding a thought to focus on,
Or a word to guide your path
Can help make each day better.
Then – end it with a bubble bath!!

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

I begin each day with devotionals
That point me in the right direction.
Then as I walk in His will the best I can,
I try to spread His love and affection.

The “take-away” from each day’s reading
Is a way to stay the true course.
Let me share last month’s daily thoughts.
“Daily Guideposts” was my source.

Daily Take-aways

  1. Catch Problems Early
  2. Support Others’ Efforts
  3. Look for God’s Signs
  4. Let Hope Abound
  5. Embrace Today
  6. Let God Lead You
  7. Keep Moving Forward
  8. Look for a Hopeful Future
  9. Worship and Serve the Lord
  10. Respond to Life Cheerfully
  11. God Meets My Every Need
  12. God’s Wellspring Quenches
  13. Let God’s Word and Light Guide
  14. Tend My Heart’s Garden Daily
  15. Show Your Love and Appreciation
  16. Trust God
  17. Stop Worrying
  18. Be Open to Opportunities
  19. Be Thankful for Family
  20. Trust God to Answer Prayer
  21. Embrace Butterflies (Know the chrysalis important)
  22. Listen for God’s Ah-Hahs!
  23. Rest Secure in God’s Grip
  24. Just Enjoy Life
  25. Embrace Christ’s Power and Presence
  26. We are One Family
  27. Live Intentionally
  28. See God’s Goodness
  29. Fix Your Eyes on Jesus
  30. Know God Knows
  31. Thank God for Life!

Each sunrise is an opportunity
To begin anew and make life better.
Carry the daily take-away with you
And live following Christ to the letter.

He led the way with His perfect life,
Showing us how to love one another.
He didn’t promise a bed of roses,
Didn’t create puppets who would smother
The good in each day or be down-trodden.
God created us to be strong and tenacious.
Gave us a heart we could stretch and broaden.

So, from sun up to sun down each day,
Embrace the opportunities you are given
To reach out in love and compassion
And improve the place where you are livin’

What “Take-Away” speaks to you today?
What can you embrace with open arms?
What road beckons you to drive in and enter
A place that needs your love and charms?

Embrace each day as a new beginning –
A time to see what you can do
To make the world a better place,
And encourage those loved ones close to you.

How will you do that, my friend?
What can you do to brighten the corner where you are?

My mom

My mom brightened her corner…
That was one of the original “selfies” –
(around 1989)
Long before the word was coined
with the use of our cell phones!

Such a character!!

Mmmmmm

I co-hosted fellowship after worship service today.
Baked yummy, moist, gooey, chewy chocolate cupcakes…
Mmmmm…


What will you do to brighten the corner where you are?


Embrace Each Day…
Each is a new opportunity!

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Helpers


Where would we be without the helpers in our lives?
Yesterday a young lady came and helped me clean my house.
Climbing ladders to get to light fixtures and getting down
on my hands and knees to do floors is just not in the cards
for this 82-year-old body any more. God bless my helper!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

While I was getting help inside, Bob had two helpers out in the yard.
Like my inability to climb ladders and spend time on my knees,
Bob has discovered that his body has some new limitations, too.
It’s just not wise for him to try to trim the trees
or do all the weeding and hedging on his own.
Thank God for the young, strong helpers
who are willing to come and lend a hand!

Our daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland,
had need of repair this week.
She had polyps in her uterus.
Thank God, they were benign,
but they needed to be removed.
Thanks to the “helper” who used her gold dust
to repair/scrape De’s uterus and bring her
back to full health… more beautiful than ever!

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

Just as we need help with the physical work
as we add years to our bodies,
so do we need help with tasks
that are beyond our skill levels.

Today our daughter, Laina, discovered a problem she couldn’t fix.
A neighbor’s tree had lost a limb during a recent storm,
and the limb crashed through her guest bedroom window.
With the help of a gracious and talented helper,
she now has a new double-paned glass.
Thank God for helpers!

I am reading a book titled, “Life is Messy” by Matthew Kelly.
In it he describes the Japanese art of Kintsugi.
It is repairing broken objects with glue that has gold in it.

He wrote, “When a vase or bowl or cup is broken,
artists gather up the broken pieces and glue them back together.
…They mix gold dust with the glue. They don’t try to hide the cracks.
They own them, honor them, even accentuate them.”

Matthew Kelly’s point in bringing in the concept of Kintsugi
is that we all are broken and in need of repair.

He asks the question, “Can someone who has been broken
be healed, and become more beautiful and more lovable
than every before?”


And his resounding YES is illustrated by these repaired bowls.

He makes this point very clear:
“We are each other’s wounded healers.
We posses the gold dust needed to glue other people back together,
making them more beautiful and lovable than ever.”

Where would we be without the helpers in our lives?
Our broken souls would remain broken… and
Our sad hearts would break in two…
without those who love us with their gold dust of love
that glues us back together again!

Embrace Helpers…
Those who help us clean,
Those who help us garden,
Those who repair our cars
or fix our broken windows…
Those who help us heal…
God bless them all!

God bless YOU for being a helper.

I made sandwiches for those young people who
were out there helping Bob with his yard work.
We each can do our part – we all can be helpers!

How did you use your gold dust to help someone else today?

Embrace Borrowing


Today I read a story that so inspired me that I borrowed it. I hope Alicia Bruxvoort doesn’t mind!

I posted a link to it on my FB page and I am embedding it here for your enjoyment and inspiration.

Do take time to read it. You will be glad you did… and then put on your Jesus glasses and see the world, your life, and others through the eyes of love and grace!

Thank you, Alicia, for sharing your writing talent and your faith with us.
God bless you!

Picking up on that theme of “Jesus, I Wanna See What You See,”
I decided to check out You.Tube for “Seeing Through God’s Eyes.”

Look at what I found…
this is an amazing video –
Guaranteed to help you apply
the ideas Alicia shared in her story!

Yes, as Alicia concluded,
“We can just see better when we borrow our Father’s eyes.”

As you embrace borrowing,
what have you read or seen or heard lately
that you can pass along to inspire others?

Hope you’re having a beautiful Thursday.
See ya tomorrow…


Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Your Pastor


Embrace Your Pastor.
He or she needs your support –
And needs your feedback!

Photo by Binyamin Mellish on Pexels.com

Your pastor plants seeds
With each sermon presented.
You fertilize them.

You add nutrients
To the soil where they’re resting
By watering them.

Water the ideas
By ruminating on them.
What was the message?

Each week I take notes.
I capture the main ideas
As they resonate.

Today’s seeds that Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds sowed were inspired by Ephesians 2:11-22 and enhanced by the experience she had Friday night and Saturday morning with a group of young bicyclists who were traveling 4000 miles for cancer research. Here are my notes that I took while listening this morning.

TENACITY

Serving 400 hours as a hospital chaplain
Was required in my seminary studies.
Why God – why? What’s the answer?
With integrity and stamina, just serve!

Ephesians 2 is not about empty connections.
It’s talking about the death of our worst instincts.
It’s talking about getting on board with Christ.
Paul believed Christ would come back yesterday!

We’re still here thousands of years later…
Wondering when that victory over death
And division will come to this earth.
The Kingdom of God didn’t come in Paul’s time.

It hasn’t come in our time, either.
Addictions, abuse, fires, death, wars continue.
Where is the world where all divisions are erased?
We’re here to put our feet on the ground and be hopeful.

Moments of hope will come to you.
The U of Austin bike riders were my moment.
Stories of lodging needs and cancer research,
Tenacity, friendship, and HOPE scenarios entered.

Hope is a screamer and fighter.
Sometimes it works out for the good.
HOPE is the reality that God is love.
Evil will not win. God’s hope will!

Say YES to what pulls on your heartstrings.
Say YES to the reality of God’s hope.
Say YES to Truth and love and reaching out.
Say YES to cancer research and to helping.

Every inch gained in the fight against cancer
Is an inch toward life and hope.
We are building the Kingdom of God here
Where violence and oppression will be foreign to us.

With tenacity, hang in there.
With tenacity listen to God’s response to
Your questioning… Why God? Why?
With tenacity and stamina and love, just serve!

Amen


Let’s just grow flowers of love.

Embrace Your Pastor.
He or she needs your support –
And needs your feedback!

Happy Sunday.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Embrace Stepping Out


Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Have Faith and Step Out

Don’t overlook your life’s importance
or minimize its worth.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on
an allowance or Social Security.
No matter where you are in life,
you have so much to give.

The vital part of your life
never disappears or fades away.
Each of us is vital to God.
He gives us the courage to go out and live,
to heed His call, and step out in faith
on a new journey today.

In faithful obedience, lean forward
to hear Him. He doesn’t shout.
His call is quiet and personal.
Get serious. Listen carefully.
Are you up for a new journey?
Have faith and step out!

I wrote the poem, “Have Faith and Step Out” in 2002 while we were still living in California. I had officially retired from teaching in 1999, but daily I was looking for new direction, new purpose, new adventures. The International Library of Poetry published the poem in its 2002 Anthology of Poetry and sent me a dozen greeting cards with the poem printed on the front of them. Today I am using one of those cards for a friend who is stepping onto a new path.

The poem has become more meaningful in the nearly 20 years since its creation. The older I am, the more I realize, “No matter where you are in life, you have so much to give.” Your age doesn’t matter. Your place doesn’t matter. What matters is your mindset, your faith, your motivation.

It’s OK to be petrified.
Sometimes God takes us to
the edge of adventures
where we feel unprepared.
With faith,
He will remove our fear,
put us on a bridge,
and send us the Light to follow.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Quote from Deuteronomy 31:6

Today Bob is out on Lucille (our red-headed ATV on which we have a “Ball”)
with his former student, Victor, who is visiting from Alabama.
Victor was Bob’s wrestling student back in the 1970’s.
He reminded us that Bob also was
his Drivers Education teacher.
They are on an adventure –
going to a lake above Sheridan.
Our Boston, TazE, is with them.
Ah, yes, step out in faith.
Have fun!

Where He leads me,
I will follow!

Remember,
no matter where you are in life,
you have so much to give.

Where are you being called to go today?
What are you being called to do?
Whatever it is, step out in faith.
He will give you grace and glory…
He’ll be with you all the way!

Have a Fabulous Friday!

Love and Hugs,
In Faith,
JanBeek

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