If I could leave a legacy that exemplified these six words, I’d die happy!
First, I want folks to say, “She loved the Lord with all her heart ❤️ and she sincerely loved her family and friends.” 🥰
(Yes, my family is a huge part of my legacy… they will live on and on … and hopefully exemplify the values I hold so dear!)
Additionally, may they say, “She was ethical and lived a life of integrity. Trying to avoid hypocrisy, Jan lived to show her faith on her sleeve, striving to behave in a way that would be pleasing to God.”
Gracious living means extending to others the undeserved love and forgiveness, the acceptance, inclusion, and hospitality that we received daily from the Lord. May they say, “She was gracious.”
I hope my legacy includes the idea of attentiveness to others, attentiveness to the details of the responsibilities assumed, and daily attention to prayer and Bible Study. I happily shared those with others. A desired part of my legacy would include, “Jan was attentive.”
Daily I asked God to help me shine His compassion through me to others. My heart reached out regularly to family, friends, former students, neighbors, and others in need. Strangers were just “friends I hadn’t met yet.” I would like my legacy to include, “She was compassionate.”
Yummy? It’s not that I want to be considered yummy, it is that I love to cook. As part of my legacy, may I be remembered as someone who delighted in preparing yummy meals for Bob and for guests in our home. May I be remembered as someone whose greatest joy was in serving others.
Hebrews 13:2 “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
When I leave this earth and join the heavenly angels, I am counting on seeing all those saints who went on before me… And we’ll feast on heavenly food and feed the scraps to all my Boston Terriers who’ll be there at the pearly gates to greet me.
Yes, you’re in my life for a reason. Thanks for showing up on my blog!
If your hands are full of “stuff” – God can’t fill them anew. Open your hands, my friends, And let God renew you!
No need to decorate them Or worry about their size Just turn ’em over and Ask for something wise
“Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth… “ – Proverbs 4:5
It is an understatement to say that wisdom is a worthwhile pursuit.
We’re never too old to learn A thing or two each day Open your hands and receive God’s message – It won’t lead you astray
In his book, Ever Faithful, David Jeremiah was inspired by Psalm 145:16 when He wrote about hand gestures:
“Hand gestures can communicate our innermost thoughts and emotions. Clenched fists reveal anger. White knuckles and trembling are usually the result of fear and nervousness. We close our hands around things we want to hold on to and open them to receive and give gifts.”
My friends, Ed and Maria, open their hands to receive each others love and close them around each other to hang on to the one they love. Bob & I do the same!
David Jeremiah went on in his devotional to say, God’s generosity is described in Psalm 145:15…
“You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”
It might be the prayer For a miracle to receive Or could be something simple You just have to believe
Believe that when you open Your hands to receive gifts God will fill them with wonders – With gifts that your heart lifts
Open hands are a symbol Of giving – giving our all And knowing in the process We’ll be standing tall
As a humble giver, Know what you give comes back And God knows your needs He will fill your every lack
David Jeremiah went on to remind us, “If we overlook God’s generosity, or find ourselves in the midst of a painful season, it’s easy for a mindset of scarcity to take over. We become afraid of losing what we have, and our hearts’ stance becomes one of grasping as we seek to control our circumstances.”
Grasp all the love you can get Then open your hands to give It all away – every single bit Because it’s refillable as long as you live
Bob’s hands are open to receive his “just desserts”!! Are yours open, too?
I pray for your hands to be filled Filled to overflowing Filled with love to give away Love that’s alive and showing!
God Bless you! Have a “Open Handed Day!” Will you?
I LOVE the Jehovah Shalom Acapella sextet. They are phenomenal. Their musicianship, range, uplifting song selections, tone, and delightful facial expressions give me a smile and a sense of peace that lasts all day! I pray for all of them… and their ability to continue to bless us with their music. Do you know them?
I have a smile, a kind word, and a poem of encouragement to share with you. I shared it with the Madison Valley Woman’s Club today. I hope it inspired many to also “Find Peace.”
May this poem, this music, and my prayers for you bring you a sense of inner peace that allows to you to let His light shine brightly through you!
I Can Find Peace
I can find peace It’s here in my heart Living in trust Is a good place to start
I can find peace In stillness and prayer Don’t need to go far Peacefulness is there
Find peace in the world Find oneness with all Find joy and contentment No need for a wall
Peace in relationships Peace from above Just radiate inner peace And reach out in love
Jan Beekman – poet
Among the poems that my mom collected and saved each week in 1938-1940 from Newman, California’s “West Side Index” was this lovely poem to reinforce the way we each can find peace and pass it on:
Somebody did a kindly deed, It helped you all the day. Do it again, for somebody else, Who, needy, passes your way.
Somebody said a kindly word; Say it again, for you May brighten somebody else’s load By the word that brightened you.
Somebody smiled a cheerful smile; It made the day seem bright. It was only a little thing you say, But those little things have might.
Those little things – are they little things? Just think how the whole long day An unkind word or slighting tone Has hidden the sun away.
Margaret Kinsella – poet
At our Madison Valley Woman’s Club meeting today, the ladies shared plants of basil and rosemary, gifts of one sort and other, with one another. New officers were installed. A budget for the coming year was adopted. The organization owns and operates the Nearly New here in Ennis. It is a non-profit, volunteer organization that earns “big bucks” by selling “Twice in the Closet” clothing, books, kitchen ware, jewelry, etc. Hats off to all those who donate their goods and services to the Nearly New! The second-hand shop is run totally by volunteer labor. The majority of their profits are given back to the community in the form of scholarships to graduating high school seniors, monthly monetary support to the local library, and countless other worthy community organizations (such as the nursing home, the community pre-school, senior and youth services, etc.). They budgeted $163,000 to be given away in the coming fiscal year.
There is an enormous sense of peace & community pride that comes with the collaborative efforts of the club’s more than 150 members working together all year to make these kinds of profits possible. Our town of Ennis, MT has a population of just a little over 1,000 residents. So, you can just imagine what a gift this club is not just to Ennis, but to the entire Madison County and to the state. Hats off to all those dedicated volunteers!
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Give the best you got!
May the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones as you give generously of your time, talents, and resources.
Remember, your cup is not half full or half empty, It is overflowing… and it is refillable!
God bless you this day and every day! Hugs, JanBeek
Where ya lookin’, my friend? Do ya got yer head in the sand? Are you avoidin’ some things By keeping blinders on hand?
Some of us think if we shut off The news about strife in our land, If we just stream in what’s good, We can avoid the newsstand.
Let’s just pray and read our Bibles; Let’s join hands with like-minded folk. Let’s ban anyone we disagree with. Lock out the sorrow they evoke.
Let’s focus on the good ole days And remember pure life gone by. No social media. No Fox News or CNN. No log in my own eye.
I see the sliver in your eye. I see the faults of all those other folk, So I choose to build a cocoon And just carry my own yoke.
Do you relate to such thinkin’? Are you so selfish you’re stinkin’? When ya gonna come outta yer cave And discover the poison you’re drinkin’?
Ya can’t find Utopia here on earth By shuttin’ out all that’s a disgrace. Ya gotta look and see and recognize The mud splattered on your own face.
The sin of this world splashes up To make guilty sinners of us all. We can’t avoid it with blinders. We can’t be thinkin’ so small!
We gotta look at all those in trouble With compassion and a heart to see How each of us is in this together. Their misery and pain touches me.
I gotta take off the shutters and open The doors to my heart for their pain To permeate my soul and my conscience. I gotta step out in the rain.
I gotta look ahead to the future And see what I can do to make peace With those I find disagreeable. This head in the sand’s gotta cease!
My word for 2023 is “Ready.” Am I ready to take my own advice? Break outta the cocoon and fly upward To help others? At what cost? What price?
The price of compassion is nothing Compared to what it costs to ignore The people in need all around us. Where ya lookin’ my friend? The floor?
Let’s turn to the windshield and see What’s right in front on the road. Let’s pick up our yoke and share it To help others lessen their load.
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
See that smile up there on that guy? It ain’t that easy; I won’t lie. But with time and love and care, You’ll find peace. Reach out and share!
I first posted this message 4 years ago, but it is timeless – – – and it is worth reposting as February 14th is tomorrow and we all are thinking seriously about the topic of LOVE, right?
What is TRUE love? And how do we exhibit it? How do we receive it? What is its origin? Poets have written of love for centuries. None resonates more perfectly to me than the words of love in the Bible, like Romans 12.
“Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Share with God’s people who are in need.
…. Romans 12:9-13
No better Valentine’s message of love ever has been written. To add to it, go to your Bible and read the next few verses, Romans 12:14-16 … and get caught up in the wonderful message of Jesus’ love!
Of course, the scripture that often is read at weddings is also one that must not be forgotten:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 New International Version
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
My blogging friend, Sue Dreamwalker, wrote today, “So, keep love in your hearts for each other and all living creatures. And remember to love yourself…”
Love is more than just a game or two. Two in love can make it… Take my heart and please don’t break it!
Have a wonderful, love-filled Valentine’s Day!
Hugs to you and your loved ones, JanBeek (& Bob, too)
Tin Yan Chans art is amazing. I was inspired to create this poem after enjoying his works.
Deep within the Rockies Where no traffic flows Is a peaceful hidden lake Where gorgeous lupine grows
The lake is filled with fish And if you know your way, You can walk to find real joy Come join me friends, let’s play
The lake is beautiful in every season You can visit it for no reason Other than to enjoy its beauty Ot wait til its trees are fruity
It’s an artist’s paradise The scenery is always nice Sit quietly and wait for the butterflies Look carefully – they’re a sight for sore eyes!
Claudia at Humoring the Goddess did some research and shared the fact that Tin Yan Chan, a master artist, had his God-given talents recognized in Canada in the late 20th century. She wrote, “… at 16 he was admitted to the Wuhan South Central China Academy of Fine Arts.”
I am so fascinated by this artist’s work that I intend to do a little research of my own. His website shows several additional paintings and about a dozen in a section labeled “sold.” Wouldn’t you enjoy having one of his masterpieces in your home?
Tin Van Chan has developed his artistic talent and made his creations available to the world. What talent do YOU have that you’ve developed and generously shared?
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” Erma Bombeck
Today I used my rusty talent (playing the accordion) at church. Our pianist was unable to attend, so I was asked to step up. My accordion has been dropped and some of the keys sound a bit weird – but I stepped up and did my best. Hopefully it was better than trying to sing all the hymns A Cappella!
An easier talent to share is the one that has a harder time getting rusty: Teaching! On Tuesdays I share my love of scripture with my 10-year-old friend, Hailey, and in the evening with my lady friends at our local nursing home. Through the years I have developed my spiritual gift of teaching, and as you have heard many times, I’m sure, “Once a teacher, always a teacher.” Like Erma Bombeck, I want to “use everything [God] gave me.” Our talents are given to us to be shared.
So, share your talent Your talent’s God’s gift to you It’s meant to be shared.
For many of you, it’s writing prose or poetry. For some of you, it’s photography. For others, it’s music or public speaking. I really appreciate those whose talent is fixing my car or unplugging the drain on my sink! Some are math wizards or skilled carpenters> All God’s gifts of talent are meant to be shared, What’s yours?
Share with me what talent you thank God for giving to you. How are you sharing it?
Isaiah 43:4-5a. “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men to exchange for your life. Do not be afraid for I am with you…”
I knew where we were going… HOME! And I knew God was with us, guarding and guiding us. I learned as we were at the “41 miles to go” mark that a woman about my age had died in a tragic accident the day before on this very stretch of road. Her demise was a jack-knifed semi. She hit black ice and slid into it when she was trying to turn and avoid it. It was a clear day – at 4: o’clock in the afternoon. We were traveling home on that two-lane road in the dark. A host of family and friends were praying for our safe travel. We TRUSTED God’s guidance as we crept along, blinded by the bright headlights of on-coming semis.
At about the “20 miles to go” mark, if I had my window down, I could have reached out and touched the big doe that was preparing to cross the road in front of us. We didn’t see the deer until we were almost on top of it… or it on top of us! You can imagine how we prayed prayers of gratitude all the rest of the way home!!
This morning, in my wonderful upstairs space that I call my “sanctuairee,” I was reading a commentary by Rev. Dr. David Jeremiah. It was for me!!
“Praising God for Miracles”
“Among the stories connected to the memory of Francis of Assisi is this one: One day Francis gathered his friends at a remote monastery in central Italy. When he asked them about their journeys, each brother had an exciting tale to report. One had been riding his mule across a narrow bridge that spanned a deep gorge. When the mule bolted, the man was nearly thrown into the ravine. He praised God he hadn’t been killed.
Another brother had nearly drowned fording a river, but he said, ‘God in His grace provided a tree that had fallen across the water. I was able to grasp a branch and pull myself to safety.’ Other brothers expressed similar stories of God’s protection.
Then someone asked Francis about his trip. ‘I experienced the greatest miracle of all,’ said the famous friar. ‘I had a smooth, pleasant, and uneventful journey.’
We should always remember to praise God for His miracles in whatever form they come. He blesses, heals, rescues, delivers, helps, and uplifts more times every day than we can count. We should always be saying, ‘Thank You, Lord!’
Psalm 121:2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”
Thank you, David Jeremiah, for your timely message this day. It’s a perfect one!
So, on this journey called life, I choose to trust God. I may not know where He is taking me tomorrow, but I know if I trust in Him, and ask for His guidance, and look for His direction, He will not fail me.
Looking again at the scripture Dr. Jeremiah chose for today’s devotional, I am reminded of Martin Luther King Day yesterday… and the way he gave his life for his principles of Freedom, Equality for all, and Non-violence.
Yes, God said, “I will give men to exchange for your life.”
I pray we all will remember the men and women who gave their lives so that we might enjoy the peace we have today. It is still going on in those war-torn places around the world. God bless our faithful warriors who fight to keep us free and those servants of God world-wide who choose to TRUST in God’s protection as they fight to maintain their county’s freedom. Amen
Thank You, God, for the way You bless, heal, rescue, deliver, help, and uplift us more times every day than we can count.
Help us follow Your example of love and spread Your Good News with Trust and Assurance every day. Amen