Embrace Your Pastor. He or she needs your support – And needs your feedback!
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.
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!
Embrace Your Pastor. He or she needs your support – And needs your feedback!
Happy Sunday. Thanks for visiting JanBeek See ya tomorrow (God willing).
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.
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!
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. … Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
I went to our Madison Valley Cemetery this morning. The grave sites of veterans were marked by American flags. Many of the tombstones were freshly decorated for this important holiday. Come visit with me – and let’s honor the memories of our brave military ancestors.
The music at the end of this blog is so beautiful, you may want to scroll down there, click on it, and listen as you view the rest of this post.
Only in Montana might you find a gravestone decorated with a set of antlers!
The Daems memorial was especially meaningful to me. Doris was a friend of mine here in Ennis who was a faithful volunteer with the Women’s Club as well as the Madison Valley Manor and at the Medical Center. What a wonderful lady! Her 86 year-old brother and 90 year-old sister were there today to honor her memory as well as the many veterans.
It was a beautiful blue sky day. A memorial service brought many people from our area out to this beautiful cemetery today… an opportunity to honor those brave men and women whose blood was spilled on the battlefields so we might enjoy the freedoms we have today.
If you were given the opportunity to select the 3 words to go on your tombstone to describe who you are, what words would you choose? Gene Wilkins was known as “Doc” here in Ennis… “Healer” was a perfect word for him!
Two of my words would probably be “Mother” and “Grammy” – A third word would need to be “Wife” since that identifies 60 years of my life. Although I was a teacher, a principal, and a district office administrator for 36 years, I think I’d have to choose “Child of God” or “Friend” before I’d call attention to my professional career. But, I don’t know what I’d do if I had to limit it to just three. How about you?
Would you include “Hero” for a description? How about pets, would they be part of your cemetery memorabilia? I’d like an angel by mine… (my maiden name is DeAngeles – and angels are a big part of my world!)
Some of the tombstones were decorated in very special ways, but a simple stone flush with the ground with letters worn away by time and weather intrigued me a lot. Who was that veteran? Is his/her family still in this area?
Rest in peace, dear ones. May your service to our country never be taken for granted!
God bless you, dear friends. May your life be a long, happy one and may you leave a legacy that inspires your grandchildren.
Today in the USA it is Veteran’s Day. (Oooops! Nope, it’s Memorial Day!) World-wide it is Holy Trinity Sunday.
Veteran’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor the men and women who are or have served our country in the military. It is a day to thank God for four freedom and to remember the men and women who fought to keep us free. (It is Nov. 11th. I get it mixed up with today… the last Monday in May: A day to honor those who DIED while serving our country.)
My day started in my sanctuary as it usually does – A place where I feel the Holy Spirit alive and well. There, I pray to God, learn from His Son’s life, And listen to the Spirit guiding me.
Downstairs, I joined Bob who was busy fixing fruit For our breakfast. It was a beautiful blue sky day.
After breakfast, we went to church where I was a greeter And Bob read scripture. As usual, I took sermon notes.
Chuck Wright delivered the message: “Holy Trinity.”
Here are the notes I took as I listened:
Inspired by: Romans 5:1-11
We have been justified by faith. We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. We rejoice in suffering, for it brings perseverance. We were powerless until Christ came to this sod.
We received reconciliation throgh the cross. The Holy Trinity, the Godhead, is God, Son, Holy SPirit. The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible, but The separate parts are there. With ears, hear it!
Jesus existed at the beginning of time. He came to earth for the purpose of saving us. When He ascended back to His Heavenly home, He put the Holy Spirit in our hearts, engraving us.
We are marked by the blood of Jesus. We remember His blood and body in communion. We celebrate the spiritual world of God, Knowing His Trinity is present in our world – in union.
In union, the Father, Son, and Spirit are one. Understanding that is beyond our comprehension. So we read His Word. study His Son’s life, And listen for His Spirit in us. Pay attention!
God is love. Love is from God. We’re gifted with it. God sent His Son to the world to show us how to love. Christ died for us that we might live forever In Heaven with God – our Eternal Home above.
Back home, the focus was on Veteran’s (nope… Memorial Day) weekend. Tomorrow (now it’s today) we will go to the Ennis Cemetery for a special service. Then we will attend a Memorial Day Barbecue at the rodeo grounds. It started out as a meal for veterans and their families only… but then it grew exponentially until it’s “Ya’all Come!” They anticipate there could be as many as 500 diners. I’m praying for the dear guys who are preparing the food. God bless ’em! I hope they survive it! Tonight I watched a Memorial Day Concert… My favorite was the playing of TAPS. It was beautiful!
If you are in the USA, what will you do to celebrate Memorial Day?
If you are in another country, do you have a day comparable to this one – when you honor those people who served and died while in the military (in the act of service to preserve your country’s freedom?) How do you thank those who serve your country in this way?
And how about the Trinity? Is it a part of your understanding?
I am grateful for your visit here today. Thanks for reading JanBeek. See ya tomorrow(God willing)
When you think of the word, NEED, what comes to mind? Do you think of what YOU need or what OTHERS might need? Have you internalized the difference between NEED and WANT?
What is on your NEEDS list?
Learning the Difference Between Necessity and Luxury
When our son, Ty, graduated from high school, he spent a year as an AFS (American Field Service) foreign exchange student in what was then Yugoslavia. He lived with a family who was communist. They wanted their son to learn English because the next year he intended to travel to the USA to attend college.
The family was “well off” by that country’s standards. The father was head of what we might call our EPA: “Environmental Protection Agency.” They lived in a small (less than 500 square feet) apartment in Beograd (Belgrade). The family of four had two bedrooms (one for the parents and one for their daughter), a very small kitchen, one bathroom, and a living room which converted into a bedroom at night for their son. Ty shared that space with the son.
Our son learned very quickly how very privileged he was growing up with us in California with plenty of space and a swimming pool in the back yard. He learned overnight the difference between necessity and luxury. He learned his NEEDS were much smaller than he once thought – and people could live happily with soooo much less.
Happiness does not NEED a big house, a fancy car, or a lotta money in the bank. But, it does NEED at least one true friend… and a bunch of ’em is a bonus!!
Happiness does not need a room full of toys. Children who can build their own tent, play together in the woods, and go home at the end of the day of play to a loving family and a nourishing meal are blessed indeed!
I used to think that I NEEDED a glass of wine and a sushi meal every now and then…
But then I googled my needs and I discovered:
Hah! What do you NEED?
And we all need a dream – Someone who believes in us – and encourages us – and teaches us how to live our dreams.
I NEED time in the wide open spaces, time each morning in my sanctuary to pray and to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, and I NEED music in my life… because it lifts my spirits and strengthens me.
See ya tomorrow. Have a great rest of your day wherever you are.
Embrace NEEDS. See the needs of others – and fulfill them if you can!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. I NEED your comments!
And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
When I ask God each day To help me live in the Fruits of the Spirit, I begin by thanking the Lord for The love, joy and peace that are mine, But then I ask Him to help me with The patience, kindness, and goodness Which do not always come naturally. I ask for help with the faithfulness Which brings blessings, and then Help with gentleness and self control.
Those nine fruits of the spirit are God’s gifts.
Because I have the love, joy and peace, I can give them away … and they return to me. When I give love, I exhibit God’s gift through My actions – and He multiplies it in me.
God’s goodness is exhibited in the gentle breeze; It is felt in the warmth of the sunshine and in the Heartfelt hugs of a friend who finally can come visit. It is evident in every bird’s song and every flower’s blooming.
God’s goodness is in my hospitality – my open door. God’s goodness is in my phone call or the note I send. God’s goodness prompts me to share the Good News And invite you to love God and trust His promises – as I do.
God’s goodness is in you! Embrace Goodness – And share it freely. It will return to you overflowing!
Join the “Spread Goodness” Challenge – Be the goodness you want to see in this world. What can you decide to do right now That will spread GOODNESS in your path?
As Nike says, “Just do it!”
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Updated 10:20 AM ET, Sun May 9, 2021 Lynne Moody in a promotional photo for the ABC TV series “That’s My Mama.”
(CNN)Lisa Wright always knew she was adopted, but had no idea her biological mother was a star on one of her favorite television shows.Now Wright is sharing the story of having been reunited with actress Lynne Moody after 50 years in what reads like the perfect Hollywood ending, according to NBC’s “Today.” “I grew up watching my mother on TV and didn’t even know it,” Wright told the morning show. “‘That’s My Mama’ — that was our must-see TV. We all sat down and watched ‘That’s My Mama’ every week, and who knew? No idea. … And that’s my mama!”
Wright said she knew very little about Moody, who was 18 when she gave birth, and had a closed adoption.
“My (adoptive) mom told me, ‘Your mommy loved you, but she was really young, and she knew she couldn’t take care of you. I wanted the baby so bad, and that’s why your mom let me take care of you,'” Wright said. “You weren’t abandoned. This was just the best thing for you.”More of CNN’s Mother’s Day coverage
But encouraged by her son a few years ago to do genetic testing, Wright first tracked down an uncle who told her the family had been searching for her all these years and who led her to Moody, who, like her daughter, was living in Los Angeles.
Moody called her birth daughter.”A voice on the other end says, ‘Is this my daughter?’ And then I just went, ‘Oh, my God, is this my mother?'” Wright said. “And then she goes, ‘Yes, sweetie, this is your mom.’ It was just the most indescribable feeling.”It was a deep connection for Moody, who never had any other children and never thought she would find her beloved child.”When I found out that she was my daughter, at that moment, it was like I was giving birth,” Moody said. “Because I lost my legs, I was on the floor in a fetal position, screaming and crying. I didn’t know how deep that hole was.”
And the actress best known for roles in the TV series “Roots” and “Knots Landing” had a Mother’s Day message for all.”Life is full of surprises sometimes, so hang in there no matter what your circumstances are,” she said. “Be open to miracles, be open to surprises, and keep the faith.”
I have four adopted grandchildren. This story touched my heart for obvious reasons. On this Mother’s Day, there are many children out there who have been raised by loving adoptive parents. There are many biological parents out there who gave up their child for altruistic reasons. Some of them have located their children and have a happily-ever-after reconnection story. Others have reconnected, but the results were not so glorious. Still others have not tried to find their biological parents (or children) and live with that sense of unknowing, not sure that filling in the blanks would be helpful for anyone.
Whatever the situation, it is always heartwarming to me when I read about these cases of rejoining. It is sweet to know there are cases where the child can find his/her roots – and the parent can fill that empty spot with fresh discovery. I know when it happens and it is positive, God’s hand is involved… and it makes my heart sing.
I am grateful for the mom who gave her child up for adoption because she knew she could not provide a suitable home. I am equally grateful for the family who took the child in – and loved him or her completely – fully embracing him or her as their own.
On this Mother’s Day, may all those adopted children feel a sense of gratitude for the mom who gave them birth – and for the mom who raised them. May they know, whatever the circumstance, they are loved. They are wanted. They are not an accident. God don’t make mistakes!!
Embrace Anticipation! You never know what God has in store for you around the next bend.
The word “Race” implies competition when you “Run the Race.” But life lived in competition rather than collaboration is a lonely one. When I was an elementary school principal back in the 1980’s, I wrote our school theme song using the California Poppies tune.
The California Poppies song went like this:
“Poppies, golden poppies, gleaming in the sun, Closing up at evening when the day is done. Pride of California, flower of our state, Growing from the mountains to the Golden Gate.”
The words I wrote for our Caswell Elementary School in California were:
We’re the Caswell Cougars. We are Number One! Green and yellow banners Waving in the sun. Caswell is a place for Learning and for fun. We’re the Caswell Cougars; We are Number One!”
One of my fellow principals objected to our song. She felt I was in competition with her school. I responded, “There’s room at the top for more than one. Come up and join us!”
As I have journeyed through this life, I am going and growing. I am understanding better where my colleague was coming from.
Thirty years later I can look back And I can see my competitive spirit At work in that school song… Unintended yes, but obvious to others.
If life is viewed as a race, then there is room for only one at the top. The race goes to the swiftest. But a journey has room for many.
Hold my hand as we walk this path. Pray with me. stay by my side. Soon enough we will reach the mountain top And when we do, celebrate with me.
Today Bob & I are journeying to Oregon where we will join his sister and her family. We will gather to give back to one another The love we have shared on this life’s journey.
We will hear the echo of Bonnie’s husband As their daughter and son speak of the ways Their dad sent out, sowed, and radiated love During his 86 years here on this earth.
As we travel today, Bob and I acknowledge The grace of God that has allowed us to share These six decades with one another – And we take not one of those chapters for granted.
Stan Hunt’s chapters on earth have ended, But we know his story doesn’t end here. We know death is not an end to our journey; It is a beginning of our eternal life – forever with our Lord.
We will share, hug, and weep for our loss, And we will assure one another of the faith we have. We know we will see one another in eternity. We will continue the journey – writing our masterpiece!
Have a beautiful Sunday, my friends. I send you my love as we journey this life together.