Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘God’ Category

What Were/Are You Expecting?


Happy Second Sunday of Advent, my friends!
It’s the Sunday devoted to the subject of JOY.

Last year at this time, as I looked forward to Christmas and New Years, I was thinking about what to give for presents. I also gave thought to what I was wishing for… what I was expecting for Christmas and for the year to come. I posted this wish for 2019:

Did I expect my wishes to come true?
You bet!

Joyfully, I can report that we have been blessed with good health and a wealth of friends and loving family, and blissful days. Not EVERY day was perfect, of course, – we all face challenges from time to time – but I am eternally thankful – daily for the JOY and peace and the love that are mine.

And now we are back in that holiday season again – looking forward to Christmas and the new year. As a congregation of worshipers, we all were drawn into that expectant mood today.

Here are my sermon notes. (If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I take notes poetically as I listen to the sermon each Sunday.)

Today in church, Pastor Steve Hundley’s message was titled,
“What Are You Expecting?”

What are you expecting for Christmas?
Reindeer on your rooftop or Santa Claus
Coming down your chimney?
Better reset your sights because…

Clyde came dressed up as Santa.
He was a crusty old guy,
And he looked like Ghandi.
But the problem was, he was high.

Clyde was high on Moonshine.
He was a jolly old soul,
But I was not impressed.
Clyde was far from my expected goal.

I was expecting the real Santa,
And I knew Clyde wasn’t he.
Like expectations of Santa,
The world is waiting expectantly…

For the birth of a Savior King,
And instead here comes a baby,
Born in a lowly stable.
He’s not the King He’s s’posed to be!

John the Baptist predeicted
The coming of this Royal King.
He spoke of confession and judgement.
He told the world about everything…

God’s prophets of old had proclaimed,
“A Savior of Priestly stock would come.”
John was so convincing, folks thought
He might in fact be God’s promised Son.

But John assured them Jesus was
The Savior King they’d waited for.
Even though Jesus was loving and kind,
Not the Leader with sword. They wanted more…

More of what they had expected.
“Are you really the One?” they inquired.
“Don’t look elsewhere; just see what I’ve done –
Go,” Jesus said. “Go and be inspired.”

Jesus reminded them that He was
Indeed doing what Isaiah said:
“The blind will see; the deaf shall hear;
The lame will walk. Believe I AM Christ.
GOD IS NOT DEAD!”

This quote by Dale Evans is worth repeating!

Have a Wonderful Sunday!
I hope you are expecting the Risen Christ!
He’s coming again, you know.

Merry Christmas!
See ya tomorrow.

3 Things You Need


What do you think might be three things you need in life?

Freedom of expression is one of my needs.

You NEED food, air and water. But do you need to impress? Is recognition one of your needs? That’s linked to that need to impress.

I found this quote some time ago and saved it. Sorry I don’t know who said or wrote it:

“To thrive in life you need three bones.
A wishbone.
A backbone.
And a funny bone.”

Hah!

I saved the wish bone from our Thanksgiving turkey!
I’m waiting for the right person to share it with.

I’ve got the funny bone – carry it with me always.

Think I’ll borrow that backbone up there!
(Actually mine is pretty sturdy!)

How about you?

Do butterflies need a backbone?

It’s been a busy season in these six days of December so far. What have you been up to?

Today I invited a friend come to our house mid-day, and she helped me decorate our Christmas tree.. It looks great, don’t you agree?

Last night we helped my friend, Bernice, celebrate her 87th birthday. Take a look at her. Don’t you agree she could pass for 70?

This morning I baked cookies to donate to our Madison County Library. They gave them to people who came by the Library during this afternoon’s “Christmas Stroll” in Ennis.

After baking cookies, I met with our Madison County Writers’ Group – and we spent a delightful hour and a half together. We started with a “Free Write” on the topic we drew from a hat… My Favorite Season. We had 15 minutes to create an essay, poem, or some kind of reflection on the topic. This is what I wrote:

My Favorite Season

Seasons come and seasons go
There are winters, summers, falls and springs;
But the season that appeals most to me
Is the one that stays because of what it brings.

It brings my favorite music and stunning colors.
It brings loving generosity and untold joys.
It prompts people throughout the world
To open hearts with gifts for needy girls and boys.

The trees all sparkle with snow and lights.
The houses hang wreaths and let candles glow.
The bells ring out to announce the reason
For my favorite season: the birth of Christ, you know?

The season brings out the best in us.
It helps us open wide our arms in love
To show gratitude for the gift He promises
Eternal life with our God above.

Merry Christmas!

After Writers’ Group, I went home to do the Christmas tree decorating before going to meet with the “Ennis Ringers.” We had our picture on the front page of the local paper this week. Can you see me front and center back row?

The Madisonian, our local newspaper published a nice article about us this week. I am first in the picture below. My bells are the smallest ones (notes of F and G ring out when I am in the right spot in the music).

I would post a video so you can hear us, but for some reason, WordPress is not allowing me to include it here. I’ve posted videos in the past, so I don’t understand the glitch.

Oh well, maybe it will let me post the video tomorrow. As the news article indicates, the “Ennis Ringers” will play again this Sunday at our church.

Yesterday I had fun at our annual Madison Valley Woman’s Club Christmas luncheon. My buddy, Lucy Ennis can be seen here in red with one of our new members who is an activities director at our local nursing home.

The ladies from the nursing home really went all out with their Christmas costumes. There’s evidence of that “Funny Bone” we all need!

Below is one of my favorite people, Bev Claussen. Her reindeer antlers light up and blink!

Remember a second bone we all need is a “Back bone.” Our Woman’s Club Executive Board is the “back bone” of this very active group of ladies. They provided a delicious lunch for the more than 50 ladies who showed up for this event. (Remember, we are a community of only 1,000 residents in Ennis – so this is quite a lively organization!).

Besides the back bone and the funny bone, we need a wish bone, right? And we need food, air and shelter. Here you see the food; earlier you saw the butterfly that adorns the air we breathe. And in my home, with the tree decorated, you witnessed my beautiful “shelter.” What about the wish bone?

Before she blew out her candles. my friend, Bernice made a wish.

I don’t know what her wish was, but I know my wishes are for you:

May you always have
all the good food,
clean air,
and lovely shelter you need.
May you always have
a back bone,
a funny bone,
and a wish bone.
And
May the bells of joy
ring in your land
and bring you peace…

… now and forever.

Amen!
What are your wishes for me?

Thanks for visiting.
See ya tomorrow!

Why Practice Giving?


Why practice giving? What’s in it for me?

Many Ways

There are many ways to “give.” My mailbox is overflowing everyday this time of year for requests to give – donate to St. Judes or St. Joseph’s Indian School; donate to Foot and Mouth Painters or Salvation Army; make an extra donation to Guideposts or my church or the Food Bank. And don’t even ask me how many text messages and e-mails I receive each day from political candidates! Yes, giving money is one way to practice giving… and if you have dough to spare, there are needy, worthy causes out there.

But do you know for sure what percentage of your hard-earned bucks are going to the intended cause? Can you see the light in the eyes of the recipient?

Face-to-Face

Giving face-to-face changes your life as well as the recipient’s. Pay it forward in the grocery line. Give a hug. Share your talent at a nursing home … maybe it’s a visit and a hug or a half hour of your time to read a little from your favorite poems. Maybe it’s a meal in your home with friends you’d like to have a chance to know better. And you’d like them to know each other. Maybe it’s transportation to an appointment for someone without a car. Perhaps it is time with a child (yours or someone else’s… doesn’t matter… just be there!).

Think of giving in non-monetary terms. Give of yourself. Give joyfully! Why?

Give as the Lord’s Example

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Generosity Encouraged

2 Corinthians 9:6-9
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”

Photo by tear cordez on Pexels.com

God Bless You, dear Friends.
Have you decided on
an answer to “What’s in it for me?”

I hope you’re having a “good” day.
Thank you for being such generous givers!
Tell me about the last time you “gave” – what was it?

Merry Christmas!
See you tomorrow.

Christmas Joys


Some favorite joys
During this Christmas season
Are fun to reveal

Is pie one of your joys of the season?

Lemon meringue pie
Is a favorite of Bob’s
He made one today

Our entry table invites you

With trees and poinsettias
A joy of mine at Christmas
Is lights all aglow

Bells at Christmas time
Joyously ring the Good News
A Savior is born!

Our nephew, Zak Beekman’s gorgeous photography

Some people travel
And find Christmas joy on shores
Far from their own homes

I like being home and putting up the tree!

Remember tree lights
Are symbols of Jesus light
Shining LOVE brightly

Be sure YOU shine, too!

Christmas means haircuts
Angel necklaces and RED
My favorite color

Clouds with silver linings

Back home from shopping
The clouds with silver linings
Tell me, “Time to Rest.”

Time to think about
What the Christmas spirit means.
What’s your CHRISTMAS JOY?

Thank YOU for visiting JanBeek.
YOU give me JOY with your presence here.
Take time to rest – and have a joy-filled December.


Tell me what brings you joy this Christmas season.
See ya tomorrow.

A Thought for Each Day


Many of you know that I spend my first hour each day up in my sanctuary.

The view from one sanctuary window

If you’ve been a follower for awhile, you may remember that one of the devotionals I read each morning is:

And I have posted in the past a list of “Take-Aways” for each day of the month. It’s been a few months since I did that. I did not post my list for November yet. Today would be a good day to do that. Perhaps you can find this list helpful. Adopt one a day, and take that message with you as you walk this rocky road called LIFE. Let it help you focus on a direction God is calling you.

November’s Take-Aways from Daily Guideposts

  • Remember Incredible Moments
  • Really “See” People
  • Choose Peace – Even in Chaos
  • Bee still to Hear/Feel God’s Grace
  • Keep Faith in Love
  • Accept God’s Extravagant Grace
  • Let Children Move, Moo, Climb & Clamber
  • Keep Your Faith Childlike
  • Always Give Your Best Effort
  • Let Your Life Praise God
  • Live in Grateful Peace
  • Unclog Your Life; Clean Up!
  • Bee Mindful of Relationships
  • Maintain Your Body
  • Know “Retirement” is a Misnomer
  • Use Your Reservoir of Love
  • Know God as Your Guide
  • Speak Only Tender, Kind Words
  • Hope Always in Him
  • Keep Eyes and Heart Open
  • Take Time to Feel God’s Presence
  • Serve Heartily!
  • Always Find Joy in Work
  • Bee Still and Listen
  • Let Space Be Transformed
  • Add Exercise To Your Routine
  • Cherish Family
  • Thank God For Your Many Blessings
  • Know God’s Working in You
  • Look into The Hearts ❤ ❤
Let everyday be Christmas!

I hope “A Thought for Each Day” will inspire you to be your best self, the person God made you to be, every day this month… and create a thoughtful habit for the New Year.

God bless you!
See ya later!

By the way, which of those “Take Aways” will you adopt for today?

"Tis the Season


Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

‘Tis the best season
Cinnamon and marshmallows
Top it off just right

Photo by Candis Hidalgo on Pexels.com

‘Tis a great time for
Pinecones and holly berries
And candles aglow

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

It’s a holy time
For remembering the Child
Whose name’s the REASON

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

‘Tis the season’s joy,
The Christ Child, who’s our Savior –
Don’t leave out Jesus!

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Santa’s well and good
As long as he also knows
That Christmas needs CHRIST!

YOU, Lord Jesus, are
The Reason for the Season.
All I want is YOU!

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com


What do YOU want for Christmas, my dear blogging friends?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya later!

Gratitude and Joy


I live gratefully
With thanks for family and friends
Gratitude brings joy

The Flights Were Great!

I hope you had a joy-filled day of gratitude, too – on that day we call Thanksgiving here in the USA. We arrived safely (thanks to my niece, Jodie) at the Pittsburgh airport around 5: AM. Our flight to Minneapolis arrived on time, with no difficulties – and we had a nice breakfast in their lovely airport. The 6:15 AM flight to Bozeman was on time and encountered no problems.

Problems Began After Landing

The problems came after we landed in Bozeman, MT and Bob tried to find our car in long-term parking. He wandered in the wrong parking lot for a half hour before realizing the car was in the next lot over. By then, I knew he was in some kind of trouble as I stood in the warmth of the airport with our luggage waiting for him.

I prayed to God, “Please help Bob solve whatever trouble he has encountered.”

Prayer Works

About that same time, Bob reported later, he realized he had not sought God’s help, so he also prayed to find the car. That’s when God nudged him to go to the next parking lot over… and sure enough, there it was. BUT, it was covered in snow… and the snow had more than one layer during the time we were gone. The under-layer was iced on.

Be Prepared

Anyone who has lived through a winter in this part of the world, should know what to carry in the trunk of your car. An emergency kit needs to include a blanket or two, gloves, a hat or two, an ice/snow scraper, etc. Our trunk had a can of de-icer and a blanket, but none of the rest of those items. It took Bob 20 minutes to clear away enough of the ice and snow to make the car safe to drive.

Yes, we know what we need to add to our emergency supply to be prepared in the future!

Home Safely

It was snowing lightly as we began the 60 miles toward home, but it let up as we crossed over the mountain pass and followed the Madison River into Madison County and our valley. The roads were clear – and we praised God for a wonderful homecoming!

Family Greeted Us

At home, we were greeted by our son, his wife, two grand-daughters and their husbands, and two of our great-grandchildren. Happy Thanksgiving!! The smell of turkey assailed my nostrils when I opened the door – and hugs all around said, “Welcome Home!”

Hail, hail, the gang’s all here!
Xander, our great-grandson
Monika, our daughter-in-law, with Sienna, our great-granddaughter
Ty, our son, with TazE, our dog

I am grateful to our dear friends, Gail & Harold, who took care of TazE while we were gone.

Here’s our granddaughter, Hope, with Sienna
The smell of turkey roasting was so inviting!
The sweet potatoes are ready for the marshmallows

It was a wonderful meal…
and great fellowship.
I hope you had a great day, too.
Now on to “Black Friday!”

Some call this “Black Friday” –
a day when merchants encourage shoppers
to come to their stores – big sales everywhere!

Only Thing Black

The only thing black about today for me is my coffee and the night sky! I am up early and enjoying some quiet time.

I hope yours is a Fabulous Friday with delicious coffee (or tea) to warm you inside, and a cozy home filled with love to warm you through and through.

Eternally Grateful

While my family is still asleep, I am up in my sanctuary, thanking God for:

  • answered prayers
  • a safe trip to Pennsylvania and back
  • the chance to see my sis in her new setting
  • the generosity of my niece, Jodie, and her husband, Bill
  • the gracious hospitality of the McSparrons in Kutztown, PA
  • the opportunity to participate in a bit of the life of Liam, our great-nephew
  • Liam’s big heart and wonderful work ethic
  • the love and care my niece, Jodie, gives to her family and my sis (her mom)
  • our son and his family who greeted us with love and a luscious Thanksgiving dinner when we returned home

Life is Good!

Bee Happy – Bee Grateful – Take Joy!

You are loved!
See ya later.

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