Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Hold On!


What do you need to hold on to?

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At this stage in my life, I don’t need to buy anything else
(except maybe food to sustain Bob & me
and a plane ticket or two to travel
to see our kids when it’s safe to do so)
… but I need to get rid of things instead.

How about you? If you were given this prompt,
“Hold on to your ____,”
how would you fill in the blank?
Ann Kaplow tickled my creative funny bone with her post today:

Day 2886: Hold on to your …

Posted on October 19, 2020 by Ann Koplow

Check it out and see some of the things she identified.
Here are a few things I think I should hold on to:

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Hold on to your umbrella;
Let the wind carry you away.
Hang on and float high
To a joyous, better day.

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Hold on to your future
Let it carry you to the sky,
To days of brighter sunshine.
Let it carry you up high.

Hold on to your faith;
Let it carry you to love.
Let it bring you greater wisdom
And powers from above.

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Hang onto your head;
Keep your intellect intact.
Be cautious and discerning;
Know all you hear ain’t fact.

Hold onto your friends,
But remind them to wear masks.
That was Anne Kaplow’s prompt.
Be safe – is all she asks.

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Hold on to earth’s hope
For a better, safer world.
Be kind to our planet –
Don’t let this virus stay unfurled.

What do your think we should hold on to?

I’m gonna hold on to Bob.
I’m feeling so blessed that he is feeling so much better.
Did I tell you that the afternoon my sis died
was the day he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure?

I’m gonna hold on to our wonderful doctor
who stayed long after her “shift” was over –
and ordered blood work, x-rays, and an EKG,
and stayed til the results came in.
Then she walked us up the stairs to the front door
to see how Bob did with climbing stairs.
Then called the next morning to
check on him and offer encouragement
and an appointment this week
for an echocardiogram.

Yes, I’m gonna hold on to that wonderful doctor!!

And this guy:


We have had so many friends
and family members praying for us.
God is good.
All the time.
He put a song of praise in my heart.
God hears and answers prayer!


Life is looking up.
We’re holding on!
{{{Hugs}}} to you.
You hold on, too.
Love ya,
JanBeek

Where Will You Spend Eternity?


Today’s sermon message by our guest pastor, Rev. Phil Taylen at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana, focused on the theological basis for our assurance of Eternity in Heaven.

It was timely, especially given the fact that this is the week my only sibling, my sister Sally, went to her eternal home.

If you die today, do you know where you’re going from here?

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Is it Hell or a Black Hole?

My guess is that the choice is pretty clear. I was looking for a picture of a black hole… because some people believe this is it! We’re here and then we’re nowhere. A black hole… that’s where they think they’re going. They don’t believe there is a place called Hell where they will burn in the fires of an afterlife separated from God.

Or is it Heaven?

Rev. Phil Taylen’s sermon was titled, “Soaring with Eagles.” He began with that question, “Where Will You Spend Eternity?” His answer was part of a movement he called “The Evangelism Explosion.” Even though he grew up in the Presbyterian Church, he was ordained by an Evangelical Ministry – and his sermon lecture today definitely got down to the basics!

The Bible

B asic
I nstructions
B efore
L eaving
E arth

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Heaven by Grace

G od’s
R iches
A t
C hrist’s
E xpense

Grace is God’s Unmerited Favor poured out on us.
Grace can’t be earned or deserved.
Heaven is a free gift.

He cited Ephesians 2: 8-9 as further proof of the point he was teaching and preaching:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
Not of works,
lest any man should boast.”

Not By Man

Good works are important, but they will not save us.

I am a sinner.
I can’t save myself.

He cited John 8:24 to prove his message that man cannot save himself:

“Unless you believe that
I am who I claim to be,
you will die in your sins.”

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Only God

God gave us basic instructions to live by before leaving earth.

God is Love.
God is just and righteous.

In the Bible, our instruction book, God told us:

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God. …

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Heaven Through Christ

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Jesus Christ is God.

Faith is Belief

Faith is the Connector.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I don’t see the whole staircase. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Only Begotten Son, but I do not believe God will send all the Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists to Hell because they do not share my belief in Jesus as a part of the Trinity.

I believe God is bigger than religion. I believe God is omnipotent. I believe God knows all people – and He sees them through His eyes, not mine. That may make me a non-believer in some evangelical eyes. But I believe God is more inclusive than we can fathom.

I find enormous comfort in my faith – my belief in our Lord Jesus Christ – and I want to share that comfort and love with all I meet. I believe 2 Cor. 1:3-5 as quoted below:

Do you believe in Christ?

Thanks for visiting today.
Have a Blessed Sunday.
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

My Sis, Sally, Died Today


Me with Mom and Sally

Today my sis, Sally, died.
She was only a year and a half older than I.
As children, Mom often dressed us alike.
People thought we were twins.

As adults we looked so much alike, too, that our long-time friends sometimes called me Sally.

When you lose your only sibling,
A part of you dies with her.
Sally came every Thanksgiving from CA
To spend the holiday with us in Montana.

Sally with oregano

Sally always came with an extra suitcase.
She filled it with oregano that grew in her back yard.
She spent most of the week here at the kitchen table or counter
Picking the leaves off the oregano stems.

I have a couple of quart jars left of her herbs.
When they are gone, another part of her
Will disappear – You can’t find oregano that fresh –
Not in a store, that’s for sure! Can you smell it?

Sally with our son, Ty’s kids

Sally was a nut about holidays!
She had a closet full of clothes
Sorted by the holiday they represented
And she loved every one of them.

She joined her nieces and nephews
For Halloween and Christmas,
For Easter and birthdays, and
For special lunches and dinners.

Sam, Faith, Hope and Jordan with Aunt Sally at Burger King
Sally loved giving gifts and playing games
Sally & Jordan shared a Dec. 20th birthday
They continued to share even as Jordan entered his teens and young adult years.
Bonnie was Sally’s best friend. They enjoyed many River Cats games together.
Sally & Ty

Naturally Sally was there to celebrate her daughter, Jodie’s wedding.
Here she is at the wedding reception, dancing with her nephew,
our son, Ty, the daddy of those nieces and nephews.
And she was there of course, for her grandson, Liam’s baptism.

Bill & Jodie Welge (Sally’s dughter) and their infant son, Liam

Sally loved spending time with her grandson, Liam.
During the last few years of her life, she moved
from California to PA to be near her daughter, son-in-law,
and her dear grandson, Liam.

Besides her family and holidays, Sally had a love of dogs.
She inherited her poodle, Gigi, from our mom after Mom died.
Gigi was stolen from Sally when Gigi was about 4 years old.
Gigi was gone nine years, but Sally never gave up the idea of
finding her!

Sally & Gigi

Sure enough, nine years after the theft, Sally received a call from a veterinarian.
Gigi had a chip, and when she was found wandering, dirty, toothless, and infected,
the person who found her brought her to a vet. The chip had Sally’s number.
Can you imagine her joy at that reunion after nine long years? Gigi lived to be 15.
Dear friends of ours here adopted her and gave her a loving last 9 months of life
when Sally moved to PA and could not take Gigi with her to the Masonic Home.

Sally & Jodie at Christmas in Pennsylvania
Sally with me at Christmas in California
Can’t deny we’re sisters, can we?
Last Thanksgiving in Sewickley, PA

Although Alzheimer’s robbed my sis of her memory and ultimately of her ability to converse, she was tuned in and enjoyed the concert Liam and I presented in her nursing home last Thanksgiving. I am so glad Bob & I were able to go – and we had that time with her. My life is filled with wonderful memories of times we shared together.

I’m pregnant with Ty – Bob’s next to Sally & Dave with Denise
and that’s our Mom & Dad in front
Bob & me with Sally & Dave – one Easter waaaay back when!

Sally had a life filled with service to others through her church, the Hospital Auxiliary, the Girl Scouts (she led a troop for at least 50 years) and her favorite organizations, Rebekahs and Eastern Star.

Her life also was one of tragedy (her oldest daughter died at age 19 and her husband, Dave, was only 60 when he died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack). But Sally was a trooper. She continued to volunteer and give of her time and talents to others.

I was blessed to grow up with a sister who had such a big, giving heart,
She will be missed by all of us who loved her. But her spirit will live on.

Sally and Jan
at my daughter, DeAna’s wedding in 1987

I know her spirit will recognize mine when I join her in Heaven someday.
Meantime, rest in peace, dear Sis. I will carry your love with me always.

Thanks for visiting today my friends.
Treasure every sunrise.
Enjoy every sunset.
Tell your siblings how much you love them.

See ya tomorrow, God willing!
JanBeek

What a Friend!


Today I received in my “Messages” a picture of a dear friend who is fighting cancer. She is in a hospital bed at home. Her family is gathered around and her BFF (best friend forever) is on her way to be at her bedside. My heart goes out to the BFF and to my friend’s husband and children. Seeing a friend preparing to leave this earth is soooo hard!

But, my dear friend is a devoted Christian, and she knows where she is headed. She does not fear death, because she has a friend in Jesus – and she believes in God and His promises. It’s comforting to know where you will spend eternity. It’s just hard on those left behind.

Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church was the perfect topic for this day when my heart is aching because my dear friend and her family are suffering.

Today we had a guest minister, Phil Taylen. Here are my

Sermon Notes on: “Friendship Sharing”

Friendship is a special thing.
In it we all are connected.
In the New Testament, we see how
In God’s friendship, we all are protected.

The best part of friendship is
Sharing with each other the Good News,
Asking one another and telling them
Of how Jesus opens new views.

God cares about our friendship.
He opens His arms to you.
Through Christ, He came to show us
How to love as He loves: True.

As believers, we need YES faces;
Our countenance should show Trust.
God’s light should shine through us.
Radiate His love; We MUST!

To communicate God’s love
We must be trustworthy and fair.
We must share our eternal vision,
And tell our friends we’ll all be there!*

(*there is our eternal home
with Christ and one another)

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Share the simplicity of scripture,
Be sure the promise of God is heard.
He gave His only begotten Son
To save our souls. Believe His Word!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus!

Lean on Him and His promises.
Know that when your Christian friends
Leave this earth, they are going
To heaven … where eternal life never ends.

See you “there,” my friends!

See ya tomorrow.

Pray for my friend, Gloria, will you?
And I pray for you…
that you have faith in His promises, too.
Love ya,
JanBeek

World Mental Health Day


Today is World Mental Health Day.
How is your mental health?

The Bible is full of wisdom that applies to mental health.
Romans 12:18 is a perfect example.
Living in peace with everybody includes
Living in Peace with YOURSELF!

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Some people live in a self-imposed prison,
Locking themselves behind bars of self-hate;
They fail to see the self that God created.

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We all get those days that we just don’t feel good enough. Everything goes wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons from which we can learn. Here are my top ten verses that uplift and impact me when I’m at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:


I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God’s.

Keys to Positive Mental Health

The link below to an article by Brittany Morgan offers ten keys to mental health that worked for her. I found the article to be greatly inspiring. Among her ten ideas that resonated most with me was #1:

1. Unfollowed ‘energy vampires’ on all social media platforms

This one might need a little explaining, so bear with me. An energy vampire is basically anyone who comes into your life and drains you of your positive energy. (Or, any energy in general, for that matter.) I’ve been unlucky enough, as I’m sure you have as well, to meet several of these energy vampires in real life. I’ve decided this past year to unfollow any and all energy vampires on all of my forms of social media, and you should, too.

Life is too short to expend any extra energy on perpetually negative people.


If you agree with her thinking on that idea,
you may want to click the link below
to see the other nine points she makes.

10 Things I’ve Done For My Mental Health Since Last Year’s World Mental Health Day

So much can happen in 365 days.

Brittany Morgan Oct 09, 2020 National Writers Society

Photo by Maksim Goncharenok on Pexels.com

On Mental Health Day,
I wish you great peace and joy.
Let God take your cares.

Lift them up to Him
And let them just float away;
Replace them with love –

With LOVE for yourself –
Remember your Creator
Made you to be loved.

When LOVE is poured out,
The empty cup returns full!
God replaces it.

Remember you are a Child of God!!

Put your hand in the hand of the One who stilled the waters
Put your hand in the hand of the One who calmed the seas
Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently
Put your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee!

Don’t miss this wonderful song from 1970…
One of my favorites!!

Play it again!! Sing along!
Put your hand in God’s hand
And have a peace-filled
World Mental Health Day.

Bye for now.
See ya tomorrow.

Tell me how you’re doing today.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

World-wide Communion


Last Sunday was World-wide Communion Sunday. As a congregation, we were asked to bring a piece of cloth from another country. I wish I had some of the colorful cloth these darling girls are wearing!

Don’t you love them?

Many folks in our church have traveled to various countries and have returned with cloth that represents their travels. Our communion table was decorated with some of them.


Here is Pastor Steve talking before church
with one of our talented musicians, Jim.
The communion table was
just beginning to see the results
of donors gorgeous pieces of fabric.
Photo by David Eucaristu00eda on Pexels.com

Rather than going up to the communion table, we each picked up a small plastic container on our way into the sanctuary. In it was a wafer (like those pictured above) under a thin cellophane covering. Beneath that, under another enclosure with the grape juice.

Photo by Maria das Dores on Pexels.com

The wafer and grape juice represent the bread and wine which represent the body and blood of Christ broken and shed for our salvation. Christian people all over the world celebrated that tradition last Sunday. It had to be done differently in order to maintain social distancing and safety during this pandemic. But, where there is a will, there is a way. We did it!

How about you? Did you celebrate World Communion Sunday?

And if not, if your tradition of celebration is different, tell me about it. I’m curious.

Thanks for visiting.
I appreciate you.
Have a beautiful day!
Love,
JanBeek

The Joy of Human Love


Oh, for the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Enjoy this beautiful hymn while you read the rest of this post. I love The Cambridge Singers directed by John Rutter. Sooooo beautiful!!

Yes, Lord, I raise this joyful hymn
in grateful praise to You!

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending time with my granddaughter, Hope, and her family: her husband, Drew, and their two children, Xander and Sienna. I am so grateful for their visit!

Here is Hope – with her beautiful smile.

I was so busy with the children while they were in the house, I didn’t have time to think about pictures. But once they were strapped in their car seats, ready to leave, I said, “Wait! I need to capture this visit!”

Sienna was tucked in, thumb in place, too tired to smile – ready for a nap on her way back to Big Sky.
This is the typical Sienna – big smiles – big appetite!

I actually captured this photo of Xander & Drew just before Xander was strapped in. His toy phone is his constant companion. He carried on very loud pretend conversations with his dad and Bob and imaginary friends!

This is a scene a mile from our house at the golf course. I bet Sienna was asleep before they got this far!

For the Beauty of the Earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
Our voices in grateful praise!

I pray that one day my great-grandchildren will grow to become young people who can sit and listen to a story, a poem, a wise parent… as Hope and Drew share “The Great Realisation” with them. God Bless “Tom Foolery” for his beautiful poem and the timely message he is sharing in this video with his child. If you have not heard this before, please take time to to listen. It is WONderful!!

Thanks for visiting today.
Have a WONderful week.
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Enjoy the coolness
of these beautiful Fall Days!

Why Forgive?


It’s easy for someone to tell you to forgive
Easy for them to say
But they weren’t the one who was wronged
Advice is cheap today

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It’s easy for someone to tell you to forgive
Blood’s not on their hands
The ones who performed murderous acts
There: Forgiveness demands

In today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church here in Ennis, Montana, our pastor, Steve Hundley, preached on the scripture found in Matthew 21:33-46. He acknowledged that it is a hard lesson to make sense of. The vineyard owner sent workers to harvest the grapes, and the tenants of the vineyard killed the workers.

The owner sent more workers and the tenants killed them, too.

Photo by Elina Krima on Pexels.com

So the vineyard owner sent his son. Surely the tenants would respect the owner’s son! But, no… they killed him, too!

What are we to make of this story?

Photo by Ian Panelo on Pexels.com

In the midst of such horrendous acts, the bottom line is love. Love the murderers? Love the tenants who killed the people who came to harvest? Love the tenants who killed the owner’s son?

Realize that this parable is about God, the owner of all we have. It’s about the fact that we live in a world under the shadow of the “American Dream; Ownership.”

Maybe the message is “Nobody likes an absent landlord!” The tenants are the ones who worked hard to maintain that vineyard. Then, at harvest time, the owner expects to send others to reap the benefit of their hard work? No, the tenants hated the idea of others coming to reap the harvest!

When the son was sent… the parable is asking us to see that this was the Son, Jesus. He, too was killed. Killed by those who feared this Messiah was going to take what they thought they owned… the kingship, the ownership of the land and its people.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

God did not create us to take ownership of God’s resources. We are the stewards, the caretakers. God’s vineyard is not for sale. We were not even given a lease with an option to buy!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The parable doesn’t tell us what the owner did to the tenants. It doesn’t say He finally left his mansion and went down and got even with the tenants somehow… what might the retribution look like?

It doesn’t tell us He forgave them for their murderous acts. We are left to finish the story ourselves. How would you finish it?

What is your idea of ownership? What is your understanding of our Owner’s Love? Pastor Steve reminded us that Our Owner longs for a connection with us. “God desires a relationship with us… He asks that we take care of this earth – His gifts to us – and one another… and that we give a portion back.” He asks that we love one another. He asks us to forgive one another – and to love our enemies. Wow! That’s a tall order!!

Pastor Steve concluded his sermon today by reminding us:
“Our gifts are not our own.
They are God’s,
and we are given them
to use for God’s Kingdom.
We are the caretakers.
God’s love
always trumps
God’s justice.

Photo by 42 North on Pexels.com

I love you, dear WordPress friends.
Thank you for visiting today.
I hope you’ve had a Love-filled Sunday.
Hugs,
JanBeek

The Wind Whispers


The autumn wind whispers truth!
Tune in your ear and hear!
Hear the wind whisper love.
Hear with your loving ear.

Photo by Melanie Wupperman on Pexels.com

Sometimes the autumn wind howls.
It shouts Truth to the resistant.
It insists that you tune in and hear –
Hear the wind; it is persistent!

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

And like the wind, we whisper
The Truth we know is true,
And hope the hearers believe
Our words – and take the clue.

We don’t resort to shouting.
It turns hearers off, for sure.
Just keep persisting, like the wind –
With gentle words – and pure.

Photo by Jane Pham on Pexels.com

Like the wind, blow steadily
Upon the troubled ear,
And pray that they receive
The messages so dear.

For troubles need a voice
And a hearer who receives
The message of disturbance,
And readily perceives.

Photo by Mati Mango on Pexels.com

What troubles blow today
Upon your listening ear?
Are they from within, or
From someone who’s near?

Whate’re their source,
Let the Truth be known.
And with steady breeze,
Let Love’s Truth be shown.

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com

Love One Another!
Let the autumn breeze calm you –
Then blow that love to others.

God bless you!
See ya later.
Hugs,
JanBeek

P.S. Here’s an “oldie but goodie”
from the ’70s
that’s a favorite love song of mine:

Welcome October!


Welcome October!

T’is a month of pumpkins and spice
A month for Halloween candy
A month to plan your costume
When sheets are mighty handy

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

T’is a month when ghosts and goblins
And weird imaginations
Concoct front porch scenes
With spiders and smoky stations

Photo by Heorhii Heorhiichuk on Pexels.com

Just as people try to create
Wonders strange and unique ,
Look at what our Creator did –
Come and take a peak!

No one should begin to suggest
These were formed accidentally.
No, it took a God with humor –
To do this so creatively!

What do you think this is?
Look at its funny beard:
Weird, huh? It’s an ant’s face magnified at least 500 times!
And while we are admiring our Creator’s sense of humor,
take a look at this split-colored lobster!!

Our Creator’s imagination is beyond imagination!
Have you ever seen a curly-haired horse?

Well, now you have!
The coat on a poodle is a lot like this, don’t you think?

When I was a kid, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. We planned for months what our costumes would be. One year I was two things… from the front I was a princess and when I turned around, I was a cave man. How my mom created that, I have no idea. Halloween used to be safe and fun and creative. People made popcorn/caramel balls and cupcakes and candied apples – and no one was afraid to eat what you received. No one was afraid to go alone as a bunch of kids after dark!

Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com
Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

Connection and Wholeness

Yes, we are necessary to one another! If we are going to return to the safety of connection and wholeness, we need to seek to return to the people God made us to be.

We are more unique than an ant, a lobster, or a transparent fish! We are more intelligent and exceptional than a curly-haired horse. Our memories are better than theirs, too.

We need to remember what it felt like before COVID-19. Remember our connectivity. Remember when the world was a safe place for kids to Trick-or-Treat alone after dark. Remember when people knew all their neighbors by name – and people relied on one another.

Remember how creative our Creator is. If He can make an ant with that kind of face, a lobster with those characteristics, and a fish that’s transparent and that exists as an individual and as part of a larger organism, He can help us to emerge a better people when this pandemic passes. Pray for that! Trust in His creative powers.

I need you!
We need one another!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Have a safe and creative October.


See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

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