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Archive for the ‘Heartache’ Category

Embrace Our Military


My heart is breaking over the loss of the lives of 13 of our military in Afghanistan yesterday. The death toll from the blast includes 11 U.S. Marines, a Navy hospital corpsman, and one Army soldier, American officials said.

Today we learned the identity of one of those Marines who was needlessly killed yesterday in that bombing. He was only 20 years old. A young man who wanted to be a Marine all his life, according to a report I just heard. A young man who was due to be a dad in just three weeks. My heart goes out to his family and friends, the mother of his child, and to his unborn child. My prayers are with all those who lost loved ones in that attack yesterday… including the more than 100 Afghans who died in that bombing, too.

The above photo is Texas Marine David Lee Espinoza, 20,
killed in Kabul airport attack…
who was lauded for ‘courage and bravery,’

The young man is Kareem. His father’s interview was posted on-line. A portion of it was,
“Kareem loved what he was doing, he always wanted to be a Marine,” said Nikoui, noting that his son had been stationed close to home, at Camp Pendleton. This made it easy for Kareem to visit on weekends, and he often brought along “10 or 15 other Marines” with him. When the holidays rolled around, Kareem always brought a few buddies with him for a home cooked meal.

As I write this post, additional names are being released of those who were killed in the Kabul bombing. This one just came in:

“A Marine from the St. Louis area was among the 13 American service members and more than a hundred Afghans killed in a suicide bombing Thursday near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to the man’s father and a U.S. senator.

Jared Schmitz, 20, of Wentzville, Missouri, was among the dead, his father, Mark Schmitz told the radio station KMOX.

“This has just been absolutely devastating,” Schmitz told the station Friday.

Schmitz told the station the U.S. Marine Corps came to his home to deliver “the horrific news” around 2:40 a.m. Friday.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley confirmed his death in a statement posted to Twitter.

“Today I spoke with the family of Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, of Wentzville, Missouri, a Marine who lost his life yesterday in the Kabul attacks, while proudly serving this nation. I promised his family that his service and his legacy will not be forgotten,” Hawley wrote.

I THANK OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM
FOR THEIR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY
AND THEIR WORK TO KEEP US
FREE AND SAFE.

God bless our military.
Keep them safe, Lord.
Let them come home to their families
alive and well… not in a box!

Dear Friends,
EMBRACE OUR MILITARY.
They need our appreciation and support every day.

See you tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Encouragement


Do you ever get into a funk?

Life can feel downright discouraging.
Life can feel out of control.
The world is burning up here in the western USA
And life is tenuous at best
In places like Afghanistan and Haiti.

Flames are uncontrolled
Smoke fills Madison Valley
Bless firefighters
As the red sun rose
through the smoke-filled, sad, gray sky
It cleared a little
Air quality sad
My response is funky mood
Looking for more rain
Sad Afghanistan
The loss of life and freedom
Brutalization
People desperate
To leave Kabul rapidly
Not a chance of that
The Haiti earthquake
It’s horrifying! to see
Worse yet to live it

In the midst of this
Devastation, what’s the word?
It’s ENCOURAGEMENT


How can that be true?
Where to find encouragement?
Get out of this funk!

In tragedy’s midst
Where can I find strength and hope?
Circumvent sadness?

How can anything
I do or say dent sorrow?
Search within myself?

I live in such peace
That I feel enormous guilt
For prosperity.

What strength is in me
To bring firefighters hope?
To save Haitian lives?

People who have lost
Their homes and their businesses
Still have lives to live.

Can they get through this
With their faith in God intact?
Where’s encouragement?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At Bible Study
We focused on Ephesians
6:10-20

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Find hope biblically
Look for encouragement there
All is not hopeless

Don’t abandon faith.
Let it bolster your spirits
Encourage others

In our Bible Study, I was encouraged with this definition of joy:

“Joy is resistance to:

* hopelessness
* hatred
* divisiveness
* greed
* despair
* rigidity
* darkness
* complacency
* lies, and
* discouragement.”

I asked my Bible Study friends,
“In the midst of all this despair,
what can we really DO
to encourage others
and to avoid the pitfalls
of discouragement
and despair?”

They responded with these suggestions,
“Pray,
Write,
Block negativity
(especially on Social media),
Volunteer to help others,
and PLAY!”

There’s no better way
To trade your funk for pleasure
Than to learn to play!

Take a look within –
How do you avoid despair?
Click below and share!

Smile!
God loves you!
(And so do I!)

Embrace Borrowed Time


Another Massacre

Ten people were killed, including a veteran police officer, during a mass shooting Monday inside a grocery store in Boulder, Colo.

Another Senseless Loss of Lives

Another Sick Man with a Gun

Police officer among dead in Boulder, Colorado supermarket shooting

I could have been in that supermarket, in line to get my vaccine. You could have, too.

Many of us live as though there is no tomorrow. We simply have no concept of a world without us and yet each second the clock ticks away is one less second off our lives and as David said, “It is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

WE ARE LIVING ON BORROWED TIME

Psalms 90:10
The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span[a] is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.

James 4:13-14
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.


The average life span (world-wide) is less than 70 years but should we live beyond 70 years those extra years are seldom years of joy and happiness. Too many of our elderly in the USA are in nursing homes, separated from family, suffering from illness and loneliness.

If you are like Bob & me: in your 80s and relatively healthy, living independently in your home, count your blessings, praise God, and take no breath for granted!

Our whole existence is a gift from God. From the day of our birth until the day of our death we are on borrowed time.

What is the Meaning of Life?

One of the great questions of all time is, What is the meaning of life?

The Bible is filled with answers to that important question.

Eccl. 12:13
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Mark 12:30
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”

I am blessed to use my time to spread love, joy, peace, faith and unity. That is my blog’s purpose. In my retirement – in my borrowed time, I share my love with you and I gratefully worship my Creator, calling out God’s name. Sharing the name of Jesus and living with the Holy Spirit as my guide. I live with an attitude of gratitude and a response of generosity, forgiveness, obedience, and integrity. I know each day is a gift. Each breath could be my last.

WE NEED TO BE USING OUR TIME WISELY

Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

Jn. 6:28-29
28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

As Christians we are not to manage our time the same way the world manages theirs. We must make sure that we seek God in everything that we do. We are to organize our time and plan wisely for the future. There are time management apps that we can download on our phones that we should all take advantage of. If you’re old school a simple notepad or calendar will help.

We are to take care of the most important tasks first. We should pray for God to remove procrastination and idleness from our lives. We should seek to do God’s will daily.

GOOGLE Rick Warren’s 25 Important Bible verses… pray about each one.

EXAMPLES OF WASTING TIME

The Prodigal Son as described in Lk. 15:11-13 wasted his wealth, his strength, his youth and his energy on riotous living but mostly he wasted his time.

Samson wasted his strength and testimony with a woman who was of the enemies of God.

The rich farmer in Lk. 12:16-19 was preoccupied with the wealth of this world and gave no thought to the world to come.

Continually meditate on Scripture and allow the Lord to direct your life. Everything in this life will burn. Don’t put your focus on the world.

A woman who had been living a very high-pressured life moved with her family from the city to the country. The family had resolved to reduce the stresses and tensions that they had been under by entering into a gentler, easier life-style. A neighbor called on the mother one day and noticed something that had been pinned on the family bulletin board. She asked about it and the mother said, “Oh, that’s a poem that represents what our moving here was all about. The poem starts out, “Lord slow me down..” But I haven’t had time to read the rest of it.”

Before Tonight’s Sunset:

  • Thank God for another day on this earth
  • Pray for souls of the people whose lives were senselessly lost in yesterday’s massacre – for the families of the victims* – and for that sick man and his family
  • Pray for an end to hate
  • Pray for peace in our world
  • Reach out to someone and express your love and appreciation for him/her
  • Determine what you can do tomorrow to make this a better world – right where you are

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

God Bless You!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)


* Here is one of the victims – a father of seven children,
the youngest of whom is seven years old.

Dear Lord,
please put an end
to this senseless hate
and needless killings.
Help us just love one another!!
Amen

Embrace Authenticity


Authenticity:
Being who you’re meant to be –
It’s transparency.

It is no holds barred.
It’s vulnerability.
Open up your heart!

It is being seen –
Being appreciated –
Appreciating.

Appreciate those
Who are showing great courage
By being open.

Authenticity
Should always be rewarded
There’s no place for hate!

My heart is breaking.
The Asian community
Is hurting today.

Eight nonsense killings –
Six of those killed were Asian.
Questioning motive?

Coincidental?
I have trouble believing
It’s accidental.

Photo by Al-Azik Maulana Koentjoro on Pexels.com

Eradicate hate!
Hate has no place in our hearts.
Just love each other!

Anti-Asian words
Must come out of ignorance.
Don’t “they” know we’re ONE?

We’re all God’s children…
Created in His image.
Authentically His!

Let your voice be heard.
Speak with authenticity:
Speak loudly with LOVE!

What can each of us do to help eradicate hate?
What can we do to allow everyone to enjoy authentic freedom?
What can we do to demonstrate our oneness?
Embrace Authenticity!

Photo by Tuu1ea5n Kiu1ec7t Jr. on Pexels.com

Appreciate Beauty!

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

Honor the intelligence and love of all God’s people.

Be authentically proud of all who step up to serve.


Bee Authentically YOU –
You were made to be YOU… and it was no accident!
God Bless You!

Embrace Hearts


Happy Valentine’s Day!!

As I write this,
my heart is breaking.

Broken-Hearted

I just discovered this morning that my dear friend, Leena’s son, Vince, died suddenly on Friday. No warning! He was about the age of my son, Ty. Vince worked at our local grocery store. I saw him there often … always a smile, always a cheerful greeting. He was at work Friday. Friday night after dinner, he was sitting in his chair at home with his parents, and he just stopped breathing. Can you imagine the shock??

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

Prayers for All Grieving

My heart is broken
for Leena and Bob and their family.
My prayers go out to all of you
who have lost a loved one this year.

Your hearts are grieving, too,
as you face this first Valentine’s Day
without that special person.
God bless you! Link heartstrings with mine.

Heart strings

In our ZOOM church service this morning,
I provided the “special music.”
It was inspired by the February 14th message
in Charles Stanley’s In Touch Daily Devotional.

“When facing all kinds of difficulties,
many of us have a tendency to power through
in our own strength. But the reality is
that’s never effective – at least not for long.
God wants us to come closer to Him.

When we stay focused on Jesus,
we can take comfort in knowing
He’ll lead us through the hard places.

As you continue walking with Him,
trust that He already knows
what will happen in your life –
and that regardless of what lies ahead,
He will never leave you.”

EMBRACE HEARTS
Lord, link mine to yours –
And link ours to one another.
Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com
Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow

Embrace Hearts with one another –
Offer your love and support to heal.
Heal the broken-hearted by sharing.
Share your love with a song or a meal.

Not everyone has a heart full of love today;
Some are feeling quite empty.
Lord, fill their hearts with the love of God –
And encourage others to “Go With Him” today.

Hugs from JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Adversity – 8 Ways


How do you define adversity?
It is symbolized by tough times.
It is exhibited by disagreements.
It represents challenges.

How do we deal with adversity?
Why should we embrace it?
Misfortune means misery, right?
Calamity and distress are its partners.

But the Bible says, “The Lord is
A stronghold in times of trouble.”
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed.
“Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”
(Psalm 34:10b)

So let us embrace adversity
By understanding it is a vehicle
That strengthens us just as fire
Tempers steel and hardens it.

We are called to share each other’s burdens.
That is one of the purposes of church:
Congregations are called to care for,
Encourage, empathize, and strengthen one another.

“The church is a network of shoulders
Supporting the collective weight
Of everyone’s troubles, lifting burdens,
Helping others find rest for their weary hearts.”

(Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries)

God often uses hard times to get our attention.
When things are going great,
we are not so quick to turn to Him.
But trials drive us to our knees for answers and comfort.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield,
my heart trusts in Him,
and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise Him.

Photo by Luna Lovegood on Pexels.com

The adversity that I faced recently was the death of my “favorite student,” Ty Stiles. The picture above could easily have been him. His early death was “misfortune” to the highest degree! I have told you about him in several recent blogs. Yesterday was his Memorial Service at Monte Vista Chapel, his home church in Turlock, CA. I was blessed to be able to attend it virtually because the church recorded it on a YouTube broadcast.

How do we face the “misfortune” of such a loss? Only by our faith! Only by knowing God keeps His promises and Ty has gone to Heaven. We will go there some day, too. We will all be reunited. In the meantime, adversity turns to adventure. We are invited to live our lives with thankfulness for the privilege of knowing one another. We are asked to change our perspective from “I can’t handle this,” to “”I can’t handle this on my own, but I can with Jesus’ help.”

Let the adventure of today’s challenges bring strength when we feel weak, safety when we feel danger, comfort when we feel distress. Let us be the ones who stand tall and say, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” Be ever ready to leap for joy and with your song, ever praise the Lord who is our strength.

Pray for his comfort and strength, rather than praying that he’d simply remove difficulties. Embrace Adversity. Be the shoulder others lean on. God will bless you!

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Connections


https://smarturl.it/ThanksForTheDance

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Did you click the link?
The link was “Thanks for the Dance”
From Leonard Cohen.

If you didn’t hear –
Didn’t see the video,
Go up and do it!

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

EMBRACE CONNECTIONS
Look into another’s heart
See the hidden pain

Learn to disagree
Learn to listen with your heart
Show your compassion

Connections can save
The loneliest from despair
Suicide is real

Express your concern
Let your compassion embrace
Those in depression

Depression is real
Too often it is hidden
Inside solitude

Leonard Cohen’s poem
Hit me right between the eyes
Took me to my niece

‘Twas nineteen years old
When her life appeared hopeless
Jumped Golden Gate Bridge

Photo by Mohamed Almari on Pexels.com

‘Twas two weeks later
When her decomposed body
Washed its way ashore

Only dental charts
Helped to identify her
Memories are raw

Never imagined
Her pain was so very deep
Didn’t see the signs

So much is known now
Nearly forty years ago
We just weren’t aware

Today it’s rampant
Especially Montana
Third in the nation

Growing suicides
It’s not a good statistic
Something must be done


These are images from Leonard Cohen’s impactful video. (Haven’t watched it yet? Go back up to that link. Take five minutes and then come on back.) The poetry and his raspy, musical voice will touch your heart. You’ll carry it with you.

You’ll ask yourself, “What Happens to the Heart?” and you will want to be more aware, more compassionate, more helpful. You’ll look in your friend’s eyes. You’ll study your loved one’s face. You’ll ask questions. You’ll care. And you’ll want to know WHAT CAN I DO? When you see sadness, despair, loneliness, you’ll want to help. How??

There are visible
Ways we can show how we care
Check out resources

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness


Embrace Connections
They can make the difference
YOU are important!

Thanks for dropping by JanBeek

Sending you love and hugs
Stay Connected!!
See ya tomorrow


Embrace Light


Can’t bring lasting light
If the light is not in you
External light fades

The light that sustains
Is internal light from God
Your face reflects it

It shines from your soul
Whose batteries are from God
They never expire

Matthew 5:16
“In the same way,
let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Psalm 119:105

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Freely share your light
With all those who are near you
Let it shine brightly

May your light inspire
Those who need to know your Source
Let your light shed peace

You can let the Light
Shine through your soul to others
You have that Light, too

As a Child of God
His peace infiltrates your soul
Let that peace escape

Embrace the Light!

My 1962 kindergartener, Ty Stiles, after whom I named my first child, died yesterday. I told you about him in a previous post: https://janbeek.blog/2021/01/09/embrace-hope/ on January 9th.

We have been praying for Ty. He had stage 4 liver cancer that metastasized. He was home on Hospice Care with his wife, Roxanne. Ty was a Child of God whose faith was strong. He told Roxanne that he wanted to – and was ready to – go to Heaven.

In my “Embrace Blueness” post 3 days ago, I shared how a broken heart resembles angel wings… and I wrote, “Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.”

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

My faith informs me that
Ty has seen a great light.
He is in heaven…
and one day I will see
“My Favorite Student” again.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

May light shine from you
As easily as birds’ songs
Cheering all near you

Thanks for visiting.
I pray you feel the warmth
of that LIGHT within you.

Let it shine!!!
Let it sing of God’s love in you.
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs, JanBeek

Embrace Blueness


Reblogging a fellow blogger’s post… Thank you, mkvecchitto!


A Renewing Force Within
by mkvecchitto

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Malleable are lists of sins we accrue

a barter between gains we’ve won and debts we owe

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

Exhausting – holding this constant guard

Even stormy melancholy seas are drenched in

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Healing power pulses in each flaw

like a broken heart that still beats

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I was going to call my blog today “Embrace Healing,” but the I came across the post above. I decided that post is a gift in blueness – and it speaks more to my mood today than “healing” does.

Today I am blue… because the note I received from my former student’s mother-in-law, Marilyn, left me with no hope for Ty Stiles’ earthly healing. I studied my broken heart and looked again at Marilyn’s words. “He told Roxann [his wife] that he is ready to go to Heaven.” As I prayed for Ty’s last days, I looked at that broken heart again.

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

Did you ever realize that the two parts of a broken heart are angel’s wings?
Look again!

God’s angels spoke to me and reminded me that death is not final. Jesus conquered death. Ty is a believer. Ty is called according to His purpose. Yesterday Ty’s church members gathered outside his home for a prayer vigil. One of his cousins made the gathering into a FaceTime chat so he could see/hear the prayers being offered on his behalf (and if he was unable to hear and comprehend, at least I know his wife, Roxann, could. The prayers were for her, as well.

As I shared in my “Embrace Reassurance” blog a couple days ago, God hears. God cares. God answers. Sometimes HEALING does not come in the form of a magical cure. Sometimes it comes as RELEASE.

Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.

God bless Ty Stiles!

My heart is with you as you leave the pain
and embrace the beautiful blueness of Christ’s Kingdom.
Someday I’ll join you there, Ty.
Meantime, keep the Pearly Gates polished!

Thanks for joining me at JanBeek
and thank you for praying for Ty and Roxann.
See you tomorrow.

Dogs in Heaven?


Today a good friend of ours
Is having to say good-bye
To her furry companion
Such days make me cry

Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

The doggy’s name is Hannah.
She’s been a faithful friend.
Companionship and a love –
Giving comfort to the end

Photo by Szabu00f3 Viktor on Pexels.com

I wrote this poem for my friend, Fran, as a comfort as she sees Hannah off on her final journey. Bon Voyage, dear pup. You’ve been a treasured friend for over 15 years. You’ve earned you eternal reward!

I Believe

I don’t have to understand
In order to believe.
I just have to trust –
And know it’s okay to grieve.

When tragedy strikes –
Like the death of a friend –
I don’t have to comprehend
Why my friend’s life must end.

I can just believe
There’s a heaven and a hell.
My friend will ascend
To eternity to dwell.

In heaven are the ones
Who lived by the Cross.
They accepted God’s grace,
So their death is not loss.

There are people and pets
In that paradise up high.
I don’t have to understand –
Just anticipate the sky!

Photo by Ruvim on Pexels.com

Rest in Peace, Sweet Hannah.
Your cross to bear has ended –
Your life you shared and blended.
Your soul to heaven ascended.

See ya round the bend!

Have a blessed Saturday.
Say a prayer for my friend, Fran.

These pictures below are from a book by Cynthia Rylant titled, “Dog Heaven.” It was a gift to us from the Colorado State Veterinary Hospital staff after our beloved Boston, Angela, died following a two year bout with cancer.

And thank God there are fields for romping in Heaven.

See ya round the bend.
(Do you have a pet waiting for you in Heaven?)

God bless ya!
JanBeek

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