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Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

He’s Alive!


I serve a RISEN Savior
who is alive in me
through the Holy Spirit.

How about you?

Let His Light Shine!

These images of Christ are my favorites.

I am wearing a red sweatshirt today
that has a bright yellow sun in the upper left,
with blue, yellow, and white flowers
in the middle bottom.
The words on the upper right say,
“Kids make
the day
BRIGHTER!”
The letter are in green
to match the flowers’ leaves,
and in yellow
to match the bright sunshine.

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

On Easter Sunday we were expecting our granddaughter with her husband and two children. We hadn’t seen our granddaughter and her littlest one since before Christmas. They were scheduled to come at 2:00 pm for Easter dinner. No way we imagined they could come to walk with us at Easter sunrise. They live an hour away. But, coming for lunch would be wonderful.

At 1:00 pm I received a call from her husband. They had two or three reasons why I should not expect them after all. The table was set; the Easter gifts there; the Easter eggs with chocolates inside them were hidden in the downstairs music/game room. I was beyond disappointed. But, he said they would come on Wednesday instead. They’d be here at 11:00 am, he said.

Today is Wednesday. At 10:30 I got a call. I thought it was probably them saying they are on their way. No, that wasn’t the message. Instead, it was my grandson-in-law telling me my granddaughter is at the hospital. She can’t come. I won’t post here the reason. Suffice to say, she needs our prayers. I don’t know if he left her there (so she is in the hospital) or if he took her home … but he said he is coming with the kids without her.

Take a look again at those pencil drawings of Jesus. Which one is closest to the age of my great-grandchildren?

The second one… the one he is tickling could be my great-grandson. Make that big sister over His shoulder into a little sister. My great-grandkids are 3 and 5. Imagine Bob & me with them this afternoon. Pray that we can make them feel as happy as Jesus makes all those children feel.

Christ is alive in us. We have the love, joy, and peace of the Holy Spirit. He gave it to us. Lord, help us pass it on, OK?

Kids DO make the day brighter. Help us make their day brighter, too, OK?

They were this little two years ago when we took the to lunch here in Ennis around Christmas time. I posted the following photo of me with my great-granddaughter last Christmas when we met them up in Big Sky and had lunch together there – just the kids and their mom. Their dad couldn’t join us.

It was summer time when we saw them before that. Their mom & grandma (our daughter-in-law) are in this photo.

This time it’s just the dad and kids
and the mom can’t join us.
We look forward to the day
when we can ALL be together again!

I’ll post this evening
to show you
how they have grown now (God willing)…
we are waiting for them now.

Pray with me, will you?
Lord (our Living Savior),
guide their daddy
and the children
safely to their great-grandparents
in Ennis, MT today.
Please.
Thank you!
Amen.

See ya later!
Thanks for visiting
JanBeek

What’s Good About Good Friday?


That was the question we explored at tonight’s Good Friday service:
What’s Good About Good Friday?

Yesterday in my post titled, “Last Words,”
I promised I’d tell you about our Good Friday service.
I told you our pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds,
had selected passages from scripture
that recorded Jesus’ last words.

I shared a few of Jesus’ last words spoken that
last Friday … words that were memorable to me:

  1. Mark 14: 24-25 = Last supper – blood of the covenant poured out for you
  2. Mark 14:27-31 = Prediction of Peter’s denial
  3. Mark 14:35-36 = Take this cup from me…
  4. Mark 14:42-43 = Are you still sleeping? … the betrayer is coming
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

But those quotes were from Jesus’ last conversations with His disciples
before He was arrested… before He was hung on the cross.

Tonight’s “Last Words” were from the cross:

  1. Luke 23: 33-34 = “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
  2. Luke 23: 39-43 = “Truly I tell you, you will be with me…”
  3. John 19: 25-27 = “Woman, here is your son…”
  4. Matthew 27: 45-49 = “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  5. John 28: 28-29 = “I am thirsty”
  6. Luke 23: 44-46 = “Father, into Your hands…”
  7. John 19: 30 = “It is finished.”

The selection that was mine to read was #4. I practiced it a lot and still goofed up when I tried to read it orally because the scripture tells it in the language Jesus spoke: “Eloi! Eloi! Lama sabachthani!” I can say it just fine sitting here at my computer – but in front of the congregation? Put on the spot? I faked it! I hope most didn’t notice. I’m sure Jesus forgives me!

Each of us who read was invited to create and share a reflection and a prayer related to our selection.
Here is what I said: “Like Jesus, there are times in our lives when we are in great suffering or turmoil, and we feel God has forsaken us. The Good News is He never has and He never will.”

That’s what’s Good about Good Friday!

Jesus took away our sin. He died for us. Because of His life, death, and resurrection, we can dare to approach God knowing He will never forsake us. Never!

My prayer was this:

“O God, You are our hope and our salvation.
Your Son is our gift, our gateway, our guide.
We thank You for His sacrifice for our sake
that we might be assured of Life Eternal
with You in Heaven.

Thank You for never forsaking us
when we enter Your presence in faith.
We give You our hearts and gratitude.
Amen.”


Tomorrow is “Silent Saturday.”
I will not blog.

I’ll be busy Easter Sunday
with sunrise service and church
and guests here for dinner.
(Hopefully my granddaughter, Hope,
and her hubby and two children,
Xander & Sienna,
will be among the guests)

I bet you will be busy
doing meaningful things
this weekend also.
Happy Easter!

See ya Monday (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Happy 2sDay


Today (22-02-2022)
-or 2/22/22 as we record it here –
is a palindrome day,
which is a number or word that can
be read the same way forwards and backwards.

Several commenters were excited
to celebrate their 22nd birthday
on the same date as “Twosday.”

Also, starting at 2:00 pm in Las Vegas
(touted to be the wedding capitol of the world),
222 couples said their wedding vows
in a group ceremony
that ended
at exactly 2:22 pm.

Would you dash to Las Vegas
to be part of such a crowd
for such an important occasion
in your life?

I wouldn’t!

How did you spend your Twosday?

Bob & TazE and I spent ours at home –
snowed in with two foot deep
( appropriate for 2’sday)
snow drifts behind my car
and a pickup that was
unable to start –
Frozen in
-10 degree
temperatures!
Brrr!

It wasn’t “two bad.”
We were cozy inside.

How did you spend your 2’sDay?

The Gift of Love


Love is a gift from God.
Love is an action word.
Bob Goff wrote a book:
“Love Does” – have you heard?

Have you heard the Word
That tells us how to love?
It’s in Corinthians 13 –
Instructions from above.

In her post today, Caralyn of “Beauty Beyond Bones” explained her thoughts on the subject of the Source of our love. She remarked about the newest Time Magazine featuring a cover photo of Jesus. The caption, “Who Do You Say that I Am?” caused her to give us a wonderful Valentine’s Day answer:

Caralyn wrote:

“You are my best friend.
The source and foundation of my recovery.
You are my hope in hard times,
my gratitude in the good,
my comfort in fear,
my joy in the everyday,
my courage and fortitude.
You are the fullness of my heart.
You are the grace
running through my veins.
You are my everything.”

https://wordpress.com/post/35023548/25969
(Hopefully this link will take you to
Caralyn’s post today:
A God Wink Valentine)

In my devotional time with In Touch, the daily readings by Charles Stanley, the subject of love was linked to our faith. Yes, it is within all things – because all things were made by our Creator – made with love and care! But the reflection on today’s scripture reminded us that “… accepting God’s love is a matter of faith. Even when you can’t feel it, believe it.

1 John 4:7-10
Dear friends,
let us love one another,
for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves
has been born of God
and knows God.
Whoever does not love does not know God,
because God is love.
This is how God showed his love among us:
He sent his one and only Son into the world
that we might live through him.
10 This is love: not that we loved God,
but that he loved us
and sent his Son
as an atoning sacrifice
for our sins.”

Love is a gift from God.
We can do nothing to earn it
But it is ours to share!

Charles Stanley wrote:
“No one is worthy of God’s grace and mercy…
To consider yourself beyond the reach of grace
is to trample on the Son’s sufficient sacrifice
and the Father’s generous gift.”


Wear your love on your sleeve.
Radiate love with each smile.
Let love stay behind when you leave –
It’s renewable – it’s your style!

Take my heart –
and please don’t break it!
Love was make for you and me!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

I send my love to you.


Happy Valentine’s Day!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Update on 2Beeks


Bob & I have “2Beeks” on our car’s license plate.
With the last name of Beekman, the nickname “Beek” is a natural.
Sometimes we catch people driving past us, looking strangely at us.
I imagine they are looking to see if we have particularly long noses!

I have a few new followers who joined JanBeek this month.
I think WordPress’s “Bloganuary” has brought them here.
Thank you!

If you are one of them, you may not have seen the post
where I showed our family a few evenings ago
sitting around the dinner table discussing our ancestry.

We gave Bob a bad time about his “honker” (beak by another name)
and we showed him how he inherited it from his great-grandfather!
Tonight we are giving Bob a bad time for another reason:
His honker is doing a lot of honking! He has RSV.

This respiratory virus put him in the hospital in Napa on January 1st.
What a way to start the new year, huh? RSV is nasty!
After spending the night there, he was dismissed Jan. 2nd
and we were able to travel back to our son’s to recuperate.

This is not the way we hoped to begin the new year.
But the good news is we had the option of coming
back to Placerville – it was a sunny CA day today.
The recuperation time is greatly appreciated!


Bob’s cough is getting better… and soon we will be
able to hit the road and return home to Montana.
It’s not what we intended, of course, for this “vacation.”
We wanted to visit friends in Pebble Beach –
and spend time with Bob’s brothers in the CA valley.

But, we are grateful that when this curve ball
was thrown at us, we had a beautiful alternative.
Thank God for loving family and friends, right?
God has a plan for why this has happened!

“And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called
according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

God knew we needed more rest and relaxation!
Our house isn’t ready to return there now anyway!

Our soft and marred fir floor’s being replaced with amazing old wood from a 1921 silo!

We hope your year has started off happily.
We pray you’re healthy and dong what you want to do.
We trust the Lord has us right where He wants us.
And we hope, dear friends, the same is true for you.

Happy New Year!

What’s an update on what’s happening in your life?
I’d love to know how your New Year began.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Baby Jesus


jesus christ figurine
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

 

If you look for Me at Christmas

You won’t need a special star-

I’m no longer just in Bethlehem,

I’m right there where you are.

You may not be aware of Me

Amid the celebrations-

You’ll have to look beyond the stores

And all the decorations.

But if you take a moment

From your list of things to do

And listen to your heart, you’ll find

I’m waiting there for you.

You’re the one I want to be with,

You’re the reason that I came,

And you’ll find Me in the stillness

As I’m whispering your name.

Love, Jesus

 

background close up day daytime
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Merry Christmas, dear Blogging Friends.
May your day be filled with
love, hugs, and opportunities
to reflect on the real Reason for the Season.

I first posted this poem in 2018.
I decided it was worth posting again this year
because many of you are new followers,
and some of you who saw it three years ago
may have forgotten it … I did!

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Merry Christmas to you!

Celebrate that precious baby today.
Put Jesus in your heart to stay-
Carry Him with you in a blessed 2022…
We’re counting on it to be better each day!

What are your post-Christmas plans?
We’re getting ready to celebrate
my girlfriend, Sue’s birthday the 28th
and Bob 83rd b’day – the 29th the date.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace the Christ Child


One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know?”
The lyric I like most in it is, “Mary, did you know,
when you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God?”

And one of my favorite versions of the song is sung by the Pentatonix…

Have a listen… the words are powerful
and this quintet is magnificent!!

Did you know, the sleeping child you’re holding is the Great I Am?

Have a very meaningful Christmas!
Remember the meaning of the One.
Embrace the Christ Child – and
Thank God for His Only Son!

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.”

God bless you and your loved ones this Christmas.
I am praying for your health and happiness…
and for your faith in Christ which gives you eternal life –
Guaranteed!

Thank you, God!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Have a beautiful Christmas eve!
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Mi Familia


Mi Familia is such a blessing
We’re so glad we are here
The trip was long and arduous
But we traveled without fear

We knew God was with us
Your prayers were felt for sure
Thank you, God, for safety
With You our trip was secure

God bless “Mi Familia!” It is so good to be with them! Monika, our daughter-in-law, is taking the picture. That’s Ruthie & Darrell, her parents, on the left. Our son, Ty, is at the head of the table there… and of course, Bob & me. We’ll be joined on Christmas day by our grandson, Jordan, and his family – – – and our granddaughter, Faith, and her husband. They are expecting their first child (a baby girl) in April. We are so excited for them!

Monika and Ruthie fixed a wonderful dinner last night:
salmon and veggies and potatoes.
Yum!

We spent time talking
about our heritage
and remarking about
how much Ty looks like my dad,
his Grandpa Sal.
Can you see the resemblance?

Then we had fun
giving Bob a bad time
about his “honker!”
See how he inherited his nose
from his paternal great-grandfather Davis?
That’s his dad’s mother’s father.

Prior to dinner
we took time to toast “Cheers!”
to all the family and friends
who prayed us safely here –
and gave thanks to God
for answered prayers.

Outside the weather was chilly,
rainy, and then foggy …
but the spirit of Christmas
was alive and well,
warm and inviting.

Across the continent – and over the Atlantic to Switzerland,
our crazy, fun-loving grandson, Nick
(and his sweetheart Celine)
celebrated the birthday of the King
in their own way with a milkshake
from the Burger King!

Don’t you love the way the internet
shrinks the world and brings
“Familia” into our lives
from around the world?

Merry Christmas to you,
my dear blogging friends.
I pray that you have a meaningful,
love-filled holiday
with your family gathered round.

Remember the Reason for the Season…
and bring that Christ Child into your family circle.

God bless you.
Let me know what your Christmas plans are, okay?
I look forward to hearing from you…
and I thank you so much
for following my blog.
I post with you in my heart and prayers.

Bee Happy!
Bee Well!

I send my love and hugs.
Have a wonderful time with your family!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Brightness


Light
Dispels Darkness
Open His Word
Let it enlighten you
Brightness

Brightness
Is yours
If you ask
Take it to others
Share

Today at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church,
here in Ennis, Montana,
Pastor Mary Grace Reynold’s sermon
was inspired by the New Testament scripture
Matthew 2: 4-18

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[a]

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
    weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.”[b]

What a terrible scripture
to focus on during this
season of Advent!
But… the “Take-away” from the message was this:

Sermon Notes:

If something unnerves you, pay attention!
The realm of unpleasantness is not what
we expect in Advent as we wait for the Messiah.
Killing all the boy babies? Worse than unnerving!

The season of Hope, Faith, Joy and Love
is not supposed to be unsettling.
Let’s weep with Rachel over the loss of children.
Let’s weep over the bleakest of backgrounds.

Life is frequently bleak, but take heart!
Into this bleakness a star appeared in the sky.
Into this bleakness the vulnerable baby was born.
Into this bleakness, a cruel king felt threatened.

Herod, the king sat in the stain of
his own shallow angst and envy.
He looked foolishly to the stars,
believing in his own deity.

Threatened by an innocent baby,
reported to be coming as a king,
Herod ordered the death of all boys
under the age of two in Bethlehem.

God heard the cries of “the least of these.”
Jesus remembered those cries when He
reminded us to care for “the least of these.”
And friends, we each are part of “the least of these.”

Jesus/God knows the hearts of the bleak.
He injects hope in the hearts of the hopeless.
He injects love, joy and peace
into our bleak world today.

Rejoice in the brightness of God’s love.
Rejoice that God claims us.
Do not be surprised by God’s compassion.
Bask in the warmth of His bright love.

May peace, love, hope and joy be yours
this Advent season – and into the new year.
May the brightness of Jesus/God be within you.
Share His bright light with others.

Amen?

Wreath
Advent Memories
Light each candle
Remember what each symbolizes
Jesus

Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds & me


Embrace Brightness!!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Mary


Christmas is coming
You see it everywhere you look these days.
But…
It’s not a “Merry Christmas”
I am wishing for you!
It’s a “Mary Christmas!”
That’s in contrast to a “Martha Christmas!”

Luke 10:38-42

New International Version

At the Home of Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Are You Mary or Martha?

If I am not totally aware,
it is easy for me to fall into the Martha role.
Company is coming!
I love entertaining.

But, if I am busy being Martha,
I find at the end of the evening
I didn’t engage
in a meaningful conversation
with anyone!

“Oh, Jan, Jan!” Jesus would say to me,
“prepare for your guests in advance,
so when they come,
you can sit down
and enjoy their company!”

But what if guests pop in unexpected?
Should I be the Mary who lets Martha do all the work?
Surely there is a happy medium here somewhere!

Work or Shirk?

If company pops in unexpected,
drop everything and enjoy the surprise!
They didn’t come to see your house.
They probably didn’t come to eat your food.
They are there to see you!
So it’s not a question of work or shirk!

Put on a smirk –
take off the apron –
set aside the work!

If you convince them to stay
and enjoy a snack or a meal with you,
invite them in to your kitchen
and continue to enjoy one another
as you fix up some goodies together!


‘Tis the season to enjoy the love of company –
‘Tis the season to spread the joy
and remember the reason for the season.
It ain’t stressin’ yourself out with
decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping,
and
entertaining like Martha!

It’s Mary –
the Christ Child –
the simplicity of the stable –
the spontaneity of good friends –
and the Good News!

Mary Christmas!

Have yourself a Mary Christmas!

Love to you…
Pop in – and sit awhile!

Let’s listen to some relaxing Christmas music
and have a cup o’ tea or hot cocoa!

Hugs,

JanBeek

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