When I was a child at Bonita Elementary School in Crows Landing, California (yes, there is a town by that name), May Day was a very special occasion.
In the classroom on the morning of May 1st we made baskets of paper or ribbon. Then we went out into the fields around the school and picked wildflowers. We hung our baskets on doorknobs around town, rang the doorbell, and hid in the bushes as we watched the surprised resident answer the door and find the colorful, hanging gift. In it was an invitation to come to the school that afternoon for our May Pole Dance.
It was not uncommon for us to dress in special costumes, but sometime, like the first picture of the Maypole, we would dress in white. Notice the flower wreaths in our hair. Ah yes, we went all out!
We’d weave in and out of each other to create the braided base on the Maypole. You can tell this last picture is recent. Back in the 40s and 50s no girls would be caught dead coming to school in Levis!! We would have probably been sent home!
Music would accompany our dance around the Maypole … The YouTube below shows that in some places, May Day still is celebrated in today’s world.
I wonder if they still do the baskets with flowers in school rooms and neighborhoods anywhere?
I love May flowers!
Have a Happy May Day, my friends. Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
My day started with a 7:00 am Sunrise Service at our Madison Range putting green. The sun worked to peek out through the cloudy sky.
A small, but appreciate gathering lifted voices to sing “He Arose!” and “He Lives!”
Mule deer gathered close by to listen to our singing and nibble at the emerging greenery. Spring is just thinking about making its debut here!
Usually right after sunrise service, we go as a group to the Baptist Church and enjoy a yummy breakfast of assorted baked goodies and egg casseroles. This year, because of COVID-19, we had to be content to go home and make our own breakfast. Afterward, we went to church where we wore masks, socially distanced, and enjoyed the sermon of the day delivered by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley.
What are your earliest Memories of Easter Sunday? Yellow crocuses, dogwoods, And eggs hidden slightly away?
What are your earliest Memories of recognizing in your life God, the Risen Christ? Do you have to think twice?
My memory was on a morning When I’d victoriously ridden My bike down a steep hill – Suddenly God was not hidden.
I’m reminded of Mary Magdalene With the other Mary who saw That Jesus was not in the tomb. An angel said He’d risen – such awe!
They were terrified to realize You can’t escape God in Jesus. They told no one what they heard – Too scared… a Savior to relieve us?
They thought their hopes and dreams Had been buried and sealed away, Buried with Him – they believed. They all deserted Christ that day.
Peter had denied Christ three times. The other disciples hid in fear. Have we also denied the messenger Who told us Jesus is alive and here?
The Easter miracle assures us Our crucified Lord is running free. He is waiting for us to come out Of hiding to see Him. He waits for me!
Am I ready to believe the story Of a man who dies, but rose again? Am I ready to understand that He Suffered that agony to free me from sin?
The Risen Christ stands before me With nail prints in His hands and side. Am I ready to hear the Good News And know there’s no where I can hide?
With fear and amazement this Easter, I will not go away from the empty tomb- Back to daily routine, forgetting Him. No, with reverence I acknowledge Christ in this room.
Crown Him the Lord of years, The Potentate of time, Creator of the rolling spheres Ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, Hail! For Thou hast died for me. Thy praise shall never, never fail Throughout eternity.
It comes but once a year Yet its significance Lives in our hearts daily… Thank God for the gift of His Son who secured my spot and yours in heaven.
Praise Him! Alleluia! Amen!
Oh, and in the afternoon, we had the joy of a visit from our granddaughter, Hope, and her husband, Drew, and their two children (our great-grandchildren, Xander and Sienna).
Did you send out and receive a few Easter cards this season? I did.. and I enjoyed every one. I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you:
That was decorated with a glitter cupcake by our darling Ruby… with a note added from her big brother, first grader, Cord. So precious!!
And now, the eggs are gone. The Easter ham left-overs are in the fridge. The family departed. The dishes are looming large – Begging to be done… But first, join me and the Easter bunny, will you? Sit down and relax. Contemplate the day… Think about what Easter means. Thank God for the gift of His Son. Let’s drink a toast to Eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom. The dishes can wait! My computer’s about to run outta battery…
Embrace Karfreitag! That’s German for “Sorrowful Friday.” The same day named “Guode Friday” in Old English back in the 1200’s.
I always wondered how it got named “Good.” What’s good about the Friday when Christ died? I’m more apt to agree with the Germans” It’s a sorrowful day!
The Baltimore Catechism from 1885 says it is “Good Friday” because it’s the day Jesus showed his great love for mankind.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema tabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb… He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.”
Today is the day when Jesus seems gone. Mary and Mary Magdalene wept in front of the giant rock that was between them and the One they loved. Can you imagine their despair?
The reason I am embracing “Karfreitag!” is because I think it would be a shame to jump from Sorrowful Friday to the joy of Easter morning without sitting for a day and contemplating the sorrow that surrounded Christ’s death.
Imagine yourself at the tomb. Imagine the shock of finding Jesus gone… with the stone rolled away.
Tomorrow is called “Holy Saturday.” This is all that is written about it:
The next day the Pharisees and chief priests went to Pilate. “Sir, they said, we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day…”
What would you have thought if you had seen this scene on the day after Jesus died?
Holy Saturday is a day to pause gather our thoughts, process what happened, and get ready for the beautiful message of Easter.
Before you go, treat yourself to this wonderful rendition of one of my favorite hymns by a phenomenal boys’ choir … joined by the wonderful men’s voices of the King’s College Choir. You’ll be glad you did!
3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
Every morning, my friend Lisa and I exchange a prayer with/for one another Often it includes a photo of our morning scene. She lives on the east coast. Her sunrises usually differ from mine. Her sky beyond that iconic dead tree is full of life… full of promise for each new day. The lake beyond differs from my Madison Range here in my Montana morning.
Together we pray for one another… for God to guide us and grant us peace. I take such comfort in her prayers.
Do you have a prayer partner who lifts you up in prayer each morning? If not, I highly recommend you find one. Find a friend who will send you his/her sunrise. Enjoy beginning your day with a mutual prayer for love, joy, peace, health, happiness, and safety.
Turn your morning over to God and ask Him to guide your footsteps each day. Embrace Mornings. Embrace Prayer. Embrace Life.
Have a beautiful morning. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you! Didja make that corned beef recipe I shared yesterday? Mine’s in the crockpot.
Synonymous with American St. Patrick’s day celebrations, corned beef and cabbage is the perfect hearty meal for a chilly mid-March night. Though this slow cooker version can be done in 4 to 4 1/2 hours on high, the brisket cooks best low and slow. If you’re looking to venture outside the spice packet, try out the homemade blend on this corned beef brisket.
Add onion, carrots, celery and potatoes to bowl of your crock pot. Place corned beef on top and season generously with salt, pepper, and pickling spices. Scatter thyme and bay leaves over meat and fill slow cooker bowl with water until it is almost completely covering the meat.
Cook on low for 9 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 to 4 1/2 hours, until meat is tender. Add cabbage to crock pot and cook on high for 45 minutes to 1 hour more until cabbage is tender and cooked through. Remove meat and vegetables from slow cooker, slice and serve.
Pot o’ Gold Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes I instantly think of Guinness cupcakes. This cupcake idea comes with a festive surprise inside to wow anyone who takes a bite.
By Alissa and Elise McGeehan Source: Better Homes and Gardens
¾ cup special dark cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s)
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
¾ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur or caramel-flavor coffee creamer
⅓ cup butterscotch-caramel sauce (such as Mrs. Richardson’s)
½ cup assorted green and/or gold sprinkles
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350°F. Line twenty-four 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with cupcake liners. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Step 2 – Melt the 1 cup butter in a saucepan over medium-low. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in Guinness, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and granulated sugar. Continue stirring until smooth.
Step 3 – In the bowl of an electric mixer combine brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Add melted butter mixture and beat on medium-low until cooled. Reduce to low. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until eggs are incorporated.
Step 4 – With mixer on medium, add flour mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. (They will be nearly full.)
Step 5 – Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Let cool in pans 5 minutes; remove to wire rack. Let cool.
Step 6 – For frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the softened butter on medium-high until creamy. Reduce speed; add powdered sugar, liqueur, caramel sauce, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
Step 7 – Push the large end of a large pastry tip into center of each cupcake, twist to remove a plug of cupcake; set plugs aside. Fill each cupcake with approximately 1 teaspoon of the sprinkles. Trim off half the cupcake plugs and place in holes to seal in sprinkles. Pipe or frost cupcakes. Makes 24 cupcakes.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow! See ya then… Tell me how your day goes!
Don’t forget to look for that pot o’ gold under the rainbow!
“How do you define inspiration?” I asked my husband, Bob, that question at breakfast this morning. He said, “Enthusiastic Appreciation that Motivates.” I nodded. Yes, when we are inspired, the next step is action!
We may not be inspired to physically climb mountains, But inspiration will lead us to climb higher than We would without that motivation, right? I am motivated to be grateful for all my blessings.
In my gratitude, I know I am blessed to be a blessing. I am inspired to reach out in love to those around me. I am inspired to share the things that keep me moving. I am motivated to want to help my friends move forward, too.
Actions do speak louder than words, but words count! I can bless my friends and family with affirmative thoughts, Just as you inspire me by your positive comments. I am grateful for the way you inspire me.
Today is “Presidents’ Day” in the USA – a day to remember – Remember and be grateful for the two presidents who Inspired our nation to form as one union and then to unite After a Civil War that tore us apart: Washington and Lincoln.
In my Daily Guideposts today, the writer, John Dilworth, Was inspired by Colossians 3:23 to write about his experience With President Jimmy Carter’s Air Force One when the Then President Carter visited the base where he was stationed.
His picture of Air Force One is a reminder of the way The team of cadets worked at the fueling station With total commitment, unified teamwork, and Precise execution to service the President’s plane.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
What inspires you to total commitment? When have you experienced total team commitment? Where have you seen precise execution of a task? What do you think inspired each of those situations?
John Dilworth ended his message with this:
“Today as we honor our past and current presidents, I must ask myself, ‘How can I do my best for the president today?’ … One thing we can all do every day is pray for the president.” Pray for our world’s leaders, for their discernment, safety, and effectiveness.
Here is my Elfchen for today – Inspired by Proverbs, chapter 15 (An “Elevenie” – poem with 11 words in a pattern of 1,2,3,4,1):
Is that idea of a virgin birth too big a pill for you to swallow? It gets in the way of faith for a whole lot of folks.
Today’s sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT dealt with that subject… the virgin birth. He titled it:
Conceived by the Holy Spirit, and Born of the Virgin Mary
It’s a stumbling block for many To think of a baby born of a virgin… The idea can seem like a fairy tale. It can be a pill too big to swallow.
Some people believe Christ was Half God and half human. Only One who is fully God Can atone for our sins.
Only one who is fully human Can experience our suffering and pain. So many deny Jesus’ duality: Jesus was born divine and became human.
Philippians 2:7 “But made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
This verse is our first statement of faith: He found Himself as human And humbled Himself. He chose to be dependent on humans.
Jesus could not have been born Without that simple peasant girl; And He suffered all the human pain And a cruel and painful death.
It’s a gigantic leap of faith To fully believe the virgin birth. But, take comfort in knowing Even the disciples had trouble.
Even though they walked With Jesus on this earth, They had trouble believing He was the Holy Son of God.
The initial act of faith Is not that total belief. The initial act of faith Is to invite Jesus into your heart.
When your own life is changed By the love of Christ in you, Then your faith will grow; You will share that faith with others.
Jesus sees the pearls in the dust. Not what we are, but What God intends us to become. In Christ, our faith can help us get there.
We don’t begin as full believers. We begin as that dependent manger child. We begin looking for a Teacher of Wisdom, And Jesus, the Holy Son of God enters.
Let Him walk with you. Let Him help your faith to grow. When it comes to faith, The heart is one step ahead of the intellect!
by Steve Hundley
We have run our yearly race to Bethlehem, O Lord, and many are tired from what has been a very difficult year. We know that You did not mean it that way, but intended for Your Son’s birth to bring us peace and joy and renewal, and a sense of togetherness that comes from this season of love and giving.
In the stillness of this moment we turn our hearts to You as the needle of a compass points to True North. Amidst all the tension of this year, may You remain at the center, calling us to hope and to clarity of purpose. On the eve of a new year, give guidance to us and the nations of the world, as we seek to find our way out of this pandemic. Incline our hearts to modesty, honesty, and compassion. Let us be tender to all of those in need, especially the young, the old, the tired, the poor, the sick, and all who are struggling just to survive.,,
So many have died these last 10 months, O Lord. Hold in Your arms those who grieve, whose spirits are distressed by the loss of loved ones, or jobs, or homes in all of the uncertainty that surrounds them. Speak to us in our worship, we pray, in something heard or seen or felt, that we may go from this place of worship with a renewed sense of Your presence in our lives.
Let the months before us bring rest to a weary world and hope to millions who continue to dwell in darkness. Use us who wait before You to accomplish Your will, through devotion and imagination and love. We pray this prayer in the name of Christ our Savior… Amen
May you, my dear WP friends, find the peace, comfort, hope, and clarity of purpose for which we pray.
How about your clarity of purpose?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. Don’t forget to comment below. I would love to hear about your Sunday and your purpose. Hugs!!
No, I don’t want to go back! I don’t want to revisit the old normal. Surely as we move from 2020 to a new year, we’ll create a better normal.
This is my prayer this Christmas: Lord, help us learn what You have in mind for us to learn from this rare year we’ve just survived.
Letter from a Wordsmith
With his permission, I am sharing with you the first part of a Christmas letter I received this week from my former pastor, Rev. Brent Mitchell. He is a master wordsmith! He said what’s in my heart so much better than I could have said it.
“Mark it how you will, 2020 was a year not lost, but forever to be remembered for both its absences and its unexpected gifts.
By the middle of March, it became apparent that what we thought as normalcy had left its predictable confines for parts unknown, leaving no forwarding address.
Masked and gloved, we were left to fend for ourselves absent even the comfort of shaking hands or intimate conversations, the communion around tables, camaraderie of birthdays celebrated, the sacred closeness of hospital visits.
Absent of the humanizing connectivity, of those familiar and holy intersections, we were left to laugh alone, to cry alone, and hope in seclusion. It cost us treasures we never knew were so valuable and time that cannot be recalled.
“But admit it: There were unexpected gifts. There were letters we finally wrote, the books we never touched until now, the prolonged stillness that allowed us to think again, and listen to what our hearts were saying.
We talked to God because the hours got quiet enough to hear His still small voice. It happened because we watched enough TV to realize we had watched TV enough, and golden silence gave us gifts that weren’t insipid.
“I think, in short, that if we were paying attention, not only did we get older, but almost certainly wiser because even a painful awareness of what lurks in our hearts and minds is worth more than gold.
The gift was rediscovering at a visceral level that we really are never alone; nor in the absence of everyone, are we left unloved.
“My prayer is that when this is over, and it will one day be over, we won’t forget the things we learned the hard way this year: that God willing, we’ll never go back to the tired normalcy of endless distractions, of busyness as usual, and the noise that never ends.”
The Mitchell Musings December 2020
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. I leave with you my hopes and wishes for a most Blessed Christmas.