Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

God is Great! God is Good!


Thank you for checking in with JanBeek today.
If you are one of the newbies here, welcome!!

You may not know that I take sermon notes in poetry most Sundays,
and then I share them here.
I do…
and I enjoy helping you hear
what I heard through my poetic filters.
Comments always appreciated.

Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on Pexels.com

Sermon by
Reverend Steve Hundley
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana
Notes by Jan Beekman

God is Great, God is Good!

Thanksgiving celebrations
Have a history with friends.
This year with COVID,
Most will find unwelcomed ends.

Reunited old relationships
Were important to reflame.
Old traditions are important.
What’ll we do to reclaim?

What can we do to overcome
This year of so many deaths?
How can we truly be thankful
When so many breathed last breaths?

Remember to give thanks
For life – no matter how short.
Help the family say good-bye,
And trust God. Give no retort!

There is no way we can
Make whining acceptable.
Suck it up and give thanks
For life! … Be respectable.

Praise and give thanks to God
For the daily gifts He gives.
Blessed be the Lord of all.
Blessed be our God. He lives!

Psalm 100 gives praise
No matter the troubles and strife.
Remember the password to God:
“Thank You!” God, thank you for life!

Rev. Steve told a story about a family Thanksgiving a few years ago where his mom ALWAYS asked him to be the one to provide the blessing. But on this particular Thanksgiving, his four-year-old second cousin interrupted and said HE wanted to say the blessing this year. Steve’s mom told him he could, assuming Steve would follow up with the REAL blessing.

The four-year-old cleared his throat and declared, “God is Great – God is Good – Amen!”
Steve’s mom asked, “That’s it?”
And the boy responded emphatically, “Yes! That’s it!”
Then she turned to Steve, expecting him to expound further.
Steve simply said, “Amen!”

Yes, that’s it … that’s all we need to know: “God is Great! God is Good! Amen!”


Steve’s opening prayer this morning: “Father in heaven, we give You thanks for life and for all of the experiences that life brings us.  We give You thanks for joy, hope, peace, and answered prayers, but we also give You thanks for our trials, sorrows, and pain.  We give You thanks for our land, for the beauty of the landscape, for the riches it provides for our living, for the people and cultures among us.  Above all things, we give You thanks for our hope in Christ, for the life and freedom that will ultimately be ours.  Teach us to cherish all Your gifts.  Teach us also to use all these resources for the good of society and for glory to You.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

*AN AFFIRMATION OF THANKSGIVING

I believe in the God of fruit time and harvest, who makes the land to bear gifts in its time and fills our tables with the bounty of His hand.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who was the first fruit of those who slept, and brings us to spiritual tables where our cups overflows.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, who causes us to remember all things for which we are grateful and teaches us to see a relationship between our gifts and the Giver.

I believe in the world as the arena of my spiritual life, where I am to share my table with the poor and my hospitality with the stranger; for in so doing, I shall fulfill the desires of my great and good God who has given me everything, and of His Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.   

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you for joining me for our Sunday service.
If you find yourself in Ennis, Montana on a Sunday morning,
do come and join us at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church.
308 W Hugel St, Ennis, MT 59729
(406) 682-4355


May the Lord Bless and Keep You safe
now and always.

See ya tomorrow.

Halloween is Coming


Halloween is coming; it was
My favorite holiday as a child.
The Wizard of Oz is a theme
That lets your imagination go wild!

Do you have a favorite costume
You wore for Trick-or-Treating fun?
My grandchildren loved to wear
Their costumes. What’s you favorite one?

Yesterday I posted a blog
About my sis and her holiday clothes.
She was a fun and quirky aunt
Who will be missed, Heaven knows!

Do you have a quirky, memorable
Person in your family who knows
Holidays are perfect times to celebrate
And whose cheerfulness always shows?

Our Boston, TazE, will have to be
The costumed member of our family
Who takes that quirky place this year.
Want to Trick-or-Treat with me?

Photo by u0410u043bu0435u043au0441u0430u043du0434u0430u0440 u0426u0432u0435u0442u0430u043du043eu0432u0438u045b on Pexels.com

Just 15 more days to get ready…
Do you celebrate Halloween?
It’s not my favorite holiday anymore …
What does it really mean?

Real Meaning of Halloween

“Hallow” — or holy person — refers to the saints celebrated on All Saints’ Day, which is November 1. The “een” part of the word is a contraction of “eve” — or evening before. So basically, Halloween is just an old-fashioned way of saying “the night before All Saints’ Day” — also called Hallowmas or All Hallows’ Day.

Modern day trick-or-treating is a confluence of various traditions. Ancient Celts dressed up as evil spirits in order to confuse demons, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

In medieval England, “soulers” would go around begging rich folk for “soul cakes” on Halloween. Instead of threatening to play tricks, however, they’d pray for peoples’ souls in return for the cake, according to “The Compleat Teacher’s Almanack.”

Throughout medieval Europe, mummering — dressing in disguises and visiting neighborhoods while dancing, playing music, and doing tricks — was popular on major feast days.

TIME reported Irish and Scottish immigrants brought “souling” to the States in the 1800s. But modern day trick-or-treating didn’t catch on in the US until the 1920s.

The practice was pretty controversial into the 1950s, though. According to the American Journal of Play’s “Gangsters, Pranksters, and the Invention of Trick-or-Treating,” many adults raised “stern objections” to trick-or-treating over the decades, as it was often viewed as a form of extortion.

Thing of the Past?

With adulthood and research, finding out the origins and true meaning of “All Hallows’ Day,” and with the onset of unsafe “treats” being distributed to innocent children by “sick” adults, and with the dangers of this current pandemic, Halloween may have to become a “thing of the past.”

What do you think?

Trick or Treat!
I’d rather have roses than candy!!

Aren’t these beautiful?
They were a gift of cheer –
Wishing us health and
offering condolences
during this crazy week
of roller coaster emotions.


Wasn’t that kind?
If I came “Trick-or-Treating to YOUR door,
what would be your favorite treat to offer?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com


I’ve been known to hand out a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush.
With all that candy, the kids’ll need my “treat!”

Love ya, my friends.
Thank you for all your words of comfort.
Hugs –
See ya tomorrow,
JanBeek

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

Don’t Stress the Could Haves


Do you have “Could Haves”?
What is it you could have done?
So why didn’t you?

We had a pie sale
Presbyterian Women
In downtown Ennis

I could’ve bought some
But I baked four pies instead
Bob bought Kathy’s pie

No one bakes a pie
Like Kathy’s lemon meringue
If I could, I would!

Bob’s a happy guy
With the world’s best lemon pie
Don’t stress the could haves!

What’s your favorite pie?
With or without ice cream?
Enjoy!

Here’s Kathy – the lemon meringue pie wizard!

Bob didn’t sweat the woulda – coulda – shoulda!
He just invited Kathy over to teach him how to make his favorite pie.
She came. He learned. But, he still likes it better when she makes them!

See ya tomorrow.
Have a Wonderful Labor Day weekend.
Don’t sweat the woulda- coulda- shouldas!
Hugs,
JanBeek

A Swiss Weekend


This is the “chalet” where our daughter, DeAna, is spending this weekend with her friend, Kade. While they are enjoying the hot tub, lovely meals, and the fantastic scenery, Andre’ and his brother, Roger, are out on a motorcycle adventure.

Another of De’s views
A Swiss aperitif
Meanwhile, Andre’s refreshment…
I’d like to be in that hot tub with De – Sante’!! …
… enjoying the view from the balcony.
Which room would you like?

Dream Big

Don’t forget to Dream Big!
My friend, Terry, and I have been studying
Bob Goff’s on-line Bible Study titled, “Dream Big”
– and this is one of my dreams:
To return to Switzerland
To visit DeAna and her family
and to rent a “chalet” like this one
and have all kinds of friends come and stay with us.

Are you on?
Dream Big!

Keep Unfulfilled Dreams Alive

Don’t forget to keep
Unfulfilled Dreams
alive and well in your heart.
It makes tomorrow
ENCHANTING!

This 12 minute video shows mainly city areas, but it gives you a great idea of the diversity of Switzerland’s landscape and architecture.
(I hope you are not interrupted by Montana political ads like I was)

My Favorite Swiss Places

My favorite places to visit in Switzerland are not the cities… although Geneva and Lucerne, are indeed lovely spots. My daughter lives in Sierre, a much smaller city, and I love to go there in the Rhone River Valley, to that “sun city” because people are more important than places to me.

The “Swiss Weekend” pictures are from a little village outside Geneva. I want to go there! Also. De & Andre’ have purchased a restaurant in a village called Vissoie. It is up the mountain from Sierre. I want to go there!

What Are Your Favorite Spots?

After visiting the 10 top spots via that You.Tube video (if you had 12 minutes to view it), do you have a favorite spot you might want to visit in Switzerland?

Have you ever been to Switzerland before? If so, I know why you want to go back. If not, I know why you want to put it on your “Bucket List.”

Keep Dreaming!
See ya tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the tiger inside me!!


Love,
JanBeek

Successful Independence Day


There were two d’Versepoets.com prompts for today. The instructions are “Write a piece of prose (flash fiction, memoir, nonfiction) that is 144 words or less and includes, word-for-word, ONE of the lines indicated above from Carl Sandburg’s Jazz Fantasia. I chose this line: “… a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills.”

Successful Independence Day

It is a hot July 4th afternoon. My husband and I are on the shady side of the bleachers. Across the arena sun-lovers shade their eyes and strain to see the gate open as the rider emerges on the hump of an angry, cinched bucking bronco.

One by one they buck out of the gates. The audience holds its breath as the rider tries to stay on the required number of minutes before the whistle blows and they are free to dismount. Too often, the rider is bucked off before the whistle. We pray no one gets trampled as the clowns emerge to divert the horse’s attention and the rider scrambles out of harm’s way.

Back home in the pasture, the horse nibbles its reward as a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills. Another successful Independence Day!

http://www.JanBeek.blog
Thank you, d’Versepoets.com for this inspiring prompt!

Fireworks, Music, and Parades


I’m watching the TV fireworks broadcasts in New York, Minneapolis, Cookesville, and Houston … big cities with great big fireworks displays all over the USA tonight.

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

But, the music to go with the fireworks just didn’t do it for me. San Francisco and Chicago Symphonies are wonderful, but no, sorry, I need PATRIOTIC music to go with the fireworks! Rhapsody in Blue?? Just didn’t fit!! Try this one:

Oh, maybe we are trying to avoid the subject of battles on this holiday?
Wasn’t it a battle won that won our nation’s freedom from England?

Well then, how about this one:

Or how about celebrating our Independence Day
by recognizing our
INTERDEPENDENCE?

We need one another …
We need our One God…
We need to celebrate and
STRIVE FOR UNITY.

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

One thing that unifies us is our love for family, right?
We all want the world to be a better place for our children.
A modern version of “The World is One” is playing now.
Ah yes, our children unite us.
Did you get to spend time with your children or grandchildren today?

Sienna and Xander, my great-grandchildren brightened my day.
Isn’t that little Sienna a cutie?
TazE is peeking around the corner here.
Xander is a Mickey Mouse fan!
Here is Hope, our granddaughter, and her husband, Drew –
– parents of those two dear great-grandchildren –
We’re so glad they came to visit today.

On my post this morning, I told you we were not going to have our Ennis 4th of July Parade this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, our neighbors, the Welnas, fixed that problem. They have their grandchildren visiting them, and so we had a private parade provided by the kids! (With a little help from their moms and grandparents)

We brought our chairs and a flag out to the front lawn when we heard the parade coming.
TazE saw them coming… she was all ears!!
Low Budget – High Quality
Best Parade Ever!!
Grandpa Welna, the parade leader
Two moms, two grandparents and three little boys…
One of the boys dropped his bike and ran after TazE!
They gave their necklaces to us… such fun!
And notice the other child in the parade –
He’s the little one asleep in the stroller!
Here are the two moms… great sports…
Helping their little ones experience their very own parade.
Too much fun!
How about this patriotic grandma?
Sue Welna is such a good sport!
Don’t you love her antennae?
Bob & I have never enjoyed a parade more than this one!!

Oh, by the way,
remember that one surviving petunia
I showed you a few days ago?
Look at our wheelbarrow now!
The antelope don’t like that solar light…
Good tip for keeping your plants safe from your neighborhood animals!

I hope you had a Happy Independence Day.
You can see we did!
Our Pastor Steve and his dear wife, Elaine, joined us for BBQ dinner.
That was the frosting on the cake of a great day.

See ya tomorrow, my friends.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Let’s Go Swiss


A couple of months ago we took a little stroll through my home state, Montana, via the lenses of several very talented photographers.

Then the next day I invited you to Switzerland where our daughter, DeAna, lives with her husband and family. It’s our go-to place when we have saved up enough to travel… and are free to do so. Three of our grandchildren are there. Of course, it’s a wonderful place to “have to” go!!

Today in my “Antelope and Attitude” post I told you I dream of traveling in 2021 back to Switzerland. For my new followers, I dug out this old post and decided to update it and let you see why I love Switzerland so much.

We sat on a patio with this view eating raclette with our daughter last time we visited her in Sierre, Switzerland, spring of 2018.
We visited that quaint village and attended the wedding of a Swiss friend.
Here are our three Swiss grandsons, Mike, Nick & Chris. That was several years ago when we visited at Christmas time. They’ve changed considerably since then!
Here’s their mom, our daughter. DeDe. Such a sweetheart! She never changes.
Her sons, on the other hand, do! But, okay, let’s look at some of their Swiss scenery. That’s why you came, right?
The lakes are sites to behold!
Castles are plentiful!
Riding in the car with my son-in-law driving on these switchbacks is an experience to remember!!
Flowers in springtime are everywhere!
Towns often were built almost to resemble fortresses.
Grape vineyards border towns and cities where the ground is fertile.
How they built castles on such high, rocky mountain peaks is beyond me!
Every square inch of the sunny mountainsides of Switzerland is terraced and planted with grapes. (This is Lake Geneva). It is near Valais, the canton where De & Andre’ live).
The lakes in Switzerland are numerous, clear, clean and so picturesque!
Castles in Switzerland are plentiful and always points of great travel interest.
In every town and village, the church steeple is always the highest point!
The way they tuck houses into crevices is amazing!!
Trains are a wonderful way to see Switzerland.
You can set your clocks by the trains and their arrival/departures.
The train system is amazing in Switzerland. Andre’s uncle was an engineer who helped design some of these bridges!
Mmmm… Cheese Fondue!
Delicious melted cheese with potatoes, pickles and onions
is “the best” delicacy of Valais! (Of course that’s in my biased opinion).
Raclette is my favorite Swiss cheese.
I love the Swiss cows. We have one of the queen cowbells hanging in our kitchen here in Montana!! I’ll show you that another time.
We usually visit in springtime or in winter (Bob loves to ski), but autumn is a gorgeous time in Switzerland, too.
The Matterhorn is one of Switzerland’s most famous landmarks.
This year De & Andre’ were working at a mountaintop restaurant at a ski resort where the only access was by chairlift. Can you imagine the views??
I love the springtime the most. Flowers are everywhere and the mountains are green and alive.
Oh, here are some more of those gorgeous Swiss cows!
Switzerland is beautiful in every season!
Thank you for visiting a few scenes with me. Thank you to #IloveSwitzerland for most of the images. Some are mine, though. Isn’t it an amazing country?
This is my oldest grandson, Mike with his significant other, Tania. We can hardly wait til the next time we get to go and visit with them. Kids grow up so fast, don’t they?
Doesn’t matter what season it is, we know our “DollyWolly” will be there to greet us!!

Thanks for visiting with me for a while. Hopefully someday we will go back… and I hope you can visit Switzerland for real yourself someday, too.

The Lord be with you and keep you safe.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!
See ya later!

Montana ATV Father’s Day


If you lived in Montana – west across the valley from the Madison Range – with two mountain ranges north and south of you filled with trails for All Terrain Vehicles, and you had an ATV, how would you spend Father’s Day?

Yup, you guessed it! We went on “Lucille” (our red-headed ATV who is a BALL) up into the Tobacco Root Range to the top of the world this afternoon.

Come and take a ride with us… way up to the snow area where snow drifts caused us to have to turn around and head back down. We’ll start up there and head down

Below that snowy area, there is a gorgeous lookout where we can view the valley below. I took a few photos from that lookout to share with you.

Looking east to the Madison Valley and the Madison Range.
See our Boston, TazE, by the road there?
Looking west from the Lookout
The fields were covered with beautiful little flowers.
On our way up to tha lookout, we stopped at Sureshot Lake.
TazE appreciated the break after the bumpy ride down.
You can see the lake below to the right of the window.

We saw twice as many campers in the camping areas this trip compared to any other year, and we’ve been traveling this route for nearly ten years. During this COVID-19 pandemic, word has gotten out. Montana is a great Big Sky place… with lots of fresh air, space, and unbelievable beauty.

And this “crowd” of campers is nothing compared to what you’d experience in California or Florida or other vacation destinations!

Time to head toward home…. there’s our Madison Valley down there.
These are called “Jack Fences.” They don’t have to be buried, so they survive the snow and freezing temperatures longer than posts that need to be pounded in.
Tucked back into these mountains are some really beautiful horse farms.
TazE knows when we get close to home. She gets up and goes on high alert!
We’re happy you joined us for our Father’s Day adventure.
Back to the pickup near this lily pond in McAllister.
Time to put “Lucille” on the trailer and go home for a barbecue.

Here’s lookin’ at you!
Happy Father’s Day, my friends.

Til next time – Happy Trails to You!
See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

He Left Us


He Left Us

He left us his roses and hydrangeas,
and his garden with zucchini,
but he forgot to take the old wheelbarrow,
and he forgot the bocci ball court.
He left his mother’s crucifix on my wall,
his watch in the top dresser drawer,
the Balsamic vinegar in the cupboard,
but he forgot to take his Gallo Burgundy.
He left in each of us his love of family,
his teary-eyed sentimentality, and he left
the aches and pains of his earthly body,
but he forgot to take his spray paint, and
his love of convertibles with the top down.
He left the wife he loved so faithfully,
the family and neighbors who miss him so,
and the unconditional love; but he
forgot the collection of nude calendars,
and he forgot to take his twinkle.
I know – I have it!

I thank God that my daddy and I had such a wonderful relationship. I am so grateful for Dad’s unconditional love and warm hugs. This photo was taken in the early 1960s when I was in college… home for Father’s Day weekend.

And here is my dad with Mom, “the wife he loved so faithfully,” at their 30th anniversary, back in 1968. Can you see the twinkle is his eye? He and Mom were married for nearly 60 years before he died in 1998.

Happy Father’s Day to my dear hubby, Bob, father of our children, Ty & DeAna. In this photo, he was enjoying a day out on the Madison River last year on Father’s Day weekend. The weather prevented us from getting out today, but the fish are waiting. We’ll get out there soon.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there.
How will you spend YOUR day?

In another couple decades, when Bob & I leave this earth,
his poem will look far different from my dad’s.
Parts may be the same, because
he will leave his unconditional love
in the hearts of all who know him, but
other parts will be quite a contrast:
no Gallo Burgundy for him!
And he won’t leave his Runquist Wines behind… no way!!
It will all have been consumed…

Cheers, my friends!
(Sante’ – as we “prost” in Switzerland)

Enjoy your Father’s Day.
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs, JanBeek

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: