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Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

Peace of Mind


How do you find peace of mind?

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Pexels.com

In my devotional studies today,
the Moody Bible Institute’s “Today in the Word”
asked that question. What is peace and where do you find it?

If you go to Pexels.com
and put in the word “peace”
you will find many images
that suggest answers to those questions:

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

What does this one suggest to you?

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

Of course, this suggests prayer…

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

… and this has a Zen origin, right?

Photo by M Venter on Pexels.com

Many folks find peace by going out into nature and finding seclusion.

Photo by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya on Pexels.com

Others look for peace in communication
with others who are seeking the same goals.

Photo by Fernando Arcos on Pexels.com

Music provides a source of peace for me and many others.


My greatest sense of peace comes from my faith.
As a Christian, PEACE is not a place.
It is not an unattainable emotion.
Peace is a person!

My peace comes from God’s grace
in the person of Jesus.


John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I find evidence of that joy-giving peace all around me…
and I am assured of it as I read my Bible
and study the devotionals that reinforce my faith.

Today in the Word
has a study of The Gospel of Luke
titled, “Peace on Earth” this month.

In his introductory pages,
Dr. John Koessler wrote,
“This promise of peace belongs to
those upon whom His favor rests.”

Does His favor rest on you?

Photo by mododeolhar on Pexels.com

Thousands of years before His birth, Isaiah predicted Him:

Isaiah 9:6

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be upon his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.”

Then, when Isaiah’s prediction came true,
Jesus came to earth… the Prince of Peace,
Here to show us how to find His peace,
Here to show us how to live.

Ephesians2:14 put it this way:

“Jesus is our peace”
Because Jesus “came and preached peace to you
who were far away and those who were near.”

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

Jesus came, lived to show us and teach us, and died to save us.
Believing that is the road to His grace.
Believing that is the way to Eternal Life.
Believing that is the path to peace.

Dr. John Koessler wrote:
“Those who know the peace of Christ
become agents od peace themselves.
When Jesus first sent His disciples
to proclaim the kingdom,
He told them,
‘As you enter the home, give it your greeting.’
Matthew 10:12
(the traditional Jewish greeting, Shalom)

This was more than a social formality,
Christians are offering peace through
faith in Christ to others.
The shalom of Christ is more than a greeting.
It is a promise.
There is more to peace than a personal experience.
For the Christian, peace is a person.
Jesus is our peace.”

Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

Reach out!
Touch Him!
He is the Holy Spirit in you.
He is the King of Peace,
here to give you His peace.
Take it!

In Him is my peace of mind.
Where is yours?

I pray you find it in Him.
Merry Christmas!
He came to save you and me.

Love and peace to you,
JanBeek

Thank you, God, Lord, Christ Jesus, Holy Spirit
for the love, joy, and peace that are mine!

It’s Beginning


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

From my toes to my head … see that hat?

Christmas parties have begun

That’s the luncheon at our Madison Valley Woman’s Club yesterday.
45 ladies showed up from our little Ennis community!

My dear friend, Susan P, came and helped me decorate our house from tree to…

…fireplace mantle and lotsa places around the house.
She did things I could never do by myself.
God bless her!

Those candles on the mantle are battery operated
and can be set to change colors!!

Isn’t that fun?
They can all be one of any choice of 8 colors
or they can rotate.
Good ole CostCo.
They have lotsa fun things
to get you in the holiday spirit!

But nothing depicts the Christmas season
quite as well as this treasure
that I found at our Christmas bazaar last Saturday.
It’s a manger scene made by a darling lady in Nairobi.
She used the bark from banana trees!!

It’s not Christmas unless we
recognize the nativity as
central to the holiday!

Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas at your house? Tell me about it!

Have fun fixing your home
to reflect this holiday season
in a way that is meaningful for you.

For me and my family, it’s Christmas…

Thanking God for the gift of
Baby Jesus,
sharing time with family & friends,
sending out cards,
decorating with trees, candles, music
and presents…

and the fun has just begun!

Our TazE looks just like this Boston on the right.
She has decided the blanket under the tree is her bed.
She thinks the presents are for her.
Help!

Have fun this Christmas season…
and good luck keeping your dog, cat or kids
out from under the Christmas tree!

Love,
JanBeek

OOOPS!!


Ooooops! In yesterday’s post on “Waiting” I made a real boo-boo!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I was up in my sanctuairee this morning reflecting on the subject of waiting, anticipating the coming of Christmas – and I realized, Oh Lord, help me my God!! I mixed up Lent and Advent!! I said we had 40 days of waiting for the Christ Child during Advent! No, no, no… Lent is the 40 days of waiting for Easter, Advent is the 4 weeks before Christmas with 4 Sundays to celebrate the coming of the Baby in the manger. It might be the period of time the Wise Men followed the star to find the manger scene and present their gifts to the Savior.

But there is a mystery about the Wise men and their travel to follow the star. The wise men arrived after the birth. If they saw the star at the moment of Jesus’ birth, then it would have taken at least a few months for the wise men to arrive.

Regardless of the time it took the Wise Men to travel, since when did Nov. 27 to Dec. 25 equal 40 days?? Sheesh!!

The season of Advent is celebrated over four Sundays before Christmas
– this year, those Sundays are Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 11, and 18.
The Advent season ends at sundown on Christmas Eve.
The end of Advent marks the beginning
of the liturgical or church year for Christians.

Photo by Kevin Bidwell on Pexels.com

So, this season of “Waiting” is a time when my Jewish friends wait, too. They celebrate Hanukkah. The word Hanukkah is Hebrew for “dedication,” which refers to the rededication of the temple after the Maccabees’ victory. They need to wait for that season to begin on December 19th. Hanukkah, (Hebrew: “Dedication”) also spelled Ḥanukka, Chanukah, or Chanukkah, also called Feast of Dedication, Festival of Lights, or Feast of the Maccabees, Jewish festival that begins on Kislev 25 (usually in December, according to the Gregorian calendar) and is celebrated for eight days. Hanukkah reaffirms the ideals of Judaism and often involves a festival with lighting of candles each day of the festival. Although not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, Hanukkah came to be widely celebrated and remains one of the most popular Jewish religious observances. Hanukkah is celebrated from Monday, December 19 to Monday, December 26 in 2022.

The menorah is a symbol of Hanukkah. The menorah is meant to spread light to others. It is traditionally placed in a window,on a table or outside your door. Jewish faithfuls are supposed to light the menorah just after dark each night of Hanukkah.



As Christians, we pause and take time to put up our Christmas tree, decorate our home, our church, our community, and purchase the presents we want to give to our loved ones. Santa Claus has usurped the place of Jesus Christ as the central Christmas figure in many homes. It’s not Santa’s birthday we wait for and celebrate, however.

It’s not 40 days til Christmas! It’s coming sooner than you think… sooner than I imagined! We need to approach this season as innocent children… a Child of God … waiting expectantly. Focusing on the real Reason for the Season.

Jesus actually tells us to be like children and to come to Him full of faith and trust. The popular children‘s song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” reminds us that “all are precious in His sight” and no matter your race, gender or nationality, God wants to see all children come to Him.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com



So, forgive my “Ooops!” from yesterday… and get busy, my friends. Finish up those Thanksgiving leftovers, and get in the spirit! And let’s look – as through the eyes of a child – at what Advent really means:

Thanks for visiting JanBeek and my OOOPS today!
See ya tomorrow.

Hugs to you and your loved ones!

By the way, I am missing the Bell Choir this year.
Our director, Jan Thomas, is moving from Ennis to Bozeman.
Tomorrow the moving van comes.
Keep her and her hubby in prayer, wouldja?
They are going to be sorely missed in our community.


We are WAITING for a new bell choir director to emerge.
Got any recommendations?

Waiting


Photo by Gary Barnes on Pexels.com

There is more than one way to interpret the word “wait.”
The photo above shows you a waitress who is “waiting” on a table.

Some waiting is defined by
an expectation of something
or someone to come…
like a good friend.

Other waiting is short-term, self-imposed, self-defined…
…. like waiting for your food to digest before
that next meal or dessert after a huge Thanksgiving dinner!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

What are you waiting for?

Today is the first day of Advent.
As a Christian, that means we have 40 days of waiting.

The season of Advent lasts through Christmas Eve.
When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday,
it is the last or fourth Sunday of Advent.
In Eastern Orthodox churches,
which use the Julian calendar,
Advent begins earlier, on November 15,
and lasts 40 days, rather than 4 weeks.

40 days of waiting for the coming of the Christ Child
… waiting for Christmas.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

The word “Advent” stems from the Latin word adventus,
which literally means “coming” or “arrival.”
Our sermon at my church this morning
dealt with this topic of waiting…
waiting for that special arrival.

Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds
spoke about a children’s book
(I think it was a Dr. Seuss)
that depicted a “waiting place”
as a “useless place”
but she encouraged us
to view waiting differently.

She asked us what we do when we are waiting.
Some people find something to read.
Others play on their phones
or engage in conversation with a friend.
Some write letters or cards
or they reach out to help a neighbor.
Spend the waiting time productively.

I wrote this conclusion as I listened:

There is a lot we can do while we wait.
Think about the good things we can do.
Gracious God, help us make waiting useful.
Let’s fill it with good things for me and You.

We can live during this time of waiting
With love and hope in our heart.
We have control over our actions.
We can spread peace – today’s the day to start.

Ready? Begin!

Psalms 27:13-14
I believe that I shall look upon
the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong,
and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a wonderful season of Advent.

Love and hugs to you!

Make your waiting a time of love and compassion!
Reach out today!

Reblog #10 – Prayer


Prayer

openhands-thanking

Prayer is the topic of a book study we are doing with our pastor these weeks of November 2022. But, back in 2015, it was also a topic of discussion and the title of our guest minister’s sermon. Take a step back – and join me:

Prayer was the title of our sermon on Sunday, August 16, 2015 by Rev. Carol Shellenberger of Bozeman, MT. Here are the notes I took while I listened to her very meaningful and inspiring message:

Turning to the Lord in prayer
Is a habit I cultivate.
Turning to the Lord with concern
Is wise, before it’s too late.

But turning to the Lord in praise
Is a minute-by-minute habit.
It’s not just a request for courage
When we’re afraid. It’s a joy. Grab it!

Prayer is a source of inspiration.
Our Father has so much to give.
Prayer is a way to receive it…
The gift of wisdom; abundance to live.

Some folks expect too much or too little,
Looking for extraordinary results
Or doubting that God even hears.
But prayer is a part of us – like our pulse.

Turning to the Lord in prayer
Tells God we are here – and so is He.
We know He is wherever we are.
I know my Lord cares and answers me.

Prayer is not just a matter of speaking;
It’s conversation, but it’s silence, too.
If you never stop talking in prayer to God,
You never hear what He’s saying to you,

In Luke 11, Jesus teaches His disciples
To pray in a wise, simple way.
Recognize the power of God
And reflect on what this version has to say.

It’s a personal, approachable prayer
To Abba, our Papa, our Dad.
It invites us to be honest with God,
Especially when we’ve been remorsefully bad.

Be specific in naming your sins.
From your core, tell Him of your failure and fear.
Then look for the way your Savior responds.
Notice His Spirit within you. Feel His Love near.

God may not answer in ways you expect.
Our Lord is not Santa Claus in disguise.
Listen and look for God’s exquisite response.
He cares, He hears, and His response always is wise.

In faith, hope and trust,
Just PRAY!

Amen.

Take your troubles to the Lord today.
The Holy Spirit is in you – always ready.
The God of Creation who created you
Is here to help you … Helpfulness is steady.

There is nothing quite like prayer in song –
especially when it is Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion!

I have you in my prayers tonight, my friends.

Look up for your purpose!

Be safe. Be well…
See you tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

Reblog # 9 – Embrace Joy


Reblogging from  my 2020 “Embrace” series… the word for today is JOY. Pass it around!

joy

Want to be happy?
Just embrace contagious joy.
Hang with happy folks!

Find reasons to smile.
Folks will smile back at you.
Smiles are contagious!

Bee contagious!!

Psalm 144:15

“Happy are the people whose God is the LORD.”

The Good News:

God is the true source of
happiness,
strength,
hope,
and wisdom.

Those who are in His favor
will always have these things.

Just as mopey people can pull you into the doldrums,
Happy People can lift your spirits and make you smile.
Happiness is a choice… choose it!
Beeeee Contagious!
Spread JOY!
SMILE!

See ya tomorrow (of course, God is willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Reblog #3 – Montana Sunrise


NanoPoblano2022 invited us to reblog an old post each day during this month of November. I’m having fun going back through some of my first posts… Here is one from 2013 … as pertinent today as it was 9 years ago…

A New Day Shines Before Me

A New Day

A new day shines before me –
Bright as the morning sun.
It’s stretched out on the horizon –
A happy, “Good Morning, everyone!”

A new day shines before me –
But first I must be still.
Listen for God’s voice within –
And prepare to do God’s Will.

A new day shines before me –
Full of promise, full of needs.
I pray and ask, “What can I do
To be Your Love in thoughts and deeds?”

A new day shines before me –
I hear the Holy Spirit within
Saying, “Go – and see the world as Christ did.
Be Love, Joy, Peace. Ready? Begin!”

Have a Fabulous Friday, my friends.
Thank you for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow for Reblog #4.

S/He’ll Be Back!


It’s been a wonderful early winter Sunday.
It snowed all night last night!
Yes, I know… too soon!
It’s only mid-October.

See those footprints under the tree?
When I looked out the window this morning,
there was a deer,
nibbling on the berries in that tree.
By the time I dashed to get my camera/phone,
she was long gone!
I think she is the same doe
who visited us last week,
and chewed off/ spit out
the geranium blossoms that were in that planter.

Yes, she’s been here before.
I captured her on camera last spring.
She’ll be back!
She’s pretty… but she is a nuisance.
She thinks our plants were put there
to supply her salad bar!

Today’s sermon by Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds
dealt with this same theme: “He’ll be back!”

John 16:16
Your Sorrow Will Turn into Joy

16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.”

In my sermon notes today, I captured these main ideas,

Life doesn’t always turn out as we imagine.
Disappointments run the gamut.
The disciples were puzzled, not understanding
where Jesus was going and why He had to leave.
Jesus knew His disciples would grieve
and they would be mocked for believing in Him
as their Savior, so He wanted to encourage them.


20 “Truly, truly, I say to you,
you will weep and lament,
but the world will rejoice.
You will be sorrowful,
but your sorrow will turn into joy.”

He would not leave them for good…
He promised He’d send them
A Comforter (The Holy Spirit),
and then He would return to them.

Jesus told the disciples,
“The Holy Spirit is a gift
that will come in my absence.”

The Holy Spirit is with us today.
The Spirit is a nudge in the night,
the inexplicable comfort in times of distress,
a direct line to God (God on speed dial!)
Sometimes referred to as the Holy Ghost,
He will come to remind you of everything
Jesus taught during His ministry on earth.

Tragedy is tragedy-
However, there is a wisdom obtained
when we experience the goodness
and the tragedy together.

Life can take us on turns we don’t expect.
We’d like to trade pain and tragedy for comfort.
However,
disappointment and pain help us be
more fully connected to others
with empathy and compassion.
That ain’t always easy – that’s for sure!

Mary Grace concluded her sermon with this thought to ponder:
“We become stronger than what hurts us.
There is much hope in that.”


Are you like me?
Wouldn’t you rather just avoid that which hurts you?
Don’t hurts just feel like a trap?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

God is asking us to look at life’s challenges through Jesus glasses.
Don’t deny yourself the lessons learned.
When things aren’t working out, take another look!

Like that deer on my front lawn,
troubles and disappointments return.
But so do joys and blessings.

My cough has been quiet while I typed this.
It may return when I try to sleep tonight,
but it won’t last forever. JOY comes in the morning!
Hang in there, my friends.
I’ll be back!

Have a blessed week.
Today was my grandson, Chrissy’s 27th birthday!!

Happy Birthday, Toki!!
(He’s in Switzerland…)


Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment below.
I love having positive exchanges with you.


Grace to you,
JanBeek

Take Strength


My Word for 2022 is STRENGTH.
I chose it before I knew…
Before we knew the challenges ahead.
How has 2022 been so far for you?

I didn’t know how much we would need
All the strength we could get.
Bob didn’t know he had RSV,
And I hadn’t caught it from him yet.

The respiratory virus started our 2022
Off with a cough and a bang!
We were supposed to be vacationing,
But sequestered instead; DANG!!

Since then, we’ve had quite a year!
Strength has been required a lot!
Bob was diagnosed with Amyloidosis
And I tried to stay upright: NOT!

Yesterday during devotionals
Every focus of the messages was “Strength.”
I got the message loud and clear:
God drums strength home at great length.

So, where does your strength come from?
Who or what do you count on?
As for me and Bob and our needs,
We know the Lord is the Source we mount on!

Yesterday in “Mornings with Jesus,” one of my Guideposts devotionals, Cynthia Ruchti was given that Ephesians scripture as a prompt for her commentary. She and her husband had a big project they needed to complete. She said they probably should have hired a professional to do it, but they decided to tackle it themselves. She wrote:

“The key was to focus on believing I had more strength than assumed. I acted as if the strength I needed was already mine. I imagined what would happen if I applied that to all challenges in life: resisting temptation, staying strong through trials…, holding my tongue…, obeying what Jesus asks of me even when it feels beyond my ability. What if I acted as if the power Jesus promised was already mine?”

Quietly, with courage and conviction,
I am assuming the strength God gives me.
I do not take the gift of His care for granted.
I step up, try, and if I fail, He forgives me.

What challenges are you facing today?
What wall must you climb that seems too high?
What task looms ahead and seems too hard?
Lean on the Lord’s strength – Don’t be shy!

When you’re faced with troubles,
Take strength from the One who cares.
When tasks seem beyond your reach,
Remember God hears and answers prayers.

God bless you today
and give you strength
to do whatever you need.


Tell me something you need strength for…
I will add you to my prayer list!


Love,
JanBeek

Look up for your purpose!

A Humble Heart


My blogging friend, Donna, The Fathers Feet, posted this song today. I am going to sing it all day long. Listen, be inspired, and sing with me!

Give me a humble heart! Make me pure and true… Make me more like You!

🙏🏽❤️👍🏽

Melt my pride away…

Have a Marvelous Monday!

Hugs,
JanBeek

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