Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

When I first told my family…


We were having one of my favorite meals, spaghetti with meat sauce, when I first told my family that I had broken up with my fiance’. My dad nearly choked on his mouthful. My mom shoved her plate of spaghetti half-way across the table!

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To this day, I can’t eat spaghetti with meat sauce without remembering that day.

My fiance’ and I had been engaged for about a year. He was in the army, stationed in Germany. I was a senior in college, missing the social life, trying to remain true to my engagement. I wanted to attend the school’s dances and other social functions. It was hard!

Rather than being untrue to my boyfriend who was so far away (we had not seen each other in six months), I broke off with him. Obviously, my parents were devastated. Especially when they learned the guy I wanted to date was a divorce’.

“Why buy a used car when you can have a new one?” my dad finally spoke. Then he got up and walked out of the room. (Yes, Dad was a man of few words, but a list of prejudices a mile long!)

Mom followed him, without speaking a word. That was so unlike her.

Proverbs 6: 20-23

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. 21 Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. 23 For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.

The man I broke up with was from a family very much like my own. He grew up in the same area I did. We shared common roots. My parent and his got along wonderfully. The man I wanted to date was nine years older than I. I won’t get into why he was so attractive to me, but suffice to say, my parents’ dismay touched me deeply.

They let me have my “fling.” They did not bad-mouth my new friend. But when my ex-boyfriend came home on leave, they invited him over. When I returned home from college that weekend, he was there. I realized how much I loved him. That love has carried us through 58 years of marriage. Not always perfect, not always blissful, but always respectful, and always knitted together in prayer, faith in God, and common purpose. The love has grown as years passed – and I am grateful every day for my parents’ wisdom.

Put a plate of spaghetti and meatballs in front of me. I can taste the kindness of my parents in every meatball. I can hear my mom’s silence and feel her prayers in every slurp of pasta. I feel my dad’s concern about age differences and divorce. I keep their love in my heart with every Italian meal! God bless ’em!!

Today at d’Verse we are trying a new form of poetry. Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sense leads to automatic, involuntary experiences of a second one.   There are over 80 types of synesthesia described by science.   Nearly every combination of sensory experiences or cognitive concepts is possible.

Seeing music as colors is one form of synesthesia. Perceiving letters as personalities is another one, or seeing numbers in color. Even hearing colors or touching smells.

How about tasting memories?
Do you have any of those?

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This post is a combination prompt: 1) My Madison Valley Writers’ Group Prompt was the title of the blog, and 2) the d’Verse prompt informed the style and content. It’s not poetry… but it may qualify as Synesthesia. What do you think?

My Italian Daddy and me

See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting
JanBeek

Change Poetry to Prose


We were invited by dVerse Poetry to write a Prosery.

I forgot that prose is not written in poetry format. I wrote my 144 words as a poem. Let me change it to prose for the sake of following the instructions!!

Written for Monday’s Prosery prompt at dVerse.
Kim hosts today, asking us to include the line “From across the room, we look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time” in a piece of flash fiction, exactly 144 words in length. The line is from D. H. Lawrence’s poem Humming Bird.

Ole Tom

We see Ole Tom with his bent shoulders and thinning torso. We see his wind-weathered face and his thinning gray hair. He sits in my living room strumming his guitar, singing the fourteenth verse of an old folk song. He has a thousand such songs tucked into his head, along with the entire books of Matthew and Acts.

We see him as an ancient sage. We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time. His mind is sharper than mine ever was, and he shows no signs of stopping.

Each Christmas Ole Tom recites the Christmas story from the book of Acts, never reading, just expounding, amazing the congregation with his masterful memory. His is the epitome of a wise man: Ninety-three going on thirty. Never see him as old and never underestimate Ole Tom. Turn that telescope around!

Bob, Jan & Tom
New Years Eve, 2011

Now you have been told which “line” was dictated to be used… did you guess it in the previous form where it was two lines in the poem?

Whenever I see or hear a guitar,
I always think of Tom.
And I never looked at him through the wrong end of a telescope!

Thanks for checking back in
to see poetry changed to prose.
Hugs,
JanBeek

World Mental Health Day


Today is World Mental Health Day.
How is your mental health?

The Bible is full of wisdom that applies to mental health.
Romans 12:18 is a perfect example.
Living in peace with everybody includes
Living in Peace with YOURSELF!

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Some people live in a self-imposed prison,
Locking themselves behind bars of self-hate;
They fail to see the self that God created.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

We all get those days that we just don’t feel good enough. Everything goes wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons from which we can learn. Here are my top ten verses that uplift and impact me when I’m at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:


I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God’s.

Keys to Positive Mental Health

The link below to an article by Brittany Morgan offers ten keys to mental health that worked for her. I found the article to be greatly inspiring. Among her ten ideas that resonated most with me was #1:

1. Unfollowed ‘energy vampires’ on all social media platforms

This one might need a little explaining, so bear with me. An energy vampire is basically anyone who comes into your life and drains you of your positive energy. (Or, any energy in general, for that matter.) I’ve been unlucky enough, as I’m sure you have as well, to meet several of these energy vampires in real life. I’ve decided this past year to unfollow any and all energy vampires on all of my forms of social media, and you should, too.

Life is too short to expend any extra energy on perpetually negative people.


If you agree with her thinking on that idea,
you may want to click the link below
to see the other nine points she makes.

10 Things I’ve Done For My Mental Health Since Last Year’s World Mental Health Day

So much can happen in 365 days.

Brittany Morgan Oct 09, 2020 National Writers Society

Photo by Maksim Goncharenok on Pexels.com

On Mental Health Day,
I wish you great peace and joy.
Let God take your cares.

Lift them up to Him
And let them just float away;
Replace them with love –

With LOVE for yourself –
Remember your Creator
Made you to be loved.

When LOVE is poured out,
The empty cup returns full!
God replaces it.

Remember you are a Child of God!!

Put your hand in the hand of the One who stilled the waters
Put your hand in the hand of the One who calmed the seas
Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently
Put your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee!

Don’t miss this wonderful song from 1970…
One of my favorites!!

Play it again!! Sing along!
Put your hand in God’s hand
And have a peace-filled
World Mental Health Day.

Bye for now.
See ya tomorrow.

Tell me how you’re doing today.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Why Forgive?


It’s easy for someone to tell you to forgive
Easy for them to say
But they weren’t the one who was wronged
Advice is cheap today

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It’s easy for someone to tell you to forgive
Blood’s not on their hands
The ones who performed murderous acts
There: Forgiveness demands

In today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church here in Ennis, Montana, our pastor, Steve Hundley, preached on the scripture found in Matthew 21:33-46. He acknowledged that it is a hard lesson to make sense of. The vineyard owner sent workers to harvest the grapes, and the tenants of the vineyard killed the workers.

The owner sent more workers and the tenants killed them, too.

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So the vineyard owner sent his son. Surely the tenants would respect the owner’s son! But, no… they killed him, too!

What are we to make of this story?

Photo by Ian Panelo on Pexels.com

In the midst of such horrendous acts, the bottom line is love. Love the murderers? Love the tenants who killed the people who came to harvest? Love the tenants who killed the owner’s son?

Realize that this parable is about God, the owner of all we have. It’s about the fact that we live in a world under the shadow of the “American Dream; Ownership.”

Maybe the message is “Nobody likes an absent landlord!” The tenants are the ones who worked hard to maintain that vineyard. Then, at harvest time, the owner expects to send others to reap the benefit of their hard work? No, the tenants hated the idea of others coming to reap the harvest!

When the son was sent… the parable is asking us to see that this was the Son, Jesus. He, too was killed. Killed by those who feared this Messiah was going to take what they thought they owned… the kingship, the ownership of the land and its people.

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God did not create us to take ownership of God’s resources. We are the stewards, the caretakers. God’s vineyard is not for sale. We were not even given a lease with an option to buy!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The parable doesn’t tell us what the owner did to the tenants. It doesn’t say He finally left his mansion and went down and got even with the tenants somehow… what might the retribution look like?

It doesn’t tell us He forgave them for their murderous acts. We are left to finish the story ourselves. How would you finish it?

What is your idea of ownership? What is your understanding of our Owner’s Love? Pastor Steve reminded us that Our Owner longs for a connection with us. “God desires a relationship with us… He asks that we take care of this earth – His gifts to us – and one another… and that we give a portion back.” He asks that we love one another. He asks us to forgive one another – and to love our enemies. Wow! That’s a tall order!!

Pastor Steve concluded his sermon today by reminding us:
“Our gifts are not our own.
They are God’s,
and we are given them
to use for God’s Kingdom.
We are the caretakers.
God’s love
always trumps
God’s justice.

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I love you, dear WordPress friends.
Thank you for visiting today.
I hope you’ve had a Love-filled Sunday.
Hugs,
JanBeek

Major Setbacks


How many setbacks
Has life tossed your way?
Have they made you stronger
And more confident today?

What kinds of setbacks
Add quality to your life?
Do you gain ultimate happiness
By walking through major strife?

What constitutes a setback?
Loss of a job, death of a spouse,
Disappointment at a missed goal?
Losing a bid on your dream house?

How do setbacks make us stronger?
COVID-19 is a world-wide setback.
Will this pandemic make us better?
Will it teach us the compassion we lack?

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We are one…
We all have setbacks…
We need to reach out to one another…
We need to help one another – pull each other up –
And be sure this setback teaches us the lessons we need to learn.
What are they?

See ya tomorrow.
Hugs,
JanBeek

Is God’s Grace Exasperating?


Today’s sermon at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
was titled, “The Amazing and Exasperating Grace of God.”
I’ve certainly heard God’s grace described as
AMAZING before. That’s typical.
But, exasperating?
When?
How?

Do you know the story of the “Workers in the Vineyard”? It’s found in Matthew 20: 1-16.
Essentially it tells of a landowner who needed extra workers in his vineyard. He agreed to pay the ones who started picking grapes that morning a silver coin for their day’s labor.

Later, with just an hour left in the work day, he realized the workers needed help to finish the job before sundown, so he hired a bunch more workers to help finish the job. This last bunch were the “left-overs” who had not been hired earlier. We can only imagine why they may have been left behind.

At the end of the day, the ones who came last (and had only worked an hour) were paid first. Each received a silver coin.

The ones who had worked all day saw that – and figured they would get more. They probably expected ten times more, since they had worked a ten hour day. When all they received was the same pay as the ones who worked only the last hour, they complained bitterly.

On that story, Rev. Steve Hundley based his sermon, and I took notes (as I do each Sunday) in poetry as I listened. Here they are:

The Amazing and Exasperating Grace of God

Reading the Word of God daily
Helps you discover joy in life;
But some difficult passages
Cause misunderstanding and strife.

Like the story of the workers
Who were paid equal wages
Whether they worked one hour
Or ten… Imagine the rages!

It’s hard to understand
How such treatment is fair.
Jesus explained the boss could
Pay the wages anyway he cared.

Likewise, those who come lately
To the Kingdom of God on earth
Will receive the same blessings as
Those who served the Lord since birth.

Does this seem a fair idea?
Are deathbed conversions real?
Maybe some of them are fake,
But it’s not up to me or how I feel.

This parable isn’t about the workers.
It’s about the generous vineyard boss
Who is a symbol of our Gracious God.
He focuses on the workers, not the cost.

Our God calls out the left-overs
And tells them, “I have room for you.”
God’s amazing grace and love are real,
And they’re available to all – not just a few.

Load me up, Lord.
Haul me to your vineyard.
I’m ready to work!
Amen.


Have you ever found God’s Amazing Grace to be Exasperating?

Or is there a Bible story that you find difficult to understand?
Tell me about it.

Have a Super Sunday.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

Ages (Reblogged)


This list of wisdom gained through the ages is beautifully done. I know you will appreciate it as much as I do. Click on the word “ages” below and tell SJ at “Change Therapy” how much you appreciate her blog, too.

“Throughout the Ages Age 6: I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night.” Age 7: I’ve learned that our dog …

Ages

Have a great Sunday afternoon, my friends. We just returned from a wonderful worship service outdoors on this beautiful day. It was predicted to be cccccold – and we were told to dress warmly. But, God is good! It was a comfortable morning in the mid-60s with the sun peeking in and out of clouds.

I video-taped on my phone some of the special music with Jim, Jaime and George singing; Jaime on the keyboard and Jim playing his saw! And of course, I recorded the sermon in my typical poetic fashion. Will share them with you later this afternoon. Come on back!

Have a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
Love to you,

Jan ;o)

Hindsight’s 2020


This You.Tube video poem on Tom Foolery was introduced to me by Ann at https://annkoplow.wordpress.com/ today. Thank you, Ann.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! I think you will, too. Please take time to listen.

Powerful message, don’t you agree?

Thanks for tuning in.

Please leave me a comment about what you thought about this daddy’s bedtime poem for his son. Why DID it take a virus to wake us up and bring people together? Or has it??

Good night! Love ya!!

Come back tomorrow!
JanBeek

The Resilience of Children


When families break down,
Children are so resilient.
But, sometimes they need help!

Today at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana, we had two guest speakers.
They were from Intermountain, a program/place for children in need.

.

As you know, if you have been with me a week or more,
I take sermon notes in poetry every Sunday
as I listen to the message.
Here are the notes I took
as I listened to Tyler, Zimmer,
one of the Intermountain representatives
who spoke to our congregation today.

Prior to the message scripture
I was happy to be the scripture reader
sharing these two passage:

Deuteronomy 6:5-7
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your strength.
These commandments I give to you today
are to be upon your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home,
and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down
and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands,
and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses
and on your gates.”

Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to Jesus
to have Him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them,
“Let the little children come to me,
and do not hinder them,
for the Kingdom of God
belongs to such as these.
I tell you the truth,
anyone who will not receive
the Kingdom of God like a little child
will never enter it.”
And He took the children in His arms,
put hands on them,
and blessed them.

Photo by June on Pexels.com

“The Resilience of Children”

We need to commend children’s good,
And scold them when they are bad.
When children come to Intermountain,
They are victims of the life they’ve had.

Abused children are engineers of their demise
When they act out of their hurt and pain.
The Bible explains in Deuteronomy
The impression of love for children’s gain.

A girl from Haiti came to Intermountain
Who had been abused horribly as a child.
She was a master of her demise
As she rejected compliments and acted wild.

One little guy came as a selective mute.
He was a master at keeping quiet.
But when he beat me 4x in Battle Mountain,
He told me how bad I am! What a riot!!

These children who’ve been so abused
Are not throw-away kids. They are LOVE.
They can, with help, overcome challenges.
Let’s all pray for them for help from God above.

Amen!

It is not only God who helps them as we pray for their souls and their ability to trust and to bond, but it is the staff of Intermountain, and the people who donate to keep the program alive and effective. Intermountain provides housing, education, clinical counseling, recreation, love and support for the children. AND, it provides folllow-up when the children return to family settings. Intermountain continues their counseling and support in the school setting as well.

To learn more about Intermountain,
go to their website
at https://www.intermountain.org/contact-us/

Hope you had a love-filled Sunday.
See ya tomorrow.
Love ya,
JanBeek

S.O.S.


What does S.O.S. mean to you?
It’s an urgent message for help.
But yesterday, a Facebook friend said,
“It means Same ole Shit!”

Oh my! I had not heard that before!
She was referring to a message I posted
On Facebook about the U.S. Postal Service.
She is convinced it’s all legit – not “shit” at all!

Photo by Jaymantri on Pexels.com

The post received 66 responses within a few hours
And it deteriorated to the point where I
Called a “Truce” and wished I had not started it.
But, hey, ya gotta stand up for what you believe, right?

And we have a responsibility to fact check.
Yes, some of the removed boxes were being replaced.
The guy in charge of our postal service now, DeJoy,
Has spread his “S.O.S.” and intelligent people believe him.

Other equally intelligent people weighed in on the conversation.
“I worked for the P.O. and I know these claims are false.”
“The sorting machines being removed are not being replaced.”
“This has been going on routinely for decades. Why blame Trump?”

I don’t care who is to blame, I just care about our U.S.P.S.
And I want to speak up to defend our right to vote by mail.
I need all the boxes protected and all the sorting machines left.
I need to know our election in November is not being compromised.

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So, I came out of my box of comfort and said, “Stop!”
I came out and expressed my outrage at what’s happening.
Enough other people have expressed their concern that DeJoy
Announced he will stop this nonsense until after November elections.

Jeremiah 29:11

“I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you.
I will give you hope and a good future.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We need to TRUST God’s Word and expect the best.
We need to pray to God for His wisdom
And for our courage to step up to the plate
When His perfect time comes.

But, before we grab the bat
And swing at the falsehoods,
We need to ask the SUPREME COACH
To guide us, teach us, and give us TRUTH.

We need to persevere in the face of the S.O.S.
People throw at us – and don’t be deterred.
We need to listen to His voice and grasp
As clearly as we can His purposes for our stand.

STAND UP FOR WHAT’S RIGHT!
Silence is no longer a viable option!!
I love you, even if you think I’m wrong.
Let’s exchange ideas with respect.

Some GOOD people will disagree with me.
May my optimism about a brighter future be contagious.
Let’s draw on the Word and promises of God.
Stand up and carry on with perseverance!

Hebrews 12:1

“Let us run
with perseverance
the race
marked out for us.”

Photo by Jaymantri on Pexels.com

Send me a love letter!

In my Guideposts Mornings with Jesus today,
Jolynn Strandberg wrote:

“Even when I am surrounded by people
who do not understand my convictions,
I hope I will always have the courage
to stand up for my beliefs.”


See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

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