Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

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.

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

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

Was Jesus Rude?


Matthew 15:10-28

15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

How in the world do you take that scripture and make sense of it in a sermon?

Well, Rev. Steve Hundley at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana tackled it today. Preceding the sermon, Elaine, Steve’s wife, read the scripture using The Message, Eugene Petersen’s version of the Bible. In part, it said,

“It is not what you swallow that defiles a person, but what you vomit up!”

The Canaanite woman who came to Jesus, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!” was indeed vomiting up a whole lot of agony. Why did Jesus suggest that helping her would be like feeding bread to the dogs? Listen to what I heard Steve saying about this is his sermon today:

Jesus called a desperate woman a dog!
She was a Canaanite who child’s life was grim.
Why would Jesus insult her like that?
She threw His words right back at Him.

We can relate to her and her dark side.
We all have a little bit of the devil in us.
But, not Jesus … No! He was perfect!
So why did He call her a dog?

Was He rejecting her because she wasn’t Jewish?
No, it can’t be true. He must have been saying,
“I have a special spot in my heart for the Jews.”
Maybe He used this to show the disciples their playing.

Playing with the idea of parroting back to them
Their rejection of others – their callous attitude.
Jesus seemed to be sending the mother away.
Gladly, we can see Jesus help her and sense her gratitude.

We are living in strange times – a nation divided.
There are desperate voices shouting out. You have a choice.
Whose voices will you hear? How will you respond?
Are your words and attitudes matching Jesus’ voice?

When you hear the desperate mother cry,
Do you hear her pain and heed her pleas?
She boldly calls with faith for her child’s healing.
May we also listen, hear, and respond with help to such as these.

Amen.

Lord, speak to our hearts that we might know Your heart more clearly.

“Open my mouth and let me bear gladly the warm truth everywhere.
Open my heart and let me prepare love with Thy children thus to share.”

I am off this evening to say good-bye to our favorite Sunday School kids.
Love with Thy children thus to share…
This adorable pair is moving from Ennis to go with their parents
to Jordan, MT where their dad will take over the family farm.
I can’t tell you how much we will miss them.
But of course, we will pray for them
and hope their transition to their new home is a smooth one.

God bless Cord and Ruby!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek and reading the sermon notes.
Please add Cord and Ruby
and their parents, Suzanne & Casey,
to your prayer list.
And ask God to send some new little kids to our church, okay?

Thank you.
See you tomorrow.
Love,

Cheers!

JanBeek

On Being UnTeachable


We’re unreachable
When we are unteachable.
Let’s check our mindset.

Is our mind open
To attentive mindfulness?
Live expectantly?

Anticipate good?
Humbly work for improvements
In self and others?

Develop ideas –
Hopeful and doable ones
In a right spirit.

We close open doors
When we are unteachable.
Let’s check our mindset.

Photo by Jonathan Andrew on Pexels.com

Keep your mind focused
On the good that you can do.
Let’s be teachable.

Let’s be reachable.
Let us reach out to others
With humble mindset.

Photo by Matheus Viana on Pexels.com

Pray with me:
“Lord, help us to develop
a heavenly perspective
to look at life’s trials and difficulties
through the Truth and Hope
of God’s Word.
Peel away all barriers to Your wisdom, Lord,
And make us teachable and reachable!
Amen!”

See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Can You Bee an Artist?


Can you bee an artist?
Maybe you already are!
How about beeing a bee artist?

We may not all be endowed with the skill to play the piano like this, or … (hang in there and keep listening)… another guy plays the Flight of the BumbleBee on several different sized trombones. It just gets more and more unbelievable. WOW!!! It’ll leave you smiling. How does he do that?

Maybe your artistic talent doesn’t lean toward music, but you’re good at painting and drawing. You can bee a bee artist like Luisa Fernanda Otero Prada. Isn’t this colorful art enchanting?

Here is another bee by artist Luisa Fernanda Otero Prada

Sometimes it’s not music or painting or drawing that makes us artists, but the ability to write – to put words together creatively for entertainment or education, inspiration or just to vent. I recently found a new blogger named Amy who wrote about bees on her post:

The secret of natural honey and good health

I wrote her and told her she was “spot on” about the health benefits of honey, but honey doesn’t make good candles! They’re ineffective and sticky and they don’t burn. Nope! It’s the bees wax, not the honey. She was kind and wrote back to say she believed me :o)

I have written on the subject of bees many times, too, because (as many of you know), my husband Bob is a retired beekeeper. With a name like Beekman (Bee-keeper-man), how could he bee otherwise?

Bob grew up on a “Honey Farm” and learned the relationship between natural honey and good health at a very young age. “Bee”ing a good beekeeper is an art of its own!!

I found some pictures from the family farm on this search: https://www.yelp.com/biz/beekman-and-beekman-hughson But discovered that internet site name is “unclaimed.” Hmmm… I know they have a website that has been claimed. I’ll have to keep looking.

This is definitely the honey that was produced by the bees of Bob & his brother, Bruce, (and now his nephew, Matt) and it is bottled and sold at the ranch in Hughson, California in their tasting room. Bruce’s wife, Ann, is the brains and creativity behind the Tasting Room/Honey House and the Beekman&Beekman label.

Matt’s wife, Sarah, is actively involved with him as a beekeeper. She raises queens (that’s a topic for a future blog) and she travels with him to North Dakota where Matt & Sarah take some of their bees for the summer. She’s a wonderful example of a mom who cooks with honey!

It’s an art to create an attractive label and an inviting “Honey House” and it is an art to be a good salesperson! It’s an art to take beautiful photos of people, products and places.

California sage – by Beekman and Beekman

Bee Honey Wise

I kept searching and I did find the actual Beekman family website at http://www.beekmanandbeekman.com … It’s been 15 years since Bob retired as a partner in this bee business, but honey runs through our veins after a lifetime with bees and beekeeping!

On the Beekman website I found a link to another way to Bee an Artist… Culinary Arts! There is a link to “Cooking with Honey” that gives you tips on how to do so successfully.

Go to the website and learn more!

Bob reminded me that Bruce & Matt are not the only Beekman beekeepers and that I should not forget to mention his nephew, Bryan, who is one of California’s largest beekeepers. He has over 10,000 hives that he places all over California’s central valley, mid-coast, and southern CA. Bryan and his wife, Michele, also have a honey sales room. In the area outside Fresno, CA, the Honey Hut is a unique place in Sanger, CA. You should consider visiting it if you are ever in that area. You can learn more about Bryan at http://www.fcfb.org/About-Us/BoardMembers/Beekman.php

Bryan and his cousin, Matt, are members of co-op, Sioux Bee Honey.

You can Bee an Artist in so many ways – with:

  1. Music
  2. Visual Arts
  3. The Written Word
  4. Culinary Arts
  5. Photography
  6. What can you add?
Bee Clever!!!

Have a BEEutiful Sunday.
Go to church and worship God!
Thank Him for all the artists who enhance our lives!

See ya later.
Love, JanBEEkman

The Seed and the Sower


Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

It’s Sunday. It’s a day we set aside to worship God and listen to His Word. As I listened to Rev. Steve Hundley deliver his sermon today, I did my usual. I recorded on my bulletin what my ears took in poetically.

Photo by Hakan Tahmaz on Pexels.com

Here are my notes:

People flocked to Jesus.
He began to preach from a boat.
He had to distance from the crowd
So he drifted out a bit to float.

Distanced from the multitudes,
Jesus told the Parable of the Seed.
The Seed is the Word of God,
Spoken to the people in need.

Jesus warned that the Word
Often falls on deaf ear.
He explained that not all seeds
Grow in all who hear.

But those who allow the seed to grow,
Spend time to allow the seed to sink in,
Let it bury itself in their hearts,
Can bear fruit and juice they drink in.

The seed of the Word is like
A Smoothie blended into thought and deed.
Let the Word transform you
And grow to the Faith we all need.

But we may carry a ball & chain of doubt
That keeps us from letting go
Of the seeds that need to be planted
In Good Soil so they can grow,

Don’t hoard the Seeds of plenty
That God has blessed in you.
Sow them, grow them, harvest
And blend them to a Smoothie. Do!

Every seed carries in its bosom the future.
Trust God to make the seeds grow.
Be the sower who trusts the Maker
To find Good Soil wherever you go.

Amen

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Parable of the Sower

Matthew 13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Matthew 13:18“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”


The phenomenal garden of Jackie and derrickjknight

Have a Super Sunday,
Dear WordPress friends,
Bee well
Bee safe
See ya tomorrow
Love,
JanBeek

Love Shine a Light


In her Annika Perry’s Writing Blog today, Annika posted this wonderful song:

Annika wrote,
“The specially organised show in the Netherlands
entitled ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light’
was inspired by the song ‘Love Shine a Light’
by Katrina and the Waves
which won in 1997 for the UK.

The pièce de résistance
was the incredible finale;
singing alone at home,
the performers as a whole sung ‘Shine a Light’.
There was not a dry eye in the house
as the full impact of the One joining forces
to create a unity shone out across Europe!”

To read/see/hear more of her post, click here:
https://annikaperry.com/2020/07/05/pull-up-a-pew/
….and be sure to click on that gorgeous, inspiring You,Tube song.
There is no way my Monday morning “be like” this poor little pug,
when I can “Pull Up a Pew” next to Annika
and be inspired by her
“images giving a hint of [her family’s] new lives.”

Check out Annika’s delightful blog and leave a comment. Tell her JanBeek sent you!

Blogs like hers are such a gift…
…just as your visit to JanBeek and your comments
are a gift to me!

Many thanks to Janice Salois and Daily Word from Unity Publications for this lovely poem.

Other Writers are Gifts

As I spend time reading my Bible and devotionals and spending time checking out the recent posts of the blogs I follow, I am especially cognizant of what a gift you writers are to me! You share from your souls – some grateful, some melancholy, some inspirational, others troubled or questioning, all are snippets of life in various parts of the world.

I love visiting, praying with, and walking with Donna “thefathersfeet” every morning:

I enjoy strolling through derrickjknight‘s garden and neighborhood with him & his wife (the head gardener) each day:

Derrick & Jackie take me on a wonderful journey in Great Britain each day.

I am endebted to Cristian Mihai for his daily blogging tips and inspiration. He never fails to motivate my desire to log in to my WP site and share with you. He “walks the talk” and always practices what he preaches. His titles are often quite intriguing:

I fall in love with poetry all over again each day I log into Roth Poetry and read what Dwight has shared today. I love, love, love her “Life is a Poem” that she posted today. Click on “Roth’s Poetry” in blue up there to read the poem:

Love shines its light on me when I go to Pat Cegan’s “Source of Inspiration ” each day and dwell in the warmth of her poetry. I don’t have to do anything but just BEE there… and I feel healing love and peace radiate from her words.

If you want to practice shining the light of love on others, try going to:

Sharing the Gift the blog Pat posted a day ago. She has love to share! I took what I needed and a little extra for you!

I always enjoy Richard at BigSkyBuckeye and the ideas he shares so freely – his own as well as others. Today he shared his granddaughter’s poem in “Monday Memories:”

Monday Memories: Gratitude

This poem is a guest post from my then 11-year old granddaughter.  She wrote this poem for her Language Arts class, and she has given permission to post her untouched words just as she wrote them.  Enjoy the gratitude that she shares.

Check it out… and share with me some of the blogs that are your daily go-to’s. Which bloggers inspire YOU the most?

I hope my posts add light and love to your world.

Have a Wonderful Week, my friends.
I am shining the Light of Love in your direction today.
God Bless You!!
Virtual Hugs,
JanBeek

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