Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Archive for the ‘Life and Death’ Category

Embrace Blueness


Reblogging a fellow blogger’s post… Thank you, mkvecchitto!


A Renewing Force Within
by mkvecchitto

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Malleable are lists of sins we accrue

a barter between gains we’ve won and debts we owe

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

Exhausting – holding this constant guard

Even stormy melancholy seas are drenched in

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Healing power pulses in each flaw

like a broken heart that still beats

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I was going to call my blog today “Embrace Healing,” but the I came across the post above. I decided that post is a gift in blueness – and it speaks more to my mood today than “healing” does.

Today I am blue… because the note I received from my former student’s mother-in-law, Marilyn, left me with no hope for Ty Stiles’ earthly healing. I studied my broken heart and looked again at Marilyn’s words. “He told Roxann [his wife] that he is ready to go to Heaven.” As I prayed for Ty’s last days, I looked at that broken heart again.

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

Did you ever realize that the two parts of a broken heart are angel’s wings?
Look again!

God’s angels spoke to me and reminded me that death is not final. Jesus conquered death. Ty is a believer. Ty is called according to His purpose. Yesterday Ty’s church members gathered outside his home for a prayer vigil. One of his cousins made the gathering into a FaceTime chat so he could see/hear the prayers being offered on his behalf (and if he was unable to hear and comprehend, at least I know his wife, Roxann, could. The prayers were for her, as well.

As I shared in my “Embrace Reassurance” blog a couple days ago, God hears. God cares. God answers. Sometimes HEALING does not come in the form of a magical cure. Sometimes it comes as RELEASE.

Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.

God bless Ty Stiles!

My heart is with you as you leave the pain
and embrace the beautiful blueness of Christ’s Kingdom.
Someday I’ll join you there, Ty.
Meantime, keep the Pearly Gates polished!

Thanks for joining me at JanBeek
and thank you for praying for Ty and Roxann.
See you tomorrow.

Embrace Hope


My Favorite Student

Teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites.
Right?

Ty, Roxanne (Merri), Jan & Bob

See that young man on the left up there?
His name is Ty.
He is my favorite!

(Well, in honesty… don’t be dismayed
if you’re one of my students….
I have lots of favorites, OK?
But Ty… well, read on!)


Ty was my kindergarten student in 1962-3.
Every day when he stepped off the school bus,
the girls all stopped what they were doing.
“Hi Ty!” they would swoon.
Yes, even kindergarten girls
recognize a sweetheart when they see one!

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

And every day when it was time to go home,
the girls all waved to Ty,
“Bye, Ty!”
they would swoon.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I was a newlywed.
It was my second year of teaching.
I decided if I had a boy someday,
I would name him Ty.
And I did!

Here’s my Ty with his little sister, DeAna.

Ah yes, my Ty is a sweetheart, just like his namesake!

See the sweetness sparkle?
Both Tys are a little older now!

So why the HOPE title?

Yesterday I heard the devastating news
that my favorite student, Ty,
has been diagnosed
with Stage 4 cancer.
It has metastasized.
He needs our prayers.
My heart is heavy,
but I am a believer…
and HOPE
is what believers do,
right?

Day before yesterday I posted this scripture:

“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“Plans to prosper you
and not to harm you.
Plans to give you hope
and a future.”

Jeremiah 20:11

I know God has Ty tucked into the palm of His hand,
just as He holds our world in His hand.

I know God is watching over Ty and his treatment process.
But, won’t you add your prayers to mine?
“Dear Lord, please give healing to Ty.”

I wrote about Ty when he came to visit us
here in Montana a couple of years ago.
Here is the blog link:
https://janbeek.blog/2019/05/25/gift-from-the-heart/

A Gift from the Heart

After Ty & Roxanne left, they sent us a thank you gift for our hospitality. He created this cross for us. It hangs on my dining room wall as a constant reminder of my special student, Ty Stiles.

Notice the three bars?
Ty said they represent the Trinity.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Please Heal Ty!!

Embrace Hope

“May the God of Hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him.”

Romans 15:13

The reign of Christ,
both present and in the future,
is our foundation of Hope.

Take Peace

“And in despair I bowed my head
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will toward men.

Then peeled the bells more loud and deep –
God is not dead, nor doeth He sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail –
With peace on earth, good will toward men.”

Embrace Peace.
Embrace Love.
Embrace Joy.
Embrace Prayer.
Embrace Hope.

See ya tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting
and praying with
JanBeek

I CAN Keep it Simple


If you have followed my blog for a month or more,
you have seen this journal before.
The topics are inspired by life and living.
I have written about:
I CAN
Volunteer
Share
Bee Hospitable
Tackle Transitions
etc.

Little did I know when I wrote some of those how difficult some would become. Hospitality requires guests, right? Well, so much for that! Most of our friends are afraid in this pandemic world to socialize.

Little did I know how hard it would become to volunteer. Most of my volunteer activities are forbidden right now. I can’t be a “Purple Lady” at the medical center desk. Our auxiliary couldn’t hold its fund raiser this year. We couldn’t earn the money to donate for new equipment and/or medical supplies as we have done in the past.

Yes, that’s right… $31,700. donated .
And remember, we are a little town of about 1,000 residents!
We couldn’t have our usual Madison Valley
Medical Center Christmas party.

Little did I realize how many opportunities I would have to “Tackle Transitions.” Back in June of 2018 when I wrote on that topic, God knew what was coming, but none of us had a clue. My transitions poem was prophetic:

Times of transition
Can be disconcerting –
Facing the unknown
Running, dodging, skirting.

Life is full of changes;
Nothing stays the same.
Rolling with the punches –
Listening for our name.

In the “roll call” of life,
Showing up to be
Ready for transitions
Sometimes is difficult for me.

But I know the Leader
Is my Maker who decides
What my next assignment is.
In Him my life abides.

So, embrace the coming changes;
Set aside all fear and sorrow.
Joyfully put your hand in His;
He’s gotcha covered for tomorrow.

Choosing JOY in the midst of this pandemic is not easy.
My list of “I Can” do’s has changed this year.
But, I try to keep it positive:

I CAN
Believe
Only Imagine
ReJOYce
Whistle!

You recognize some of those. They became blogging themes.
This morning’s I CAN prompted today’s post:

I CAN
Keep it Simple

No large family gatherings
No stockings stuffed with toys
No sounds of giggling laughter
From excited girls and boys

No trudging through the snow
With accordion on my back
No carols at windows
Or St. Nicholas with his sack

It’s a different sort of year
COVID-19 has changed us quite a lot
We cancelled our travel plans
And we altered what we bought

Christmas Day will be different
We can mourn the things we miss
Or we can vow to keep it simple
Pray for those we cannot kiss

The virus and death took too many –
They’re in Heaven with our Lord
Let us focus on Christ Jesus
And the grace He richly poured.

Believe the Christmas promise
Jesus came to save our souls
Eternity knows no endings
His love comforts and consoles

Keep it Simple!

This nativity is over a hundred years old.
It belonged to my grandmother.
I treasure its simplicity.
My sister is one who went to her eternal home this year.
Sally would have been 83 on December 20th.
Eternity knows know endings.
I will see her again someday.
I Believe!
Thank You, Jesus!!

Have a Beautiful Christmas Week!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See you tomorrow.

How’s Your Soul?


I have told my WP friends this story before, but it was a while back… and since then, many of you are new to JanBeek, so it bears repeating:

My friend, Bob Jorgenson, born with Cerebral Palsy, was bright as a tack. His parents brought him every Sunday to church in his wheel chair. They sat mid-way up in the sanctuary with him. They stayed after church for fellowship. They helped people understand what Bob had to say – because Bob’s speech was compromised – but he had so much to say!

Homer and Ruth knew their son would not live a long life, but they packed ten life-times into Bob’s 35 years. They took him to Europe, to Disneyland, to Asia, to the Holy Land. They built a train track and a miniature train in a circle around their wooded property, and fixed up the engine so that Bob could run the train and give train rides to various groups of kids who came to experience the wonder of it.

When Bob was on his last breaths, lying helpless and speechless in his hospital bed, Homer sat with him. He had Bob’s favorite hymnal. As he turned the pages, Homer asked Bob to blink when he came to a song Bob wanted to hear.

Homer was singing “It is Well With My Soul” to his son when Bob breathed his last.

I never hear this song without welling up inside. My heart smiles.

I hope your soul smiles as you hear it, too.

Merry Christmas!

Love, JanBeek

Dogs in Heaven?


Today a good friend of ours
Is having to say good-bye
To her furry companion
Such days make me cry

Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

The doggy’s name is Hannah.
She’s been a faithful friend.
Companionship and a love –
Giving comfort to the end

Photo by Szabu00f3 Viktor on Pexels.com

I wrote this poem for my friend, Fran, as a comfort as she sees Hannah off on her final journey. Bon Voyage, dear pup. You’ve been a treasured friend for over 15 years. You’ve earned you eternal reward!

I Believe

I don’t have to understand
In order to believe.
I just have to trust –
And know it’s okay to grieve.

When tragedy strikes –
Like the death of a friend –
I don’t have to comprehend
Why my friend’s life must end.

I can just believe
There’s a heaven and a hell.
My friend will ascend
To eternity to dwell.

In heaven are the ones
Who lived by the Cross.
They accepted God’s grace,
So their death is not loss.

There are people and pets
In that paradise up high.
I don’t have to understand –
Just anticipate the sky!

Photo by Ruvim on Pexels.com

Rest in Peace, Sweet Hannah.
Your cross to bear has ended –
Your life you shared and blended.
Your soul to heaven ascended.

See ya round the bend!

Have a blessed Saturday.
Say a prayer for my friend, Fran.

These pictures below are from a book by Cynthia Rylant titled, “Dog Heaven.” It was a gift to us from the Colorado State Veterinary Hospital staff after our beloved Boston, Angela, died following a two year bout with cancer.

And thank God there are fields for romping in Heaven.

See ya round the bend.
(Do you have a pet waiting for you in Heaven?)

God bless ya!
JanBeek

Twelve Ways to Beat the Virus


Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com

In the midst of this pandemic,
With germs spreading far and wide,
We need to be extra cautious –
In TRUST we must abide.

Trusting isn’t foolishness –
It isn’t abandoning MASKS.
Trusting is OBEDIENCE –
Doing what God and SCIENCE asks.

Trusting isn’t carelessness –
It isn’t gathering in bunches.
Trusting is PRAYER and AWARENESS
And listening to our hunches.

This virus is quite deadly –
Unpredictable at best –
So we need to TAKE IT SERIOUSLY,
Don’t give the bug a test!

STEER CLEAR OF CROWDS,
And WASH your HANDS often,
Trust in the Lord and prayer,
While avoiding someone coughin’.

In the midst of this pandemic,
With family and friends in Harm’s Way,
We need to trust the Lord, yes –
But listen to scientists and obey!

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Did you catch the twelve?
I want to make them clear.
Here they are spelled out –
Obey and avoid fear!

Twelve Ways to Keep COVID-19 Away:

1. Be cautious 
2. Trust in Science
3. Trust in God 
4. Pray
5. Obey  
6. Be aware
7. Take it Seriously
8. Wear a Mask
9. Wash Hands Often
10. Avoid Crowds
11. Socially Distance
12. Don't Give the Bug a Test 

God Bless You, my friends.
May He keep you safe and healthy.
May we all do our part to help keep this bug at bay!

Please pray for the Zufferey Family
in Switzerland
(my son-in-law’s cousin,
who was our 1980-81
AFS exchange student).
ZuZu, Celia, and Jeremy
all have tested positive.

Pray for all those affected by this nasty bug.
Dear Lord, may they beat it…
And emerge with no lasting side-effects.

Please give them new strength, too.
DeAna

Lord, keep our daughter, DeAna,
in Switzerland
and all her family

safe.

Amen

(From “Best in Europe”
Switzerland
has become one of the worst
in new cases this week.
Pray for that country…
and all those facing this virus.)


Do you have a loved one who is in Harm’s Way
or is suffering from COVID?
Tell me – and I will add his/her name to my prayer list.


Bee well!!
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Hold On!


What do you need to hold on to?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At this stage in my life, I don’t need to buy anything else
(except maybe food to sustain Bob & me
and a plane ticket or two to travel
to see our kids when it’s safe to do so)
… but I need to get rid of things instead.

How about you? If you were given this prompt,
“Hold on to your ____,”
how would you fill in the blank?
Ann Kaplow tickled my creative funny bone with her post today:

Day 2886: Hold on to your …

Posted on October 19, 2020 by Ann Koplow

Check it out and see some of the things she identified.
Here are a few things I think I should hold on to:

Photo by Ferdinand Studio on Pexels.com

Hold on to your umbrella;
Let the wind carry you away.
Hang on and float high
To a joyous, better day.

Photo by Fru00f6ken Fokus on Pexels.com

Hold on to your future
Let it carry you to the sky,
To days of brighter sunshine.
Let it carry you up high.

Hold on to your faith;
Let it carry you to love.
Let it bring you greater wisdom
And powers from above.

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

Hang onto your head;
Keep your intellect intact.
Be cautious and discerning;
Know all you hear ain’t fact.

Hold onto your friends,
But remind them to wear masks.
That was Anne Kaplow’s prompt.
Be safe – is all she asks.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Hold on to earth’s hope
For a better, safer world.
Be kind to our planet –
Don’t let this virus stay unfurled.

What do your think we should hold on to?

I’m gonna hold on to Bob.
I’m feeling so blessed that he is feeling so much better.
Did I tell you that the afternoon my sis died
was the day he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure?

I’m gonna hold on to our wonderful doctor
who stayed long after her “shift” was over –
and ordered blood work, x-rays, and an EKG,
and stayed til the results came in.
Then she walked us up the stairs to the front door
to see how Bob did with climbing stairs.
Then called the next morning to
check on him and offer encouragement
and an appointment this week
for an echocardiogram.

Yes, I’m gonna hold on to that wonderful doctor!!

And this guy:


We have had so many friends
and family members praying for us.
God is good.
All the time.
He put a song of praise in my heart.
God hears and answers prayer!


Life is looking up.
We’re holding on!
{{{Hugs}}} to you.
You hold on, too.
Love ya,
JanBeek

Where Will You Spend Eternity?


Today’s sermon message by our guest pastor, Rev. Phil Taylen at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana, focused on the theological basis for our assurance of Eternity in Heaven.

It was timely, especially given the fact that this is the week my only sibling, my sister Sally, went to her eternal home.

If you die today, do you know where you’re going from here?

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on Pexels.com

Is it Hell or a Black Hole?

My guess is that the choice is pretty clear. I was looking for a picture of a black hole… because some people believe this is it! We’re here and then we’re nowhere. A black hole… that’s where they think they’re going. They don’t believe there is a place called Hell where they will burn in the fires of an afterlife separated from God.

Or is it Heaven?

Rev. Phil Taylen’s sermon was titled, “Soaring with Eagles.” He began with that question, “Where Will You Spend Eternity?” His answer was part of a movement he called “The Evangelism Explosion.” Even though he grew up in the Presbyterian Church, he was ordained by an Evangelical Ministry – and his sermon lecture today definitely got down to the basics!

The Bible

B asic
I nstructions
B efore
L eaving
E arth

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Heaven by Grace

G od’s
R iches
A t
C hrist’s
E xpense

Grace is God’s Unmerited Favor poured out on us.
Grace can’t be earned or deserved.
Heaven is a free gift.

He cited Ephesians 2: 8-9 as further proof of the point he was teaching and preaching:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
Not of works,
lest any man should boast.”

Not By Man

Good works are important, but they will not save us.

I am a sinner.
I can’t save myself.

He cited John 8:24 to prove his message that man cannot save himself:

“Unless you believe that
I am who I claim to be,
you will die in your sins.”

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Only God

God gave us basic instructions to live by before leaving earth.

God is Love.
God is just and righteous.

In the Bible, our instruction book, God told us:

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God. …

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Heaven Through Christ

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Jesus Christ is God.

Faith is Belief

Faith is the Connector.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I don’t see the whole staircase. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Only Begotten Son, but I do not believe God will send all the Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists to Hell because they do not share my belief in Jesus as a part of the Trinity.

I believe God is bigger than religion. I believe God is omnipotent. I believe God knows all people – and He sees them through His eyes, not mine. That may make me a non-believer in some evangelical eyes. But I believe God is more inclusive than we can fathom.

I find enormous comfort in my faith – my belief in our Lord Jesus Christ – and I want to share that comfort and love with all I meet. I believe 2 Cor. 1:3-5 as quoted below:

Do you believe in Christ?

Thanks for visiting today.
Have a Blessed Sunday.
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

My Sis, Sally, Died Today


Me with Mom and Sally

Today my sis, Sally, died.
She was only a year and a half older than I.
As children, Mom often dressed us alike.
People thought we were twins.

As adults we looked so much alike, too, that our long-time friends sometimes called me Sally.

When you lose your only sibling,
A part of you dies with her.
Sally came every Thanksgiving from CA
To spend the holiday with us in Montana.

Sally with oregano

Sally always came with an extra suitcase.
She filled it with oregano that grew in her back yard.
She spent most of the week here at the kitchen table or counter
Picking the leaves off the oregano stems.

I have a couple of quart jars left of her herbs.
When they are gone, another part of her
Will disappear – You can’t find oregano that fresh –
Not in a store, that’s for sure! Can you smell it?

Sally with our son, Ty’s kids

Sally was a nut about holidays!
She had a closet full of clothes
Sorted by the holiday they represented
And she loved every one of them.

She joined her nieces and nephews
For Halloween and Christmas,
For Easter and birthdays, and
For special lunches and dinners.

Sam, Faith, Hope and Jordan with Aunt Sally at Burger King
Sally loved giving gifts and playing games
Sally & Jordan shared a Dec. 20th birthday
They continued to share even as Jordan entered his teens and young adult years.
Bonnie was Sally’s best friend. They enjoyed many River Cats games together.
Sally & Ty

Naturally Sally was there to celebrate her daughter, Jodie’s wedding.
Here she is at the wedding reception, dancing with her nephew,
our son, Ty, the daddy of those nieces and nephews.
And she was there of course, for her grandson, Liam’s baptism.

Bill & Jodie Welge (Sally’s dughter) and their infant son, Liam

Sally loved spending time with her grandson, Liam.
During the last few years of her life, she moved
from California to PA to be near her daughter, son-in-law,
and her dear grandson, Liam.

Besides her family and holidays, Sally had a love of dogs.
She inherited her poodle, Gigi, from our mom after Mom died.
Gigi was stolen from Sally when Gigi was about 4 years old.
Gigi was gone nine years, but Sally never gave up the idea of
finding her!

Sally & Gigi

Sure enough, nine years after the theft, Sally received a call from a veterinarian.
Gigi had a chip, and when she was found wandering, dirty, toothless, and infected,
the person who found her brought her to a vet. The chip had Sally’s number.
Can you imagine her joy at that reunion after nine long years? Gigi lived to be 15.
Dear friends of ours here adopted her and gave her a loving last 9 months of life
when Sally moved to PA and could not take Gigi with her to the Masonic Home.

Sally & Jodie at Christmas in Pennsylvania
Sally with me at Christmas in California
Can’t deny we’re sisters, can we?
Last Thanksgiving in Sewickley, PA

Although Alzheimer’s robbed my sis of her memory and ultimately of her ability to converse, she was tuned in and enjoyed the concert Liam and I presented in her nursing home last Thanksgiving. I am so glad Bob & I were able to go – and we had that time with her. My life is filled with wonderful memories of times we shared together.

I’m pregnant with Ty – Bob’s next to Sally & Dave with Denise
and that’s our Mom & Dad in front
Bob & me with Sally & Dave – one Easter waaaay back when!

Sally had a life filled with service to others through her church, the Hospital Auxiliary, the Girl Scouts (she led a troop for at least 50 years) and her favorite organizations, Rebekahs and Eastern Star.

Her life also was one of tragedy (her oldest daughter died at age 19 and her husband, Dave, was only 60 when he died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack). But Sally was a trooper. She continued to volunteer and give of her time and talents to others.

I was blessed to grow up with a sister who had such a big, giving heart,
She will be missed by all of us who loved her. But her spirit will live on.

Sally and Jan
at my daughter, DeAna’s wedding in 1987

I know her spirit will recognize mine when I join her in Heaven someday.
Meantime, rest in peace, dear Sis. I will carry your love with me always.

Thanks for visiting today my friends.
Treasure every sunrise.
Enjoy every sunset.
Tell your siblings how much you love them.

See ya tomorrow, God willing!
JanBeek

What a Friend!


Today I received in my “Messages” a picture of a dear friend who is fighting cancer. She is in a hospital bed at home. Her family is gathered around and her BFF (best friend forever) is on her way to be at her bedside. My heart goes out to the BFF and to my friend’s husband and children. Seeing a friend preparing to leave this earth is soooo hard!

But, my dear friend is a devoted Christian, and she knows where she is headed. She does not fear death, because she has a friend in Jesus – and she believes in God and His promises. It’s comforting to know where you will spend eternity. It’s just hard on those left behind.

Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church was the perfect topic for this day when my heart is aching because my dear friend and her family are suffering.

Today we had a guest minister, Phil Taylen. Here are my

Sermon Notes on: “Friendship Sharing”

Friendship is a special thing.
In it we all are connected.
In the New Testament, we see how
In God’s friendship, we all are protected.

The best part of friendship is
Sharing with each other the Good News,
Asking one another and telling them
Of how Jesus opens new views.

God cares about our friendship.
He opens His arms to you.
Through Christ, He came to show us
How to love as He loves: True.

As believers, we need YES faces;
Our countenance should show Trust.
God’s light should shine through us.
Radiate His love; We MUST!

To communicate God’s love
We must be trustworthy and fair.
We must share our eternal vision,
And tell our friends we’ll all be there!*

(*there is our eternal home
with Christ and one another)

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

Share the simplicity of scripture,
Be sure the promise of God is heard.
He gave His only begotten Son
To save our souls. Believe His Word!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus!

Lean on Him and His promises.
Know that when your Christian friends
Leave this earth, they are going
To heaven … where eternal life never ends.

See you “there,” my friends!

See ya tomorrow.

Pray for my friend, Gloria, will you?
And I pray for you…
that you have faith in His promises, too.
Love ya,
JanBeek

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: