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Archive for the ‘Life’s Challenges’ Category

Embrace Thoughtfulness


Embrace thoughtfulness.
Express appreciation.
Take none for granted.

Express thoughtfulness.
Embrace opportunities
To show gratitude.

Thank you, WordPress friends,
For being so very kind.
I love your comments!

“But I rejoice with a deep and holy joy
that now at length you have
revived your thoughtfulness for my welfare.
Indeed you have always been thoughtful for me,”

Phil. 4:10

True Friends
express
thoughtfulness
to one another

Ba no kuuki wo yomu culture in Japan. The ability of “Sensing someone’s feelings” generates thoughtfulness in Japanese culture and “understanding the situation without words”

A Thoughtful Tenacious Man

Thoughtful is not just how you treat others, but it is how you treat yourself, too. It is how you embrace life.

Steve Jobs is a man who faced many challenges in his life – experienced enormous success – and endured failures that would have devastated a more thoughtful, tenacious man.

A while after he knew his life span was limited, he gave an address to a group of college graduates. It is labeled as “One of the Greatest Speeches Ever.” It will give you pause to be thoughtful … and to experience the rest of your life much more thoughtfully. Do take time to hear it (even if you have done so already).

Ten thoughtful take-aways from Steve’s message:

  1. Your beginnings in life do not have to define your life’s endings
  2. Being a drop-out does not have to make you a loser. Trust that it will work out OK.
  3. Tenaciously stumble into opportunities as you discover them. Grab them!
  4. Dropping out may give you a chance to drop in to something better.
  5. Find what you love and thoughtfully pursue it.
  6. Don’t be afraid to start over; enjoy the lightness of being a beginner again.
  7. Don’t lose faith.
  8. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
  9. Live each day as if it is your last.
  10. Death clears out the old to make room for the new… your life is limited. Make the most of it.

Embrace Thoughtfulness.
Live thoughtfully!

What did you think of that Steve Jobs address?

Thanks for visiting – and thoughtfully responding.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Borrowing


Today I read a story that so inspired me that I borrowed it. I hope Alicia Bruxvoort doesn’t mind!

I posted a link to it on my FB page and I am embedding it here for your enjoyment and inspiration.

Do take time to read it. You will be glad you did… and then put on your Jesus glasses and see the world, your life, and others through the eyes of love and grace!

Thank you, Alicia, for sharing your writing talent and your faith with us.
God bless you!

Picking up on that theme of “Jesus, I Wanna See What You See,”
I decided to check out You.Tube for “Seeing Through God’s Eyes.”

Look at what I found…
this is an amazing video –
Guaranteed to help you apply
the ideas Alicia shared in her story!

Yes, as Alicia concluded,
“We can just see better when we borrow our Father’s eyes.”

As you embrace borrowing,
what have you read or seen or heard lately
that you can pass along to inspire others?

Hope you’re having a beautiful Thursday.
See ya tomorrow…


Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Butterflies


Embrace Butterflies
Yes, it’s so easy to do!
Figuratively.

Butterflies represent emergence to me

Build a chrysalis –
Then sequester for a while.
Pop! You’re beautiful!

No longer a worm!!

We all sequestered –
We had to during COVID-
Now we’re emerging.

Coming out brilliantly

Some folks are fearful –
Thinking COVID’s not over.
Maybe it isn’t.

Is the pandemic behind us?

With the variant
Running rampant in places,
Some crawled back inside.

Tiptoe outside carefully

Some still wear their masks;
Some won’t go to restaurants –
Prefer home dining.

Depends where you live

Remaining inside
Is important for some folks –
Others spread their wings.

Unique!

Like these butterflies,
Each situation’s different.
So, to each his own!

One of the lessons I learned during this past year and a half or so is that no two people react exactly the same to the same stimulus. We hear through our own filters. We see through our own past experiences. We can’t lay our trip on someone else! We all built our own chrysalis and stayed inside as long as we felt we needed to. Some are inside still. We all will emerge more beautiful in our own sweet time, if we allow our “feelers” to engage with our own needs while respecting the needs of others.

Embrace the butterfly.
Fly when you’re ready.
See ya in Big Sky!

Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Your Pastor


Embrace Your Pastor.
He or she needs your support –
And needs your feedback!

Photo by Binyamin Mellish on Pexels.com

Your pastor plants seeds
With each sermon presented.
You fertilize them.

You add nutrients
To the soil where they’re resting
By watering them.

Water the ideas
By ruminating on them.
What was the message?

Each week I take notes.
I capture the main ideas
As they resonate.

Today’s seeds that Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds sowed were inspired by Ephesians 2:11-22 and enhanced by the experience she had Friday night and Saturday morning with a group of young bicyclists who were traveling 4000 miles for cancer research. Here are my notes that I took while listening this morning.

TENACITY

Serving 400 hours as a hospital chaplain
Was required in my seminary studies.
Why God – why? What’s the answer?
With integrity and stamina, just serve!

Ephesians 2 is not about empty connections.
It’s talking about the death of our worst instincts.
It’s talking about getting on board with Christ.
Paul believed Christ would come back yesterday!

We’re still here thousands of years later…
Wondering when that victory over death
And division will come to this earth.
The Kingdom of God didn’t come in Paul’s time.

It hasn’t come in our time, either.
Addictions, abuse, fires, death, wars continue.
Where is the world where all divisions are erased?
We’re here to put our feet on the ground and be hopeful.

Moments of hope will come to you.
The U of Austin bike riders were my moment.
Stories of lodging needs and cancer research,
Tenacity, friendship, and HOPE scenarios entered.

Hope is a screamer and fighter.
Sometimes it works out for the good.
HOPE is the reality that God is love.
Evil will not win. God’s hope will!

Say YES to what pulls on your heartstrings.
Say YES to the reality of God’s hope.
Say YES to Truth and love and reaching out.
Say YES to cancer research and to helping.

Every inch gained in the fight against cancer
Is an inch toward life and hope.
We are building the Kingdom of God here
Where violence and oppression will be foreign to us.

With tenacity, hang in there.
With tenacity listen to God’s response to
Your questioning… Why God? Why?
With tenacity and stamina and love, just serve!

Amen


Let’s just grow flowers of love.

Embrace Your Pastor.
He or she needs your support –
And needs your feedback!

Happy Sunday.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Embrace Trust


Do you embrace trust?
In whom do you place your trust?
The Lord says, “Trust Me!”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Luke 8:25

Then He said to His disciples, “Why can’t you trust Me?”

Are you facing strife?
Is life full of challenges?
Where do you place trust?

Do you have answers –
Solutions all by yourself?
Independence sucks!

Interdependence
Is what the Lord asks of us.
Put your hand in His!

Photo by mododeolhar on Pexels.com

When you reach to Him,
Count on His hand there for you.
Invest time with God.

Commit to trust Him.
Recount His great faithfulness.
Put away your doubts.

Give God something small.
Then allow yourself to trust
Him with bigger things.

Psalm 91 is a profound reminder that nothing can separate us from the love of God. It’s a strong reminder of God’s loving care and protection. It is a call to trust in God, even in the midst of danger. The Psalmist reminds us of the safest place:

Psalm 91:1

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty.”

Bob and I are facing some challenging situations these days related to his health, our own home improvements, and church property decisions. We are not alone in facing these dilemmas, but opinions of others can often be conflicting. The Bible tells us that we must put our trust in the one who stills the waters. Lay our souls bare before the Lord and listen for His mighty word… Watch for His guidance … Seek His counsel.

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Often the road to answers has a fork in it.
Knowing which path to take requires
discernment,
openness,
and
trust.

Who do you trust?

How do you find the voice of reason?

Share your answers with me!

Sometimes you are the light
He provides!

See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Ukiah


As I strive to spread love, joy, peace, faith and unity, I often embrace haiku as a means of expression. Today I learned about a poetry form that is new to me: ukiah. It is reverse haiku. Instead of pattern of 5-7-5, it uses a 7-5-7 pattern. It is a joy to me to learn new things … and to put new ideas into practice. Do you find joy in newness?

Try applying new concepts
Making room for joy
Embrace ukiah today

Then I learned, Oh no! There’s another requirement for ukiah. It has to rhyme! All three lines? Or just two of the three?

I researched it and found the definition written by the person who invented it, Robert Ropars :

“My idea is the opposite of the haiku. I was thinking it should be a “Roparsku” but my lack of ego (and my very wise girlfriend) kept me grounded. So since I’m talking about the opposite, then reversed it would a “Ukiah.” Now searching around online I see some people have played with variations (calling this a “reverse haiku”), but only changed the syllabic construction. I think a true “reversal” would also take into account the rhyme aspect. In addition, this adds an extra level of challenge to the endeavor.

It would be composed of:
•3 lines in length
•rhyming
•lines 1 and 3 contain 7 syllables
•line 2 contains 5 syllables

Haiku example:
Winds blowing lightly
Leaves whispering in the dark
Stars twinkling above

Ukiah example:
Leaves are drifting in the night
The stars are so bright
Shivering I hold you tight

Wow… all three lines rhyme. That changes everything!
Poetry takes many forms.
This poem of Laura’s is free verse.

I took its ideas and tried to create a Ukiah using it:


You can’t see me; I hear you –
And you can’t touch – true,
But I feel you near clear through.

You do not taste my sad tears,
But I cry your fears.
Your sadness pierces like spears.

In this very empty room,
Silence is perfume:
A claustrophobic deep gloom.

I smell and feel it around.
Miss your loving sound.
Hate social distance ground!

Photo by Bekka Mongeau on Pexels.com

When ukiah is so sad,
Where’s joy to be had?
Just creating makes me glad.

Practice keeps newness churning.
Embrace the yearning.
Apply newness while learning.

7-5-7
and add rhyme…
Try it!
Embrace Ukiah!!

Be a sport!
Share your try at ukiah in the comments below.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing!)

Embrace Reaching Out


Photo by Swapnil Sharma on Pexels.com

Embrace Reaching Out.
Who needs to feel your kind touch?
He or she’s not far.

Photo by mododeolhar on Pexels.com

Within easy reach
Is a person who needs you –
Send out your feelers!

I feel too often
Advice suggests self-support:
Take time for yourself.

Self is limited.
Don’t overlook reaching out.
We need each other!

Love one another.
Reach out to friends near and far.
Give – as you’ve received.

Embrace Reaching Out!
Reach further – deeper!
Reach out to the suffering.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Reach to the hurting.
Find the silent, hungry ones…
Too proud to get help.

Donate to Food Banks.
Support the reliable
Organizations.

Be someone’s answer.
Your arms can find the needy.
Embrace Reaching Out!

Hands willing to help –
and arms ready to hug. you ..
I am here to help.
Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

I am here for you.
My heart can reach forever.
Embrace Reaching Out!

I will do my part –
Reaching is a two-way street –
You need to reach back!


I’ll be there for you
With the love to see you through.
Reach out, friends, to me!

And – as always, friends,
I encourage you to reach
Always to our God!

Your love,
Lord,
reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.

Psalm 36:5
God already has reached you!

God Bless You, my friends.
I am reaching out for you now…
Feel the love!


Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Stepping Out


Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Have Faith and Step Out

Don’t overlook your life’s importance
or minimize its worth.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on
an allowance or Social Security.
No matter where you are in life,
you have so much to give.

The vital part of your life
never disappears or fades away.
Each of us is vital to God.
He gives us the courage to go out and live,
to heed His call, and step out in faith
on a new journey today.

In faithful obedience, lean forward
to hear Him. He doesn’t shout.
His call is quiet and personal.
Get serious. Listen carefully.
Are you up for a new journey?
Have faith and step out!

I wrote the poem, “Have Faith and Step Out” in 2002 while we were still living in California. I had officially retired from teaching in 1999, but daily I was looking for new direction, new purpose, new adventures. The International Library of Poetry published the poem in its 2002 Anthology of Poetry and sent me a dozen greeting cards with the poem printed on the front of them. Today I am using one of those cards for a friend who is stepping onto a new path.

The poem has become more meaningful in the nearly 20 years since its creation. The older I am, the more I realize, “No matter where you are in life, you have so much to give.” Your age doesn’t matter. Your place doesn’t matter. What matters is your mindset, your faith, your motivation.

It’s OK to be petrified.
Sometimes God takes us to
the edge of adventures
where we feel unprepared.
With faith,
He will remove our fear,
put us on a bridge,
and send us the Light to follow.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Quote from Deuteronomy 31:6

Today Bob is out on Lucille (our red-headed ATV on which we have a “Ball”)
with his former student, Victor, who is visiting from Alabama.
Victor was Bob’s wrestling student back in the 1970’s.
He reminded us that Bob also was
his Drivers Education teacher.
They are on an adventure –
going to a lake above Sheridan.
Our Boston, TazE, is with them.
Ah, yes, step out in faith.
Have fun!

Where He leads me,
I will follow!

Remember,
no matter where you are in life,
you have so much to give.

Where are you being called to go today?
What are you being called to do?
Whatever it is, step out in faith.
He will give you grace and glory…
He’ll be with you all the way!

Have a Fabulous Friday!

Love and Hugs,
In Faith,
JanBeek

Embrace Steadfastness


When you hear the word “steadfastness,” what comes to mind?

Photo by Joshua Miranda on Pexels.com

Steadfastness comes from the root word, STEADY.
I watched our family in Tahoe last month
play that game that tests how steady your hands are
and how skilled you are at choosing
what can be removed from the wooden pyramid
without toppling the whole thing over.

Photo by Joshua Miranda on Pexels.com

The collegiate definition of steadfast is:

“firmly fixed in place”
or
“not subject to change”
or
“firm in belief, determination, or adherence”

Synonyms for steadfastness include:

constant,
dedicated,
devoted,
devout,
faithful,
fast,
steady,
and
true.

So, when I think of the word steadfastness,
I think of faithfulness and dedication.
I think of forever friends who stick by us
– always there for us in good times and bad.
I think of marriage –
-the ones that last
– and I am grateful for Bob’s steadfastness.

As a Man of God,
Bob has exhibited for nearly 60 years
the steadfastness of the Lord
in our marriage.
I am so grateful that God steered me
in Bob’s direction when it was time
to choose a partner for life.
I can substitute Bob’s name
for God’s name in this hymn –
because Bob’s steadfastness
has been so Christ-like.
I truly am blessed!

I am grateful that our families (both Bob’s and mine) set an example of faithfulness for us. There have been no divorces among our parents or grandparents for as far back as we can trace our roots. Likewise, our current families have set an example of faithfulness for our children and grandchildren.

Our son, Ty, and his wife, Monika will celebrate 32 years of marriage this September.

Our daughter, DeAna, and her husband, Andre’
have just celebrated their 34th anniversary.
Here are Bob & me 34 years ago at her wedding.



The dress she wore was my dress 25 years earlier – and she was married in the same University of Pacific chapel where Bob & I were wed. The steadfastness of family and traditions makes God smile, I’m sure.

Are you smiling, too?

This image represents steadfastness to me.

The pillar is our faith –
and the ropes are us –
connected through faith
for a lifetime and eternity
– together –
firm in belief, determination, and adherence!


When you
EMBRACE STEADFASTNESS
and consider the application of that word
in your life and acquaintances,
what image comes to your mind?



Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Being 26 Again!


Happy 26th birthday
to our new pastor
and dear friend,
Mary Grace Reynolds!

If you’ve followed my blog
for a week or more,
you have seen posts about
Mary Grace Reynolds.

For the past year and a half,
my life has been consumed
by the Pastor Nominating Committee.
The search was arduous, extensive,
long and detailed… and successful!

We reviewed over 100 Pastor Information Forms,
Followed up with phone calls, texts, ZOOMs
and reference checking on at least 40 of those.
The bottom line: We believe
Mary Grace was God’s choice for us!

Happy 26th birthday, Mary Grace!
God bless you!
Just two puffs – and all 26 candles were out!

Do you remember your 26th birthday?
Where were you?
What did you do?
What was your station in life?

1939 +26 = 1965; I was a new mom.
On this day, my baby, Ty, was 3 months old.
We were living in San Francisco –
Park Merced, near San Francisco State Univ.

I was teaching in Daly City, California.
Bob was working for Shell Oil in S.F.
Mama Fran was our babysitter –
But, I had the summer off.

Ah, to be 26 again!
What would I do differently?
I am not sure.
What would you do differently?

This was March of 1966. Ty is 11 months old!

Yes, I was 26 once upon a time.
Seems like an eternity ago.
Would I change anything if
I could go back and do it again?

Actually…
Nope!!

How about you??

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