“Each of you should give what you have decided to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
I give cheerfully Not out of obligation But from abundance
I am richly blessed So I can be a blessing I give cheerfully
You are richly blessed Your needs are taken care of Reach out to others
You give cheerfully Out of a generous heart And God blessed you
Have a blessed first Sunday in Advent! It is a season of HOPE and ANTICIPATION. I pray your season be filled with love and generosity.
Do you have a child or grandchild in your family who would love to see this video explaining the meaning of Advent? If so, pass this along. It’s wonderfully kid friendly… and a good way to begin the season of gifts and giving.
Before I go, let me give a gift to you: The gift of music by Laura Story… The blessing of faith in the “what ifs” of life…
Mark Collins‘ prayer in Daily Guideposts today spoke to me. He wrote:
“Lord, let me repurpose my own life toward Your will and not mine.”
What is your life’s purpose?
What have you determined to be your life’s purpose? Has it always been so?
Seems to me this pandemic has given us time to pause and reconsider what our life’s purpose is! This virus has been like a stop light – a red signal – “Wait here!”
As I paused and considered my life’s purpose this morning, I decided my purpose has shifted with each quarter century of my life. Have you considered how age, the passing of time, and the changing of circumstances have impacted your life’s purpose?
Maybe my purpose SHOULD always have been “to glorify God” – but did I know that? Did I live according to that calling? No!
In that first quarter of my life, the innocence of childhood helped me see others with a purity of heart, but most of my purpose was pretty self-centered.
To be honest with myself and you, most of age 0 to 25 was devoted to serving self.
Then in the second quarter, my life’s purpose shifted from self to family. With marriage and children, it was important to turn the focus from myself to my husband and our children.
These were the years when my career flourished and I spent a lot of time devoted to my job. But even as I did so, it all came back to bringing in the resources to provide a better life and more opportunities for us and our children.
Age 25 to 50 my life’s purpose was mostly devoted to serving family.
In the third quarter of my life, I moved from being a mom with kids at home, and being a teacher in the classroom working with children, to being a cheerleader for my young adult children and a leader for teachers.
Even after I retired, my role as a cheerleader for my children and grandchildren and as a leader in various organizations where I volunteered was focused on how I could reach out to help.
My purpose in life from age 50 to 75 seemed to be to serve others.
And then came this fourth quarter of my life. The period from 75 to 100 is when I have come face to face with the purpose God intended for me all along: to glorify Him.
Everything I do these days is intended to fulfill the purpose the Lord intended for me: to serve God.
I look for ways to BEE what He made me to BEE… to use the talents He gave me … and to use them for HIS PURPOSES.
I look for ways to DO what God needs me to DO to BEE His hands and feet on earth.
I find places where the love, joy and peace that are mine are lacking… and I try to spread those Fruits of the Spirit wherever I go.
What Really Matters
How much more meaningful my life would have been if I had spoken this prayer by Mark Collins years ago:
“Lord, let me repurpose my own life toward Your will and not mine.”
Don’t wait until the fourth quarter of your life to repurpose! Ask God today to help you discern what He has in mind for you. You can serve family and others more effectively if you:
1) Pray for God’s guidance 2) Listen for the Holy Spirit to guide you, and 3) Use your gifts, talents and time to serve God first.
In so doing, God will bless you in ways you can hardly imagine!
By using your time, gifts and talents for the glory of your Creator, you will find true joy, a true sense of fulfillment, and an REAL answer to: What is my life’s purpose?
Score what really matters NOW. Don’t wait until the fourth quarter!!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
A comment below telling me what you have defined as your life’s purpose would be so interesting to me. Do consider commenting!
Sue Dreamwalker wrote this today, “I will be joining the Global Day of Gratitude. This Thanksgiving we need to give thanks for family and friends, and grow our New soul family as we reach out and create New Connections all over the World… As we reach out with our hearts to create Unity and Peace.”
The day called “Thanksgiving” has drawn to a close this challenging year of 2020. But as Dwight Roth reminded us in his post yesterday, it is not just a day to be reminded to be grateful for all our blessings, but it also is a day called “National Day of Mourning for Native Americans.” Check out his informative and poignant post:
In the midst of plenty, I am reminded of the suffering of many. I am reminded of the sacrifice of many. I am mournful as I realize the injustices that brought me to the place of comfort where I am today. I apologize to my Native American friends … and yet I know nothing I can say or do today can erase the truth of what white people did to these dear people. I want to be thankful for what I have – (and I am) – but I recognize the cost… and I am humbled in my position of plenty – and trying NOT to be “Blinded by Comfort.”
I hope your Thanksgiving Day was a day of small gatherings … not the big family crowd we are used to on this day. I hope you kept it intimate and safe. We did. Just four of us. But in our hearts we included you all… and thanked God for your presence in our lives. WordPress is a wonderful community – and I am thankful for your shared thoughts, your insightfulness, and your faithful visits to JanBeek.
Throughout the day, we texted with our family in California and Maryland and Switzerland and bemoaned the fact that we can’t all be together this year. But, we thanked God for our health and our many blesssings. With the magic of WhatsApp and Messenger and FaceTime, we shared pictures. I hope you were able to do the same thing.
Monika is taking the photo. Her parents were able to join them along with our grandson, Sam, on the left and our granddaughter, Faith and her husband, Kyle, on the right. Two other of our grandchildren are missing here. COVID says, “Keep it small.” Tough task!
We feel blessed to be able to share this important day with our pastor, Steve, and his wife, Elaine. Thank God for friends near and far who can join us in these days of social distancing and masks and fear – and can help us feel less alone!
I hope you were able to share the day with loved ones, too… and that you had reasons to count your blessings in the midst of this very unusual year.
I’d love to see how you complete one or both of those sentences.
I have given them a lot of thought lately.
Write your sentence before you look below for what I wrote.
I’m alive for a reason. I’m alive because my number hasn’t come up yet! My purpose in life is – to love – to accept love gratefully, – to spread that love far and wide – and to help others seek the Source of that joyous, peace-filled love.
I don’t love because I expect love in return… (but that usually happens). I love because God first loved me, my parents loved me, and I have been blessed with family and friends who love me. My cup overflows… and I NEED to share it.
How did you finish the sentence?
Have a great weekend. Live for your purpose! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
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!
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?
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?
When you see the word “Braid,” what do you think of?
Those braids appear to be two strong strands twisted together. (Isn’t she beautiful?)
Likewise, this rope seems to have two strong strands twisted, right?
When I used to braid my daughter’s hair, I needed three strands to create the braid.
Today’s devotional made me think about these various braids and contemplate the strength of the three strands. Here was the scripture:
“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Katie Minter Jones in “Mornings with Jesus” by Guideposts wrote a devotional based on that scripture. In it she recounted how difficult the days of early marriage were as she and her husband “struggled through difficult times.”
She quoted a friend as saying, “Together we worked hard to get where we are now. It definitely takes two to make a marriage work, and that’s not fifty-fifty. Each person has to give 100%.” Finger pointing and trying to divvy stuff up 50-50 leads to disaster.
One of her lady friends said, “It takes three to make a successful marriage, the husband, the wife, and Jesus.” Each person must give 100% to each other and 100% to Jesus.”
That seems like a tall order! But doing so creates the three strands that make the braid unbreakable. Couples need to walk with Jesus to have a strong marriage.
Here’s my take on what that looks like.
When our hearts are bound in love around our Lord’s cross, His mercy and grace strengthen our relationship and help us grow closer. As we walk hand in hand, praying and staying together in love, God blesses us. Jesus Christ strengthens us. The Holy Spirit braids our hearts in His love and care. Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian Love. Be braided!
Write your spouse a love letter today and include a prayer.
Dear Bob, I am so grateful for your love and for our mutual reliance on Jesus, our Lord. Thank you for praying with me, staying with me, putting Christ first in our lives, and relying on Him during our times of struggle. His sacrificial love is the perfect reminder of how we need to take care of each other. His presence binds us in purpose and braids us with His promises and His peace. Thank you! Love Forever and Ever, Rockie ;o) ❤
Dear God, Thank you for blessing our marriage and knitting our hearts together. May my blogging friends find that same peace and grace and purpose in life. May they sense Your guidance in their relationships and be braided with You. Amen. In His Care, Jan
Let the light of God shine on your relationship, be central to your lives, and braid you together with peace and purpose. God bless you!
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!
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
6. Be aware
7. Take it Seriously
8.Wear a Mask
9. Wash Hands Often
10. Avoid Crowds
11. Socially Distance12. 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.
Lord, keep our daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland and all her family safe.
(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.