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Archive for the ‘Living in Christ’s Family’ Category

Choose to Trust


Isaiah 43:4-5a.

“Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men to exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid for I am with you…”

I knew where we were going… HOME! And I knew God was with us, guarding and guiding us. I learned as we were at the “41 miles to go” mark that a woman about my age had died in a tragic accident the day before on this very stretch of road. Her demise was a jack-knifed semi. She hit black ice and slid into it when she was trying to turn and avoid it. It was a clear day – at 4: o’clock in the afternoon. We were traveling home on that two-lane road in the dark. A host of family and friends were praying for our safe travel. We TRUSTED God’s guidance as we crept along, blinded by the bright headlights of on-coming semis.

At about the “20 miles to go” mark, if I had my window down, I could have reached out and touched the big doe that was preparing to cross the road in front of us. We didn’t see the deer until we were almost on top of it… or it on top of us! You can imagine how we prayed prayers of gratitude all the rest of the way home!!

This morning, in my wonderful upstairs space that I call my “sanctuairee,” I was reading a commentary by Rev. Dr. David Jeremiah. It was for me!!

“Praising God for Miracles”

“Among the stories connected to the memory of Francis of Assisi is this one: One day Francis gathered his friends at a remote monastery in central Italy. When he asked them about their journeys, each brother had an exciting tale to report. One had been riding his mule across a narrow bridge that spanned a deep gorge. When the mule bolted, the man was nearly thrown into the ravine. He praised God he hadn’t been killed.

Another brother had nearly drowned fording a river, but he said, ‘God in His grace provided a tree that had fallen across the water. I was able to grasp a branch and pull myself to safety.’ Other brothers expressed similar stories of God’s protection.

Then someone asked Francis about his trip. ‘I experienced the greatest miracle of all,’ said the famous friar. ‘I had a smooth, pleasant, and uneventful journey.’

We should always remember to praise God for His miracles in whatever form they come. He blesses, heals, rescues, delivers, helps, and uplifts more times every day than we can count. We should always be saying, ‘Thank You, Lord!’

Psalm 121:2
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”

Thank you, David Jeremiah, for your timely message this day. It’s a perfect one!

So, on this journey called life,
I choose to trust God.
I may not know
where He is taking me tomorrow,
but I know if I trust in Him,
and ask for His guidance,
and look for His direction,
He will not fail me.

Choose to TRUST

Looking again at the scripture Dr. Jeremiah chose for today’s devotional,
I am reminded of Martin Luther King Day yesterday…
and the way he gave his life for his principles
of Freedom, Equality for all,
and Non-violence.

Yes, God said, “I will give men to exchange for your life.”

I pray we all will remember the men and women
who gave their lives so that we might enjoy the peace we have today.
It is still going on in those war-torn places around the world.
God bless our faithful warriors who fight to keep us free
and those servants of God world-wide
who choose to TRUST in God’s protection
as they fight to maintain their county’s freedom.

Amen

Thank You, God, for the way
You bless,
heal, rescue,
deliver, help,
and uplift us
more times every day
than we can count.

Help us follow Your example of love
and spread Your Good News
with Trust and Assurance
every day.
Amen

Friends: Jan & Hailey
We help one another

God bless you, my friends.
Love,
JanBeek

A Merry Heart


“A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance,
but by sorrow of the heart
the spirit is broken.”

Proverbs 15:13

Use your merry heart
To be like an umbrella
Protection in storms

At the end of day
Your sweet, merry countenance
Is a lovely sight

Your positive view
Shines through the dark clouds of gloom
Lifting others’ hearts
💕

You’ve an extra dose
Merriment is contagious
You infect others

David Jeremiah’s entry in today’s devotional
in Ever Faithful was titled “A Merry Heart.”
It gave me the incentive for today’s post:

“After Richard Norris was badly disfigured
by a gunshot wound in 1997,
he remained hidden at his parents’ home for years.
They covered the mirrors
to keep him from glimpsing his face.
But a team of doctors…
gave Richard a new countenance.”

The scripture selected, Proverbs 15:13, fit the story perfectly.
Richard’s spirit was broken.
His sorrow of the heart was understandable.
David Jeremiah went on to link
Richard’s sorrow to us all:

“While Richard’s story is unusually dramatic,
there’s a sense in which we all need a new countenance.
Study the faces of people you meet every day…”

Oh how I love those
Last two pictures of my friends
Study every face

David Jeremiah goes on to suggest,

“Steal a quick glance at your own face
as you pass a mirror or reflective window.
…Our emotions inexorably flash through
the forty-three muscles in our face
and we communicate our feelings
through our eyes, brows,
and the set of our mouths.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“One smile can light up a room;
one frown can darken a day.

“The Bible tells us a merry heart
makes a cheerful countenance.
Rejoice in the Lord today
and let the joy of Jesus shine through.”

I dare you to listen to this and not smile!!
You know I play the accordion, right?
Well this is a concertina… buttons on both sides.
Aren’t these kids adorable?

Open up you Merry Heart!
Mine is open for you!!

Love ya,
JanBeek

Open heart + Open hands = Merry, Cheerful Countenance

Help!!


Is it hard for you to ask for help?
Some people find it very difficult.
Some people feel like they are a burden.
They want to be self-sufficient.

Bob and I have learned
Self-sufficiency is harder as you age.
Asking for help is imperative,
Especially when you are stuck!!

That red dot out there is the back –
The back light of our car.
We high-centered in.a snow drift.
That’s about 50 yards out.

It is freezing out there – Brrr!
We walked home and left the car.
Brrrr… Help! We can’t do it –
Can’t dig ourselves out.

It’s not the first time
We needed help this week –
Not the first time this year.
What would we do alone??

Thank God for friends and neighbors.
Thank God for Bobcats & snow blowers
And friends who come to help.
We would be toast without them!

Tomorrow’s sunrise promises us
A better day – a chance to get out
A chance to go to church and thank God
For the HELP we receive from so many

Matthew 7:7

“Ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Do not be afraid to ask
Do not be too proud to admit
You need help – can’t do it all yourself
Let others help… and ask God for help, too!

No request is too small.

We reached out yestersay
We asked our friend, Joe, for help
He came and helped Bob
Unbury our snow fence

Earlier this month I reached out
And asked my friend, Susan P,
For help with my Christmas decorations
She came – we did it together – God bless her!

I couldn’t have done this without her!

May the Lord bless and keep you
May your neighbors and friends
Be the help you need when in distress
Don’t be afraid to cry out: HELP!!

There is no joy in aloneness
When you are craving assistance
People want to help you
They want to be asked. So do!

Do ask for HELP when you need it
Ask for HELP when you want it
You will be blessed and so will your helper
We all need to be needed!!

This is my adorable 10-year-old friend
Hailey helps to give me a sense of purpose
Each week she joins me in my sanctuary
We study scripture and read devotionals

I am so grateful for her and her mom
They let me know they needed something
In helping them, I am the one who is blessed
You, too, can be the helper as well as the one who’s helped

Reach out today and make someone’s life better
In the process, you will make your own richer, too.
Help is a two-way street – Don’t miss it!
God bless you, my dear WP friends… you help

You help by reading my blog and commenting
You help by posting your stories and inspiration
You never know just who needs what you write
You never know who you’re he[ping today!

Thanks for dropping by
JanBeek
today.


Your “likes” and comments
lift my spirits.
I’m headed to go see your blog
right now, too.
Thanks for your
HELP!!

Peace of Mind


How do you find peace of mind?

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Pexels.com

In my devotional studies today,
the Moody Bible Institute’s “Today in the Word”
asked that question. What is peace and where do you find it?

If you go to Pexels.com
and put in the word “peace”
you will find many images
that suggest answers to those questions:

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

What does this one suggest to you?

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

Of course, this suggests prayer…

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

… and this has a Zen origin, right?

Photo by M Venter on Pexels.com

Many folks find peace by going out into nature and finding seclusion.

Photo by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya on Pexels.com

Others look for peace in communication
with others who are seeking the same goals.

Photo by Fernando Arcos on Pexels.com

Music provides a source of peace for me and many others.


My greatest sense of peace comes from my faith.
As a Christian, PEACE is not a place.
It is not an unattainable emotion.
Peace is a person!

My peace comes from God’s grace
in the person of Jesus.


John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I find evidence of that joy-giving peace all around me…
and I am assured of it as I read my Bible
and study the devotionals that reinforce my faith.

Today in the Word
has a study of The Gospel of Luke
titled, “Peace on Earth” this month.

In his introductory pages,
Dr. John Koessler wrote,
“This promise of peace belongs to
those upon whom His favor rests.”

Does His favor rest on you?

Photo by mododeolhar on Pexels.com

Thousands of years before His birth, Isaiah predicted Him:

Isaiah 9:6

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be upon his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.”

Then, when Isaiah’s prediction came true,
Jesus came to earth… the Prince of Peace,
Here to show us how to find His peace,
Here to show us how to live.

Ephesians2:14 put it this way:

“Jesus is our peace”
Because Jesus “came and preached peace to you
who were far away and those who were near.”

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

Jesus came, lived to show us and teach us, and died to save us.
Believing that is the road to His grace.
Believing that is the way to Eternal Life.
Believing that is the path to peace.

Dr. John Koessler wrote:

“Those who know the peace of Christ
become agents of peace themselves.
When Jesus first sent His disciples
to proclaim the kingdom,
He told them,
‘As you enter the home, give it your greeting.’


Matthew 10:12
(the traditional Jewish greeting, Shalom)

This was more than a social formality,
Christians are offering peace through
faith in Christ to others.
The shalom of Christ is more than a greeting.
It is a promise.
There is more to peace than a personal experience.
For the Christian, peace is a person.
Jesus is our peace.”

Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

Reach out!
Touch Him!
He is the Holy Spirit in you.
He is the King of Peace,
here to give you His peace.
Take it!

In Him is my peace of mind.
Where is yours?

I pray you find it in Him.
Merry Christmas!
He came to save you and me.

Love and peace to you,
JanBeek

Thank you, God, Lord, Christ Jesus, Holy Spirit
for the love, joy, and peace that are mine!

OOOPS!!


Ooooops! In yesterday’s post on “Waiting” I made a real boo-boo!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I was up in my sanctuairee this morning reflecting on the subject of waiting, anticipating the coming of Christmas – and I realized, Oh Lord, help me my God!! I mixed up Lent and Advent!! I said we had 40 days of waiting for the Christ Child during Advent! No, no, no… Lent is the 40 days of waiting for Easter, Advent is the 4 weeks before Christmas with 4 Sundays to celebrate the coming of the Baby in the manger. It might be the period of time the Wise Men followed the star to find the manger scene and present their gifts to the Savior.

But there is a mystery about the Wise men and their travel to follow the star. The wise men arrived after the birth. If they saw the star at the moment of Jesus’ birth, then it would have taken at least a few months for the wise men to arrive.

Regardless of the time it took the Wise Men to travel, since when did Nov. 27 to Dec. 25 equal 40 days?? Sheesh!!

The season of Advent is celebrated over four Sundays before Christmas
– this year, those Sundays are Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 11, and 18.
The Advent season ends at sundown on Christmas Eve.
The end of Advent marks the beginning
of the liturgical or church year for Christians.

Photo by Kevin Bidwell on Pexels.com

So, this season of “Waiting” is a time when my Jewish friends wait, too. They celebrate Hanukkah. The word Hanukkah is Hebrew for “dedication,” which refers to the rededication of the temple after the Maccabees’ victory. They need to wait for that season to begin on December 19th. Hanukkah, (Hebrew: “Dedication”) also spelled Ḥanukka, Chanukah, or Chanukkah, also called Feast of Dedication, Festival of Lights, or Feast of the Maccabees, Jewish festival that begins on Kislev 25 (usually in December, according to the Gregorian calendar) and is celebrated for eight days. Hanukkah reaffirms the ideals of Judaism and often involves a festival with lighting of candles each day of the festival. Although not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, Hanukkah came to be widely celebrated and remains one of the most popular Jewish religious observances. Hanukkah is celebrated from Monday, December 19 to Monday, December 26 in 2022.

The menorah is a symbol of Hanukkah. The menorah is meant to spread light to others. It is traditionally placed in a window,on a table or outside your door. Jewish faithfuls are supposed to light the menorah just after dark each night of Hanukkah.



As Christians, we pause and take time to put up our Christmas tree, decorate our home, our church, our community, and purchase the presents we want to give to our loved ones. Santa Claus has usurped the place of Jesus Christ as the central Christmas figure in many homes. It’s not Santa’s birthday we wait for and celebrate, however.

It’s not 40 days til Christmas! It’s coming sooner than you think… sooner than I imagined! We need to approach this season as innocent children… a Child of God … waiting expectantly. Focusing on the real Reason for the Season.

Jesus actually tells us to be like children and to come to Him full of faith and trust. The popular children‘s song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” reminds us that “all are precious in His sight” and no matter your race, gender or nationality, God wants to see all children come to Him.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com



So, forgive my “Ooops!” from yesterday… and get busy, my friends. Finish up those Thanksgiving leftovers, and get in the spirit! And let’s look – as through the eyes of a child – at what Advent really means:

Thanks for visiting JanBeek and my OOOPS today!
See ya tomorrow.

Hugs to you and your loved ones!

By the way, I am missing the Bell Choir this year.
Our director, Jan Thomas, is moving from Ennis to Bozeman.
Tomorrow the moving van comes.
Keep her and her hubby in prayer, wouldja?
They are going to be sorely missed in our community.


We are WAITING for a new bell choir director to emerge.
Got any recommendations?

Waiting


Photo by Gary Barnes on Pexels.com

There is more than one way to interpret the word “wait.”
The photo above shows you a waitress who is “waiting” on a table.

Some waiting is defined by
an expectation of something
or someone to come…
like a good friend.

Other waiting is short-term, self-imposed, self-defined…
…. like waiting for your food to digest before
that next meal or dessert after a huge Thanksgiving dinner!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

What are you waiting for?

Today is the first day of Advent.
As a Christian, that means we have 40 days of waiting.

The season of Advent lasts through Christmas Eve.
When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday,
it is the last or fourth Sunday of Advent.
In Eastern Orthodox churches,
which use the Julian calendar,
Advent begins earlier, on November 15,
and lasts 40 days, rather than 4 weeks.

40 days of waiting for the coming of the Christ Child
… waiting for Christmas.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

The word “Advent” stems from the Latin word adventus,
which literally means “coming” or “arrival.”
Our sermon at my church this morning
dealt with this topic of waiting…
waiting for that special arrival.

Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds
spoke about a children’s book
(I think it was a Dr. Seuss)
that depicted a “waiting place”
as a “useless place”
but she encouraged us
to view waiting differently.

She asked us what we do when we are waiting.
Some people find something to read.
Others play on their phones
or engage in conversation with a friend.
Some write letters or cards
or they reach out to help a neighbor.
Spend the waiting time productively.

I wrote this conclusion as I listened:

There is a lot we can do while we wait.
Think about the good things we can do.
Gracious God, help us make waiting useful.
Let’s fill it with good things for me and You.

We can live during this time of waiting
With love and hope in our heart.
We have control over our actions.
We can spread peace – today’s the day to start.

Ready? Begin!

Psalms 27:13-14
I believe that I shall look upon
the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong,
and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a wonderful season of Advent.

Love and hugs to you!

Make your waiting a time of love and compassion!
Reach out today!

Reblog #16 – Our Mortality


Fear of Death?

Are you afraid of death?

I posted this blog about 4 years ago… and that fellow in the photo below has since gone to his eternal home. We all will meet again someday if we are believers. Are you? Let’s explore this topic together this Thanksgiving week as we thank God for each day He gives us, OK?

img_5416

When I asked this friend, “Are you afraid of death? he quickly responded, “Nope!” with assurance.

2018… yesterday, I had an ultrasound. The radiologist not only took a million pictures, but then she called in her senior partner and asked for her assistance.

Oh my! What were they seeing? How many angles did the image need?

By the way, it was my kidneys and bladder areas, not something less complicated – like my hand. (By the way, this year I broke my little finger in a fall… and believe me, I have learned there is nothing simple about your hand!!)

Later in the afternoon I received a call from the medical center. It didn’t surprise me when they asked me to schedule an appointment ASAP for an MRI. They needed a more definitive picture of whatever is in there. Something that’s not supposed to be, of course.

Photo by Chris J Mitchell on Pexels.com

Would your mind do what my mind did under the circumstances?

Would the big “C” word enter your mind? And would you contemplate your own mortality?

I did – and I am!

When I go to the medical center tomorrow and they receive the MRI results, and they say, “Your days are numbered. You are full of cancer,” would I panic?

No!

Why not? Well, all our days are numbered, aren’t they? Nobody’s going to get out of here alive.

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

But, would I like to live a healthy 100 years
and then die peacefully and unexpectedly
in my sleep one night?

You bet!!

But, what are the chances? Pretty slim!

However, in today’s world, a person who has enjoyed good health and is living a healthy life style should expect to live at least into his/her 80’s. Don’t you agree?

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

After all, my parents lived into their late 80s, and so did both my in-laws. Genetically and socially, I expect to do the same. Wait, though…  I’m not quite 80 yet. (That was 2018… I am 82 or 83 already… but who’s counting?)

How would I feel about an eminent death sentence?

How would YOU feel? Have you faced such a challenge and overcome it?

My husband, Bob, was diagnosed with prostate cancer about a dozen years ago.

First step: We called my older cousin who is a Prostate Cancer Survivor “Poster Child.” We received tips from him. He recommended we get on line and learn everything we could about the disease and the treatment options. Go to renowned specialists (he named two). Get a second opinion. Keep a positive outlook. Pray. Share. Ask friends and family to pray with you. Seek professional advice. Research your options. Be your own best advocate. Remain positive.”

Second step: We did all those things, and Bob chose cryotherapy – he had his prostate frozen – and he is “in remission.” Cancer free – and living the “Golden Years” with me!

If I should learn that my days are short, I would miss my loved ones here on earth, of course. But would I be afraid of dying? As my friend said when I asked him that question, I can emphatically say, “Nope!”

I know where I’m going. I know my Redeemer lives and has a place reserved for me in Heaven. And, I pray you BELIEVE, too. Then, we can be assured we will see each other in Paradise and we will enjoy eternal joy together.

See you there someday …Hopefully not too soon!

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.
We certainly have much to be thankful for, don’t we?

Love,
JanBeek

Reblog #3 – Montana Sunrise


NanoPoblano2022 invited us to reblog an old post each day during this month of November. I’m having fun going back through some of my first posts… Here is one from 2013 … as pertinent today as it was 9 years ago…

A New Day Shines Before Me

A New Day

A new day shines before me –
Bright as the morning sun.
It’s stretched out on the horizon –
A happy, “Good Morning, everyone!”

A new day shines before me –
But first I must be still.
Listen for God’s voice within –
And prepare to do God’s Will.

A new day shines before me –
Full of promise, full of needs.
I pray and ask, “What can I do
To be Your Love in thoughts and deeds?”

A new day shines before me –
I hear the Holy Spirit within
Saying, “Go – and see the world as Christ did.
Be Love, Joy, Peace. Ready? Begin!”

Have a Fabulous Friday, my friends.
Thank you for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow for Reblog #4.

It is Well


It is well with my soul
Each day is a blessing
Whether coughing or resting
It is well with my soul

It is not my circumstances
That determine my demeanor
It is the joy inside
Even when life gets meaner

I am praying it is well
with your soul today, too, my friend.
God bless you!


Love,

JanBeek

Just Be Kind


The story in today’s Daily Guideposts reminded me,
It doesn’t cost anything to be kind.

Just a simple “Thank you,” or “Please,”
Just a moment to reach out and lend a hand,
Can change someone’s entire day.
And it may impact those observing the kindness, too.

So, just be kind!

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.”

Matthew 7:12 ESV

In her story in Guideposts today, Erika Bentsen recounted how (back when she was only 17) she was waiting on a bus in Scotland for the departure time. The bus driver was busy telling stories to the attentive passengers. Suddenly the bus driver dashed from his seat to help a woman across the road who had dropped a package. Then he returned to his seat and continued his story telling.

When her aunt interrupted him and said, “That was awfully nice of you,” he shrugged it off saying, “It costs nothin’ to be kind.”

Years later, that conversation stuck with Erika. Her prayer at the bottom of the page reads,

“Dear Lord,
shower me with opportunities
to share kindness
until it becomes
as natural as breathing.”

Like Erika, I want kindness to be as natural as breathing. I know it is an attribute worth cultivating.
I pray every morning on my way down the stairs from my sanctuary. I thank God for the

  • love
  • joy, and
  • peace that are mine, and I ask God to help me with
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness (which brings blessings)
  • gentleness, and
  • self-control. I ask God to
  • help me live humbly with an attitude of gratitude, and a response of
  • generosity and
  • forgiveness,
  • obedience and
  • integrity.

Ask God to help you develop
a habit of kindness
so it is a natural as breathing to you.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone did that?

Kindness needs to be cultivated!

Who was the last person who was particularly kind to you?
What did he or she do?
I bet you remembered to say thank you!

Now, pass it on!!

I bet you do that everyday!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See you again tomorrow.
Be well!!

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