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

Embrace your Open Heart


No, not like open heart surgery!
It’s your open heart of love and compassion!
It’s an open heart, ready to listen and respond.

In Chapter 8 of Nehemiah,

“…all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”

With open hearts, they “lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord.”

Do you listen eagerly with an expectant mind and heart? Do you listen with a mind that genuinely wants to know more? If so, you will hear the Lord speaking to you when you earnestly pray.

Photo by lucas souza on Pexels.com


Yesterday I was encouraged to listen – to engage “ears that really hear” – as I bowed in reverence to God while up in my sanctuary. I was feeling badly that no one from our Beekman family was scheduled to be in Oregon next Monday for Bob’s brother-in-law’s funeral. Bob’s sister, Bonnie, lost her husband, Stan, last week. Bonnie has three brothers. Two are in California and plan to go to Stan’s burial later this month. It is scheduled to occur in his hometown cemetery in southern CA. But, we are here in Montana … and were not planning to attend either event. We had lots of excuses. None of them seemed to be holding water!

God spoke loudly and clearly to me
as I opened my heart
to His message
in the daily devotional,
In Touch,
by Charles Stanley.

“So many things clamor for our focus,
but nothing is as important
as what the Lord has to say.
He is worthy of our undivided attention.”

“Open your heart,” God said to me.
“Nothing is more important in your life
next week than to be with Bonnie.”

So we will fly to Oregon on Sunday. We will be there to demonstrate our open hearts of love for Bob’s sister and her family. We will not live with “If Only” in our hearts.

It will be a short trip. We’ll return here for those other important obligations on Tuesday… but the Sunday/Monday things can wait. God said “THIS IS MY MESSAGE TO YOU.” And He said it loud and clear. “Open your hearts. Open your wallets. Reschedule what you planned to do here. Find ways to delegate. You’re not indispensable here. Schedule your plane, rental car, and hotel. BE THERE!”

So, dear WordPress friends, if you don’t see a post Sunday or Monday, you’ll know why. How many consecutive days I have posted is not a number that is worth worrying about. Opening our hearts to our loved one who has lost her spouse… that’s the focus!

They were with us when we celebrated Bob’s 80th two years ago.

“Rest assured that whoever listens to God’s Word
with an open heart and alert mind
will receive from Him.”

Charles Stanley

I love the Lord, for He heard my voice;
He heard my cry for mercy.
Because He turned His ear to me,
I will call on Him as long as I live.

Psalm 116:1-2

If God can turn His ear to me
and respond with an open heart of love.
Who am I not to return the gesture?

Are you ready to
EMBRACE YOUR OPEN HEART, too?


I’m off to volunteer this afternoon at the medical center’s vaccination center.
Yay!

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Rising


Embrace your rising –
Overcoming differences,
Gaining Unity.

Embrace compassion
As you rise above hatred
And join Christ in love.

He rose from the dead
That we might be free of sin –
Free to simply love.

The occasion calls
For us to rise up with Him
In common purpose.

One in heart and soul,
We rise above pettiness
Gaining commitment.

We are invited
To rise up and overcome.
Embrace your rising!

Out from the tomb like Jesus…
Up from the grave like Lazarus,
Rise Up!

If Jesus rose from the tomb today…

Have a Blessed Monday!
I send you my love and prayers…
Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Easter!


He is risen indeed!

My day started with a 7:00 am Sunrise Service at our Madison Range putting green.
The sun worked to peek out through the cloudy sky.

A small, but appreciate gathering
lifted voices to sing
“He Arose!”
and
“He Lives!”

Mule deer gathered close by to listen to our singing
and nibble at the emerging greenery.
Spring is just thinking about making its debut here!

Usually right after sunrise service, we go as a group to the Baptist Church and enjoy a yummy breakfast of assorted baked goodies and egg casseroles. This year, because of COVID-19, we had to be content to go home and make our own breakfast. Afterward, we went to church where we wore masks, socially distanced, and enjoyed the sermon of the day delivered by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley.

It was Communion Sunday as well as Holy Easter Sunday.
A very meaningful ritual … being able to partake in person with other Christian friends.
Our sermon topic was “Sometimes It Causes Me to Tremble.”

What are your earliest
Memories of Easter Sunday?
Yellow crocuses, dogwoods,
And eggs hidden slightly away?

What are your earliest
Memories of recognizing in your life
God, the Risen Christ?
Do you have to think twice?

My memory was on a morning
When I’d victoriously ridden
My bike down a steep hill –
Suddenly God was not hidden.

I’m reminded of Mary Magdalene
With the other Mary who saw
That Jesus was not in the tomb.
An angel said He’d risen – such awe!

They were terrified to realize
You can’t escape God in Jesus.
They told no one what they heard –
Too scared… a Savior to relieve us?

They thought their hopes and dreams
Had been buried and sealed away,
Buried with Him – they believed.
They all deserted Christ that day.

Peter had denied Christ three times.
The other disciples hid in fear.
Have we also denied the messenger
Who told us Jesus is alive and here?

The Easter miracle assures us
Our crucified Lord is running free.
He is waiting for us to come out
Of hiding to see Him. He waits for me!

Am I ready to believe the story
Of a man who dies, but rose again?
Am I ready to understand that He
Suffered that agony to free me from sin?

The Risen Christ stands before me
With nail prints in His hands and side.
Am I ready to hear the Good News
And know there’s no where I can hide?

With fear and amazement this Easter,
I will not go away from the empty tomb-
Back to daily routine, forgetting Him.
No, with reverence I acknowledge Christ in this room.

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres
Ineffably sublime.

All hail, Redeemer, Hail!
For Thou hast died for me.
Thy praise shall never, never fail
Throughout eternity.

Amen.

EMBRACE EASTER

It comes but once a year
Yet its significance
Lives in our hearts daily…
Thank God for the gift
of His Son
who secured my spot
and yours
in heaven.

Praise Him! Alleluia!
Amen!

Oh, and in the afternoon,
we had the joy of a visit from our granddaughter, Hope,
and her husband, Drew, and their two children
(our great-grandchildren, Xander and Sienna).

Hope & Drew
Xander
Sienna
Hunting for Easter eggs
Hope with Sienna
Isn’t this a fun appetizer tray?
And for a larger crowd,
how about this one?

Did you send out and receive a few Easter cards this season?
I did.. and I enjoyed every one.
I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you:

That was decorated with a glitter cupcake by our darling Ruby…
with a note added from her big brother, first grader, Cord.
So precious!!

And now,
the eggs are gone.
The Easter ham left-overs are in the fridge.
The family departed.
The dishes are looming large –
Begging to be done…
But first, join me and the Easter bunny, will you?
Sit down and relax.
Contemplate the day…
Think about what Easter means.
Thank God for the gift of His Son.
Let’s drink a toast to Eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom.
The dishes can wait!
My computer’s about to run outta battery…

Hope you had a Happy Easter weekend.


Have a good night.
See ya tomorrow.

Sending lots of love,
JanBeek

Embrace Emptiness


Lest our cup be emptied,
There’s no room for any more.
Lest we leave the empty tomb
We won’t know what is in store.

So, let’s embrace the emptiness
With gratitude and grace
Knowing that on the morn,
We’ll see the Savior’s face.

Meantime, in the emptiness
Of this quiet Holy Saturday,
Contemplate the miracle of His grace
And thank Him for coming our way.

Today we experience loneliness
Like the day after a loved one’s funeral…
But tomorrow we will understand
The gift He gave of Life Eternal.

God bless you, my friends.
I send my love,
JanBeek

Embrace ExpectationS


Yesterday I posted a question,
“What do you expect
When you hear Expectation?”
Today I added an S to the word.

What does that do to the meaning for you?
Derrick Knight responded yesterday saying,
“Expectation can sometimes be a touch optimistic.”
The picture of the pregnant gal shows such optimism to me.

She is probably more than “a touch” optimistic!

Photo by Laura Garcia on Pexels.com

Expectation to me is personal.
It is what I am looking forward to – or not.
But the added S causes it to take on a different nuance.
“Expectations” often come from others in my mind.


In Luke 21:26, the expectation the men felt was the “or not.”

“… men fainting
from fear and the expectation
of the things which are coming upon the world;
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

Photo by Aaron Kittredge on Pexels.com

But in Philippians, the expectation is that optimistic viewpoint Derrick was talking about:

Philippians 1:20

As it is my eager expectation and hope
that I will not be at all ashamed,
but that with full courage now as always
Christ will be honored in my body,
whether by life or by death.

Expectations from others can often produce stress. People sometimes put pressure on us to be more than we feel capable of being.

On the other hand, expectations can be motivating. Is someone expecting you to perform right now? Is that person an encourager, telling you, “You can do this! You’re strong enough… smart enough… capable enough”?

Embrace those expectations!
Believe those accolades.
Let that encouragement motivate you.
You are not given more than you can do…
… with God’s help!

I just listened to a podcast with Bob Goff interviewing Anne Lamott.
She touched on this topic of “given more than you can do.”
Quite interesting!
Her take is different, but equally as valid.
You may want to go and hear that podcast.
(I hope this link will take you there)
https://dreambigframework.com/podcast-1/326anne?utm_term=0_be8b3e9633-80b1855f1d-132966261

In yesterday’s Daily Word,
the word for March 30, 2021 was “Expectation.”
The statement at the top of the page was,

“Expectation keeps me passionate about my life.”

In the article expounding on the subject, the message emphasized was:

“Expectation keeps me in a state of gratitude…
I claim peace, prosperity, and joy in prayer.
I carry a confident expectation into my daily life.”

In the midst of this pandemic, with social distancing, mask-wearing, and the administration of vaccines becoming more and more politicized, it is sometimes difficult to follow the advice of that Daily Word message. Sometimes when the expectations of the world weigh us down, when dissension and divisiveness try to bury our joy, it is easy to fall into a dark mood.

So, the message today is to take those expectations
And color them brightly with the promises of Easter.
Remember that today marks the day that Jesus was
Honored with a flask of expensive perfume poured on him.

The disciples who were scornful were reminded
To keep their focus on the expectations of Christ:
He knew He would die, be buried, and rise again.
My expectation is to do the same – due to His sacrifice.

I am planted today with the expectation
That I will grow from the Sea of Expectations
To rise in encouragement and hope-
So that I can spread that optimism to others.

EMBRACE POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS

Have a Happy, Meaningful Holy Week.
Whatever you are being called to do,
believe you can, expect that you will.
Get on with it!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

I expect to
See ya tomorrow!

Embrace Guidance


What does the word GUIDANCE mean to you?
What comes to mind?

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

When I put the word “guidance”
in my Pexel image search,
this picture of a smart phone –
bringing the GPS image to mind –
came up on my screen.
Is that your idea of guidance?

Photo by Michael Block on Pexels.com

What kind of guidance does this second image bring to mind?
Maybe allowing your surroundings,
the sun and moon, the mountains, to guide you?
Do they give you a sense of direction?
Is that what guidance means to you?

Photo by Anand Dandekar on Pexels.com

A lighthouse guides ships through the night-
Especially in a storm when it is hard to see the shore.
This kind of guidance involves a light that points the way,
gives a warning, keeps the vessel from crashing into the rocks.

Photo by Prashant Gautam on Pexels.com

I searched through many photos
before finding the light
that spelled guidance to me –
and this one sort of does it.

It’s the Light that dawns
Each morning as I look to the heavens
And ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
It’s the light of God that shines in and through me.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Guidance that comes through prayer
And the study of God’s word
And time spent listening for His direction
Is the guidance I can count on.



Isaiah 30:21
21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
“This is the way; walk in it.”

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Where do you get your guidance?
Do you pass it along to others
Who are on the journey of life with you?
Wise guidance from fellow believers is treasured.

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

If you look to others for direction
And you play “Follow the Leader,”
Be sure your guides are tuned in
To the God of your Salvation!

In this Holy Week as we anticipate Easter,
Look for guidance in prayer and the scriptures;
Look for guidance in other Christ followers.
Give guidance to the lost and help them.

Help them find their way this Holy Week
To the foot of the cross where Jesus
Showed us with His death and resurrection
The true pathway to our final destination.

Jesus prays for our guidance daily

Let Him be your guide…
And rejoice in the path He shows you:
The LIGHTED Path to Eternal Life.
Hallelujah! May He be your Guide forever!

EMBRACE GUIDANCE

Amen!

Have a Happy Holy Week!
I send you lotsa love and hugs.
JanBeek

Embrace Help


Have you ever listened to someone for a minute and thought
“Their cornbread isn’t done in the middle” ??

My beef stew this noon needed cornbread to accompany it.

And the cornbread WAS cooked all the way through.
What does this have to do with Palm Sunday?
Sometimes I stew over the way the disciples
led Jesus to his demise in Jerusalem.

It’s rather corny to suggest that they
were half baked. But they were!
They didn’t have a clue about what
Jesus was about!

Even though he told them
He was going to die
and rise again in three days,
they were as clueless
as those peppers in my stew!

“Hosanna!” they shouted.
“Hosanna in the highest!”

Do you know what Hosanna means?
I thought it was an expression of celebration.
Nope, it means, “Help me!”
And that’s just what He did.
But, like half-baked cornbread,
they had no idea how He was helping them.

Today’s sermon notes from the message
by Rev. Steve Hundley at the
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana
was titled,
“Going Through the Motions”

Imagine a small church in a small town.
Imagine how the congregation is feeling down.
Their brothers and sisters are being slaughtered.
They’ve forgotten what Jesus did for their sons and daughters.

Imagine the preacher having just received Mark,
The book that recalls Jesus’ light in the dark.
The description of the first Palm Sunday
Leaves out important things that happened that one day.

Mark doesn’t talk about the presence of crowds.
He does write that some shouted aloud
“Hosanna!” but he made the folks sound mundane,
And he paints the disciples as being quite lame!

Abraham was asked what he thought of the telling.
He said he thought it was just what they were yelling.
“Hosanna” means HELP US and that is what
Jesus did as He told them He’d empty His cup
on the cross that day. Listen up!

He said He would rise again, but they didn’t understand.
We’re like that – just marching along with the band.
Help us this Holy Week to do more than go through
The motions to recognize what You had to do.

Lord, You’ve known the clamor of over 2,000 Sundays
When people wave palm branches as if it’s fun days.
Allow us to stop just going through the motions,
And instead prayerfully express our devotions.

You gave Your life on the cross, O Lord,
So that we might understand where we’re headed toward.
It’s not a deep dark hole for eternity without You.
It is Heaven with You – fully baked – clear through!

Help us, O Lord, to live this Holy Week
Fully alive – remembering You – the One we seek.
You are the bread of life – who died and rose again.
You’re the yeast in life who will come again. Amen!

EMBRACE the HELP
that only God can give.
Hosanna!

He came.
He lived.
He died.
He rose.
He will come again.

Don’t just go through the motions this Easter
EMBRACE the HELP that Jesus offers us
By His life, His teaching, His example,
And let your example be “baked clear through!”
Amen

Have a blessed week.
Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Tranquility


The ticking of the clock –
The music of chimes’ agility –
The puppy in the corner snoring –
Ah, such tranquility!

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Ecclesiastes 4:6

“Better is a handful of quietness
than two hands full of toil
and a striving after wind.”

The windmill worked its way
Into the ground with daily spinning.
Standing quiet and tall, the hills
Live in tranquility – stillness winning.

Tranquility is not always stillness;
Sometimes it is purposeful motion –
Tossing away burdens and keeping
Hours of exercise and devotion.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Proverbs 14:30

“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.”

Tranquility at the core of your soul
Is the result of a heart filled with love.
Your bones cry out in joy when you
Let peace and calm in from above.

The Prayer of St. Francis

When you sow peace, love, hope,
Light, faith, pardon and joy,
Tranquility enters your being –
And no earthly tension can destroy.


James 3:18

“And a harvest of righteousness
is sown in peace
by those who make peace.”

Inside my kitchen cabinet

Arriving at a state of tranquility
In the midst of all this earth’s pain
Is like standing in a gorgeous garden
After a long, earth-quenching rain.

Derrick & Jackie’s garden

Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.”

And to that we might add,

“Blessed are the gardeners,
for they shall find tranquility
in the beauty of their creation.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A sure path to tranquility:
Keep your eyes on the Son.
Easter is coming and so we know
Death did not win… Eternal Tranquility won!!

EMBRACE TRANQUILITY

SEE ya tomorrow (God willing)

What will you do today
to feel the tranquility
that is God’s gift to you?

I’m sending Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Proximity


Proximity
Is nearness
Space that’s measured
Feeling a treasured presence
Closeness

Tomorrow may be in heaven…
But there is a tomorrow for all Children of God

Movement
Closing in
Walking toward you
Feeling your loving care
Proximity

Bonnie & Stan
60 years of standing together,
Leaning on one another
Treasuring proximity

Movement
Closing in
Walking toward you
Feeling your loving care
Proximity

Dream
Embrace Proximity
We never know
How long we’ll have
Together


Bob & Jan
59 years and treasuring our proximity

Wishes
Are important
Dreams stay big
My wish for you:
Proximity

My sister-in-law, Bonnie, had the gift of her children and grandchildren’s close proximity yesterday as she dealt with the grief of separation. Hopefully they will ease the pain with beautiful shared memories. One of my other sisters-in-law sent me these pictures of Stan today. (If you follow my post, you know Bonnie’s husband died yesterday). I will post a few of Ann Beekman’s photos here so you can feel the proximity of this crazy family – full of joy and love for one another.

The Beekman/Hunt/Payne family guys
Stan clowning behind Bob & Bruce
Bonnie & Stan at a family dinner
Bonnie & Stan at our granddaughter, Faith’s wedding
Stan & Bonnie after an Hawaiian trip
A souvenir hat from Hawaii
Stan loved hats –
Guess where this one came from!

May the memories of my dear brother-in-law remain alive in our hearts
And the proximity of his character comfort and sustain all his loved ones.

What’s a favorite memory you pray
your family and friends will use
to help them remember you
when you are gone?

What photo will keep you in close proximity to them?

Here’s mine!

Stand by me
Lean on me
Embrace Proximity

See ya tomorrow
JanBeek

Embrace Comfort


Embrace Comfort

Embrace
The comfort
Offered by others
Then return the favor
Comfort

Comfort
Makes life
A little easier
Even in our sorrow
Care

Whisper
Your cares
To our God
He hears every word
Believe

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Reach
Hold hands
Hug your friends
Even virtual hugs matter
Express

Love
Is comfort
Comfort in Action
Never underestimate your love
Increase!

Last night Bob & I received word that his brother-in-law, Stan, was in ICU. He had fallen in the shower and was unconscious. The paramedics came, performed CPR, broke three of his ribs in the process, but made sure he was breathing. Took him to the hospital. Stan and Bob’s sister, Bonnie, live in Oregon. We can’t hop in the car and go there, but thanks to technology, we can reach out in love. We can pray and ask our friends to pray, too. God hears. God cares. We can show we care, too.

Today we learned that the family has asked for Stan to be taken off of life support. He never regained consciousness… and if he survived, his brain would not be functioning properly. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not continued life on this earth, but the peace and comfort of eternal life. Thank God for our faith. We know we will meet again in heaven.

There are so many ways to show love. What are some of the ways you embrace comfort across the miles?

EMBRACE COMFORT



Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.


Hope to see you tomorrow.

I’m sending my love your way.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Knowing our dear Stan is departing his earthly body,
I am sending this lovely video
“If Tomorrow Starts Without Me”
to comfort
our sweet Bonnie and their children,
Tammy & Todd…
and all the Hunt/Smith/Beekman family
with my love.
May they find it comforting.

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