Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

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

Lookin’ for Love


Lookin’ for love
In all the wrong places?
Lookin’ for love
On all the wrong faces?

Spent a lifetime lookin’
For just the right person?
The more you were searchin’
The more life would worsen?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

You were born of love
And love is a given.
It’s yours to accept –
It’s a certain decision.

So you can stop lookin’
Outside of yourself!
Love is your birthright
God gave of Himself!

John 16:27

27 … the Father himself loves you
because you have loved me
and have believed
that I came from God.

In “These Days” one of my daily devotionals, Martin Wiles reminded me of the song, “Lookin’ for Love” released in 1980 as part of the soundtrack for the movie, Urban Cowboy. He reminded me that country singer, Johnny Lee, sang the song. I remember singing along. I found it on YouTube music. It inspired this blog. Click on the link below and have a listen!

Martin Wiles commented in the devotional, “The lyrics tell of someone who spent a lifetime looking for love in all the wrong places. They hoped to find someone who was also looking for love. After many failed attempts, they finally found the special person.”

The scripture that inspired the commentary is
Psalm 103:8
“The Lord is
merciful and gracious,
slow to anger
and abounding
in steadfast love.”

Martin Wiles continued,
“The Psalmist discovered God’s love.
Our world too often has a twisted definition of love,
defining it by emotions alone or confusing it with lust.
God demonstrates agape love
– an unconditional love
that keeps giving
whether we return it or not…”

So, I am encouraged to receive God’s love
and I ask God to help me love others
as God loves me.

I am not looking for love in all the wrong places.
I trust that you are not searching
in all the wrong places either.

I send my love to you,
dear WordPress friends.
Pass it on!

Look in all the right places!

See ya tomorrow (God willing),

Hugs, JanBeek

Angels Watching Over Us


I have a guardian angel
Who is faithful – yes, indeed!
He’s saved me from disaster,
Been there for every need.

An angel guarded Angela,
Our Boston Terrier pup,
From dying when a rattlesnake
Bit her on her butt!

You have a guardian angel
Who’s watching over you.
I hope that you are grateful
And careful on your feet, too.

Sunday in church our pastor
Read a poem that touched my heart.
It conjured up my angel;
Who’s compassionate and smart.

Yours is, too!!
In fact, YOU may BE
somebody’s angel!
Serving love with glee.

“The World I Live In”
Mary Oliver

God of Grace, help us to see
Your angels at work among us,
lighting upon the unhoused in the street,
delivering cups of coffee,
Ziploc bags full of toiletries,
and deli sandwiches.

Help us honor Your angels
with our praise and gratitude –
the patient teacher, the loving parent,
the determined wildfire fighter,
the volunteer rescue worker,
the visitor of the elderly,
the sick and the imprisoned.

Give us eyes to see, O God,
your angels at work
and help us be among their ranks.

Click the link below and enjoy listening to Alabama sing for us “Angels Among Us.”

Our Angela –
saved by God’s angel!

Angela’s angel was a vet
Who was in his office on a Sunday.
He had the vaccine and loving care.
She’d’a been gone by Monday!

We never know when God
calls on us to be
the angel to a friend in need.
Open your arms and eyes to see.

God bless you!

Thanks for checking in today.
You’re my visiting angel.
Let me be yours!
Gotcha in prayer.
Tell me how to pray for you specifically, OK?

Love,

JanBeek

Stress Less


How do I stress less?
Will meditation do it?
Find stillness is me.

Luke 12:22

“Therefore I tell you,
do not worry about your life,
what you eat,
or about your body,
what you will wear.”

Photo by Valeria Ushakova on Pexels.com

Clasp your hands and pray
Ask God for peace, joy, guidance
Just be still and know

Know that God is there
Filling your heart, hearing prayers,
Really listening

We can take the time
Peace and calm are within grasp
Seek serenity

Move forward with peace
Pass it along to others
Pause and stay focused

Meditation is
Time set aside to focus
Beware your focus!

Focus on being loving
Not stress and anxiety
Let peace be your core

If you are so inclined, listen to Hope Darst sing “Peace Be Still” …
and be inspired!

I will trust the voice I heed…
that is my focus on my Lord who calms the seas
and He calms me when I let faith rise up in me.

It is my faith that
Lets me slough off any stress
And live in God’s peace.

I hope you can do that, too.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.
What will you do to bring less stress into your life?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Bye for now

Eyes Ahead


Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Eyes Ahead

Keep looking ahead
Don’t look backward instead
Keep your balance upright
And your future in sight

Don’t be in a hurry
You don’t need to scurry
Be ever expectant
But, don’t be a contestant

We’re part of a whole
Connection’s our goal
Slow down and discover
We can lean on each other

May your eyes look ahead
And read what is said
About those in distress
Who live in a mess

Because they don’t pause
And look at the cause
Of the trouble they’re in
It stems from within

They rush here and there
Seldom are they aware
Of the joy that’s ahead
If they’d slow down instead

So keep your eyes looking up
Let the calm fill your cup
As you savor each day
Spreading love on your way.

In his book, Ever Faithful,
David Jeremiah reminded me
in today’s devotional
that there is something
to rejoice in,
give thanks for,
and pray about
around every curve.
He referenced this scripture:

Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always,
17 pray continually,
18 give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

David Jeremiah reminds us that looking ahead
– keeping your eyes focused on the path
is the important task at hand.
Do not be hurried!
“Real joy in life comes not to the hurried, but to the expectant-
those eager for new experiences and discovery.

There are encounters,
discoveries,
people,
events,
opportunities,
blessings
and challenges
to be found.”

John 16:13

“However, when He,
the spirit of truth has come,
He will guide you into all truth.”

Today, trust the Holy Spirit
to guide you
as you travel your chosen path.
Keep your eyes looking ahead.

David Jeremiah invites us to
“Keep your eyes and arms open
to embrace what you discover.”

I’m gonna do that.
I’m gonna ask the Holy Spirit
to lead me to a new, peaceful path.
And I’m gonna keep my eyes
looking ahead.

How about you?

Thanks for joining me today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Finding Grace


What is grace?

There are several meanings.
One is the unmerited gift from God – referenced above.

Another is:

“disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency” …

Each of us has the capacity to act with grace.

When we respond to others with kindness, we are passing along the grace we are given.

Where do we find grace?

  1. Grace is a gift from God
  2. Grace is inside you
  3. Grace is all around you
  4. Grace multiplies when you give it

You have grace in abundance to give.
When you reach out in love
you are giving grace upon grace
.

2 Corinthians 9:8

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you,
that you, always having all sufficiency in all things,
may have an abundance for every good work.”

(NKJV)

One of the definitions of grace
involved the word “clemency.”

It is the willingness or ability to moderate the severity of a punishment
or
an act or instance of mercy, compassion, or forgiveness.

We all know that a life lived well
is a life lived with compassion,
a life filled with forgiveness of others
as well as of ourselves.

We all need to practice clemency!

Find grace in your heart.
Let forgiveness and compassion be your first response!
When we are merciful, we receive mercy in return.

Today’s post was inspired by today’s devotional in Mornings with Jesus.
Gwen Faulkenberry wrote a creative take on Hebrews 4:16,
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”


She imagined a beggar approaching a palace,
being turned away by the butler,
but welcomed with open arms by the prince
who brings the starving man to the queen.
When she sees him approaching,
she jumps from her throne,
runs to him, and says,
“Come in! Come in! How can I help you today?”

Gwen invites us in the “Faith Step” at the bottom of the page
to imagine ourselves as the man
and imagine the queen as God.
What would you ask if you weren’t afraid?

God of grace gives us all the grace we need…
and continues to gift us with the compassion,
kindness, and courtesy we need in order
to pass it on to others freely.

Knowing you have received grace upon grace,
approaching the throne of God,
what would you ask Him for?

I asked for healing of this broken finger,
(it was in there under all that wrapping),
renewed strength in this left hand,
renewed balance so I could stop falling,
and a healing of my head’s 8 stitches
before we head for our daughter’s
in Switzerland later this month.
God is answering my prayers…
in His perfect timing (as always).

What will you ask for?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love to you,
from JanBeek

July Take-Aways


Each day as I read my Daily Guideposts
and reflect on what the message
means to me, I create a “Take-Away.”
I have a page or two on which I record them.
Here are the take-aways from July.
Which one or two resonates with you
as a “Take-away” for the month
that you can carry with you into August?

July Take-Aways

  1. Be an investor in prople
  2. Be grateful for daily love, joy, and peace
  3. Celebrate the peace of Christ
  4. Freedom isn’t free!
  5. Treasure your friends; tell ’em so
  6. Happy Birthday, Mary Grace Reynolds (my pastor)
  7. Thank God for our loving children
  8. Celebrate the birthdays of friends
  9. Enjoy every day the Lord gives us
  10. Share freely and generously with others
  11. Spend quality time with our God/Creator
  12. Take refuge in the familiar
  13. Thank God for free will
  14. As God for direction; then Trust the Journey
  15. Care for the vulnerable
  16. Celebrate milestones with friends
  17. Keep an “I’m good” attitude
  18. Share the humor and laughter of others
  19. Slow down and watch where you’re walkin’
  20. Be forever grateful for God’s miracles
  21. Home is where angels live to guard us
  22. His grace is sufficient
  23. Praise God, friends & family for love
  24. Love your spouse, church family & kids extravagantly
  25. Love and appreciate the color in your life
  26. Git Movin’
  27. Praise God for His love, mercy, and guardian angels
  28. Be sure to exercise daily
  29. Thank God for giving you momentum
  30. Thank Jesus for His companionship

I read both
Mornings with Jesus
and
Daily Guideposts
each morning
up in my sanctuary.
Been doing it for over a decade now.

They help me plan my day
and start off on the right foot.

With the “Take-Away”
tucked in my heart,
I head down the circle staircase
with this 12 step prayer
spoken to God on my way:

Dear God,
Thank you for the
1. love,
2. joy, and
3. peace (that are mine) –
Help me with:
4. patience,
5. kindness,
6. goodness, and
7. faithfulness (which brings blessings).
Help me with
8. gentleness, and
9. self-control.
10. Help me live humbly
with an attitude of gratitude,
and a response of
11. generosity, forgiveness,
12. obedience and integrity.
In Jesus’ name,
AMEN.

And at that point, I am at the bottom… ready to start my day.
Here are half of the June Take-Aways

Which of the Take-Aways from June or July will you carry into August with you?

Have an Awesome month!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Enough!


The poem above is an edited version of an original by Bob Perks. I first read his poem about two decades ago. It spoke to me. Like the one above, it did not give credit to the poet, so I credited “Anonymous.” I posted it on my FaceBook page or somewhere (I wasn’t on WP yet at that time).

I heard from Bob Perks. He was irate! People were posting his poem, tweaking it, and not giving him credit. I had done so innocently. Maybe others were as unknowing as I.

Is it OK to use someone else’s words without acknowledging them? Bob Perks said, “No, that’s plagiarism!”

But if you saw the poem posted as I did, without an author’s name, how would you go about researching who wrote it?

In today’s world, I just “Googled it!” I found this version:

Is that really Bob Perks’ original version? How can I tell? And is it ok for some company to put it on a plaque and sell it for profit without the poet getting some kind of royalty? Did Bob Perks copyright it? I don’t know.

I have mixed feelings on this subject – because I have always believed that when someone steals your idea it is a form of flattery. After all, they liked it that much, right?

People have been doing that with Jesus’ words and ideas for centuries.

Did Nancy DeMoss really create that idea?

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

People always are rephrasing Jesus’ words.
There are countless translations of the Bible
and dozens of books that paraphrase it.
But, they do not take the ideas
without giving credit to the creator,
do they?

So, is it OK to be a copycat
without acknowledgement?

Depends… depends on who you’re copying and why!
Sometimes copying is considered a cheap form of imitation.

As an elementary school principal, I used encourage my teachers to share their good ideas with others – and be happy if someone copied their method, stole their lesson plan, or imitated their teaching style. It’s OK to go beyond admiring an idea. It’s OK to use it, embellish it, improve upon it, personalize it. Is it enough to just recognize the other for their inspiration? If you copy, do you need permission?

In our WordPress world, we try to ask permission before reposting someone’s idea. If we don’t get an answer, is it enough to just acknowledge the source?

Lee Ann Womack advocates originality.

I believe Bob Perk’s poem is a beautiful original.
He deserves to receive credit for it.
I wish him ENOUGH accolades
to satisfy his heart’s content.
I love following his ideas
even today on FaceBook.
https://www.facebook.com/bob.perks

His website is about
Starting Over…
New Beginnings

I bet Bob Perks has had ENOUGH of this rewriting of his poem and people copying and tweaking it. I bet he is ready to move on… start over … reinvent his image. As a writer, he now says he is a “Speaker” and a “Vocalist.” He’s said ENOUGH of that old life. Let’s begin again. His website says, “Starting Over Again” at the top of it.

I am an orginal.
You are an original.
There is no one else on earth like you.
Your eyes are only yours.
Your fingerprints are only yours.
Your voice is an original – only yours!
Celebrate your originality!

Cheers!

Loved having you visit today.
Come back again tomorrow
and celebrate my birthday with me, OK?

I wish you enough!

Hugs,
JanBeek

Angels Among Us


I believe there are angels among us.
I hope when you click on the link above,
you can listen to this gorgeous voice
singing this wonderful song.

Angels show us how to live
Sent down from somewhere up above
Angels teach us how to give
And they teach us how to love.

Listen to the words of Chris Rupp’s vocal.
Angels come to you and me…
I had one protecting me last Monday –
I am sure – it’s a guarantee!

Look at what I hit my head on when I fell over backward!

With the full weight of my body,
I hit that trailer hitch!
You tell me how I avoided a concussion-
How I walked away with just a stitch…

Actually, if you read yesterday,
You know my gash required eight…
And I was in the ER four hours,
Returning home rather late.

I didn’t even crack my skull-
And I didn’t break my neck.
I could have broken my back!
Where’s that angel hiding? Let me check!

You have angels among you, too…
At least one on duty at all times.
Tune in – you can feel the protection.
Look around, you’ll see the signs!

As the poem above tells us,
Angels sometimes are disguised as friends –
Sometimes family are our angels –
Angels are the love God sends.

Listen here to another beautiful song:
I Will Be Here – Steven Curtis Chapman – Chris Rupp A Cappella
I hope this link takes you there.

Who is always there for you?

Bob is an angel who is here for me.
It took a few minutes of screaming his name
To wake him from his nap, but I could see him there …
And when he heard me, how quickly he came!

Yes, my friends, angels are among us.
We need to open our hearts and our eyes
To see and to feel them around us.
Mine’s trying to teach me to be more wise!

In Hebrews 13:2, Paul said, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” That verse leads us to wonder if angels appear to us in human form at times. We know that they appeared to many in human form in the Bible. [See Genesis 18:2].

You may be blessed to have an angel living with you all the time, too!

Thank you, Sweet Bob –
For being my constant angel!

Psalm 91:11

“For He will command His angels
concerning you
to guard you
in all your ways.”

Bee well, my friends.
Bee safe, too.
May His angels guard you today and everyday.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Harsh Words of Jesus


If you’ve followed my blog for a while,
You know I attend church every Sunday,
And I usually try to take sermon notes.
As I listen, I try to record the message poetically.

Our pastor, Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds,
is doing a bold sermon series.
She’s asking our church congregants
to send her scripture that puzzles or troubles them.

This week the scripture passage she used
is from Luke 9:57-62. A weird one indeed!
I’ve often thought Jesus was rather harsh
with these two men who wanted to follow Him.

Luke 9:57-62

New International Version

The Cost of Following Jesus

57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Is Jesus saying
You have to leave your family
and forget your livelihood
to be a Christ follower?

Today’s sermon notes:

The mid-west mecca of modern architecture
Is Columbus, Indiana. Ever been there?
I watched the movie, “Columbus,” recently.
Jinn & Casey meet and share.

Ultimately the movie is about
Staying or leaving – choices we make.
Casey needs to go, but doesn’t want to.
Jinn convinces her to leave for her own sake.

Jesus may have been telling the men
To leave for their own sake.
Their situations were different,
But departure was what it would take.

Jewish burial rites have many parts:
Wrapping body, burial, dig up, burn, urn…
In this scripture a man wants to tend to his father.
Jesus prompts, “Come now and learn.”

We don’t know at what point in the rites
This man’s father may have been –
But it seems harsh for Jesus to tell him
“Let the dead bury their dead.” Such chagrin!

Another man wants to go back to his family,
But Jesus says, “Do not do an about face!”
This passage is all about priorities.
Jesus asks us to put Him in first place.

Love is not selfish, sinking in its talons.
Love is generous – love always is kind.
There often is sadness in leaving,
But when God calls, listen, decide, and mind!

Don’t get stuck looking back (like Lot’s wife).
You’ll become a pillar in your own tears and grief.
It’s all about priorities and obedience.
Hear God’s call and follow your belief!

Amen?
Amen!

What is it that determines your values and beliefs?

Perhaps Jesus was not being harsh with those two men after all.
Perhaps, like Jinn and Casey in the movie, “Columbus,”
He was telling them to leave for their own sake –
even though they didn’t want to go quite yet.

Sometimes God’s perfect timing doesn’t seem perfect…
… at least not at the time He jerks us out of our comfort zone!
But often, looking back, we can say, “Aha! Now I see…
God always knows what is best for me!”

Jesus’ words may seem harsh at first glance,
But He always has our best interest at heart.
I need to trust His encouragement to step out…
And what better time than now to start?

Go ahead … Step Out!!
Here we are with our pastor,
Mary Grace Reynolds.
Thanks, MGR, for a great sermon!

See ya on the road to success tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Be Upbeat


Too many downers
Try to pull us asunder
Let’s be resisters

Let’s just be upbeat
Just look on the sunny side
Let’s resist darkness

Find good in others
Let’s shine light in the darkness
We need your sparkle

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

“When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.”

Psalm 94:19

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The world needs your cheer
Be excited for today
Be inspiring

You can lift others
Out of their pessimism
Make joy contagious

Faith is the power
That helps you stay connected
To joy that abounds

So, just keep the faith
Keep letting God shine through you
He’ll keep you upbeat!

Cheers!

What are you feeling positive about today?
Share your good news!
We all need your smile.

(My good news is that my hand is healing.
The swelling is going down.
I was able to get my watch on today…
It fit over my hand for the first time
since the fall and broken finger April 20th.
The fingers are learning to bend again.
That’s my good news. What’s yours?
)


See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

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