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

Embrace Your Imperfections


Your imperfections
Are not the Creator’s fault.
Know, no one’s perfect!

We all have our faults.
And as we age, wrinkles show.
Otherwise you’re numb.

It’s our emotions
That birth our imperfections.
So, just embrace them!

In today’s Daily Guideposts, Bill Giovannetti ended his devotional with this prayer: “Lord, You alone are perfect. Help me be good with that. Amen.”

Bill shared that perfectionism lurks in the corners of his heart, always ready to pounce.

Do you have that problem? Do you expect yourself to write the perfect article, paint the perfect picture, bake the perfect cake, or create the perfect garden? Does the fear of making mistakes nag at you? Do your imperfections make you question your worth? Do you ever feel like covering your troubling issues by hiding in a box?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Here are seven verses to help you lay down the idol of perfectionism and embrace your own weaknesses.

  • Romans 5:7-8. …
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9. …
  • James 3:2. …
  • Matthew 19:21. …
  • Galatians 1:10. …
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:4. …
  • Romans 8:15.

What does God say about perfectionism?

Romans 15:7
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

God/Jesus doesn’t require your perfection, because He is the only one who is perfect. His acceptance of you can help you accept others with their flaws as well.

In this season of Thanksgiving,
I invite you to sit quietly with yourself.
Thank God for the way you are “wonderfully made,”
And give yourself a break.

As you listen to these relaxing hymns
of Thanksgiving and worship,
count your many blessings.
Embrace your imperfections,
and know they simply prove
you are human!

Are you familiar with “Kintsugi” or “Kintsukuroi”? This is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The method is similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

Like repaired pottery, Kintsugi style, our imperfections are those cracks that allow room for the power and grace of God to fill us with the gold of humility, repentance, and dependence on Him.

Bill Giovannetti wrote, “… my worth before both God and those I love doesn’t depend on me being perfect. It just depends on me being me.”

Me being me!

“Help me be who You made me to be.
Help me accept myself with all my imperfections.
Help me, Lord, to relax in Your promise of acceptance.
Help me love unconditionally, refraining from judging others,
just as You love and accept me – just as I am.
In Jesus name, Amen.”

Thanks for visiting today.
I pray you see yourself as God’s beloved creation –
imperfections and all!

See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Angels


Do you believe in angels?
Do you have a Guardian Angel?

Fellow blogger,

A Star on the Forehead,

wrote the following on her post today:

“I remind myself of the agreement I have with my Guardian Angels.
They are allowed to take anyone and anything from my life
that it is not and will not be good for me.
No questions asked. It doesn’t need to make sense.”

Do you believe angels can actually work to save you from harm?

There is a story in the book of Acts about an angel who freed Peter from prison. It always has fascinated me. It’s hard to deny the presence of angels when you know things like this have happened:

Acts 12:5-17

Peter Freed from Prison

Peter was therefore kept in prison, but [a]constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were [b]keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”

12 So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. 15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”

16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place.

I asked Bob this morning, “Have you ever been saved by an angel?”

“Oh yes,” he replied without hesitation.

“When?” (I knew what he was going to say.)

“When I fell asleep at the wheel of my truck with a load of honeybees on the bed of the truck… I went off the road and missed a culvert by 6″ before being jarred awake and slamming on the brakes. I know my guardian angel was working overtime!”

Psalm 91:11 assures us that our angels are indeed here to protect us.

My friend, Sue, and her husband, Jerry, had a similar experience.
They were driving back from Bozeman one rainy Saturday
when their car slid on a slick, rainy spot.
They were facing down the steep side over the railing
when Sue spontaneously said,
“God help us!”

Immediately, their car tilted backward and onto the road.
The two of them sat there astounded.
They drove home in awe and wonder.
They shared their experience in church the next day.
Yes, many nodded in a knowing way…
others shared their Guardian Angel stories
during fellowship that day.

Not all angels are celestial beings.
I believe God has put invisible wings on each of us!!
He asks us to “Love one another” just as He has loved us.

(I had fun posing in front of a myriad of wings that are displayed
in Redlands, CA at a spot dedicated to 58 beautiful souls who were gunned down.

“Live and Let Live
Live and Let Love”

I wrote a poem for a resident
of our Madison Valley Nursing Home
several years ago.
She had damaged her shoulders
in a fall and was unable to lift her arms.
For Christmas that year,
I gave her a Willow Creek angel with no wings.

Here is the angel and the poem:

“Angels on earth
Such as Gloria
Wear their wings
in their loving arms.
Though she may not
Be physically able
To reach out
And embrace you,
Her invisible wings
Stretch her heart
To reach miles
With warm smiles,
Sparkling eyes,
And words of grace –
Loving and wise.

Amen

EMBRACE THE ANGEL IN YOU!

Do you have a story to tell about
a time your guardian angel saved you?


See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek


Embrace Serving


Yesterday’s post had to do with service:
Focusing on Veteran’s Day and military service.
I alluded to the fact that there are many ways
To serve, but I didn’t elaborate on that.

Did you read that line and pause?
Did you think about the expanded meaning
Of service – the act of serving – and its
Relationship to Christian living?

I did! But, I decided to wait until today
To embrace the myriad of ways
We enjoy and benefit from serving.
We are encouraged to “Be Servants!”

Scripture calls us to serve others in love as Galatians 5:13 says,
“For you were called to freedom, brothers [and sisters].
Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh,
but through love serve one another.”

Having a servant’s heart means to help others in love
without expecting something in return,
serving in appreciation of the gifts
God has already given us.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Helper
Divinely guided
Opening my heart
Aware of God’s calling
Servant

Definitely a “calling!”


In my Daily Word from Unity.org today,
I was inspired by the message of “Guidance.”
In it, the writer embraced serving,
reminding us that as we prepare to do so,
we need to listen to the still, small voice
of the Holy Spirit within us.

“There are many ways of connecting with Spirit,
but the first is by letting go.
I must first release the situation
I want guidance about.

With my human self out of the way,
I stop my mind from trying to
figure out the answer.

After letting go,
I meditate,
enjoy some devotional reading time,
and become aware of God’s [presence]…”

Jesus was the consummate servant.
His Holy Spirit puts in each of us a servant’s heart.
Serving others is one of our main purposes in life!

38 Give, and it will be given to you.
A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over,
will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use,
it will be measured to you.”

Luke 6:38

A new commandment I give you:
Love one another.
As I have loved you,
so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know
that you are My disciples,
if you love one another.

John 13:34-35

Pray With Me


“Heavenly Father,
keep my focus
on the one thing
You have commanded:
that I love others
as You have loved me.
Give me a servant’s heart
that I may love in word and action”
Amen

EMBRACE SERVING TODAY, MY FRIENDS.
What will you do today to demonstrate your love in action?

You gotta watch & listen to this…
So gorgeous!!
I helped Bob set up his
appointments for continued
medical evaluations today.
We’re headed to Mayo Clinic in Rochester in January!
He’s my love focus!!

Thanks for visiting today.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Generosity


Give from your big heart
Embrace generosity
Use Christ’s example

Our Lord gave His all
So we’d have Life Eternal
It’s available

All you need to do
Is open your heart to Him
And embrace His love

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know that I have a habit of taking notes in poetry as I listen to the weekly sermon. Sometimes it’s easy to do that… other times the poetry escapes me. Today the message came to me in rhythm and rhyme quite easily! It was an inspirational take on this very familiar scripture. I hope it speaks to your heart as it did mine.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon
at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
by Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds
was based on this scripture:

Mark 12:38-44

As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Sermon Notes

Usually this scripture
Is used on Stewardship Sunday;
But, relax! This is not
What I’ll talk about today!

Who among us will go to the bank,
Empty it, and put it in the offering plate?
I wouldn’t expect that of tou –
Not today… not on any date!

But, let’s look at the lofty ones,
The ones who act like priests,
But are not… and moreover,
They righteously parade and gorge on feasts.

Jesus isn’t just ranting, but teaching.
He tells the disciples about the widow’s life.
He praises her for her generosity
And coveys her years of trouble and strife.

He scold the scribes and pharisees
For giving out of their spare change.
While the widow gave all she had,
He admonishes the limits they arrange.

These two teachings arre Jesus’s last.
From here Jesus will face His fate.
Chist encourages us to learn
There’s no pay grade low enough to be ingrate.

The widow is a victim of the system.
But, in spite of that, she gives all –
Knowing her money will help someone.
That widow certainly stands tall!

As part of the sum of many,
She gives out of sacrificial love.
Likewise, Jesus gave His all, so we
Can learn from Him and join Him above.

“God so love the world
That He gave His only begotten Son
That whosoever believeth in Him
Shall not perish
But have everlasting life”

That marvelous rendition of this hymn by St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir reminds me of the men and boys’ double choir that we heard last month at Westminster Abbey in London. Sitting next to our daughter, who cried buckets of emotion all the way through it, I remembered my years as member of the University of Pacific’s A Capella Choir. We sang this version of the song at most of our concerts. I love it! I hope you are blessed by it, too. Soooo beautiful!!

Have a blessed rest of your Sunday
and a wonderful week!

I send you my love
and lotsa hugs.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Embrace Generosity…
and generously give as you are able…

Love,
JanBeek

That’s me with our pastor,
Mary Grace Reynolds
She’s a gift from God!!

Embrace Comfort


“Being confident of this,
I take great comfort knowing
He who began a good work in me
will carry it out to completion…”

Philippians 1:6



Aren’t those comforting words?

God is doing a good work in me, this I know.
But that doesn’t mean I am going to be without troubles.
Hurt and pain are guaranteed in this world.
Through scripture, we can be comforted
by knowing that God is faithful,
and is always looking over us.

Our Heavenly Father truly cares
and is our protector and comforter in times of need.
Whatever the circumstance may be,
we can use comforting Bible verses
to find a peace that passes understanding.

8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8

Are you facing a difficult circumstance?
Something over which you have little if any control?
Maybe it is job related.
Maybe it is health related.
You might be in a state of transition.
Perhaps there are relational issues …

Whatever it is, know this:
Loved ones who walked before you
faced some of those same challenges.
They walk with you today…
And they intercede for you.

I believe that.
I feel my mom and my sis, and
I hear the Holy Spirit.
I am not alone.

You Never Walk Alone!

This rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”
always inspires me and comforts me.
If Andrea, who is blind,
can face his daily challenges
and reassure us of life’s constant Companion
with such sincerity and conviction,
who am I to doubt the Comforter?

4 “Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.”

Matthew 5:4

Maybe you, like my friends Scott & Cheryl,
have recently lost a loved one –
a parent, a sibling, a dear friend, a pet…
If so, I pray you will feel the comfort
of our Lord and His promises
of Eternal Life.
Be at peace.

3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those
in any trouble
with the comfort
we ourselves
receive
from
God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“Embrace Comfort”
And be the first to offer it to friends in need.

Every day we all need encouragement and words of comfort!

May you feel the loving arms of
our God of peace and comfort embracing you –
And may you pass along those comforting hugs
to all you meet who need your love and kindness.

See you tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek


Embrace Amazing Grace


Choked up with emotion,
Speechless, but obligated
To say something meaningful,
Barack Obama sang!

Now he won’t get any awards
For his pitch or tone,
But for his bravery,
A gold medal, indeed!

For his faith and love,
And for his ability
To inspire the crowd,
A blue ribbon!

When I meet my maker,
And you gather to cheer
My entry into Eternity,
Please sing Amazing Grace!

But, you might want to
Avoid the microphone
And let the Spirit lead
The others to drown you out!

Hah! God bless Barack –
I miss that guy in the White House.
I miss his family and
His Amazing Grace!!

There is something special
About that You.Tube
And its spontaneity.
Don’t you agree?

In contrast, this nearly lily white
Choir of perfect harmony,
Is beautiful for sure,
But somehow it seems stiff.

Or is that just me?

Maybe your taste for Amazing Grace
Turns more toward country.
There are as many versions
Of that song as you can imagine.

What’s your favorite?

The amazing story of the song
Is described beautifully in this video.
I totally enjoyed all 15 minutes of it.
I didn’t know what an influence he had
on the abolition of slavery!

I hope you will enjoy this video, too.

“The Lord gives us many blessings,
But unless we are grateful for them,
We lose much of the comfort from them.”


May God’s Amazing Grace
give you enormous comfort today
and always…

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Grief


Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Jesus began to weep.
So The Jews said, “See how He loved him.”

John 11:35-36

This week we attended the funeral of a friend who died while we were off in Europe enjoying life. My friend, Jeannie, was grieving while I was obliviously enjoying life. We attended his memorial service when we returned. Many tears were shed. He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed. Over the past decade or so, Bob & I enjoyed many hours of four-wheeling on our mountain trails with him.

As many of you know, if you have followed my blog a couple weeks or more, we visited Jackie & Derrick Knight while on our three week excursion. If you follow Derrick’s blog, too, you know he had just lost his dear mom… and he took a break from planning for her funeral in order to host us. We understood the sacrifice of time and emotion that this delay involved… and we appreciated it so much! It was good to hear later that he was able to facilitate a very meaningful funeral for his mum.

A good funeral
Shared grief in community
Be sad together

Lie down in green pastures

Read 23rd Psalm
Sing Amazing Grace with friends
Embrace your grieving



Engaging in the grieving process with a friend
caused me to do a lot of introspective thinking.
What if this was my husband?
How would I be handling this?
How could I cope?
Do I realize how blessed I am
to have had these 60 years together?
Do I cherish each minute
we have together
or do I take these blessings for granted?

1960 – at Bob’s sister’s wedding
1962 at our wedding
Us at our 59th anniversary last Feb.

Embracing grief also means embracing news that grieves us- learning to accept that news – and learning to give it to God. Last week we learned that Bob’s compromised heart & kidney functions are probably caused by “Amyloidosis.”

Oh my! Have you ever heard of that? It’s a condition that causes extra deposits of protein in your weakest organ(s). As I understand it, in some cases the weakest organ is the brain, so the extra protein gathers there and can cause dementia. In Bob’s case, the weak organs were heart & kidney.

The extra protein stiffens the heart muscles and causes them not to pump as efficiently. There are several kinds of amyloidosis. One is genetic. To the relief of our children and grandchildren, that one’s been ruled out!

Next week Bob will have a full body PET scan Wednesday and he will have a bone marrow exam on Thursday. The attempt is to rule out bone marrow Amyloidosis (we were told that version of it can be cancerous). So, the challenge is clear: Don’t grieve unnecessarily by worrying needlessly! Worrying about things over which you have zero control is a waste!

Only embrace grief when such sadness is called for! We weep when we see the depth of sadness in those around us. We all need space to be in our sadness. But don’t invite it! Don’t anticipate it! Take time for “good grief” when it is right to do so, just as Jesus seeped beside us when my friend’s husband died. But know Jesus is beside you, sharing your grief, but also fueling your hope.

Believe His power to create change.


Maintain your hope, dear friends.
When disturbing news is shared with you,
don’t imagine the worst.

Instead, give it to God,
knowing He is with you,
working for your good.

Trust in His Light
which shines in the darkness.

Turn to our Savior in prayer!


Lord, grant us the courage to open ourselves fully
to your word’s power and lean on your mercy.

Amen

Lord, thank You for sharing our suffering.
Help us channel our pain toward you.
Help us embrace grief when appropriate,
but focus on HOPE and Your MERCY always.
Amen

Do you have a prayer request that you are willing to share with me?
I’d be happy to pray for you.
Please add Bob and his situation to your prayer list.
Thank you!

Have a lovely Sunday …
and a Happy Halloween
🎃

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Wordless Wednesday


Embrace Pray-ers


James 5:16b

“The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”

I embrace prayers
And I embrace the pray-ers
Reaching out to God

As Bob & I prepare to embark on our trip to London and Switzerland, we are humbled by the number of prayers being offered on our behalf by family and friends. Bob came back from his Alaska trip a week and a half ago unfit to travel again… but with care and prayer, he is so much better – – – and his doctors have given him the ok to take this next trip. It’s been booked since last March! We leave Sunday. Oh, time is swiftly passing!

We know God hears – and we know our dear Lord is holding us in the palm of His hand. We are grateful for the intercessory support.

I know you have faced challenging times, too, and you know the power of prayer when you are navigating rough waters.

I know Jesus is a pray-er. He modeled the effectiveness of prayer for us. I am not sure how many times in the Bible it says Jesus went to a quiet place and took time to pray… but I know it’s a lot! If He counted on speaking to God in order to determine His next steps, who am I to try to go it alone?

So, I am up this evening talking to God, knowing Jesus intercedes for me, too… and I can feel the prayers of friends and family who have shared comments such as, “Let us pray that all goes smoothly,” and “Praying for you and Bob… Seeing family is worth the effort. God’s peace,” and “I hope all of your test come back negative and your travel plans run smoothly.” Thank you, WordPress friends!

With a community of believers out there, friends sharing their prayers and good wishes, and with my faith in scripture such as James 5:16, I can go to bed this night and sleep peacefully. I know the One who holds me also holds the future … and wants only my good.

Thank You, Lord, for the love, support, and comfort You send through my spiritual family.

Thank you for helping me relax and put these COVID test results and travel requirements in God’s hands. If this trip to London and Switzerland is meant to be, all my worries are for nothing. As the meme above says, “Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change.” Instead, Jan, put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters!

Now that I am safely tucked into the Man from Galilee’s hand,
I can relax and go get a good night’s sleep!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Good night!

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Stressing Less


Trying to arrange for a trip abroad in this COVID world today will guarantee stress.

Today I used links sent to me by a friend who just returned from a trip to Canada and from our daughter who is planning to join us next week in London, and I tried to make the arrangements for the COVID tests required. Oh me, oh my! Can they make it more difficult?

Seems to me they are just trying to send us senior citizens over the sanity edge ridge into complete derangement!

Not only do we have to have proof of our vaccines, but we have to prove we tested negative within 72 hours of our departure from the USA to London. Then when we arrive in the UK, we have to have a test there within 2 days – and it has to be ordered in advance. We have to prove (before we leave the US) that we have ordered the 2 day test to be delivered to our place of destination in London. Oh bludder!! And none of these tests are free, of course!

So, I took a break from all that computer stuff and spent some time with a few friends… a great antidote to hysteria and complete lunacy!

Back at home, I let my mind wander as I checked out some of my favorite bloggers. That was definitely a stress reliever! I especially enjoyed reading:

Gottfried, Banter Republic and Roth Poetry and derrickjknight and Big Sky Buckeye– four of my favorite guys!

Those guys’ blogs are great indicators of “where my heart is!”

Also it was fun to let my mind wander and reduce stress with three of my favorite gal bloggers:

Pat Cegan, Source of Inspiration and

Ann Koplow, The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally and

Phyllis Rogers, Life On The Lake



Are you looking for ways to embrace stressing less? Here’s a helpful list I found:

I’m smiling now … just asked for and got that hug.
It’s soooo good to have Bob back home again!
He returned Wednesday night
from his fishing trip in Alaska,
and I was quite worried about him.

We spent a lot of yesterday at our medical center
here in Ennis, trying to see how we can
reduce his fluid retention,
get his kidneys and heart
functioning normally,
and help him prepare for the trip
to be with our daughter next week.
See why I am posting
EMBRACE STRESSING LESS
?


What do you do to reduce stress?
Try playing this video in the background
while you go about your next task.

“Come to me all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you,
because I am humble and gentle,
and you will find much rest for your souls.
For my yoke fits perfectly,
and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

I found another resource on line today to reinforce today’s post:

marvaseatonLess News Might Reduce Stress

I totally agree with Marva. Watching less news is a GREAT way to reduce stress. But, don’t be an ostrich. Total lack of information can be a miserable stress inducer!

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Do they really stick their head in the sand?

Remember #4, 5 and 6 on that list above?
I’m headed off to do them right now.

What are some of your techniques
that help you
embrace stressing less?


I’ll see ya tomorrow (God willing).

Have a good night.


Hugs,
JanBeek

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