Loving One Another

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

Hold On!


What do you need to hold on to?

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At this stage in my life, I don’t need to buy anything else
(except maybe food to sustain Bob & me
and a plane ticket or two to travel
to see our kids when it’s safe to do so)
… but I need to get rid of things instead.

How about you? If you were given this prompt,
“Hold on to your ____,”
how would you fill in the blank?
Ann Kaplow tickled my creative funny bone with her post today:

Day 2886: Hold on to your …

Posted on October 19, 2020 by Ann Koplow

Check it out and see some of the things she identified.
Here are a few things I think I should hold on to:

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Hold on to your umbrella;
Let the wind carry you away.
Hang on and float high
To a joyous, better day.

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Hold on to your future
Let it carry you to the sky,
To days of brighter sunshine.
Let it carry you up high.

Hold on to your faith;
Let it carry you to love.
Let it bring you greater wisdom
And powers from above.

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Hang onto your head;
Keep your intellect intact.
Be cautious and discerning;
Know all you hear ain’t fact.

Hold onto your friends,
But remind them to wear masks.
That was Anne Kaplow’s prompt.
Be safe – is all she asks.

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Hold on to earth’s hope
For a better, safer world.
Be kind to our planet –
Don’t let this virus stay unfurled.

What do your think we should hold on to?

I’m gonna hold on to Bob.
I’m feeling so blessed that he is feeling so much better.
Did I tell you that the afternoon my sis died
was the day he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure?

I’m gonna hold on to our wonderful doctor
who stayed long after her “shift” was over –
and ordered blood work, x-rays, and an EKG,
and stayed til the results came in.
Then she walked us up the stairs to the front door
to see how Bob did with climbing stairs.
Then called the next morning to
check on him and offer encouragement
and an appointment this week
for an echocardiogram.

Yes, I’m gonna hold on to that wonderful doctor!!

And this guy:


We have had so many friends
and family members praying for us.
God is good.
All the time.
He put a song of praise in my heart.
God hears and answers prayer!


Life is looking up.
We’re holding on!
{{{Hugs}}} to you.
You hold on, too.
Love ya,
JanBeek

Where Will You Spend Eternity?


Today’s sermon message by our guest pastor, Rev. Phil Taylen at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana, focused on the theological basis for our assurance of Eternity in Heaven.

It was timely, especially given the fact that this is the week my only sibling, my sister Sally, went to her eternal home.

If you die today, do you know where you’re going from here?

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Is it Hell or a Black Hole?

My guess is that the choice is pretty clear. I was looking for a picture of a black hole… because some people believe this is it! We’re here and then we’re nowhere. A black hole… that’s where they think they’re going. They don’t believe there is a place called Hell where they will burn in the fires of an afterlife separated from God.

Or is it Heaven?

Rev. Phil Taylen’s sermon was titled, “Soaring with Eagles.” He began with that question, “Where Will You Spend Eternity?” His answer was part of a movement he called “The Evangelism Explosion.” Even though he grew up in the Presbyterian Church, he was ordained by an Evangelical Ministry – and his sermon lecture today definitely got down to the basics!

The Bible

B asic
I nstructions
B efore
L eaving
E arth

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Heaven by Grace

G od’s
R iches
A t
C hrist’s
E xpense

Grace is God’s Unmerited Favor poured out on us.
Grace can’t be earned or deserved.
Heaven is a free gift.

He cited Ephesians 2: 8-9 as further proof of the point he was teaching and preaching:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
Not of works,
lest any man should boast.”

Not By Man

Good works are important, but they will not save us.

I am a sinner.
I can’t save myself.

He cited John 8:24 to prove his message that man cannot save himself:

“Unless you believe that
I am who I claim to be,
you will die in your sins.”

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Only God

God gave us basic instructions to live by before leaving earth.

God is Love.
God is just and righteous.

In the Bible, our instruction book, God told us:

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God. …

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Heaven Through Christ

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Jesus Christ is God.

Faith is Belief

Faith is the Connector.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I don’t see the whole staircase. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Only Begotten Son, but I do not believe God will send all the Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists to Hell because they do not share my belief in Jesus as a part of the Trinity.

I believe God is bigger than religion. I believe God is omnipotent. I believe God knows all people – and He sees them through His eyes, not mine. That may make me a non-believer in some evangelical eyes. But I believe God is more inclusive than we can fathom.

I find enormous comfort in my faith – my belief in our Lord Jesus Christ – and I want to share that comfort and love with all I meet. I believe 2 Cor. 1:3-5 as quoted below:

Do you believe in Christ?

Thanks for visiting today.
Have a Blessed Sunday.
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Be An Intrepid Christian!


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An intrepid Christian
Is resolute and fearless,
Has fortitude and endurance,
But is never cheerless!

An intrepid Christian
Is teachable and submissive,
Attentive and humble,
But never repressive.

An intrepid Christian
Is expectant and devout,
Delivers The Word quietly –
But rarely has to shout!

An intrepid Christian
Demonstrates integrity,
Walks the Talk –
But never belittles you or me.

If you believe Donald Trump is a Christian, did you listen to his belittling of Savannah Guthrie after his last Town Hall meeting? Think about the way he insults reporters who are questioning him. Be honest with yourself. Can this man we call our president really be a Christ follower? I am so fed up with his insults to women that I cannot remain quiet any longer. Listen to this!!

If you are an Intrepid Christian,
And you have the right to vote
In the United States of America,
Please listen and take note.

Please help us return to
Decency and civility here.
Help us elect a kind and capable team
And listen to the U.S. cheer!

Don’t forget to vote
if you haven’t already!


PLEASE believe me when I say
The Democrats will not take your guns away.
The Democrats will not let illegal immigrants in
to take all your money and jobs!
The Democrats believe in the Constitution;
They will not destroy it.
They will improve our immigration system,
create safer gun laws,
protect Medicare
and preserve coverage of those with
pre-existing conditions.
Democrats will restore our foreign relations.
The Democrats will not kill all the unborn babies.
The right to control our own bodies
is not synonymous with unwarranted abortion!

As a life-long Christian and Republican
who has become a Democrat recently
(for obvious reasons),
I believe in the Right to Life.
But I also think a woman who carries a baby
because of rape or incest, or a woman
whose life is endangered
has the right to choose.
Don’t you?

Weigh the rhetoric and please believe me…
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
are Intrepid Christians!!


Can’t we just LOVE ONE ANOTHER
and stop hurling insults??

Thanks for visiting.
See ya tomorrow.

Love,
JanBeek

What a Friend!


Today I received in my “Messages” a picture of a dear friend who is fighting cancer. She is in a hospital bed at home. Her family is gathered around and her BFF (best friend forever) is on her way to be at her bedside. My heart goes out to the BFF and to my friend’s husband and children. Seeing a friend preparing to leave this earth is soooo hard!

But, my dear friend is a devoted Christian, and she knows where she is headed. She does not fear death, because she has a friend in Jesus – and she believes in God and His promises. It’s comforting to know where you will spend eternity. It’s just hard on those left behind.

Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church was the perfect topic for this day when my heart is aching because my dear friend and her family are suffering.

Today we had a guest minister, Phil Taylen. Here are my

Sermon Notes on: “Friendship Sharing”

Friendship is a special thing.
In it we all are connected.
In the New Testament, we see how
In God’s friendship, we all are protected.

The best part of friendship is
Sharing with each other the Good News,
Asking one another and telling them
Of how Jesus opens new views.

God cares about our friendship.
He opens His arms to you.
Through Christ, He came to show us
How to love as He loves: True.

As believers, we need YES faces;
Our countenance should show Trust.
God’s light should shine through us.
Radiate His love; We MUST!

To communicate God’s love
We must be trustworthy and fair.
We must share our eternal vision,
And tell our friends we’ll all be there!*

(*there is our eternal home
with Christ and one another)

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Share the simplicity of scripture,
Be sure the promise of God is heard.
He gave His only begotten Son
To save our souls. Believe His Word!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus!

Lean on Him and His promises.
Know that when your Christian friends
Leave this earth, they are going
To heaven … where eternal life never ends.

See you “there,” my friends!

See ya tomorrow.

Pray for my friend, Gloria, will you?
And I pray for you…
that you have faith in His promises, too.
Love ya,
JanBeek

The Joy of Human Love


Oh, for the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Enjoy this beautiful hymn while you read the rest of this post. I love The Cambridge Singers directed by John Rutter. Sooooo beautiful!!

Yes, Lord, I raise this joyful hymn
in grateful praise to You!

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending time with my granddaughter, Hope, and her family: her husband, Drew, and their two children, Xander and Sienna. I am so grateful for their visit!

Here is Hope – with her beautiful smile.

I was so busy with the children while they were in the house, I didn’t have time to think about pictures. But once they were strapped in their car seats, ready to leave, I said, “Wait! I need to capture this visit!”

Sienna was tucked in, thumb in place, too tired to smile – ready for a nap on her way back to Big Sky.
This is the typical Sienna – big smiles – big appetite!

I actually captured this photo of Xander & Drew just before Xander was strapped in. His toy phone is his constant companion. He carried on very loud pretend conversations with his dad and Bob and imaginary friends!

This is a scene a mile from our house at the golf course. I bet Sienna was asleep before they got this far!

For the Beauty of the Earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
Our voices in grateful praise!

I pray that one day my great-grandchildren will grow to become young people who can sit and listen to a story, a poem, a wise parent… as Hope and Drew share “The Great Realisation” with them. God Bless “Tom Foolery” for his beautiful poem and the timely message he is sharing in this video with his child. If you have not heard this before, please take time to to listen. It is WONderful!!

Thanks for visiting today.
Have a WONderful week.
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Enjoy the coolness
of these beautiful Fall Days!

Why Forgive?


It’s easy for someone to tell you to forgive
Easy for them to say
But they weren’t the one who was wronged
Advice is cheap today

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It’s easy for someone to tell you to forgive
Blood’s not on their hands
The ones who performed murderous acts
There: Forgiveness demands

In today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church here in Ennis, Montana, our pastor, Steve Hundley, preached on the scripture found in Matthew 21:33-46. He acknowledged that it is a hard lesson to make sense of. The vineyard owner sent workers to harvest the grapes, and the tenants of the vineyard killed the workers.

The owner sent more workers and the tenants killed them, too.

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So the vineyard owner sent his son. Surely the tenants would respect the owner’s son! But, no… they killed him, too!

What are we to make of this story?

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In the midst of such horrendous acts, the bottom line is love. Love the murderers? Love the tenants who killed the people who came to harvest? Love the tenants who killed the owner’s son?

Realize that this parable is about God, the owner of all we have. It’s about the fact that we live in a world under the shadow of the “American Dream; Ownership.”

Maybe the message is “Nobody likes an absent landlord!” The tenants are the ones who worked hard to maintain that vineyard. Then, at harvest time, the owner expects to send others to reap the benefit of their hard work? No, the tenants hated the idea of others coming to reap the harvest!

When the son was sent… the parable is asking us to see that this was the Son, Jesus. He, too was killed. Killed by those who feared this Messiah was going to take what they thought they owned… the kingship, the ownership of the land and its people.

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God did not create us to take ownership of God’s resources. We are the stewards, the caretakers. God’s vineyard is not for sale. We were not even given a lease with an option to buy!

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The parable doesn’t tell us what the owner did to the tenants. It doesn’t say He finally left his mansion and went down and got even with the tenants somehow… what might the retribution look like?

It doesn’t tell us He forgave them for their murderous acts. We are left to finish the story ourselves. How would you finish it?

What is your idea of ownership? What is your understanding of our Owner’s Love? Pastor Steve reminded us that Our Owner longs for a connection with us. “God desires a relationship with us… He asks that we take care of this earth – His gifts to us – and one another… and that we give a portion back.” He asks that we love one another. He asks us to forgive one another – and to love our enemies. Wow! That’s a tall order!!

Pastor Steve concluded his sermon today by reminding us:
“Our gifts are not our own.
They are God’s,
and we are given them
to use for God’s Kingdom.
We are the caretakers.
God’s love
always trumps
God’s justice.

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I love you, dear WordPress friends.
Thank you for visiting today.
I hope you’ve had a Love-filled Sunday.
Hugs,
JanBeek

Are You Trustworthy?


Today’s sermon was based on the story of two sons, asked to help their dad. One said yes and didn’t do it, the other said no, but did it anyway. Do you know that story? Imagine those were your sons.

Which of the two sons would you consider trustworthy? How would you react to their replies and subsequent behavior?

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Our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley, at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT spoke on that topic today, inspired by the story in Matthew 21: 28-31.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

As usual, I listened to the sermon and took my notes in poetry. He started out by telling us about his grandmother’s advice to him when he announced (after graduating from college) that he had decided to go to seminary:

“When you stand up to preach,
Don’t scold those who don’t come.
They aren’t there to hear it,”
My grandmother advised (she wasn’t dumb!).

“When you preach – remember
To stomp on your own feet first.
When you do that,” my grandma said,
“You’ll serve living water to those who thirst.”

In today’s scripture, we heard
Of two sons and their replies.
One said yes and didn’t do it.
The other, “No!” but did it. Which one cries?

The one who failed to follow through
Was the one who’ll live with regret.
Unlike him, we need to be obedient.
Don’t say yes – and then forget!

Paul Tillick said, “In every human heart
Is a faint recollection of our Maker.”
If that’s true, we can see God
Even in the disobedient faker.

The second son may have said “Yes, but…”
In his response of a silent “No,”
Other things may have taken precedence,
But he didn’t want his “No” to show.

How many times do we say yes
And then fail to follow through?
Better to say No and then do it.
I want to be trustworthy; how about you?

What jobs are you being asked to do?
Are they tasks you look forward to?
Or are you dragging your feet?

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Schedule it for tomorrow
After a relaxing Sunday afternoon/evening.
And then…
Just Do It!

Hugs,
JanBeek

Bye for now!
As your trustworthy blogger,
I’ll see you tomorrow.

If I Die This Afternoon…


No one can ever say it all.
What if I die this afternoon?
What words will die with me
That I should have shared at noon?

What words will die with me
That I might have said too late?
Is there a right time for silence –
A perfect time for words to wait?

Have I left unspoken affirmations
That should have been shared?
Have I failed to let folks know
How very much I cared?

If I die this afternoon,
I want you to be sure and know
That my love for you and God are deep.
I hope the depths of it will glow.

I hope my unwavering faith
Was an inspiration to you,
And my prayers were comforting
When you were feeling blue.

If I die this afternoon,
May you smile when you think
Of the things I did so sweet –
And forget the things that stink!

May my words on blogs and cards
Live on in your loving hearts,
And keep you remembering how
Reaching out’s where loving starts.

If I die this afternoon,
Take care of my dear Bob.
He needs me to help him dress,
And do any technology job!

Take care of my TazE, too.
She relies on me for her meals.
I spoil her with hamburger
And know just how she feels.

Let my blogging friends know
That JanBeek will no longer send.
Give them this last post,
“Jan’s gone to her eternal end.”

If I die this afternoon,
Be sure to help it to be true:
As folks celebrated my birth,
They’ll cheer my departure, too.

They won’t cry that I have left.
Don’t mourn and feel bad –
Know that I am in Heaven
Reunited with Mom and Dad.

Know that I will be at the gate
To greet you when you ascend.
And live your life with dreams
Unfulfilled until the very end.

Never stop dreaming big,
As Bob Goff wrote in his book.
Live fully each day you’re here,
With new thoughts and delights to cook.

If I die this afternoon,
Let Bob know it’s alright
To find another love in life –
Someone to hug and hold him tight.

Tell my kids that I always did
My best to leave a loving legacy.
I pray they’ll smile more than frown
When things come up to remember me.

Remember my smile!

But of course, the chances that I am going to die this afternoon are slim. I am a healthy 81-year-old who expects to live happily to celebrate my 100th birthday, BUT…

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.

Isaac Asimov
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A post about quotes on “The Art of Blogging” yesterday inspired my poem. Cristian posted it and several other good quotes on Cristian Mihaihttps://artofblogging.net/2020/09/23/writing-quotes-to-inspire-you-to-punch-the-damn-keys/

What inspires your writing?

I have an old faded cardboard with poems on it posted inside my kitchen cabinet door. They are poems gathered by my mom in 1936, the year she & Dad married – and she moved from her family in Washington to live the rest of her 89 years in California. She had most of those poems memorized.

One of my favorites reads:

“When I quit this mortal shore,
And mosey round the earth no more,
Don’t weep, don’t sigh, don’t sob –
I may have struck a better job.

Don’t go and buy a large bouquet
For which you’ll find it hard to pay,
Don’t mope around and feel all blue –
I may be better off than you.

Don’t tell the folks I was a saint
Or any old thing that I ain’t.
If you have jam like that to spread,
Please hand it out before I’m dead.

If you have roses, bless your soul,
Just pin one in my buttonhole,
While I’m alive and well today.
Don’t wait until I’ve gone away.”

Poet unknown

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What would you want people to remember about you if your doctor told you your days are numbered? All of ours are, you know.

By God’s Grace,
I’ll see you tomorrow.

Hugs,
JanBeek

Come to the Water


Come to the water
The living water of God
Come to the water

Come to the water
And you’ll never thirst again
Drink of the Lord’s love

Come on a world tour
With “We the Kingdom” music
Come to the water

God so loved the world…
In a new and current song version
Thank you, Ed Coyle!

Come to the water
Enjoy eternal cleansing
Drink of His water

Come to the water
The living water of God
Let His Love heal you

John 3:16

New International Version

16 For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.

Let what matters surface.
God bless you!

May the love of Christ
Refresh your soul with water
The living water

Amen

Water to wine?
Oh yes!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.
Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Is God’s Grace Exasperating?


Today’s sermon at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
was titled, “The Amazing and Exasperating Grace of God.”
I’ve certainly heard God’s grace described as
AMAZING before. That’s typical.
But, exasperating?
When?
How?

Do you know the story of the “Workers in the Vineyard”? It’s found in Matthew 20: 1-16.
Essentially it tells of a landowner who needed extra workers in his vineyard. He agreed to pay the ones who started picking grapes that morning a silver coin for their day’s labor.

Later, with just an hour left in the work day, he realized the workers needed help to finish the job before sundown, so he hired a bunch more workers to help finish the job. This last bunch were the “left-overs” who had not been hired earlier. We can only imagine why they may have been left behind.

At the end of the day, the ones who came last (and had only worked an hour) were paid first. Each received a silver coin.

The ones who had worked all day saw that – and figured they would get more. They probably expected ten times more, since they had worked a ten hour day. When all they received was the same pay as the ones who worked only the last hour, they complained bitterly.

On that story, Rev. Steve Hundley based his sermon, and I took notes (as I do each Sunday) in poetry as I listened. Here they are:

The Amazing and Exasperating Grace of God

Reading the Word of God daily
Helps you discover joy in life;
But some difficult passages
Cause misunderstanding and strife.

Like the story of the workers
Who were paid equal wages
Whether they worked one hour
Or ten… Imagine the rages!

It’s hard to understand
How such treatment is fair.
Jesus explained the boss could
Pay the wages anyway he cared.

Likewise, those who come lately
To the Kingdom of God on earth
Will receive the same blessings as
Those who served the Lord since birth.

Does this seem a fair idea?
Are deathbed conversions real?
Maybe some of them are fake,
But it’s not up to me or how I feel.

This parable isn’t about the workers.
It’s about the generous vineyard boss
Who is a symbol of our Gracious God.
He focuses on the workers, not the cost.

Our God calls out the left-overs
And tells them, “I have room for you.”
God’s amazing grace and love are real,
And they’re available to all – not just a few.

Load me up, Lord.
Haul me to your vineyard.
I’m ready to work!
Amen.


Have you ever found God’s Amazing Grace to be Exasperating?

Or is there a Bible story that you find difficult to understand?
Tell me about it.

Have a Super Sunday.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

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