Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Embrace Memorial Day


Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. … Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

I went to our Madison Valley Cemetery this morning. The grave sites of veterans were marked by American flags. Many of the tombstones were freshly decorated for this important holiday. Come visit with me – and let’s honor the memories of our brave military ancestors.

The music at the end of this blog is so beautiful, you may want to scroll down there, click on it, and listen as you view the rest of this post.

Only in Montana might you find a gravestone decorated with a set of antlers!

The Daems memorial was especially meaningful to me. Doris was a friend of mine here in Ennis who was a faithful volunteer with the Women’s Club as well as the Madison Valley Manor and at the Medical Center. What a wonderful lady! Her 86 year-old brother and 90 year-old sister were there today to honor her memory as well as the many veterans.

Doris Daems served her country, too…
here at home in so many ways!

It was a beautiful blue sky day. A memorial service brought many people from our area out to this beautiful cemetery today… an opportunity to honor those brave men and women whose blood was spilled on the battlefields so we might enjoy the freedoms we have today.

If you were given the opportunity to select the 3 words to go on your tombstone to describe who you are, what words would you choose? Gene Wilkins was known as “Doc” here in Ennis… “Healer” was a perfect word for him!

Two of my words would probably be “Mother” and “Grammy” – A third word would need to be “Wife” since that identifies 60 years of my life. Although I was a teacher, a principal, and a district office administrator for 36 years, I think I’d have to choose “Child of God” or “Friend” before I’d call attention to my professional career. But, I don’t know what I’d do if I had to limit it to just three. How about you?

Here’s a wife, mother, daughter, sister,
grandmother, and friend.
Melissa’s family couldn’t limit it
to just three descriptors!

Would you include “Hero” for a description? How about pets, would they be part of your cemetery memorabilia? I’d like an angel by mine… (my maiden name is DeAngeles – and angels are a big part of my world!)

Some of the tombstones were decorated in very special ways, but a simple stone flush with the ground with letters worn away by time and weather intrigued me a lot. Who was that veteran? Is his/her family still in this area?

Thank you for your service, nameless one!

Rest in peace, dear ones. May your service to our country never be taken for granted!

God bless you, dear friends.
May your life be a long, happy one
and may you leave a legacy
that inspires your grandchildren.

Happy Memorial Day!

See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

Embrace Veterans & The Trinity


Today in the USA it is Veteran’s Day.
(Oooops! Nope, it’s Memorial Day!)
World-wide it is Holy Trinity Sunday.

Veteran’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor
the men and women who are or have served
our country in the military. It is a day to
thank God for four freedom and to remember
the men and women who fought to keep us free.
(It is Nov. 11th. I get it mixed up with today…
the last Monday in May:
A day to honor those who DIED
while serving our country.)

My day started in my sanctuary as it usually does –
A place where I feel the Holy Spirit alive and well.
There, I pray to God, learn from His Son’s life,
And listen to the Spirit guiding me.

Downstairs, I joined Bob who was busy fixing fruit
For our breakfast. It was a beautiful blue sky day.


After breakfast, we went to church where I was a greeter
And Bob read scripture. As usual, I took sermon notes.

Chuck Wright delivered the message:
“Holy Trinity.”

Here are the notes I took as I listened:

Inspired by: Romans 5:1-11

We have been justified by faith.
We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
We rejoice in suffering, for it brings perseverance.
We were powerless until Christ came to this sod.

We received reconciliation throgh the cross.
The Holy Trinity, the Godhead, is God, Son, Holy SPirit.
The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible, but
The separate parts are there. With ears, hear it!

Jesus existed at the beginning of time.
He came to earth for the purpose of saving us.
When He ascended back to His Heavenly home,
He put the Holy Spirit in our hearts, engraving us.

We are marked by the blood of Jesus.
We remember His blood and body in communion.
We celebrate the spiritual world of God,
Knowing His Trinity is present in our world – in union.

In union, the Father, Son, and Spirit are one.
Understanding that is beyond our comprehension.
So we read His Word. study His Son’s life,
And listen for His Spirit in us. Pay attention!

God is love. Love is from God. We’re gifted with it.
God sent His Son to the world to show us how to love.
Christ died for us that we might live forever
In Heaven with God – our Eternal Home above.

Back home, the focus was on Veteran’s (nope… Memorial Day) weekend.
Tomorrow (now it’s today) we will go to the Ennis Cemetery for a special service.
Then we will attend a Memorial Day Barbecue at the rodeo grounds.
It started out as a meal for veterans and their families only…
but then it grew exponentially until it’s “Ya’all Come!”
They anticipate there could be as many as 500 diners.
I’m praying for the dear guys who are preparing the food.
God bless ’em! I hope they survive it!
Tonight I watched a Memorial Day Concert…
My favorite was the playing of TAPS.
It was beautiful!

If you are in the USA, what will you do to celebrate Memorial Day?


If you are in another country, do you have a day comparable to this one – when you honor those people who served and died while in the military (in the act of service to preserve your country’s freedom?) How do you thank those who serve your country in this way?

And how about the Trinity? Is it a part of your understanding?

I am grateful for your visit here today.
Thanks for reading JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Outcomes


Mike & Karen Crowley hosted the appetizers

When a friend comes up with an idea
And you concur, what do you do?
Do you encourage your friend to progress?
Do you join in and help the idea come true?

My neighbor, whom I had not seen in a while,
Said, “We need to have a get together.”
I concurred and suggested a dinner –
A progressive dinner – pray for good weather!

Well, the weather cooperated, and so did
The “Hood” – our neighbors on our ridge.
Last night we had a wonderful time…
Time to set aside masks – cross that bridge!

So we did it… the first hosts had appetizers.
Then it was lasagna at our house with yummy bread.
Across the road we went for dessert —
Our tummies and our hearts were well fed!

“The Hood” dinner at Beekmans
The Hocking House is a perfect gathering place!

We are blessed to live in a place where we
All get along with our neighbors as friends.
We’re so relieved this pandemic’s isolation
Has finally subsided – The separation ends!

When a friend comes up with an idea,
Encourage the thought and run with it!
You never know til you give it a try
How very much you’ll have fun with it!

Back at home – beautiful evening sky

The outcome of Karen’s idea to get together
As more successful than we could have guessed
So – if you have an idea, my friends, share it!
Don’t keep the outcomes buried in your chest!

What idea are you ready to share and run with?
Trust your instincts.
EMBRACE the OUTCOMES!

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”

Come join us for dinner!

See ya tomorrow.
(God willing!)
Have a great weekend.

Love, JanBeek

Embrace Native Americans


My friend, Doris, sent me the anonymous story below today. It made me cry.

My blog is all about loving one another by spreading love, joy, peace, faith and unity.

Treating each other with respect, giving each human his/her deserved dignity is paramount!

We need to spread the word, support and embrace our Native American families –
and help them live peaceful, healthy, productive lives wherever they choose to live.
We need to help them get an education equivalent to any other American, and
we need to STOP the discrimination.

We need to let every person – regardless of race or other personal qualities – work to achieve the “American Dream.” No holds barred!! Let’s do what we can to make this world a better place for ALL!!

.

Many thanks to “Dreamstime” for these lovely photos of a few Native American people:

Here is the “anonymous story” …

A white man and an elderly Native man became pretty good friends, so the white guy decided to ask him: “What do you think about Indian mascots?” The Native elder responded, “Here’s what you’ve got to understand. When you look at black people, you see ghosts of all the slavery and the rapes and the hangings and the chains. When you look at Jews, you see ghosts of all those bodies piled up in death camps. And those ghosts keep you trying to do the right thing. “But when you look at us you don’t see the ghosts of the little babies with their heads smashed in by rifle butts at the Big Hole, or the old folks dying by the side of the trail on the way to Oklahoma while their families cried and tried to make them comfortable, or the dead mothers at Wounded Knee or the little kids at Sand Creek who were shot for target practice. You don’t see any ghosts at all. “Instead you see casinos and drunks and junk cars and shacks. “Well, we see those ghosts. And they make our hearts sad and they hurt our little children. And when we try to say something, you tell us, ‘Get over it. This is America. Look at the American dream.’ But as long as you’re calling us Redskins and doing tomahawk chops, we can’t look at the American dream, because those things remind us that we are not real human beings to you. And when people aren’t humans, you can turn them into slaves or kill six million of them or shoot them down with Hotchkiss guns and throw them into mass graves at Wounded Knee. “No, we’re not looking at the American dream. And why should we? We still haven’t woken up from the American nightmare. ~source unknown

Pray with me that the “American Nightmare” will end for our Native American people.
Work with me in ways we can help.

I give regularly to

St. Labre’ Indian School https://www.stlabre.org/

and St. Joseph’s Indian School https://www.stjo.org/

St. Joseph’s 8th grade 2021 graduates



These are legitimate places where the money donated is guaranteed to help Native American students. You may have other ideas for ways we can EMBRACE NATIVE AMERICANS. If so, I’d love to hear from you. It is waaaay past time for us to end the way in which these lovely people are downtrodden.

What are your ideas?

Embrace Relief


When is the last time you felt relief?
Yesterday I told you my daughter bought a bike –
Not an ordinary bike – a big ole motorcycle!
She told me, “This one’s for ME!”

I thought that meant her hubby would have his,
And she would have her own to ride.
I told you I would not be eagerly anticipating that.
Well, come to find out, she would not either!

No, Mom… I am not driving a motorcycle…
We traded in our other one. Andre’ will drive.
It’s for me because it is more comfortable
And it has more space for carrying things.

Whew!
I am relieved to say the least.

How about you? Would you be up for driving this?
If that were your daughter, would you be relieved
That she is not intending to be in the driver’s seat?
Sitting in the rear is challenge enough!

Here’s my version of riding a bike:

Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.com

I thought that was pretty cute…
A pregnant mom on her bike,
Pulling a trike that’s for her child –
The one that was due in December of 2017.

That baby is nearly four years old now…
I bet it is a relief to have him/her
On that trike now.
Yup, Embrace Relief!!

This topic is a good follow-up
To the subject yesterday:
Embrace Expectant Waiting.
When what you’ve waited for comes…

It’s a relief!

Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.com

R eady?
E
agerly
L
ive
I
nto
E
veryday’s
F
antasy

Dream about what you want tomorrow to be.
Imagine the very best possible outcome.
Then pray your reality will be even more than that.
Feel the sense of relief when dreams come true.

Wrap your troubles in dreams
and dream your troubles away!

What a relief when sunshine follows the rain!

But don’t let the rain stop you!
Embrace the rain – dance in it!


Then pray for the sunshine to follow!

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

Don’t forget to thank God for those answered prayers!

Ah yes, it’s a relief when things turn out better than we even expected.

Photo by Nashua Volquez on Pexels.com

Thank you, Lord, for sparing us the worry
Of a daughter driving a motorcycle
On the narrow switchback Alpine roads.
It’s hard enough to trust her safety as a back seat rider!!

Ah what a relief it is!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Have a good night.
JanBeek

Embrace Expectant Waiting


Are you waiting expectantly for something?
Somewhere in time what you long for
Is out there for you … you just need to
EMBRACE EXPECTANT WAITING.

(I recommend you listen to that gorgeous
piano and orchestra as you read this blog.
“Somewhere in Time” – so beautifully played
From Maksim Mrvisa/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)

I have been waiting – trying to be patient –
This past nine months has felt a little like
The nine months of pregnancy:
Expectantly waiting for a new beginning!

But unlike the birth of a baby,
This wait has birthed for us
A new pastor for our church…
And now we have to wait.

Wait for the Presbytery to approve –
Wait for Mary Grace to check out of her college dorm
And check back into her home in Tennessee
And check out of there to drive here.

Meantime, as we wait expectantly,
God says, “Live in the now!
Every day is a new beginning.
Don’t waste today waiting for tomorrow.”

What are you looking forward to?
Are you waiting expectantly for retirement?
Are you planning a cruise or a vacation of some sort?
Are you anticipating a visit from special family members?

DeAna’s new toy

Our daughter, DeAna, who lives in Switzerland,
Is anticipating a trip to Turkey this September.
She bought herself a motorcycle so she can
Ride her own bike – not sit behind on her hubby’s.

I would not be looking forward to such a trip.
I’d be shaking in my boots! But Bob & I are
Eagerly anticipating a trip to England and then
On to Switzerland to spend time with De & family.

We also are expectantly waiting
For our trip to California next month.
We’re going there for my sister’s memorial –
We’ve waited half a year for this closure.

What are you expectantly waiting for?
It seems to me that life is more exciting
If you have something to look forward to.
Never stop dreaming about tomorrow’s joys!

While Mary Grace, our new pastor, was here last week,
The weather decided to rain and snow and blow.
It was mid-May for crying out loud! S’posed to be spring!
So we eagerly anticipated springtime’s return.

Yesterday when Mary Grace flew back to Virginia,
Montana was gray and cold – not looking like spring at all.
But today we had the most beautiful blue sky with
Puffy clouds and warm temperatures. Go figure!!

Our Madison Range was hidden behind grayness,
But today the gray lifted and beautiful snow-capped
Mountains emerged. That’s Jack Creek Canyon
And Fan Mountain out there. Come back, springtime!

Knowing I was missing the colors of spring,
My friend, Lisa, in North Carolina, sent me
Photos of her gorgeous roses in her garden.
I am expectantly waiting for our flowers now, too.

Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with
all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Because the future SOMETIMES (often) depends
On what you do today, look for the joy and hope around you.
Do whatever you can to make today the best it can be.
Don’t worry about tomorrow. Just live today with joyful expectation.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Romans 8:24-25

“For in this hope we were saved.
Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it with patience.”

We waited for the pastor candidate we did not see.
We waited for the congregation to vote affirmatively.
And now we wait for our Mary Grace to return
And begin her spiritual leadership in our church.

It’s hard to wait with patience, but we are told
Like those beautiful roses that sprang from a plant
That was brown and leafless in the winter,
The blossom will bloom – and it’ll be worth the wait.

My mom often told me when I was
Eagerly, anxiously, anticipating something,
“Cross that bridge when you come to it!” Good advice!
Go back now to the top now… and watch that musical video.

The images are wonderful. This bridge is one of them.
“Edited video Leonidas” – magnificent!
Worth the wait!


Tell me, what are you
expectantly waiting for?


Thank you for taking time to visit JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Pentecost Sunday


Pentecost Sunday at MVPC

Today is the day we have been waiting for: Pentecost Sunday.
It is the day our pastor candidate, Mary Grace Reynolds,
presented the sermon for our congregation.
She not only preached, but she did the whole sheeebang!

Her prayers, her management of the announcements,
her Call to Confession and Assurance of Pardon,
her Children’s message, the way she interacted
with young and old … all were so lovely, so perfect!

After the service, the members stayed and cast their ballots.
100% of the members voted to affirm her candidacy.
100% of the members voted to affirm her “Call.”
That included her salary package, reimbursable items,
and general terms of employment – no dissentors! Hooray!

The Holy Spirit came in tongues of fire to the people
On that first Pentacostal Sunday. It enabled the people
to speak in the language of their hearer… a miraculous day.
Today felt miraculous to me. Thank you for your prayers!

We all prayed for this vibrant, young pastor
fresh out of seminary –
ready to serve the Lord!
Mary Grace Reynolds

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I post my sermon notes on Sunday afternoons. I take notes as I listen, and I try to capture the main points of the message in poetry. Here are my notes from today’s message:

A Greening

Inspired by the New Testament scripture:
Romans 8:18-30

Red is the color of love
. It’s cultural shorthand for things warm & vivid
It symbolizes the brightness of joy
Also paints emotions angry and livid

Red is the tongues of the Holy Spirit
Tongues of fire that came down from on high
Paul tells in the book of Romans
The meaning of the glory from the sky

The Holy Spirit brought hope to hearts
The Spirit intercedes for us
When we don’t put our scripture notes
In a binder & they shuffle, we fuss.

The Holy Spirit tells us to wait
Reorder the pages – and take a breath
Know that others are forgiving
They know a mistake is not sudden death

Going on – the meaning of colors –
The red enhanced by the color green
Is when the people tune back in
To hear the message – what does red mean?

The alms and cadavers and elements
Were explained as they impact the world
Hildegard’s approach to medicine explained
Kept us tuned in as new ideas unfurled

The power of nature to put forth healing
Was linked to the nature of creation
Nature is inclined to create new life
And it anticipates newness with elation

Humans, the Earth, and the Holy Spirit
Are trapped in a state of decay
The Holy Spirit gives us the tenacity
To hang in – to endure day by day.

The Holy Spirit helps us understand
The holiness of our yearning & pain
The pain is a signal that tells us
We need to endure, for God will remain

God gives us the Holy Spirit
To guide us into seeking solutions
Our hope is stored in what we don’t see
But leads us to resolution

It helps us resolve to be
The light that directs people to see
The Fruits of the Spirit in us
Lord, help the world see that love & peace in me.

Amen

My day started with a message from my friend, Lisa.
She sent me pictures of roses from her garden.
The red of these roses symbolizes love to me
And I share that love with you today, my friends.

Just as red comes in many shades,
So does the expression of how we care
Vary in a multitude of ways. Thank you
for reaching out and covering us in prayer.

God heard.
God answered.
God is good
All the time!

Welcome to Madison Valley Presbyterian Church, Mary Grace!

We are soooo delighted that the Holy Spirit led you here.

Lots of Love!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek on Pentecost Sunday.
Have a great rest of your day.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Trust


Where do you place trust?
Only in the hands of God.
Know He’ll pull you through!

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all ways submit to Him – and He will make your paths straight.”



See ya tomorrow.
Have a good night’s sleep.
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Friends


Time to embrace friends
Time to invite them again
Leave the masks behind

Time to hug our friends
Time to share a laugh or two
A welcome relief!

May 21st and it’s snowing outside!!
Loved having the Feldmans & Lyons
here to meet Mary Grace
and share a meal with us
My Native American pancho
is just what MGR needed
to go out and face the bitter cold
The wind blew the snow
It fell and swirled all around
Indian blanket

Just grin and bear it
Don’t worry, spring will return
We will survive this!

My daffodils are probably toast
And the crocus will wait to return next year
They’re buried under four inches of powder
But the ground needs the moisture – never fear
The snow will melt and the sun will shine
By Sunday we could be wearing shorts
Keep an eye on the weatherman
But don’t put too much stock in his reports!

Pray for good weather Sunday!

We’re getting ready for Pentecost Sunday
Mary Grace will preach for the congregation
Afterward, at a special meeting, members will vote.
I’m praying we’ll have cause for celebration.

Pray with me, will you, my friends?
Have a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for dropping by.
See ya tomorrow.

JanBeek

Embrace New Beginnings


Mama Antelope with her babies in our front yard

Time for beginnings
Is now – this very morning
Baby animals

This “Puggle” says “Hello World!”

Baby platypus
Greets the world with a big wave
It makes me smile

Baby robins on our porch

Whether antelope
Or platypus or robins
Embrace beginnings

Mark 10:27

“Without God it is utterly impossible.
But with God everything is possible.”

Mary Grace Reynolds

Excitement revealed
These Eminent Beginnings
Readily perceived

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I’ve worked diligently for the 10 months with our Pastor Nominating Committee. We investigated more than 50 candidates, looking at their PIFs (Pastor Information Forms), texting, e-mailing, calling, ZOOMing, checking references, etc.

Our pastor of more than 30 years passed away over a year ago … and we have had the privilege of a wonderful interim pastor who stepped out of retirement to help us keep our church alive during this year of COVID-19. Not an easy feat!

We feel (as a Pastor Nominating Committee) that God spoke through the Holy Spirit to the young lady you see above. She is our chosen candidate – and we all love her! She will preach to our congregation this Sunday. The members will have a chance after meeting/hearing her to vote yay or nay on accepting her … and whether to accept the terms of employment that we and the church leaders (the Session) have put together for her.

This is definitely a time of “New Beginnings” for her – and for our church. Would you add your prayers to ours during this crucial weekend? I’d really appreciate it! I know God hears … and we just want His Will to be done!

The excitement is palpable!

Mary Grace – in front of the manse
(the church parsonage where she would live)

Bob (my hubby) has been working long and hard
(as the Elder in charge of Buildings and Grounds)
to get the manse ready inside and out for a new pastor.
He’s there now working on the stairs –
getting the old padding out
so the installers can come Monday
to put in new carpet.


It takes a village to accomplish all we’ve done.
Thank God for the church leaders
and our Nominating Committee
for their arduous work over the past year.

Have you ever served in one of those capacities
– selecting a new pastor –
or being in charge of buildings and grounds?
If so, you can relate
to what we’ve been through
– – – and are facing.

Prayers are really appreciated
for this exciting time in our church life.



See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
– and lending your support!

Embrace New Beginnings, indeed!!
There I was in 1965
with new beginnings
for our son, Ty!!

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