Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Serving One Another’ Category

Learners All


We are learners all
Living in Discovery
New every morning

close up of apple on top of books

Sunday Sermon Notes
“Learners”
– based on John 14:23-29
– preached by Rev. Jean Johnson
– poetic notes by JanBeek

.
We cannot hold on to life.
It is not ours to control.
The winds of time blow over us,
And our life continues to roll.
.
Jesus gives us a precious gift,
The one we can count on today
And always: PEACE! He gives it
To us… speaks it as He is going away.
.
He leaves us with a peace that
Passes all earthly understanding.
He promises, “I will be with you…
Love Me – Obey Me,” He’s commanding.
.
Reading scripture daily is a way
To know the Word and live it.
Praying daily is a way to receive
His love, so we can give it.
.
Love, Life, Word and Spirit are
The way His peace we receive.
The reality of these gifts are ours
When we learn His Word and Believe.
.
Let not your heart be troubled.
Let go your grasp for life’s control.
Give it to God, your Anchor;
Let His peace permeate your soul.
.
Amen?
.
Amen!

lest we forget cross

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Happy Memorial Day in the USA
(A day to remember those who
have fought and died for our freedom)
.
See you tomorrow

Family and Food


Santé!!

When we are with our family from Switzerland,

Food and wine are the foci of the day.

Preparing for the evening meal

Is our joy-filled version of play.

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We plan and shop and try to see

If we can fix a meal so tasty and bright

That guests must take a picture of it

Before they can eat a single bite.

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My son-in-law is an exquisite chef;

So, cooking a meal for him to eat

Is a summons that I rise to greet.

It’s a challenge that I love to meet.

.

I wait to see what André and DeDe say,

And I ask for sage and constructive advice.

Cooking is a hobby, a life-long endeavor,

And having a built-in expert is really nice!

.

Here you are, my blogging friends –

Enjoy a look at a few of our latest meals.

Maybe someday you can come to dine

And see how our Montana hospitality feels!

The rack of lamb with polenta and green beans I fixed last night.

André taught me how to fix it next time so all the “lollipops” are more evenly cooked.

The pork roast with mushroom cream sauce and potatoes au gratin and asparagus/sautéed almonds – – – mmmm – – – André fixed earlier this week. It was incredible!

Beef in a plum sauce with asparagus on cheesy potatoes –
garnished with parsley. Too pretty to eat!

DeDe and me happy to be in the kitchen together

Bob and André enjoying a relaxed visit between meals

A wine of choice for a meal out.

Another chef’s version of rack of lamb. Pretty, huh?

André – waiting for a meal in the beautiful area of Jackson Hole, WY

A dessert worth waiting for…

Another meal they had on their way to visit us. Mmmm… it’s called a Fire Roll. I love sushi. It’s my go-to meal when I have a chance to eat out. What is yours?

Loving One Another includes cooking and treating one another with food and hospitality, right? What’s your favorite meal to fix or eat at home?

Today is my TOPS day

(Take off pounds sensibly)

I think I’ll wait til my kids leave before I go back to weigh in.

Don’t you think that’s a good idea?

 

❤️❤️❤️

See you tomorrow

Z = Zeal!


Zeal!

Zeal is the zest of life!
It’s the spice that adds joy to our days.
It’s the the ingredient that allows our passion to take the reins.

blonde hair blur daylight environment

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

What are your passions?
What are you zealous about?

As we wrap up this A-Z series designed to help us
add more meaning and find more purpose in life,
what is your take-away?

 

I often have quoted Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat
from their book, Spiritual Literacy.
Here is what they had to say about ZEAL:

“Be passionately aroused by life.
Cherish every moment,
honor your commitments,
and treasure your kinship with all.”

Be Passionate About Life

What are you passionate about?
Make a list of those things, people, ideas, places
that arouse your passions.
Prioritize them, if you can,
and decide to
zealously do something positive
about each one of them this week.

 

heart shaped red neon signage

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Here are a half a dozen things I am passionate about:

1. FAITH

2. FAMILY

3. FRIENDS

4. COMMUNITY

5. NATURE

6. SERVING

To “zealously do something positive about each one” of them this week, I will:

1. Practice my faith by attending church and teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, and leading as moderator for our Presbyterian Women. I will “walk the talk” as I strive to apply the principles Jesus is teaching me in His Word. Practice the principle this JanBeek.blog is built on: “Loving One Another.”

2. Devote time and energy to keeping in touch with family far and near. Treasure time with those who are here now… my husband, our daughter and son-in-law, grandson, granddaughter and her family. We are so blessed! Let the ones far away know they are precious to us, too. Write them, pray for them, call, text, or visit them. Never take them for granted.

3. Exercise hospitality as I invite friends to come for dinner, or treat a friend to lunch. Write cards of appreciation, those “Just Because” kinds of cards… not waiting for a birthday, anniversary, illness, or some other “expected” time to get a message. Pray daily for my friends, just as I do my family and our community and world leaders. Put their faces up to God and ask His blessings on them. He knows their needs better than I do.

4. Serve my community in the ways I am able: Food Bank, volunteer sous-chef at the Sr. Center, “man” the desk at the Medical Center as a “Purple Lady,” and visit friends at the nursing home (sometimes with my accordion in hand so we can sing “Oldies but Goodies” together). Shop locally – and express appreciation to our local merchants.

5. Appreciate and help to preserve nature. Pick up after myself. Give to the Wildlife Preserve, the Nature Conservancy., and other worthwhile organizations that work to enhance and protect our environment. Admire the mountains. Appreciate the deer and antelope who roam our grasslands here on Pintail Ridge, and admire the beauty of our birds – and even the cute little rodents (the hawks have to have something to feed on!).

6. Give Time! By now you know serving is a passion of mine – because I am retired and I am blessed with good health and TIME. In the list above I mentioned many ways I intend to serve. One I didn’t mention was my friend, Raymond, whom I visit weekly. He lives alone and his family is out of state. As long as I am able, I hope to look for those in need of what I have to give, and to serve in whatever way the Lord leads me. I am zealous about serving!

Cherish Every Moment

Honor Commitments

Be Zealous About Life (every day is a gift) – unwrap it!

 

birthday bow box card

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God Bless You, dear blogging friends.

Thank you for journeying with me through this A-Z series.

See you tomorrow!

Do You See It?


Welcome Back to the A-Z series

Adding Meaning and
Finding Greater Purpose
in Life

phone near mug and eyeglasses on table

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

VISION

Do you see it?

What should I see?

Today’s Word is VISION –

Today’s letter is “V.”

When I open my eyes

To the world at my feet

I see what I look for.

Is it bitter or sweet?

sliced fruits on tray

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

Do I tune in to news

That is divisive and rude?

Do I listen to folks

Who are angry and crude?

.

Or do I focus my mind

On the things from above –

The goodness and compassion,

The things that I love?

black drawing compass

Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

If I want to be happy

And spread joy – cuz I’m blessed –

I must focus on kindness,

And pray for the rest.
.

Pray for the people

And the earth and the places

Where peace is a scarcity.

You see fear in their faces.

black and white close up eyeball eyebrow

Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

 

Pray for the hungry;

Set your sights on the ways

You can bring some solutions;

And give God all the praise.

group of people raise their hands on stadium

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

Use your personal vision

To flood your space with Light.

Practice seeing the invisible –

And renew what is right.

Make the spot where you live

Shine a beacon of hope.

Share your positivity

To those sliding down the slope

Of negativity and sorrow.

man sitting near brown wood plank

Photo by Sameel Hassen on Pexels.com

Lend your Jesus glasses out!

Help them see what you see

Through eyes of faith. Never doubt

That what you seek, you will find,

And where your heart and your mind

Bring God’s light into darkness,

You’ll bring sight to the blind.

 

macro photography of eye

Photo by Josiel Miranda on Pexels.com

 

heart shaped red neon signage

Have a beautiful day.

I will SEE you tomorrow.

Understanding and Umbrellas


Understanding
was the first “U” word

that popped into my mind
when searching for
the quality we ALL need
to
add more meaning
and
find greater purpose
in life.

 

man and woman holding hands on brown wooden table

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

Understanding and Wisdom go Hand in Hand

What are the common roots of the two words?

I turned to scripture to find the answer to that question. This is a copy of my Bible page. As you can see, it is well marked! Look at how many times Proverbs 2 uses “wisdom” and “understanding.”

Understanding + Wisdom = Compassion

The Book of Proverbs teaches us, if we understand what is right and good, we will see what is just and fair. As a result, it will naturally follow that when we see injustice, when we witness someone being treated unfairly, we will have a heart of compassion, determined to respond.

Compassion is an Umbrella

OnahDave on HumePoets.com posted a poem today titled Drenched:

“Wrecked and broken by pain,
she drenched in the unlimited
down pour of her sorrow.”

When I read his poem, my immediate response was, “Give her your umbrella!”
When we understand another person’s pain, our compassion compels us to reach out with an umbrella of protection.

grayscale image of woman walking through the rain while holding umbrella

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

Umbrellas Take Many Forms

Sometimes the umbrella is a song! Today I visited my friend, Carol, who (at the advanced age of 95) is struggling to hang on to life. Her son and two daughters were in the hospital room with her.

Carol was having a better day today than when I saw her yesterday. Her children could tell because she was being a bit cantankerous!

Hah! She reminded me of my mom during her last days. Her mind rallied to the point that she knew what she wanted and what she didn’t. Her ability to say, “No!” rallied – – – and she exerted her independence while bed-bound and hooked up to oxygen. Like my mom, Carol is a strong and courageous woman.

Her daughters and I sang some cheery songs to her and enjoyed her smiles and nods – and her ability to squeeze my hand in appreciation. Her son snapped a few pictures. These are moments to remember!

Disney’s Sing-A-Long Songs – Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah VHS

was our first song. You know, you can’t help but smile when you sing that song! It sent an umbrella of joy over the entire room!

Then we sang Frank Sinatra’s “Dream Your Troubles Away.” Do you know that one? You can change “Dreams” to “Prayers” … and sing “Pray Your Troubles Away.” That thought fits the hand-in-hand analogy of understanding and wisdom as described in the second chapter of Proverbs. Here are the song’s revised words:

When skies are cloudy and gray,
They’re only gray for a day,
So wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away.

Until that sunshine peeps through,
There’s only one thing to do:
Just wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away.

Your castles may tumble
That’s fate after all,
Life’s really funny that way.

No need to grumble,
Smile as they fall,
Weren’t you queen for a day?

Just remember that sunshine
Always follows the rain.
So wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away!

 

Sometimes, We Gotta Let the Rain Fall

Max Lucado has written a book titled, Unshakable Hope.
In a message promoting his book, he wrote,

“I’ve discovered that nothing lifts the weary soul like the promises of God. This book contains some of my favorite [promises]. Picture God’s words falling like rain from heaven on you. Imagine these promises as gentle spring showers. Receive them. Allow them to land on you, to soak you. I’m trusting that God’s words will prosper in your life.”

Understand God is in the Storms of Life

Rick Hamlin in today’s Guideposts prayed,
“God, don’t let my cynical heart
prevent me from seeing
You in unexpected places.”

Sometimes our vision is blurred by the storms that smack us in the face. The unexpected difficulties can put us in dark places where vision is limited. We wonder, “God, where are You?”

Even Jesus had such moments. “My God, my God, why hast Thou Forsaken me?” From the cross, He cried to His Father. It’s understandable that we sometimes have similar thoughts.

Sometimes we need to set aside the umbrella, lift our eyes to the sky, and dance in the rain – in spite of the trauma.

Wrap your troubles in prayer – and pray your troubles away –
or not!
Sometimes the clouds are meant to stay – more than a day –
But sunshine follows the rain.
Even if that sunshine is our promise of Life Eternal.

Relish the Beauty of God’s Promises.

scenic view of mountains during dawn

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

Try to understand!
And be ready to put away your umbrella
or pass it along  –
use it to protect and encourage a friend.

Keep a song alive in your heart!

God bless you.

See you tomorrow.

Feed and Follow


Sermon Notes from
5/5/19
Rev. Jean Johnson’s message
inspired by John 21:1-19

“Feed and Follow”

We are needy people
Who need daily encouragement.
We need assurance;
We need to know what Jesus meant
When He said, “Feed my sheep.”

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We call out for forgiveness.
We are hungry for God’s grace.
How shall we feed on grace?
How shall we receive forgiveness?
Obey Christ’s command, “Feed My sheep!”

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We hunger for His grace.
We yearn for His mercy.
We are healed by forgiveness.
We are to care for and feed those
Christ meant with, “Feed My sheep.”

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Christ converted Shakey Simon
Into the Solid Rock Peter.
Through Christ, God provides us
With the Solid Word to feed others.
We can, in fact, follow “Feed My Sheep.”

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In His command is God ‘s promise
Of provision for His followers.
The church will feed on the Gospel.
The church will nourish others
With Good News – “We feed God’s Sheep!”

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We are here as needy people
To receive the encouragement
To feed on His assurance,
And then to go out and indeed
Do as He commands: “Feed My sheep!”

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On this Cinco de Mayo,
I have decided that when we
go out into the world and
Feed His Sheep,
we bring color into their lives.

colored sheep
Don’t you agree?
The Good News certainly colors MY world!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo, my friends.
See you tomorrow.

Add a Tsp. of Kindness


Welcome to Day #11 in the A-Z series,
“Add Meaning and Purpose to Life”

Today’s letter is “K”
The word is
Kindness

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Here is my prayer for today,

“Lord, teach me to love
with compassion.
Let me pass no one
without a KIND word,
thought, or deed.”

I have that poem inside my kitchen cabinet door.
Prayer in cabinet

Nothing sweetens life like a teaspoon of kindness.

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Photo by Toa Heftiba Şinca on Pexels.com

Nothing settles ruffled feathers faster than an act of kindness.

close up of eagle

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Nothing is more powerful than returning anger with a kind response.

man and woman wearing brown leather jackets

Photo by Vera Arsic on Pexels.com

These truths were drummed into me by my mom when I was a child growing up. On the inside of her kitchen cabinet door, she had a cardboard tacked up. It was covered with poems she had cut out of the local newspaper back in the late 30’s. That was back in the days when it was typical for newspapers to post poetry on a daily or at least weekly basis.

I have that cardboard inside another cabinet door in my kitchen now. The words are faded and hard to read, but they remind me of my mom – her love of poetry, her positive philosophy of life, and the lessons she taught me. With a magnifying glass I can read some of them still.

Mom's poetry

One of my favorites is this one titled

Friends of Mine

Good morning, Brother Sunshine!
Good morning, Sister Song!
I beg your humble pardon
If you’ve waited very long.
I thought I heard you rapping,
To shut you out were sin.
My heart is standing open –
Won’t you walk right in?

Good morning, Brother Gladness!
Good morning, Sister Smile!
They told me you were coming,
So I waited on a while.
I’m lonesome here without you.
A weary while it’s been.
My heart is standing open –
Won’t you walk right in?

Good morning, Brother Kindness!
Good morning, Sister Cheer!
I heard you were out calling,
So I waited for you here.
Some days I keep forgetting
I have toil or spin
When you are my companions.
Won’t you walk right in?

The poet’s name is obliterated – all I can see is a “Ja”
But,  love the idea that

  • sunshine,
  • song,
  • gladness and
  • smiles,
  • kindness and
  • cheer

are right there waiting to be invited in.

opened brown wooden french door

Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on Pexels.com

What a better world we’d have,
what a better life we’d live,
if we invited them in each day…

beating-heart

Open your heart’s door to them –
And then spread that kindness
wherever you go today.

 

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