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Archive for the ‘Serving One Another’ Category

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Embrace Turkey & Trimmings


  1. Grandson, Nick, and his girlfriend, Céline, joined us for Thanksgiving. I am so grateful for family who come all the way from Switzerland to share time with us!

    (See the bottom of the post for numbers 2-9 explaining the rest of the photos. Try to guess what you think I may say about each before you peek down there!)

 

2. Neighbor/friend, “Whooter” (Greg Winden, came at 8:30 am to help Bob prepare the smoker and to help me put the finishing touches on the turkey. I am so grateful for such caring, generous folks. We are blessed to live in this “hood!”

3. Thanksgiving is a day to be shared. I am thankful for those who joined us to make the day festive.

4 – 5. There’s Whooter helping Bob get the bird in the smoker. And there’s the turkey ready to be carved. I am grateful for Whooter’s tip: stuff the turkey with chunks of apple and orange! It kept the meat so moist! Have you ever done that with your turkey or baked chicken??

6. That’s our friend, Kathy, with Nick & Céline, and our pastor/friend, Mary Grace enjoying a few before dinner refreshments on Thanksgiving Day. Those hors d’oeuvres are part of Thanksgiving “trimmings”!

7. Meantime, in Switzerland our daughter, DeAna was having her own reasons to give thanks. Duchess (Pipo’s queen cow) gave birth to a healthy calf (a future queen for sure) and we gave thanks for his gift of naming her after our De! The calf ids (Diana – pronounced Deanna in French)! It’s quite an honor!!

8. That’s SureShot Lake … frozen over and dehydrated. We gave thanks for the fun of driving up there yesterday, but we’re disappointed to see how low it is. Those dirt mounds out there generally are under water!

9. Most mornings I start my day with a very special “Good morning” and a picture of the sunrise with prayers from my friend, Lisa, in S. Carolina.

Do you have a special friend who prays for you daily and greets you with his/her sunrise? If so, you are blessed indeed! I know for sure that I am!

What else contributed to your day of turkey and trimmings? I’m still celebrating… just finished a bowl of turkey soup made from the leftovers. Yum!

Enjoy your Saturday night, my friends. See ya Sunday. When I count my blessings, you’re right up there with the turkey!! Yup, part of the trimmings!

Bob & me on our 59th anniversary-
It’ll be 60 in February!!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving week, too. Can’t let this weekend pass without telling you how much I appreciate your visits here. Posting on WordPress is one of my favorite hobbies – and it wouldn’t be worth a darn if it weren’t for you. God bless you! Thanks for commenting and telling me a little about those things that count on your list of blessings.

Bee well!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)…
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Cards


Do you save some of the cards people send you?
Are you inspired by the things your friends and family say to and about you?
I have a bulletin board on the back of the door that leads to my laundry room.
Each year I save the birthday cards I receive and post them there.
If ever I feel myself moving into a funk, and I need a spirit lift,
just reading a few of those cards definitely raises me up!

In my sanctuary, I have a bookshelf with my collection of Bibles and various devotionals. On it, I have a card that my friend, Terry, sent to me several years ago. I see it every morning and it is a marvelous source of encouragement and inspiration. Living up to the sentiment it expresses, being the person this friend sees in me, are daily challenges – daily goals. You can see why I have saved and I embrace this card:

Last year when my dear friend, Phyllis, died, I inherited a bagful of cards she had kept during her last year of life. Living in the nursing home during COVID-19 when visitors were not allowed in, the cards were a lifeline to the outside world. Never underestimate the value of the card you take the time to select and send to a friend. They are more precious than gold!

I am going to select some of the most meaningful of these cards and send them to Phyllis’ daughter(s) … knowing their messages will live on in the hearts of my friends’ family members, just as they live on in my heart.

With Thanksgiving coming, that USA holiday dedicated to an attitude of gratitude for our many blessings, I went to the Family Dollar Store yesterday. For $1.00 apiece, I picked up a dozen beautiful cards with lovely sentiments. With precious family and friends in mind, I selected carefully. Today I wrote a personal note of appreciation on each, addressed, and stamped them. Bob took them to the post office. They are on their way to special people who make my life better – just because they are a part of my world.

Letter writing and card sending does not need to be a lost art. Cards can be expensive (those same ones would be between $2.50 and $4.95 at a stationery store). But, check out your local dollar store! Don’t let the expense deter you! Get a few cards today. Find some time to write a personal note to the people who make your life better. Send them off to brighten someone’s day. Let your light shine through your words and thoughtfulness! You never know, your cards may be keepers, too!

Embrace Cards.
Embrace the Expressions of Appreciation you receive from others.

Send yours out tomorrow…
Be the friend everyone wishes they had!

Let your light shine
all the way to
where your loved ones are…


There’s still time for your cards to be received by Thanksgiving!

Good friends- Terry & Elaine –
So blessed to have these as “Keepers!”
Their light shines in my heart everyday!

Thanks for visiting.
Tell me – are you a card saver, too?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love ya,
JanBeek

I dare you to listen to this song without smiling!!

Embrace Confidence


Whence cometh your trust?
Where’s your confidence?
Who helped you believe?

From whence comes value –
Value you carry inside?
Who builds your self worth?

Insecurity
And self-doubt can invade you.
Do you lock them out?

Photo by William Eickler on Pexels.com

The keys to your trust
Are in God’s love and mercy.
He made and loves you.

Your value in Christ
Should give you great confidence.
Carry your head high!

As as Child of God,
You join His Royal Family.
Embrace confidence!

Embrace family love.
Gather and build others up.
Love one another.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Family confidence
Comes from great togetherness
And sharing your love.

“See what great love
the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!”

1 John 3:1

As a child, my mom was the family member who built my confidence. She assured me that I could do whatever I set my mind to. She supported every effort academically, socially, and spiritually. She told me, “If you don’t accept your high value, you not only deny yourself, but you minimize your Creator.” Her confidence in my abilities made me sure of my capabilities.

Did you have a family member or friend, a Sunday School teacher, or a neighbor, an aunt or an uncle who helped you build up your confidence? Someone who reminded you, “God don’t make no junk”?

Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

The Bible is clear
that I can’t do anything
to make my Father in Heaven
love me more or less.

Our confidence is built
when our earthly family
assures us likewise
that we are loved unconditionally –
and that they believe in us.

So, fully believe
In God’s mercy and His love.
There’s success in you!

God put success there!
He implanted confidence.
Believe your value!

Embrace Confidence!!

Is there someone in your life who could use a little confidence building?
Is there someone you can build up by assuring them of their self-worth?
Is there someone who needs to hear that you believe in them –
and that you think they can do whatever they set their mind to do?
Do they need to know “God don’t make no junk?”
Go out and raise ’em up!


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 Service


Did you serve in the military?
When you think of service,
Do you think of military service?
There are other kinds…

Today is Veterans’ Day in the USA.

It is a day to honor our servicemen/women.
Not all our veterans served with a pure heart,
Motivated by the desire to serve for freedom’s sake.
Some just didn’t know what else to do!

Now, that may sound a little sacrilegious –
A little disrespectful to some of you.
But, I know for a fact at least one
Veteran who served out of frustration.

Hey, Bob, were you ever in the military?
“I think so… 2 years, 9 months, & one day.
I was in when the Berlin Wall was built.
Thank God I got out 3 months early for summer work!”

So you didn’t serve out of love of country?
“No! I was told I could learn electronics,
So I went into the Nike Ajax Program.
Then I discovered it was cancelled!

I ended up learning nothing about electronics.
It was a sham. The recruiters lied to me.
As a clerk typist, stationed in Germany,
I felt trapped by the military system.”

You see not all veterans served in wartime.
Not all veterans have a heartwarming,
Grateful, fuzzy feeling about their service.
Not even those who DID serve in wartime.

So how do we honor our veterans?
How do we honor the families of those
Who sacrificed their lives for us?
How do we honor the clerk typists?

Here’s Bob – a handsome soldier,
But don’t let the smile fool you.
He was shuffling papers, typing orders,
And counting the days ’til discharge.

Some folks enter the military out of high school
Because they are at loose ends.
They don’t know what else to do with their lives…
Not ready to go to college, not sure of a job.

Those folks can end up making a career
Of the army or navy, the marines or air force,
And can be excellent servicemen/women.
Original motive aside, they serve with honor.

So what’s my point on Veterans’ Day?
I guess it is… don’t generalize.
Don’t assume all veterans served
To help preserve our freedom.

Look at the size of our military.
Look at the money spent in peacetime.
Look at those who served during wars.
Look at those who gave their lives.

Look at the whole picture of war
And military and fighting and preserving.
Honor our veterans, yes…
But what about the drop-outs?

I don’t mean to belittle Veteran’s Day.
There are people out there who
Served for patriotic reasons…
And they deserve to be honored.

There are families who lost loved ones
Who served to preserve our freedom.
They deserve our gratitude and love.
Yes, Happy Veterans’ Day!

God Bless America!
And God bless those who serve to keep us free!


Embrace Kind Thoughts


Today I am reblogging a post by Pat Cegan… It touched me … and inspired me to want to be sure my palette is comprised of the kind thoughts of compassion, love, and other gifts of the Spirit Pat describes.

Thank you, Pat!

Unkind Thoughts — Source of Inspiration

An unkind thought is a double edge blade. It cuts the sender and receiver. If our thoughts covered receivers with visible colors, what colors would the world be? Am I creating rainbows of harmony or do dark colored clouds fill my world? May I have a palette of compassion yellow, healing greens, sacred purples, love-filled […]

Unkind Thoughts — Source of Inspiration

What color are your thoughts?

I pray you will blow any dark colored clouds away
but keep the rainbow of harmony!

Photo by Jakob on Pexels.com
Photo by 42 North on Pexels.com

Sending you my love.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Motivation


Find motivation
Whenever it is present
Multiple sources

Denzel Washington
Is a great motivator
Choose testimony

Find time to listen
Choose the points that touch your heart
And then pass them on

Here are the points that touched my heart:

“Just because you’re doing a lot more,
doesn’t mean you’re getting a lot more done!”

“Don’t confuse movement (activity)
with progress!”

“It’s not how much you have,
it’s what you do with what you have!”

“I pray you put your slippers
waaay under your bed tonight,
so when you get up in the morning,
you have to get on your knees to get them!”

“And while you’re down there…
say thank you …. [for all your blessings] …
in advance for what is already yours!”

“Anything you want, claim it!
Work hard to get it… when you get it,
reach back. Pull someone else up!”

As you search within yourself,
know that the Holy Spirit lives in you!

When you tune in to what God
through the Spirit is saying to you,
your motivation to rise above your circumstances,
and your ability to help others do likewise
will be pure in heart!

The video with Denzel Washington
demonstrated that kind of
motivation to me.
Did you also hear it
as from a pure heart?

The Bible tells us that our motivation
should not be selfish gain
or seeking approval based on our own merits;
rather, our motivation should come from God
and a desire to obey and honor Him.
Our first priority should be
our relationship with God.

Yes, that was one of Denzel’s quotes,

“Don’t just aspire to make a living,
aspire to make a difference!”

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, …whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.”

You are blessed to be a blessing.
Remember these motivating words,
“It’s not how much you have,
it’s what you do with what you have!”

What can you DO
to motivate someone’s
positive thoughts and actions
today?

Go out and do it!!


God bless you –
Sending my love your way-
See ya tomorrow (God willing).
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


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