Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Archive for the ‘Serving One Another’ Category

Join the PeaceMakers


Here in Ennis, Montana, we have a group of ladies who love to sew. They call themselves the PieceMakers. Piece by piece, they sewed quilts to send to retired service men and women.

When COVID-19 hit, piece by piece they made masks. I am not sure they still are doing so, because we are being told the hospital-type masks are the only really safe ones … and we are being encouraged to put our other cloth masks away.

Bob & Jan in hospital-type masks.

Meantime, today’s world causes me to “Embrace Peacemakers” – and pray that we can return to a country of sanity and safety.

Today’s Bible Verse
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.”

Matthew 5:9

In the name of peace, I invite you to join other “Prayer Warriors” Tuesday night to pray for a peaceful transition of power here in the USA on Wednesday.

It is troublesome to see all the military and the barricades being erected in our nation’s capitol. Troublesome to think that they are necessary in order to preserve the peace and save the lives of our elected leaders who are being threatened.

Because that is a photo of the announcement, the link above won’t work Try this one:
http://www.facebook.com/orhamidbarps

It will take you to a page that has this image on it – and you can click that you are interested (if you are). If not, be sure to raise your own voice independently to God asking for peace in our nation on January 20th and beyond… or form a prayer group of your own. The threats are real… and very troublesome.

Embrace Peace!
Embrace Love,
Unity,
Respect

Pray for PEACE.
See ya later.
God Bless You!

Embrace One Another


My word for 2021 is “Embrace.”
Each day during my devotional time,
I am prompted with a word or two
that tells me what to embrace today.
Yesterday it was “Silence.”
Did you miss me?
I was silent.
No blog.

Today
I am prompted to say,
“Embrace One Another.”
You may be thinking, “But…
How can we embrace one another
in the midst of this pandemic
when Social Distancing
is required?”
How?

Is there someone in your life
that you can hug like that today?

However,
I am afraid that
many people will respond,
“No, I can’t hug anyone like that right now.”
So, are there other ways to “Embrace One Another”
besides hugging? Think about that!
What can you do?
Write!

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

You embrace me when you
embrace my ideas,
respond to my post,
send me a text,
smile at me,
affirm
me.

How can I embrace you
without being able
to come close and
hug you tight?
I’ll pray for you
and text you.
Respond.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Send me a picture of a flower
e-mail jan@janbeek.blog
Send me a comment
telling me that
you do care!
Embrace.
Now!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting my blog today.
Will you take the next step?
Embrace One Another.
Embrace me!
God Bless
You!

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Embrace Hope


My Favorite Student

Teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites.
Right?

Ty, Roxanne (Merri), Jan & Bob

See that young man on the left up there?
His name is Ty.
He is my favorite!

(Well, in honesty… don’t be dismayed
if you’re one of my students….
I have lots of favorites, OK?
But Ty… well, read on!)


Ty was my kindergarten student in 1962-3.
Every day when he stepped off the school bus,
the girls all stopped what they were doing.
“Hi Ty!” they would swoon.
Yes, even kindergarten girls
recognize a sweetheart when they see one!

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

And every day when it was time to go home,
the girls all waved to Ty,
“Bye, Ty!”
they would swoon.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I was a newlywed.
It was my second year of teaching.
I decided if I had a boy someday,
I would name him Ty.
And I did!

Here’s my Ty with his little sister, DeAna.

Ah yes, my Ty is a sweetheart, just like his namesake!

See the sweetness sparkle?
Both Tys are a little older now!

So why the HOPE title?

Yesterday I heard the devastating news
that my favorite student, Ty,
has been diagnosed
with Stage 4 cancer.
It has metastasized.
He needs our prayers.
My heart is heavy,
but I am a believer…
and HOPE
is what believers do,
right?

Day before yesterday I posted this scripture:

“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.”

Jeremiah 20:11

I know God has Ty tucked into the palm of His hand,
just as He holds our world in His hand.

I know God is watching over Ty and his treatment process.
But, won’t you add your prayers to mine?
“Dear Lord, please give healing to Ty.”

I wrote about Ty when he came to visit us
here in Montana a couple of years ago.
Here is the blog link:
https://janbeek.blog/2019/05/25/gift-from-the-heart/

A Gift from the Heart

After Ty & Roxanne left, they sent us a thank you gift for our hospitality. He created this cross for us. It hangs on my dining room wall as a constant reminder of my special student, Ty Stiles.

Notice the three bars?
Ty said they represent the Trinity.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Please Heal Ty!!

Embrace Hope

“May the God of Hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him.”

Romans 15:13

The reign of Christ,
both present and in the future,
is our foundation of Hope.

Take Peace

“And in despair I bowed my head
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will toward men.

Then peeled the bells more loud and deep –
God is not dead, nor doeth He sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail –
With peace on earth, good will toward men.”

Embrace Peace.
Embrace Love.
Embrace Joy.
Embrace Prayer.
Embrace Hope.

See ya tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting
and praying with
JanBeek

Embrace Unity


“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.”

Jeremiah 20:11
Photo by Bhavitya Indora on Pexels.com

It’s a day when we in the USA
Are feeling particularly vulnerable.
A day when we ponder the meaning
Of the troublesome events of yesterday.

It was a day of Troubled Waters
When our fragile democracy
Seemed on the brink of collapse,
A day some imagined, but not I.

I knew we were a country deeply divided,
A country needing a renewed sense of unity,
But never did I think our Capitol
Would be under siege by our own people.

Thousands gathered at the “Trump March.”
Many thought Trump was at the front leading them.
He was not.
They just kept coming…
and they roiled over into the Capitol building.

Not just one of the rioters was killed in the debacle,
but 3 health care workers also lost their lives.

In the aftermath, when the Senate and Assembly
resumed their stations and continued
the task of counting the electoral votes,
a new sense of purpose seemed to emerge.

It took an attack on our democracy
for our lawmakers
to unify and recognize
the importance of our constitution.
The tone was bipartisan.
The future is hopeful.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

A ray of hope
for the unification
of this divided country
was launched yesterday.

A seed of collaboration was planted.

The importance of
“Love Thy Neighbor”
seemed to be elevated.

Yesterday I posted a meme that read:
“We’ve tried hate.
We’ve tried wars.
We’ve tried destruction.
They only caused more pain.
Let’s try something different…”

…and the “different” was
peace
love
empowerment
collaboration.

Today let’s reinforce that commitment.
Let’s try
Open and Honest Communication,
Building bridges instead of walls,
LET’S EMBRACE UNITY!

EMBRACE UNITY!
Let’s honor
One Nation Under God.
One world for us all,
One CREATOR of us all.

Back in 1970, Paul Simon was inspired to write the words to the song,
“Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”
The video below is the story of how that song came to be.
The words are just what we need today…
A Bridge Over [these] Troubled Waters.

Let’s Embrace UNITY.
Let’s see how that turns out!

I hope you took time to hear that You.Tube story. It’s powerful.
Believe me,
the song is just what we need today.

“When you’re weary
Feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes
I’ll dry them all.
I’m on your side.
Oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street,
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you.
I’ll take your part.
Oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down…
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Sail on silver girl
Sail on by… More

Source: Musixmatch

Photo by Mohamed Almari on Pexels.com
I’ll drink to that:
UNITY!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
A comment about your reaction

to the song and the turn of events would be appreciated.

How are YOU feeling today?
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Prayer


In today’s Daily Guideposts 2021, the writer, Amy Eddings, wrote about a time when she prayed relentlessly for guidance and courage – and felt her prayers were going unanswered. Have you ever felt that you were praying relentlessly for something and your request(s) seemed to be falling on deaf ears?

I remember last year when Australia was on fire and so many animals were dying and losing their habitats. I prayed along with the rest of our world for rain… but the fires raged on.

I have recently been praying incessantly for our Pastor Nominating Committee at our church. If you have followed my blog for awhile, you have read my sermon notes on Sunday from our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church. You know our pastor of 32 years died a year ago and we have a wonderful temporary pulpit fill who came out of retirement to help us. Rev. Hundley needs to be able to re-retire. So, we are searching for a solo pastor and I am praying hard. I believe in the power of prayer – and I believe in God’s perfect timing. Don’t you?

So, will you add my prayer request to your prayer list?
“Lord, help the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Pastor Nominating Committee
find the person God already has in mind for us.
Help them find the right new pastor
to lead the congregation into renewed spiritual growth in 2021.”

My husband, Bob, has been praying incessantly, too.
He is on our church’s leadership board
and as such is the “elder” in charge of Buildings and Grounds.
Our church owns an old church that is about 10 miles out of Ennis
in a tiny little village called McAllister.
The church was built in the 1880’s.
MVPC uses it once a year to maintain its
tax-free status as a “place of worship.”
It is in a serene country setting on a little over an acre of land.
It has electricity, but no water or septic system.
The church is for sale. We’re praying for the right buyer.

McAllister Church

Please add this to your prayer list, too, will you?
“Lord, send the right buyer to Rikki at Berkshire-Hathaway in Ennis, MT
– a person who will treasure this historic building
and use it for wholesome purposes.”

Gerry Mooney Photography
McAllister Church

When we EMBRACE PRAYER
and pray with a right spirit,
God hears, God cares, God answers.

Philippians 4:6,7: Pray about everything

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your request to God.”

1 John 5:14: God always hears

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

EMBRACE PRAYER

GOD BLESS YOU
and keep you safe and healthy.
That’s my prayer for you today.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Have a blessed Monday.
See ya tomorrow.

This is my favorite prayer… and I pray it fervently.
It spells out my purpose in life … to be an instrument of God’s peace…
TO SPREAD LOVE, FORGIVENESS, FAITH, HOPE, LIGHT AND JOY…

Sing along … and be blessed!

EMBRACE PRAYER

Open Your Hands


My hands are open

Open your hands
Empty them of needless 2020 stuff
Open your hands
Today’s treasures will be enough

Enough to satisfy
Your every need today
Enough to bless you
And send you on your way

Springtime in the Rockies

Open your heart
To the blessings of today
And be ready for the new ones
That will surely come your way

Sit quietly and contemplate

Open your mind
To the endless possibilities
That this new year holds
And prepare for the unexpected

Fishing near the Tetons

Open your eyes
To the wonders of God’s creation
Open your soul
To appreciate each situation

Appreciate the old
(Kevinleaguephoto)

Open your mind
To see the beauty in the old
Even the broken and decrepit
Has beauty to unfold

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Open your imagination
To find the beauty of the heart
Look into the gentle eyes
And let your life be a part

Of the world of need around you
Of the hurting and the lost
Open your hands
Give love; don’t count the cost!

Photo by Trung Nguyen on Pexels.com

Open your hand
To take another’s.


Take my hand, Lord…
Lest I fall…
(Be sure to take time if you can
to enjoy the YouTube version
of that lovely song below)
Sing along!

Have a Wonderful 1st day of 2021, my friends.
Thank you for visiting JanBeek.
Bee well!
I’ll see you tomorrow.

Be encouraged by your faith
And the promises of God
for a better tomorrow!

I CAN RELEASE


I CAN RELEASE

My Journal

My Journal prompts me to decide
What it is today that I CAN
And I WILL release.
It’s not always easy to decide.

In this end of 2020
With the start of a fresh new year
Just around the corner,
I CAN release the old.

I CAN release what obstructs
And I CAN make room
For the new, the better.
What must I release?

First I must REFLECT.
What was good in this mess?
What was worth keeping?
What should I have learned?

I have learned to sift –
Sift through the garbage of the year
And find the jewels. and keep them –
Throw out the garbage!

Kindness wins!

Reflect on the kindnesses
Offered to me from others…
And keep those thoughts alive
While I release the ugliness.

Every struggle contains lessons.
Reflect on the things
COVID-19 set before us.
Did it teach interdependence?

It’s not a problem faced
By just one country or state.
This pandemic is a world-wide
Challenge… we’re ALL effected.

Release the idea of “Me First” –
Release the “We’re the best” mentality.
Absorb the understanding that
We’re all this together.

“No man* is an island –
No man stands alone –
Each man’s joy is joy to me –
Each man’s grief is my own.

(*human)

We need one another,
So I will defend
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.”

Release the idea of supremacy –
And reflect on God’s creation.
Know He made us ALL in His image.
Reflect on what that means.

When you hurt, I hurt.
When you are hungry, I MUST
Reach out to help you – and
Find the nourishment you need.

Images of people in food lines
Stretching for blocks,
And people waiting for vaccines
In “First come-first served” lines

GRIEVE ME!

There is enough food,
Enough resources in this world,
To meet each (hu)man’s need –
We just need to share!!

Release the tensions of this
Election year in the USA
And reflect on the voter turnout,
The level of participation.

Release the divisiveness
And concentrate on the idea
Of POWER in UNITY.
Work toward unification.

Release all attitudes of angst.
Reflect on the love shared –
And determine to be the change
We hope to see in 2021.

I CAN
and
I WILL.

WATCH ME!

Bee an angel and join me!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.
Happy New Year!

Too Big a Pill to Swallow?


Is that idea of a virgin birth
too big a pill for you to swallow?
It gets in the way of faith
for a whole lot of folks.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon
by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, MT
dealt with that subject…
the virgin birth.
He titled it:

Conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and Born of the Virgin Mary


It’s a stumbling block for many
To think of a baby born of a virgin…
The idea can seem like a fairy tale.
It can be a pill too big to swallow.

Some people believe Christ was
Half God and half human.
Only One who is fully God
Can atone for our sins.

Only one who is fully human
Can experience our suffering and pain.
So many deny Jesus’ duality:
Jesus was born divine and became human.

Philippians 2:7
“But made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.”


This verse is our first statement of faith:
He found Himself as human
And humbled Himself.
He chose to be dependent on humans.

Jesus could not have been born
Without that simple peasant girl;
And He suffered all the human pain
And a cruel and painful death.

It’s a gigantic leap of faith
To fully believe the virgin birth.
But, take comfort in knowing
Even the disciples had trouble.

Even though they walked
With Jesus on this earth,
They had trouble believing
He was the Holy Son of God.

The initial act of faith
Is not that total belief.
The initial act of faith
Is to invite Jesus into your heart.

When your own life is changed
By the love of Christ in you,
Then your faith will grow;
You will share that faith with others.

Jesus sees the pearls in the dust.
Not what we are, but
What God intends us to become.
In Christ, our faith can help us get there.

We don’t begin as full believers.
We begin as that dependent manger child.
We begin looking for a Teacher of Wisdom,
And Jesus, the Holy Son of God enters.

Let Him walk with you.
Let Him help your faith to grow.
When it comes to faith,
The heart is one step ahead of the intellect!

Pastoral Prayer

by Steve Hundley

We have run our yearly race to Bethlehem, O Lord, and many are tired from what has been a very difficult year.  We know that You did not mean it that way, but intended for Your Son’s birth to bring us peace and joy and renewal, and a sense of togetherness that comes from this season of love and giving.

In the stillness of this moment we turn our hearts to You as the needle of a compass points to True North.  Amidst all the tension of this year, may You remain at the center, calling us to hope and to clarity of purpose.  On the eve of a new year, give guidance to us and the nations of the world, as we seek to find our way out of this pandemic.  Incline our hearts to modesty, honesty, and compassion.  Let us be tender to all of those in need, especially the young, the old, the tired, the poor, the sick, and all who are struggling just to survive.,,

So many have died these last 10 months, O Lord.  Hold in Your arms those who grieve, whose spirits are distressed by the loss of loved ones, or jobs, or homes in all of the uncertainty that surrounds them.  Speak to us in our worship, we pray, in something heard or seen or felt, that we may go from this place of worship with a renewed sense of Your presence in our lives.

Let the months before us bring rest to a weary world and hope to millions who continue to dwell in darkness.  Use us who wait before You to accomplish Your will, through devotion and imagination and love.  We pray this prayer in the name of Christ our Savior… Amen

May you, my dear WP friends,
find the peace,
comfort,
hope,
and clarity of purpose
for which we pray.

This describes my purpose! I will declare His coming
and live in modesty, honesty, and compassion.

How about your clarity of purpose?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Don’t forget to comment below.
I would love to hear about
your Sunday and your purpose.
Hugs!!

See ya tomorrow…

How’s Your Soul?


I have told my WP friends this story before, but it was a while back… and since then, many of you are new to JanBeek, so it bears repeating:

My friend, Bob Jorgenson, born with Cerebral Palsy, was bright as a tack. His parents brought him every Sunday to church in his wheel chair. They sat mid-way up in the sanctuary with him. They stayed after church for fellowship. They helped people understand what Bob had to say – because Bob’s speech was compromised – but he had so much to say!

Homer and Ruth knew their son would not live a long life, but they packed ten life-times into Bob’s 35 years. They took him to Europe, to Disneyland, to Asia, to the Holy Land. They built a train track and a miniature train in a circle around their wooded property, and fixed up the engine so that Bob could run the train and give train rides to various groups of kids who came to experience the wonder of it.

When Bob was on his last breaths, lying helpless and speechless in his hospital bed, Homer sat with him. He had Bob’s favorite hymnal. As he turned the pages, Homer asked Bob to blink when he came to a song Bob wanted to hear.

Homer was singing “It is Well With My Soul” to his son when Bob breathed his last.

I never hear this song without welling up inside. My heart smiles.

I hope your soul smiles as you hear it, too.

Merry Christmas!

Love, JanBeek

Missing Or Giving?


This is Vissoie, Switzerland.
Our daughter and son-in-law have a restaurant here.
Isn’t it beautiful?

We missed our visit with them this year. We are not even able to go to California to celebrate Christmas with our son and his family there. I bet we are not alone. Many of you are missing your visits with your family this Christmas, too.

We’ll miss being with our son, Ty, and having my sister, Sally with us this year.

What are you missing?

Photo by Maximiliano Ignacio Pinilla Alvarado on Pexels.com

Like this sad looking dog, we can sit around and look all mopey.
We can focus on what we’re missing.
Or we can go to Ann Kaplow’s blog this morning,
try focusing on the positive,
and answer her question,
“Can you find something to celebrate in today’s images?”

Ann Koplow
Check out her blog below.

Ann KoplowThe Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Celebrate the fact that even though we feel the darkness of this Coronavirus and the isolation caused by this pandemic, we also can experience the LIGHT! The Light still shines – and we can reflect it!

Focus on the Reason for the Season

Let us not focus
On the things we are missing
But on our blessings

We have so much to give!
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Basic needs are met
And we have great resources
Enough to share them

When your needs are met
Leave the reptilian brain
And share your great smile

Food, clothing, shelter –
Not all people are so blessed.
Take these for granted?

No! Let’s treasure them.
Now we can go beyond them –
Reach out to others.

What do we have to give?

You have love to give
You have compassion to give
And you have kindness

Focus on giving
Blessings are overflowing
Share them with others

As long as you give
Know your cup will be refilled
You can’t out-give God!

In this weary world
People long for what you have
Share your love – give faith!

Have a little faith
Not in the things of this world
But in the True Light

Take the LOVE He gives
And let that love shine through you
Give a little FAITH!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed Thursday.
Count your blessings!
See ya tomorrow.

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