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Embrace Extravagance


What?
Embrace Extravagance?
I have to be kidding, right?

Photo by Kamaji Ogino on Pexels.com

Extravagance is kin to outlandish.
Extravagance means excessive.
Right?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wrong!
Extravagance doesn’t need to mean outlandish.
It can be thought of as abundance.

Extravagance is
Abundance of some good food –
Okay if it’s shared!

Extravagance is
An abundance of pure love –
Beautiful when shared

Extravagance is
The overflow of blessings –
Lovely gifts from God

Life is extravagantly wonderful!

When the night sky touches your soul,
When other bloggers touch your inner core,
It’s a sign of the extravagance of others
That keeps you longing for more

In his “Keys to Living Life”

Today, January 24, 2021, Rahul Gaur wrote a blog so powerful that I HAD to share it. First I tweeted it. I have never shared someone else’s blog by tweeting it before. I have reblogged a few. This one is so impactful that I need you to click on Rahul’s name and go to it. See it for yourself. It is extravagantly beautiful! Here are a couple of sentences that particularly touched me:

“The soul is the lost intuition
and the listening switch of your body.
When you need to see things beyond as they are,
to see things as they were meant to be,
you listen to the orchestra of your soul.⁣”

I listened with my soul to today’s sermon

Sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana

Thy Kingdom Come

“Thy Kingdom Come” is
a political statement –
Except we believe
in a heavenly kingdom.

It’s not a worldly kingdom.
It is “THY” kingdom come.
Let God’s Kingdom reign,
Not MY domain – not MY will.

As a pastor, I am sometimes
Guilty of saying, “Look at me!”
I do the “my” and not “Thy” message
And have to learn to lose self.

We all need to learn to be
De-throned … and let
God’s Kingdom be the focus.
Peace, reconciliation & hope are God’s.

God’s Kingdom is not attainable
On our earth. It is not!
Utopia here in our world
Is not within our reach.

No earthly political order
Will ever be the Kingdom of God.
God’s Kingdom is like a seed.
It’s like a net in the water.

The seed one day will sprout.
The net will gather fish.
God’s work on earth is extravagant,
But the Kingdom is elusive here.

The Kingdom of God is at the door.
It takes eyes of faith to see
What lies beyond the threshold.
It is there though we see it not.

When we say “Thy Kingdom COME,”
We might more easily say GO.
Go from You into me…
God’s Kingdom lives in each of us.

It’s an awesome fact that
The Kingdom of God is in you.
We must not lose hope or faith
And we must not live in satisfaction.

Never be satisfied with what is.
Only when we submit to God’s Kingdom
Does it really COME. So care!
Care for the poor; release greed and pettiness.

It’s liberating to know when
We turn our lives and our futures
Over to our Extravagant God –
We’ll see His Kingdom coming into the world.

Amen?

“Listen to the orchestra of your soul.”
Rahul Gaur
Keep you ears open to soulful listening…
Thank you, Rahul, for your blog.
Thank you, Rev. Steve, for your message.
Thank You, God, for your Kingdom of Love.

Embrace Extravagance!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

Embrace Gratitude


What are you grateful for today?

Just as children are grateful for their parents,
their homes, their teachers,
their food,
and so much more,
so we as adults must remember
to express gratitude for those same things
and for one another.

How do you express your gratitude?

I really appreciate this video
and express my gratitude
by sharing it with you.
No, you can’t click on this one…
it’s just a photo.

Before you click on the video below,
look up at that man’s face.
See the kindness in his eyes.
See the bit of a smile on his lips.
Notice he is looking at his passenger
in her pretty turquoise scarf.
Anticipate what you think he may be saying to her.
Notice the bouquet of red roses blurred in the foreground.
Now – click on the video below
… and be prepared to be touched!

You may not have been able to understand the words
this Iranian man was speaking to his wife,
but your understanding of the message was clear.
Right?
Didn’t it warm your heart
and reinforce the need to be grateful for one another?


When I think of my family, gratitude bubbles up inside me.

1) I am grateful for my husband’s love… for me and for our children.
2) I am grateful for bouquets of roses. (I could see him passing a bouquet on to others to share love.)
3) I am grateful for the happy home my parents provided for me was a child.
4) I am grateful that my husband’s parents were faith-filled, loving parents, too.
5) I am grateful that my children provided loving homes for their children.

Pass it on!!

There is no greater gift we can give our children than to love one another.
Be grateful for that love and keep it alive!

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

As you EMBRACE GRATITUDE,
think of 4 or 5 things you’re grateful for today.
I’d love to have you share a few of them in the comments below.

We may be blurry, but we’re together!
I’m grateful for our family.
(That was last year… I look forward to being together again in 2021)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Patience


An Elfchen is an Elevensie …
A poetic form that has 11 words,
1+2+3+4+1 = 11

It’s fun. Try it!

Open
Your petals
To fully bloom
Takes time; Embrace patience
Love

We all have it

Love
Flows out
And creates beauty
From what was dormant
Shine!

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.com

Slow
And steady
Wins the race
Take each step faithfully
Patience

I love you!

Disagreements
Become larger
When they smoulder
Bring them to light
Patiently

Hostility
Becomes Hatred
When we’re misunderstood
Explore ideas with respect
Honor

Exercise compassion with
love
consideration
and
respect

Embrace Patience

Let’s just love one another, okay?
See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Bee well!!

Embrace Peace


The events at the United States Capitol in Washington DC today were more than disturbing. I watched about a half an hour of President Trump’s speech to thousands of his followers who came to his rally this morning near the Capitol Building in Washington DC. His speech was so disturbing that I had to shut it off.


About 10 minutes into his speech, I wrote to a friend saying, “I am listening to a rabid crowd that is listening to this delusional dictator/cult leader. So troublesome!! He’s so dangerous!”

About 10 minutes later I wrote, “I am praying for peace. I’m worried about his power base believing the election fraud lie and being riled up… He is damning ‘Weak Republicans’ and obviously trying to plan a coup… inciting insurrection. He said there were ‘explosions of bullshit’ – and the crowd loved it! He said, ‘The media has become the enemy of the people’. The crowd applauded. This man is dangerous.”

I couldn’t stand what I was hearing, so clicked out of it and turned on XM Radio’s Escape while I finished my breakfast and then went to my dental appointment. Bob & I were gone for the day. It was a beautiful drive to Bozeman and back along the Madison River.

I got my teeth cleaned, we did a little grocery shopping, and when we returned home, we turned on the TV.

Can you imagine our dismay? Sure enough, that “rabid crowd” was incited to violence. They had stormed the White House and in the mayhem a woman was killed and the entire Senate and House proceedings to affirm the electoral counts that would confirm the election of Biden/Harris had been halted.

As I write this, the Senate and Assembly are back in session. It is nearing midnight in Washington DC and they promise to stay in session until their job is done and the electoral votes are properly counted. The rioters were cleared out, of course. But very few were arrested, as far as I can tell. Why not? What they did was despicable and unlawful.

They were incited by the rhetoric of our President Trump. I heard it. I could switch it off and tune into some music and go on a nice drive. But those rioters were caught up in it. They didn’t turn it off. Their actions were …

… well, I can’t find the words. I can’t describe how concerned I am about our country, how disappointed I am with our president and his unwillingness to accept defeat. I cannot put into words how concerned I am about what Donald Trump may do in the next 14 days (until he is out of office) to put the USA at risk. His behavior is not rational. I heard him. I saw him. I saw the results. Did you?

How are you feeling about it?

Let’s Embrace PEACE.
Pray for peace.
Be the peace we need to see.
Feel the peace.
Breathe.

What do you say?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
and listening to me vent.
See ya tomorrow.
I hope it’s a better day.

Embrace Joy with Gladness


Joy bubbles up from deep within
And spills out with gladness.
Expressing joy with eager anticipation
Erases all the madness.

Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

The world around may sizzle
With turmoil, loss, and pain,
But those need not define us.
Choose gladness and see gain.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Peek through the gloom with love
And watch the scenery change
From gloom and doom to cheerfulness.
Embrace joy; keep gladness in range!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

“This is the day the Lord has made;
We will reJOYce and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

ReJOYce and dance, my friends.
Be glad in the Lord and sing.
Set your mind on the positive;
Let your heart in gladness ring.

Begin your day with a question,
Ask the Lord, “Whatcha got in store?”
Then follow his lead and smile –
His joy is to give you more!

More beauty and more power,
More love and gladness, too
Are waiting round the bend
In God’s storehouse for you.

So let joy bubble up from deep within.
Let gladness radiate from your face.
Practice living in His presence
And let His love fill this space.

“Love unlocks doors and opens windows
that weren’t ever there before.”

Mignon McLaughlin

Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on Pexels.com

My prayer for us today:

May we live with an attitude of gratitude,
And send out the essence of gladness,
Relieving distress and doing our best
To erase all traces of sadness.


Amen

Hugs from JanBeek

Thanks for visiting.
See ya tomorrow.
Bee Glad!


Theme for 2021


Do you have a theme picked out for 2021?
Several of the bloggers I follow
have selected and shared
their themes
for 2021.

My husband, Bob,
said his theme is
“Don’t Let the Old Man In.”


Mine is
“Embrace”

Each day this year I will pray for
the revelations of God’s Will
for the new day,
and I will ask Him,
“What (or who) shall I embrace today?”

January 1st it was “JOY!”

I Embrace JOY!

There is room for JOY
In this life of mine.
There is room for it ‘cuz
This life is mighty fine.

January 2nd I embrace
God’s Will for my day.
Read His Word and
Walk in His Way.

His Way – His Will –
always includes compassion!

Have a blessed weekend, dear friends.
What (or who) will you embrace today?

Most people when asked
what they missed most in 2020
said it was HUGS!

Thank God for the people close enough to you
that you can safely hug
even in the midst of this pandemic.

What are your plans for today?
Our day will be a quiet one
here in this beautiful place.
I hope yours is as peace-filled.
God is shining His Light
down on you.
Be at peace!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

I CAN Embrace


I can embrace the future.
I can be ready for a fresh start.
I can take time to review
This past year and take heart.

Take heart that new beginnings
Offer us blessings to uncover.
Take heart that compassion’s awakened;
We’ve new opportunities to discover.

I can embrace the promises
That change and growth bestow.
I can be energized by
Welcoming strangers I’ve yet to know.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I can embrace the reality
Of dreams yet to fulfill,
Knowing God is ever faithful
When I’m living in His will.

As Bob Goff says, “Dream Big!”

I can embrace the coming year
With prayers for those in need –
And reach out to serve the hurting
With generosity – release the greed!

I embrace the coming decade
And hope to live rightly through it.
I embrace the coming vaccine –
It’ll be effective – we always knew it.

We knew that this pandemic
Could not stay with us forever.
There are too many blessed people
Out there who are creative and so clever.

But I am not waiting for the shot
To stop the misery and relieve the pain.
I embrace the fact that LOVE
Is what will make us whole again!

So, PEACE, my dear WP friends,
I send you the best medicine of all
For the end of this misery-filled year:
A smile, a virtual hug, a word of grace, an answer to your call.

Just like Bob Goff, Love Does,
He puts his cell phone number on his book covers.
Call on me … and I will answer every time:
(406) 599-9678

Happy New Year!
Big Embraces to you,
With Love, JanBeek

Live Life Forward


I CAN …

If you’ve followed my blog for a week or so, you already know that I journal most days in this little book that is dedicated to my dear and daring daughter, DeAna. I don’t write in it EVERY day, but often I do, when I am up in my sanctuary, motivated by my devotionals. Today was such a day.

Look ahead, my friend
Live Life Forward
Stare out the windshield
Not the rear view mirror

Look toward the future
Find the unexpected gifts
Share the love and grace
You find at every turn

Share the laughter
Share uninhibited joy
Share compassion
Ease each others pain

Find the hidden treasures
‘Neath the tears of sorrow
Let them wash you clean
Ready for tomorrow

Look ahead, my friend
Don’t let the past upset
Live life forward
And bury all regret

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

I have positive thoughts about today.
It’s snowing here…
and it is beautiful outside.
It’s warm and cozy inside.
I pray you are cozy, too.



Thanks for visiting JanBeek
And thank you to all my faithful followers –
Your comments make my day!
See ya tomorrow.

A photo taken from a drone by my friend, Whooter,
showing you how pretty it is
when the snow is beginning to turn things white.
Happy Christmas Weekend!

Never Go Back!


No, I don’t want to go back!
I don’t want to revisit the old normal.
Surely as we move from 2020
to a new year, we’ll create a better normal.

This is my prayer this Christmas:
Lord, help us learn what You
have in mind for us to learn
from this rare year we’ve just survived.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Letter from a Wordsmith

With his permission, I am sharing with you the first part of a Christmas letter I received this week from my former pastor, Rev. Brent Mitchell. He is a master wordsmith! He said what’s in my heart so much better than I could have said it.

“Mark it how you will,
2020 was a year not lost,
but forever to be remembered
for both its absences
and its unexpected gifts.

By the middle of March,
it became apparent that
what we thought as normalcy
had left its predictable confines
for parts unknown,
leaving no forwarding address.

Masked and gloved,
we were left to fend for ourselves
absent even the comfort
of shaking hands
or intimate conversations,
the communion around tables,
camaraderie of birthdays celebrated,
the sacred closeness of hospital visits.

Absent of the humanizing connectivity,
of those familiar and holy intersections,
we were left to laugh alone,
to cry alone,
and hope in seclusion.
It cost us treasures we never knew
were so valuable
and time that cannot be recalled.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“But admit it:
There were unexpected gifts.
There were letters we finally wrote,
the books we never touched until now,
the prolonged stillness that allowed us to think again,
and listen to what our hearts were saying.

We talked to God
because the hours got quiet enough
to hear His still small voice.
It happened because we watched enough TV
to realize we had watched TV enough,
and golden silence gave us gifts
that weren’t insipid.

“I think, in short, that if we were paying attention,
not only did we get older,
but almost certainly wiser
because even a painful awareness
of what lurks in our hearts and minds
is worth more than gold.

The gift was rediscovering
at a visceral level
that we really are never alone;
nor in the absence of everyone,
are we left unloved.

“My prayer is that when this is over,
and it will one day be over,
we won’t forget the things we learned
the hard way this year:
that God willing,
we’ll never go back
to the tired normalcy of endless distractions,
of busyness as usual,
and the noise that never ends.”

The Mitchell Musings
December 2020
Peace to you.
Good Night, my friends.
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve Day.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I leave with you my hopes and wishes
for a most Blessed Christmas.

I CAN Keep it Simple


If you have followed my blog for a month or more,
you have seen this journal before.
The topics are inspired by life and living.
I have written about:
I CAN
Volunteer
Share
Bee Hospitable
Tackle Transitions
etc.

Little did I know when I wrote some of those how difficult some would become. Hospitality requires guests, right? Well, so much for that! Most of our friends are afraid in this pandemic world to socialize.

Little did I know how hard it would become to volunteer. Most of my volunteer activities are forbidden right now. I can’t be a “Purple Lady” at the medical center desk. Our auxiliary couldn’t hold its fund raiser this year. We couldn’t earn the money to donate for new equipment and/or medical supplies as we have done in the past.

Yes, that’s right… $31,700. donated .
And remember, we are a little town of about 1,000 residents!
We couldn’t have our usual Madison Valley
Medical Center Christmas party.

Little did I realize how many opportunities I would have to “Tackle Transitions.” Back in June of 2018 when I wrote on that topic, God knew what was coming, but none of us had a clue. My transitions poem was prophetic:

Times of transition
Can be disconcerting –
Facing the unknown
Running, dodging, skirting.

Life is full of changes;
Nothing stays the same.
Rolling with the punches –
Listening for our name.

In the “roll call” of life,
Showing up to be
Ready for transitions
Sometimes is difficult for me.

But I know the Leader
Is my Maker who decides
What my next assignment is.
In Him my life abides.

So, embrace the coming changes;
Set aside all fear and sorrow.
Joyfully put your hand in His;
He’s gotcha covered for tomorrow.

Choosing JOY in the midst of this pandemic is not easy.
My list of “I Can” do’s has changed this year.
But, I try to keep it positive:

I CAN
Believe
Only Imagine
ReJOYce
Whistle!

You recognize some of those. They became blogging themes.
This morning’s I CAN prompted today’s post:

I CAN
Keep it Simple

No large family gatherings
No stockings stuffed with toys
No sounds of giggling laughter
From excited girls and boys

No trudging through the snow
With accordion on my back
No carols at windows
Or St. Nicholas with his sack

It’s a different sort of year
COVID-19 has changed us quite a lot
We cancelled our travel plans
And we altered what we bought

Christmas Day will be different
We can mourn the things we miss
Or we can vow to keep it simple
Pray for those we cannot kiss

The virus and death took too many –
They’re in Heaven with our Lord
Let us focus on Christ Jesus
And the grace He richly poured.

Believe the Christmas promise
Jesus came to save our souls
Eternity knows no endings
His love comforts and consoles

Keep it Simple!

This nativity is over a hundred years old.
It belonged to my grandmother.
I treasure its simplicity.
My sister is one who went to her eternal home this year.
Sally would have been 83 on December 20th.
Eternity knows know endings.
I will see her again someday.
I Believe!
Thank You, Jesus!!

Have a Beautiful Christmas Week!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See you tomorrow.

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