Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Montana’ Category

3 Things You Need


What do you think might be three things you need in life?

Freedom of expression is one of my needs.

You NEED food, air and water. But do you need to impress? Is recognition one of your needs? That’s linked to that need to impress.

I found this quote some time ago and saved it. Sorry I don’t know who said or wrote it:

“To thrive in life you need three bones.
A wishbone.
A backbone.
And a funny bone.”

Hah!

I saved the wish bone from our Thanksgiving turkey!
I’m waiting for the right person to share it with.

I’ve got the funny bone – carry it with me always.

Think I’ll borrow that backbone up there!
(Actually mine is pretty sturdy!)

How about you?

Do butterflies need a backbone?

It’s been a busy season in these six days of December so far. What have you been up to?

Today I invited a friend come to our house mid-day, and she helped me decorate our Christmas tree.. It looks great, don’t you agree?

Last night we helped my friend, Bernice, celebrate her 87th birthday. Take a look at her. Don’t you agree she could pass for 70?

This morning I baked cookies to donate to our Madison County Library. They gave them to people who came by the Library during this afternoon’s “Christmas Stroll” in Ennis.

After baking cookies, I met with our Madison County Writers’ Group – and we spent a delightful hour and a half together. We started with a “Free Write” on the topic we drew from a hat… My Favorite Season. We had 15 minutes to create an essay, poem, or some kind of reflection on the topic. This is what I wrote:

My Favorite Season

Seasons come and seasons go
There are winters, summers, falls and springs;
But the season that appeals most to me
Is the one that stays because of what it brings.

It brings my favorite music and stunning colors.
It brings loving generosity and untold joys.
It prompts people throughout the world
To open hearts with gifts for needy girls and boys.

The trees all sparkle with snow and lights.
The houses hang wreaths and let candles glow.
The bells ring out to announce the reason
For my favorite season: the birth of Christ, you know?

The season brings out the best in us.
It helps us open wide our arms in love
To show gratitude for the gift He promises
Eternal life with our God above.

Merry Christmas!

After Writers’ Group, I went home to do the Christmas tree decorating before going to meet with the “Ennis Ringers.” We had our picture on the front page of the local paper this week. Can you see me front and center back row?

The Madisonian, our local newspaper published a nice article about us this week. I am first in the picture below. My bells are the smallest ones (notes of F and G ring out when I am in the right spot in the music).

I would post a video so you can hear us, but for some reason, WordPress is not allowing me to include it here. I’ve posted videos in the past, so I don’t understand the glitch.

Oh well, maybe it will let me post the video tomorrow. As the news article indicates, the “Ennis Ringers” will play again this Sunday at our church.

Yesterday I had fun at our annual Madison Valley Woman’s Club Christmas luncheon. My buddy, Lucy Ennis can be seen here in red with one of our new members who is an activities director at our local nursing home.

The ladies from the nursing home really went all out with their Christmas costumes. There’s evidence of that “Funny Bone” we all need!

Below is one of my favorite people, Bev Claussen. Her reindeer antlers light up and blink!

Remember a second bone we all need is a “Back bone.” Our Woman’s Club Executive Board is the “back bone” of this very active group of ladies. They provided a delicious lunch for the more than 50 ladies who showed up for this event. (Remember, we are a community of only 1,000 residents in Ennis – so this is quite a lively organization!).

Besides the back bone and the funny bone, we need a wish bone, right? And we need food, air and shelter. Here you see the food; earlier you saw the butterfly that adorns the air we breathe. And in my home, with the tree decorated, you witnessed my beautiful “shelter.” What about the wish bone?

Before she blew out her candles. my friend, Bernice made a wish.

I don’t know what her wish was, but I know my wishes are for you:

May you always have
all the good food,
clean air,
and lovely shelter you need.
May you always have
a back bone,
a funny bone,
and a wish bone.
And
May the bells of joy
ring in your land
and bring you peace…

… now and forever.

Amen!
What are your wishes for me?

Thanks for visiting.
See ya tomorrow!

Gratitude and Joy


I live gratefully
With thanks for family and friends
Gratitude brings joy

The Flights Were Great!

I hope you had a joy-filled day of gratitude, too – on that day we call Thanksgiving here in the USA. We arrived safely (thanks to my niece, Jodie) at the Pittsburgh airport around 5: AM. Our flight to Minneapolis arrived on time, with no difficulties – and we had a nice breakfast in their lovely airport. The 6:15 AM flight to Bozeman was on time and encountered no problems.

Problems Began After Landing

The problems came after we landed in Bozeman, MT and Bob tried to find our car in long-term parking. He wandered in the wrong parking lot for a half hour before realizing the car was in the next lot over. By then, I knew he was in some kind of trouble as I stood in the warmth of the airport with our luggage waiting for him.

I prayed to God, “Please help Bob solve whatever trouble he has encountered.”

Prayer Works

About that same time, Bob reported later, he realized he had not sought God’s help, so he also prayed to find the car. That’s when God nudged him to go to the next parking lot over… and sure enough, there it was. BUT, it was covered in snow… and the snow had more than one layer during the time we were gone. The under-layer was iced on.

Be Prepared

Anyone who has lived through a winter in this part of the world, should know what to carry in the trunk of your car. An emergency kit needs to include a blanket or two, gloves, a hat or two, an ice/snow scraper, etc. Our trunk had a can of de-icer and a blanket, but none of the rest of those items. It took Bob 20 minutes to clear away enough of the ice and snow to make the car safe to drive.

Yes, we know what we need to add to our emergency supply to be prepared in the future!

Home Safely

It was snowing lightly as we began the 60 miles toward home, but it let up as we crossed over the mountain pass and followed the Madison River into Madison County and our valley. The roads were clear – and we praised God for a wonderful homecoming!

Family Greeted Us

At home, we were greeted by our son, his wife, two grand-daughters and their husbands, and two of our great-grandchildren. Happy Thanksgiving!! The smell of turkey assailed my nostrils when I opened the door – and hugs all around said, “Welcome Home!”

Hail, hail, the gang’s all here!
Xander, our great-grandson
Monika, our daughter-in-law, with Sienna, our great-granddaughter
Ty, our son, with TazE, our dog

I am grateful to our dear friends, Gail & Harold, who took care of TazE while we were gone.

Here’s our granddaughter, Hope, with Sienna
The smell of turkey roasting was so inviting!
The sweet potatoes are ready for the marshmallows

It was a wonderful meal…
and great fellowship.
I hope you had a great day, too.
Now on to “Black Friday!”

Some call this “Black Friday” –
a day when merchants encourage shoppers
to come to their stores – big sales everywhere!

Only Thing Black

The only thing black about today for me is my coffee and the night sky! I am up early and enjoying some quiet time.

I hope yours is a Fabulous Friday with delicious coffee (or tea) to warm you inside, and a cozy home filled with love to warm you through and through.

Eternally Grateful

While my family is still asleep, I am up in my sanctuary, thanking God for:

  • answered prayers
  • a safe trip to Pennsylvania and back
  • the chance to see my sis in her new setting
  • the generosity of my niece, Jodie, and her husband, Bill
  • the gracious hospitality of the McSparrons in Kutztown, PA
  • the opportunity to participate in a bit of the life of Liam, our great-nephew
  • Liam’s big heart and wonderful work ethic
  • the love and care my niece, Jodie, gives to her family and my sis (her mom)
  • our son and his family who greeted us with love and a luscious Thanksgiving dinner when we returned home

Life is Good!

Bee Happy – Bee Grateful – Take Joy!

You are loved!
See ya later.

Up, Up and Away!


Up over Big Sky
Here we come, Pennsylvania!
I get to see Sis!

Safe flights!!

I pray that you have a good day, too.
See ya later!

God’s Miracle: Church


Sermon notes from today’s service in Ennis. Montana – Rev. Steve Hundley
Taken in poetry as I listened – written through JanBeek’s filters.

Church: A Miracle of God

I can’t scold you today –
Not because we are in this place,
Not because I’m in a good mood,
But because of the love in this space.

Because of the words of Paul
(the ones our Paul read so well today),
I am encouraged to join in
With what Gentle Jesus had to say.

He wrote to the Thessalonians
While he was out traveling, making a tent,
“We were gentle among you,” He said.
“We spoke soft words – whispered encouragement.”

Paul’s words to other churches
Were not so gentle and kind.
But to the Thessalonians, He set aside
Sternness – and praised the ties that bind.

The Gospel is a powerful book.
It can and does transform lives.
We are astonished at how God’s Word
Teaches, changes folks, lives, and survives.

The church, like the one in Thessalonica,
Is a place where people love and give.
They pray for you, they stay with you,
They make life better and help you live.

Our old church in McAllister, Montana was built in the early 1900s.
It has no running water, so when we use it for church services
once a year, we have to rent a porta-potty, chase the mice away,
and clean the mouse droppings from the chairs and alter.

But, it is a place that reminds of how simple God’s church can be.
It doesn’t have to be a large, elaborate cathedral to be worshipful.

Photo by Adrienn on Pexels.com

It is not the building that makes a church. In the early days, many of the “church services” were held in people’s homes. Some people in today’s world still hold their worship services in living rooms, tents, or on an open hillside. The Miracle of God that is His Church is not the place, but the people.

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Wherever we gather, with the focus on worship of our God, He is with us.
That’s what Paul was telling the church of Thessalonica.

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 was what
our scripture volunteer,
Paul Carlson, read to us today:

“Surely you remember, brothers and sisters,
our toil and hardship;
we worked night and day
in order not to be a burden to anyone
while we preached the gospel of God to you.
You are witnesses, and so is God,
of how holy, righteous, and blameless
we were among you who believed.
For you know that we dealt with each of you
as a father deals with his own children,
encouraging, comforting and urging you
to live lives worthy of God,
who calls you into His kingdom and glory.
And we also thank God continually because,
when you received the word of God,
which you heard from us,
you accepted it not as a human word,
but as it actually is, the word of God,
which is indeed at work in you who believe.”

As Christians, members of His Church, that is our goal: to hear His Word, and respond to it by encouraging, comforting, and urging fellow Christians to live lives that demonstrate He is indeed at work in us. That is what makes our church “God’s Miracle.” Not the building, but we, the people.

Whether we are in our old McAllister treasure, or our salmon-colored church in downtown Ennis, our job is to love one another, support one another, and spread the Word to those who may not know the Peace of Christ that “passeth all understanding.”

Philippians 4:7
“And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.”

Photo by Nitin Arya on Pexels.com

God Bless You, my friends.
I hope you have the joy
of a supportive church family.
And I pray that you are one of those
who is God’s hand at work in this world.
Have a lovely Sunday night.

See ya tomorrow.

Mom’s Sunrise


Today is my mom’s birthday. She’d be 104 today. I woke early and was greeted by this gorgeous sunrise peeking over the beautiful Madison Range.

As I zoomed in on it, it became more vibrant.

Orange was my mom’s favorite color. Good morning, Mom! I see you smiling down from heaven. I remember your best days, and set aside the years when Alzheimer’s robbed you of the sparkle, the tenacity, and the wisdom that marked your best days.

Mom & Dad’s wedding picture 1937
Mom & Dad’s 30th Anniversary
Mom wore her Rebekah Lodge badges with honor and dignity.

Always involved in activities, Mom loved the Rebekahs (female branch of the Odd Fellows), and her bridge club, which weekly met in our living room. Even into her 80’s she loved her 20-Ands Club. She represented a lot of “Ands.” She was an impeccable dresser, beautifully groomed. Managed always to stay fit. She was probably the person who invented the “Selfie”!!

I wrote this poem on December 18, 2004 with Mom in mind. I used phrases she spoke in her last weeks on earth. She was big on giving orders – right up to her last days – even telling God when to take her “home.” She died the day after I composed this, on December 19th.

Before I Die

Before I leave this earth
I have a few requests
Listen up, my dears,
Tomorrow there’ll be tests.

Take my diamond necklace
And convert it into cash.
Use it for my funeral,
Then live life within the dash.

It’s too late for me, friends,
To change the things I’ve done;
But you have time to listen
And teach others of God’s Son.

“The Dash” is all the years
Between birth and when you die.
Those in-between years
Are where your stories lie.

Take my gold and silver,
Go out and help the poor.
Make amends for all the years
I lived from store to store.

Take my many angels,
Give them to folks who are
Ill, hurting, or lonely.
Tell them about the star:

The star of Bethlehem that
Was where the angels went
To see the newborn baby –
Our Lord from Heaven sent.

Take my many clothes and find
Folks who are in need.
Take the food that I have stashed.
Go to the hungry. Feed!

Take my shoes and slippers.
Take them all and give
Them to the cold and homeless.
Help them to warmer live.

Take my chairs and tables,
The lamps and bedding, too.
Give them to a Home or Mission.
They’ll help out quite a few.

Then look around your house, friends.
And see the excess treasure.
Take it to the needy.
You’ll be blessed beyond all measure.

Live your life within the dash
In loving generosity.
Before you leave this earth,
Reach out in pure humility.

Take your gold and silver.
Go out and help the poor.
God will bless you richly, and
You will never want for more.

Her diamond necklace DID pay for her funeral!

And we did give most of her angels away – my friend/former student, Lorei, hung them with a note on the doorknobs of the other residents at her care facility where mom lived. Mom had dozens of angels in her collection! And, we gave her clothes and other “stuff” to the people and places that could use them.

However, I have a few of her angels in my “Sanctuary” upstairs. My maiden name is “DeAngeles” (translates to “of angels” – in Italian). Mom lives in me… and today I celebrate her sunrise, her best qualities, and the gifts she instilled in me: self-confidence, unconditional love, tenacity, and a love of poetry.

Happy Birthday, Mom!
I am “Living in the Dash” just as you taught me.

What qualities did your mom instill in you??

Have a blessed Friday, my friends.
See ya later.

Quilts of Valor


Today our Ennis Arts Association had a guest speaker, Kathy Coontz, who represents the Federation, Quilts of Valor, in our state of Montana. Kathy is such an inspiration!! I love her quilts and her enthusiasm.

Happy Kathy Coontz

Can you see what a delight she is?

The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a nation-wide service effort that delivers quilts to service members and veterans. Its mission is to cover service men and women and veterans touched by our war(s) with comforting and healing hugs in the form of beautiful, warm, red, white and blue quilts.

Kathy w quilt

Kathy told us the recipients do not have to have served in a “declared war.” Regardless of the conflict or the branch of service, the rank or the job (Clerk Typist Specialist 4 – behind a desk in Germany in 1961-2 was my husband’s job), we owe them a thank you for their service to our country. The quilts are stitched with love, prayers, gratitude, and healing thoughts. It’s the quilters’ way of saying, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice, and valor.”

3 veterans - QOV

In their brochure explaining the program, QOV quoted one recipient, a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan from ’05 to ’07.

Spc. JMcK, US Army, wrote,
“As silly as it might sound for a soldier with over three years in Iraq and Afghanistan to say, that blanket became a true item of comfort and peace for the road ahead.”

If you know a U.S. service man or woman or a veteran who might appreciate a Quilt of Valor, you can log on to http://www.QOVF.org and fill out an application. You also can discover on that site how to donate to the cause, join the organization, or designate a gift for a specific QOVF group or particular state.

It was a wonderful presentation. I wish more people in our Madison Valley had been there to hear Kathy’s message.

Do you have a Quilts Of Valor organization near you? Or do you know of a veteran who’d benefit? Think about it! There’s nothing like a warm blanket hug! My daughter DeDe sent me a blanket hug for Christmas last year. I love it!!

Jan - blanket hugSee ya later.

 

 

 

Sparkling Montana Morning


I sat down to eat
Breakfast on this cold morning
Amazing outside!

The grasses sparkled
Like diamonds placed there by God –
My jeweled morning gift!

I want to share it
With you and my neighbors, too
(The ones who are gone)

Happy November 1st

What’s your November 1st look like?
Yesterday it was cold, but no frost.
Today it sparkles!
What a gift!!

See ya later

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