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How’re You Aging?


Some people seem to have aged like fine wine.  I aged like milk…. I got sour and chunky.

Is 82 old? I’ve spent my life and my blogging career (over a decade now) denying “old” and encouraging vim & vigor!

Now, all of a sudden, as I nurse my bruised and broken left hand, try to type with one hand, and I struggle to cut my pain meds in half so I can welcome normal bowel movements again, I am feeling sour, chunky, and sorry for myself. Ever been there?

Photo by David Garrison on Pexels.com

I have blogged only once or twice in the weeks since my careless trip over the curb and my broken and dislocated left pinky. I try to make light of it.

But I challenge you: Tie your non-dominant hand to your waist. Make it inoperable/immobile. Then leave it like that for two weeks. Try taking a shower, washing your hair, changing the sheets on your bed, slicing meat for a stir-fry, putting on socks, or pulling up your pants. How’s it working?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Believe me, it’s worse than having a finger in a trap! The whole arm and hand are out of commission!
But… true to form, I find comfort in knowing it could be worse!

I drink a toast to the blessings! It coulda been worse! It coulda been the dominant hand or the head or a hip! It coulda been permanent damage. This, too, shall pass!!

So, after all, count your blessings, Jan; you had just gotten a manicure – and you didn’t even break a nail! Now I ask you, how lucky can you be?

Happy Cinco de Mayo came and went! Our granddaughter’s birthday came and went! Mother’s Day came and went! Neighbors and friends came and are still coming to help with meals and household chores. So, I’m smiling and grateful.

I’m aging pretty well! Don’t you think? How about you?

See ya tomorrow, God willing…
Have a Terrific Tuesday.
I send my love,
JanBeek

Guess what? Looking on the bright side and putting on a happy face is NOT the end of your generation!!

Leaning


Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

In today’s culture
The message is to stand up –
Stand on your own feet.

This year’s word is STRENGTH.
My intent was to be strong;
Share vigor with you.

God has other views.
He keeps telling me to lean –
Giving me reasons –

Reasons to reach out
To Him for the strength I need.
Another today:

Surgery needed!

The orthopedist
Said my pinky’s not in place –
Needs a couple pins.

“Count on me,” he said.
“I will help you regain strength –
Full use of your hand.”

It’s scheduled Friday –
Surgery on my pinky.
Leaning on the doc.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

God gives us doctors
When we cannot heal ourselves.
He says, “Lean on them.”

God gives us neighbors
When we need acts of kindness.
He says, “Bee grateful!”

Our Savior saves us
When we cannot save ourselves.
He says, “Lean on Me!”

I may have to learn
To accept strength from others –
Can’t be strong alone!

Single-handedly,
I feel slightly “hand”icapped.
God says, “Lean on me!”

Have you ever felt
Too weak to accomplish all
You have on your plate?

Who did you lean on?

Sometimes when we ask
God for the strength that we need,
He sends us earth angels.

My neighbor, a retired nurse who lives in CA part of the year, just texted. She asked about my hand. When I told her about the upcoming surgery, she wrote, “We will be there to help and if you have any questions, we know stuff :o)”

See … earth angel on her way! And her husband is a brilliant physiologist. He’s part of the “we” she’s talking about! Yup, they “know stuff.” Hah! It will be comforting and helpful to have them back in the “hood.” Just in time! God is good … all the time!

When Our Daily Bread posted on this subject, it wrote:

“We may not be able to touch Jesus physically,
but we can entrust the weightiest circumstances of our lives to Him.
He said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28).

How blessed we are to have a Savior
whom we can trust to be faithful
through every circumstance of our lives!

Are you ‘leaning’ on Him today?”

I am leaning on Jesus,
and
I am Leaning on Bob, too!
He’s an earth angel God sent to me.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Expectations


Frank Solanki

in his blog titled

Marriage Is A Strange Equation

published yesterday, April 24, 2022,
wrote this poem:

Marriage is a strange equation where
You take 1 Person
Add another Person
You get a Couple
So far so good
Now you add 0 Expectations to it
And you get infinite Love
Mind-boggling!

I wrote to Frank saying, “Hmmm… zero expectations? How do you do that?”
He responded, “I guess we should try and reduce it little by little. Eventually, it will get to zero.”

What do you think? Do you agree that zero expectations = infinite love?

Bob & me on our 59th

I follow Frank’s blog along with over 22,700 other admirers of his poetry. If you will forgive me, I wish to rewrite his latest. It seems to me that marriage does not have to be a strange equation. It can be:

The Perfect Equation

Marriage can be a perfect equation when
You take one person
Add another person
And get a couple
Then you add the Love of Christ
Next place the Holy Spirit in the center
You add God’s expectations of compassion
Mix in the joy of respect and faithfulness
And you get unconditional, infinite love
Now, that’s Mind-boggling!

Celebrated 60 years in February

True Friendship requires the same equation!
Take one person, add another, stir in Christ’s love
Center the Holy Spirit between you and
Sprinkle generously with compassion and respect
Remain faithful to one another, and
Keep a confidential, active, listening ear
You get unconditional, infinite love.
Isn’t that mind-boggling?

If you were asked to create a collage of true friends who epitomize that equation, who would you include? Long-time friends, family, neighbors, church friends, internet friends, friends in heaven, those you haven’t met yet? Think about it! My collages below are by no means complete… but for starters:

Are you a reliable friend?
Do you see yourself fitting into the equation?
Does your collage of friends include
those neighbors who stick “closer than a brother”?

Marriage and Friendship
are related!
They both carry with them
great expectations!

Proverbs 18:24

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Knowing I was hurting physically because I fell and disclocated/broke my pinky finger, friends sent cards, delivered food, sent texts, called, and dropped by. Did I EXPECT such an outpouring? Not at all! But did it do the trick? You bet! Those friends delivered the cheer and encouragement that we all need when we are feeling blue or tired or sick or (as in my case) a little stupid and careless.

Knowing my granddaughter and I were hurting emotionally because she just learned of and shared with me the news of her miscarriage, friends called, wrote, texted, responded on my blog & on FB, and reached out to Hope as well. Did we expect such an outpouring? No! But was it helpful and appreciated? You bet!

Thank You – It does help!
Does God EXPECT us to do so?
Yes!

Hebrews 10:24-25
Let us think of ways to motivate one another
to acts of love and good works.
And let us not neglect our meeting together,
as some people do,
but encourage one another

The Bible is full of expectations for us.
God expects us to lift one another up.
He commands us…
The greatest of these is
LOVE.
His last and final commandment:
Love one another!

Reach out to a friend today.
Reach out in love.
Do you do it because you expect something in return?
Of course!

My mom always told me,
“Whatever you send into the life of others
comes back into your own.”


(I’m sure she read that
in the Bible somewhere!)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love & Marriage –
Go together like
a horse & carriage!


Who’s in your collage of friends today?
Tell ’em about it!


(
Share my blog with ’em!!)

Bee Comforted


Just as the bees in a hive look out for one another, our WordPress community reaches out and cares for one another. Thank you all for your words of support and comfort during this time of pain and loss. Your words are sweet as honey!

Your comforting words remind me of this scripture:

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Not only did I present my request to God, but I told you, my friends, about our troubles: my fall and subsequent dislocated & broken finger, and our granddaughter’s miscarriage. From the goodness of your hearts, you reached out with words of encouragement. Thank you so much!

My hand is bruised and wrinkly – and the fingers are braced to keep the broken pinky immobile, but this will heal… and the good news is that it was my finger and not my head that took the brunt of the fall. I have an appointment next week with an orthopedic hand specialist. Hopefully no further intervention will be needed.

In the case of Hope and Drew (my granddaughter and her hubby), prayers are appreciated for their family as they move forward. Finding that she had lost the fetus, Hope’s comment was, “Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.” It was early in her pregnancy – and that’s a blessing. I think it is much harder when the baby is more developed, the sex is determined, and the parents are preparing their home and hearts for the new addition. In this case, they had not quite adjusted to the idea of a third child yet. So, we are just thanking God for the blessing of the two they already have… and praying for their well being.

I pray for more time to be with them, too… Children are such a blessing! God is good – especially when He allows us to live long enough to see our children’s children have children. Don’t you agree?

During this week following Holy Week, we still are in awe of the Easter miracle… and our minds are comforted by the resurrection message. We remember that this is the week when Jesus showed Himself to the disciples in the Upper Room. He returned to let Thomas touch His nail scarred hands and his pierced side. (I bet Jesus’ hands hurt more than mine does right now!)

He talked with His followers who were on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), and was seen by hundreds before His ascension. Jesus’ words are a comfort to us all! Listen to them in song:

Bee Comforted!
Let not your heart be troubled.


In yesterday’s Mornings with Jesus
Dianne Neal Matthews wrote,
“Remember how Christ felt concern
for His disciples’ well-being
and sought to comfort them…
He paid a high price
so I can know supernatural peace
in all circumstances…
His soul was troubled
so mine doesn’t have to be,
regardless of what I face.”

I am thankful it was:

  • my left hand, not my dominant one
  • my finger, not my head that broke
  • early on in Hope’s pregnancy not the last trimester – and she’s OK
  • God’s concern for mankind that sent His Son to earth
  • His sacrifice that assures me of eternal life
  • your words of encouragement that comforted me

Thank you!!

Oh, and this is the day that my youngest granddaughter, Faith, who lives in CA with her husband and a new little girl, Mable, is celebrating her 26th birthday! Happy Birthday, Faith!! That’s another reason to be thankful, right?

Happy Birthday, Faith!!

Have a blessed weekend,
my friends. I send my love.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Best Laid Plans


Sometimes best laid plans
can definitely abort.
They did yesterday.

You may recall that
I was hoping to meet kids –
Yes, my great-grandkids.

And I was concerned
about my granddaughter, Hope,
at the hospital.

She came yesterday
with her hubby and two kids,
but I wasn’t there.

I ended up in
the Emergency Room…
A weird accident!

I misjudged the step
up onto the sidewalk curb.
Fell forward quickly.

My little finger
caught all of my body’s weight.
Dislocated it!

Sooooo…

I didn’t get to
hold my granddaughter’s hand –
or eat lunch with them.

Oh, what a bummer!
But my troubles are so small
compared to others.

Hope was expecting
our great-grandchild number 5.
Today she lost her.

A broken finger
pales in comparison.
My heart reaches out.

Yes, our best laid plans
can disappear in a flash –
or a careless fall.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

In your great despair,
keep thoughts always positive.
Let lessons teach you.

Slow down and beware!
Let your errs make you wiser.
No, never despair!

Know that Christ Jesus
is with you in your troubles.
Rely on His love.

Psalm 34:17-18

When the righteous cry for help,
the Lord hears and delivers them
out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

My prayers go out to Hope & Drew.

I look to the Lord
in whom my strength and healing
abides and helps me.

Pray with me today, will you?

“Dear Heavenly Father,
Be with Hope and Drew as they mourn
the loss of their unborn baby.
Help them understand Your will
and know the blessing of the two they have.
Be with me (Jan) and the finger
that needs to heal…
Provide comfort –
– and the lesson to be learned.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.”

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
and expressing your love
and concern for us.

I appreciate you.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

What’s Good About Good Friday?


That was the question we explored at tonight’s Good Friday service:
What’s Good About Good Friday?

Yesterday in my post titled, “Last Words,”
I promised I’d tell you about our Good Friday service.
I told you our pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds,
had selected passages from scripture
that recorded Jesus’ last words.

I shared a few of Jesus’ last words spoken that
last Friday … words that were memorable to me:

  1. Mark 14: 24-25 = Last supper – blood of the covenant poured out for you
  2. Mark 14:27-31 = Prediction of Peter’s denial
  3. Mark 14:35-36 = Take this cup from me…
  4. Mark 14:42-43 = Are you still sleeping? … the betrayer is coming
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

But those quotes were from Jesus’ last conversations with His disciples
before He was arrested… before He was hung on the cross.

Tonight’s “Last Words” were from the cross:

  1. Luke 23: 33-34 = “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
  2. Luke 23: 39-43 = “Truly I tell you, you will be with me…”
  3. John 19: 25-27 = “Woman, here is your son…”
  4. Matthew 27: 45-49 = “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  5. John 28: 28-29 = “I am thirsty”
  6. Luke 23: 44-46 = “Father, into Your hands…”
  7. John 19: 30 = “It is finished.”

The selection that was mine to read was #4. I practiced it a lot and still goofed up when I tried to read it orally because the scripture tells it in the language Jesus spoke: “Eloi! Eloi! Lama sabachthani!” I can say it just fine sitting here at my computer – but in front of the congregation? Put on the spot? I faked it! I hope most didn’t notice. I’m sure Jesus forgives me!

Each of us who read was invited to create and share a reflection and a prayer related to our selection.
Here is what I said: “Like Jesus, there are times in our lives when we are in great suffering or turmoil, and we feel God has forsaken us. The Good News is He never has and He never will.”

That’s what’s Good about Good Friday!

Jesus took away our sin. He died for us. Because of His life, death, and resurrection, we can dare to approach God knowing He will never forsake us. Never!

My prayer was this:

“O God, You are our hope and our salvation.
Your Son is our gift, our gateway, our guide.
We thank You for His sacrifice for our sake
that we might be assured of Life Eternal
with You in Heaven.

Thank You for never forsaking us
when we enter Your presence in faith.
We give You our hearts and gratitude.
Amen.”


Tomorrow is “Silent Saturday.”
I will not blog.

I’ll be busy Easter Sunday
with sunrise service and church
and guests here for dinner.
(Hopefully my granddaughter, Hope,
and her hubby and two children,
Xander & Sienna,
will be among the guests)

I bet you will be busy
doing meaningful things
this weekend also.
Happy Easter!

See ya Monday (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

His Last Words


It’s Maundy Thursday!

On this day,
Jesus washed the disciples’ feet;
He shared the Last Supper with them;
He revealed that one of them would betray Him,
He told them where He was going:

Mark 14: 24-25

24 “This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Before Jesus and the disciples left the Upper Room,
they sang a hymn. I wonder what hymn they sang?
This morning in my devotionals,
I learned the definition of “Hymn.”
According to this morning’s Daily Word,
it is not just a song sung ABOUT God,
it is a song sung TO God.

I am going to pretend I was there,
and I got to pick the hymn
to sing with the disciples and Jesus.

What hymn would YOU choose?

Mark 14:26
“When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

There on the Mount of Olives,
Jesus predicted Peter’s denial.

Mark 14:27-31

27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:

“‘I will strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep will be scattered.’[a]

28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”

30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice[b] you yourself will disown me three times.”

31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

Sure enough!
Before the rooster crowed twice,
Peter had indeed denied knowing Christ.

Would I have been brave enough
to admit I was one of His disciples
if I were in Peter’s shoes?

When Jesus went off by Himself
to pray to His Father
because
He was “overwhelmed with sorrow
to the point of death,”
Jesus told three of His disciples,
“Stay here and keep watch.”

Mark 14:35-36
35 Going a little farther,
he fell to the ground and prayed that
if possible the hour might pass from him.
36 “Abba,[a] Father,” he said,
“everything is possible for you.
Take this cup from me.
Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

While He prayed, all three disciples fell asleep!

Would I have been the one disciple
who managed to stay awake
when Jesus went off alone
to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane?
Probably not!
I would have heard Jesus say:

Mark 14:42-43

“Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough!
The hour has come.
Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.
42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

At tomorrow’s Good Friday service, we will focus on the last words of Jesus. Our pastor has chosen seven scriptural passages to capture that last day with the disciples before His arrest and trial and crucifixion. Some of them are those quoted above. Tune in tomorrow and I’ll let you know which of Jesus’ last words I will have the privilege of reading at the Good Friday service.

Meantime, we’re headed for the Maundy Thursday service. I wonder what Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds will do for this evening’s devotional? It’s another “first” in our fresh-out-of-seminary pastor. Such a blessing!

Thanks for joining me for today’s post.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love ya,
JanBeek


Giving Your All


Mark 12:41-44

And he sat down opposite the treasury
and watched the people putting money into the offering box.
Many rich people put in large sums.
And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins,
which make a penny.
And he called his disciples to him
and said to them,
“Truly, I say to you,
this poor widow has put in more
than all those who are contributing to the offering box.
For they all contributed out of their abundance,
but she out of her poverty
has put in everything she had,
all she had to live on.”

Our dear neighbor, Scott, came by today.
He brought his shovel and gave us his all!
All the energy he had stored up he poured out!

Our front porch was buried in snow.
Our TazE’s exit from the kitchen door was blocked
with over a foot of snow.
The sidewalk approaching our house
was covered with over 2 feet of snow
that the wind had blown as a drift yesterday.

When Scott left, the porch and entry were cleared.
The sidewalk is passable, so UPS and FedEx
can deliver the package we are expecting today.
And TazE was able to go out
and do her business.
Hooray!

The robins who were hovering
under the patio chairs yesterday
are dancing in the trees today.
The sun is out – melting the snow
that had clung to the branches.

Happy Holy Week, my friends.
Scott gave us his all!
He was exhausted when he finished.
God bless him!

Jesus gave His all!
How much energy – how many coins –
are we willing to give?

I send my love to you, my friends.
Have a Wonderful Wednesday!
See ya tomorrow … Maundy Thursday…
Hugs, JanBeek

Donkey Sunday


I met this donkey in England
while visiting Jackie & Derrick Knight!

Sermon Notes

Our message at church today was an interesting one.
Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds shared a story about a
clerical friend of hers who renamed Palm Sunday
“Donkey Sunday” because the palm leaves show up
in only some of the Gospels, but the donkey is in all four!

Power in Love

Royalty who rode donkeys
were considered a disgrace.
But the throng didn’t mind
How Jesus entered the place.

Power is a social contract.
It’s a constructed idea for us.
However it is not a given –
Except in the case of Jesus.

Christ Power is a given.
In the beginning was Light,
And the Light was God who
Came from darkness into sight.

Jesus Christ came from Light.
Through God all things were created.
Jesus was not just made…
He always was. And I’m elated!

Because He came, I know
That He will come again.
He has the power to save us all.
His power can save us from our sin.

Think about the presence
Of power in our lives.
When do you exercise it?
Control it, friends, ’til Christ arrives!

He entered Jerusalem on a donkey

The donkey is a symbol of humility.
The King of Kings came not to reign
Over the rulers of this earthly kingdom.
He came in love to display His own domain.

His kingdom is not on earth.
Instead, it is in eternity…
The place He has reserved
For believers like you and me.

Today might be called “Donkey Sunday.”
It is the day Christ rode to town
On the back of this lowly animal.
Praise God, His Son came down!


Power was His –
But He exchanged it
For humility and love
And expressed it with compassion.

Happy Donkey Week, my friends.
May the Power of the Holy Spirit
Be expressed in you
Through Love and Humility.

Our pastor,
Mary Grace Reynolds,
with me.

Thanks for your message, Rev. Reynolds.
I pray my sermon notes did it justice.

Have blessed Holy Week, my friends.
Love,
JanBeek

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

101st Birthday


(Updated from yesterday with the link I promised)

My friend in our local senior living center is in his 101st year on earth. Next week he’ll celebrate another birthday. We want to have a special party … a wheelchair parade … with balloons and horns and a lot of hoopla. But he’ll have none of that. No siree! Just celebrate it with all the other April birthdays … don’t make no big deal about it.

But it IS a big deal! Don’t you agree?

Do you know how many sunrises and sunsets that is? More than I care to count! However, God bless him, my friend can count them all. His mind is still sharp as a rack. How does he do that?

I need to go ask my friend, Anita. She’s about ready to celebrate her 100th, and she’s sharp as a tack, too! Stay tuned. I’ll get the secrets from both of them … and I’ll share it here. I wanna get to be 100 and still have all my marbles in place, too.

I already know one of Anita’s secrets. Keep busy doin’ for others! She was a member of our Montana’s Senior Companion Program well into her 90s! Always out there “helping the old folks” by taking them to their doctor appointments, helping them get their groceries, shoveling their walks, you name it! What an inspiration!

Another senior friend of mine, Carol Orr, was in her 90s when this picture of her and me was taken. Like Anita, she kept her marbles polished and in place.

I asked Carol a few years after this photo
to share with me some of her life lessons –
and I posted a blog about that about a decade ago.
I’ll find it and give you a link tomorrow.

As promised, here is that link to Carol’s Life Lessons.
Hah! Time flies… it wasn’t a decade.
This link says it was only 3 years ago
– on Carol’s 95th birthday:
https://janbeek.blog/2019/07/28/95-years-of-life-lessons/

Meantime, I want you to ponder that 101 birthday coming up. S’pose he should have a parade just for him? Maybe not, if he doesn’t want it. But, shouldn’t we do SOMEthing special?

Paul Soren made a suggestion below. I like his idea. Don’t you?

Have a Happy Day, my friends.
It’s a beautiful, blue sky springtime day here in Ennis, MT.
Time to go plant some iris
in honor of our new great-granddaughter,
Mable Iris McSparron.

What are you planning to do today?

See ya later – alligator!!

Love, JanBeek

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