Bloganuary #17 “What’s a Super Power You’d Like to Have?”
I answered the question earlier today, interpreting it as a “Secret Power” – and those answers still stand.
But, I have had time to do my devotionals this morning – and I’ve listened to a few podcasts – and I’ve given this question greater thought.
It’s a Super Power… not just a secret power! Here’s my answer to THAT question for today:
I’d like to have the Super Power to listen with my heart – truly listen to others – and see into their heart, their intent behind their words. In Bayside Church’s devotional on-line today, Kevin Thompson spoke to this issue of listening. Here’s what he said:
“Consider the power of listening. When we hear another person, we see them, value them, place their voice above our own. We restrain ourselves to give them space to speak. Sincere listening is born of humility. It is a genuine act of love. When we fail to listen, we are elevating ourselves above others. We arrogantly assume we already know what they might say or believe they can add no value to our lives. Planning our response when someone else is talking instead of truly hearing what they have to say is a sign of pride. Refusing to see and hear other people is one of the most dehumanizing acts we can take.
“When Jesus commands that we love our neighbors, one way we should do so is to listen to them. That’s not the whole command, but it’s part of it.
“So, which neighbors are you failing to hear? Too often, our lives become echo chambers in which the only people who have our ears are those with whom we agree. People with the same experience, perspective, and understanding provide the voices that influence us. Yet love calls us to a different way. Christians should have the most diverse voices influencing us because we believe everyone is created in the image of God, every person has value and purpose, and we understand the limits to our knowledge and experience.
“Imagine the difference love/listening could make in our world. Where authentic listening takes place marriages flourish. In a world of political divisions, what if the church modeled listening and loving people with whom we disagree politically. In a society divided among socioeconomic and racial divides, what could the church offer if we went out of our way to know, hear, understand, and love those with different backgrounds, upbringings, and experiences than we have?
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE LOVED OUR NEIGHBORS—EVERY NEIGHBOR?
“The fantastic news of faith is that the God of Heaven has given us access to His ear at any moment. He invites us to speak to Him on an ongoing basis. This changes how we use our tongues. But it also changes how we use our ears. Receiving God’s invitation to hear from us, we begin to extend our ears to those to whom we otherwise might not listen. We seek to value them, learn from them, and be in a relationship with a diverse community.
Who is a neighbor you are not currently listening to? Start listening with your heart today.”
It actually doesn’t take a Super Power to listen with your heart … but to see inside the speaker’s heart to their intent … well, that might take a special gift from God – ya think?
Sending love ❤️ and prayers for your health and happiness. It’s so good to be home!
I just returned from my annual physical. In spite of a residual cough from this RSV, my dear doctor tells me I am no longer contagious – and I’ve been given a clean bill of health. Hooray! Bob’s feeling good, too. Thanks for your loving prayers!
Thank you for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow(God willing)
Oh, and tell me – what’s a Super Power you’d like to have?
Bloganuary#17 – “What is a Secret Power You’d Like to Have?”
I want the secret power to have wisdom in all circumstances. I want the secret power to turn all tears to laughter and joy. I want the secret power to end all wars and create everlasting peace on earth. I want the secret power to make Believers of all doubters so we all can meet in eternity someday.
Although the flow May feel like a free fall, Embrace the flow. There’s Someone at your call.
He’s right there to catch you When you’re about to land. He won’t let you crash – He’ll hold out His hand!
Yesterday Bob & I dashed off to Bozeman for three reasons – and there ended up being four… oh actually five:
Drop off his pickup at “Dark Horse Snug Tops” to replace the hinge on his hatch cover
Go to an appointment with the nephrologist (what’s that? -the doctor who deals with the branch of medicine related to physiology and diseases of the kidneys-)
Keep an appointment with the cardiologist (you all know that’s a heart doctor), and an unexpected
X-ray of his abdomen… oh, and I was there for a 5th reason:
To shop for the veggies to make vegetable soup for tomorrow’s fellowship at church
We were hoping that the nephrologist would say his kidneys show no signs of protein or amyloid deposits – and so a biopsy would not be necessary. God answered that prayer!
We were hoping the cardiologist would say all the preliminary tests are done and show no signs of AL Amyloidosis (the cancerous kind) – and so no more labs and scans before our trip to Mayo Clinic in January. God answered that prayer.
The unexpected x-ray showed yes, the abdomen area is full of air (that’s why it sounds like a kettle drum when you tap on it) – but it’s not fluid – and he’s not showing signs like pain or vomiting – so we won’t deal with that issue right now. God is good! We trust His timing on this – (and all our other decisions).
I got my veggie shopping done (Thanks, CostCo, for your lovely fruits and veggies) – and …
The pickup latch cover hinge was fixed and BONUS: they replaced the key mechanism that was troubling (God answers prayers you didn’t know to mention … He’s way ahead of you!)
So, go with the flow…
“Out of the believer’s heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Today’s word in Unity‘s Daily Word is FLOW. The introductory thought is, “I flow with the nourishing life of God.” John 7:38 is the featured scripture. The devotional (quoting Lao Tzu) says, “The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things, without trying to.”
As believers, we know that “supreme good” is God. We know God is “The Flow.”
Unity‘s Daily Word goes on to say, “Whether I experience this flow as a current of a river, the swelling of ocean waves, or my body’s life-sustaining circulation, I am in sync with this flow, which by its nature knows which way to go and what to do.”
How refreshing is that thought to you? It nourishes my soul. By the Holy Spirit, I know God’s life is in me – moving, changing, dancing and singing. I am one with the flow. I need not dash and rush and worry about things happening on time! I need not worry about Bob’s heart and kidneys, his abdomen or his pickup. I need not worry about his lack of stamina on the drive home. Just go with the flow – and trust. Follow along in the car – and honk if his pickup drifts and he seems to be falling asleep!!
Sometimes the flow is slow and steady … and I am out there in a fiery mood, trying to rush it along.
Don’t be in a rush To try to get too much done. Let the smooth flow of God Stop you mid-run!
Delight in the sneakiness Of a red sunset’s glow, And take time to relish The soft taste of snow.
Embrace the joy Of vegetables’ texture and smell, The magic of herbs as they cook, And bid stressing farewell!
Embrace the flow Of God in your life. Let Him slow you down As you eliminate strife.
Don’t worry about health. Don’t stress over unfinished tasks. Just go with the flow – And take time for some laughs!
Overflow this Advent season with the love of Christ Jesus, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the easy flow of God answering prayers in your life.
Light Dispels Darkness Open His Word Let it enlighten you Brightness
Brightness Is yours If you ask Take it to others Share
Today at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church, here in Ennis, Montana, Pastor Mary Grace Reynold’s sermon was inspired by the New Testament scripture Matthew 2: 4-18
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[a]
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”[b]
If something unnerves you, pay attention! The realm of unpleasantness is not what we expect in Advent as we wait for the Messiah. Killing all the boy babies? Worse than unnerving!
The season of Hope, Faith, Joy and Love is not supposed to be unsettling. Let’s weep with Rachel over the loss of children. Let’s weep over the bleakest of backgrounds.
Life is frequently bleak, but take heart! Into this bleakness a star appeared in the sky. Into this bleakness the vulnerable baby was born. Into this bleakness, a cruel king felt threatened.
Herod, the king sat in the stain of his own shallow angst and envy. He looked foolishly to the stars, believing in his own deity.
Threatened by an innocent baby, reported to be coming as a king, Herod ordered the death of all boys under the age of two in Bethlehem.
God heard the cries of “the least of these.” Jesus remembered those cries when He reminded us to care for “the least of these.” And friends, we each are part of “the least of these.”
Jesus/God knows the hearts of the bleak. He injects hope in the hearts of the hopeless. He injects love, joy and peace into our bleak world today.
Rejoice in the brightness of God’s love. Rejoice that God claims us. Do not be surprised by God’s compassion. Bask in the warmth of His bright love.
May peace, love, hope and joy be yours this Advent season – and into the new year. May the brightness of Jesus/God be within you. Share His bright light with others.
Wreath Advent Memories Light each candle Remember what each symbolizes Jesus
Embrace Brightness!! Thanks for visiting JanBeek. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
From Wikipedia: Living water … is a biblical term which appears in both the Old and New Testaments. In Jeremiah 2:13 and 17:13, the prophet describes God as “the spring of living water”, who has been forsaken by his chosen people Israel. Later, the prophet Zechariah described Jerusalem as a source of “living water”, “half [flowing] east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter” (Zechariah 14:8). The Pulpit Commentary notes that the city of Jerusalem “was, as we know, abundantly supplied with water by many conduits and subterranean channels; but standing, as it does, surrounded by hills higher than itself, it is physically impossible that the waters could literally flow as stated. The description is symbolical…” …”
“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10).
In this Christian season of Advent, the season described in Britannica as “Advent, (from Latin adventus, “coming”), in the Christian church calendar, the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas and also of preparation for the Second Coming of Christ” it is appropriate that we consider who Christ is, why He came, and what His presence as the Holy Spirit means in our lives.
Living Water (an Elfchen = 1,2,3,4,1)
Living For Jesus A Loving Life Accepting His Cleansing Grace Water
I have a Bible that I gave to a friend years ago. When she died, her family returned it to me with a thank you. The Bible is titled, “Living Water.” Every scripture in it that contains the word “water” is printed in blue ink. All the photographs in the Bible are of water. It is beautiful!
The family wrote a note to me thanking me for this gift to my friend. In this Bible my friend found her salvation. Her family knows she accepted the “Living Water” into her heart – and accepted the gift of eternal life. We will meet again in eternity!
Sometimes reading the Bible can feel like looking at “muddy water,” especially the Old Testament when it gets into the wars, the sexual escapades, the genealogical lists… but stand still in the scripture; study it with a devotional written by a Biblical scholar, and the muddy water can become clear!
Inside the “Living Water” – for those who thirst – I copied a quote from D.L Moody: “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.”
May you find peace this busy season – peace as you intake Living Water for your soul. My prayers are with you this day… and always. Thanks so much for following JanBeek. I pray you find here love, peace, joy, faith, and the invitation for UNITY in this world. Let’s just LOVE ONE ANOTHER!
I am headed to our local nursing home to help with Bingo today. I have a few Christmas decorations displayed in my home. A dear neighbor/friend came and helped me. God bless her! What will you do to spread your love to others today?
Peace be with you! Hugs, JanBeek
We’re surrounded by “Living Waters. Sometimes we feel like we’re swimming in them. They’re not murky! They are clear and calm. The Lord is swimming with us… He is our “Life Preserver!” Praise God!
Christmas is coming You see it everywhere you look these days. But… It’s not a “Merry Christmas” I am wishing for you! It’s a “Mary Christmas!” That’s in contrast to a “Martha Christmas!”
New International Version
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Are You Mary or Martha?
If I am not totally aware, it is easy for me to fall into the Martha role. Company is coming! I love entertaining.
But, if I am busy being Martha, I find at the end of the evening I didn’t engage in a meaningful conversation with anyone!
“Oh, Jan, Jan!” Jesus would say to me, “prepare for your guests in advance, so when they come, you can sit down and enjoy their company!”
But what if guests pop in unexpected? Should I be the Mary who lets Martha do all the work? Surely there is a happy medium here somewhere!
Work or Shirk?
If company pops in unexpected, drop everything and enjoy the surprise! They didn’t come to see your house. They probably didn’t come to eat your food. They are there to see you! So it’s not a question of work or shirk!
Put on a smirk – take off the apron – set aside the work!
If you convince them to stay and enjoy a snack or a meal with you, invite them in to your kitchen and continue to enjoy one another as you fix up some goodies together!
‘Tis the season to enjoy the love of company – ‘Tis the season to spread the joy and remember the reason for the season. It ain’t stressin’ yourself out with decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, and entertaining like Martha!
It’s Mary – the Christ Child – the simplicity of the stable – the spontaneity of good friends – and the Good News!
Have yourself a Mary Christmas!
Love to you… Pop in – and sit awhile! Let’s listen to some relaxing Christmas music and have a cup o’ tea or hot cocoa! Hugs, JanBeek