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Archive for the ‘peace’ Category

Embrace Forgiveness


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For = before
Give = before receiving
Ness = before receiving give

N ever
E xpect
S atisfaction
S imultaneously

Is there someone out there who has wronged you?

Have they treated you so badly, so unjustly, that you are having a hard time forgiving them?

Do you wish you could, and you’ve tried, but you just can’t find the grace to give them that satisfaction?

Do they deserve your unforgiving spirit?

Do they deserve a pay back?

Do you wish you could get even?

Would it serve them right!?

Serve them right if you never forgave them because they don’t deserve to be let off the hook?

Who’s caught on that hook anyway?

They may not even know they hurt you!

That happened to me once. I had a person who was a teacher in a different school. I used to be in the district office and now I was happily and obliviously back in the confines of my own classroom, loving every day with those darling children, putting those two years of district office administration behind me. It had been a tough time. Satisfying opportunities mixed with struggles to satisfy all the new teachers (K-12) who were required to come to my PETAL workshops.

P rinciples of
E ffective
T eaching
A nd
L earning

I enjoyed working with the new teachers, trying to help them be the best they could be. But, inevitably, you can’t please everybody, right? Not every one of them thought what I was teaching was useful to them. I probably rubbed some the wrong way. They’d prefer to be in their classrooms preparing for the next day, rather than being at a required workshop in “The Ivory Tower.” Do you relate?

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No, they were not all smiles!
But I did my best…
and I got back to the classroom
where I could interact
daily with children
as fast as I could!
The District Office was waaay too far from children!

Then, “that happened to me!” A knock on my door at home one evening. When I answered it, there stood a teacher who had been in a series of my workshops. I invited him in. We sat on the sofa. He was nervous.

“I want you to know I forgive you,” he said.

I didn’t know I needed forgiveness. I didn’t know I had done something to offend him. I am sure my face registered shock.

“I have been harboring a grudge against you for two years,” he said. “I am going to a counselor for a lot of unresolved issues in my life, and my counselor said I need to resolve them.”

So he was in my living room, sitting next to me, letting me know I was forgiven.

I should have asked why. I should have asked him to explain what I did. But, I was too dumb-founded. I’m not sure I wanted to know. Let bygones be bygones, you know?

I just told him I was sorry for whatever I unknowingly did to offend him. I told him I held no ill feelings about him. Never did! I accepted his forgiveness. We hugged. He left.

That young man had been given the courage to confront his offender.
He had been given the courage to let go.
He had been given the courage to ask for forgiveness.
My job was to accept it and to allow him to move on.

My job was to handle what God had given me…
a clean slate in someone’s mind.
A clean slate where there had been a dark smudge.

Is there someone out there
who needs your forgiveness ?
Are you carrying a grudge?

Don’t wait!
Before receiving,
GIVE!
Give the gift to yourself…
the gift of letting go.

Ezekiel 36:26

“I will give you a new heart,
and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take out your stony, stubborn heart
and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Thanks for following JanBeek
and for coming to read and leave a comment today.
You matter. I write for you.
God bless you!
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Focus


Do you focus easily?
Do you see things with clarity?
Do you hear with understanding?
Do you embrace the concept of focus?

Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
focused on the cross… but not just any old cross …
the cross of Christ, the one on which He died for us.
The one we are to pick up and carry.
Here are the notes I took
as I focused and listened to
Rev. Steve Hundley preach on the subject:
“The Cross of Christ”

The disciples heard Jesus say,
“Take up your cross and follow me.”
Matthew 16:24-26 says,
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, 
“If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 
25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 
26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world
and forfeits his soul?
Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

What does it mean today to believe
And to accept Jesus – take His cross?
We’d like Jesus to be specific.
Would carrying it be like an albatross?
He said “Take up YOUR cross.
But, not ANY cross… What’s the difference?
My cross can be quite worldly.
Do I carry it with reverence?

The world we live in is full
Of crosses in every size and form.
How do we know we’re carrying
The one meant for us when we were born?
The cross that brings healing
And restoration to our world
Is the one Jesus asks us to carry,
Not the cross of destruction hurled.

A cross of love and reconciliation
Can be used and turned to mean
Violence or passivity, both can
Represent abuse and pain. Don’t lean
On a fatalistic cross – or else
You’ll find despair and even death.
Instead, pick up Christ’s cross.
It’ll bring peace to your last breath.


The Bible reassures us that
Pain and suffering will be ours;
But God will meet us where we are.
We’ll receive the peace He showers
On us when we take His cross
And follow Him and His voice.
Let’s FOCUS on God’s saving promise.
Take up His True Cross. It’s your choice!

Amen

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Thank you for sharing our worship service notes
and one of our hymns with me today.
I hope you are able to find church family
with whom to worship in these pandemic days.

If you’d like to join our ZOOM service next Sunday, send me your e-mail
and I’ll forward the ZOOM invitation, bulletin and song sheet to you.

That’s me up there taking this picture with Bob beside me!
ZOOM with us. We’re an informal bunch!
Share, drink your coffee, ask questions…
FOCUS on the message

Thanks for visiting with JanBeek today.
Have a beautiful Sunday afternoon/evening.
See ya tomorrow.

P.S. – Here is another version of “Were You There?”
Soooo Beautiful!!

Embrace Silence


Today was a day to embrace silence.
Put away the TV rhetoric.
Turn off the music and chatter.
Just listen to the silence.

Back in 2017 I wrote about silence.
Time to resurrect that post:

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

Silence is resounding in my ears.
Silence wipes away confusion and fears.
Silence speaks as all nature rings.
Silence breaks as songbird sings.

Silence whispers compassion’s song –
Let’s me contemplate yesterday’s wrong.
Allows God’s grace to fill this space
Instead of wallowing in my own disgrace.

Silence brings new life to God’s Word.
It lets the Holy Spirit speak and be heard.
It opens my heart to name the nameless
And enter their world blameless and shameless.

Open my heart, Lord, in silence to know
All that You’re saying, all that You show
Through challenges booming or hugs soft and sweet.
Help me to hear You in ALL that I meet.

Jan Beekman
11-30-2017

Embrace Emotions


The Scream by Edvard Munch

My second grandson was the screamer.
He spent the first couple years of his life doing it.
He certainly knew how to let his emotions out!

Screaming may not be the best way as an adult
To emote your emotions!
What are some healthy ways to let these feelings out?

Fear

But some fear is real and intended
It’s good to embrace fear when a bear is growling at you
It’s good to fear a runaway truck or an avalanche
Know when to embrace fear!

Anger

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Screaming in anger at a situation you can’t control
may not be the best way to embrace your emotion
But anger in itself is not wrong
Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers
Embrace righteous anger!

Sadness/Grief

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In Daily Guideposts today, Erika Bentson wrote,

“Cowgirls don’t cry!”
She admitted that she is “not the type to carry tissues”
but instead she can “brush over ]her] feelings.”
“Mourning doesn’t come easily to me,” is how she began.
Even in the face of her father’s death, she “stayed strong – mostly.”

In the end of the article, Erika quoted a friend who told her,
“Tears are a testament to what a great dad he was.”
She encouraged her to let the emotions show.
“Don’t be ashamed that you’re human,” she told her.

Embrace your sadness!
Allow your grief to play out!

Ezekiel 36:26

“I will give you a new heart,
and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take your stony, stubborn heart
and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Embrace your tears!
Let them flow.

Shame

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Speaking of
“Don’t be ashamed that you’re human,”
what about it?
Does shame have a place in our emotional outlet?

Psalm 34:4-5

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

Psalm 31:17

“O Lord, let me not be put to shame,
for I call upon You;
let the wicked be put to shame;
let them go silently to Sheol.”

Where does that emotion of shame fit in?
When we have screwed up and we know it,
When we have said something without thinking,
When we have done something to hurt someone else,
It is the shame we feel that causes remorse.
It is the remorse that leads to repentance.
It is the repentance that leads to “calling out”
And it is calling out that leads to forgiveness.
Do not wallow in shame.
Face your actions,
face your emotions,
and clear your conscience.

Confront your shame and eliminate it!

Despair

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do not despair!
Replace despair with hope.
Despair is not a healthy emotion.
We are humans, prone to error,
But we are not desperate!

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed…”

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This is one of my favorite verses.
It is my faith that keeps me from despair-
And my prayer for you is that regardless of your circumstance,
you also can have the faith “which surpasses all understanding.”

Do not embrace despair!

Peacefulness

I feared that my second grandson, the Screamer,
would grow up to be a very disgruntled human being.
I should never have let that emotion embrace me.
Embrace the peacefulness of hope!
Embrace the peacefulness of letting go.
Embrace the peacefulness of knowing
God’s got this!!

There’s Nick – at peace with self and nature.

The emotions that accompany peacefulness
are joy, contentment, satisfaction, and submission.

Nick and Celine’s slippers with their peaceful dog

Embrace Peace!

Pride

What about that emotion of pride?
Pride in self? Pride in your accomplishments –
Pride in the person your children or grandchildren have become –
What about pride?

Proverbs 11:2

“When pride comes,
then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.”

Romans 12:16

“Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be haughty,
but associate with the lowly.
Never be wise in your own sight.”

Bob is reading a book right now titled, Soul Survivor, by Philip Yancey.
In it he learned about thirteen people who influenced Yancey’s life.
One of them is Gandhi who always traveled third class.
When asked why, his response was,
“Because there is no fourth class.”

Humility

In the last years of his life, Gandhi adopted a man with leprosy.
Daily he bathed him and changed that man’s bandaged.

Proverbs 22:4

“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”

Gandhi was invited to meet the King of England.
Gandhi approached the king wearing only his loincloth.
A bystander asked him why he was dressed so scantily.
He responded, “He is wearing enough clothes for both of us,”

Gandhi embraced the emotion of humility to the extreme.
As a result, he was indeed rewarded with “honor and life,”
but his riches were not in gold and silver,
for he disdained material possessions,
his riches were in honor, peace, and a meaningful life.

When you go to Google and enter Gandhi’s name,
Mahatma Gandhi – Wikipedia, it will tell you:
“Mahatma Gandhi,
as he is known by his followers with reverence,
preached the philosophy of non-violence
which has become even more relevant today.
His commitment to non-violence
and satyagraha (peaceful resistance)
gave hope to marginalized sections of India.”

Humility is a Wonderful Emotional Outlet!

Embrace the emotions
associated with humility:

joy
compassion
contentment
satisfaction
and leave all your worries behind!

See ya tomorrow.

Tell Me:
Which emotion will you embrace more today?
And which will you try to release?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek!

A Heart to Comply


Time for the weekly sermon notes.
We had ZOOM church this morning with the
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana – sermon preached by
Rev. Steve Hundley

As you know, if you’ve followed my blog
for a couple of weeks or more,
I listen intently to the pastor’s message
and I take notes in poetry,
tying to capture the essence of the message.
Here is today’s attempt:

Steve titled it, “Vocational Temptation”
I re-titled it “A Heart to Comply”
Read on and you’ll see why.

“My brother made me do it!”
That’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ to it!
We rolled tires down a quarter mile hill
I was dared to hit a cow. Could I do it?

Yup, the tire hit the cow.
The ow hit the ground with a thud.
Oh my! The cow landed hard –
Topped over and bam! Hit the mud!

I got punished big time for it.
I was told not to hurt God’s life.
Yet later, I saw my dad kill a cow –
And heck! He didn’t think twice!

There must be differet standards
For different kinds of behavior.
Temptations effect each differently.
Temptations weren’t new to our Savior.

He can identify with the Christian
Who goes to the club to play golf
Instead of going to church that day –
And excuses himself with a cough.

It’s not hard to give in
To the temptations around us.
When we do, don’tcha know
God doesn’t punish or ground us.

God understands we’re mortals
Who are prone sometimes to neglect
The things we know we ought to do.
He gives us time to repent and reflect.

Jesus went from being told by a voice
That God is proud of Him, God’s Son,
To being a man in the wilderness
Tempted by the devil – but God won!

For 40 days and 40 nights the devil
Tempted Jesus to give in to him.
But angels were there, and scripture, too.
Jesus didn’t let God’s light grow dim.

The light of God shone brightly
As Jesus resisted the devil’s invitation
To become more than He already was –
To rule the whole universe and all creation.

The Lord is asking us today
To resist the temptation to forego
His Word and do something wrong.
Instead, live in God’s Love – Let His light show.

Lord, let my life be consecrated
To You, my Savior, and may I
Use the gifts You’ve given me
With gratitude … and a Heart to Comply!

Amen.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Have a super rest of your Sunday.
Hugs to you!

Embrace Inspiration


“How do you define inspiration?”
I asked my husband, Bob, that question at breakfast this morning.
He said, “Enthusiastic Appreciation that Motivates.”
I nodded. Yes, when we are inspired, the next step is action!

Photo by Martin on Pexels.com

We may not be inspired to physically climb mountains,
But inspiration will lead us to climb higher than
We would without that motivation, right?
I am motivated to be grateful for all my blessings.

In my gratitude, I know I am blessed to be a blessing.
I am inspired to reach out in love to those around me.
I am inspired to share the things that keep me moving.
I am motivated to want to help my friends move forward, too.

Actions do speak louder than words, but words count!
I can bless my friends and family with affirmative thoughts,
Just as you inspire me by your positive comments.
I am grateful for the way you inspire me.

Today is “Presidents’ Day” in the USA – a day to remember –
Remember and be grateful for the two presidents who
Inspired our nation to form as one union and then to unite
After a Civil War that tore us apart: Washington and Lincoln.

In my Daily Guideposts today, the writer, John Dilworth,
Was inspired by Colossians 3:23 to write about his experience
With President Jimmy Carter’s Air Force One when the
Then President Carter visited the base where he was stationed.

His picture of Air Force One is a reminder of the way
The team of cadets worked at the fueling station
With total commitment, unified teamwork, and
Precise execution to service the President’s plane.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com
(This may not be the president’s plane – but you get the idea)

Col. 3:23

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

What inspires you to total commitment?
When have you experienced total team commitment?
Where have you seen precise execution of a task?
What do you think inspired each of those situations?

John Dilworth ended his message with this:

“Today as we honor our past and current presidents,
I must ask myself, ‘How can I do my best for the president today?’
… One thing we can all do every day is pray for the president.”

Pray for our world’s leaders, for their discernment, safety, and effectiveness.

Here is my Elfchen for today –
Inspired by Proverbs, chapter 15
(An “Elevenie” – poem with 11 words in a pattern of 1,2,3,4,1):

Inspiration
Gentle Answer
Wise loving correction
Happy heart, cheerful face
Understanding

Put on your happy face –
And be inspired to do something for somebody else today.
Start now!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Hearts


Happy Valentine’s Day!!

As I write this,
my heart is breaking.

Broken-Hearted

I just discovered this morning that my dear friend, Leena’s son, Vince, died suddenly on Friday. No warning! He was about the age of my son, Ty. Vince worked at our local grocery store. I saw him there often … always a smile, always a cheerful greeting. He was at work Friday. Friday night after dinner, he was sitting in his chair at home with his parents, and he just stopped breathing. Can you imagine the shock??

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

Prayers for All Grieving

My heart is broken
for Leena and Bob and their family.
My prayers go out to all of you
who have lost a loved one this year.

Your hearts are grieving, too,
as you face this first Valentine’s Day
without that special person.
God bless you! Link heartstrings with mine.

Heart strings

In our ZOOM church service this morning,
I provided the “special music.”
It was inspired by the February 14th message
in Charles Stanley’s In Touch Daily Devotional.

“When facing all kinds of difficulties,
many of us have a tendency to power through
in our own strength. But the reality is
that’s never effective – at least not for long.
God wants us to come closer to Him.

When we stay focused on Jesus,
we can take comfort in knowing
He’ll lead us through the hard places.

As you continue walking with Him,
trust that He already knows
what will happen in your life –
and that regardless of what lies ahead,
He will never leave you.”

EMBRACE HEARTS
Lord, link mine to yours –
And link ours to one another.
Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com
Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow

Embrace Hearts with one another –
Offer your love and support to heal.
Heal the broken-hearted by sharing.
Share your love with a song or a meal.

Not everyone has a heart full of love today;
Some are feeling quite empty.
Lord, fill their hearts with the love of God –
And encourage others to “Go With Him” today.

Hugs from JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Wisdom


Thank you, dear blogging reader, for tuning in to Day #40 of my “Embrace” series.

Forty is a meaningful number in the Bible.
But its significance is not limited to biblical application.
Forty days:

  • is mentioned 146 times in the Bible.
  • is used to designate important time periods in the Bible.
  • is the number of days before his temptation, that Jesus fasted: “forty days and forty nights” (Matthew 4:2, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2).
  • is the period from the resurrection of Jesus to the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:3).
  • carries significance in today’s world: Minus 40 degrees, or “40 below,” is the only temperature that is the same in both Fahrenheit and Celsius.
  • was important in the Middle Ages: when the bubonic plague gripped Europe, ships would be isolated in harbor for 40 days before passengers could go ashore.
  • is the origin of words we use in today’s pandemic: The Italian word for 40 is quaranta—hence quarantine.
  • is the number of weeks a typical pregnancy actually lasts – Forget nine months!

The wisdom of Jesus’ emphasis on 40 came from God.
Our wisdom has the same source.
All we need to do is tap into it!

James 3:17

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

Proverbs 1:7

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Colossians 3:16

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

That state of peaceful happiness,
that contentment,
comes from our ability
to seek wisdom
and to follow the leading
of those words of instruction.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Daniel 1:17

“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”

Wisdom is not relegated to the aged.
Daniel was a boy of 17 when he was chosen.
You are chosen today to tap into
The wisdom God has for you!

Proverbs 13:20

“Walk with the wise and become wise.”

God gives us true friends
Who are wise and wonderful.
They are His gifts to us
To help us EMBRACE WISDOM

He has chosen friends for us
Who are wise and full of grace.
They walk into our hearts
And leave their footprints all over it!

Watch for those friends
as God puts them in your path!

In today’s Daily Guideposts, Ginger Rue wrote, “…you become like the five people you spend the most time with.” She told a story about how her husband, “Sweet Dwight,” is a person she wishes to emulate. “I hope someday to have a heart like my husband’s: wise, and full of grace… and always looking for the best in people.”

Who is a star in your life, an example of wisdom and grace? Are the five people you spend the most time with people whose lives you wish to emulate? Can you name them?

Bob is a star in my life… and so are CG & Caroline
Terry & Jim are stars in my life
Marcie is the friend everyone wishes s/he had!
She always looks for the good in everyone.

Daniel 12:3

“And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

Psalm 147:4

“He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. “

If the God of Heaven and Earth has named the stars,
And if He has created all that is seen and unseen,
How surely can we count on His wisdom, and
How assured we can be of His Wisdom if we but ask.

Look for the wisdom in the friends you choose.
Embrace the love in their hearts that shines
Like the stars in the sky – and reflects
The wisdom of their Maker who is alive in them.

EMBRACE WISDOM

I pray you have the JOY
of wise and loving friends.
They truly are God’s gifts to us.
Terry & Elaine are two of my wise stars.

Thank You for them, God!

Thank you for visiting JanBeek today.
May the words of my blog
And the thoughts in my heart
Inspire you to reach out to your life’s stars.

(They can be friends we spend on-line time with…
especially in these days of COVID-19 social-distancing!)

Thank them…
and thank God
for His wisdom
that sent them to you!


Remember, we become
like the five
we spend the most time with.
Choose wisely!!

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Writing Poetry


In my devotional time this morning, I read an article that spoke to me of the way poetry fits into my life … a life that is filled with the wonder of poetic healing. I am impelled to share it with you because I hope it will inspire and validate your poetic instincts the way it did mine.

Before you read it, you may want to scroll to the bottom here and click on Laura Sullivan’s piano music. Listen to it as you read Jacqueline Suskin’s inspiring article.

Finding the Poetry in Everyday Life

by Jacqueline Suskin
From – Posted on Jan 25, 2021
A professional poet provides tips on healing your life by adopting a poetic mindset.

Poet Jacqueline Suskin; photo by James Adam Taylor

There’s a saying: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” These days, the battle feels especially hard. From everyday challenges to the forces dividing our nation, it’s fair to ask: How can I bring more joy to my life? More peace?

My answer: poetry.

I’m a professional poet. For a decade, I earned a living doing a project I called Poem Store… I wrote a story I wrote a few years ago for Guideposts about how poetry can be a vital part of someone’s prayer practice …

What is it about poetry that makes it such a powerful, universal language?

Poetry reveals beauty in the smallest details of creation. It finds light in the darkest shadow. It is a guide and a teacher, reminding readers that life is a miracle, something to be celebrated. Good poetry tells deep truths about joy and pain, triumph and grief. Like the Psalms, poetry explores every aspect of human experience, shying away from nothing and expressing gratitude for everything.

That’s why I believe poetry can be healing for anyone. You don’t have to be a professional poet.

Here are some suggestions for cultivating a poetic mindset, gained from a lifetime of writing, teaching and finding my place on this planet:

1. Be in awe of everything.
A dictionary definition of awe is “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.”

… The poetic mindset starts with the idea that nothing is an accident. Everything is interrelated and plays a part in a greater whole. Therefore, everything deserves notice and even celebration.

The signs are everywhere. Autumn leaves swirling in wind. A luminous raindrop on your window. The sight of someone you love peacefully asleep. Stars on a clear winter night. (And I, JanBeek, have to interject here: the sight of snowflakes dancing outside on your patio)

Even on your hardest day, a glance around will reveal something miraculous. When I focus on the intricate grandeur of nature, I feel myself relax. My mind unclenches from my problems, and I know that something larger is present, no matter what happens.

Awe is easy to cultivate. Close your eyes. Now open them. What is the first thing you see? Look closer. Ask yourself: How was this thing made? Where did it come from? What does it look like, feel like, smell like, maybe even taste like? What is good about it? What does it remind you of? Does it bring happy thoughts or sad ones? Why? What does it tell you about yourself or the divine?

I’m willing to bet your randomly selected object is full of meaning. A poetic mindset helps you tune into that significance whenever you want. It’s an inexhaustible source of healing, refreshment and inspiration.

2. Make pain your teacher.

Are you brokenhearted and angry? There’s a poem for that…

A poem is a place where you can pour out your hardest feelings. Make the words shout, burn. Don’t be afraid. You can always throw the page into the fireplace once you’ve filled it. Or seal it in an envelope and come back to it later.

Poetry can be a repository for everything difficult in your life.

But there’s more. I find that when I write about something I’m struggling with, my negative feelings begin to ebb. By writing, remembering, I am forced to admit that not everything is so bad. The world is complicated. There is darkness and light. Forgiveness comes into view.

The more I put everything on the page—the whole truth, not just an edited version—the more I ask why things happened. If I could have done things differently. Whether my poem is trying to teach me something. Here’s part of a poem I wrote while I was grieving a loved one.

You were a shining man
always giving us a reason to rejoice
and so you still are, you always will be.

Writing about grief helped me widen my perspective. I learned that memories are emblems of ongoing life after death. That doesn’t end my grief. My grief teaches me a healing truth.

3. Seek what inspires you.

Life isn’t perfect, but you can live with love and trust anyway.

Poetry helps us remember this essential piece of wisdom. What comes from God is good, and there is always goodness to be found once you train yourself to look.

Poetry to me is a form of praise. I build poems from things I see, people I meet and thoughts and feelings found deep inside. As I present those treasures in poetic language, I am celebrating what is good in them. My poems have an innate optimism. Poetry looks for the bright side of life, whatever is inspiring and beautiful even in the midst of hardship.

To see the world as a poet is to be aware of beauty wherever you go. A poet believes that beauty is a clue to the essential nature of existence. Pay attention to that feeling of joy as you spot a delicate tracery of dew in a spider’s web on your morning walk. The beauty, and your joy, are helping you see something deeply true about life.

4. Open yourself to a new perspective.

Few objects are more humble than the pencil. Yet, for me, a pencil is holy. Every pencil is special because I imagine the thoughts and images that it can be used to create and communicate. What are the holy objects in your life? A poet looks for what is beloved in everything, no matter how ordinary.

That is what makes poetry a force for healing. When you look for what is beautiful, good, true and holy in everything around you, you are really looking for God. When you write down what you see, you are engaged in a deep form of prayer.

When your mind and your heart develop this habit of poetic prayer, you cannot be overcome by the world’s troubles because you carry a treasury of goodness inside yourself.

Your poems don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to rhyme. They don’t have to impress anyone. All they need is a new perspective, that of a poetic mindset.”

Plan to write at least one poem a day.
Let your awe or pain or dreams inspire you.

Thank you, Jacqueline Suskin.
Your Guideposts article inspired me.
I hope it inspires my WordPress friends, too.

EMBRACE WRITING POETRY

Here’s a poem
from a fantastic musician,
Laura Sullivan,
who also dabbles in poetry.
If you’re unfamiliar
with her music,
do yourself a favor
and click on
the YouTube
at the bottom here.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Do you have a poem to share?
I’d love to have you
share something poetic
in the comments section here.

See ya tomorrow

Embrace Confidence


These two little darlings exude happiness, confidence, pure joy…
I can’t help but smile when I look at them. (I bet you’re smiling, too)
I’ve been saving this photo for just the right time.
Today is it!

In my devotionals this morning, I read an article by Brenda Wade, Ph.D.
Brenda is based in San Francisco. She hosts a radio talk show, “Modern Love”
and she facilitates trainings on relationships. Her article in the Jan.-Feb. Unity magazine,
Daily Word, is titled, “Overcoming Racism, Healing from Shame, Opening to Love.”

“The love and peace we want to know in our lives begins inside of us,” Dr. Wade wrote.
“This has been on my mind lately as I’ve dug deeply into … my work, leading anti-racism trainings.”

In her article, she went on to describe an incident in her life that deeply affected her self-image. She was only 6-years-old.

“One day at school, my classmates and I were told to line up two by two and hold hands. I extended my hand, but the girl standing next to me refused to take it. ‘I can’t hold your hand,’ she said matter-of-factly. ‘My mother told me your skin is brown because it’s dirty.’ I was confused. My skin was brown, but it certainly was not dirty.”

Photo by Matheus Viana on Pexels.com

It took years for that little 6-year-old to deal with the hurt. Her young brain just didn’t understand. She felt immediate rejection, pain, and the sting of shame. The notion that there was something wrong with her kept her from telling the teacher or her parents. She just carried that message of inferiority with her and it was reinforced by a high school principal who ignorantly expressed surprise that someone of her color could score so high on her tests.

It was further reinforced in graduate school when a department chair “was more interested in my race than my qualifications” – and as an adult when “a landlord candidly admitted he was denying me housing because I am African American.”

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

How does someone overcome
such prejudicial treatment
and regain the confidence
that ALL PEOPLE deserve?


That is the question Dr. Walker
deals with in her profession.
She conquered it in her own life with
“years of psychological work,
spiritual practice,
self-care, and healing.”

Dr. Brenda Wade wrote,
“When we feel too hurt or afraid
to let ourselves out,
it becomes impossible
to let others in.”

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Embrace the confidence
that there is
hope and a future
and a return of self-confidence
when self-insight
and self-love
can be applied.

The pain of those early wounds go deep.

We know that
we ALL have a responsibility
to respond to one another in love,
with compassion and respect,
and to stand together hand-in-hand
to obliterate oppression and prejudice.

Embrace that future
with
confidence and determination!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Pastoral Prayer

Yesterday during our ZOOM church service, our pastor, Steve Hundley, offered the following prayer. It is just what I needed to hear as I embrace with confidence the power of prayer and the belief that God hears, God cares, and God answers us when we cry out to Him:

“How many times in Your earthly ministry, O Lord, did You touch the fevered brows of those who were ill; or, the trembling hands of those who were afraid; or, the sagging shoulders of those bowed down in grief?

Walk among us now, we pray, and touch us for the same reasons…
* Let those who are ill in body or in spirit feel the power of Your presence, and sense that healing is taking place.
* We pray for all those sick with COVID throughout our nation and world…
* Give those who are constricted by fears and anxieties a feeling of relaxation in Your grace.
* Let peace flow over them like a river, carrying them away from self-preoccupation and into the openness of love and sharing…
* Pour out the hope of Your resurrection upon those who are grieving the loss of loved ones…
* May they walk the Emmaus Road with You and feel their hearts strangely and wonderfully warmed…
* In the chaos and uncertainty of the coming weeks and months, give us confidence of faith in knowing that You are Lord of our lives and Lord of this world, and that You are working Your purpose out…
* As Your children, O Lord, You know how often we recoil from those things that should not frighten or upset us in this world. Comfort us with Your presence, and teach us so to live within the disciplines of faith, so that, we are never without You.”

Amen                         

Embrace with Confidence,
my friends,
the knowledge that you
regard all God’s Children as equals…
and determine never to inflict on anyone
the pain of rejection
or the sting of shame.

As God’s children…
Let us live as One.
Let’s just walk around makng the world a better place!
Embrace Confidence!

Hugs to you.
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

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