When life seems challenging and circumstances tax your patience, do you ever wonder if God’s really gotcha covered?
Well, trust me –
Trust the Savior –
He’s gotta grip on you!
God’s gotta grip on me.
Our Lord’s not lettin’ us go!
“ For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
My Prayer for Today
“Gracious God, how grateful I am to rest secure in Your grip forever.”
God’s Not Gonna Lose Me
In today’s devotional time, Daily Guideposts 2021 reminded me that while I may misplace my sunglasses or my phone occasionally, God never misplaces me!
In his comments, Bill Giovannetti recalled a time when his daughter asked him, “What if I lost God? Or what if God lost me?”
Her younger brother responded, “Right, Josie, you’re the only person in the whole wide world that God forgot about!”
Reading Romans 8:38-39 together, Bill and his son reassured Josie and asked her, “If God keeps His Word, what is that verse telling you?”
“It’s telling me God never loses His sunglasses,” she said, “Or me!”
Today Bob & I celebrated my birthday (I’ll match Bob’s age – and be 82 tomorrow). Our hands certainly show the wear and tear of work and years!
But, like that hold God has on us, we’ve got a grip on one another – and we’re not letting go!
Taking a clue from us and God, Xander’s got a grip on his GreatGrandma Jan (GG – that’s me!) and he’s not letting go!
My great-granddaughter, Sienna, gets a grip on her mommy, my granddaughter, Hope. When children have a hold on loving, devoted parents, God smiles.
It’s a double blessings when Grandpa gets down on the floor with his granddaughter. Our son Ty helped Sienna learn how to get a grip on puzzle skills.
Children are blessed indeed when they have a grandma who reads to them. Sienna gets a grip on what books are all about with Grandma Monika’s help.
How special to get a grip on my great-granddaughter, Sienna, and her mommy, Hope … while they get a grip on TazE, our Boston Terrier!
Not every family has the privilege of gathering 4 generations together! Get a grip on longevity … and the joy of embracing great-grandpa!
Such fun to see TazE getting along so well with Xander!
Monika and Hope with Sienna & Xander… They sang Happy Birthday to help me get a grip on turning a year older. Not older… just more mature, right? So nice!
Ty & Monika brought their big dog, Nakota…
… and TazE had trouble getting a grip on having such a big buddy!
She was exhausted! Time to get under the table and get a grip on some rest!
Victor Salazar and Bob have stayed in touch for 50 years. How has that happened?
Victor was Bob’s wrestling student when Bob coached at Hillsdale High in San Mateo, CA. back in the 1970’s. Every year at Christmas, we exchanged Christmas cards. Victor let us know where he was each year – and his career took him to over 30 different countries! What a joy to have Vic come from Alabama to reconnect with us here in Montana this week!
I have had the fun of that kind of connection with former students, too. This is Ty Stiles and his wife with Bob & me. He was my kindergarten student in 1962! I named our first child, Ty. We never let Ty Stiles out of our sphere of contact. He was in my prayers daily. He came with his wife, Roxanne, from California to visit us a few years ago. About a year after his visit, sadly, Ty left this earth for is eternal home. My memories of him and his visit warm my heart every single day as I look at the cross he welded and sent to us shortly after his visit.
There’s no greater joy Than to reconnect with friends From long, long ago
5 Ways to Keep Long-time Friends
Pray lovingly for them daily.
Be sure to keep them in your address book and write to them often (don’t just rely on social media)
Pick up the phone and talk to them, emptying yourself into them… it’s an investment. Be loyal and be confidential.
Let them know how much they mean to you, but don’t force the relationship. It has to be natural. Don’t insist that the relationship is forever reciprocal. Some friendships are meant to be seasonal… and the season may last years – but maybe not. You can’t control that.
Be honest and transparent with them … let them see your warts. It shows you trust them not to hurt you… and you are trustworthy in return.
Embrace Long-time Friendships Never let those precious folks go Keep them forever in your heart How long we’ll be here, we can’t know
Embrace Long-time Friends My heart’s covered with footprints. How about your heart?
In a world of self-reliance, Where “I can do it” is king, Being reliant on others Is construed as a “weakness thing.”
But, as Christians we are taught To rely not on our own strength. “Lean not on your own understanding.” God is within a prayer’s length.
In today’s prayerful message, Our wonderful pastor, Mary Grace, Talked about God’s will and love, And seeking our Lord, face-to-face.
“God of forgiveness, hear our confession to you. You have called us to excellence in compassion and we fall short of your confidence in us. You grant us grace and we abuse your gift. You expect us to align our hearts with your will and that our love will be genuine. But we trust our own desires rather than rely on your goodness. We look after our own comfort instead of our neighbor’s needs. In Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins. Amen”
As you know (if you’ve followed my blog for a couple of weeks or more), I take copious notes as I listen to the sermon through my fingertips each Sunday. Sometimes I translate what I am hearing into poetry. Today’s doesn’t rhyme. It’s free verse. But it poured out as I tried to capture the main ideas. First, look at the scripture on which the sermon was based.
Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
36 Overhearing[a] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
The sermon title was “Fools for Hoping”
“Secondhand Lions” was a movie with Caine and Duvall. The fictional characters were replicas of my grandfather and uncle! The film is wonderful and whimsical (don’t believe the critics). Believe what you want to believe… and here are some essentials: “What every boy needs to know” – a speech worth hearing…
People are basically good
Money and power mean nothing
True love never dies
Integrity means everything
Love, truth, and integrity are essential
True or not, those are worth believing!
We don’t see much love in the news these days. The news is full of the ways we are really awful to one another. Recent news revealed 751 unmarked graves of indigenous children found this week in Canada. Children taken from their families and forced to attend the former Marieval Indian Residential School.
Survivors, community honour 751 unmarked graves at Sask. residential school site with vigil
Seven-hundred and fifty-one lights spanned the entirety of the unmarked graves discovered on Cowessess First Nation in southeast Saskatchewan where a large group of people, many wearing orange clothes, gathered on Saturday night in honour of the remains.
An elder in the community who spoke at the vigil likened the finding of 751 unmarked graves to a scab that had been “slowly healing” being ripped off.
Not one of us is wholly good, so the natural inclination When confronted with our sinful nature is despair. Confession and repentance are the next steps, but Where do we go after confession?
We need to define our beliefs and act on hope… Even when it seems foolish to do so. Be ready to be made fools for your integrity. Stand up for what is right… stand up for Truth!
The woman in Mark 5 took the show! Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” The disciples laughed, “Everyone’s touching you!” Jairus was impatient, “My daughter needs you!”
He wondered why Jesus was taking precious time To deal with a woman with a 12 year infirmity. Let’s assume the woman just happened to be Outside the crowd that day and heard of Jesus.
She heard Jairus – with hopefulness in his voice – Asking Jesus to help his dying daughter. His hope inspired her hope as well. Two lives were saved that day.
Our speech, our attitudes, and our actions Can have a positive affect on others. We need to consciously lean on God With hope and trust and mindfulness.
Jairus could have listened to his tears, But he stepped up and listened to hope. His act of believing in the power of Christ to heal Allowed other to respond in hope, too.
“Your faith has made you whole,” Jesus told The woman whose hemorrhaging stopped. The only way out is reaching out in the hope That God’s love will make life better.
I’ll stay a fool for hope!
Rely on God
I’ll stay a fool for God.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Thanks for sharing a part of your Sunday with me. I hope you have a wonderful week.
Daily Guideposts 2021 devotional today inspired this blog topic. After I chose “Multiplying” as my EMBRACE theme today, every place I looked, I saw evidence of answers to my question, “But what needs to be multiplied?”
When you hear/read the word “multiplying” what comes to mind? I asked Bob that question this morning after my devotional time while we were chatting at the breakfast table.
“Increasing comes to mind. Numbers come to mind,” he answered.
What comes to your mind?
In her blog this morning, Marva Seaton wrote about multiplying. She didn’t use the word, but the concept definitely was there.
Today was a very important, memorable day at our church. It was Father’s Day, yes… and we honored our fathers and our Father in Heaven. But the real LIGHT of the day was the opportunity to be in church on this special Sunday when Mary Grace Reynolds, was presenting her first sermon as our official new pastor. MGR is fresh out of seminary, but she conducted the service as if she had ten years of experience! We are so blessed to have her at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church here in Ennis, MT. If you ever are in our area on a Sunday, you MUST come and experience the Holy Spirit alive and well in this little community!!
Her sermon title was, “There’s a Light On.”
If you have followed my blog for a week or more, you know that most Sundays as I listen to the sermon, I take notes – and most of the time I take them in some form of poetry. Today was no exception. Here is what I heard through my JanBeek filter:
I feel the Holy Spirit Perched on my shoulder. How we understand where we’ve been Matters a lot as we grow older.
Even though this is a new beginning, We sit on the blessings and woes of the past. We incorporate these into who we are As we step into the future – at last.
Genesis One spoke to me this week. Looking at effortless, timeless majesty, We are reminded of God’s control As the mountains loom with no hesitancy.
God holds all the cards; we don’t! The utility of history – truth and facts – Reminds us to adapt historical records As we articulate how God in creation acts.
God’s power was articulated in Genesis By stories and memories told with persistence. The Israelites were reminded of their God Who breathed the world into existence.
The creation story reminded them of hope – The hope and identity they have in God. Our stories tell who and where we’ve been. They reveal our cracks, our cobwebs, our sin.
We can look back at the God Who turned the light on within us, And we notice God’s sovereignty – Grateful for how His Son freed sin from us.
The Israelites remember the pain They had in exile for so many years. We too remember the pain and grief Of life – and thank God for drying our tears.
As we move as a church body Into newness, remember the past. Recall how He kept the light on – And move joyfully into the future – at last.
God is in this place with us Sure as the sun continues to rise. We’re challenged to move forward now Knowing we’re guided by the Light of God’s eyes.
There’s a Light On! Embrace the Light! Amen.
Toward the end of the service, Mary Grace presented a beautiful Pastoral Prayer. I took notes as I prayed this prayer with her:
Holy God, be with us. Most High God, comfort and heal the afflicted. Lord, grant Your presence. Bring them out of their suffering. Lord, we know You can – and You do. Almighty God, whom we sometimes call Father, pour out Your spirit on all fathers who are working today to provide food for their families, and to keep them sheltered. Eternal God, whom we still call Father, You are so much more than earthly fathers. Make whole what has been broken. Most Loving God, we give thanks for all those we call father. Thanks for all those who sacrifice for their children. God, whom we call Father, we stand in praise and awe of Your Power. Remind us You are in the boat and You have the Light on! Amen
Hear our prayer, O Lord. Hear our prayer, O Lord. Incline Thine ear to us, And grant us Thy peace.
Have a beautiful, blessed Sunday, my friends, And a very Happy Father’s Day. See ya tomorrow (God willing) – Love, JanBeek
Embrace Fellowship Cherish being together Time is so fleeting
Enjoy sharing time So much, you forget photos! Just be in the now.
Today our Presbyterian Women met at a gorgeous home right on the Madison River.
Those pictures above were taken several years back at our two annual fundraisers.
Today I intended to take some pictures to post here for you to see how much we enjoy our fellowship. But, I was having so much fun, I forgot to capture the event with my iPhone!
Instead, it is stored up in my memory bank. There were eleven of us. We had Bible Study, then dessert, and then our business meeting.
We planned future events – among them our volunteer schedule at the local Blood Draw next week – and our participation at the Ennis Art Festival (it was cancelled last year due to COVID).
Not being able to hold those functions helped us realize just how much fellowship means to our mental health. We really missed the connections!
I’ll bet you had the same reaction. Being isolated, socially distancing, wearing masks, cancelling events… all took their toll on us! How good to be back together again!!
Now we are able to go out to restaurants again. We socially distance, but we don’t have to wear masks. It is so good to feel safe in the company of others!
I ordered my favorite item on the Sidewinders menu: Reuben sandwich with sweet potato fries. MmmMmmmMmmmm!!
This afternoon, after our PW meeting, our new pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds, came for dinner and a fly casting lesson. Bob took her to the back yard and she practiced. Mary Grace is going to love going out on the Madison River. The guys are all lined up ready to take turns…
I took this slo-motion video so she can critique her technique. She’s a fast learner!
It was such a beautiful evening here. We thoroughly enjoyed our fellowship with Mary Grace. The Pastor Nominating Committee process was a long, arduous task that lasted about a year and a half… but MGR was worth waiting for!
Today our daughter, De, sent us links to this event coming up in Switzerland. (You remember our DeDe lives in Vissoie, Valais Switzerland, right?) We’ve been to this fun event in the past. “The Cow Fights” are an annual event. They are well attended. People go not just to see the excitement of the cows selecting their “Queen Cow” by the survival of the fittest, but for the fun of fellowship with as many friends as they can muster. They bet on the cow of their choice, drink their fill of Swiss wine and beer, and enjoy a picnic lunch high up in the beautiful Alps.
We won’t be there this weekend for the event, but we look forward to fellowship with our daughter and her family this October (God willing). We learned yesterday that she has a polyp on an ovary. It was detected during a routine annual physical. We are waiting for the biopsy report. Please pray with us that it is benign – and she can have it removed with no long-term adverse affects.
Looking out today at our neighbor’s house here in Montana, I can’t help but thank God for this beautiful place we live. I thank God for our “Hood” … gracious, loving, helpful neighbors. The Hockings, across the field from us, installed a gorgeous flag pole while we were on our trip to CA. What a great addition! We look forward to future fellowship with them – soon!
Meantime, here we are in this video – back in CA, sitting around the table at our son’s house, enjoying family fellowship, singing to our grandson-in-law, Drew, who celebrated his birthday back in Montana.
Ah, Family Fellowship… there’s nothing like it! I thank God each day for it. With Father’s Day coming up Sunday after this one, I look at these fathers in my life, and I thank God for their loving hearts.
I hope you have the gift of loving fathers in your circle of fellowship, too. Never take them for granted! Not every child is so blessed!!
IT’S GIFT FROM GOD!
I pray all you dads out there can slow down this week, enjoy life (it’s fleeting – passing waaay too fast), and Embrace the Fellowship of family, friends and fish.
(And I pray Bob can take some time to go out fishing… He’s been working waaay too hard this last few months.)
In Loving memory Of my dear, only sister All of us gathered
Many remembered The loving kindness of her I wrote and read this poem:
Sisters are a real treasure – A gift from Heaven with love. Sally shared with me a relationship Designed by God above.
When Sally and I were little, Mom dressed me as her twin. People thought we really were – But she would say, “I’m the oldest – so I win!”
I used to blame my sis for things When I was the culprit – clearly! “I no pick the flaws – maybe Sally d!” Fist full of flowers, I’d point sincerely.
She never held it against me; Her heart was too big for grudges! Always first to shrug nd forgive, She didn’t need a lot of nudges.
We both joined Turlock High Band; Played clarinet – marched in every parade. But she preferred being treasurer – Being sure ny dues were paid.
When God gave out number sense, I must have hid behind the door – Or else I missed it because my sis Had enough for the two of us -and more!
We never really competed with each other. She did her own thing – for sure. A more unique soul never existed – Cut from a loving mold – honest and pure.
She’d give you the shirt off her back If she thought you needed one – And she never missed a potluck – Or any other activity with games and fun.
Her closet was quite organized From Valentine’s to New Year’s Day. You never had to guess the holiday – Her clothing was the display.
After God created Sally, though, He threw away the mold. No one earth could match Her heart, her style – so quirky and bold!
Sally loved her family – of that we had no doubt. She loved her church and her yippy pups. She adored her Lodge sisters and her scouts. She generously gave us oregano, bee stuff, and cups.
I smile when I look at her pictures. They tell a story of a life filled with joy. They help me recall my sister’s love – And be grateful – She was the Real McCoy!
Here is Sally with my grandson, Jordan. The two of them shared a December 20th birthday.
I ended my remarks at Sally’s Memorial with this scripture:
1 Kings 3:12b “…no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arrive after you.”
Rest in peace, Sis. I’ll see ya later!
And my dear blogging friends, I’ll see YOU later, too. Bob & I will head back to Montana via Delta Airlines tonight. Your prayers for our safe travel and smooth connections will be greatly appreciated.
Has anyone ever taught you HOW to pray? Here is a 7 step process that my grand-nephew was studying today. I listened in.
GRATITUDE: Get comfortable. Be still. Deeply breathe in. Breathe out by anxiety. Express Gratitude to God. Tell God what you are grateful for.
AWARENESS. Revisit the times in the past 24 hours when you were the best version of yourself. Then talk to God about the times when you were not the best version of yourself. Talk to Him abut hw you will handle the situation better in the future.
SIGNIFICANT MOMENT… recall a moment when you felt God was trying to teach you something through an event or action. Talk to God about that significant moment.
PEACE: Ask God to forgive you for anything you have done that you feel badly bout. Ask for forgiveness, and ask God to fill Yyou with deep, deep, peace.
FREEDOM: Ask God to help you be the best version of yourself. Ask him how you can change to be the person He made you to be. Ask God for the Courage and Strength to make this change in your life.
OTHERS: Lift up to God anyone you feel you want to lift to Hi today. Ask for the specific way you want God to bless the people in your life that you care about. One at a time, bring them to God.
OUR FATHER: Pray the prayer you might often say by rote. But this time, say it slowly and find meaning in each phrase: Our Father, who art in heaven Hallowed be Thy name Thy kingdom come Thy will be done On earth as it is in heaven Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our debts As we forgive our debtors Lead us not into temptation But deliver us from evil For Thine is the Kingdom, And the Power, And the Glory Forever. Amen