Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Spiritual Gifts’ Category

Today I Am Grateful


Each morning, just before I leave my sanctuary and head down the stairs to tackle the new day, I write in my Thankfulness Journal. It reminds me to begin each day with an Attitude of Gratitude.

So, as this page in the journal suggests, I do just that… I take about 5 minutes to reflect back on the day before… and I write down three things for which I am grateful. Sometimes I can’t stop at three (I’ll squeeze in 4 or 5), and other days (like last week when I was so annoyed at the persistent hacky cough), I can only think of one thing… “Life.” But, always there is SOMETHING for which to be thankful.

Here are the two pages for last week’s entries:

Yes, even if it is “just life itself,” there always is a reason for Gratitude

Every month or so, there is a page for reflection – a question to ponder. Today, the page said, “today i am gratetful” and the page across from it invited me to write about a place I am thankful I had the opportunity to visit.

Think about how you would respond to such a prompt. Tell me a place for which you are grateful.

When thinking about a place, this is what came to my mind:

Forget the edited “the” – I fixed it…
It belongs before “beautiful” – or not at all.
Do you edit and re-edit your work, even in a journal?
I don’t usually, but I don’t usually take a picture of it, either!

Yesterday I worked at the Food Bank. The shelves were mighty bare. It’s because some folks are getting ready to replace the worn out carpet in there. I am grateful for the Food Bank, for those who donate food and those who donate time, for those who donate money and those who Care and Share in a ton of ways.

Today Bob & I are going to Helena, MT. We have been invited to an AARP Volunteers’ Recognition dinner there. I will tell you all about it tomorrow. It is our privilege to volunteer our time during these “Golden Years” to help those who need it. I am grateful today to Elaine Forsberg who nominated us as “Montana State Volunteers” worthy of mention. We do it for the Glory of the One who blesses us. Giving back is our greatest joy.

What are you most grateful for today?

See ya tomorrow

Using Our Gifts?


Are we Using our Gifts?

Today’s sermon notes from the message delivered at
The Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana
by Rev. Steve Hundley
inspired by the message Paul wrote to
the church in Corinth: 1Cor.1:1-9

It’s really not OK to live in your own little world, keep your gifts to yourself, and fail to step out with courage and faith to share the spiritual gifts God has given you. Today’s message focused on the problem we have when we hoard our gifts, keep the to ourselves, fail to use our talents to glorify God and benefit others. Steve Hundley called his sermon “The Gifted Church.”

I listened and noted the message through my own filters writing:

Paul wrote four letters
To the Corinth people.
The church there had problems;
They struggled ‘neath their steeple.
But it wasn’t a typical
Place with steeple on a peak.
Instead, they met in a house
Large enough to fit those who who seek
To worship God through Christ.
It was an urban setting.
The church was being attacked
By the townfolk who were vetting
Their frustration at Christians.
There was a gap between rich and poor.
It was a hindrance to worship
When the poor were scorned by those with more.

Corinth was a diverse city.
The church was diverse as well;
But their real problem was their gifts
With which they were gifted. (Do tell!)
We are weakest at the point
Of our greatest gift, when it
Is a crutch, not shared, not used
To glorify God, help others, and send it
Out to make the world better.

But when we use our gifts
To be part of something bigger –
And we thank God who lifts
Us up, then our gifts are used
To make our talents worthwhile.
Like the people of Corinth,
We must not let our gifts go into a pile
Where they are lost and wasted.

Talents not shared are wasted gifts.
There are talents everywhere,
But until we use them for others,
who will know? Who will care?
This is a church full of talented people
Whose gifts are very apparent.
You use them here and in the community.
You spread your joy; your love is transparent.

If Paul were alive today,
He would write a letter to praise you.
Keep on sharing, caring, using your gifts –
And let His loving spirit raise you
To His blessings.

Amen

What talent are you willing to share this week? Make your gifts count!

.

See ya tomorrow

Z = Zeal!


Zeal!

Zeal is the zest of life!
It’s the spice that adds joy to our days.
It’s the the ingredient that allows our passion to take the reins.

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Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

What are your passions?
What are you zealous about?

As we wrap up this A-Z series designed to help us
add more meaning and find more purpose in life,
what is your take-away?

 

I often have quoted Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat
from their book, Spiritual Literacy.
Here is what they had to say about ZEAL:

“Be passionately aroused by life.
Cherish every moment,
honor your commitments,
and treasure your kinship with all.”

Be Passionate About Life

What are you passionate about?
Make a list of those things, people, ideas, places
that arouse your passions.
Prioritize them, if you can,
and decide to
zealously do something positive
about each one of them this week.

 

heart shaped red neon signage

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

 

Here are a half a dozen things I am passionate about:

1. FAITH

2. FAMILY

3. FRIENDS

4. COMMUNITY

5. NATURE

6. SERVING

To “zealously do something positive about each one” of them this week, I will:

1. Practice my faith by attending church and teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, and leading as moderator for our Presbyterian Women. I will “walk the talk” as I strive to apply the principles Jesus is teaching me in His Word. Practice the principle this JanBeek.blog is built on: “Loving One Another.”

2. Devote time and energy to keeping in touch with family far and near. Treasure time with those who are here now… my husband, our daughter and son-in-law, grandson, granddaughter and her family. We are so blessed! Let the ones far away know they are precious to us, too. Write them, pray for them, call, text, or visit them. Never take them for granted.

3. Exercise hospitality as I invite friends to come for dinner, or treat a friend to lunch. Write cards of appreciation, those “Just Because” kinds of cards… not waiting for a birthday, anniversary, illness, or some other “expected” time to get a message. Pray daily for my friends, just as I do my family and our community and world leaders. Put their faces up to God and ask His blessings on them. He knows their needs better than I do.

4. Serve my community in the ways I am able: Food Bank, volunteer sous-chef at the Sr. Center, “man” the desk at the Medical Center as a “Purple Lady,” and visit friends at the nursing home (sometimes with my accordion in hand so we can sing “Oldies but Goodies” together). Shop locally – and express appreciation to our local merchants.

5. Appreciate and help to preserve nature. Pick up after myself. Give to the Wildlife Preserve, the Nature Conservancy., and other worthwhile organizations that work to enhance and protect our environment. Admire the mountains. Appreciate the deer and antelope who roam our grasslands here on Pintail Ridge, and admire the beauty of our birds – and even the cute little rodents (the hawks have to have something to feed on!).

6. Give Time! By now you know serving is a passion of mine – because I am retired and I am blessed with good health and TIME. In the list above I mentioned many ways I intend to serve. One I didn’t mention was my friend, Raymond, whom I visit weekly. He lives alone and his family is out of state. As long as I am able, I hope to look for those in need of what I have to give, and to serve in whatever way the Lord leads me. I am zealous about serving!

Cherish Every Moment

Honor Commitments

Be Zealous About Life (every day is a gift) – unwrap it!

 

birthday bow box card

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

God Bless You, dear blogging friends.

Thank you for journeying with me through this A-Z series.

See you tomorrow!

God’s 12 Step Program


God’s Twelve Step Program
Keeps me focused every day
As I walk downstairs

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My first hour each day
Spent in my sanctu-aerie
Starts my day off right

Then as I walk down
The twelve steps to the “real world,”
This is what I pray:

  1. Thank You, God, for the LOVE
  2. JOY, and
  3. PEACE that are mine.
  4. Help me with PATIENCE,
  5. KINDNESS,
  6. GOODNESS, and
  7. FAITHFULNESS (which brings blessings),
  8. GENTLENESS, and
  9. SELF-CONTROL.
  10. Help me live HUMBLY
  11. With an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE, and
  12. A response of GENEROSITY, FORGIVENESS, OBEDIENCE and INTEGRITY.

In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!

When I get to the seventh step, this is what I see:
(the words above the front door spell “blessings”)

A metal sculpture gift from our friends, Terry & Jim

Blessings

And as I look down, I continue with steps 8 -12

stairs down

And at the “Amen” I come face to face with this:

Elke Angel

She’s one of three angels on the wall
at the bottom of the stairs
(a gift from Norbert and Elke of Germany).

Norbert was 6 years old in 1962 when Bob & I were married.
We lived in the downstairs of the Schallers’ chalet.
Bob was in the army; his base just over the hill.
We have stayed in touch with Norbert through the years.
Such a blessing!

I’ve named this precious angel “Elke,”
in honor of Elke Schaller.
She and Norbert created the three angels.
“Angel Elke” reminds me in my coming and going
to keep that 12 step program in my heart.

I walk to the kitchen and look out.
Here is a neighborhood treasure to greet me!

Deer at Raymond's

Have a blessed day, my deer!!

Renewing Creativity


Contemplate rhythm
Renew creativity
Establish practice

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Patterns of nature
Reminders of importance
Seek repetition

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Frisky animals
Reminders of  neediness
Practice playfulness

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Elegant creatures
Constant reminders to seek
Beauty in our lives

trees in park

Stillness in nature
Wonderful reminder, yes,
To find perfect rest

high angle view of lying down on grass

Rest is an essential part of renewing creativity.
In “The Book of Creation,” J. Philip Newell wrote,

“The extent to which we are divorced from the complementary
rhythms of restfulness and creativity is the extent to which
we are cut off from patterns of well-being
within ourselves and our relationships.”

J Philip Newell went on to explain,

“If we fail to establish regular practices of stillness and rest, our creativity will be either exhausted or shallow. Our countenance,  instead of reflecting a vitality of fresh, creative energy that is sustained by the restorative depths of stillness, will be listless or frenetic.”

Are you sometimes feeling listless or frenetic? 

J Philip Newell concludes,
“Creativity without rest,
and productivity without renewal,
leads to exhaustion of our inner resources.”


Want to renew your creativity?

  • Contemplate rhythms of nature
  • Practice repetition
  • Be playful
  • Seek beauty
  • Find rest
  • Count your blessings

 

Remember the Elements of Creativity

According to Christine Valters Paintner in her book, The Artist’s Rule,
“Creativity is an essential and life-giving practice that (in order to flourish) requires:

  • Spaciousness
  • Attention, and
  • Intention”

 

What will you do today to increase your creativity?

How will you give yourself
the spaciousness
to call attention
to your blessings, and
to your intention
to write your next blog
more creatively?

 

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Plan ahead… Give it a rest… Think about it…

 

 … and write a comment below, will you?

 

It helps me to know I’m not “blowin’ in the wind!”

 

block blow blur child

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

 

Love, Grace, Mercy


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Love, Grace, and Mercy

Gifts given through Jesus Christ

Presents for each day

How Open Are You?


How Open Are You?

Not just Open House

But open YOU to the world

How Open Are you?

Was your home so full

At your Thanksgiving dinner

You added more chairs?

Is your spare bedroom

Filled with a loved relative?

If not, then why not?

We were gifted to

Give of our many blessings

Open up and give!

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