Every morning I begin my day with a cup of coffee and a climb up the stairs to my sanctuary where I spend time with my Bible, devotionals, prayers, and Jesus.
One of my devotionals is “These Days,” a daily devotion for living by faith, published by the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Its format is scripture, devotional, prayer.
Today’s scripture was:
He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.”
In the devotional, the author, Hope Douglas Harle-Mould, wrote about the comfort Jesus provides. She included a poem she wrote to Our God of all Faithfulness:
“We pray for a cure; God sends us healing. We pray for continued life; God gives us new life. We pray death will not come; God overcomes death. We pray in anguish; God weeps with us. We pray in fear; God teaches us to laugh. We pray for ourselves; God gives us each other. We pray for miracles; God fills us with love. We pray for the future; God showers us with blessedness. God, help me trust the voices heralding your hope.”
I am assured as I read and pray and study God’s word, that just as he carries the lamb in his arms, he will be faithful to carry me.
As I descend the twelve stairs at the end of my devotional time, I recite my personal TWELVE STEP PROGRAM Thank You, Jesus, for the:
Peace (that are mine). Help me with
Faithfulness (which brings blessings),
Help me live humbly with an attitude of gratitude, and
A response of generosity, forgiveness,
Obedience, and integrity. In Jesus name, Amen!
When I get to the 7th step, I see the metal sculpture that says, “Blessings” above my door. It was a gift from our dear friends, Jim & Terry, so I pause to thank God for their faithful friendship. When I get to the bottom of the stairs, I see this cross on the wall:
It was made by Native Americans. I pause to pray for them and their peace and prosperity. I send occasional gifts to schools for Native American children – – places like St. Labre’ and St. Joseph’s – and they faithfully write back acknowledging my small donation.
Faithfulness is a two-way street. We pray to God faithfully; God answers. We give to people who touch our hearts; they give back with gratitude & smiles. We read God’s Word faithfully each day; He gives us wisdom and discernment, understanding and blessings.
Check out this different version of that old song, The B-I-B-L-E… I love it! What a way to learn to names of the books of the Bible, huh?
How do you begin your day, my friends? What does FAITHFULNESS mean to you?
Thanks for visiting today. I hope your Friday is blessed, indeed!
When are you the most creative? Where do your creative juices flow most freely? What’s your God-given creative talent?
I am not a painter. I may have some latent talent there, but I have never developed it.
Do you have hidden talents that you have not fully explored?
When children are given the tools and the examples early in life, often that becomes the springboard for a life of artistic talent shared.
No one told me that my scribbles might lead to a creative talent that would be appreciated by others!
But, I was encouraged to sing as a child. That was a talent that did not go unnoticed. How could you ignore it when I was a 3-year-old singing “Appo-Tee, Appo-Tee, AppoTee” all the way through the hymns at church. Singing loudly and joyfully!
Hah! It was during the time of WWII and a popular song was “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (with Anyone Else But Me).”
You’re probably not old enough to remember it!! Go ahead, click on it here. You’ll love it!!
So how did my “Appo Tee” singing graduate into a full-blown creative talent? Like any talent, it takes involvement, participation, practice.
I have been a member of a choir for as long as I can remember… … always in school, then in church, and eventually our community choir. I am not a soloist, but I love singing in a duet or trio or with a large group. Recently our church choir was able to start up again… it is such a joy!
Once I even got to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during one of their dress rehearsals for their Christmas concert!
The rendition below of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” was sung by the University of the Pacific Choir at Bob’s and my wedding 2/11/62. Here is the Mormon Tabernacle singing it. I love it so much!
If your talent is not singing or painting, maybe you developed a talent in another area – like cooking or woodworking or metal sculpture.
Of course, one major talent I forgot mention Is instrumental music … the piano or a woodwind or string or brass instrument… Such talent brings so much joy to the player as well to a world of listeners.
I played the accordion and the clarinet as a child and continued to do so until just recently. My accordion is not functioning, there’s a hole in the bellows.
Perhaps I will find another small accordion that I can handle… and will resume that creative endeavor. The children at the day care center and the residents at our local Nursing Home enjoyed it!
Here’s just a small clip – (it’s only 10 seconds!!) of me playing for the residents at my sister’s place in PA a couple of years ago. (I won’t burden you with too much of this!) Hah!
My cousin always used to send me comic strips about the accordion. One was a guy entering heaven and the angel said, “Welcome to Heaven, here’s your harp.” The other was a gal entering Hades. The angel greeted her and said, “Welcome to Hell, here’s your accordion.”
Hah! I miss Cliff and those jokes!!
The question remains: What are your God-given talents? Have you developed an area of creativity?
I forgot to mention writing!! Us bloggers imagine ourselves to have that talent or else we wouldn’t be posting here on WordPress, right?
But, even this writing talent doesn’t improve without practice, right? Never stop learning and trying to improve – regardless of the area of creativity… gardening & photography (Derrick) – poetry (Dwight, Richard, Pat, Rahul, etc.) cooking (Andre’ & Caralyn) You know who you are… and what you need to do!
Our library was having a book sale last week. For a dollar, I was able to buy this wonderful book. Copyrighted 20 years ago, it’s never outdated, and I can never stop learning how to be a better writer. Like any talent, it takes practice, study, and more practice. And feedback always helps!
Roses are red. Violets are pink. I’m an emerging poet. Man, don’t I stink?
No, don’t badmouth yourself!! Keep workin’ at it…
Embrace Creativity! Tell me about yours…
Thanks for sharing! See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love, JanBeek
While you are thanking God for making you human, giving you courage to try hard things, helping you learn and grow and understand the lessons life has for you, don’t forget to count your blessings!
Goodness Surrounds you. You’ll find it If you look thoughtfully – Blessings!
Count your blessings Name them one by one Count your many blessings See what God has done
If that is your focus, You won’t have time to See the other side of the coin! You’ll be too busy giving back!!
We are blessed To be a blessing. Count your blessings See what God has done!
Focus on what you have Not what you wish you had! Use your gifts for others And watch them come back multiplied!
Plant the seeds in your garden carefully. Make sure they are in rich, fertilized soil. Keep your soul seeped in the encouraging Words of scripture… and you’ll grow fruits of the spirit!
I am thankful for you, Grateful for your presence in my life. You’re the flowers in my life’s garden. I feel blessed to have you visit JanBeek Leaving encouraging comments. Thank you!!
See you later. Have a blessed day!
I’m off to church… I’ll share my sermon notes later today. Come on back!
P.S. Did I tell you yesterday was my dad’s birthday? He would have been 110!! One of my many blessings is having him for my earthly father. Check out my blog from way back when – when I posted a poem I wrote about my dad:
We All have Gifts to give All others do, too Embrace
Embrace The gifts Celebrate others’ gifts Open them with care Receive
Recognize And see What others give To enhance your life Appreciate
Name Your gifts Use them lovingly Share them with humility Blessings
Share Love and Time and compassion Remember that you matter Engage
Engage In life With your heart Wide open to receive Gifts
Gifts Don’t always Come all wrapped In pretty Christmas packages Discern
Precious Loving gifts Often are disguised In very simple acts of Humility
You Have gifts Unique to you Never underestimate your impact Shine
Shine Your gifts With loving kindness Embrace the many opportunities Smile!
Thanks For coming To JanBeek today Your loving presence here Matters
Elfchen or Elevensie is a poetic form that uses eleven words in a configuration of 1,2,3,4,1. Did you recognize it as you read my post today? If you haven’t already, you should try it. It’s fun! Thank you, Richard at Big Sky Buckeye for inspiring me and sharing your gift! Check out his blog, my friends.
P.S. I found this insightful You.Tube presentation on the subject of GIFTS… gifts of the Holy Spirit. I thought it was quite well done – and a good addition to the topic, Embrace Gifts. If you have time, I highly recommend it.
Let’s embrace blooming – Both the blooming of flowers As well as ideas.
Let’s embrace blooming – Blooming of plants and ideas As well as people.
Let’s embrace blooming – Blooming of people today; The world needs blossoms!
One is fully bloomed – One is on its way to bloom – A couple are curled.
To fully open, We must face toward the Son Light. Do not turn away!
Blossoms need sunlight. We need the light of the Son In order to bloom.
“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.”
Your soul will sparkle; It will bloom and grow in love If you walk humbly.
As long as Christ leads We can make it all the way; We can bloom and thrive.
Let your blossoms dance! Follow in obedience. Let your spirit shine.
Your smile’s contagious When you blossom from inside. Let’s Embrace Blooming!
Your blogging sparkles And your face reflects the Son. You’re brilliant and bright!
Fertilize others With words of encouragement. Continue to bloom!
My heart bubbles over with gratitude for God’s Bright and Brilliant Light. May it continue to bubble over in our hearts and lives. “Open up your heart and let the sunshine in!” Listen to the sunny song below – It’s a favorite from my childhood.
I have told my WP friends this story before, but it was a while back… and since then, many of you are new to JanBeek, so it bears repeating:
My friend, Bob Jorgenson, born with Cerebral Palsy, was bright as a tack. His parents brought him every Sunday to church in his wheel chair. They sat mid-way up in the sanctuary with him. They stayed after church for fellowship. They helped people understand what Bob had to say – because Bob’s speech was compromised – but he had so much to say!
Homer and Ruth knew their son would not live a long life, but they packed ten life-times into Bob’s 35 years. They took him to Europe, to Disneyland, to Asia, to the Holy Land. They built a train track and a miniature train in a circle around their wooded property, and fixed up the engine so that Bob could run the train and give train rides to various groups of kids who came to experience the wonder of it.
When Bob was on his last breaths, lying helpless and speechless in his hospital bed, Homer sat with him. He had Bob’s favorite hymnal. As he turned the pages, Homer asked Bob to blink when he came to a song Bob wanted to hear.
Homer was singing “It is Well With My Soul” to his son when Bob breathed his last.
I never hear this song without welling up inside. My heart smiles.
I climb the stairs each day, Then I turn on the light. Sometimes it’s still dark out. I rock ’til it gets bright.
Sipping my cup o’ coffee, Rocking as I pray, I meditate and read His Word As I welcome each new day.
I can rock away troubles; I can sit here and be still. I can listen to the Spirit, And discern the Father’s Will.
I can rock in my wicker chair Until my head and heart are clear. I can feel the Lord’s presence And thank God He’s ever near.
And when my rocking’s over I thank Jesus for his time, And slowly I descend the stairs (It’s my 12-step program climb).
Climb down to face the world. Climb down to start my day. Use the Fruits of the Spirit In a thoughtful kind of way:
Thank You for the LOVE,
and the PEACE that are mine.
Help me, Lord, with PATIENCE,
and FAITHFULNESS (which brings blessings)
8. Help me with GENTLENESS, 9. and SELF-CONTROL.
10. Help me live HUMBLY with an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE 11. and a response of GENEROSITY, FORGIVENESS, 12. OBEDIENCE and INTEGRITY.
IN JESUS NAME, AMEN! And now I am at the bottom of the stairs where these words greet me across from the front door – “The Greatest of These is Love” – and these angels smile at me on the wall beneath the stairs:
I rock! And my day will rock, too Because I have taken time to pray. I rock! And you will rock, too Because I pray for you, too, each day.
On the back side of this page Is a list of each WordPress friend. I ask the Lord to guard you. Rock on! Accept the love I send.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. Have a love-filled day! See ya tomorrow.
Meantime, enjoy this song that was a hit in 1955 (I was a sophomore in high school… great memories of rockin’ school dances!!)