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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Embrace Relaxation


Thank you, Larry Stoltz
Gorgeous Photography
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have a peaceful , relaxing Wordless Wednesday.
Embrace Relaxation!
Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Extravagance


What?
Embrace Extravagance?
I have to be kidding, right?

Photo by Kamaji Ogino on Pexels.com

Extravagance is kin to outlandish.
Extravagance means excessive.
Right?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wrong!
Extravagance doesn’t need to mean outlandish.
It can be thought of as abundance.

Extravagance is
Abundance of some good food –
Okay if it’s shared!

Extravagance is
An abundance of pure love –
Beautiful when shared

Extravagance is
The overflow of blessings –
Lovely gifts from God

Life is extravagantly wonderful!

When the night sky touches your soul,
When other bloggers touch your inner core,
It’s a sign of the extravagance of others
That keeps you longing for more

In his “Keys to Living Life”

Today, January 24, 2021, Rahul Gaur wrote a blog so powerful that I HAD to share it. First I tweeted it. I have never shared someone else’s blog by tweeting it before. I have reblogged a few. This one is so impactful that I need you to click on Rahul’s name and go to it. See it for yourself. It is extravagantly beautiful! Here are a couple of sentences that particularly touched me:

“The soul is the lost intuition
and the listening switch of your body.
When you need to see things beyond as they are,
to see things as they were meant to be,
you listen to the orchestra of your soul.⁣”

I listened with my soul to today’s sermon

Sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana

Thy Kingdom Come

“Thy Kingdom Come” is
a political statement –
Except we believe
in a heavenly kingdom.

It’s not a worldly kingdom.
It is “THY” kingdom come.
Let God’s Kingdom reign,
Not MY domain – not MY will.

As a pastor, I am sometimes
Guilty of saying, “Look at me!”
I do the “my” and not “Thy” message
And have to learn to lose self.

We all need to learn to be
De-throned … and let
God’s Kingdom be the focus.
Peace, reconciliation & hope are God’s.

God’s Kingdom is not attainable
On our earth. It is not!
Utopia here in our world
Is not within our reach.

No earthly political order
Will ever be the Kingdom of God.
God’s Kingdom is like a seed.
It’s like a net in the water.

The seed one day will sprout.
The net will gather fish.
God’s work on earth is extravagant,
But the Kingdom is elusive here.

The Kingdom of God is at the door.
It takes eyes of faith to see
What lies beyond the threshold.
It is there though we see it not.

When we say “Thy Kingdom COME,”
We might more easily say GO.
Go from You into me…
God’s Kingdom lives in each of us.

It’s an awesome fact that
The Kingdom of God is in you.
We must not lose hope or faith
And we must not live in satisfaction.

Never be satisfied with what is.
Only when we submit to God’s Kingdom
Does it really COME. So care!
Care for the poor; release greed and pettiness.

It’s liberating to know when
We turn our lives and our futures
Over to our Extravagant God –
We’ll see His Kingdom coming into the world.

Amen?

“Listen to the orchestra of your soul.”
Rahul Gaur
Keep you ears open to soulful listening…
Thank you, Rahul, for your blog.
Thank you, Rev. Steve, for your message.
Thank You, God, for your Kingdom of Love.

Embrace Extravagance!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

Embrace Reassurance


Bee ye reassured
God’s surely with you today
He won’t desert you

And you have a host
Of others who are with you
On each of life’s steps

So, be reassured
By the love of all your friends
Who are there for you

Thank your friends for their
Calls and their conversations
About their blessings

It reassures you
To know you are not alone
In your solitude

Capitalize it!
Make that you into a “You.”
Trust in our Savior

You are not alone
Be reassured that your prayers
Are heard and answered

Yes, be reassured
That God hears your heart’s yearnings.
You’re heard; God responds.

God hears you in prayer
So, embrace reassurance
Know that God is there

Thank for visiting JanBeek

Tell me what reassures you when you need it.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Calm


Let’s all embrace calm
Quiet our souls and listen
Hear each other’s hearts

Let’s all embrace calm
Be still and let minutes pass
In loving silence

Embrace calm with me
Sync your heart to the tick-tock
Of peaceful minutes

Embrace calm today
Reflect on the poignant words
Of Amanda’s poem

Anderson Cooper
Interviewed that young lady
Then posted a link

Many people wrote
Responded to interview
With posts like this one:

Replying to @andersoncooper and @TheAmandaGorman
“Awww I loved that,
you all sat and talked about poetry for at least 5 minutes.
So relaxing.
Probably the least stressed ya have been for 4 years.
Words have power for good too..
let’s rinse off the negative.”

Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration Poem:
“The Hill We Climb”

It was posted in paragraph form.
I am sure that’s not how she wrote it.
I have tried to separate the stanzas as she might have,
I am sure I don’t have them all right, but I tried…
and the poem is so beautiful that
even written as prose – it is downright gorgeous!



Mr. President, Dr. Biden, Madam Vice President, Mr. Emhoff, Americans and the world,


When day comes we ask ourselves
where can we find light
in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry a sea
we must wade.
We’ve braved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet
isn’t always peace.
In the norms and notions
of what just is isn’t always justice.
And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we’ve weathered
and witnessed a nation
that isn’t broken,
but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country
and a time where a skinny black girl
descended from slaves
and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one.

And yes, we are far from polished,
far from pristine,
but that doesn’t mean
we are striving to form
a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge
our union with purpose.
To compose a country
committed to all cultures, colors,
characters, and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes
not to what stands between us,
but what stands before us.
We close the divide
because we know to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true.
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried
that we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat,
but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone
shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to her own time,
then victory won’t lie in the blade,
but in all the bridges we’ve made.
That is the promise to glade,
the hill we climb if only we dare.
It’s because being American
is more than a pride we inherit.
It’s the past we step into
and how we repair it.
We’ve seen a forest that would shatter
our nation rather than share it.
Would destroy our country
if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy
can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith we trust
for while we have our eyes on the future,
history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption.
We feared it at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour,
but within it, we found the power
to author a new chapter,
to offer hope and laughter
to ourselves so while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert, how could catastrophe
possibly prevail over us?

We will not march back to what was,
but move to what shall be a country
that is bruised, but whole,
benevolent, but bold,
fierce, and free.
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction
and inertia will be the inheritance
of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain,
if we merge mercy with might
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind
a country better than one we were left.
With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest
we will raise this wounded world
into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the West.
We will rise from the wind-swept Northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the Lake Rim cities
of the Midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked South.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
in every known nook of our nation,
in every corner called our country
our people diverse and beautiful
will emerge battered and beautiful.
When day comes,
we step out of the shade
aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light.
If only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

-Amanda Gorman,
USA national poet laureate

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Let’s embrace calm –
and be brave enough
in our calmness
to “step out of the shade
aflame and unafraid…”

Ready to join the cause of unity and peace.
Ready to work for social and racial equality.
Ready to do our part to make the world
a better place.

Love to you,
JanBeek

Embrace Listening


This is the image I put on the front of this week’s church bulletin:

Sermon topic: “Listening for God.”

If you’ve followed my blog for a week or more,
you know that Sunday afternoon’s blog usually is devoted to
sermon notes from this morning’s worship service
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana – sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley.

Today’s sermon, “Listening for God,”
was based on the story of Hannah, Samuel, and Eli
as told in 1 Samuel 3:1-20 and John 1:43-51.

Listening for God

Sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
Poetic notes by Jan Beekman

I was known to be able
To sleep through anything.
I inherited that trait
from my grandma. You could sing
At the top of your lungs
And she would not awake.
That’s a trait I retained
Through most of my life’s daybreaks.

But later in life I found
I would awaken at midnight
And be unable to go back to sleep.
I couldn’t nod off, try as I might.
And in the wee hours I find
The bad things seem worse.
They magnify in the darkness.
Sleeplessness is a curse!

So, how must it have been
When Samuel heard God’s voice
In the middle of the night –
Must’a made him puzzle – not rejoice!
His mother, Hannah, also
Heard God’s voice when barren.
He told her she’d give birth,
So she promised her babe she’d be sharin’.

When her baby, Samuel, was born,
She kept her promise to God
And gave her child to Him
By delivering him to Eli’s sod.
Samuel grew up in the church.
One night Sam heard the sound
Of a voice calling out his name.
He went to Eli in a running bound.

Eli told him it was God
Calling him to listen and hear.
It took courage to listen and accept
That it was the Lord speaking clear.
Samuel’s whole life changed that night
As he suddenly became a man.
He learned to listen without fright
And obey God’s voice… just as we can.

There are lots of voices we hear
In our nights that lack sweet slumber.
Are we listening to the true voice of God
Or is it somebody else – or thunder?
While we wake to the world’s troubles,
Sometimes it’s hard to discern and hear
The Word of God – and live what He commands.
Declare our willingness, and know God is near.

There is grace and hope knowing
When Samuel listened, he changed
From a boy to a Man of God –
And his future was rearranged.
Take courage and respond with
“Speak, Lord, your servant is ready
To hear and respond, and live out
Your words to me. Keep me steady.”

Amen

Eli assured Samuel it was God speaking to him.

There were a couple dozen of us tuned in to this ZOOM church service today.
Thank you for joining us via this blog
I pray you are tuned in to hear God’s voice, too.

Proverbs 2:1-5

Make your ear attentive…

“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

A Bible verse from our son, Ty, today

To be sure your steps
Are on the path the Lord sets
Embrace Listening

… and practice obedience!
Here’s one of the hymns we sang during our ZOOM service this morning:

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.
Have a great Sunday afternoon/evening.

Embrace Differences


Embrace differences.
Appreciate each other.
Yes, love your neighbor.

Each person’s unique.
No two of us are alike.
Makes the world better.

But we must avoid
Drawing early conclusions.
Reserve your judgements!

Congratulations,
Tahneek Rahman,
For this excellent short film.

Today’s message says,
“Thank you for embracing this.
God bless your Sunday!”

See you this afternoon.
Hope you are able to go to church this morning.
Our church will meet on ZOOM.
I’ll keep you in prayer and
I’ll post my sermon notes later.

Pray for our nation’s peaceful transition of power.
Pray for the safety of all our people.
Pray for an end to this COVID-19 pandemic.
Pray for us to appreciate and embrace our differences.

Come on back later today!
Love, JanBeek

Embrace Compassion


Image result for scripture about having compassion for others

Embrace Compassion
Be kind to one another
Be quick to show love

Ephesians 4:32

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. … Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you. “

What the world needs now is love, sweet love …
and it needs to be exhibited by showing compassion to one another…
especially to those whose attitudes, beliefs,
and ways of expressing themselves
are different from our own.
Be a compassionate listener!

1 Thessalonians 5:11-14

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

What can people do
In a world filled with trouble?
Display compassion!


Try to understand –
Look for commonality.
Rise above the fray.


Don’t join arguments –
Don’t fuel the fires of anger.
Instead, be the frey!

Frey: the god of fertility and dispenser of rain and sunshine.
No, I’m not suggesting you can be a god…
But you can be a dispenser of sunshine, right?
You can take a deep breath, smile, and rain on the fires of hate.

You can see the beauty in others.

Each person has strife.
No one’s life is perfection,
But we’re God’s children.

As such, we are called
To bear each other’s burdens.
Embrace compassion.

This is as valid today as it was the day it was recorded in 1966…
In fact it’s even more true in today’s world.
Don’t you agree?

What the world needs now
Is more love and compassion.
Start spreading it now!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Cute Puppies


Found on FaceBook – so cute!
Happy Puppy
This is our Boston, TazE, when we first got her.
She is now ten years old!

I just needed a diversion today
away from politics and religion
and anything serious.
So, I decided puppies
were a great way
to get my head cleared
and put a smile on my face.
Don’t you agree?
A little dab of puppy
does it!

Today at d’Verse, De Jackson, asked us to write a Quadrille poem (exactly 44 words) with the word dab in it.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com
Photo by Samson Katt on Pexels.com
Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com
Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com

How about you?
Do you have a favorite pup picture to cheer me?
Or a favorite puppy story?
Time to share!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

One With Us


Sermon Notes from today’s ZOOM worship service
of the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Delivered by Rev. Steve Hundley
Poetic notes taken by JanBeek

One With Us

Have you ever spoken honestly
And in the process provoked
A person to anger?
Perhaps you even joked

About what you said.
You’re trying to be forgiven.
Be careful what you say and do.
Beware the life you’re livin’.

Jesus was with a crowd
Of sinners at the Jordan.
What had Jesus done to need
Forgiveness? What secrets hoardin’?

Sometimes we find ourselves
Guilty by association.
So Jesus had reason to be
Thought a sinner by the Jewish nation.

John the Baptist, however,
Knew Jesus was sinless.
So he didn’t want to baptize Him.
But his protest was winless!

Jesus was determined to be
Baptized by John, even though
He was sin-free. So we wonder,
Why did He need it? Want to know?

He wanted to be baptized
In order to be One with us!
Like Him, we need to be
One in Christ and eliminate fuss!

If Jesus was willing
To step down and be One
With all of us sinners,
Who are we, when all’s said and done?

We are all sinners, invited
To come to the river, too.
Be one with our brothers and sisters.
I’m all for it. How about you?

The sermon was inspired by the scriptures: Acts 19:1-7 and Mark 1:4-11
which were eloquently read to us by our pastor’s wife, Elaine,
from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message Bible”

ACTS 19 1-2 Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?”

“We’ve never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?”

“How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.

“In John’s baptism.”

“That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.”

5-7 And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God’s actions. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day.

MARK 4-6 John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.

7-8 As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”

9-11 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

PRAYER OF CONFESSION: 

God of all mercy, in our baptism You have marked us as Your own; You have given us a new identity and made us part of the body of Christ.  In doing so, You have called us to rise to new life and live together in community.  However, we have not been faithful to Your call.  We have forged our own identity and held to destructive habits.  We confess we have failed to welcome others, and broken our bonds with our brothers and sisters, and served ourselves more than You.  Forgive us, we pray, for the sake of Christ, our Savior.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON:  John 1:12

Hear the good news!  God said to Jesus, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with You I am well pleased.”  We have a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weakness, who has been tempted as we are, yet is without sin.

In Christ’s name we may draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, and there find mercy and grace to help in time of need.

As forgiven sinners, may we go out into the world
and make a positive difference.
May we…

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

If you have not heard former Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s You Tube message today, I recommend you click on the link here. His message, reinforcing the need for UNITY in our USA, is quite powerful. God Bless Arnie! We all need to step up in support of Democracy as he has done!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2021/01/10/arnold-schwarzenegger-twitter-speech-capitol-nazis/

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
If you missed my last post, “Embrace God”
with Steve Hundley’s Pastoral Prayer,
I invite you to go to it.
Like Arnold’s speech, it is a powerful message.

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Patience


An Elfchen is an Elevensie …
A poetic form that has 11 words,
1+2+3+4+1 = 11

It’s fun. Try it!

Open
Your petals
To fully bloom
Takes time; Embrace patience
Love

We all have it

Love
Flows out
And creates beauty
From what was dormant
Shine!

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.com

Slow
And steady
Wins the race
Take each step faithfully
Patience

I love you!

Disagreements
Become larger
When they smoulder
Bring them to light
Patiently

Hostility
Becomes Hatred
When we’re misunderstood
Explore ideas with respect
Honor

Exercise compassion with
love
consideration
and
respect

Embrace Patience

Let’s just love one another, okay?
See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Bee well!!

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