Looking for beauty Can sometimes be elusive When your eyes are closed
So open your eyes To find the beauty around. It is everywhere!
Do you look at it? The “it” that’s blocking your view? Where do your eyes go?
Look up to enjoy The beauty, not the blockade! Listen for the sounds.
The amorous dove Is cooing to his partner: “Come with me and rest.”
“It is the Sabbath – A day to stop and relax. Let’s go to our nest.”
“Are you listening? Don’t look down – the nest’s not there. Let’s fly to our roost.”
“You go if you want. I’m perfectly happy here. Cozy. Protected.”
“OK. I give up. Every bird is not the same. Be happy sitting…
But I want to go Exploring other vistas.”
Like that female dove, Sometimes we seem to be stuck In our own small rut.
Afraid to venture Out into this great big world To meet challenges.
There are lovely views On horizon’s other side – Beyond folds of light.
This view is Lisa’s – It’s in North Carolina. Sent to me with prayer.
I may not go there – Not today or tomorrow. But maybe someday.
I want to explore The beauty of Lisa’s world. Its vistas call me…
Just as our preacher, Dawn, who was in the pulpit, Felt Africa’s call.
She shared her stories With us in church this morning. They were amazing!
She spoke of children Where poverty and illness Put them at great risk.
Experiences Shared with us in church today Brought love of strangers.
“When were You hungry and I fed You? When were You thirsty and I gave You drink? When were You a stranger and I welcomed You? When were You naked and I gave You clothes? When were You sick or in prison and I took care of You?”
“Whenever you did one of these to the least of these, my children, you did it unto Me.”
Paraphrased from Matthew 34-40
Love Stories from Africa
Our guest speaker told of her missionary trips to Uganda and Ghana, South African areas where she was called by God to go – not to speak of religion – but show the love of Christ through her actions. She helped children with cancer, families with loved ones dying of HIV-AIDS, orphaned children, farmers in need to seeds to plant their crops, or goats to provide milk, or workers who needed motor bikes to get to their places of employment. She danced to the music of the natives, and walked barefoot in the sands of these foreign lands.
Judgement turned to admiration. She gained appreciation for the resilience of these people. The poverty rate was 80% in many of the remote regions of the north. Improving their health care and job opportunities was the goal of the USA funding that she managed. The people had so little that every bit of help was doubly appreciated. They had so little, and yet they had so much. So much love. So much beauty.
Beauty comes smiling at us Everywhere we turn If we just open our eyes See the love – and learn!
Learn to treasure all the people God has made. Reach out to those you meet. Love them all – be not afraid!
Love is all we need. Gotta keep it real simple: Love God – Love People!!
Embrace Sunday. Embrace God and Love One Another. See ya tomorrow (God willing).
The Reason for the season Is not always clear. Today as I was decorating, This message caught my ear.
Time to decorate For the coming of Jesus. It’s Holiday Time.
Time to decorate The foyer and entryway; Put up Christmas wreaths.
Time to decorate Dining room and kitchen, too. Poinsettia in place.
Time to decorate Living room and outside, too. Hang lighted snowflake.
Time to decorate For the coming of Christmas Where is the manger?
Is Jesus in your decor?
I can decorate. The reason for the season Must be apparent.
Look carefully at that picture. Santa is back there… But in front of him is a clay manger scene. It looks pretty primitive. That’s because it is! Out son made this as an art project in Sunday School when he was about 6 years old. He’s now 55.
Do you keep such works of art and take them out each year to treasure the memories?
It is a case from a friend who visited from Africa – and in the case are these darling manger scene figures made from grasses:
When the Christmas decoration boxes come up from the basement, with them come so many memories. This is a real egg with a window cut out by my dear mother-in-law, Laura Belle Beekman. She painted it red, decorated it, and added a musical angel to the center of it. It was my Christmas gift from her in the early 60’s, shortly after Bob & I were married. With her Faberge’ style eggs, she comes alive again – and lives in our Christmas decor.
When I hang this ornament on our tree each year, my Hillsborough, California kindergarten class comes alive. This one with our kitty, was the sample I made as my students were creating theirs – with a picture of themselves on their ornaments. One of those students, Heidi, still has hers. She posted it on FaceBook last week. What a treasure! Heidi is now 55!!
How are you doing with your holiday decorations? Have you put up a tree? Or do you have a Menorah? Or an Advent Wreath? Tell me about your decorating fun this time of the year.
And meantime, click on the link below and enjoy two of my favorite singers singing one of my favorite Christmas songs.
Merry Christmas is coming… Enjoy your decorating! And don’t forget the REASON for the SEASON!! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
Last Sunday was World-wide Communion Sunday. As a congregation, we were asked to bring a piece of cloth from another country. I wish I had some of the colorful cloth these darling girls are wearing!
Many folks in our church have traveled to various countries and have returned with cloth that represents their travels. Our communion table was decorated with some of them.
Rather than going up to the communion table, we each picked up a small plastic container on our way into the sanctuary. In it was a wafer (like those pictured above) under a thin cellophane covering. Beneath that, under another enclosure with the grape juice.
The wafer and grape juice represent the bread and wine which represent the body and blood of Christ broken and shed for our salvation. Christian people all over the world celebrated that tradition last Sunday. It had to be done differently in order to maintain social distancing and safety during this pandemic. But, where there is a will, there is a way. We did it!
How about you? Did you celebrate World Communion Sunday?
And if not, if your tradition of celebration is different, tell me about it. I’m curious.
Thanks for visiting. I appreciate you. Have a beautiful day! Love, JanBeek
Have you ever been living in a house for a week without the benefit of running water? That’s been our situation this week.
If you don’t have water running in your house, then your toilets don’t work. Have you lived in your house without a toilet working and with no outhouse? That’s what we’ve done… and our dear neighbors let us drive the 1/4 mile to their house to use their bathroom when we needed it this week. At night, we’ve slept in the church manse where we could use the toilet when needed without driving to the neighbors’ place at midnight!
We’ve been updating the water system in our house – replacing the water tank, pump, radiant floor heating system, etc… Long story as to why this was necessary, but suffice to say, I am not complaining. I know I am blessed.
I know there are people in this world who have to walk miles to get drinking water – or any kind of water for that matter – and they carry it on their heads to bring it home to their families. So, am I complaining about driving a quarter mile to use a toilet – or about not having running water in my house for a week? No way!!!
But an outhouse would come in handy right about now! Maybe I should just pretend I’m camping right now. Ya think?
When you go to Amazon.com and buy something on-line, you have a chance to donate a percentage of your dollars to a charity of your choice. I give to
Water to Thrive provides clean safe water to rural African communities by connecting donors, sponsors, congregations, schools and community groups directly to communities in need.
There are many organizations related to clean water and building wells in remote places around the world – where fresh, running water is a luxury. I hope you find one that you can support – – – The people who receive your support will rejoice, for sure!
People all over the world are in need of fresh water for their survival. Being without running water in my home for a week has certainly taught me empathy.
What charity is dear to your heart? Have you ever been in a situation where you lacked the water you needed for your daily needs? Tell me about it.
Bee kind to yourself – You are a special person. You “moose” treat yourself with love.
Bee kind to yourself – Wrap yourself in perkiness. Smile in the mirror.
Bee kind to yourself – Find the most perfect head wrap. Wrap yourself in love.
There’s where I found those beautiful head wrap pictures. I may have to “Shop Now” to find that perky, beautiful fabric. Will you teach me to tie it that way? Will they make me a gorgeous as those lovely ladies?
Bee kind to yourself – Hug your sweetheart every day. Don’t let life skunk you!
Bee kind to yourself – And share your love with others. Reach out to loved ones.
With today’s virus, Social distancing’s a must. Don’t let it stop you!
Sharing’s essential – And loneliness is rampant. Kindness is two-way!
Share kindness with friends. ‘Cuz what you give blesses you. Imitate Jesus!
Kindness lifts others. Just as Jesus lifts you up, Imitate His love!
Be kind to yourself – Go find a beautiful spot, And share it today.
Julie and Lisa Shared with each other the view And walk in the park.
Beauty’s more lovely When shared with one another. Who might walk with you?
Or who might visit, Enjoy the flowers and porch? Reach out to someone.
Let your love brighten The life of those around you. Be kind to them, too.
Share your gorgeous views And notice how your love shines And kindness returns.
Love and prayers sending your way. Bee well … Bee Safe … Bee Kind!
What did you do to “Bee Kind” to yourself or others today? (Or what do you plan to do?) Live intentionally.
Artist Tawny Chatmon is phenomenal!! I was introduced to her work today, and I just have to share it with you. My blog is about how we can increase our love for one another. Well, one way is to love and appreciate the shared talents of others.
The girls are soooo beautiful! I wish I could have copied the art work in its entirety… but you get the idea. Be sure and check out the blue link above because it’s the rest of the photo (the dresses) the show you the artist’s embellishments. So gorgeous!
Aren’t they beautiful??
I hope you enjoyed these lovely young ladies as much as I did. If you haven’t done so already, go to the link at the top and see the full photos. I could only show you the top of each!
Have a good day.
I have surgery on my hernia at 12:45 pm Mountain Time today. ❤ Prayers appreciated! ❤
Today at church our guest minister was Dan Hollard, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bozeman, Montana. Our pastor for the past 25+ years has been Rev. Jean Johnson. Jean is on disability leave right now … in a rehab facility in Great Falls, MT.
Pray for Jean
Join me in prayer for Rev. Jean Johnson’s release from pain and ability to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
Meantime, it’s a surprise each Sunday to see who is in the pulpit and to hear a different kind of message. Today’s message was titled, “Spirit of Peace.” I think Dan Hollard must have spent some time in Africa, because he put on an authentic African accent and told us the story of Ubuntu (Oooo-boon-too).
He based his message on the scripture of Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
Here’s what I heard through my filter and took away this morning: