Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Animals’

What Can You Do?


So I went outside
The sky was crispy and clear
I enjoyed the walk

Fun in the kitchen
Resulted in a fresh loaf
Baked in Switzerland

Gorgeous scene out our daughter’s window
in Sierre, Switzerland
This bread looks great, but turned out a little dry.
Too much flour, DeAna said.
Top one is the original try.
Bottom one is beer bread.
Turned out just right
DeAna just sent me the recipe for the Beer Bread –
and here are the directions:
Try it!

Let’s let the bread cool
While we take a healthy walk
The hills are alive

That’s our daughter DeAna
and our grandson, Nicky

There’s a lovely view
From high up in the Swiss Alps
Above Rhone Valley

Climbing a mountain
May not be in your sweet spot
How about cuddles?

Aussie Quokka
Doesn’t this sweetheart make you smile?

You can cuddle now
With beloved furry friend
Or with a sweet child

My daughter-in-love, Monika,
with my great-granddaughter, Cosette

If bread and cuddling
Are not your favorite things,
Try this healthy meal!

Not into cooking?
You can trim your dog’s toenails
Or play with your cat.

Not Bob’s favorite chore!
And TazE hates it!
Photo by Alena Koval on Pexels.com

What else can you do?
Try turning on some YouTube
And dancing a while.

If the weather’s great
Go out and knock on a door
Leave some of that bread!

Be sure after you knock on the door,
you run away and hide.
Social distancing, you know?
And besides, be a go-giver anonymously!

What to do today?
You have a lot of choices.
Which one do you choose?

Thanks for visiting.
I’m headed for a walk with TazE.
Bob’s finished with her toes.
See ya later!

Who's in Charge?


The Power of Love

For God did not give us
A spirit of cowardice,
But rather a spirit of power
and of love and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7


Do we have enough self-discipline
To take advantage of this time –
This time to just BE and just LOVE
And make the world a better place?

Ann Weems, in Putting the Amazing Back in Grace, wrote:
“Remember, you’re in charge of remembering
that God is in charge, and that’s a big job
that will last a lifetime.”

Just Love!

God’s got this!!
Have a peace-filled Sunday, my friends.

Oh, and in case you, like us, missed church today,
here is the sermon for today that our pastor,
Rev. Steve Hundley sent out via e-mail.

Find a comfortable chair, grab a cup o’ tea or coffee, and augment your Sunday with a worshipful, inspiring message:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE

Read Psalm 23

     Not long after becoming the pastor of three small churches in the mountains of Virginia, I was asked to give the Baccalaureate Address to the graduating class of Bath County High School.  It used to be, at least in the Bible Belt where I grew up, that local high schools have both a Baccalaureate and Graduation ceremony.  The Baccalaureate was held one evening, a day or two before the actual Graduation Commencement.  And it was tradition to invite a religious leader in the community to speak.  However, I’m not sure that the message I delivered was what the school administration, or even the students, had in mind.

     In most cases, the message given would be a positive one meant to motivate the students to go out and change the world, such as: “You are God’s ambassadors, the hope for a broken world!”  Or: If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”  Or, perhaps: “Shoot for the Moon, for even if you miss, you’ll find yourself among the stars!”  Most Baccalaureate, as well as, Commencement speakers would have them believe that they can be and do anything they set their minds to, (but with God’s help, of course).

     I, however, felt that it was my duty to inform them that they were nothing but a bunch of “harebrained” sheep.  I saw that!  You raised your eyebrows, didn’t you?  (Note from JanBeek, see the picture of sheep I put at the end of this sermon!)

Yet, that is what the Bible says.  Yes, as much as we would like to think of ourselves as having the heart of a lion, we share more in common with sheep.

      You see, like sheep, we tend to stray easily and lose our way.  I’ve have been told that if one sheep spooks and tears off in one direction, all the others will follow.  Imagine a bunch of sheep running up a hill.  Suddenly the one in front makes a sudden left turn, and all the others, with no questions asked, mindlessly follow.  If the one leading heads right off a cliff, tumbling to its death, all the others follow right off the cliff as well.  But, you say, “We’re not like that!”

     I heard recently about a young married couple.  The wife bought a country ham to cook for her husband’s family who were coming over for dinner.  Before putting it in a pot to bake it, she cut both ends off.  “Why did you do that,” her husband asked.  “I did it because that is the way my mother always did it,” she said.  Calling her mother on the phone, she asked: “Mom, why do we cut the ends off a ham before cooking it?”  “I don’t know.  I do it because it is the way my mother always did it.”  Calling up her grandmother, she asked, “Grandmother, why do we cut the ends off a ham before baking it?”  “I don’t know why you and your mother do it, but I always did it because it wouldn’t fit in my small baking pan.”

     Yes, if one sheep spooks and tears off, all the others will follow.  Still, you say, “We are smarter than that!”  (Try to find a roll of toilet paper, or a bottle of hand sanitizer these days.  Just saying.)

     Attending a Montana State University lecture not long ago, the speaker, a journalist professor, pointed out just how partisan our country has become.  He said that we have lost the will, and therefore, the ability to listen and dialogue with those who disagree with us.  “We only listen to those news networks that confirm what we believe to be true,” he said.  “We socialize with those who believe like us. In other words, we are like sheep who follow blindly our own flock.”  Oh, by the way, did you know that a flock of sheep are called a “MOB?”  Google it.

     Secondly, sheep not only tend to follow their “mob”, they are also fragile creatures.  Ken Davis, a comedian, tells of growing up on a sheep farm.  He said there was an old ram on their farm that loved to sneak up behind him and butt him when he wasn’t looking.  He hated that old ram.  One day he spotted the old bruiser coming around the back of the barn.  Determined to get back at that old ram, he looked around for something to hit him with.  With nothing in sight and ram rounding the corner, Ken jumped out and hollered: “BOO!”  It was all he could think to do. 

“Startled,” Ken said, “that old ram just keeled over AND DIED!” 

Later, his father confronted him, “Son, you hit that sheep, didn’t you?” 

“No dad, I said, BOO! and it just died!”

     A crack of thunder is all it takes to scare a sheep literally to death.  As much as we like to think of ourselves as indestructible, this present pandemic and the fact you are reading this sermon in your own home, shows just how fragile we are.  Our Lord Jesus said: “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father, who art in heaven…give us this day our daily bread…and, deliver us from evil’.”

     Yes, we are like sheep who are in need of a Shepherd.  We need help.  Going it alone, depending on our own wiles, spells certain disaster.  I remember one sheep herder/shepherd telling of turning his flock loose one night in the mountains to graze alone on their own.  He knew it was a risk, because sheep cannot defend themselves, much less outrun, even the slowest predators.  Sheep tend to go astray, grazing along without looking where they are going. 

    He did, however, leave them in the care of his trusty sheep dog.  Locating them the next morning, he discovered that they had wandered into a rather rugged mountain park.  Being the rather clumsy animals that they are, more than a few of them had managed to fall over while feeding on the uneven ground. He found sheep scattered around the meadow upside down on their backs unable to get up. He said: “I had to go around picking up sheep and placing them back on their feet.

     The Prophet Isaiah warns the Israelites of the danger of going it alone.  “See, the Lord’s arm is not too short to save … to pick you up when you have fallen.” (Isaiah 59:1)

     While I doubt that anyone was prepared for me to compare the graduating class of Bath County High School to a “flock”, or should I say “mob” of sheep…the foolish notion that the future of the world rested on their shoulders is categorically untrue!  The longer I live, the more I am convinced that what we need to make it in this world is not popularity and success, not financial wealth or even personal happiness.

    What we need is Christ, the Good Shepherd, to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves and instruct us in the proper order of our lives.  For, “The Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not want.  He makes us lie down in green pastures; he leads us beside still waters; it is our Shepherd who restores our souls, who leads us in right paths.  Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we fear not evil…”

     Notice how Psalm 23 reverses the order of how we tend to live our lives.  It is our tendency to approach life head on, burning ourselves out.  And then, turn back to God in search of rest and soul-restoration after a week of chasing the illusive American dream.  Yet, notice that this Psalm reverses the order.  First, there is the Shepherd who provides what we need most, rest and soul restoration.  Only then is it possible to find meaning and purpose in God’s emerging kingdom or face dark valleys. 

   This is the blessing Jesus wanted Martha to see when she was burning herself out by busying herself in the kitchen.  Jesus said to her: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part…” (Luke 10:41-42).

     Notice how the New Testament church began in Acts 2:46-47: “They followed a daily discipline of busying themselves with programs and activities, burning themselves out, so that people liked what they saw and everyday their numbers grew…”  ??? NO! NO! NO!

    It says: “They followed a daily discipline of worship in the temple, followed by meals together in their homes, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God.  People in general liked what they saw.  Everyday their numbers grew as God added those who were saved.”

   Yes, Genesis tells us that “God created the world and on the seventh day, and then He rested.”  That’s true, but WE ARE NOT GOD!  Christ died for our sins, our weaknesses, and on the first day of the week He arose from the dead!   So, we begin with rest, worship, and spiritual recreation before facing the challenges of daily living and serving our God.

   We are His sheep, who find our rest in the arms of the Good Shepherd, so that He might equip us for the facing of this hour even as we face this dark valley of the shadow of death.  For we are not alone, for God in Christ is with us.  Amen.

Hah! Sheep indeed…
But unique indeed, too.
Show your uniqueness today!!
  • Read Psalm 23 again.
  • In what new and unique way have you felt God’s comforting presence?

See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
and for hangin’ in there together.
Have a beautiful Sunday.
Together, in FAITH,
we shall overcome!!

Just remember,
we’re not in charge –
God is!!

Friends, Food, Feathers, Music, Mustangs


This morning was the first of six community Lenten breakfasts. We held it at our church. The next five will be at five other churches in Ennis and Jeffers, Montana. Our topic today was HOPE. About 40 friends from around the community gathered to kick off this Lenten season with food and music, and a message of Hope, delivered by our Rev. Steve Hundley.

Breakfast was in our Fellowship Hall.

Our faithful friend, George and his wife, Lucy, arrived about 5:30 AM to set up the food, make the coffee and get ready for the 7:00 AM crowd.

After breakfast, in preparation for Steve’s message of HOPE, we sang this wonderful hymn. It lends direction to our hopes for this Lenten season and everyday… especially in this world of hatred, injury, doubt, despair, darkness, and sadness. Let us determine to be the peace we seek to find.

So that’s the food and friends and music. What about the feathers? Yesterday I told you about my friend, Bernie, who is in the hospital and has set up quite an artistic “mess” on his tray table. Let me show you:

He has quite a menagerie of feathers there. Look at the flies he is able to create with them:

Yes, WOW!! That’s the feathers… and their creative use for catching some mighty big trout!

But what about the mustangs? Well, our Ennis High School mascot is the Mustang. When I drove by the school this morning, I had to top and take a picture for you of these MAGNIFICENT bronze mustangs. They were created by a local artist (Ennis is an art town with 6 art galleries in a place with a population of less than 1,000).

Aren’t they something?!!

I’ll try to find out the sculptor’s name and let you know later. It’s important to give him/her credit!

But for now, I am headed to my TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) group. I hope I didn’t gain too much with those scrumptious egg casseroles this morning. I had to try a little of each!

Look for that trophy again… I want to be the biggest loser. I have 6 more pounds to take off to get back to my goal weight.

See ya later!

Memories of Childhood


I remember glimpses of my childhood – an Ozzie & Harriet family with Dad going off to work and Mom staying home…

I remember our small, sparkly white house on the end of Fig Lane in Newman, at the center of California’s hot San Joaquin Valley…

I remember sitting around the radio in the living room listening as a family to “The Cisco Kid” and “One Man’s Family” and “Inner Sanctum” …

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

I remember Dad’s three-tiered tulip bed and the day I picked a bouquet of them and got into trouble…

I remember being scolded, and as I stood there with a fist-full of the precious blooms saying to Dad, “I no pick the flaws… maybe Sally pick the flaws!”

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

I remember walking down Fig Lane with my sister, Sally, headed to P Street School wearing my Mary Jane’s…

I remember how proud I was of those new shoes…

I remember trips every September to San Francisco to get new school clothes: new shoes, a new dress, underwear, a sweater, a coat… the essentials…

I remember eating crab legs at Fisherman’s Wharf while I gazed at the boats coming in and going out of the harbor…

I remember my first plane trip, flying to Seattle to be with my mom’s family there when her mom died…

I remember Dewey Wright, my first true love, and the Valentine card he gave me in kindergarten, and how he chased me around the playground until I caught him …

I remember moving from that little white house at the end of Fig Lane to a house out in the country right next door to my Dad’s mom…

I remember the day my cousin, Billy, came to live with us – and how upset he was – and how upset I was when he tore our doll house apart and scattered our toys…

I remember dashing past a gobbling turkey who chased me to my grandma’s back door after school…

I remember my father’s tears when his mother died…

I remember moving out to that God-forsaken place twenty miles from nowhere to begin life anew, with Dad going into business with Uncle Igino and Uncle Melio …

I remember the smell of the Pacific Tallow Works that was about 150 yards from our house, and how impossible it was to close up the house tight enough …

I remember Tiofila and Engracia and Dalia, my sweet little Spanish-speaking playmates, whose mom made fantastic tortillas, and the day they were transported back to Mexico by some cruel authorities…

I remember crying for days when I heard Dalia had died on that trip back to Mexico …

I remember Manuel Ynzunza, his basketball skill, and our first kiss out behind the cafeteria … oh, the thrill of it…

I remember “Dimples,” my Cocker Spaniel who had four puppies – and the fascination of observing the births …

Photo by A.Revolution on Pexels.com

I remember riding a horse, unable to control it, and being pushed into a barbed wire fence, putting a gash in my right leg …

I remember how impossible it was for Mom to leave the office unattended to take me to the doctor (she was Dad’s secretary-bookkeeper), so she taped my gash closed and how it healed leaving a big scar …

I remember the day my Aunt Jean, Billy’s mom, came to take him back … how I was filled with mixed emotions, sorrow and relief …

I remember my mom’s older sister, Aunt Evelyn, coming from Washington to visit and bringing clothes my cousins had outgrown, and Mom spending nights altering them to fit Sally & me …

I remember walking at least a mile (seemed like five) to catch the school bus and riding for at least an hour (seemed like five) while we picked up other kids to go to Crows Landing Elementary School…

I remember Mrs Yetter, my third grade teacher, who was almost bald…

I remember my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Ethel Horwedle, and how she wrote her cursive E, and how she let me sing to the tunes of the square dance records, and let me teach the class new square dance moves…

I remember Mrs. Marlow, the principal’s wife who was my 7th and 8th grade teacher… how she let me go during spelling class to help the kindergarten teacher (because, “You don’t need the spelling lesson,” she’d say after giving me a pre-test on which I always got 100%) …

I remember wearing an “I Like Ike” button and learning in 8th grade about each of his cabinet members as they were one-by-one appointed…

I remember Howard Thorkelson, our class genius, who got polio when we were in 8th grade and was gone a long time… returning in a neck and back brace for our graduation…

I remember learning to play the clarinet and doing so well that the band leader invited me to play with the high school band…

Sally & me with our clarinets

I remember being too small to fit into a high school band uniform, and having suspenders that pulled the pants up under my armpits…

I remember playing an accordion duet with Evelyn at our 8th grade graduation, but don’t remember Evelyn’s last name …

This was my first accordion. It’s over 100 years old!

I don’t remember a lot of things, but I remember feeling cared for, and feeling like I could become whatever I set my mind to, and not realizing we were poor…

We actually weren’t you know. We had each other. We had love. We had everything.

I remember…

Where’s Your Heart?


Some of us wear hearts
On our sleeves or a necklace
Not on our forehead

But this little calf
Has her heart right out in front
Happy Valentine!

Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush on Pexels.com

Happy Day of Love
What are you planning today?
Treat someone special!

We have a date night.
Pray the snow stays at bay,
the wind calms down,
and we can get out of our driveway!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thanks for checking in on JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow

Back in the Routine


After 5 weeks of vacationing with friends and family in California, and two days of sorting through 5 weeks of piled-up mail, I am back in the routine (sort of). Missed my sanctuary time this morning… am headed up there now (as soon as I post this).

As you can see, looking beyond into the living room, my Christmas decorations still are up. That was today’s job – along with bill paying. Had to get right on it after breakfast cuz I had a friend coming over.

That’s only a portion of the mail we accumulated at the post office while we were gone. Most of it was junk. That went into another pile to be thrown away.

Bob’s busy sorting and responding to mail, too.

After lunch we took a break and I did some of my usual: checked at the P.O. for more mail, visited my “Senior Friend” who lives alone, and visited friends in the Manor Nursing Home. It was good to see them after all this time away.

As I was leaving the house, headed to the P.O. and Manor, our neighborhood “pets” greeted me. They were out in the field, and then crossed the driveway in front of me. They stopped in the sunshine over in the neighbor’s field and looked at me. “Welcome Home!” they seemed to say!

That’s the snow-peaked Madison Range beyond our valley over there. Big Sky Ski Resort is in those mountains. The sun shone brightly these last two days since we’ve been home, I told friends I brought it with me from California!

Not to be outdone, my friend, Jacquie, sent me a photo of her neighborhood “pets.” They were walking along her driveway… a mama moose and her youngin’ – so adorable!

Approaching my friend, Ray’s house, his neighborhood “pets” were lounging in his yard. Ah, it is so good to be back in the place where the deer and the antelope roam (and the moose too)!!

Back home, I helped my friend with the Christmas tree and other remnants of the holidays. They needed to be taken down and put away. And my house needed tidying. Thank God for Tracy. I couldn’t have done it without her!

Ah yes, January 30th… time to put the tree away for another year.

How did you spend your day?

No place like home! Blue skies, puffy clouds,…
We are grateful to God for this place.
We feel so blessed!

Thanks for dropping by.
Leave a comment for JanBeek, will ya?

I love hearing from you!
See ya tomorrow.

Wednesday Surprise – repost


I wish you a Wonderful Wednesday!

I was sitting quietly reading friendly posts
When my dog, TazE, jumped like she heard a ghost.
The FedEx truck had just left our house –
The driver crept in our entry as quiet as a mouse.
Before I could get to the door, he was gone.
He left a box with a basket – no name upon.

Inside a note said “Thank you, Bob & Jan”
But no greeting or signature of woman or man.
The return address was Jorge Garcia of Amigo Foods.
A clue might be Florida – It’s where I know a couple of dudes.
So, Sofia, might this have been from you?
The place where Vanessa & Federico live is a little clue.

Sofia in Palisades

If it is you, then here’s a return of Thanks…
But, I hope you let us know so we can fill in the blanks!
The card should have acknowledged who
The box was from – so I could appropriate thank you!

Since I posted this blog originally, I received acknowledgement from Sofia’s parents, Adrian & Laura. They are the ones who sent it. Today, several months later, on a WONDER-ful Wednesday, I thought it would be fun to re-post this… because it IS another beautiful Wednesday … and the message below is as pertinent today as it was back in August of last year.

Loving elephants

It’s a beautiful Wednesday here, Blogging friends.
I hope your day is going well, too, and transcends
All your expectations. Pen on… read on… live and play!
Wrap your arms around someone and hang tight today.

Listen for the FedEx truck or mailman
He/She may deliver a basket to you from a fan!

See you tomorrow! Pexels.com

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