There are days when it seems harder than others to put on a happy face, don’t you agree? I don’t have a lot of those, so when I do, they usually are memorable.
I remember one such day when my dad was out of sorts. He was a business owner. Not the typical image of a “business owner” that comes to mind when you hear that description. His business was a Tallow Works. Do you know what that is? It’s a place that picks up dead animals from farmers and ranchers and meat scraps from butcher shops. All parts of those animals and scraps are processed. It’s a smelly business.
It’s devastating Beloved animals die Someone hauls them off
This is called a Haibun. It is a brief couple of paragraphs of prose, followed by a Haiku that adds dimension to the prose!
Oh, Lordy, Lordy!! My blog is supposed to share love, joy, peace, faith, and unity. How I got off on a kick of wanting to share various forms of poetry is all Dwight Roth’s fault! Blame him! He tried my Shadorma poetry and invited me to try his Haibun.
But he can’t be blamed for my morbid Haibun and photo today. My mind just went there after reading a post by someone who was recalling a sadness from their childhood. That day when Dad and I went to pick up a dead horse sticks in my memory because the horse was a child’s pet. It wasn’t like one of a herd of beef cattle or some old cow that got into the clover field, ate too much, bloated, and bit the dust!
My experiences with my dad, riding with him on weekends as we went to various farms to pick up the dead animals, usually were not sad times. I treasured one-on-one time with Daddy, and I was happy to get that time under whatever circumstances! The death of animals didn’t seem morbid to me. It was just part of the cycle of life! You know – like egg to tadpole, froglet to frog!
But on that particular Saturday, the animal’s young owner was there, crying as Dad hauled her beloved horse into the truck and we drove away. The horse did not represent the cycle of life. It was too young, and so was its owner! That was a day when it was harder to put on a happy face, you know?
This weekend Bob & I are headed to my brother-in-law’s funeral. He was 86. He led a good life. He was a believer who knew where he was headed when he left this earth. But, he had just had a knee replacement – just a week before – and he thought he had a lot of years left to enjoy the greater mobility that knee would give him. However, it is not our privilege to count our days!
Dying is, indeed, part of the cycle of life!
“Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
— John 11:26
It’s the life cycle Beloved animals die Are they in Heaven?
My day started with a 7:00 am Sunrise Service at our Madison Range putting green. The sun worked to peek out through the cloudy sky.
A small, but appreciate gathering lifted voices to sing “He Arose!” and “He Lives!”
Mule deer gathered close by to listen to our singing and nibble at the emerging greenery. Spring is just thinking about making its debut here!
Usually right after sunrise service, we go as a group to the Baptist Church and enjoy a yummy breakfast of assorted baked goodies and egg casseroles. This year, because of COVID-19, we had to be content to go home and make our own breakfast. Afterward, we went to church where we wore masks, socially distanced, and enjoyed the sermon of the day delivered by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley.
What are your earliest Memories of Easter Sunday? Yellow crocuses, dogwoods, And eggs hidden slightly away?
What are your earliest Memories of recognizing in your life God, the Risen Christ? Do you have to think twice?
My memory was on a morning When I’d victoriously ridden My bike down a steep hill – Suddenly God was not hidden.
I’m reminded of Mary Magdalene With the other Mary who saw That Jesus was not in the tomb. An angel said He’d risen – such awe!
They were terrified to realize You can’t escape God in Jesus. They told no one what they heard – Too scared… a Savior to relieve us?
They thought their hopes and dreams Had been buried and sealed away, Buried with Him – they believed. They all deserted Christ that day.
Peter had denied Christ three times. The other disciples hid in fear. Have we also denied the messenger Who told us Jesus is alive and here?
The Easter miracle assures us Our crucified Lord is running free. He is waiting for us to come out Of hiding to see Him. He waits for me!
Am I ready to believe the story Of a man who dies, but rose again? Am I ready to understand that He Suffered that agony to free me from sin?
The Risen Christ stands before me With nail prints in His hands and side. Am I ready to hear the Good News And know there’s no where I can hide?
With fear and amazement this Easter, I will not go away from the empty tomb- Back to daily routine, forgetting Him. No, with reverence I acknowledge Christ in this room.
Crown Him the Lord of years, The Potentate of time, Creator of the rolling spheres Ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, Hail! For Thou hast died for me. Thy praise shall never, never fail Throughout eternity.
It comes but once a year Yet its significance Lives in our hearts daily… Thank God for the gift of His Son who secured my spot and yours in heaven.
Praise Him! Alleluia! Amen!
Oh, and in the afternoon, we had the joy of a visit from our granddaughter, Hope, and her husband, Drew, and their two children (our great-grandchildren, Xander and Sienna).
Did you send out and receive a few Easter cards this season? I did.. and I enjoyed every one. I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you:
That was decorated with a glitter cupcake by our darling Ruby… with a note added from her big brother, first grader, Cord. So precious!!
And now, the eggs are gone. The Easter ham left-overs are in the fridge. The family departed. The dishes are looming large – Begging to be done… But first, join me and the Easter bunny, will you? Sit down and relax. Contemplate the day… Think about what Easter means. Thank God for the gift of His Son. Let’s drink a toast to Eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom. The dishes can wait! My computer’s about to run outta battery…
Do you ever wonder what’s real and what’s not? Do you wonder what’s truth and what’s fiction? Do you wonder why certain things happen? Do you wonder what tomorrow will bring?
What if you grew up with a dad Who was a Special Effects Artist? What would the world seem like To you if this was your daily reality?
Ever wonder what life would be like If you had not met the person who Is front and center in your life now? Who would be with you instead?
Ever wonder how God created The beauty of a rainbow or sunset? The colors of the variety of birds? Or every zebra’s stripes unique?
Ever wonder how He could make Each snowflake different? Each eye unique – unlike any other? Each voice to sound like no other?
Did you ever wonder if our eyes grow over our lifetime? When we’re born, our eyes are about two-thirds smaller than they’ll be when we reach adulthood. People’s eyes stop growing in length by the age of 20-21, when they reach about 24 millimeters. But the weight of the eyes’ lenses continue to increase over time. Isn’t that a wonder?
Ever wonder how I knew that? Used to be we had a huge set of encyclopedia that we bought from a door-to-door salesman. Encyclopedia Britannica. Outdated by the time it was published. Ask Siri today. Ask Alexa. Carry your encyclopedia in your pocket. Ever wonder how our kids could survive without their cell phones?… And about those voices:
Ever wonder what life would be like If the only thing we bothered to talk about Was the good that we see in others? This is a poem my mom had memorized:
Wouldn’t this old world be better If the folks we meet would say “I know something good about you,” And then treat us just that way?
Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy If each handclasp warm and true Carried with it this assurance, “I know something good about you”?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy If the good that’s in us all Were the only thing about us That folks bothered to recall?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy If we praised the good we see? For there’s such a lot of goodness In the worst of you and me.
Wouldn’t it be nice to practice That fine way of thinking, too? You know something good about me! I know something good about you.
(Louis C. Shimon)
Mom posted that poem along with many others on a cardboard that she had hanging inside her kitchen cabinet door. She gathered the poems as a new bride in 1937. They were cut from the weekly newspaper. I have that cardboard posted inside my kitchen cabinet door here in Montana. It’s fading fast and becoming harder and harder to read… but I have most of them memorized now, too!
Ever wonder what your life would be like If you were born to a different mother? You wouldn’t be you, would you? What if your mother had different attributes?
My mother loved poetry (obviously) – And so that love of words well spoken Rubbed off on me – and I wonder What would life be like without poetry?
In today’s Daily Guideposts 2021, the writer, Amy Eddings, wrote about a time when she prayed relentlessly for guidance and courage – and felt her prayers were going unanswered. Have you ever felt that you were praying relentlessly for something and your request(s) seemed to be falling on deaf ears?
I remember last year when Australia was on fire and so many animals were dying and losing their habitats. I prayed along with the rest of our world for rain… but the fires raged on.
I have recently been praying incessantly for our Pastor Nominating Committee at our church. If you have followed my blog for awhile, you have read my sermon notes on Sunday from our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church. You know our pastor of 32 years died a year ago and we have a wonderful temporary pulpit fill who came out of retirement to help us. Rev. Hundley needs to be able to re-retire. So, we are searching for a solo pastor and I am praying hard. I believe in the power of prayer – and I believe in God’s perfect timing. Don’t you?
So, will you add my prayer request to your prayer list? “Lord, help the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church Pastor Nominating Committee find the person God already has in mind for us. Help them find the right new pastor to lead the congregation into renewed spiritual growth in 2021.”
My husband, Bob, has been praying incessantly, too. He is on our church’s leadership board and as such is the “elder” in charge of Buildings and Grounds. Our church owns an old church that is about 10 miles out of Ennis in a tiny little village called McAllister. The church was built in the 1880’s. MVPC uses it once a year to maintain its tax-free status as a “place of worship.” It is in a serene country setting on a little over an acre of land. It has electricity, but no water or septic system. The church is for sale. We’re praying for the right buyer.
Please add this to your prayer list, too, will you? “Lord, send the right buyer to Rikki at Berkshire-Hathaway in Ennis, MT – a person who will treasure this historic building and use it for wholesome purposes.”
When we EMBRACE PRAYER and pray with a right spirit, God hears, God cares, God answers.
Philippians 4:6,7: Pray about everything
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.”
1 John 5:14: God always hears
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
GOD BLESS YOU and keep you safe and healthy. That’s my prayer for you today.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. Have a blessed Monday. See ya tomorrow.
This is my favorite prayer… and I pray it fervently. It spells out my purpose in life … to be an instrument of God’s peace… TO SPREAD LOVE, FORGIVENESS, FAITH, HOPE, LIGHT AND JOY…
T’is a month of pumpkins and spice A month for Halloween candy A month to plan your costume When sheets are mighty handy
T’is a month when ghosts and goblins And weird imaginations Concoct front porch scenes With spiders and smoky stations
Just as people try to create Wonders strange and unique , Look at what our Creator did – Come and take a peak!
No one should begin to suggest These were formed accidentally. No, it took a God with humor – To do this so creatively!
Our Creator’s imagination is beyond imagination! Have you ever seen a curly-haired horse?
When I was a kid, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. We planned for months what our costumes would be. One year I was two things… from the front I was a princess and when I turned around, I was a cave man. How my mom created that, I have no idea. Halloween used to be safe and fun and creative. People made popcorn/caramel balls and cupcakes and candied apples – and no one was afraid to eat what you received. No one was afraid to go alone as a bunch of kids after dark!
Connection and Wholeness
Yes, we are necessary to one another! If we are going to return to the safety of connection and wholeness, we need to seek to return to the people God made us to be.
We are more unique than an ant, a lobster, or a transparent fish! We are more intelligent and exceptional than a curly-haired horse. Our memories are better than theirs, too.
We need to remember what it felt like before COVID-19. Remember our connectivity. Remember when the world was a safe place for kids to Trick-or-Treat alone after dark. Remember when people knew all their neighbors by name – and people relied on one another.
Remember how creative our Creator is. If He can make an ant with that kind of face, a lobster with those characteristics, and a fish that’s transparent and that exists as an individual and as part of a larger organism, He can help us to emerge a better people when this pandemic passes. Pray for that! Trust in His creative powers.
I need you! We need one another! Thanks for visiting JanBeek. Have a safe and creative October.