Yesterday our granddaughter gave birth to our great-grandbaby #5, a perfect little girl. Hope and Drew named her Charlotte. Don’t you love that name?
Psalms 127:3-5 3 Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
Dear Baby Charlotte, this poem is for you:
Bob & I have two children, Ty & DeAna. Also God blessed us with a beautiful, smart, loving daughter-in-law, Monika, and a clever, fun-loving, creative, talented son-in-law, Andre’
From those two children and their spouses we have seven grandchildren and now five great-grandchildren.
We feel so blessed to have lived long enough to see our family expand in such a beautiful way.
This is some of the California crew two Christmases ago before our granddaughter, Faith (in the white hat), had our great-granddaughter, Mable. But, you can see great-granddaughter, Cosette, in there. Bob & I are on both sides of our daughter-in-law, Monika. Monika’s parents are behind us. Our son, Ty, is at the back. Only granddaughter, Hope, the new mommy, is missing here. Also, missing are DeAna, our daughter and her family… they are in Switzerland.
That’s our oldest grandson, Mike, with his wife, Tania, in Switzerland. We went last year to their wedding. We are looking forward to their gift of great-grandchild #6!!
Here’s De, with her hubby, Andre’, who is THE CHEF EXTRAORDINAIRE in their chalet (hotel/restaurant).
We love going there to enjoy our daughter and her family (three boys) !!!
Let me know if you ever decide to travel to Switzerland. I’ll put you in touch with this wonderful Relais des Mélèzes. (You can check out their facebook page, too).- Just type that name in the search bar.
Here are Andre’ and our DollyWolly, DeAna.
Oh, and if you are blessed as much as we are, you have adopted other “kids” to be part of your family, too. Here is our dear Daughter #2, Lainalainalaina, with us!!
Yes, we are blessed indeed! She is such a sweetheart… and she has blessed us with two other granddaughters, as well.
Children are such a blessing. Babies are such fun, aren’t they? Are yours all baptized?
Here I am with DeDe. Ah, what a sweetheart she is, too!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow.
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?”
3 “How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.
“In John’s baptism.”
4 “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…
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!
Today my sis, Sally, died. She was only a year and a half older than I. As children, Mom often dressed us alike. People thought we were twins.
When you lose your only sibling, A part of you dies with her. Sally came every Thanksgiving from CA To spend the holiday with us in Montana.
Sally always came with an extra suitcase. She filled it with oregano that grew in her back yard. She spent most of the week here at the kitchen table or counter Picking the leaves off the oregano stems.
I have a couple of quart jars left of her herbs. When they are gone, another part of her Will disappear – You can’t find oregano that fresh – Not in a store, that’s for sure! Can you smell it?
Sally was a nut about holidays! She had a closet full of clothes Sorted by the holiday they represented And she loved every one of them.
She joined her nieces and nephews For Halloween and Christmas, For Easter and birthdays, and For special lunches and dinners.
Naturally Sally was there to celebrate her daughter, Jodie’s wedding. Here she is at the wedding reception, dancing with her nephew, our son, Ty, the daddy of those nieces and nephews. And she was there of course, for her grandson, Liam’s baptism.
Sally loved spending time with her grandson, Liam. During the last few years of her life, she moved from California to PA to be near her daughter, son-in-law, and her dear grandson, Liam.
Besides her family and holidays, Sally had a love of dogs. She inherited her poodle, Gigi, from our mom after Mom died. Gigi was stolen from Sally when Gigi was about 4 years old. Gigi was gone nine years, but Sally never gave up the idea of finding her!
Sure enough, nine years after the theft, Sally received a call from a veterinarian. Gigi had a chip, and when she was found wandering, dirty, toothless, and infected, the person who found her brought her to a vet. The chip had Sally’s number. Can you imagine her joy at that reunion after nine long years? Gigi lived to be 15. Dear friends of ours here adopted her and gave her a loving last 9 months of life when Sally moved to PA and could not take Gigi with her to the Masonic Home.
Although Alzheimer’s robbed my sis of her memory and ultimately of her ability to converse, she was tuned in and enjoyed the concert Liam and I presented in her nursing home last Thanksgiving. I am so glad Bob & I were able to go – and we had that time with her. My life is filled with wonderful memories of times we shared together.
Sally had a life filled with service to others through her church, the Hospital Auxiliary, the Girl Scouts (she led a troop for at least 50 years) and her favorite organizations, Rebekahs and Eastern Star.
Her life also was one of tragedy (her oldest daughter died at age 19 and her husband, Dave, was only 60 when he died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack). But Sally was a trooper. She continued to volunteer and give of her time and talents to others.
I was blessed to grow up with a sister who had such a big, giving heart, She will be missed by all of us who loved her. But her spirit will live on.
I know her spirit will recognize mine when I join her in Heaven someday. Meantime, rest in peace, dear Sis. I will carry your love with me always.
Thanks for visiting today my friends. Treasure every sunrise. Enjoy every sunset. Tell your siblings how much you love them.
This Sunday we attended church at the Bloom in the Desert Ministries in Palm Springs, CA. As usual, I took notes while listening to the sermon.
The scripture was Matthew 3:13-17
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. John tried to dissuade Jesus by saying, I should be baptized by you, and yet you come to me!” But Jesus replied, “Leave it this way for now. We must do this to completely fulfill God’s justice.” So John reluctantly agreed. Immediately after Jesus had been baptized and was coming up out of the water, the sky suddenly opened up and Jesus saw the spirit of God descending as a dove and hovering over him. With that, a voice from the heavens said, “This is my Own, my Beloved, on whom favor rests.”
Through my poetic filter, this is what I heard as Reverend Kevin A. Johnson’s message:
The proper completion of a called journey Is the return… the coming back. In our creed, Jesus went down and came back. The Jews and Greeks both were taught that fact.
Today’s scripture tells us that baptism Is personal, and effective for life. Some believe as babies, others think when older, Is the appropriate time to wash away strife.
Baptism is a remarkable, memorable event. It’s a ritual recorded long before Jesus was born. A thousand years earlier, immersion was practiced. The dove hovering was a symbol that glorious morn.
It symbolized the love of God entering in. Baptism is a commitment – a starting point. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the Jordan River, Or if it’s in some crumby back-street joint.
Baptism is a time to promise a mind-set That puts love, compassion, and respect first. It’s a universal embrace of Jesus’ teachings – A chance to promise, and then daily rehearse.
Baptism can occur as a teen or an adult when the person is “of the age of reason” and chooses to publicly agree to live a life of love in God’s grace, with compassion and respect for others, following God’s commandments.
Or – baptism can occur as an infant. In that case, it is the promise of the parents to raise this child in love, teaching the child to obey the commandments … living in grace and obedience.
Do you remember your baptism? I don’t remember mine. My sister and I were baptized when she was about two and I was an infant. There are no pictures, no certificates, no proof… but my sis says she remembers it, and my mom said it happened. So I should believe them.
However, as Rev. Kev said at the beginning of his message, baptism is a part of a journey… and it requires the return, the coming back. Rev. Kev showed us the certificate of his baptism. He can tell you the date, the place, and the time – and he went through confirmation later as a youngster (maybe about age 12) at which time he reaffirmed his parents’ baptismal promises.
Baptism’s Purpose and Proof
I tried to locate my baptismal records. However, the church where my baptism supposedly occurred no longer exists. Decades ago a fire destroyed it and all the records that were in it.
Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It testifies to the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to the believer’s faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Do I doubt my faith in the risen Savior or question my membership in God’s family? Not for a minute!
Baptism has been a symbolic way of joining the Church from the very start of Christianity. The water used is a symbol of washing away sin and the start of a new life. Do I think perhaps I am not “a Child of God” because I don’t have the paperwork to prove my sin was “washed away”? No!!
But would I like to be able to say I have experienced a “proper completion of a called journey” by finishing the trip, coming back to my baptismal roots? Yes!
Baptism is Once and for All
Sometimes I question if infant baptism is once and for all. I wonder if perhaps I should be baptized as an adult now. Do you think at 80 I should reaffirm the baptismal vows that my mom agreed to when I was an infant?
Today’s sermon reminding us to remember Jesus’ baptism and affirming the importance of baptism has me pondering these questions.
Baptism in Christ
A choice you can always make
It’s never too late
Are you baptized? Or did you miss that ceremony as a child?
If it was like my baptism, you were an infant and don’t remember it. Does that make a “dedication” by your parents rather than a baptism for you into the family of God? Does it make a difference?
If you went through confirmation classes as a pre-teen and received your Holy Baptism at 12 or 13, you remember the occasion. But, was your confession of faith then done with the same understanding you would have if you confessed your faith and were baptized today?
My friend, Loleta, has always been a loving person. She has identified herself as a Christian for many years. But, she did not recall ever being baptized. She knows it was unlikely her parents had her “sprinkled” as an infant. So, in her enlightened “senior years,” God put it upon her heart to be baptized.
When my husband and I learned of her decision, we were thrilled. We asked her if we could attend the baptism ceremony.
“Why?” she asked. “Why would you want to travel so far to be here when I am baptized? Isn’t it just a private thing between God and me?”
“Because we love you!” we told her. “It is your PUBLIC acknowledgement of your faith. We are thrilled that you have decided to do this – and we want to be there to support you.”
We were not alone in our presence. Loleta had people from three states come to witness her baptism… and then we all celebrated together at a rental house in a lovely spot in southern California where we are sharing the time for awhile. The Holy Spirit is alive and well in this place!
Here are a few of the celebrants.
Do you remember your baptism?
Mine was a sprinkling as an infant.
I wonder if I would have the courage
to be “dunked” if the Holy Spirit nudged me
to do so today.