Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Belief’

Hold On!


What do you need to hold on to?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At this stage in my life, I don’t need to buy anything else
(except maybe food to sustain Bob & me
and a plane ticket or two to travel
to see our kids when it’s safe to do so)
… but I need to get rid of things instead.

How about you? If you were given this prompt,
“Hold on to your ____,”
how would you fill in the blank?
Ann Kaplow tickled my creative funny bone with her post today:

Day 2886: Hold on to your …

Posted on October 19, 2020 by Ann Koplow

Check it out and see some of the things she identified.
Here are a few things I think I should hold on to:

Photo by Ferdinand Studio on Pexels.com

Hold on to your umbrella;
Let the wind carry you away.
Hang on and float high
To a joyous, better day.

Photo by Fru00f6ken Fokus on Pexels.com

Hold on to your future
Let it carry you to the sky,
To days of brighter sunshine.
Let it carry you up high.

Hold on to your faith;
Let it carry you to love.
Let it bring you greater wisdom
And powers from above.

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

Hang onto your head;
Keep your intellect intact.
Be cautious and discerning;
Know all you hear ain’t fact.

Hold onto your friends,
But remind them to wear masks.
That was Anne Kaplow’s prompt.
Be safe – is all she asks.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Hold on to earth’s hope
For a better, safer world.
Be kind to our planet –
Don’t let this virus stay unfurled.

What do your think we should hold on to?

I’m gonna hold on to Bob.
I’m feeling so blessed that he is feeling so much better.
Did I tell you that the afternoon my sis died
was the day he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure?

I’m gonna hold on to our wonderful doctor
who stayed long after her “shift” was over –
and ordered blood work, x-rays, and an EKG,
and stayed til the results came in.
Then she walked us up the stairs to the front door
to see how Bob did with climbing stairs.
Then called the next morning to
check on him and offer encouragement
and an appointment this week
for an echocardiogram.

Yes, I’m gonna hold on to that wonderful doctor!!

And this guy:


We have had so many friends
and family members praying for us.
God is good.
All the time.
He put a song of praise in my heart.
God hears and answers prayer!


Life is looking up.
We’re holding on!
{{{Hugs}}} to you.
You hold on, too.
Love ya,
JanBeek

Where Will You Spend Eternity?


Today’s sermon message by our guest pastor, Rev. Phil Taylen at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana, focused on the theological basis for our assurance of Eternity in Heaven.

It was timely, especially given the fact that this is the week my only sibling, my sister Sally, went to her eternal home.

If you die today, do you know where you’re going from here?

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on Pexels.com

Is it Hell or a Black Hole?

My guess is that the choice is pretty clear. I was looking for a picture of a black hole… because some people believe this is it! We’re here and then we’re nowhere. A black hole… that’s where they think they’re going. They don’t believe there is a place called Hell where they will burn in the fires of an afterlife separated from God.

Or is it Heaven?

Rev. Phil Taylen’s sermon was titled, “Soaring with Eagles.” He began with that question, “Where Will You Spend Eternity?” His answer was part of a movement he called “The Evangelism Explosion.” Even though he grew up in the Presbyterian Church, he was ordained by an Evangelical Ministry – and his sermon lecture today definitely got down to the basics!

The Bible

B asic
I nstructions
B efore
L eaving
E arth

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Heaven by Grace

G od’s
R iches
A t
C hrist’s
E xpense

Grace is God’s Unmerited Favor poured out on us.
Grace can’t be earned or deserved.
Heaven is a free gift.

He cited Ephesians 2: 8-9 as further proof of the point he was teaching and preaching:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
Not of works,
lest any man should boast.”

Not By Man

Good works are important, but they will not save us.

I am a sinner.
I can’t save myself.

He cited John 8:24 to prove his message that man cannot save himself:

“Unless you believe that
I am who I claim to be,
you will die in your sins.”

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Only God

God gave us basic instructions to live by before leaving earth.

God is Love.
God is just and righteous.

In the Bible, our instruction book, God told us:

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God. …

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Heaven Through Christ

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Jesus Christ is God.

Faith is Belief

Faith is the Connector.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I don’t see the whole staircase. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Only Begotten Son, but I do not believe God will send all the Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists to Hell because they do not share my belief in Jesus as a part of the Trinity.

I believe God is bigger than religion. I believe God is omnipotent. I believe God knows all people – and He sees them through His eyes, not mine. That may make me a non-believer in some evangelical eyes. But I believe God is more inclusive than we can fathom.

I find enormous comfort in my faith – my belief in our Lord Jesus Christ – and I want to share that comfort and love with all I meet. I believe 2 Cor. 1:3-5 as quoted below:

Do you believe in Christ?

Thanks for visiting today.
Have a Blessed Sunday.
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

There Are Angels Among Us


Angels are with us
In every walk of our life
Most have hidden wings

My angel friend, Terry, sent me this Jana Stanfield video.
She said I am her angel.
Truth is: she is mine!

Can it be that we serve one another
As angels here on earth?
Can it be that you are one, too?

Look at these darling children.
Each of them is an angel here on earth.
They just keep their wings hidden!
(Except for the cymbalist… I think I see his wings peeking out!)

“Somewhere amongst them,
or betwixt them,
or gazing adoringly up at them
just like you,
here I am.”

That was a sentence I captured
on a blog yesterday, but didn’t get the author’s name.
I apologize. If you know who wrote this,
please tell me in the comments below and I’ll add it.
It is angelic writing, don’t you agree?

Sending God’s love
to you, my friends.

I have a host of angels here on earth
who bring God’s love to me on a daily basis.
I bet you do, too.
Think about them today.
Reach out and thank them today
for the joy they bring to you.

Some of my Angels

My daughter, De
Our #2 daughter Laina, and my hubby, Bob

This is Bob’s older brother, Bill, with his wife, Margie.
Bob’s family members are angels in our lives.

With them is our son, Ty, and daughter-in-love, Monika.
We are so blessed to have Tyroneee and Moni as angels among us.

Here is Terry
(the friend who sent me Jana Stanfield’s angel song)
with her husband, our friend, Jim.
Can you just see what angels they are?
We call Terry “SPARKLES!”
She sparkles with love and compassion.

When I came home from the hospital after my recent hernia surgery, Terry sent Bob to get me at the hospital with this angel blanket that’s now draped over my bedroom chair. That’s what angel friends do: they wrap you warmly in their loving arms… and send you kisses!

This collage of photos from my sister, Sally, has several angels pictured on it. My dad to start with – bottom center – what an angel! My sis and my niece, Jodie with her son, Liam and husband, Bill. They are angels in my life, too.

And if you look closely, you can see Sally with TazE… our Boston Terrier. She was going to be named “Angel.” I had that name all picked out for her – until we met her!! TazE was a Tasmanian Devil (Taz) with E for Ears to match her bouncy personality and oversized ears. No, she was not an angel at all. But she has quieted down in her old age (she’s nine now) and maybe she qualifies as an angel in my life at this time. You think?

Chris is one of my three Swiss grandsons. He lived with us for a while last year … and was such an angel in our lives. Our seven grandchildren continue to be angels. Here is my youngest granddaughter, Faith (now 24) … Of course, she’s an angel in our lives!

I hope you have a BFF – (Best Friend Forever) – a long term angel friend – someone you can count on in all circumstances – someone like my friend, Marcie:

She just called me while I was creating this blog…
just to express condolences about my cousin, Cliff.
What a thoughtful, sweet, angel friend Marcie is!!

We all have angels in our lives. People we will love until the end of time… people who exude God’s love. They are compassionate and considerate. They seem to know when we need them and they are there at the most important times. God bless the angels among us!

Each of you who comes to JanBeek
and bothers to read and comment is
An Angel of Mine!

What you mean to me, you’ll never know….
You came at just the right time into my life-
and I want to share it with you…
I appreciate you so much!

Tell me abut some of your angels!

See you tomorrow.
((( Hugs )))
JanBeek

What’s Happiness?


Sometimes you design
A plan for your happiness,
But it comes from God.

Happiness bubbles
Up from a pure, grateful heart.
It’s being child-like!

Not childish, mind you!
Not irresponsible plans,
But innocent faith.

Happiness is life
Lived in anticipation
Of a bright sunrise.


It is the belief
That sunsets just mean rest time
And a new day dawns.

Christine Migneau Photography
Beautiful Montana

Happiness is faith
That flowers will grow in shade
And we’ll grow in storms!

Paul Holdorf Photography

When life gives you storms
Share your umbrella in love.
Feel your heart expand!

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Are you feeling blue?
Have the storms gotten you down?
Give it all to God.

Have a restful night
and a Happy Tomorrow.
See ya then.

JanBeek


Ya Gotta Get Better


I’m praying for you –
Ya just gotta get better.
Can’t live without you!

With COVID-19,
Too many lives are now lost –
Many in peril.

Be patient, my friends.
Please don’t open up too soon.
Keep yourself healthy.

Losing a dear one
To this invisible beast:
Unfathomable!

Bee well!

Is there someone out there who needs our prayers?
Pass this song along to them – – –
“Soon You’ll Get Better” –
Put their name in the comments below
and I will add their name to my prayer list.

I believe in the Power of Prayer.

We all need reassuring words – especially now.
Have faith in what will be.

Photo by Jayberrytech on Pexels.com


#Hugs4Happiness

Thanks for visiting.
See ya tomorrow.


Believe and Be Joyful


Thanks to Pastor Steve Hundley
and our music minister, Fran McNiell,
for the prayers, stories, and sermon,
and the music for today’s worship service.

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER

April 19, 2020

Opening Prayer

Risen Christ, the brightness of God’s glory and exact image of God’s Person, who death could not conquer nor tomb imprison, as You have shared our frailty in human flesh, help us to share Your immortality in the Spirit.  Let no shadow of the grave terrify us and no fear of darkness turn our hearts from You.  Reveal Yourself to us this day and all our days, as the First and the Last, the living One, our immortal Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Prayer of Confession:

We confess, O God, that we have not lived the past weeks in the faith of Easter.  We have been like the disciples, who saw life in terms of the suffering of the cross more than in the joy of resurrection.  Forgive our hopelessness in the face of our world’s response to the COVID 19 pandemic, these past few weeks, and help us to trust more fully that You are the Lord of our future.  Amen.

Assurance of Pardon:

As God raised Jesus from the dead, so God will lift us all from the graves of broken dreams.  God makes us whole again and send us forth to witness to His name.

A Children’s Message
for Adults, too! 

Steve’s message for the children today
tells of a boy carrying two buckets…
not just one, and not on a sandy beach like this one…
read on and see how his buckets and path differed from this!

Photo by Svetlana Parkhomenko on Pexels.com

(a true story)

When I was a boy, my mother would often send me down the road to Clyde’s cabin to help him with his laundry. Clyde lived in a log cabin he had built in the early nineteen-hundreds.  His cabin had no running water, only a well out back.  There was a creek out front less than a quarter mile from his front door.

Clyde had an old roller washing machine, a tub and an old scrub board.  It was my job to carry water from the creek to the cabin in two old milk pails.  I would fill the pails in the creek and make my way back to the cabin, pouring what water that didn’t spill or leak out of the buckets into the large tub.  Filling each bucket to the rim each trip, I would arrive with less than half a bucket of water.  At that rate, it would take me practically all day to supply enough water for Clyde’s washing and rinsing. 

Complaining about the amount of water that I was spilling over the top of the buckets, not to mention the water lost from holes in his dilapidated buckets, Clyde instructed me to place a small block of wood in the buckets.  He explained that the blocks of wood floating in the buckets would help water from splashing out the tops.  Though it helped a little, I continued to leak water from the holes the buckets.

On one trip from the creek to the cabin with water leaking down my legs and into my shoes, I had had about enough.  “Clyde,” I moaned, “When are you going to throw away these sorry buckets and buy new ones?  These dented old rust buckets are full of holes.”  Clyde just smiled his toothless grin and said, “Why boy, those are my special buckets.  I could never get rid of them.”  “But these sorry things are full of holes,” I whined. “And, it takes me twice the effort and double the trips back and forth from the creek, to fill your tubs.”

“Boy, take a look along that path leading down to the creek,” Clyde said.  “Do you see all those beautiful wildflowers, lining the path?  Every time you made the hard trip from the creek to the cabin, spilling water along the way, you were unknowingly watering God’s beautiful flowers for us to enjoy.”

Jesus’ followers found the path towards Easter to be really difficult.  Peter denied knowing Jesus, not once, but three times, though he vowed never to do so.  After that, he was so upset that he no longer considered himself worthy of being a disciple.  Mary, the mother of Jesus, had to watch her son suffer and die on the cross.  Mary Magdalene was not only upset by Jesus’ death, but was horrified to think that someone had stolen His body when she found the stone rolled away.

  I am sure that God could have found an easier path for them to follow than the way of the cross.  But, without the pain of the cross, there can be no Easter joy.  Without God coming into the world in the person of Jesus Christ and paying the price for our failures on the cross, we would not see, know, or enjoy the beauty of His love for us.

Prayer for Illumination:

            God of life, whose Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and draws us to Christ, send Your Spirit now to give us deeper insight, encouragement, faith and hope, through the proclamation of the Easter gospel.  Amen.

An Easter Message:                           “Through Locked Doors”

John 20:19-29

For centuries Christians celebrated Jesus’ resurrection the week following Easter with parties and picnics.  The week culminated with “Bright Sunday” or “Holy Humor Sunday”, a day of joy and laughter.  Churchgoers and pastors would play jokes on each other, tell silly jokes, and would sing and dance.  The custom was rooted in the notion of early Christian theologians like St. Augustine, St. Gregory of Nysa, and St. John Chrysostom that God had played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead.  Early theologians called it “the Easter Laugh”.  Later, it became known as “the Gospel as Divine Comedy.”

However, the thought of the resurrection as God’s practical joke on the devil and death is not something we tend to think about the Sunday following Easter.  Over the years, the tradition of “Bright Sunday” or “Holy Humor Sunday” has been lost.  That tradition has been replaced with what we have come to know as “Low Sunday.”  Compared to the highest feast day in the church year – Easter Sunday- the Sunday following is considered the lowest.  Why is that?

I don’t know.  Maybe the excitement of Easter Sunday fades so quickly because the church, over the years, has lost its hope in the power of the resurrection.  Maybe.  Or, perhaps it is because the stories of Easter and the resurrection have become so familiar to us that we have lost sight of the irony of life overcoming death, especially given the high death toll we are experiencing during this recent pandemic.  Well, maybe.

You have to admit that someone rising from the grave is a rather fantastic idea in our modern world.  For instance, when my son was in middle school, he came home one day after school to discover that our Brittany Spaniel was running around in the backyard with our neighbors’ pet rabbit in its mouth.  Chasing the dog, my son finally caught it and wrenched the rabbit from its jaws.  He quickly discovered, not only was the rabbit covered with mud and dog slobber, it was also dead as a door nail. 

Panicking, he scooped the rabbit up and ran into the house.  In the bathroom, he carefully washed the rabbit off, carefully brushed it out, and dried it with his mother’s hairdryer.  Stealthily, he crept back into the neighbors’ yard and quickly placed the dead rabbit back into its rabbit pen.  Arranging it just right, it was impossible to tell that the rabbit was dead.  Sneaking back to the house, my son retired to his room, promising himself not to tell anyone what had really happened.

Arriving home from my office, I was standing in the kitchen when I heard the blood curdling scream coming from my neighbor’s backyard.  Running out the house, I ran to the fence to see our neighbor’s wife staring with horror into the rabbit pin.  “What on earth has happened?” I called.  “THE RABBIT, IT DIED!” she screamed.  “It died?” I said inquiringly.  Turning to run back into her house, she screamed: “YES, IT DIED THREE DAYS AGO!  WE BURIED IT, BUT NOW IT IS BACK!  (Now this story may not be true, but you have to admit, be it rabbit or human, rising up from the grave is a fantastic notion in this day and time!)

Can you and I even fathom the shock of the disciples when Jesus appeared to them, passing through locked doors?  Sure, they had trudged behind Jesus through the entire Judean countryside.  Jesus’ purpose and teachings were hard to understand, even though He spoke of being the Christ—the Messiah—the Holy One of God, who is of the Father.

  But, all that must have seemed like a dream (or more like a nightmare) when Jesus was crucified, ending all hope.  The death of Jesus had slammed the door on their greatest hopes and dreams.  It was over.  It had been good while it lasted, but now the door was locked and nothing could bring Him back to life again, or so they thought.  They had buried Him three days before, AND NOW, HE WAS BACK!

Of course, the reaction to God’s practical joke on death was varied among Jesus’ followers.  While the “beloved disciple” may have believed without evidence except for an empty tomb, Mary Magdalene only believed because the Risen Christ called her by name.  The remaining disciples, excluding Thomas, believed only because their Risen Christ appears to them, granting peace to them, and showing them His hands and His side.  Yet, for Thomas, neither the word of his fellow disciples, nor the sight of the Risen Lord would be sufficient.  For Thomas said, “Unless I place my fingers into the nail holes, and stick my hand in His side, I will not believe.”

It would seem that true FAITH is not the same experience for everyone, not then, not now.  Neither is FAITH generated with the same kind and degree of evidence for each individual.  For some, FAITH is born and grows as quietly as a child sleeping on grandmother’s lap.  For others, FAITH is a lifetime of wrestling with the angel.  And, some cannot remember a time in their life when they didn’t believe, while others cannot remember anything else with their lives having been shattered and reshaped by their decision of FAITH.

No matter how FAITH came, or comes, to you and me, it would do us well to remember the words of Jesus who said: (and I paraphrase), “REMEMBER THIS, UNLESS YOU ACCEPT GOD’S KINGDOM IN THE SIMPLICITY OF A CHILD, YOU’LL NEVER GET IT.”  And like a child, what better way to celebrate God’s joke on death than with joy, laughter, singing, and dancing? Yet, what a shame it is, when the voice of doubters or the voice of those of us for whom FAITH has become the norm, even commonplace, drown out the true irony and wonder of the resurrection.

When I think of the true joy and wonder of faith, I cannot help but remember a boy named Lonnie, years ago, in my 3rd grade classroom.  Lonnie’s parents had died in an automobile accident, so his grandparents were raising him.  I remember how we used to tease Lonnie mercilessly, because he would believe anything.  We’d say, “The school burned down, so we don’t have to go to school Monday.”  “Oh, boy!” he’d say.  You see, he’d believe it!

  “They are giving away free ice cream down at Mr. Kern’s grocery store.”  “FREE ICE CREAM?”  he’d squeal and off he’d go running.  “Lonnie, did you know that that Elvis is coming to our school?”  “HE IS REALLY?  WHOOPEE!”  Yep, that boy would believe anything! 

One day, Lonnie showed up at our little country church and came to our Sunday School class.  Our teacher, old Miss King, told Lonnie that: “God loves you and cares for You.  And God will come to you in Jesus Christ who has risen from the dead.”  And do you know, THAT KID BELIEVED IT!  HE ACTUALLY BELIEVED IT! 

Do you believe it?  Do we really believe it?  And, if we do, then where is our laughter?  Where is the singing and dancing?  Where is our uncontrollable joy?  Hmmm. 

Sing along! The words are so beautiful!

Pastoral Prayer:

Lord of the cross and the Empty Tomb, we worship You.  Though the pandemic rages on, You give us reason to hope.  We thank You that we are not alone even as the news of more Corona Virus cases and deaths dominate the headlines.  Though we are well-acquainted with death, dying and grief, we praise You that death has been vanquished and its spell broken.  And though our lives are still embroiled in sin, failure and inadequacy, thank You, O God, for giving our lives meaning, purpose and direction.

We confess that the more days we stay at home, the more likely it is that we may forget Your power and fall into despair.  Yet, today we remember and hope comes back. Though the darkness of the night brought doubt and disarray, in the light of this new day we bow our heads in worship.  Like Thomas, we desire to see the nail prints and touch the wound in Your side, but Your presence is enough, and we cry out, saying: “My Lord, and my God!”

Walk among us, Lord, and touch our troubled lives.  Give hope to the hopeless, strength to the faltering, love to the lonely, compassion and courage to those on the front line of this pandemic. We pray for health, hope, and help for those who have lost their incomes and/or health insurance in the midst of this ongoing lock down.  Let the radiance of Your resurrected presence shine upon them and us as it shone upon Your first disciples and make new persons of us all, as it did of them.

Transform us from frightened, hesitant, uncommitted followers into people of fire and steel who know what we believe and who will follow You no matter what the future holds.  Live in and through us.  Walk among us and teach us to walk with You.  For You alone have the words of eternal life, and You alone can call us into discipleship.  Lord of the cross and empty tomb, we praise You!  Bring healing and hope to our hurting world, for Your name’s sake, saying together, as One Church, One Body …”Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts (trespasses), as we forgive our debtors (those who trespass against us). And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.”

Charge:

Go into the world: dance, laugh, sing, and create.

Go into the world: risk, explore, discover, and love.

Go into the world: believe, hope, struggle, and remember.

Go into the world with the assurance

that God loves you and you are not alone.

Amen.

Blessing:

Go Now! for you cannot go where God is not.

Go with noble purpose,

and God will give meaning to Your days.

Go in love, for it alone endures.

Go in peace, for it is the gift of God

 to those whose hearts and minds

are in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Amen.

Have a Blessed and Joyful Sunday.

See ya tomorrow.


Keep An Open Mind


Do You Know?

When Bob and I had the privilege of working with a young man from Pakistan who needed help learning to read and write English and eventually pass his GED (I think that stands for Graduation Equivalent Diploma), one of the hardest things to teach Zahid was three little words: “I don’t know.”

My adult children will tell you that their mom had the same problem. When they were little and would ask me a question, I was sure that a good mom always had an answer… and it was not supposed to be “I don’t know.”

It took them years to catch on to the fact that Mom was a good faker, and they should not swallow hook, line and sinker everything she told them!

Be Discerning

It was not so difficult for my grandchildren to discern my {{{BS}}} from the truth, however. See that middle kid up there, the one with the all-knowing smirk? He caught on right away to Grammy’s elaborate answers! Full of sarcasm and wonderful wit, he had the best comebacks – and taught me my come-uppance!

What? You’re wondering what took me so long? Did I really live to be a grandmother before I learned, “Intelligence isn’t knowing everything, it’s the ability to challenge everything you know?” Ask Nicky!

“Be discerning” means we have to question the validity of everything we see and hear! Even if it comes from what we THINK is a “reliable” source. Challenge it!! Especially in this COVID-19 climate that has become so politicized.

Be Positive, But…

It’s one thing to be positive, but it’s another thing to be gullible!

Yesterday I heard one of the news reporters telling us that there are people out there recommending that those tested positive with Coronavirus should take a healthy dose of bleach … Clorox … that it would kill the virus. Ya, well, it’ll kill YOU, too!

Yes, we want to believe that when all this is over (and of course that’ll be by April 1st when we can all go back to work, right?) … we want to believe that the “new normal” will be hunky dory. Games will sell out (NOT!). It may be 2022 before we are even allowed to congregate in stadiums again!

Restaurants will have a two-hour wait. Heck, that’s true of Food Bank lines in big cities already!

Every kid will be glad to be back in school. Of course, and I have a bridge to sell you!

Be Hopeful

While we are keeping an open mind, being discerning and positive, avoiding the hype and maintaining a level head in all this, it is essential that we keep HOPE alive.

Believe that good will come of all this when the dust settles. Be a part of the solution by staying at home if you can, and by wearing a mask when you go out into a public place. And most important of all, keep your faith alive!

God so loved the world – that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him – should not perish, but have everlasting life! Keep that faith alive. Indeed, God is in charge… and He loves you and me!

Spread Your Joy and Kindness

There may be those out there who will read the first part of that first meme on this blog, “Consider evidence that contradicts your beliefs and admit that you may be wrong…” and will challenge what you say. Just as wise-beyond-his-years-Nicky challenged my implausible answers to his questions, listen to their doubts.

Listen to the folks who have a different point of view. Respect their right to believe as they do. Examine the validity of what you think is true. And if you are convinced you’re right, go ahead and stick to your guns. But, do so with kindness and respect.

Maintain your joy… and spread your kindness in this puzzling, troubled world. Honey works better than vinegar every time!!

Don’t you agree?
See ya tomorrow.

Bee well!!

Optimism is Far-Sighted


If you’re myopic
Looking only at your feet
You can’t see the joy

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Ya gotta look out
Optimism’s far-sighted
Valley’s got mountains!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today’s tasks are hard
That’s a lotta wood to chop
The warmth is worth it

What does tomorrow bring?

Know that your troubles
Aren’t going to last forever
Optimism reigns!

Don’tcha just gotta see the optimism
when you look at Bob’s giddy face?

Thanks for looking out beyond
your blog to see mine!

I hope it cheered you.
I love you, my friends!


See ya later!

The Smallest Things


Winnie the Pooh said,
“Sometimes the smallest things
take up the most room in your heart.”

Photo by Inna Lesyk on Pexels.com

Yesterday at church, the smallest people there took up the largest place in my heart… and the hearts of the congregants. I didn’t have my camera with me to show you a picture of the “Terrific Tuesday” children who sang Christmas carols to the congregation and recited a memorized Bible verse into the microphone. But, you just have to imagine these three darlings along with five others ranging in age from 4 to 10 – – – singing and reciting praises to our Lord. It was glorious!

These are our darling Sunday School children
with the food they gathered to share
at the Food Bank in November

Ruby, Cord, and Hailey were joined by five others yesterday as they sang, “Father Abraham,” and “Silent Night,” and synced hand motions to “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”… Oh my! Every face in the church was bursting with God’s JOY as we watched these darling little ones.

The Klein family lit the Advent candles:
Week One – Hope
Week Two – Peace
Week Three – Joy

Elaine Hundley, our Pastor Steve’s wife, delivered the sermon. Steve is off in Virginia at his mom’s side as she lies dying. As we pray for Steve and his mom, Faye, our congregation also is mourning the death of Reverend Jean Johnson, who died after a difficult surgery and related difficulties. She had been the pastor here in the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church for 32 years.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I take notes in poetry as I listen and internalize the sermon. Elaine called her sermon, “Second Chances” as she talked about Zechariah’s muteness due to unbelief – and the second chance he received after acknowledging his baby boy’s name is John. In my notes, I focused more on the message to Mary – and her response to Gabriel and to God. Here is what I wrote as I discerned the message yesterday. I called it Believe and Trust:

Based on Luke 1:26-56

Think about Gabriel’s messages
To Zechariah and to Mary.
He told each their child’s name
And spoke as if a voice from a fairy.

Zechariah was a priest and he
Should have believed the voice.
But he doubted – and became mute.
Like Zechariah, we have a choice.

We can believe as Mary did,
Or doubt as Zechariah chose to do.
The result of Mary’s faith
Was rich in blessings. So it is with you.

When God speaks to us, we know
Blessings are ours – if we trust.
Through faith, we are free to rejoice;
We are free to believe – We must!

Mary’s song speaks as if God
Already has done what He said.
She praises the gift of His Son.
She didn’t look on her fate with dread.

Sometimes, like Mary, we face unknowns.
Like her, we are called to accept
The challenges God gives us as gifts.
Know God’s in charge, so have no regrets.

Christmas is a season in which, as we light the Advent candle – there is a new focus each week. We await the birth of the Christ Child with a focus on JOY this week. I pray you find JOY in this day – and project nothing but HOPE, PEACE and JOY to all you meet.

As Pooh said, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” What’s taking up room in your heart today?

Look for the smallest ways to believe, trust, and spread the Good News! Wheeee!! Take JOY into your heart! (It’s no small thing.)

Photo by Kevin Bidwell on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I hope it brought you JOY today.
See ya later.

Tenacity Defined


Gracie is Tenacity Defined. We all need such role models!
Check her out:

Look and see what an amazing person Gracie is.
I met her her in Ennis, Montana. She and Peter live in our Madison Valley.

And look for her husband, Peter, while you are checking out Gracie.

He is an amazing person, too.

Regardless of our hardships, we CAN survive and thrive.
It takes tenacity – a bucketful of it – like Gracie’s.
And someone’s hand to hold!

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Hold on!
Have a good night.
See you tomorrow.

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