Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘Bible’

Happy Sunday!


Mine was a busy Sunday.
How was yours?
Where did you look today?

Looking for beauty
Can sometimes be elusive
When your eyes are closed

So open your eyes
To find the beauty around.
It is everywhere!

Where do your eyes look?

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.”

“Maybe tomorrow!”

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.

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

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!

Photo by Shelagh Murphy on Pexels.com

She spoke of children
Where poverty and illness
Put them at great risk.

Experiences
Shared with us in church today
Brought love of strangers.

Madison County Food Bank

“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).

Hugs,

JanBeek

Embrace Bird Songs


Bird Songs – Haiku
by JanBeek

Let’s embrace bird songs.
They bring music to our souls.
Delight in their sounds!

The following video is a 42 minute delight.
It displays 80 birds,
identifies them for you,
and plays their songs.
I LOVE it!

I recommend that you
play it as background music
as you read the rest of my blog
and go about your day.

Peek back at it every now and then –
because the close-up pictures of these birds
and the words that identify them
and the settings where you find them
will be sure to delight you!

I woke this morning to the sound of doves cooing.
They have built their nest in the eaves
Outside my bedroom window –
Crafted it with twigs and leaves.

Partner doves made their home there
And sang their song, “I hid hid hid it!”
Soon they’ll lay their eggs there
And change their song to “I did did did it!”

But their nest is not hidden from us.
We can see their coming and their going.
Their song brings us daily happiness.
Our day starts with shared music – enjoying!

.

After you have listened to some of that first video, check this one out. It is just the dove…
Then go back to that first one. Let it mesmerize you!
(You can slide the red bar at the bottom of it to go back to where you left off.)

“Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”

Psalm 144:15

Just as each bird has its song,
People have songs that identify them.
Some are blues, some jazz or rock and roll,
Others are known by their favorite hymn.

As I listen to music on my Amazon device
And I hear one I wanna put in my cart,
I say, “Alexa, add that to my favorites.”
My list – like a bird song – comes from my heart.
.

Take a break from the bird songs,
and listen to a song that touches my heart.
I can’t help but sing along whenever it plays:


In my “Happiness Project”
(one sentence journal)
the verse at the top of the page
today was:

“It is neither wealth nor splendor,
but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.”

– Thomas Jefferson

.

What Creates Happiness for You?


I used to find my greatest happiness in the classroom – working with young children.
Then I found it in my home with my husband and two children.
Neither of those sources, however could be defined as “tranquil.”

It wasn’t until we moved here to Montana, we both retired, and we bought a house with an upstairs “SanctuAiree,” that I found my place of tranquility. Surrounded by trees with singing birds outside and my Bibles, devotionals, and angels inside, I am at peace. Inner peace is my definition of tranquility and happiness. How about you?

For me, there are few things in life which create more tranquility than the sound of a dove cooing. Our God used a dove as the carrier of good news (it returned to the ark with an olive branch to announce “Dry Land! It’s here! It’s here!”) The dove is a symbol of peace.

What a way to wake up in the morning! And then they greet me on the rooftop when I am in my SanctuAiree.

Doves are little gifts from God.
I love them and their song.

What is your favorite bird song?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

I hope you’ll be singing when you leave here!

(You can go back to that first video and continue enjoying those bird songs)

See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Embrace Life


“To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.”

-Thomas Campbell

Today we are celebrating the life of my brother-in-law, Stan.
He gave us many reasons to smile.
He will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.

If you could write your obituary,
celebrating your life,
what would you want folks
to say about you?

Here lies __________________ (insert your name)
S/He was __________________ (insert an adjective)
We could count on him/her to ____________________ (what could folks count on you for?)
His/Her life was noted for ________________________ (what’s your legacy?)


Have you discovered how to discern His Will?
Are you asking God each day to help you do His Will?

How are you using your time today?
Time is our greatest gift.
Use it wisely!

We’re in Oregon with Bob’s sister.
Priceless time!

I am praying that you
have a Marvelous Monday!

Hugs to you.
See you tomorrow (God willing)…
JanBeek

Embrace Karfreitag


Embrace Karfreitag!
That’s German for “Sorrowful Friday.”
The same day named “Guode Friday”
in Old English back in the 1200’s.

I always wondered how it got named “Good.”
What’s good about the Friday when Christ died?
I’m more apt to agree with the Germans”
It’s a sorrowful day!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Baltimore Catechism from 1885
says it is “Good Friday”
because it’s the day
Jesus showed his great love for mankind.

Matthew 27:46

And about three o’clock
Jesus cried with a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema tabachthani?”
that is,
“My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:59-61

“Joseph took the body,
wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
and placed it in his own new tomb…
He rolled a big stone in front
of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
were sitting there opposite the tomb.”

Today is the day when Jesus seems gone.
Mary and Mary Magdalene
wept in front of the giant rock
that was between them and the One they loved.
Can you imagine their despair?

The reason I am embracing “Karfreitag!”
is because I think it would be a shame
to jump from Sorrowful Friday
to the joy of Easter morning
without sitting for a day
and contemplating the
sorrow that surrounded
Christ’s death.

Imagine yourself at the tomb.
Imagine the shock of finding
Jesus gone…
with the stone rolled away.

Tomorrow is called
“Holy Saturday.”
This is all that is written about it:

The next day the Pharisees
and chief priests went to Pilate.
“Sir, they said, we remember
that while he was still alive
that deceiver said,
‘After three days I will rise again.’
So give the order
for the tomb
to be made secure
until the third day…”

What would you have thought
if you had seen this scene
on the day after Jesus died?

Holy Saturday
is a day to pause
gather our thoughts,
process what happened,
and get ready for the
beautiful message
of Easter.

See you tomorrow.
Love to you,
JanBeek

Before you go,
treat yourself to this wonderful rendition
of one of my favorite hymns
by a phenomenal boys’ choir …
joined by the wonderful men’s voices
of the King’s College Choir.
You’ll be glad you did!


Embrace ExpectationS


Yesterday I posted a question,
“What do you expect
When you hear Expectation?”
Today I added an S to the word.

What does that do to the meaning for you?
Derrick Knight responded yesterday saying,
“Expectation can sometimes be a touch optimistic.”
The picture of the pregnant gal shows such optimism to me.

She is probably more than “a touch” optimistic!

Photo by Laura Garcia on Pexels.com

Expectation to me is personal.
It is what I am looking forward to – or not.
But the added S causes it to take on a different nuance.
“Expectations” often come from others in my mind.


In Luke 21:26, the expectation the men felt was the “or not.”

“… men fainting
from fear and the expectation
of the things which are coming upon the world;
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

Photo by Aaron Kittredge on Pexels.com

But in Philippians, the expectation is that optimistic viewpoint Derrick was talking about:

Philippians 1:20

As it is my eager expectation and hope
that I will not be at all ashamed,
but that with full courage now as always
Christ will be honored in my body,
whether by life or by death.

Expectations from others can often produce stress. People sometimes put pressure on us to be more than we feel capable of being.

On the other hand, expectations can be motivating. Is someone expecting you to perform right now? Is that person an encourager, telling you, “You can do this! You’re strong enough… smart enough… capable enough”?

Embrace those expectations!
Believe those accolades.
Let that encouragement motivate you.
You are not given more than you can do…
… with God’s help!

I just listened to a podcast with Bob Goff interviewing Anne Lamott.
She touched on this topic of “given more than you can do.”
Quite interesting!
Her take is different, but equally as valid.
You may want to go and hear that podcast.
(I hope this link will take you there)
https://dreambigframework.com/podcast-1/326anne?utm_term=0_be8b3e9633-80b1855f1d-132966261

In yesterday’s Daily Word,
the word for March 30, 2021 was “Expectation.”
The statement at the top of the page was,

“Expectation keeps me passionate about my life.”

In the article expounding on the subject, the message emphasized was:

“Expectation keeps me in a state of gratitude…
I claim peace, prosperity, and joy in prayer.
I carry a confident expectation into my daily life.”

In the midst of this pandemic, with social distancing, mask-wearing, and the administration of vaccines becoming more and more politicized, it is sometimes difficult to follow the advice of that Daily Word message. Sometimes when the expectations of the world weigh us down, when dissension and divisiveness try to bury our joy, it is easy to fall into a dark mood.

So, the message today is to take those expectations
And color them brightly with the promises of Easter.
Remember that today marks the day that Jesus was
Honored with a flask of expensive perfume poured on him.

The disciples who were scornful were reminded
To keep their focus on the expectations of Christ:
He knew He would die, be buried, and rise again.
My expectation is to do the same – due to His sacrifice.

I am planted today with the expectation
That I will grow from the Sea of Expectations
To rise in encouragement and hope-
So that I can spread that optimism to others.

EMBRACE POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS

Have a Happy, Meaningful Holy Week.
Whatever you are being called to do,
believe you can, expect that you will.
Get on with it!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

I expect to
See ya tomorrow!

Embrace Guidance


What does the word GUIDANCE mean to you?
What comes to mind?

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

When I put the word “guidance”
in my Pexel image search,
this picture of a smart phone –
bringing the GPS image to mind –
came up on my screen.
Is that your idea of guidance?

Photo by Michael Block on Pexels.com

What kind of guidance does this second image bring to mind?
Maybe allowing your surroundings,
the sun and moon, the mountains, to guide you?
Do they give you a sense of direction?
Is that what guidance means to you?

Photo by Anand Dandekar on Pexels.com

A lighthouse guides ships through the night-
Especially in a storm when it is hard to see the shore.
This kind of guidance involves a light that points the way,
gives a warning, keeps the vessel from crashing into the rocks.

Photo by Prashant Gautam on Pexels.com

I searched through many photos
before finding the light
that spelled guidance to me –
and this one sort of does it.

It’s the Light that dawns
Each morning as I look to the heavens
And ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
It’s the light of God that shines in and through me.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Guidance that comes through prayer
And the study of God’s word
And time spent listening for His direction
Is the guidance I can count on.



Isaiah 30:21
21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
“This is the way; walk in it.”

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Where do you get your guidance?
Do you pass it along to others
Who are on the journey of life with you?
Wise guidance from fellow believers is treasured.

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

If you look to others for direction
And you play “Follow the Leader,”
Be sure your guides are tuned in
To the God of your Salvation!

In this Holy Week as we anticipate Easter,
Look for guidance in prayer and the scriptures;
Look for guidance in other Christ followers.
Give guidance to the lost and help them.

Help them find their way this Holy Week
To the foot of the cross where Jesus
Showed us with His death and resurrection
The true pathway to our final destination.

Jesus prays for our guidance daily

Let Him be your guide…
And rejoice in the path He shows you:
The LIGHTED Path to Eternal Life.
Hallelujah! May He be your Guide forever!

EMBRACE GUIDANCE

Amen!

Have a Happy Holy Week!
I send you lotsa love and hugs.
JanBeek

Embrace Kindness


Bob’s brother-in-law, Stan, died
At noon today, Oregon time.
Our hearts are heavy, of course,
But we hear heaven’s bells chime.

The Lord is blessed to receive
His creation back into His arms.
Our arms ache for one more hug,
One more poem with all his charms.

We’re not the only ones who’ve lost
A loved one to death this year.
This pandemic has taken too many
And this virus is not over, we fear.

As Stan was lying in his hospital bed,
Health care workers included his daughter, a nurse.
So many of our faithful ones have stepped up to help
Or else this COVID-19 would have been much worse.

The kindness shown by the hospital staff
Helped the family cope with their loss.
The kindness we all show every day
Is a way we live what we learn at the cross.

Stan’s death was not the result of the virus,
But his departure carries with it the sting
Of a beautiful life ended on earth.
Can we focus now on how the angels sing?

Showing kindness to the folks we meet
Is a way to acknowledge their pain.
We know everyone has a burden to bear;
And many don’t have the words to explain.

My neighbor has a treasured pet who is sick,
My friend lost her brother yesterday.
My husband’s fisher buddy needs surgery,
And my granddaughter has bills she can’t pay.

The man with the gun was bullied in his youth,
And he took out his hate in a store.
The victims’ families are beside themselves.
We all are wondering how we can take any more.

Embrace kindness as a first line of defense.
Embrace kindness as the action you choose.
Embrace kindness, for you know in your heart
It’s the way to show love and help hate defuse.

Bible Verses about ‘Kindness’

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.— 1 Corinthians 13:4-5


As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.— Colossians 3:12

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.— Galatians 5:22-23

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.— Ephesians 4:32

EMBRACE KINDNESS TODAY
(and every day!)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow
(Lord willing)

Embrace Borrowed Time


Another Massacre

Ten people were killed, including a veteran police officer, during a mass shooting Monday inside a grocery store in Boulder, Colo.

Another Senseless Loss of Lives

Another Sick Man with a Gun

Police officer among dead in Boulder, Colorado supermarket shooting

I could have been in that supermarket, in line to get my vaccine. You could have, too.

Many of us live as though there is no tomorrow. We simply have no concept of a world without us and yet each second the clock ticks away is one less second off our lives and as David said, “It is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

WE ARE LIVING ON BORROWED TIME

Psalms 90:10
The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span[a] is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.

James 4:13-14
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.


The average life span (world-wide) is less than 70 years but should we live beyond 70 years those extra years are seldom years of joy and happiness. Too many of our elderly in the USA are in nursing homes, separated from family, suffering from illness and loneliness.

If you are like Bob & me: in your 80s and relatively healthy, living independently in your home, count your blessings, praise God, and take no breath for granted!

Our whole existence is a gift from God. From the day of our birth until the day of our death we are on borrowed time.

What is the Meaning of Life?

One of the great questions of all time is, What is the meaning of life?

The Bible is filled with answers to that important question.

Eccl. 12:13
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Mark 12:30
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”

I am blessed to use my time to spread love, joy, peace, faith and unity. That is my blog’s purpose. In my retirement – in my borrowed time, I share my love with you and I gratefully worship my Creator, calling out God’s name. Sharing the name of Jesus and living with the Holy Spirit as my guide. I live with an attitude of gratitude and a response of generosity, forgiveness, obedience, and integrity. I know each day is a gift. Each breath could be my last.

WE NEED TO BE USING OUR TIME WISELY

Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

Jn. 6:28-29
28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

As Christians we are not to manage our time the same way the world manages theirs. We must make sure that we seek God in everything that we do. We are to organize our time and plan wisely for the future. There are time management apps that we can download on our phones that we should all take advantage of. If you’re old school a simple notepad or calendar will help.

We are to take care of the most important tasks first. We should pray for God to remove procrastination and idleness from our lives. We should seek to do God’s will daily.

GOOGLE Rick Warren’s 25 Important Bible verses… pray about each one.

EXAMPLES OF WASTING TIME

The Prodigal Son as described in Lk. 15:11-13 wasted his wealth, his strength, his youth and his energy on riotous living but mostly he wasted his time.

Samson wasted his strength and testimony with a woman who was of the enemies of God.

The rich farmer in Lk. 12:16-19 was preoccupied with the wealth of this world and gave no thought to the world to come.

Continually meditate on Scripture and allow the Lord to direct your life. Everything in this life will burn. Don’t put your focus on the world.

A woman who had been living a very high-pressured life moved with her family from the city to the country. The family had resolved to reduce the stresses and tensions that they had been under by entering into a gentler, easier life-style. A neighbor called on the mother one day and noticed something that had been pinned on the family bulletin board. She asked about it and the mother said, “Oh, that’s a poem that represents what our moving here was all about. The poem starts out, “Lord slow me down..” But I haven’t had time to read the rest of it.”

Before Tonight’s Sunset:

  • Thank God for another day on this earth
  • Pray for souls of the people whose lives were senselessly lost in yesterday’s massacre – for the families of the victims* – and for that sick man and his family
  • Pray for an end to hate
  • Pray for peace in our world
  • Reach out to someone and express your love and appreciation for him/her
  • Determine what you can do tomorrow to make this a better world – right where you are

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

God Bless You!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)


* Here is one of the victims – a father of seven children,
the youngest of whom is seven years old.

Dear Lord,
please put an end
to this senseless hate
and needless killings.
Help us just love one another!!
Amen

Embrace Vision


I will be the rock of your salvation
In the hour of your deepest need,
You’ll find that I am here.
I am the God who sees.

I will lift you up again.
I will reveal and heal.
No need to feel despair.
I am the God who sees.

Embrace Vision.
Glory, glory Hallelujah!
Every knee will bow to Me.
I am the God who sees.

I see you.
Believe.

Embrace Thoughtfulness


Embrace Thoughtfulness

It’s Thoughtful Thursday
A day to step back – reflect
What does today hold?

I won’t jump right in
I’ll stand at the water’s edge
Dip my toe in it

Think about the day
Ponder possibilities
Hear my soul speaking

Photo by Manuela Adler on Pexels.com

Embrace Thoughtfulness
Listen to thoughts as water
Falls with purity



Pile rocks as you pray
Putting important things first
Each rock is a task

Choose them carefully
Tasks are opportunities
Order thoughtfully

Photo by Daisa TJ on Pexels.com

Let your thoughts reflect
Then allow them to emerge
As a daily plan

Pause, pray and listen
Plan, and then jump in with faith
Embrace Thoughtfulness.

Photo by Camila Cordeiro on Pexels.com

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence
and if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things.


Have a calm, thoughtful, and a purposeful Thursday.

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

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