Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Bible’

What a Week!


Problems
Creep in
Usually they’re unbidden
Happened all week long
Blame

Gifted
With Love
From my Lord
I did move forward
Strength

Possibilities
Are fueled
By firm beliefs
Making hard things easier
Faith

One step at a time
Life is easier with faith
Just follow the Light!

This last one’s a Haiku, but the preceding series of three poems (written in the German-inspired style of Elfchen or Elevenie) shares a total of eleven words in each poem, with a sequence by line of one, two, three, four, and one words.

I hope you had a good week.
Enjoy your weekend.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

BYE!!
BEEEEE Well.

Hold On!


What do you need to hold on to?

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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:

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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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.”

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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. …

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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

Change Poetry to Prose


We were invited by dVerse Poetry to write a Prosery.

I forgot that prose is not written in poetry format. I wrote my 144 words as a poem. Let me change it to prose for the sake of following the instructions!!

Written for Monday’s Prosery prompt at dVerse.
Kim hosts today, asking us to include the line “From across the room, we look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time” in a piece of flash fiction, exactly 144 words in length. The line is from D. H. Lawrence’s poem Humming Bird.

Ole Tom

We see Ole Tom with his bent shoulders and thinning torso. We see his wind-weathered face and his thinning gray hair. He sits in my living room strumming his guitar, singing the fourteenth verse of an old folk song. He has a thousand such songs tucked into his head, along with the entire books of Matthew and Acts.

We see him as an ancient sage. We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time. His mind is sharper than mine ever was, and he shows no signs of stopping.

Each Christmas Ole Tom recites the Christmas story from the book of Acts, never reading, just expounding, amazing the congregation with his masterful memory. His is the epitome of a wise man: Ninety-three going on thirty. Never see him as old and never underestimate Ole Tom. Turn that telescope around!

Bob, Jan & Tom
New Years Eve, 2011

Now you have been told which “line” was dictated to be used… did you guess it in the previous form where it was two lines in the poem?

Whenever I see or hear a guitar,
I always think of Tom.
And I never looked at him through the wrong end of a telescope!

Thanks for checking back in
to see poetry changed to prose.
Hugs,
JanBeek

Join Me with a Prosery


I’m quoting Kim from Writing in North Norfolk. “I’m welcoming dVerse poets to Prosery, when we ask you to write a very short piece of prose that tells a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre of your choice: flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction. 

As it’s a kind of flash fiction, we have a limit of 144 words; an additional challenge is to hit 144 exactly. The special thing about Prosery is that we give you a complete line from a poem, which must be included somewhere in your story, within the 144-word limit. You may change punctuation but you are not allowed to insert words in between parts of the quotation.

Ole Tom

We see Ole Tom with his bent shoulders and thinning torso
We see his wind-weathered face and his thinning gray hair
He sits in my living room strumming his guitar
Singing the fourteenth verse of an old folk song
He has a thousand such songs tucked into his head
Along with the entire books of Matthew and Acts
We see him as an ancient sage
We look at him through the wrong end
Of the long telescope of Time
His mind is sharper than mine ever was
And he shows no signs of stopping
Each Christmas Ole Tom recites the Christmas story
From the book of Acts, never reading, just expounding
Amazing the congregation with his masterful memory
He is the epitome of a wise man: Ninety-three going on thirty
Never see him as old and never underestimate Ole Tom
Turn that telescope around!

Bob, Jan & Tom
New Years Eve 2011

What fun to participate in dVerse poets’ invitation to Prosery.
It’s a challenge to come up with a 144 word poem,
but not when you have such a delightful subject as Ole Tom.
How we loved him!!
He will live in our hearts forever.

Do you have an ole Sage in your life?
Count your blessings if you do…
and consider joining the fun at dVerse Poets!

Were you able to find the “complete line from a poem”
that I was required to insert as part of my Prosery?
Which do you think it was?

See ya tomorrow.
Have a Terrific Tuesday!
Love,
JanBeek

World Mental Health Day


Today is World Mental Health Day.
How is your mental health?

The Bible is full of wisdom that applies to mental health.
Romans 12:18 is a perfect example.
Living in peace with everybody includes
Living in Peace with YOURSELF!

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Some people live in a self-imposed prison,
Locking themselves behind bars of self-hate;
They fail to see the self that God created.

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We all get those days that we just don’t feel good enough. Everything goes wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons from which we can learn. Here are my top ten verses that uplift and impact me when I’m at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:


I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God’s.

Keys to Positive Mental Health

The link below to an article by Brittany Morgan offers ten keys to mental health that worked for her. I found the article to be greatly inspiring. Among her ten ideas that resonated most with me was #1:

1. Unfollowed ‘energy vampires’ on all social media platforms

This one might need a little explaining, so bear with me. An energy vampire is basically anyone who comes into your life and drains you of your positive energy. (Or, any energy in general, for that matter.) I’ve been unlucky enough, as I’m sure you have as well, to meet several of these energy vampires in real life. I’ve decided this past year to unfollow any and all energy vampires on all of my forms of social media, and you should, too.

Life is too short to expend any extra energy on perpetually negative people.


If you agree with her thinking on that idea,
you may want to click the link below
to see the other nine points she makes.

10 Things I’ve Done For My Mental Health Since Last Year’s World Mental Health Day

So much can happen in 365 days.

Brittany Morgan Oct 09, 2020 National Writers Society

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On Mental Health Day,
I wish you great peace and joy.
Let God take your cares.

Lift them up to Him
And let them just float away;
Replace them with love –

With LOVE for yourself –
Remember your Creator
Made you to be loved.

When LOVE is poured out,
The empty cup returns full!
God replaces it.

Remember you are a Child of God!!

Put your hand in the hand of the One who stilled the waters
Put your hand in the hand of the One who calmed the seas
Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently
Put your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee!

Don’t miss this wonderful song from 1970…
One of my favorites!!

Play it again!! Sing along!
Put your hand in God’s hand
And have a peace-filled
World Mental Health Day.

Bye for now.
See ya tomorrow.

Tell me how you’re doing today.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Why Forgive?


It’s easy for someone to tell you to forgive
Easy for them to say
But they weren’t the one who was wronged
Advice is cheap today

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It’s easy for someone to tell you to forgive
Blood’s not on their hands
The ones who performed murderous acts
There: Forgiveness demands

In today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church here in Ennis, Montana, our pastor, Steve Hundley, preached on the scripture found in Matthew 21:33-46. He acknowledged that it is a hard lesson to make sense of. The vineyard owner sent workers to harvest the grapes, and the tenants of the vineyard killed the workers.

The owner sent more workers and the tenants killed them, too.

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So the vineyard owner sent his son. Surely the tenants would respect the owner’s son! But, no… they killed him, too!

What are we to make of this story?

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In the midst of such horrendous acts, the bottom line is love. Love the murderers? Love the tenants who killed the people who came to harvest? Love the tenants who killed the owner’s son?

Realize that this parable is about God, the owner of all we have. It’s about the fact that we live in a world under the shadow of the “American Dream; Ownership.”

Maybe the message is “Nobody likes an absent landlord!” The tenants are the ones who worked hard to maintain that vineyard. Then, at harvest time, the owner expects to send others to reap the benefit of their hard work? No, the tenants hated the idea of others coming to reap the harvest!

When the son was sent… the parable is asking us to see that this was the Son, Jesus. He, too was killed. Killed by those who feared this Messiah was going to take what they thought they owned… the kingship, the ownership of the land and its people.

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God did not create us to take ownership of God’s resources. We are the stewards, the caretakers. God’s vineyard is not for sale. We were not even given a lease with an option to buy!

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The parable doesn’t tell us what the owner did to the tenants. It doesn’t say He finally left his mansion and went down and got even with the tenants somehow… what might the retribution look like?

It doesn’t tell us He forgave them for their murderous acts. We are left to finish the story ourselves. How would you finish it?

What is your idea of ownership? What is your understanding of our Owner’s Love? Pastor Steve reminded us that Our Owner longs for a connection with us. “God desires a relationship with us… He asks that we take care of this earth – His gifts to us – and one another… and that we give a portion back.” He asks that we love one another. He asks us to forgive one another – and to love our enemies. Wow! That’s a tall order!!

Pastor Steve concluded his sermon today by reminding us:
“Our gifts are not our own.
They are God’s,
and we are given them
to use for God’s Kingdom.
We are the caretakers.
God’s love
always trumps
God’s justice.

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I love you, dear WordPress friends.
Thank you for visiting today.
I hope you’ve had a Love-filled Sunday.
Hugs,
JanBeek

Come to the Water


Come to the water
The living water of God
Come to the water

Come to the water
And you’ll never thirst again
Drink of the Lord’s love

Come on a world tour
With “We the Kingdom” music
Come to the water

God so loved the world…
In a new and current song version
Thank you, Ed Coyle!

Come to the water
Enjoy eternal cleansing
Drink of His water

Come to the water
The living water of God
Let His Love heal you

John 3:16

New International Version

16 For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.

Let what matters surface.
God bless you!

May the love of Christ
Refresh your soul with water
The living water

Amen

Water to wine?
Oh yes!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.
Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Marvelous Montana & Morning Plans


Sharing more pictures
from yesterday’s autumn colors ride
I wonder why some are golden
while others remain green?
So many wonders to behold everywhere we looked!
The picture doesn’t do it justice.
With the sun coming through them,
those trees were pure gold!
Our friends, the Feldmans, led the way.
I posted this one yesterday.
Bob told me today, “Those aren’t aspen.”
Well, anyway, I like their color!

Before I leave you this morning, I want to share something I found on FaceBook:

#11 on the list
is at least a half hour
of journaling and beginning my blog post

I do #9 regularly.
I love the Proverbs.
There are 31 chapters.
Today read Chapter 22. Full of wisdom!

I’m at #11 on the routine list right now.
Do you get notices like this from WordPress?
I wonder what’s magic about 1337?
You’d think they’d wait til 1500 or some round number, wouldn’t you?
Anyway you look at it though, that’s a lot of posts.

I hope you spend some time perusing them
by putting your favorite topic up in the search bar at the upper right.
Topics like bees or animals, Switzerland or Jesus will lend some beautiful results!

I appreciate your visit.
I’m off to do #12…
See ya tomorrow.

Sending you my love,
JanBeek

Is God’s Grace Exasperating?


Today’s sermon at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
was titled, “The Amazing and Exasperating Grace of God.”
I’ve certainly heard God’s grace described as
AMAZING before. That’s typical.
But, exasperating?
When?
How?

Do you know the story of the “Workers in the Vineyard”? It’s found in Matthew 20: 1-16.
Essentially it tells of a landowner who needed extra workers in his vineyard. He agreed to pay the ones who started picking grapes that morning a silver coin for their day’s labor.

Later, with just an hour left in the work day, he realized the workers needed help to finish the job before sundown, so he hired a bunch more workers to help finish the job. This last bunch were the “left-overs” who had not been hired earlier. We can only imagine why they may have been left behind.

At the end of the day, the ones who came last (and had only worked an hour) were paid first. Each received a silver coin.

The ones who had worked all day saw that – and figured they would get more. They probably expected ten times more, since they had worked a ten hour day. When all they received was the same pay as the ones who worked only the last hour, they complained bitterly.

On that story, Rev. Steve Hundley based his sermon, and I took notes (as I do each Sunday) in poetry as I listened. Here they are:

The Amazing and Exasperating Grace of God

Reading the Word of God daily
Helps you discover joy in life;
But some difficult passages
Cause misunderstanding and strife.

Like the story of the workers
Who were paid equal wages
Whether they worked one hour
Or ten… Imagine the rages!

It’s hard to understand
How such treatment is fair.
Jesus explained the boss could
Pay the wages anyway he cared.

Likewise, those who come lately
To the Kingdom of God on earth
Will receive the same blessings as
Those who served the Lord since birth.

Does this seem a fair idea?
Are deathbed conversions real?
Maybe some of them are fake,
But it’s not up to me or how I feel.

This parable isn’t about the workers.
It’s about the generous vineyard boss
Who is a symbol of our Gracious God.
He focuses on the workers, not the cost.

Our God calls out the left-overs
And tells them, “I have room for you.”
God’s amazing grace and love are real,
And they’re available to all – not just a few.

Load me up, Lord.
Haul me to your vineyard.
I’m ready to work!
Amen.


Have you ever found God’s Amazing Grace to be Exasperating?

Or is there a Bible story that you find difficult to understand?
Tell me about it.

Have a Super Sunday.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

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