If you have followed my blog for a month or more, you have seen this journal before. The topics are inspired by life and living. I have written about: I CAN Volunteer Share Bee Hospitable Tackle Transitions etc.
Little did I know when I wrote some of those how difficult some would become. Hospitality requires guests, right? Well, so much for that! Most of our friends are afraid in this pandemic world to socialize.
Little did I know how hard it would become to volunteer. Most of my volunteer activities are forbidden right now. I can’t be a “Purple Lady” at the medical center desk. Our auxiliary couldn’t hold its fund raiser this year. We couldn’t earn the money to donate for new equipment and/or medical supplies as we have done in the past.
Little did I realize how many opportunities I would have to “Tackle Transitions.” Back in June of 2018 when I wrote on that topic, God knew what was coming, but none of us had a clue. My transitions poem was prophetic:
Times of transition Can be disconcerting – Facing the unknown Running, dodging, skirting.
Life is full of changes; Nothing stays the same. Rolling with the punches – Listening for our name.
In the “roll call” of life, Showing up to be Ready for transitions Sometimes is difficult for me.
But I know the Leader Is my Maker who decides What my next assignment is. In Him my life abides.
So, embrace the coming changes; Set aside all fear and sorrow. Joyfully put your hand in His; He’s gotcha covered for tomorrow.
Choosing JOY in the midst of this pandemic is not easy. My list of “I Can” do’s has changed this year. But, I try to keep it positive:
I CAN Believe Only Imagine ReJOYce Whistle!
You recognize some of those. They became blogging themes. This morning’s I CAN prompted today’s post:
I CAN Keep it Simple
No large family gatherings No stockings stuffed with toys No sounds of giggling laughter From excited girls and boys
No trudging through the snow With accordion on my back No carols at windows Or St. Nicholas with his sack
It’s a different sort of year COVID-19 has changed us quite a lot We cancelled our travel plans And we altered what we bought
Christmas Day will be different We can mourn the things we miss Or we can vow to keep it simple Pray for those we cannot kiss
The virus and death took too many – They’re in Heaven with our Lord Let us focus on Christ Jesus And the grace He richly poured.
Believe the Christmas promise Jesus came to save our souls Eternity knows no endings His love comforts and consoles
Keep it Simple!
Have a Beautiful Christmas Week! Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See you tomorrow.
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.
I have an old faded cardboard with poems on it posted inside my kitchen cabinet door. They are poems gathered by my mom in 1936, the year she & Dad married – and she moved from her family in Washington to live the rest of her 89 years in California. She had most of those poems memorized.
One of my favorites reads:
“When I quit this mortal shore, And mosey round the earth no more, Don’t weep, don’t sigh, don’t sob – I may have struck a better job.
Don’t go and buy a large bouquet For which you’ll find it hard to pay, Don’t mope around and feel all blue – I may be better off than you.
Don’t tell the folks I was a saint Or any old thing that I ain’t. If you have jam like that to spread, Please hand it out before I’m dead.
If you have roses, bless your soul, Just pin one in my buttonhole, While I’m alive and well today. Don’t wait until I’ve gone away.”
What would you want people to remember about you if your doctor told you your days are numbered? All of ours are, you know.
By God’s Grace, I’ll see you tomorrow. Hugs, JanBeek
We thank Thee for all The blessings You give us, Lord. Thank Thee for Jim Reeves!
What a voice!
What a beautiful land we live in… Let’s take care of it, okay? Protect the animals, the trees and flowers, and rivers, And let’s protect one another, too.
Bob & I are so happy that we were able to sing “Happy Birthday” to our daughter, DeAna this morning. Thank God for the internet! Today is the 53rd anniversary of her birth. She is celebrating it with her son, Chris, and her choir at a retreat in the Alps. Wish we could be there to celebrate with her!
Oh, For Blessed JOY!!! The joy of a child’s birthday… Always our baby!
What are some of the JOYS that fill your heart today, my friends? Is it the great outdoors, the animals, the beauty of God’s creation? Is it family and the love of staying connected in spite of this pandemic? Tell me!
See ya tomorrow. Thanks for visiting!! Hugs, JanBeek
Sermon Notes August 9, 2020 Rev. Steve Hundley Jan’s poetic notes taken while listening to Steve’s message based on John 21:15-23
“A Side-Long Glance”
Jesus was with His disciples on shore. Peter thought Jesus didn’t believe him. Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep. The answer failed to relieve him.
Have you ever felt misunderstood? Ever had your sincerity questioned bare? Peter told Jesus, “You know I love You.” Jesus had asked him three times there.
Was Jesus expecting too much of Peter? Does He expect too much of us? A tithe is a tenth of what you make. The visible return’s not much to see – why fuss?
Well, Jesus expected even more than a tenth. “What about him?” Peter asked. Like Peter, we question others’ faith. We want Jesus to take ’em to task.
There has to be a difference between Faith and foolishness – so it’s not fair Those rich folks don’t seem to give – They don’t seem to do their share.
We cast a side-long glance across the aisle, And we ask, as Peter did, “What about them?” And Jesus answers us as He did Peter, “What is it to you?” From where does fairness stem?
Jesus says, “Feed My sheep -just love!” Your side-long glance has no place here. You do your fair share and don’t worry about What others do. Give, love, and have no fear.
No side-long glances allowed. Look ahead at the One who stands Before a hurting world and says, “Feed My sheep in all My lands.”
Just follow Jesus – And what will happen today? To tell the truth, I don’t know! Just do it anyway!!
After church today we had a barbecue. It was the kick-off of the fiscal year’s drive for finances to fund the Pastor Search Committee and to consider our pledges for the 2020-21 church budget. Jesus said, “Feed My sheep!” and these sheep were fed in grand style out on the church lawn.
After the church BBQ, we went to my friend, Sue’s. Her birthday is tomorrow. We needed to sing “Happy Birthday!” while we socially distanced. She and her husband are being really careful around this COVID-19 … especially with Montana’s case numbers rising. They are being kept really busy at their beautiful home. Just look at their gardens!
Sue and Jerry joined the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church on the same Sunday Bob & I did nearly 15 years ago. We have been fast friends ever since. The two of them built this gorgeous house themselves! Just this summer they added that deck outside their bedroom window on the right.
Here is the front of the house:
Yes, we are blessed. We live in the gorgeous Madison Valley. We have a terrific church, a wonderful pastor who gives great sermons, beautiful friends, and a picture-perfect setting with glorious August sunshine and enormous “BigSky” drama. Ah, my friends, life is good!
No need for side-long glances. Keep your eyes on your own blessings, your own giving, and your own business. No need focusing on what’s “not fair!” Remember while you’re counting your blessings to share your love with others with your whole heart!
Do have a fantastic week ahead.
Thanks for visiting and for sharing with me the sermon and our visit with Sue. Happy Birthday, Sue!!
Thank you for all the sweet responses and inspiring messages that helped make my 81st birthday so memorable. I love my WordPress community!
It’s Sunday, so of course, Bob & I went to church this morning. Our worship service was outside. It’s a beautiful day here in Ennis, Montana. Thank you, God, for the sunshine and mild temperatures in the 70s. Everyone wore masks and socially distanced. The sermon topic was based on two New Testament scriptures: Romans 8:26-30 (A Wonderful Future for God’s People) and Matthew 13: 31-33 (The mustard seed and the yeast).
Hope in Difficult Times (as usual I took my notes in poetry as I listened. Here they are:)
Bombarded daily with bad news, It’s hard to keep our spirits up. But reading the Bible is a fresh breath Of positivity and love that fills our cup.
The parables of the mustard seed and The yeast that magically rises the dough Are examples of Jesus’ storytelling. They are hard to easily explain, though.
Trying to explain the parables is like Describing photosynthesis to a four-year-old. You can say all you want to explain them, But we need simplicity in what we’re told!
See the mystery of God’s world. Don’t try to explain it away. Look at the wonders of creation And let the mystery come into play!
It’s okay to read and not understand How God makes the world work. It’s okay to wonder and say “I don’t know,” We can’t see it all – Some’s in the dirt!
Some of the greatest miracles Of Jesus are buried from our minds. We can’t see the way His mysteries Play out – but we see the love that binds!
Look at how the mountains skip, And the trees clap their hands, And know that these exaggerations Are part of the Power where God stands.
Read the Bible not with a microscope, But with a telescope so that you Can see the bigness of His Word. He’s bigger than our understanding – That’s so true!
The music that accompanied our worship service today was so appropriate to this world we currently are trying to navigate. Sing along … the words are here for you on this You.Tube:
Lord, show me the Way, one day at a time! Help me believe in what I could be – and all that I am. Just give me the strength to do every day what You want me to do. So for my sake, teach me to take – One Day at a Time. Show me the Way!
The other song that we had printed on song sheets so we could sing along was “Mansion Over the Hilltop.” I had not heard it before. Have you?
In our call to confession, we read in unison these words from our bulletins:
“Let us trust in the words of the Psalmist who said, ‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit,’ as we lay our burdens before our God.”
The biggest burden on my heart today is this big guy pictured on the left in the photo below. My cousin, Cliff, is shown here with three of his rowing buddies from the University of Washington. Cliff is losing his battle with cancer.
I lay my burdened heart before God as I asked for prayers for my cousin, Cliff Hurn. He is in his last days of trying to fight off cancer. He has fought the good fight and he is tired. Hospice has been called in and his family has gathered around. Please pray for his wife, Janine, his family, and all of us who love him so much.