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Posts tagged ‘blessings’

Embrace the Extraordinary


LIFE’S TOO SHORT TO JUST GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS

“You know it, deep down- you’re not made for ordinary. Your life is meant to be an adventure, fueled by grace and inspired by big dreams to make the world a better place. But, stuff gets in the way. Whether it’s people who tell you to be practical, a version of a faith that keeps you small, or a few bruises that take you out along the way– we all have a longing to break out of the status quo and get after the life we’re meant to live.” – Bob Goff

That quote came from one of my favorite people in the world, Bob Goff, author of “Love Does.” He has a new website:

https://www.bobgoff.com/?cid=21c33def-d0e2-408b-9d77-fcda6e15e879

Today’s black eye

I may look like those bruises took me out along the way with that eyelid swollen and the bruise running down my cheek, but I am far from “taken out!” Instead I am thinking this is an “extraordinary” bruise from an “extraordinary bang” and I am blessed not to have suffered a concussion! My knock on the head is not stopping me from planning some extraordinary days ahead!

Likewise, the fires in CA and the flooding on the east coast and the hurricanes in Haiti and the war-torn people in Afghanistan may have stopped some people from feeling like they are living the “life we’re meant to live,” but such catastrophes cause us to also to thank God for our survival. They cause us to evaluate what’s ordinary and what’s extraordinary – what’s essential and what’s fluff.

Don’t look down and say, “Poor me!” Instead, look up, and thank God for the blessings that are still yours! That’s what I am trying to do today as I put a hot compress on that goose egg that still sits on my forehead – and plan for an extraordinary trip to England to meet our blogging friends, Derrick & Jackie in person, and to travel on to Switzerland to see our daughter and her family there. We haven’t been able to do that since COVID raised its ugly head. Waaay too long between visits with our DollyWolly!

As Bob Goff said, “Life is too short to just go through the motions.” Embrace the extraordinary! Be extraordinarily positive! Look at the bruises and the challenges – and remember, “whether its the people who tell you to be practical, a version of a faith that keeps you small, or a few bruises that … along the way,” they don’t have to pull you down. They don’t have to keep your dreams small. As Bob Goff says on his website and in his books, “Dream Big!”

Smile the bruises away.
Ignore those who put you in a box.
Embrace the faith that makes you extraordinary!

What are you planning for your future that will keep you living those “Dream Big” ideas?
Whatever it is, keep leaning on the One who answers your prayers!

The Fire Update in CA

Our son and his wife in CA still are safe from the Caldron Fire. They still are housing a family of 8 children and their mom who were evacuated from their home. They are living an extraordinary life right now, buoyed by all our prayers.

Our granddaughter in S. Lake Tahoe and her husband, Faith and Kyle, who were evacuated from their home, still are safely relocated for now in southern CA with their other grandparents. Today they received the gift of passes to visit Disneyland. It’s Kyle’s first visit there to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” The fire took a right turn just a mile from their house. Only God can control the wind! Answered prayers have saved their neighborhood. What an extraordinary God we have!

Continue to pray for extraordinary bravery and safety for our fire fighters.

Faith & Kyle

Please continue to pray for Faith and Kyle and their neighborhood…
and for Ty & Monika and their big hearts
which are open to such Christ-like help for their friends.

Monika and Ty –
an extraordinary couple

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Stay tuned!
And continue to be the extraordinary person God created you to be!

Embrace Answered Prayers


Have you had a worry today?
Something you have no control over?
I have!

My daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland
had surgery this morning.
When I went to bed last night,
I prayed to God.

“Take care of my girl, God.
Be with the surgeon.
Guide the anesthesiologist.
Make the results perfect.
Keep the whole process in Your capable hands!”

I set aside worry.
I slept soundly after giving it to God.
This morning DeDe sent me a text.
“It all came out ok.
I am fine!”

Praise God for answered prayers!

Do you turn your worries over to God in prayer?
Then, do you remember to thank our Heavenly Father
when the things and people you pray for turn out OK?

.

Every day I sit in my rocker up in my sanctuary
and I pray for my family and friends.
I pray for my neighbors and my church friends,
I pray for my pastor, my cousins who live in other states,
my son and daughter and their families, and
I pray for you, my Word Press friends.

If I have know specific needs
(like DeAna’s surgery this morning),
I will make my requests specific.
But most of the time I just ask God,
“Please take care of these beloved people.
You know their needs. Be with them, Lord.”

Like a river cutting through rock.
my prayers are tenacious.
I know God hears my prayers.
I know the Holy Spirit speaks to me
and reminds me of the people I need to remember.
I know God expects me to be persistent in prayer.
I am inspired by the way Jesus prayed.

This painting of Jesus praying
sits in front of me in my sanctuary.
So, as I pray, I know Jesus intercedes for me.
I know He hears and He models prayer for me.


Luke 6:12

“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray,
and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.”

.

Prayers for Yourself

Not all prayers are for others.
Sometimes we need to pray for ourselves.
We need to ask God to provide for our needs
and we need to thank God for the way He provides.

Bob and I will celebrate our 60th anniversary next February.
Every day I pray to God for Bob’s health and safety
and I thank God for sending him into my life.
Every day I spend with him as my partner
is an answered prayer.



Every day
our lives are blessed
by the power of what love can do.
Our love grows richer
year after year.
Are you so blessed, too?



We are grateful for the love we share
and the way our friends and family
love us in return.

Thank you, friends.
Thank You, God…
for answered prayer!!

We found a love
only few ever find.

If life should end tomorrow,
I’d leave this earth a millionaire –
Because every day with you, my dear,
Is a day of answered prayer.

I love you, BobbyBee.

What answered prayer
is your “million dollar gift”
my friends?

Embrace Opportunities


Make life exciting
Embrace Opportunities
Have your “YES!” ready.

Photo by Adrienne Andersen on Pexels.com

Keep your heart open –
Embrace the unexpected.
Surprises are fun!

An Unexpected call
from a group of bicyclists
traveling 4000 miles for cancer research
caused our pastor to say, “Yes!”

They biked to Ennis, Montana,
had showers and their dinner
at our pastor’s home, and then
spent the night in our
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church.

What a blessing for them and for us!

When we are open
To bring blessings to others,
We’re blessed in return.

This week our son, Ty,
And his dear wife, Monika,
Are spending time here.

Blessed by their presence,
Seizing opportunities,
We build family bonds.


Ty & Monika

Saying “Yes!” to friends,
Being open to family,
Reaps blessings galore.

Open up your heart
Let all joyous love come in
You’ll be glad you did!

John 13:34

A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another:
just as I have loved you,
you also are to love one another.


So with every chance,
Reach out to one another –
Love with abandon!

Opportunities
Abound in this world of ours –
Keep an open heart!

Listen for guidance
Let opportunities shine
And lead you forward!

I’ll say “Yes Lord,
Yes Lord! All the way.”
Embrace Opportunities!

Amen!

God bless you!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Beauty


Vistas
Broad, expansive
Ridge to Valley
Valley, Mountains, Big Sky
Beauty

Poetry
Embrace Elfchen
It’s eleven words
Set in number pattern
Fun!

View from Pintail Ridge at Ducsay’s

Montana
Mountain Majesty
Expansive blue sky
Delightful precious generous friends
Home

Our neighbors’ new flagpole
A great addition to the “Hood”

Neighbors
Beautiful “Hood”
Always making improvements
Delightful to have around
Friends

Look carefully!
That’s the Hockings’ flagpole
from a different angle

Changes
Always beautiful
As evening came,
The shadows grew longer
Moon

Sundown
Pink reflection
in the north-east
Cool, crisp, refreshing air
Beautiful

Mmmm… steak and wine!

Invitation
To dinner
On Father’s Day
Couldn’t have been better
Delicious



Visitors
From Alaska
Friends from Pakistan
Young man I tutored
Gratitude

Gifts
Beautiful Friends
Staying in Touch
Long after they move
Blessings

Meantime
Back Home
Father’s Day roses
Showing evidence of love
Forever

Father’s Day Roses

Flowers
God’s Beauty
In full bloom
They always are appreciated
Roses

Elfchen is a form of poetry
Sometimes called Elevensies
Because it consists of 11 words
In this configuration:
1+2+3+4+1 = 11
(You probably figured that out by now.)

Write an elfchen for me in the comments below, will you?
Be sure and use the word BEAUTY in your poem!!

Home
Embrace Beauty
Come visit us
We’d love seeing you
Welcoming

Music
Tells stories
Ed Sheeran sings
In a musical video
Beautiful

Define
What’s beauty?
I’m not beautiful…
Beauty’s as Beauty does
Hugs

Charm is deceptive,
and beauty is fleeting;
but a wo(man) who fears the Lord is to be praised. …
Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
honor Him, for He is your lord.

~ Psalms 45:11.

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Focus


While you are thanking God
for making you human,
giving you courage to try hard things,
helping you learn and grow and
understand the lessons life has for you,
don’t forget to count your blessings!

Goodness
Surrounds you.
You’ll find it
If you look thoughtfully –
Blessings!

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done

If that is your focus,
You won’t have time to
See the other side of the coin!
You’ll be too busy giving back!!

We are blessed
To be a blessing.
Count your blessings
See what God has done!

Focus on what you have
Not what you wish you had!
Use your gifts for others
And watch them come back multiplied!

Let’s grow flowers!

Plant the seeds in your garden carefully.
Make sure they are in rich, fertilized soil.
Keep your soul seeped in the encouraging
Words of scripture… and you’ll grow fruits of the spirit!

I am thankful for you,
Grateful for your presence in my life.
You’re the flowers in my life’s garden.
I feel blessed to have you visit JanBeek
Leaving encouraging comments.
Thank you!!

See you later.
Have a blessed day!

I’m off to church…
I’ll share my sermon notes later today.
Come on back!

Love, JanBeek

P.S. Did I tell you yesterday was my dad’s birthday? He would have been 110!!
One of my many blessings is having him for my earthly father.
Check out my blog from way back when –
when I posted a poem I wrote about my dad:

https://janbeek.blog/2018/06/16/memories-of-daddy/

Happy Birthday, Daddy!
I miss your hugs!

What tops your list of blessings?
What are you focusing on today?

Embrace Gifts


We
All have
Gifts to give
All others do, too
Embrace

Embrace
The gifts
Celebrate others’ gifts
Open them with care
Receive

Gifts

Recognize
And see
What others give
To enhance your life
Appreciate

Name
Your gifts
Use them lovingly
Share them with humility
Blessings

Gifts are blessings to be shared

Share
Love and
Time and compassion
Remember that you matter
Engage

Engage
In life
With your heart
Wide open to receive
Gifts

Gifts
Don’t always
Come all wrapped
In pretty Christmas packages
Discern

Precious
Loving gifts
Often are disguised
In very simple acts of
Humility

You
Have gifts
Unique to you
Never underestimate your impact
Shine

Shine
Your gifts
With loving kindness
Embrace the many opportunities
Smile!

Thanks
For coming
To JanBeek today
Your loving presence here
Matters

Elfchen or Elevensie is a poetic form that uses eleven words in a configuration of 1,2,3,4,1. Did you recognize it as you read my post today? If you haven’t already, you should try it. It’s fun! Thank you, Richard at Big Sky Buckeye for inspiring me and sharing your gift! Check out his blog, my friends.

See ya tomorrow

P.S. I found this insightful You.Tube presentation on the subject of GIFTS… gifts of the Holy Spirit. I thought it was quite well done – and a good addition to the topic, Embrace Gifts. If you have time, I highly recommend it.

Embrace Wonder


Do you ever wonder what’s real and what’s not?
Do you wonder what’s truth and what’s fiction?
Do you wonder why certain things happen?
Do you wonder what tomorrow will bring?

What if you grew up with a dad
Who was a Special Effects Artist?
What would the world seem like
To you if this was your daily reality?

Special Effects Video

Ever wonder what life would be like
If you had not met the person who
Is front and center in your life now?
Who would be with you instead?

Smooshed kisses –
Watch out noses!!

Ever wonder how God created
The beauty of a rainbow or sunset?
The colors of the variety of birds?
Or every zebra’s stripes unique?

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com
Double rainbows – no less!!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
No two are alike!!

Ever wonder how He could make
Each snowflake different?
Each eye unique – unlike any other?
Each voice to sound like no other?

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com
No two are alike… amazing!!
Each eye is unique.
No two are the same.
Amazing!!

Did you ever wonder if our eyes grow over our lifetime? When we’re born, our eyes are about two-thirds smaller than they’ll be when we reach adulthood. People’s eyes stop growing in length by the age of 20-21, when they reach about 24 millimeters. But the weight of the eyes’ lenses continue to increase over time. Isn’t that a wonder?

Ever wonder how I knew that? Used to be we had a huge set of encyclopedia that we bought from a door-to-door salesman. Encyclopedia Britannica. Outdated by the time it was published. Ask Siri today. Ask Alexa. Carry your encyclopedia in your pocket. Ever wonder how our kids could survive without their cell phones?… And about those voices:

People recognize us by our voices.

Ever wonder what life would be like
If the only thing we bothered to talk about
Was the good that we see in others?
This is a poem my mom had memorized:

Wouldn’t this old world be better
If the folks we meet would say
“I know something good about you,”
And then treat us just that way?

Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy
If each handclasp warm and true
Carried with it this assurance,
“I know something good about you”?

Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If the good that’s in us all
Were the only thing about us
That folks bothered to recall?

Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If we praised the good we see?
For there’s such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me.

Wouldn’t it be nice to practice
That fine way of thinking, too?
You know something good about me!
I know something good about you.

(Louis C. Shimon)

Mom posted that poem along with many others on a cardboard that she had hanging inside her kitchen cabinet door. She gathered the poems as a new bride in 1937. They were cut from the weekly newspaper. I have that cardboard posted inside my kitchen cabinet door here in Montana. It’s fading fast and becoming harder and harder to read… but I have most of them memorized now, too!

Ever wonder what your life would be like
If you were born to a different mother?
You wouldn’t be you, would you?
What if your mother had different attributes?

My mother loved poetry (obviously) –
And so that love of words well spoken
Rubbed off on me – and I wonder
What would life be like without poetry?

I wonder what life will be like
when there is no more COVID-19.

Laura Sullivan is a musical artist
Whose poetry and piano expertise
I shared with you in a previous blog:
https://janbeek.blog/2020/12/15/shared-poetry-music/

Ever wonder what this world would be like
Without the wonder of music?
The streams would have to stop and
The wind would have to cease.

Ever wonder how one could live happily
Without having a sense of wonder?
What do you wonder about, my friend?
What gives you a sense of awe and wonder?

(By the way, that “Nature Sounds” video will play for 10 hours.
Do you think the image or sound will change after a while?
Ever wonder how they did that?)


Sending my love and hugs.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Wonder which of your friends
would like a link to this post?

Bob & Jan
at breakfast
on our 59th anniversary
yesterday.

Thank you for all your positive comments and good wishes.
I wonder what blogging would be like if I didn’t have YOU in it?
Not a pretty thought!

EMBRACE WONDER!!
Come back tomorrow.

Embrace Adversity – 8 Ways


How do you define adversity?
It is symbolized by tough times.
It is exhibited by disagreements.
It represents challenges.

How do we deal with adversity?
Why should we embrace it?
Misfortune means misery, right?
Calamity and distress are its partners.

But the Bible says, “The Lord is
A stronghold in times of trouble.”
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed.
“Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”
(Psalm 34:10b)

So let us embrace adversity
By understanding it is a vehicle
That strengthens us just as fire
Tempers steel and hardens it.

We are called to share each other’s burdens.
That is one of the purposes of church:
Congregations are called to care for,
Encourage, empathize, and strengthen one another.

“The church is a network of shoulders
Supporting the collective weight
Of everyone’s troubles, lifting burdens,
Helping others find rest for their weary hearts.”

(Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries)

God often uses hard times to get our attention.
When things are going great,
we are not so quick to turn to Him.
But trials drive us to our knees for answers and comfort.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield,
my heart trusts in Him,
and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise Him.

Photo by Luna Lovegood on Pexels.com

The adversity that I faced recently was the death of my “favorite student,” Ty Stiles. The picture above could easily have been him. His early death was “misfortune” to the highest degree! I have told you about him in several recent blogs. Yesterday was his Memorial Service at Monte Vista Chapel, his home church in Turlock, CA. I was blessed to be able to attend it virtually because the church recorded it on a YouTube broadcast.

How do we face the “misfortune” of such a loss? Only by our faith! Only by knowing God keeps His promises and Ty has gone to Heaven. We will go there some day, too. We will all be reunited. In the meantime, adversity turns to adventure. We are invited to live our lives with thankfulness for the privilege of knowing one another. We are asked to change our perspective from “I can’t handle this,” to “”I can’t handle this on my own, but I can with Jesus’ help.”

Let the adventure of today’s challenges bring strength when we feel weak, safety when we feel danger, comfort when we feel distress. Let us be the ones who stand tall and say, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” Be ever ready to leap for joy and with your song, ever praise the Lord who is our strength.

Pray for his comfort and strength, rather than praying that he’d simply remove difficulties. Embrace Adversity. Be the shoulder others lean on. God will bless you!

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Extravagance


What?
Embrace Extravagance?
I have to be kidding, right?

Photo by Kamaji Ogino on Pexels.com

Extravagance is kin to outlandish.
Extravagance means excessive.
Right?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wrong!
Extravagance doesn’t need to mean outlandish.
It can be thought of as abundance.

Extravagance is
Abundance of some good food –
Okay if it’s shared!

Extravagance is
An abundance of pure love –
Beautiful when shared

Extravagance is
The overflow of blessings –
Lovely gifts from God

Life is extravagantly wonderful!

When the night sky touches your soul,
When other bloggers touch your inner core,
It’s a sign of the extravagance of others
That keeps you longing for more

In his “Keys to Living Life”

Today, January 24, 2021, Rahul Gaur wrote a blog so powerful that I HAD to share it. First I tweeted it. I have never shared someone else’s blog by tweeting it before. I have reblogged a few. This one is so impactful that I need you to click on Rahul’s name and go to it. See it for yourself. It is extravagantly beautiful! Here are a couple of sentences that particularly touched me:

“The soul is the lost intuition
and the listening switch of your body.
When you need to see things beyond as they are,
to see things as they were meant to be,
you listen to the orchestra of your soul.⁣”

I listened with my soul to today’s sermon

Sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana

Thy Kingdom Come

“Thy Kingdom Come” is
a political statement –
Except we believe
in a heavenly kingdom.

It’s not a worldly kingdom.
It is “THY” kingdom come.
Let God’s Kingdom reign,
Not MY domain – not MY will.

As a pastor, I am sometimes
Guilty of saying, “Look at me!”
I do the “my” and not “Thy” message
And have to learn to lose self.

We all need to learn to be
De-throned … and let
God’s Kingdom be the focus.
Peace, reconciliation & hope are God’s.

God’s Kingdom is not attainable
On our earth. It is not!
Utopia here in our world
Is not within our reach.

No earthly political order
Will ever be the Kingdom of God.
God’s Kingdom is like a seed.
It’s like a net in the water.

The seed one day will sprout.
The net will gather fish.
God’s work on earth is extravagant,
But the Kingdom is elusive here.

The Kingdom of God is at the door.
It takes eyes of faith to see
What lies beyond the threshold.
It is there though we see it not.

When we say “Thy Kingdom COME,”
We might more easily say GO.
Go from You into me…
God’s Kingdom lives in each of us.

It’s an awesome fact that
The Kingdom of God is in you.
We must not lose hope or faith
And we must not live in satisfaction.

Never be satisfied with what is.
Only when we submit to God’s Kingdom
Does it really COME. So care!
Care for the poor; release greed and pettiness.

It’s liberating to know when
We turn our lives and our futures
Over to our Extravagant God –
We’ll see His Kingdom coming into the world.

Amen?

“Listen to the orchestra of your soul.”
Rahul Gaur
Keep you ears open to soulful listening…
Thank you, Rahul, for your blog.
Thank you, Rev. Steve, for your message.
Thank You, God, for your Kingdom of Love.

Embrace Extravagance!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

Embrace Reassurance


Bee ye reassured
God’s surely with you today
He won’t desert you

And you have a host
Of others who are with you
On each of life’s steps

So, be reassured
By the love of all your friends
Who are there for you

Thank your friends for their
Calls and their conversations
About their blessings

It reassures you
To know you are not alone
In your solitude

Capitalize it!
Make that you into a “You.”
Trust in our Savior

You are not alone
Be reassured that your prayers
Are heard and answered

Yes, be reassured
That God hears your heart’s yearnings.
You’re heard; God responds.

God hears you in prayer
So, embrace reassurance
Know that God is there

Thank for visiting JanBeek

Tell me what reassures you when you need it.
See ya tomorrow.

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