“Each of you should give what you have decided to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
I give cheerfully Not out of obligation But from abundance
I am richly blessed So I can be a blessing I give cheerfully
You are richly blessed Your needs are taken care of Reach out to others
You give cheerfully Out of a generous heart And God blessed you
Have a blessed first Sunday in Advent! It is a season of HOPE and ANTICIPATION. I pray your season be filled with love and generosity.
Do you have a child or grandchild in your family who would love to see this video explaining the meaning of Advent? If so, pass this along. It’s wonderfully kid friendly… and a good way to begin the season of gifts and giving.
Before I go, let me give a gift to you: The gift of music by Laura Story… The blessing of faith in the “what ifs” of life…
Thank you for checking in with JanBeek today. If you are one of the newbies here, welcome!!
You may not know that I take sermon notes in poetry most Sundays, and then I share them here. I do… and I enjoy helping you hear what I heard through my poetic filters. Comments always appreciated.
Sermon by Reverend Steve Hundley Madison Valley Presbyterian Church Ennis, Montana Notes by Jan Beekman
God is Great, God is Good!
Thanksgiving celebrations Have a history with friends. This year with COVID, Most will find unwelcomed ends.
Reunited old relationships Were important to reflame. Old traditions are important. What’ll we do to reclaim?
What can we do to overcome This year of so many deaths? How can we truly be thankful When so many breathed last breaths?
Remember to give thanks For life – no matter how short. Help the family say good-bye, And trust God. Give no retort!
There is no way we can Make whining acceptable. Suck it up and give thanks For life! … Be respectable.
Praise and give thanks to God For the daily gifts He gives. Blessed be the Lord of all. Blessed be our God. He lives!
Psalm 100 gives praise No matter the troubles and strife. Remember the password to God: “Thank You!” God, thank you for life!
Rev. Steve told a story about a family Thanksgiving a few years ago where his mom ALWAYS asked him to be the one to provide the blessing. But on this particular Thanksgiving, his four-year-old second cousin interrupted and said HE wanted to say the blessing this year. Steve’s mom told him he could, assuming Steve would follow up with the REAL blessing.
The four-year-old cleared his throat and declared, “God is Great – God is Good – Amen!” Steve’s mom asked, “That’s it?” And the boy responded emphatically, “Yes! That’s it!” Then she turned to Steve, expecting him to expound further. Steve simply said, “Amen!”
Yes, that’s it … that’s all we need to know: “God is Great! God is Good! Amen!”
Steve’s opening prayer this morning: “Father in heaven, we give You thanks for life and for all of the experiences that life brings us. We give You thanks for joy, hope, peace, and answered prayers, but we also give You thanks for our trials, sorrows, and pain. We give You thanks for our land, for the beauty of the landscape, for the riches it provides for our living, for the people and cultures among us. Above all things, we give You thanks for our hope in Christ, for the life and freedom that will ultimately be ours. Teach us to cherish all Your gifts. Teach us also to use all these resources for the good of society and for glory to You. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.“
*AN AFFIRMATION OF THANKSGIVING
I believe in the God of fruit time and harvest, who makes the land to bear gifts in its time and fills our tables with the bounty of His hand.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who was the first fruit of those who slept, and brings us to spiritual tables where our cups overflows.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, who causes us to remember all things for which we are grateful and teaches us to see a relationship between our gifts and the Giver.
I believe in the world as the arena of my spiritual life, where I am to share my table with the poor and my hospitality with the stranger; for in so doing, I shall fulfill the desires of my great and good God who has given me everything, and of His Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Thank you for joining me for our Sunday service. If you find yourself in Ennis, Montana on a Sunday morning, do come and join us at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church. 308 W Hugel St, Ennis, MT 59729 (406) 682-4355
May the Lord Bless and Keep You safe now and always.
Every day’s a celebration If you just know where to look. Look at all your many blessings. Take a look in the Good Book.
“Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. Therefore, be firm in this freedom, and don’t become slaves again.”
Unlock the gifts of freedom With the key of appreciation. Be grateful for our liberties – We’re a very blessed nation.
We enjoy liberties that people In many other countries will never see, But will long for their whole lifetimes. Thank the Lord that we are free!
Free to vote and free to protest; Free to shout when we disagree. Free to love and be loved in return; Free from the oppression of tyranny.
“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him’.”
With my morning cup of coffee, I will wait in my sanctuary. I will read and pray and ask the Lord For hope to live in you and me.
I will seek the peace that God can give, And put the results in His hands. I will seek His strength for today Ask Him to heal the hurt in our lands.
I will celebrate the right to vote As I listen for the results to come. I will celebrate the eternal joy That I can claim. It’s denied to some.
If you are feeling disgruntlement And joy seems strangely aloof, Ask Jesus for His divine power To shine His joy – and Celebrate Truth!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. I’ll see you tomorrow. (By then, we may know a bit more of the election results!) Celebrate Freedom!!
…And defend GER? Yes, defend HER! God Bless the USA. Preserve freedom. Celebrate your right to differ – Celebrate the ways we agree!!
Have you ever been living in a house for a week without the benefit of running water? That’s been our situation this week.
If you don’t have water running in your house, then your toilets don’t work. Have you lived in your house without a toilet working and with no outhouse? That’s what we’ve done… and our dear neighbors let us drive the 1/4 mile to their house to use their bathroom when we needed it this week. At night, we’ve slept in the church manse where we could use the toilet when needed without driving to the neighbors’ place at midnight!
We’ve been updating the water system in our house – replacing the water tank, pump, radiant floor heating system, etc… Long story as to why this was necessary, but suffice to say, I am not complaining. I know I am blessed.
I know there are people in this world who have to walk miles to get drinking water – or any kind of water for that matter – and they carry it on their heads to bring it home to their families. So, am I complaining about driving a quarter mile to use a toilet – or about not having running water in my house for a week? No way!!!
But an outhouse would come in handy right about now! Maybe I should just pretend I’m camping right now. Ya think?
When you go to Amazon.com and buy something on-line, you have a chance to donate a percentage of your dollars to a charity of your choice. I give to
Water to Thrive provides clean safe water to rural African communities by connecting donors, sponsors, congregations, schools and community groups directly to communities in need.
There are many organizations related to clean water and building wells in remote places around the world – where fresh, running water is a luxury. I hope you find one that you can support – – – The people who receive your support will rejoice, for sure!
People all over the world are in need of fresh water for their survival. Being without running water in my home for a week has certainly taught me empathy.
What charity is dear to your heart? Have you ever been in a situation where you lacked the water you needed for your daily needs? Tell me about it.
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
When troubles come… Where do you go to be lifted up? I go into the mountains. There God fills my cup.
I was not able to go with Bob these last couple of weeks when he took our ATV up into the Tobacco Root Mountains and the Gravelly Range.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know I had surgery to repair a hernia a couple of weeks ago. The doctor said those bumpy rides on our four-wheeler, “Lucille” (she’s red-headed and she is a BALL), were off-limits.
So, Bob took our friend, Julie, last week… and this week he took our friend, Elaine. Both of them loved it. I’m so glad he shares the fun with friends who appreciate the beauty of Montana’s mountains as much as we do!
Elaine is the wife of our minister and friend, Steve Hundley. I share my poetic sermon notes each Sunday with you. It’s Steve who preaches those captivating messages! Elaine took the pictures I am sharing with you today. She has some real beauts here!!
You can see the tip of Lucille’s tire here … obviously Bob stopped many times along the trail so Elaine could get out and snap a shot of the view. As you can see, they traveled up above the tree line into the snow. It’s mid-July and Montana’s mountain tops still have snow. Bundle up! Yup, it was cold up there while I was enjoying a 75 degree day down in the Madison Valley.
No camera lens is as miraculous as the lens God gives each of us with our eyes… especially if we have 20/20 vision. But, a skilled photographer can come close with a good camera. I love the composition of this one with the rocks on rock in the foreground, don’t you?
Thank you, Elaine, for sharing with us your day with Bob and God! We are so blessed to be friends with one another and with nature and with our Creator! I love you! ❤
And thank you, my WordPress friends, for going with us into the mountains where we can all feel closer to God. There, He fills my cup! Did He fill yours, too?
I added the words below here to my blog from a couple days ago where I had a video posted of Susan Boyle singing this song… but some folks weren’t able to access the video.
I leave you today with this wonderful Peace Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi. Make Me a Channel of Your Peace…
Thank you, Lord, for your great creation. I find such peace in Your mountains!
I hope you did, too, my friends. See ya tomorrow. JanBeek