We All have Gifts to give All others do, too Embrace
Embrace The gifts Celebrate others’ gifts Open them with care Receive
Recognize And see What others give To enhance your life Appreciate
Name Your gifts Use them lovingly Share them with humility Blessings
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
Ever wonder how He could make Each snowflake different? Each eye unique – unlike any other? Each voice to sound like no other?
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 Outdated by the time it was published.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:
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?
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.
“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.
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!
What? Embrace Extravagance? I have to be kidding, right?
Extravagance is kin to outlandish. Extravagance means excessive. Right?
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
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.”
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.
“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.