Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘change’

Embrace Tenacity


When I searched to see if I have used this theme of tenacity already this year, I found a link to “Tenacity Defined” written a couple of years ago … before I started the current “Embrace” series. So, I decided it was OK to use the theme again because I have whole different take on it now.

https://janbeek.blog/2019/11/18/tenacity-defined/

So much has happened in these last three years since that 2018 post. Among the defining “happenings” is COVID-19. Impacting my view of life has been the way in which the pandemic exposed some of our worst tendencies. The issue of racism raised its ugly head. (I guess it never really was hidden)… but … In spite of the tenacity of people who to this day follow the non-violent teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., there has been an increase in violent crime – and especially racially motivated hatred.

I saw images of people of Asian descent being knocked to the ground, innocent little Chinese ladies being beaten, and people standing by observing these horrendous acts – and doing nothing to stop them.

Where does tenacity fit in to this line of thinking?

Jeremy Liew from Riverside, Connecticut wrote in Time Magazine this week, “The last year made me comfortable with being uncomfortable.” In his article titled, Newfound Empathy, he explains his discomfort, ending with, “I am still uncomfortable, but now I am confident. I appreciate who I am. I am grateful for what I have – my education and health, and my three annoying sisters.”

Jeremy’s tenacious attitude, at the tender young age of 13, does not come magically. He must have some role models out there who are helping him appreciate his uniqueness, and value his attributes.

The song’s theme of “Never Give Up” reminds me that change comes slowly, but it comes. Like MLK,Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech, we need to adopt that attitude of hope. Tenaciously hang on to HOPE. And then we need to live it! We need to be able to say, along with Jeremy Liew, “I am confident.”

Mom’s cardboard of poems

In 1936, when she was a bride, transplanted from Washington to central California, my mom had a habit of cutting favorite poems out of the newspaper and taping them to a piece of cardboard. She hung that cardboard inside her kitchen cabinet.

It is now hanging inside my kitchen cabinet here in Montana. I treasure it… and I hold tenaciously to the lessons those various poems teach me. What a legacy, huh? The poem above was brought to mind today by Ann Koplow’s wonderful blog. She titled her post:

Tell me something good

Ann KoplowThe Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Mom’s poem (poet unknown) ends with this stanza:

“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.”

It takes TENACITY to look for and find the good in others. But it is so worth it!! I have a plaque in my dining room that reminds me of this fact. Here it is:

In that Time Magazine article, Jeremy Liew went on to explain, “I was uncomfortable being singled out for how I look (I am an Asian American Pacific Islander). A year ago, people looked at me as f I had COVID-19 or brought it to my community…”

Since when do we traumatize people because of the way they look? Since when do we marginalize them and make them feel inferior?

You say, “Since time immortal”??

Well, I say, “Well, It is time to make a change!”

As the song at the top of this blog says, “I will take a chance to be who I’m meant to be. I won’t let fear keep me from trying. It’s time for me to make a change. Start living the life I want. I’m gonna reach for the sky way up high. I’m never giving up. It’s up to me to see who I can be. Make change reality. I’m never giving up.”

Not only do I need to live the life I want and be who God made me to be, but I need to spread that message to others. Find the gold in them. Encourage them to be all that God made them to be, too.

One of my favorite bloggers is Cristian Mihai “The Art of Blogging” … If you go to his About page and read his explanation of who he is, you will see that it ends with these 4 lines:

Sometimes I think I am who I am because someone has to be.

I believe it’s always strangers who ask the most difficult question.

‘Who are you?

I just wrote 1,500 words and I’m still not sure you know who I am.

https://cristianmihai.net/2020/11/23/who-the-fk-is-cristian-mihai/

https://cristianmihai.net/2021/06/24/a-simple-framework-for-using-your-inner-critic-to-your-advantage/

That last link is one of Cristian’s blogs that I think is so powerful that I told him he needs to bookmark it and read it when he is 80, because he writes about the trials of being a 20-something-year-old. He writes it now as a 31-year-old who has wisened beyond his years. He looks at life through very unique lenses. He is tenacious about passing along to others “The Art of Blogging” with the hope of improving us all.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

The road to our best self is a long and arduous one. No one ever said it was gonna be easy. After all, we’re only human! But in our humanity is a divine core. We were made in God’s image. We are His Beloved. So, when I talk about finding the gold, that’s the core I am talking about.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

Do you have something you are needing to do? Something you might feel ill equipped to accomplish? Or maybe, just not as strong as you thought you might be… and needing to take it one baby step at a time? Well, that’s where tenacity comes in. Start slowly… work yourself up to the full extent of your power … the power of the Holy Spirit in you.

Photo by Nina Uhlu00edkovu00e1 on Pexels.com

Mom used to tell me, “Everything worth having is worth working for!”

I believe it.
And that includes things like
love,
equality,
unity,
strength,
freedom,
peace,
clarity,
and
direction.


One thought at a time.
One step at a time.
One act at a time.

Embrace Tenacity!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

One With Us


Sermon Notes from today’s ZOOM worship service
of the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Delivered by Rev. Steve Hundley
Poetic notes taken by JanBeek

One With Us

Have you ever spoken honestly
And in the process provoked
A person to anger?
Perhaps you even joked

About what you said.
You’re trying to be forgiven.
Be careful what you say and do.
Beware the life you’re livin’.

Jesus was with a crowd
Of sinners at the Jordan.
What had Jesus done to need
Forgiveness? What secrets hoardin’?

Sometimes we find ourselves
Guilty by association.
So Jesus had reason to be
Thought a sinner by the Jewish nation.

John the Baptist, however,
Knew Jesus was sinless.
So he didn’t want to baptize Him.
But his protest was winless!

Jesus was determined to be
Baptized by John, even though
He was sin-free. So we wonder,
Why did He need it? Want to know?

He wanted to be baptized
In order to be One with us!
Like Him, we need to be
One in Christ and eliminate fuss!

If Jesus was willing
To step down and be One
With all of us sinners,
Who are we, when all’s said and done?

We are all sinners, invited
To come to the river, too.
Be one with our brothers and sisters.
I’m all for it. How about you?

The sermon was inspired by the scriptures: Acts 19:1-7 and Mark 1:4-11
which were eloquently read to us by our pastor’s wife, Elaine,
from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message Bible”

ACTS 19 1-2 Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?”

“We’ve never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?”

“How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.

“In John’s baptism.”

“That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.”

5-7 And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God’s actions. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day.

MARK 4-6 John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.

7-8 As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”

9-11 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

PRAYER OF CONFESSION: 

God of all mercy, in our baptism You have marked us as Your own; You have given us a new identity and made us part of the body of Christ.  In doing so, You have called us to rise to new life and live together in community.  However, we have not been faithful to Your call.  We have forged our own identity and held to destructive habits.  We confess we have failed to welcome others, and broken our bonds with our brothers and sisters, and served ourselves more than You.  Forgive us, we pray, for the sake of Christ, our Savior.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON:  John 1:12

Hear the good news!  God said to Jesus, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with You I am well pleased.”  We have a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weakness, who has been tempted as we are, yet is without sin.

In Christ’s name we may draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, and there find mercy and grace to help in time of need.

As forgiven sinners, may we go out into the world
and make a positive difference.
May we…

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

If you have not heard former Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s You Tube message today, I recommend you click on the link here. His message, reinforcing the need for UNITY in our USA, is quite powerful. God Bless Arnie! We all need to step up in support of Democracy as he has done!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2021/01/10/arnold-schwarzenegger-twitter-speech-capitol-nazis/

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
If you missed my last post, “Embrace God”
with Steve Hundley’s Pastoral Prayer,
I invite you to go to it.
Like Arnold’s speech, it is a powerful message.

See ya tomorrow.

We Need Faith


Faith to SEE…

See not just yourself,
but what matters is that we
see the best in others, too!

Faith to FEEL…

Feel their anguish and pain
as well as their joy and gratitude

Faith to DO…

DO reach out in faith
and love to one another!

Faith to LIVE…

Live the peace of God…
sow love!

We Need Faith

Words by John Thornburg


We need a faith so color blind,
So free from time-worn lies,
That when we look from face to face,
We see the eyes of God.

We need an ethic of respect,
An honest pledge of trust,
That when we share the deepest things,
We feel the warmth of God.

We need to act as well as speak,
To see each other’s sweat,
That as we we labor side by side,
We do the work of God.

Come, Christians, look for character,
And not for shade of skin,
That as we rend the walls of race,
We live the peace of God.

In the YouTube video below, hang in there through the introduction to the song, and then let the words, the music, the interaction of the performers, and the joy of the audience and children LIFT YOU UP… “Raise you up to more than you can be!”

With FAITH and God’s help,
we CAN and we will
be part of the healing solution
for this divided world.
We WILL be part of the change
we hope to see in our world.
We PLEDGE to be agents of UNITY!

All you need is LOVE, FAITH, and DETERMINATION to
see the eyes of God,
feel the warmth of God,
do the work of God, and
live the peace of God.

Together, we can be the change we wish to see in the world.
Let’s get to work!

Thanks for joining me.
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek



The Change


ABD2F950-F294-4398-8BF2-76E67CE398C1

It was a snowy, blowy day –
How the wind blew!
How the trees shook!
How the temperatures dropped!

It was a calm and blue-sky day –
How the icicles hung!
How the snow sparkled!
How the birds sang!

It was an emerging, awakening day –
How the earth breathed!
How the buds swelled!
How the world smiled in relief!

Spring is here!!

Praise God!
The daffodil tells us
The welcomed change
is here at last!

Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com


Have a Beautiful spring day.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Tell me how the changing seasons affect you.
I love hearing from you.

NoRmAl?


Who wants to be
NoRmAl??
Not me!!

I want to walk down
A new and different path –
A better way –
A more compassionate road –
An avenue that’s better for our planet
and for us.

Kevin League Photography

I want the whole world
to enjoy what I do:
the blue skies
and the clean water,
the promises of
a brighter tomorrow,
and a sure hope for
the future of our planet.

Kate Cottingham Photography

Let’s let the sun set
On this troublesome time,
And let’s help our world
Usher in a wiser, more loving,
Beautiful, sustainable tomorrow.

There never has been a time
when more possibilities,
when more opportunities
were so obviously apparent.
We don’t want to go back to what was.
We WANT a “new normal.”
Let’s take advantage of this time …

Pray for solutions.
Be positive.
Let’s all do our part.

What’s your plan
for what to do differently
once we are able
to emerge
from this
COVID-19 challenge?


Let’s share our ideas!

See ya later!

Stop, Look, Listen!


In this crucial time
We need to stop, look, listen
Stop now and bow down!

In kindergarten, we were taught to stop, look and listen. We made traffic lights as an art project. As a kindergarten teacher in the 70’s, I taught the children to recognize their colors, write their numbers, sing their ABC’s and listen for the sounds the letters made. I taught them safety features. Looking out for themselves and for one another. Yes, we had partners who took care of each other when we went out on field trips.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s time once again
For us to stop, look, listen
Practice safety rules

It’s time once again
To look out for each other
Hold hearts across miles

Just STOP, everyone!
Stay sequestered and stop now
Look for ways to help

Listen for the cries
Of people less fortunate
Look for solutions

Kim Taylor Henry is one of the contributing writers for Daily Guideposts 2020. This week, she has taken us through her devotionals on a journey to the Holy Land. We stopped with her in Jerusalem and bemoaned the way “the city bustled on.”

Kim thought of the words of Jesus:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem…
how often I have longed
to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her chicks
under her wings,
and you were not willing.”


She wrote that
when she traveled to Jerusalem, she
“had expected to feel
connected to God
through tranquility.”

Instead, as she stood on a hill
looking down at the expanse of the city,
she wanted to cry out,
“Stop everyone! This is holy ground!
Bow down. Worship. Praise.”

Photo by Cameron Casey on Pexels.com

We were just like that –
Chaotic, bustling, busy –
Moving way too fast

Then this virus hit
We came to a screeching halt
Stop, look and listen!

Now we have the time
We are forced to be at home
How will this change us?

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

Will we use this time
To reclaim our best values
To reach out in love?

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

The city is still
The children are in their homes
It seems the world stopped

Take time to bow down
Reconnect with your Maker
Let His Will guide you

When Kim Taylor Henry left Jerusalem
and traveled on to Gethsemane,
she expected to find “a hushed highlight” for her trip.
She wrote that she thought she would find
“a spot where I would reflect on our Savior’s suffering,
a place of pain, yet serenity.”


“Instead ,” she wrote,
“I saw a fenced-off grouping of knobbly olive trees…
It didn’t feel peaceful.”

Opportunity or Tragedy

We have the opportunity
during this COVID-19 pandemic
to create in our homes
a place of peace,
a spot where you sense
a “hushed highlight”
in the opportunity to just BE…
just BE together with family
or alone in your space…

OR

We can create a tragedy
where we feel “fenced off”
and we can be resentful,
and we can worry
and let our fear
blind us to the opportunities
that are before us.

Photo by namo deet on Pexels.com

Indifference or Awareness?

Traveling on the Via Dolorosa, the road to Calvary, the place outside the city of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified, Kim Taylor Henry wrote in her Guideposts devotional,

“I felt irritated by what I viewed as near oblivion to the sanctity of the path. Crass crowds and the array of souvenir shops disturbed me.”

But she went on to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Golgotha, the hillside where Jesus and the two thieves’ crosses remained, and she felt a sense of hush and respect.

Kim asked herself, “Why is the Via Dolorosa bustling with indifference and commercialism while the sites of death and resurrection are worshipful?” And she postulated, “Perhaps it’s a reminder that I, like so many wrapped up in the world… realize my errors too late, and bow down after the fact – when crisis has already struck.”

Is it Too Late?

Help us not to wait
Until the crisis has struck
Devastating us

Help us to heed NOW
The directions we’re given
And let us bow down

Stop, look and listen
Like kindergarteners did
No, it’s not too late!

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Thank you, Kim Taylor Henry, for permission to quote your writing. Thank you, Guideposts, for your wonderful Daily Guideposts 2020 spirit-lifting devotionals. I appreciate this resource that helps me each day stay focused on the positive ways we can remain in His Word and “Walk the Talk” as we learn to better love and care for one another.

See ya tomorrow.

Let Beauty Fill You!


Let beauty fill you
Only lovely quietude
Calm reassurance

Take a walk outside
Look up into the big sky
Marvel at beauty

Appreciate home
Let its peacefulness fill you
Find a quiet space

You can find a spot
You may not have a big porch
But it’s a big world

This was CostCo Connection’s cover picture in today’s magazine.

I see God at work
Holding our world in His Hand
Helping us save it

Hold the whole world close
We have a global challenge
But God is in charge

Out of this chaos
A healthier planet grows
Creating beauty

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

You can find beauty
Right in the space of your home
Look in your kitchen

This is our daughter, DeAna’s, latest bread-making attempt.
Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

She sent a video of this loaf. In the video, she was cutting a slice and then tapping the crust for us to hear how crunchy it is. We had fun using “What’s App” to exchange some beautiful silliness. Then I wrote this Haiku:

Listen to the crust
Crunchy and appetizing
Crackle’s Symphony

Beauty in the kitchen …
Beauty in the dining room …
Beauty is where you make it …
Beauty is where you find it.

Let beauty fill you!

Have fun with beauty on your blog! Have you tried the new “Block Editor” here on WordPress? They have greatly improved it – and made options (like colored text) so much easier to access. Thank you, WordPress!!

Bob brought me flowers yesterday.
I hope you have someone who loves you enough to bring you flowers.
I love you, dear WordPress friends.
Here are some flowers to add beauty to your day:

Make it a beautiful day!
Thanks for stopping by JanBeek.

Leave me a message
telling me about something
beautiful
in your world right now.

See ya tomorrow.

Treat Each Other Kindly


Donna, who has the WP post, “My Father’s Feet,” posted these scriptures today among others – and among many other important words of encouragement:

Matthew 7:12 NLT
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”

Galatians 6:10 NLT
“Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone–especially to those in the family of faith.”

Check out Donna’s post here:

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/167421393/posts/853

Smile and brighten the corner where you are!

A Time for New Discoveries

My friend, Elaine, who has avoided poetry most of her life (after a high school experience in an English class (where diagramming sentences and picking poetry apart looking for rhythm and rhyme scheme and very hidden meaning turned her off) is discovering the poet in her soul! She sent me these Haiku. She wrote them this morning:

Our world is amiss
One alone proves capable
Gentle as a kiss

Photo by Natalie on Pexels.com

And here is Elaine’s second one:

Choose to share kindness
Chaos only seems to reign
Care completes circle

Kindness in Chaos?

In this crazy world where people sometimes are behaving irrationally, it is easy to write some people off and say they are off-limits! They are adding to the earth’s problems, rather than trying to solve them. One of my followers wrote this note yesterday:

“I’m all for being positive, Jan,
but some people’s behaviour is sickening …
like some here who are selling paracetamol on eBay
for £10 and Calpol for ,£20!”

What to Do?

What should we do about those “sickening” people? Do we write off the toilet paper hoarders and the ones buying cases of hand sanitizer, and the price gougers? Do we condemn the politicians who sold off hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock after a preliminary briefing about the upcoming pandemic? Condemn ’em and throw all the bums out??

27 Jesus said in Luke 6:27-31

“But to you who are listening I say:
Love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.
29 If someone slaps you on one cheek,
turn to them the other also.
If someone takes your coat,
do not withhold your shirt from them.
30 Give to everyone who asks you,
and if anyone takes what belongs to you,
do not demand it back.
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Kindness Rules!
Kindness completes the circle of life
as we want it to be.

Let your creativity reign.
Give birth to your inner poet .

Be the change you wish to see in this world.

My niece, Jodie (my sister, Sally’s daughter in PA,
just sent me a picture of this bouquet
with a note that said,
“Bill brought sunshine to our home today ❤ “

What kindness can you exhibit today
to add love and sunshine to your home?

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

See ya tomorrow.

Bee well!!
Hugs from JanBeek

We Need Guardian Angels


Protection needed!
Our guardian angels are
Working overtime.

Surround yourself with
The love of family and friends:
Your loving angels.

My friend, Maria Mendoza, gave these cuties to me.

Angels all around
Reach out to bring you comfort.
We all need them now!

Sanctuary lights
Highlight the angelic tones –
Angels softly play.

My mother-in-law created these Faberge’-like eggs

Angels sweetly pray
For your safety and wellness.
I pray for you, too.

Seven represents
God’s number for completion.
Seven angels sing.

This glass angel is a gift from Toni Bowen.
She was here in this room before we bought this house.

Social distancing
Suggests we sit far apart –
Stand six feet away.

This ancient tiny bowl and antique carved angel with accordion are gifts from a friend in Germany

Sit in your own bowl
And do not touch anything;
Stay isolated!

Carry your concerns
Like your heart in open hands –
But wash them often.

My daughter’s mother-in-love, Denise Solioz,
gave us this darling flute-playing angel.

Like the Pied Piper,
Be an angel with a flute.
Compassion plays here.

This lovely angel was among many in a box my mother left behind.
She bought every angel in her nursing home’s gift shop before she died.
I gave most of them away in her memory to the friends in her care facility.
This, the largest of the collection, I kept as a reminder.
BettyDeA believed in angels!
She sits at the top of the circle staircase…
guarding my daily coming and going.

We all need angels
To guard coming and going
In this Virus-age.

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

The winds of change blow.
The Virus changes our world.
Hang tight to angels.

Don’t let fear freeze you.
Live in deep faith and courage.
What goodness will come?

With factories closed,
Air is clearing in China.
People create new.

New ways of thinking;
New ways of doing old things.
Appreciating!

Gratitude for the
Things we saw as common-place,
Like simple touching.

Photo by Kristin De Soto on Pexels.com

Appreciating
Arenas where we gather
For sports or speeches.

Thankfulness for the
Opportunity to dance
With wild abandon.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now authorities,
Closing our business and schools,
Keep us from living.

We remind ourselves
It is for our greater good.
What about our jobs?

What about our plans
To travel for marriages
Or for funerals?

Our vacation plans –
Things we paid for months ago –
All of them cancelled.

In the midst of this,
Can our angels show to us
The good that’s coming?

Will our guardians
Show us tomorrow’s bright hope
In sorrow’s dark midst?

Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

Calling All Angels!
We need your guardianship;
Save us from the doom.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

What are your thoughts
about what’s happening with this Coronavirus –
and what ideas can you share
about how we can be
each others’ guardian angels?

Let me hear from you.
What’s happening in your part of the world?

Is Being Good Worth It?


I never regret
Being good to good people,
But how ’bout scoundrels?

It’s hard to be good
To the rascals in our lives;
They’re good-for-nothings

Don’t want to be nice
To the thief or vagabond –
Incorrigibles

The mischief-maker
And the no good scalawag
Deserve my disdain.

What was that you said?
I should practice what I preach:
Love one another?

Boastful liars, cheats?
People running us amuck??
I gotta love them???

Wellll, alrighty then..
This ain’t gonna be easy!
I’ll give it a try.

Sometimes it’s so hard
Because the outrage is real.
Do you understand?

The outrageousness
Of crazy people’s actions
Makes being nice hard!

Do those scoundrels care?
Do they have stories to tell?
Can I listen well?

Maybe listening
Is the kindest thing I do.
Love one another!

Will you join with me?
Yes, being good is worth it.
Be the change you want

to see.

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

See ya tomorrow.

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