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Posts tagged ‘Christ’

Embrace Easter!


He is risen indeed!

My day started with a 7:00 am Sunrise Service at our Madison Range putting green.
The sun worked to peek out through the cloudy sky.

A small, but appreciate gathering
lifted voices to sing
“He Arose!”
and
“He Lives!”

Mule deer gathered close by to listen to our singing
and nibble at the emerging greenery.
Spring is just thinking about making its debut here!

Usually right after sunrise service, we go as a group to the Baptist Church and enjoy a yummy breakfast of assorted baked goodies and egg casseroles. This year, because of COVID-19, we had to be content to go home and make our own breakfast. Afterward, we went to church where we wore masks, socially distanced, and enjoyed the sermon of the day delivered by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley.

It was Communion Sunday as well as Holy Easter Sunday.
A very meaningful ritual … being able to partake in person with other Christian friends.
Our sermon topic was “Sometimes It Causes Me to Tremble.”

What are your earliest
Memories of Easter Sunday?
Yellow crocuses, dogwoods,
And eggs hidden slightly away?

What are your earliest
Memories of recognizing in your life
God, the Risen Christ?
Do you have to think twice?

My memory was on a morning
When I’d victoriously ridden
My bike down a steep hill –
Suddenly God was not hidden.

I’m reminded of Mary Magdalene
With the other Mary who saw
That Jesus was not in the tomb.
An angel said He’d risen – such awe!

They were terrified to realize
You can’t escape God in Jesus.
They told no one what they heard –
Too scared… a Savior to relieve us?

They thought their hopes and dreams
Had been buried and sealed away,
Buried with Him – they believed.
They all deserted Christ that day.

Peter had denied Christ three times.
The other disciples hid in fear.
Have we also denied the messenger
Who told us Jesus is alive and here?

The Easter miracle assures us
Our crucified Lord is running free.
He is waiting for us to come out
Of hiding to see Him. He waits for me!

Am I ready to believe the story
Of a man who dies, but rose again?
Am I ready to understand that He
Suffered that agony to free me from sin?

The Risen Christ stands before me
With nail prints in His hands and side.
Am I ready to hear the Good News
And know there’s no where I can hide?

With fear and amazement this Easter,
I will not go away from the empty tomb-
Back to daily routine, forgetting Him.
No, with reverence I acknowledge Christ in this room.

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres
Ineffably sublime.

All hail, Redeemer, Hail!
For Thou hast died for me.
Thy praise shall never, never fail
Throughout eternity.

Amen.

EMBRACE EASTER

It comes but once a year
Yet its significance
Lives in our hearts daily…
Thank God for the gift
of His Son
who secured my spot
and yours
in heaven.

Praise Him! Alleluia!
Amen!

Oh, and in the afternoon,
we had the joy of a visit from our granddaughter, Hope,
and her husband, Drew, and their two children
(our great-grandchildren, Xander and Sienna).

Hope & Drew
Xander
Sienna
Hunting for Easter eggs
Hope with Sienna
Isn’t this a fun appetizer tray?
And for a larger crowd,
how about this one?

Did you send out and receive a few Easter cards this season?
I did.. and I enjoyed every one.
I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you:

That was decorated with a glitter cupcake by our darling Ruby…
with a note added from her big brother, first grader, Cord.
So precious!!

And now,
the eggs are gone.
The Easter ham left-overs are in the fridge.
The family departed.
The dishes are looming large –
Begging to be done…
But first, join me and the Easter bunny, will you?
Sit down and relax.
Contemplate the day…
Think about what Easter means.
Thank God for the gift of His Son.
Let’s drink a toast to Eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom.
The dishes can wait!
My computer’s about to run outta battery…

Hope you had a Happy Easter weekend.


Have a good night.
See ya tomorrow.

Sending lots of love,
JanBeek

Embrace Emptiness


Lest our cup be emptied,
There’s no room for any more.
Lest we leave the empty tomb
We won’t know what is in store.

So, let’s embrace the emptiness
With gratitude and grace
Knowing that on the morn,
We’ll see the Savior’s face.

Meantime, in the emptiness
Of this quiet Holy Saturday,
Contemplate the miracle of His grace
And thank Him for coming our way.

Today we experience loneliness
Like the day after a loved one’s funeral…
But tomorrow we will understand
The gift He gave of Life Eternal.

God bless you, my friends.
I send my love,
JanBeek

Embrace Karfreitag


Embrace Karfreitag!
That’s German for “Sorrowful Friday.”
The same day named “Guode Friday”
in Old English back in the 1200’s.

I always wondered how it got named “Good.”
What’s good about the Friday when Christ died?
I’m more apt to agree with the Germans”
It’s a sorrowful day!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Baltimore Catechism from 1885
says it is “Good Friday”
because it’s the day
Jesus showed his great love for mankind.

Matthew 27:46

And about three o’clock
Jesus cried with a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema tabachthani?”
that is,
“My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:59-61

“Joseph took the body,
wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
and placed it in his own new tomb…
He rolled a big stone in front
of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
were sitting there opposite the tomb.”

Today is the day when Jesus seems gone.
Mary and Mary Magdalene
wept in front of the giant rock
that was between them and the One they loved.
Can you imagine their despair?

The reason I am embracing “Karfreitag!”
is because I think it would be a shame
to jump from Sorrowful Friday
to the joy of Easter morning
without sitting for a day
and contemplating the
sorrow that surrounded
Christ’s death.

Imagine yourself at the tomb.
Imagine the shock of finding
Jesus gone…
with the stone rolled away.

Tomorrow is called
“Holy Saturday.”
This is all that is written about it:

The next day the Pharisees
and chief priests went to Pilate.
“Sir, they said, we remember
that while he was still alive
that deceiver said,
‘After three days I will rise again.’
So give the order
for the tomb
to be made secure
until the third day…”

What would you have thought
if you had seen this scene
on the day after Jesus died?

Holy Saturday
is a day to pause
gather our thoughts,
process what happened,
and get ready for the
beautiful message
of Easter.

See you tomorrow.
Love to you,
JanBeek

Before you go,
treat yourself to this wonderful rendition
of one of my favorite hymns
by a phenomenal boys’ choir …
joined by the wonderful men’s voices
of the King’s College Choir.
You’ll be glad you did!


Embrace Grace


Photo by Jacob Kelvin.J on Pexels.com

My hands are dirty –
And my heart is soiled, too.
Time for spring cleaning!

This season of Lent is a time for cleaning –
Cleaning out our hearts in preparation
For the arrival of Easter when we can
Embrace God’s grace through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Today’s sermon on our ZOOM worship service
Was titled, “Holy Ground” as our pastor,
Steve Hundley, recounted his trip to
The Holy Land back about 20 years ago.

My feet are dirty –
And my heart is soiled, too.
Time for spring cleaning!

Holy Ground

What was it like to be able
To walk in the footsteps of Jesus?
What was it like to stand
On Holy Ground? Spiritually renewing?

I was expecting each site to be charged
With such power that holy goose bumps
Popped up all over my body.
But I was a bit disappointed.

It was hard to feel the grace of the risen Christ
In this historically preserved place.
How do you feel Jesus breaking bread
When all you’re seeing is the top of a rock?

It’s important to protect these sites,
But looking through plexiglass makes it
Hard to feel the reality of Jesus.
The garden tomb remains open, though.

It’s helpful to see without obstacles
That distort the original places.
We have our own expectations of
What we’ll feel imagining holy faces.

Jesus and the money changers
Were there on the temple floor
Where I stood on that visit.
But I couldn’t feel Jesus’ anger.

I wondered if maybe those men
Were in fact offering a service.
He told them they could tear it down
And He’d rebuild it in three days.

They didn’t know He was referring
To His body, not the building.
Buildings are not what we worship.
We worship God’s nature in spirit and in Truth.

We are often tied to the
Rites and rituals to define us.
But our traditions must not
Rise above the Christ we adore.

It is not the place that matters.
It is the love in our hearts
That counts when we join together
In worship… thanking God for His grace.

Thank You, God, for Jesus, for Easter,
For the meaning of the cross,
And for the sacrifice of Your Son’s life
So we might EMBRACE GRACE.

The HOPE of EASTER
Is in the grace of the cross.
Let’s engage in some spring cleaning
In preparation to stand on that Holy Ground…
At the threshold of our eternal cleansing.

Embrace Grace.

AMEN

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow.
I’m headed to do some spring cleaning!

Embrace Effervescence


Don’t you love that word?
Effervescence is bubbly;
Bubbly is delight.

So, smile, Bob!

Bubbles bring smiles –
They bring us celebrations.
We hear them giggle.

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

Effervescence helps
Make water taste lots better.
See our Soda Stream?

It is our new toy;
Changes our pure well water
Into bubbly treat.

Yes, I know the “J”
In Montana Majesty
Is replaced by “G”

That’s because MAGIC
Is the root word intended
Montana’s MAGIC!

And this new machine
Changes water magically
Into a great treat.

See the bubbles?

We have a dear friend
Whose special name is Sparkles;
She’s effervescent!

She lights up a room
Whenever she enters it –
Effervescent friend:

Like the fire there,
Her light is warm and friendly.
Have you such a friend?

What else in your life
Sparkles with effervescence?
Water, friends, and what?

The faith that’s in me
Sparkles with the love of Christ.
Bravely let it out!

I share the Good News
Through my blog and with my life.
It’s my Bubble Source!

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Son Shine bubbles up –
Creates my effervescence!
What makes YOU sparkle?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

By the way, did you miss my “Embrace” message yesterday?
It was “Embrace Rest” – and so I took a break!!

I really enjoy this Don Ho song.
It takes me to Hawaii.
Brings back bubbly memories.
Do you have a favorite song
that bubbles up happy memories in you?

EMBRACE EFFERVESCENCE!!

Embrace Blooming


Let’s embrace blooming –
Both the blooming of flowers
As well as ideas.

Let’s embrace blooming –
Blooming of plants and ideas
As well as people.

Let’s embrace blooming –
Blooming of people today;
The world needs blossoms!

Charles StanleyIn Touch Magazine cover

One is fully bloomed –
One is on its way to bloom –
A couple are curled.

To fully open,
We must face toward the Son Light.
Do not turn away!

You, too??

Blossoms need sunlight.
We need the light of the Son
In order to bloom.

Isaiah 35:1-2a

“The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.”

Your soul will sparkle;
It will bloom and grow in love
If you walk humbly.

As long as Christ leads
We can make it all the way;
We can bloom and thrive.

Let your blossoms dance!
Follow in obedience.
Let your spirit shine.

My choice for the look alike contest.
Don’t you love those smiles?
“Smilers never lose, and frowners never win.”
Listen to the song below!!

Your smile’s contagious
When you blossom from inside.
Let’s Embrace Blooming!

You deserve this award!

Your blogging sparkles
And your face reflects the Son.
You’re brilliant and bright!

Fertilize others
With words of encouragement.
Continue to bloom!

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com
God bless You!!

My heart bubbles over with gratitude for God’s Bright and Brilliant Light.
May it continue to bubble over in our hearts and lives.
“Open up your heart and let the sunshine in!”
Listen to the sunny song below –
It’s a favorite from my childhood.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Blueness


Reblogging a fellow blogger’s post… Thank you, mkvecchitto!


A Renewing Force Within
by mkvecchitto

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Malleable are lists of sins we accrue

a barter between gains we’ve won and debts we owe

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

Exhausting – holding this constant guard

Even stormy melancholy seas are drenched in

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Healing power pulses in each flaw

like a broken heart that still beats

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I was going to call my blog today “Embrace Healing,” but the I came across the post above. I decided that post is a gift in blueness – and it speaks more to my mood today than “healing” does.

Today I am blue… because the note I received from my former student’s mother-in-law, Marilyn, left me with no hope for Ty Stiles’ earthly healing. I studied my broken heart and looked again at Marilyn’s words. “He told Roxann [his wife] that he is ready to go to Heaven.” As I prayed for Ty’s last days, I looked at that broken heart again.

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

Did you ever realize that the two parts of a broken heart are angel’s wings?
Look again!

God’s angels spoke to me and reminded me that death is not final. Jesus conquered death. Ty is a believer. Ty is called according to His purpose. Yesterday Ty’s church members gathered outside his home for a prayer vigil. One of his cousins made the gathering into a FaceTime chat so he could see/hear the prayers being offered on his behalf (and if he was unable to hear and comprehend, at least I know his wife, Roxann, could. The prayers were for her, as well.

As I shared in my “Embrace Reassurance” blog a couple days ago, God hears. God cares. God answers. Sometimes HEALING does not come in the form of a magical cure. Sometimes it comes as RELEASE.

Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.

God bless Ty Stiles!

My heart is with you as you leave the pain
and embrace the beautiful blueness of Christ’s Kingdom.
Someday I’ll join you there, Ty.
Meantime, keep the Pearly Gates polished!

Thanks for joining me at JanBeek
and thank you for praying for Ty and Roxann.
See you tomorrow.

Embrace The Word


“The Word was the Source
of Light and Life”

Today’s message from Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana was titled
“God’s Creative Word.”

The scripture reference was
John 1:1-18
(with reinforcements from Genesis)

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

God’s Creative Word

Trying to decipher John’s
Interpretation of Christ’s birth
Is like trying to grasp smoke.
He says God’s Word created the earth.

And he explained that the Word
Was the Light and the Life – – – Rejoice!
He speaks as John the Apostle
And switches to a heavenly voice.

John strips away the layers covering
The original Word of God to earth.
He helps us hear with spiritual ears
The meaning of Christ’s unusual birth.

The Book of John is ethereal
As he shares God’s creative power.
He emphasizes that saying is doing
Words are like a bud that produces flower.

So, when we say something,
We need to think of the impact
Those words have on others.
Words spoken ripple out – no taking them back!

Just as God’s Word has the power
To create light out of darkness,
Our words also have the power
To create beauty out of starkness.

So, a lesson of John’s Gospel
Is to warn us: Watch what you speak!
If you speak untruths carelessly,
The results will not be what you seek.

Life and death are in the power
Of the tongue – – – We eat its fruit.
If you want your daily meal sweet,
Use your tongue’s power for Truth.

The Word became flesh and made
His home among us – He appeared
In the form of our Savior, Jesus.
Start here – Start where darkness was cleared.

Be Light for a Dark World.

Everlasting God,
remind us again
that Your Son is the light of the world,
the way, the truth, and the life.
Lead us by your light and truth.
Looking for Jesus,
let us find Him
knowing that it is He
who has come looking for us.

Embrace the Word, my friends.

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I’ll see you tomorrow.

Keep the Christmas spirit alive
All Year Through!
Embrace Words of Love


Too Big a Pill to Swallow?


Is that idea of a virgin birth
too big a pill for you to swallow?
It gets in the way of faith
for a whole lot of folks.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon
by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, MT
dealt with that subject…
the virgin birth.
He titled it:

Conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and Born of the Virgin Mary


It’s a stumbling block for many
To think of a baby born of a virgin…
The idea can seem like a fairy tale.
It can be a pill too big to swallow.

Some people believe Christ was
Half God and half human.
Only One who is fully God
Can atone for our sins.

Only one who is fully human
Can experience our suffering and pain.
So many deny Jesus’ duality:
Jesus was born divine and became human.

Philippians 2:7
“But made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.”


This verse is our first statement of faith:
He found Himself as human
And humbled Himself.
He chose to be dependent on humans.

Jesus could not have been born
Without that simple peasant girl;
And He suffered all the human pain
And a cruel and painful death.

It’s a gigantic leap of faith
To fully believe the virgin birth.
But, take comfort in knowing
Even the disciples had trouble.

Even though they walked
With Jesus on this earth,
They had trouble believing
He was the Holy Son of God.

The initial act of faith
Is not that total belief.
The initial act of faith
Is to invite Jesus into your heart.

When your own life is changed
By the love of Christ in you,
Then your faith will grow;
You will share that faith with others.

Jesus sees the pearls in the dust.
Not what we are, but
What God intends us to become.
In Christ, our faith can help us get there.

We don’t begin as full believers.
We begin as that dependent manger child.
We begin looking for a Teacher of Wisdom,
And Jesus, the Holy Son of God enters.

Let Him walk with you.
Let Him help your faith to grow.
When it comes to faith,
The heart is one step ahead of the intellect!

Pastoral Prayer

by Steve Hundley

We have run our yearly race to Bethlehem, O Lord, and many are tired from what has been a very difficult year.  We know that You did not mean it that way, but intended for Your Son’s birth to bring us peace and joy and renewal, and a sense of togetherness that comes from this season of love and giving.

In the stillness of this moment we turn our hearts to You as the needle of a compass points to True North.  Amidst all the tension of this year, may You remain at the center, calling us to hope and to clarity of purpose.  On the eve of a new year, give guidance to us and the nations of the world, as we seek to find our way out of this pandemic.  Incline our hearts to modesty, honesty, and compassion.  Let us be tender to all of those in need, especially the young, the old, the tired, the poor, the sick, and all who are struggling just to survive.,,

So many have died these last 10 months, O Lord.  Hold in Your arms those who grieve, whose spirits are distressed by the loss of loved ones, or jobs, or homes in all of the uncertainty that surrounds them.  Speak to us in our worship, we pray, in something heard or seen or felt, that we may go from this place of worship with a renewed sense of Your presence in our lives.

Let the months before us bring rest to a weary world and hope to millions who continue to dwell in darkness.  Use us who wait before You to accomplish Your will, through devotion and imagination and love.  We pray this prayer in the name of Christ our Savior… Amen

May you, my dear WP friends,
find the peace,
comfort,
hope,
and clarity of purpose
for which we pray.

This describes my purpose! I will declare His coming
and live in modesty, honesty, and compassion.

How about your clarity of purpose?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Don’t forget to comment below.
I would love to hear about
your Sunday and your purpose.
Hugs!!

See ya tomorrow…

Play Along!


Mary played along.
She didn’t complain.
Mary sang a song.
What a role model!

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon was titled,
“Responding to God’s Call.”
Luke 1:26-38 was the scripture passage.
Mary responded with such grace and faith.
Listen to Rev. Steve Hundley’s message
at today’s Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
-recorded through Jan’s poetic filters.

Responding to God’s Call

Luke described the coming
Of the Angel Gabriel to Mary.
Many artists have been inspired
To depict the scene; they’re varied.

Some created majestic scenes
With mountains and waterfalls,
But that wasn’t the vision recorded.
It’s a simple scene when God calls.

Gabriel doesn’t ask permission.
He simply tells her what will be,
The Bible says she was perplexed.
More in shock, it seems to me.

Whatever plans Mary may have had,
God comes and intervenes.
Like Mary, God has plans for us.
Listen to this story; hear what it means.

We can plan our lives carefully,
But often we’re face with interruptions.
Unexpected events order our future;
Often they keep us from corruption.

God’s plans always exceed ours.
But still, we have questions galore.
Unlike Mary, we ask for clarification.
We want to understand more.

It’s not every day an angel appears
And announces what’ll come next.
But often life chooses us
And leaves us totally perplexed.

In real life, we have choices.
We can say yes or shout NO!
We can become stoic and look away;
We can be stubborn and refuse to go.

When God throws us curve balls,
We might become angry and defensive.
We might throw our hands up
And become bitter; but that’s expensive.

It costs us our peace of mind.
It takes away unexpected joy.
If Mary had been so inclined,
It might have cost her that Baby Boy!

Let it be to me according
To your Word, O Lord, my Christ.
When You send Your instructions,
May I say “Yes!” without thinking twice.

Nothing is impossible with God.
Tune in!
And play along!!
Amen

Photo by Keenan Constance on Pexels.com

There may be an angel standing by your fire, sending out signals and you’re unaware.
There may be a message blowing in the wind, and you can’t hear it.
There may be an assignment God is giving you, and you don’t know it.
Tune in! Listen up! Play along!!

Jan with Great-grandson, Xander

Notes during the Pastoral Prayer today:

“God came into a troubled world.
Come again, Lord Jesus,
For we, too, are troubled.
We need You.

We are suffering.
Pain is taking its toll.
Come and bring power and healing
To those who are hurting.

Bring comfort to those
Who have lost loved ones.
Come again, Lord Jesus.
Bring deliverance.

We wait for You.”

Amen

Every heart is longing for our King
Whether they know it or not.
Let your light shine.
Sing!
Play along!!

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed Sunday.
See you tomorrow.
HUGS!

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