Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘Christ’

Peace of Mind


How do you find peace of mind?

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Pexels.com

In my devotional studies today,
the Moody Bible Institute’s “Today in the Word”
asked that question. What is peace and where do you find it?

If you go to Pexels.com
and put in the word “peace”
you will find many images
that suggest answers to those questions:

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

What does this one suggest to you?

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

Of course, this suggests prayer…

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

… and this has a Zen origin, right?

Photo by M Venter on Pexels.com

Many folks find peace by going out into nature and finding seclusion.

Photo by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya on Pexels.com

Others look for peace in communication
with others who are seeking the same goals.

Photo by Fernando Arcos on Pexels.com

Music provides a source of peace for me and many others.


My greatest sense of peace comes from my faith.
As a Christian, PEACE is not a place.
It is not an unattainable emotion.
Peace is a person!

My peace comes from God’s grace
in the person of Jesus.


John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I find evidence of that joy-giving peace all around me…
and I am assured of it as I read my Bible
and study the devotionals that reinforce my faith.

Today in the Word
has a study of The Gospel of Luke
titled, “Peace on Earth” this month.

In his introductory pages,
Dr. John Koessler wrote,
“This promise of peace belongs to
those upon whom His favor rests.”

Does His favor rest on you?

Photo by mododeolhar on Pexels.com

Thousands of years before His birth, Isaiah predicted Him:

Isaiah 9:6

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be upon his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.”

Then, when Isaiah’s prediction came true,
Jesus came to earth… the Prince of Peace,
Here to show us how to find His peace,
Here to show us how to live.

Ephesians2:14 put it this way:

“Jesus is our peace”
Because Jesus “came and preached peace to you
who were far away and those who were near.”

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

Jesus came, lived to show us and teach us, and died to save us.
Believing that is the road to His grace.
Believing that is the way to Eternal Life.
Believing that is the path to peace.

Dr. John Koessler wrote:

“Those who know the peace of Christ
become agents of peace themselves.
When Jesus first sent His disciples
to proclaim the kingdom,
He told them,
‘As you enter the home, give it your greeting.’


Matthew 10:12
(the traditional Jewish greeting, Shalom)

This was more than a social formality,
Christians are offering peace through
faith in Christ to others.
The shalom of Christ is more than a greeting.
It is a promise.
There is more to peace than a personal experience.
For the Christian, peace is a person.
Jesus is our peace.”

Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

Reach out!
Touch Him!
He is the Holy Spirit in you.
He is the King of Peace,
here to give you His peace.
Take it!

In Him is my peace of mind.
Where is yours?

I pray you find it in Him.
Merry Christmas!
He came to save you and me.

Love and peace to you,
JanBeek

Thank you, God, Lord, Christ Jesus, Holy Spirit
for the love, joy, and peace that are mine!

Lookin’ for Love


Lookin’ for love
In all the wrong places?
Lookin’ for love
On all the wrong faces?

Spent a lifetime lookin’
For just the right person?
The more you were searchin’
The more life would worsen?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

You were born of love
And love is a given.
It’s yours to accept –
It’s a certain decision.

So you can stop lookin’
Outside of yourself!
Love is your birthright
God gave of Himself!

John 16:27

27 … the Father himself loves you
because you have loved me
and have believed
that I came from God.

In “These Days” one of my daily devotionals, Martin Wiles reminded me of the song, “Lookin’ for Love” released in 1980 as part of the soundtrack for the movie, Urban Cowboy. He reminded me that country singer, Johnny Lee, sang the song. I remember singing along. I found it on YouTube music. It inspired this blog. Click on the link below and have a listen!

Martin Wiles commented in the devotional, “The lyrics tell of someone who spent a lifetime looking for love in all the wrong places. They hoped to find someone who was also looking for love. After many failed attempts, they finally found the special person.”

The scripture that inspired the commentary is
Psalm 103:8
“The Lord is
merciful and gracious,
slow to anger
and abounding
in steadfast love.”

Martin Wiles continued,
“The Psalmist discovered God’s love.
Our world too often has a twisted definition of love,
defining it by emotions alone or confusing it with lust.
God demonstrates agape love
– an unconditional love
that keeps giving
whether we return it or not…”

So, I am encouraged to receive God’s love
and I ask God to help me love others
as God loves me.

I am not looking for love in all the wrong places.
I trust that you are not searching
in all the wrong places either.

I send my love to you,
dear WordPress friends.
Pass it on!

Look in all the right places!

See ya tomorrow (God willing),

Hugs, JanBeek

Bee Comforted


Just as the bees in a hive look out for one another, our WordPress community reaches out and cares for one another. Thank you all for your words of support and comfort during this time of pain and loss. Your words are sweet as honey!

Your comforting words remind me of this scripture:

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Not only did I present my request to God, but I told you, my friends, about our troubles: my fall and subsequent dislocated & broken finger, and our granddaughter’s miscarriage. From the goodness of your hearts, you reached out with words of encouragement. Thank you so much!

My hand is bruised and wrinkly – and the fingers are braced to keep the broken pinky immobile, but this will heal… and the good news is that it was my finger and not my head that took the brunt of the fall. I have an appointment next week with an orthopedic hand specialist. Hopefully no further intervention will be needed.

In the case of Hope and Drew (my granddaughter and her hubby), prayers are appreciated for their family as they move forward. Finding that she had lost the fetus, Hope’s comment was, “Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.” It was early in her pregnancy – and that’s a blessing. I think it is much harder when the baby is more developed, the sex is determined, and the parents are preparing their home and hearts for the new addition. In this case, they had not quite adjusted to the idea of a third child yet. So, we are just thanking God for the blessing of the two they already have… and praying for their well being.

I pray for more time to be with them, too… Children are such a blessing! God is good – especially when He allows us to live long enough to see our children’s children have children. Don’t you agree?

During this week following Holy Week, we still are in awe of the Easter miracle… and our minds are comforted by the resurrection message. We remember that this is the week when Jesus showed Himself to the disciples in the Upper Room. He returned to let Thomas touch His nail scarred hands and his pierced side. (I bet Jesus’ hands hurt more than mine does right now!)

He talked with His followers who were on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), and was seen by hundreds before His ascension. Jesus’ words are a comfort to us all! Listen to them in song:

Bee Comforted!
Let not your heart be troubled.


In yesterday’s Mornings with Jesus
Dianne Neal Matthews wrote,
“Remember how Christ felt concern
for His disciples’ well-being
and sought to comfort them…
He paid a high price
so I can know supernatural peace
in all circumstances…
His soul was troubled
so mine doesn’t have to be,
regardless of what I face.”

I am thankful it was:

  • my left hand, not my dominant one
  • my finger, not my head that broke
  • early on in Hope’s pregnancy not the last trimester – and she’s OK
  • God’s concern for mankind that sent His Son to earth
  • His sacrifice that assures me of eternal life
  • your words of encouragement that comforted me

Thank you!!

Oh, and this is the day that my youngest granddaughter, Faith, who lives in CA with her husband and a new little girl, Mable, is celebrating her 26th birthday! Happy Birthday, Faith!! That’s another reason to be thankful, right?

Happy Birthday, Faith!!

Have a blessed weekend,
my friends. I send my love.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Thanks for visiting JanBeek

What’s Good About Good Friday?


That was the question we explored at tonight’s Good Friday service:
What’s Good About Good Friday?

Yesterday in my post titled, “Last Words,”
I promised I’d tell you about our Good Friday service.
I told you our pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds,
had selected passages from scripture
that recorded Jesus’ last words.

I shared a few of Jesus’ last words spoken that
last Friday … words that were memorable to me:

  1. Mark 14: 24-25 = Last supper – blood of the covenant poured out for you
  2. Mark 14:27-31 = Prediction of Peter’s denial
  3. Mark 14:35-36 = Take this cup from me…
  4. Mark 14:42-43 = Are you still sleeping? … the betrayer is coming
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

But those quotes were from Jesus’ last conversations with His disciples
before He was arrested… before He was hung on the cross.

Tonight’s “Last Words” were from the cross:

  1. Luke 23: 33-34 = “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
  2. Luke 23: 39-43 = “Truly I tell you, you will be with me…”
  3. John 19: 25-27 = “Woman, here is your son…”
  4. Matthew 27: 45-49 = “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  5. John 28: 28-29 = “I am thirsty”
  6. Luke 23: 44-46 = “Father, into Your hands…”
  7. John 19: 30 = “It is finished.”

The selection that was mine to read was #4. I practiced it a lot and still goofed up when I tried to read it orally because the scripture tells it in the language Jesus spoke: “Eloi! Eloi! Lama sabachthani!” I can say it just fine sitting here at my computer – but in front of the congregation? Put on the spot? I faked it! I hope most didn’t notice. I’m sure Jesus forgives me!

Each of us who read was invited to create and share a reflection and a prayer related to our selection.
Here is what I said: “Like Jesus, there are times in our lives when we are in great suffering or turmoil, and we feel God has forsaken us. The Good News is He never has and He never will.”

That’s what’s Good about Good Friday!

Jesus took away our sin. He died for us. Because of His life, death, and resurrection, we can dare to approach God knowing He will never forsake us. Never!

My prayer was this:

“O God, You are our hope and our salvation.
Your Son is our gift, our gateway, our guide.
We thank You for His sacrifice for our sake
that we might be assured of Life Eternal
with You in Heaven.

Thank You for never forsaking us
when we enter Your presence in faith.
We give You our hearts and gratitude.
Amen.”


Tomorrow is “Silent Saturday.”
I will not blog.

I’ll be busy Easter Sunday
with sunrise service and church
and guests here for dinner.
(Hopefully my granddaughter, Hope,
and her hubby and two children,
Xander & Sienna,
will be among the guests)

I bet you will be busy
doing meaningful things
this weekend also.
Happy Easter!

See ya Monday (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Donkey Sunday


I met this donkey in England
while visiting Jackie & Derrick Knight!

Sermon Notes

Our message at church today was an interesting one.
Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds shared a story about a
clerical friend of hers who renamed Palm Sunday
“Donkey Sunday” because the palm leaves show up
in only some of the Gospels, but the donkey is in all four!

Power in Love

Royalty who rode donkeys
were considered a disgrace.
But the throng didn’t mind
How Jesus entered the place.

Power is a social contract.
It’s a constructed idea for us.
However it is not a given –
Except in the case of Jesus.

Christ Power is a given.
In the beginning was Light,
And the Light was God who
Came from darkness into sight.

Jesus Christ came from Light.
Through God all things were created.
Jesus was not just made…
He always was. And I’m elated!

Because He came, I know
That He will come again.
He has the power to save us all.
His power can save us from our sin.

Think about the presence
Of power in our lives.
When do you exercise it?
Control it, friends, ’til Christ arrives!

He entered Jerusalem on a donkey

The donkey is a symbol of humility.
The King of Kings came not to reign
Over the rulers of this earthly kingdom.
He came in love to display His own domain.

His kingdom is not on earth.
Instead, it is in eternity…
The place He has reserved
For believers like you and me.

Today might be called “Donkey Sunday.”
It is the day Christ rode to town
On the back of this lowly animal.
Praise God, His Son came down!


Power was His –
But He exchanged it
For humility and love
And expressed it with compassion.

Happy Donkey Week, my friends.
May the Power of the Holy Spirit
Be expressed in you
Through Love and Humility.

Our pastor,
Mary Grace Reynolds,
with me.

Thanks for your message, Rev. Reynolds.
I pray my sermon notes did it justice.

Have blessed Holy Week, my friends.
Love,
JanBeek

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Equipped!


Photo by sergio omassi on Pexels.com

Ephesians 2:10 (a & b)

“For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them.”

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

As often happens to me,
I read the first devotional
this morning in Daily Guideposts,
and I was inspired to choose
the word for my blog today.
EQUIPPED!

Then when I opened
the next devotional,
“All God’s Creatures,”
the March/April
Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers,
and the word “equipped”
showed up twice on that page.

What are the chances, you ask?
Pretty good batting average, I’d say.
There it was again:

Ephesians 2:10 (a)

“For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus
for good works.”

The story in “All God’s Creatures” was about a woodpecker who was “beautifully equipped for his unique purpose in life…” as he aggravated the writer with his incessant tapping on the tree trunk outside his window.

The writer, Terry Clifton, mused that he, too, is “a result of God’s handiwork – equipped with talents and skills that have meaning and purpose for [his] life.”

What has God equipped you with?
What unique gifts and talents do you possess
that allow you to let God’s workmanship
shine through you to fulfill His purpose in your life?

On the Daily Guideposts’ page for today
Jerusha Agen wrote,
“All I have to do is walk with God
through each day,
confident He will provide
all I need to accomplish His work.”

Heart made of sand

It all sounds so theoretical, doesn’t it?
About as solid as that sand in the hand.
But, what scripture is telling us
is that our hearts are not made to be solid.

We are not expected to look at tasks
from our earthly perspective.
Tasks are formed for us beforehand
by our Maker in Heaven.

Don’t eliminate the second part
of the Ephesians 2:10 scripture:
“…which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them.”

Photo by Werlley Meira on Pexels.com

Like a skilled woodworker
Who sees the image inside the log,
God chiseled our lives and purposes
Before the world saw us.

The tasks placed before us
Are designed with us in mind.
Look at them with Jesus glasses
And see their infinite possibilities.

Do not be overwhelmed
by the world’s naysayers.
Walk with God through each day
Confident you are equipped.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

He’s gotcha in the palm of His hand.
He directs your path – and hears you.
He sees your needs and equips you.
Rely on Him – and step out in faith!

What tasks are you equipped to accomplish today?
“If you see someone falling behind, walk beside them.”

Let love pour from your heart
like sand from your hand.

I’m off for a walk in faith.
Join TazE & me?


See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love to you,
JanBeek

Let’s Radiate Peace


In a world of hate and divisiveness,
Let us radiate only peace.
Let’s just love one another
And help unity increase.

Let’s share the words of St. Francis.
They were put as lyrics in a song –
Shared beautifully by Sebastian Temple.
Come, my friends, let’s sing along.

Make me a channel of Your peace;
Help me apply these principles each day.
Help me be loving and understanding.
Let me share compassion, I pray.

There are many musical versions of the Prayer of St. Francis. The tune above is the most well known. However, I discovered a version by Ryan Cayabyab that speaks to my soul in a whole different way. Recorded in the midst of the Pandemic, with each musician in his/her own place, this rendition is quite powerful. Take few minutes to listen! You’ll be glad you did.

Yes, Lord. make me an instrument of Your peace.

In a world of trouble and strife,
Let us radiate peace to all we meet.
Let us remember we all are
Children of God… Let’s not compete.

Don’t compete to be better than –
Looking down on your fellow man.
Only in the Olympics and competitive sports
Is such a mindset an acceptable plan.

In daily life we need to be
Willing to admit our equality.
As Christ lived and died to teach us,
We come from the same genealogy.

From dust we were created –
By our Father in Heaven we came.
Look inside our veins, our hearts –
Sow peace, my friends. We’re all the same!

Thank you, my WP friends, for all your good wishes yesterday for Bob’s and my 60th anniversary. It was a day filled with love, friends, good food, memorable messages, cards, gifts, and beautiful flowers. We are blessed indeed. Thank you!

Peace be with you!


Have a peace-filled, love-filled, joyous weekend.
Radiate PEACE!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Christ’s Presence


Angels in the room
Praying with Jesus and me
Embrace Christ’s presence

My sanctuary
Is a sacred, divine place
Jesus lives up here

Surrounding angels
Fervently with Christ and me
Pray daily to God

God knows every need
Even before it’s spoken
Bow in prayer with me

“Christ, my loving Lord,
Thank you for Your sure presence
Bringing daily peace.

Thanks for hearing me
When I’m calling out Your name.
Thanks for answered prayers.”

Bruises nearly gone –
Lump diminishing daily –
Families back in homes.

Neighbors reaching out,
Keeping loneliness at bay.
Sunshine on this day.

Blogging friends respond
With words of comfort and joy.
My heart overflows.

Thank you, my dear friends –
You are here to lend a hand
With words of kindness.

Embrace Christ’s Presence
In your life as well as mine.
We are blessed indeed!!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Veterans & The Trinity


Today in the USA it is Veteran’s Day.
(Oooops! Nope, it’s Memorial Day!)
World-wide it is Holy Trinity Sunday.

Veteran’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor
the men and women who are or have served
our country in the military. It is a day to
thank God for four freedom and to remember
the men and women who fought to keep us free.
(It is Nov. 11th. I get it mixed up with today…
the last Monday in May:
A day to honor those who DIED
while serving our country.)

My day started in my sanctuary as it usually does –
A place where I feel the Holy Spirit alive and well.
There, I pray to God, learn from His Son’s life,
And listen to the Spirit guiding me.

Downstairs, I joined Bob who was busy fixing fruit
For our breakfast. It was a beautiful blue sky day.


After breakfast, we went to church where I was a greeter
And Bob read scripture. As usual, I took sermon notes.

Chuck Wright delivered the message:
“Holy Trinity.”

Here are the notes I took as I listened:

Inspired by: Romans 5:1-11

We have been justified by faith.
We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
We rejoice in suffering, for it brings perseverance.
We were powerless until Christ came to this sod.

We received reconciliation throgh the cross.
The Holy Trinity, the Godhead, is God, Son, Holy SPirit.
The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible, but
The separate parts are there. With ears, hear it!

Jesus existed at the beginning of time.
He came to earth for the purpose of saving us.
When He ascended back to His Heavenly home,
He put the Holy Spirit in our hearts, engraving us.

We are marked by the blood of Jesus.
We remember His blood and body in communion.
We celebrate the spiritual world of God,
Knowing His Trinity is present in our world – in union.

In union, the Father, Son, and Spirit are one.
Understanding that is beyond our comprehension.
So we read His Word. study His Son’s life,
And listen for His Spirit in us. Pay attention!

God is love. Love is from God. We’re gifted with it.
God sent His Son to the world to show us how to love.
Christ died for us that we might live forever
In Heaven with God – our Eternal Home above.

Back home, the focus was on Veteran’s (nope… Memorial Day) weekend.
Tomorrow (now it’s today) we will go to the Ennis Cemetery for a special service.
Then we will attend a Memorial Day Barbecue at the rodeo grounds.
It started out as a meal for veterans and their families only…
but then it grew exponentially until it’s “Ya’all Come!”
They anticipate there could be as many as 500 diners.
I’m praying for the dear guys who are preparing the food.
God bless ’em! I hope they survive it!
Tonight I watched a Memorial Day Concert…
My favorite was the playing of TAPS.
It was beautiful!

If you are in the USA, what will you do to celebrate Memorial Day?


If you are in another country, do you have a day comparable to this one – when you honor those people who served and died while in the military (in the act of service to preserve your country’s freedom?) How do you thank those who serve your country in this way?

And how about the Trinity? Is it a part of your understanding?

I am grateful for your visit here today.
Thanks for reading JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Purpose


What is your purpose?
Has anyone asked you that question recently?
Have you asked it of yourself?

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Another way to ask the question is:
What is my life’s goal?

When I asked my husband Bob, yesterday
He responded,
“To give God credit for everything.”

We talked about the difference between
Internal and external purposes.

Internally we live a life filed with gratitude to God.

Externally, how do we show or express it?

Bob responded,
“Accept your lot without complaints”
and
“Be His hands and feet –
Extending His Kingdom on Earth.”

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

Like these mountains,
Life and purpose have so many layers.

What is God’s purpose for me?

This is the prayer I pray
each morning before I leave
my sanctuary to begin my day in the world:

“Dear Lord,

Guide my feet in Your Way today.
Help me meet who You want me to meet.
Tell me what You want me to say,
And keep me out of Your way!

Help me be who You made me to be.
And teach me to be still
So I can know what You want me to do.
Help me walk in You Will.”

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Romans 8:28

“And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to His purpose.”

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

In today’s These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,
the message resonated with me as I contemplate my purpose:

“I pray and ask God to give me the words I need.
The time to share is now so that everyone will know
the Love of God.

By speaking and writing about God’s love and glory,
we are passing this knowledge on to future generations.

Whether singing worship music,
reading devotionals aloud,
or writing about God,
I am given opportunities to
help the whole world
know and develop
a closer relationship with God.”

That’s my purpose!
Share the love, joy and peace
that are mine through Christ.


I want everyone to feel it!!

Father, please give me the words
to share so everyone will know you.

I LOVE this series of pencil drawings of Jesus with the children!

In my Mornings with Jesus devotional today,
the message fit this topic perfectly.
Cynthia Ruchti, wrote

“A recent project at our house has tested our mettle as a couple…”

She went on to explain how their old 1913 house is crooked.
Trying to “install straight, factory-squared windows into an opening
that is anything but perfectly square has been cause for…
discussion.”

“What a telling picture of the reasons Jesus was so adamant
that … the foundational layer of our souls
has to be built plumb and true,
more meticulously than anything that will come after.”

“Jesus said that JOY is foundational to our lives as Christ followers.
If joy is solid, anchored well, and secure because of our trust in His promises,
anything else we build on top of that will have much greater chance
of aligning with His purpose for us.

We won’t be ‘half a bubble off’ if His joy bubbles inside us.”


Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

I aim to be inspired by
His Word,
His Life,
His Love,

His Gift of Grace,
and His Purpose
for my life.


(That’s the internal purpose)

Externally,
my purpose is to share that
love, joy, peace, faith and unity
that are mine…
with the hope that you
are inspired to share it, too!

Keep looking up!

Is anything in your house noticeably crooked?
When you pass that spot, don’t straighten it!
Look up!

Use it as a reminder of the importance
of building your life of faith on Jesus
and the meaning of the cross.
Jesus is plumb and true, and
by His death on the cross,
you are, too!!

What is your purpose?
What inspires you to live according to your purpose?


Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

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