Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Christ’

Be Kind – Be Right


Happy Sunday to you, my friends.
What are your plans for today?
Whatever you do,
wherever you go
(even if you stay home),
you will have an opportunity
to be kind
(even if only to yourself).

Choose kindness.
Be right!

Multi-Language Service

If you have followed my blog for a week or more, you know I attend church on Sundays and as I hear the message, I take notes – usually in poetry.

Today we attended the First Presbyterian Church in Redlands, CA. It is a beautiful church in the heart of the city with a mission statement: “Living in the Heart and Mind of Christ at the Heart of the City.” The service was conducted with five languages spoken alternately while the English translations were printed in the bulletin.

It was WONDERFUL to hear the melodic and unusual tongues of Urdu, Indonesian, Banyan, and Chichewa spoken – as well as the familiarity of English.

The pastor, Cheryl Raine, spoke on the topic, “The Mind of Christ.” The scripture on which the sermon was based, Philippians 2:5-8 was read orally in a language I had never heard of before. English-only folks like me read it in English in the bulletin while we listened with fascination to Wilson Kayange whose native language is Chichewa.

Sermon Notes

Morning has broken… like the first day –
Blackbird has spoken … here’s what he’ll say:
Look for the sunrise… it’s the new year –
Praise for the morning… filled with good cheer.

We are God’s people … we live in His love.
We are Christ’s people… we need a good shove!
We try not to stagnate … living in our own will.
We empty ourselves … and try to let Jesus refill.

Leaning on our own mindfulness… we stumble and fall.
We’re two days out from Epiphany … listen for His call.
He asks for patience and grace … decisions slow made.
He tells us to avoid selfishness… my renewal was paid.

Paid by our Lord … with His blood on the cross.
We’re asked to set aside self-interest … at Jesus’ cost.
Self-empty to love and serve others … As an offering, place
our lives before God… Pray daily for His extravagant grace.

Transform my mind … make it more like Christ’s mind.
Give me obedience … and cause me to be kind.
Give me extraordinary focus … on the way I can link
my mind to others’ needs … Let Your love escape with every blink!

The essence of His love… is lodged in me and grows
with each day I live and breathe … and God knows
I am choosing self-emptying … instead of selfishness.
God help me to live in Your will each day … in selflessness.

Amen

Following the sermon, there were more prayers and affirmations in the various languages before we sang one of the closing hymns… a favorite of mine: “Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord.”

Our unison prayer,
following the offering of our gifts,
affirmed the sermon message
and the inspiration of the hymn’s words:

“Holy God, thank you for reminding us
that we are to have the same mind as Christ Jesus,
for Christ willingly emptied himself for the sake of others.
In humility, we gathered these first gifts
of the new year for your ministries
through this beloved faith community.
Help us to be ever faithful
to your word and your ways
as we seek to glorify you with our very lives.
Amen.”

As I left the service and digested the messages of kindness, self-emptying, love, and selflessness … the importance of adopting “The Mind of Christ,” I found this meme. The “listening and loving” and the “be at peace with herself” resonated with me. The “healthy boundaries” are important as we seek to live with “the mind of Christ” in a spirit of joy – the spirit Christ personified.

Happiness in Kindness

As I sang,
“Teach us to know the Truth that sets us free”
and “Use us to make the earth like Heaven above,”
and “… yield ourselves to Thee, time, talents, all,”
I realized that when I yield to God’s will,
spread love and peace
using my time and talents,
and wear laughter and curiosity,
spreading kindness,
I am not only making myself happier,
but I am spreading happiness to those around me.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Choose kindness.
Be right!


What will you do today to
spread happiness to those around you?

See ya tomorrow

Friday Morning


It’s Friday after Christmas –
The tree is standing there
With lights and ornaments sparkling
But underneath, it’s bare.

Presents all were given
To our loved ones with a smile,
But now the family’s leaving –
Traveling off many a mile.

We created quite a ruckus
As we laughed and reminisced.
Sisters and their families far away
Were in our hearts, but missed.

A dozen of the Beekman/Payne Family

It’s a quiet Friday morning –
The family is mostly gone.
I sit alone with my memories
In this beautiful early dawn.

What memories of Christmas
Float in your heart this day?
I hope they all are happy ones –
As loved ones are safely on their way.

Grandson, Sam, beat me by two points in ping pong. But, I gave it a good fight… 23 to 25!
I enjoyed helping Monika prepare our Christmas salad and asparagus.
I hold happy memories of Jordan being the attentive daddy…
Ty & Monika’s dog (more like a horse), Nakota, loved his present!
Sharing OUR treats was okay, but don’t try to take HIS bone away!
My favorite part of Christmas

It’s not the Christmas presents
Given from under the tree;
It’s the present of love’s presence
That means the most to me.

God gave us His Son on Christmas morn.
We celebrate the JOY of Jesus’ birth.
Celebrate the gift of LOVE He gives to us
With our friends and family here on earth.

Merry Christmas weekend to you, my friends.
May Christmas live on in your heart.
May you always remember His gift of grace –
And pass that love and peace along – do your part!

Happy Friday. from Bob & Jan.
What is your favorite Christmas memory?

Sending love and hugs…
See ya tomorrow.

Family, Food, and Fun


Christ First at Christmas
Family, Food and Fellowship
Fun Around the Tree

Christ first
Tree ready for family gathering
Generations working cooperatively to make the Christmas dinner – aged tradition: spaetzle!
Mmmm… chicken, spaetzle, asparagus and salad …. yummy!
Our granddaughter, Faith, made that spaetzle batter from an old family recipe.
Family in Switzerland celebrated Christmas, too. Thank God for internet communication! There’s Andre’ with one of his gifts; and Mike with Tania (his sweet girlfriend) in the background.
California family sent video cheers from their Christmas gathering.
Bob and I feel so blessed with loving family and good health. Thank You, God!
Our daughter-in-law, Monika, was the perfect hostess.
And our son, Ty, the perfect host!
Ruthie & Darrell, Monika’s parents, are such a blessing to have around. Are you blessed with loving, compatible in-laws, too??
Our daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland, is blessed with the most angelic mother-in-law in the world! Here is De with her husband, Andre’, his sweet mom, Denise, and our middle grandson, Nicky. We appreiated keeping in touch this Christmas day.
Grandma Monika had the perfect nest for her granddaughter, Cosette, who returned to spend Christmas afternoon and eve with us.
Faith enjoyed the talking book we gave her. It was created with her and her siblings’ voices 20 years ago as a birthday gift for her great-grandma. Time to pass it along to the next generation and let Faith enjoy her own 4-year-old voice.
Faith’s husband, Kyle, got a kick out of hearing Faith’s sweet 4-year-old voice, too.
End of a long day- Cosette said, “Time to sleep!”
Grampy Bob said, “You’re right, Cosette. Good night!”

I hope you had a Christmas filled with Family, food, and fun, too. I pray your memories are as sweet as mine. Merry Christmas, my friends. May the spirit of the holidays live in your heart and bring you joy – all year long!

Have a great day after.
See ya tomorrow.

Image

Merry CHRISTmas!


Sunday before Christmas


Time for kids and joy
It’s Sunday before Christmas
Church and friends and love

The sanctuary
Is ready for the people
The Son waits with us

Fifth Advent candle
Waits with us for Christmas Day
Hope, love, joy, and peace

All are brightly lit
But not the center candle
It represents Christ

Flowers decorate
The stairs to the church’s front
Poinsettias tell all

Kathy and Jaime
Beautifully play the songs
That ring in Christmas

Ruby, Cassidy and Cord

The smiles of children
Remind is of the Christ Child
Whose birth we await

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon was told by Elaine Hundley, in her husband Rev. Steve Hundley’s absence. The sermon focused on Joseph, the baby Jesus’ earthly father.

We pray for Steve as he sits at his dying mother’s bedside way over on the other side of the USA. We pray for Elaine who is experiencing her first Christmas apart from Steve in 42 years! She remained here to carry on Steve’s ministry in our church. God bless her!

I listened carefully to capture the message as Elaine delivered a sermon Steve had written some years ago. To understand the introduction, you need to know that Steve and Elaine are adoptive parents.

Here are my poetic renderings:

“Feeling Good About Christmas”

The adoption agency checked us out.
They made sure we were okay.
I wonder what God did to check out
Mary and Joseph to parent Jesus His way.

Joseph was a righteous man who
Believed the angel Gabriel who told:
“The baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit.”
So Joseph didn’t desert her – nor scold.

He took her to be his wife,
And ignored what might have been said
By the town folks as they gossiped.
He knew she was pure and had not “gone to bed.”

Joseph was a good man, a believer,
Who read and understood God’s grace.
He saw through the Holy Spirit’s lenses,
And was able to accept this Holy Child
from God’s Holy place.

May we, too, know the Christ Child
as God’s gift to us.
Amen!

Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent.
May the peace of Christ permeate your heart
and give you a peace-filled week.

Photo by Alexandro David on Pexels.com

Have a good Sunday night.
See ya tomorrow.

The Smallest Things


Winnie the Pooh said,
“Sometimes the smallest things
take up the most room in your heart.”

Photo by Inna Lesyk on Pexels.com

Yesterday at church, the smallest people there took up the largest place in my heart… and the hearts of the congregants. I didn’t have my camera with me to show you a picture of the “Terrific Tuesday” children who sang Christmas carols to the congregation and recited a memorized Bible verse into the microphone. But, you just have to imagine these three darlings along with five others ranging in age from 4 to 10 – – – singing and reciting praises to our Lord. It was glorious!

These are our darling Sunday School children
with the food they gathered to share
at the Food Bank in November

Ruby, Cord, and Hailey were joined by five others yesterday as they sang, “Father Abraham,” and “Silent Night,” and synced hand motions to “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”… Oh my! Every face in the church was bursting with God’s JOY as we watched these darling little ones.

The Klein family lit the Advent candles:
Week One – Hope
Week Two – Peace
Week Three – Joy

Elaine Hundley, our Pastor Steve’s wife, delivered the sermon. Steve is off in Virginia at his mom’s side as she lies dying. As we pray for Steve and his mom, Faye, our congregation also is mourning the death of Reverend Jean Johnson, who died after a difficult surgery and related difficulties. She had been the pastor here in the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church for 32 years.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I take notes in poetry as I listen and internalize the sermon. Elaine called her sermon, “Second Chances” as she talked about Zechariah’s muteness due to unbelief – and the second chance he received after acknowledging his baby boy’s name is John. In my notes, I focused more on the message to Mary – and her response to Gabriel and to God. Here is what I wrote as I discerned the message yesterday. I called it Believe and Trust:

Based on Luke 1:26-56

Think about Gabriel’s messages
To Zechariah and to Mary.
He told each their child’s name
And spoke as if a voice from a fairy.

Zechariah was a priest and he
Should have believed the voice.
But he doubted – and became mute.
Like Zechariah, we have a choice.

We can believe as Mary did,
Or doubt as Zechariah chose to do.
The result of Mary’s faith
Was rich in blessings. So it is with you.

When God speaks to us, we know
Blessings are ours – if we trust.
Through faith, we are free to rejoice;
We are free to believe – We must!

Mary’s song speaks as if God
Already has done what He said.
She praises the gift of His Son.
She didn’t look on her fate with dread.

Sometimes, like Mary, we face unknowns.
Like her, we are called to accept
The challenges God gives us as gifts.
Know God’s in charge, so have no regrets.

Christmas is a season in which, as we light the Advent candle – there is a new focus each week. We await the birth of the Christ Child with a focus on JOY this week. I pray you find JOY in this day – and project nothing but HOPE, PEACE and JOY to all you meet.

As Pooh said, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” What’s taking up room in your heart today?

Look for the smallest ways to believe, trust, and spread the Good News! Wheeee!! Take JOY into your heart! (It’s no small thing.)

Photo by Kevin Bidwell on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I hope it brought you JOY today.
See ya later.

What Were/Are You Expecting?


Happy Second Sunday of Advent, my friends!
It’s the Sunday devoted to the subject of JOY.

Last year at this time, as I looked forward to Christmas and New Years, I was thinking about what to give for presents. I also gave thought to what I was wishing for… what I was expecting for Christmas and for the year to come. I posted this wish for 2019:

Did I expect my wishes to come true?
You bet!

Joyfully, I can report that we have been blessed with good health and a wealth of friends and loving family, and blissful days. Not EVERY day was perfect, of course, – we all face challenges from time to time – but I am eternally thankful – daily for the JOY and peace and the love that are mine.

And now we are back in that holiday season again – looking forward to Christmas and the new year. As a congregation of worshipers, we all were drawn into that expectant mood today.

Here are my sermon notes. (If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I take notes poetically as I listen to the sermon each Sunday.)

Today in church, Pastor Steve Hundley’s message was titled,
“What Are You Expecting?”

What are you expecting for Christmas?
Reindeer on your rooftop or Santa Claus
Coming down your chimney?
Better reset your sights because…

Clyde came dressed up as Santa.
He was a crusty old guy,
And he looked like Ghandi.
But the problem was, he was high.

Clyde was high on Moonshine.
He was a jolly old soul,
But I was not impressed.
Clyde was far from my expected goal.

I was expecting the real Santa,
And I knew Clyde wasn’t he.
Like expectations of Santa,
The world is waiting expectantly…

For the birth of a Savior King,
And instead here comes a baby,
Born in a lowly stable.
He’s not the King He’s s’posed to be!

John the Baptist predeicted
The coming of this Royal King.
He spoke of confession and judgement.
He told the world about everything…

God’s prophets of old had proclaimed,
“A Savior of Priestly stock would come.”
John was so convincing, folks thought
He might in fact be God’s promised Son.

But John assured them Jesus was
The Savior King they’d waited for.
Even though Jesus was loving and kind,
Not the Leader with sword. They wanted more…

More of what they had expected.
“Are you really the One?” they inquired.
“Don’t look elsewhere; just see what I’ve done –
Go,” Jesus said. “Go and be inspired.”

Jesus reminded them that He was
Indeed doing what Isaiah said:
“The blind will see; the deaf shall hear;
The lame will walk. Believe I AM Christ.
GOD IS NOT DEAD!”

This quote by Dale Evans is worth repeating!

Have a Wonderful Sunday!
I hope you are expecting the Risen Christ!
He’s coming again, you know.

Merry Christmas!
See ya tomorrow.

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