Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

TOPS – Take Off Pounds Sensibly


Most Valuable Player =
Motivate
Validate
Praise
That’s ME
(and all my TOPS friends!)

What is TOPS?

TOPS is a national organization designed to help folks like me Take Off Pounds Sensibly and keep those pounds off. It is not a diet program, but a supportive organization that focuses on Mind Over Platter. Sensible meal choices, portion control, and self-control are three of the ways TOPS encourages reaching and keeping healthy weight goals.

Why Join?

I joined TOPS in 2012 shortly after Bob & I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. I saw myself in those anniversary photos and said, “Who’s that???” I had gained 20 pounds in about twenty years – a pound a year. It just crept up so slowly that I didn’t notice how out-of-shape I was! See those chubby cheeks? I needed help to get back to my goal weight.

Feb. 11, 2012

Accountability

Today I am back down those 20 pounds and am encouraged each week when I go to my TOPS meeting to keep the pounds off. I have to face the scale and tell my TOPS friends (most of whom are KOPS – Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) whether I gained, lost, or “turtled” this week. (Turtling is staying the same.) That accountability is important to me.

Today’s meeting was our annual Christmas party.
My friend, Devonna, came dressed as Santa!
Molly and Jeannie are the leaders of our group. They have been KOPS for over ten years. A real inspiration… real MVPs!!
Our party included fruit, juice, coffee, and healthy low-cal muffins.
We have food at our meeting only a couple of times a year.
Each person brought a gift (under $5 value) and we each picked one. Such fun!

I was the happy TOPS “Best Loser” today.
Every 1/4 lb. counts. I lost 1/2 lb. (Yay!!)
It’s so easy to put the pounds on this time of year.
I think of my TOPS friends and that scale
every time I put a piece of candy
or a Christmas cookie in my mouth.
I am not asked to deny myself…
Just be smart about how much
and when I eat those sweets!

Is Weight Watching Part of Your Routine?

If, like me, you have to watch what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat – or you are prone to gain unwanted pounds, you might also look into seeing if there is a group like TOPS in your vicinity. The dues are only $5 per month. There are no foods you have to buy. No extra costs. Just a wonderful group of supportive friends. I am so grateful to my TOPS friends.

I encourage you to seek friends who are MVPs for you, too.
Motivators
Validators
Positive friends who Praise and encourage you.

Happy Holidays!

Have a Wonderful Week!
See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek

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.

St. Nick Around the World


Santa ’round the world
Jolly Old St. Nicholas
Known by many names

In America, he is Santa Claus

In Pennsylvania
St. Nicholas was displayed
In his many forms

Santa Claus is also
St. Nicholas,
in the USA.
We have a song:
“Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,
lean your ear this way
Don’t you tell a single soul
What I’m going to say…”

Each depiction of Santa
in the Pittsburgh Santa Town display
showed a painting and a description
… and a bigger than life-sized model
of whoever St. Nick is in that country.
Here’s Netherlands.
Haiti
Isn’t she marvelous?
Middle East
Holy Man
Great Britain
Father Christmas – Spectacular!
Sorry ’bout the flash reflection!
St. Stephen- of Ireland
The beards were created by mops!!
Russia
Grandfather Frost – He was awesome!
Latin America
Viejo Pascero – Wonderfully colorful!
France
Pere Noel evidently always has a helper.
De says Pere Noel is really “Père Fouettard” –
Got that?
Italy (Can you read the descriptive words on the booklet page?)
Only a few of the “St. Nick” depictions were female
Norway
“Julesvenn” – gift bringer
Isn’t that beard magnificent?
China
Dun Che Lao Ren
Pittsburgh was decked out for Christmas.
It was before Thanksgiving!
The buildings declared the coming of the Christmas season.
We visited the Santa House…
…and had our picture taken with Santa Claus
Merry Christmas is coming!

Even if the display was “too early” in my estimation, if it had not been before Thanksgiving, we would not have been there to enjoy it and photograph it for you. I hope you enjoyed the display.

See ya tomorrow…
Gotta go continue writing my C’mas cards.

What are you up to today?
And which Santa- St. Nick – did you like best??

Christmas Time Fun


The season of Christmas is one of my favorites.
It’s a time to socialize with friends and to shop.
It’s a time to enjoy the great outdoors on the slopes.
It’s a time for cards and cookies and eat ’til you pop!

Last night we attended the annual Christmas party that the Madison Valley Medical Center sponsors for its staff and volunteers in the Auxiliary. Bob & I went with our dear neighbors, the Welnas.
Bob & Sue are the greatest neighbors ever!
The Inn was decked out and ready for us. Must have been 100 folks! All part of the Madison Valley Medical Center. We are blessed to have these facilities (hospital and steak house) in/near our little town of Ennis.
This lovely restaurant in McAllister is just 7 miles out of Ennis. They did a super job serving so many people!
This is Ruth, one of our most faithful, long-term auxiliary members. She really gets into the spirit of the season!
Each staff member or auxiliary lady was allowed to bring a guest. My friend, Leah, brought her daughter, Chris. They are such fun!
And now, it’s a lovely day at Big Sky… like I said, “time to enjoy the great outdoors on the slopes.” If you are a ski nut like my husband Bob is, this beautiful photo taken by my friend, Susan Phillips, will start ya salivating!
But I am going to sit by the fire, drink hot chocolate, and write Christmas cards this morning. This is the kind of picture that starts my juices flowing!

What are you up to?
What’s your favorite kind of fun this time of the year?
Have some “Christmas Time Fun”
and tell me all about it!

See ya later.

Come to Us


I have a dear friend in California who is sending inspirational scripture with music and devotionals each day during this season of Advent. Today she sent a link to a song that started my day with a smile.

I hope it makes you smile, too.

The song, composed in the minor key, is perfect for this season.
Do you know it? The choir and soloists are superb:

“Come to set us free, come to make us your own.
Come to show the way to your people, your chosen.
Open our lives to the light of your promise.
Come to our hearts with healing, come to our minds with power,
come to us and bring us your life.”

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

You can click on this link and hear it if you like:
http://catholichymn.blogspot.com/2015/11/come-to-set-us-free.html

For me, Advent is the season of Adventure – a season of reaching out to others in love while we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child each Christmas.

I know many of my readers are people of other faiths, and I respect your right to worship the One God in your chosen way. But, I hope you feel a sense of greater love, more generous giving, and the promised peace during this holiday time of the year. I hope the drama, the stress, and the conflict are minimized in your life… and you can find JOY in the hustle and bustle of the season.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Gracious God,
Be with my Word Press friends this season.
Bring them JOY and PEACE.
Help them live with compassion
and reach out in love.
In His name I pray,
Amen.

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.

Think of the Reason


Think of the reason
We love this Christmas season
The Main Character

Besides your thinking
Set aside some special time
To worship the Christ

Because, if not for
His birth and Resurrection
There’d be no Christmas

Thank You, Jesus!

I’m headed up to my sanctuary to start my day off right.
A little time with Him and His Word…
You’re in my prayers.

See ya later.

3 Things You Need


What do you think might be three things you need in life?

Freedom of expression is one of my needs.

You NEED food, air and water. But do you need to impress? Is recognition one of your needs? That’s linked to that need to impress.

I found this quote some time ago and saved it. Sorry I don’t know who said or wrote it:

“To thrive in life you need three bones.
A wishbone.
A backbone.
And a funny bone.”

Hah!

I saved the wish bone from our Thanksgiving turkey!
I’m waiting for the right person to share it with.

I’ve got the funny bone – carry it with me always.

Think I’ll borrow that backbone up there!
(Actually mine is pretty sturdy!)

How about you?

Do butterflies need a backbone?

It’s been a busy season in these six days of December so far. What have you been up to?

Today I invited a friend come to our house mid-day, and she helped me decorate our Christmas tree.. It looks great, don’t you agree?

Last night we helped my friend, Bernice, celebrate her 87th birthday. Take a look at her. Don’t you agree she could pass for 70?

This morning I baked cookies to donate to our Madison County Library. They gave them to people who came by the Library during this afternoon’s “Christmas Stroll” in Ennis.

After baking cookies, I met with our Madison County Writers’ Group – and we spent a delightful hour and a half together. We started with a “Free Write” on the topic we drew from a hat… My Favorite Season. We had 15 minutes to create an essay, poem, or some kind of reflection on the topic. This is what I wrote:

My Favorite Season

Seasons come and seasons go
There are winters, summers, falls and springs;
But the season that appeals most to me
Is the one that stays because of what it brings.

It brings my favorite music and stunning colors.
It brings loving generosity and untold joys.
It prompts people throughout the world
To open hearts with gifts for needy girls and boys.

The trees all sparkle with snow and lights.
The houses hang wreaths and let candles glow.
The bells ring out to announce the reason
For my favorite season: the birth of Christ, you know?

The season brings out the best in us.
It helps us open wide our arms in love
To show gratitude for the gift He promises
Eternal life with our God above.

Merry Christmas!

After Writers’ Group, I went home to do the Christmas tree decorating before going to meet with the “Ennis Ringers.” We had our picture on the front page of the local paper this week. Can you see me front and center back row?

The Madisonian, our local newspaper published a nice article about us this week. I am first in the picture below. My bells are the smallest ones (notes of F and G ring out when I am in the right spot in the music).

I would post a video so you can hear us, but for some reason, WordPress is not allowing me to include it here. I’ve posted videos in the past, so I don’t understand the glitch.

Oh well, maybe it will let me post the video tomorrow. As the news article indicates, the “Ennis Ringers” will play again this Sunday at our church.

Yesterday I had fun at our annual Madison Valley Woman’s Club Christmas luncheon. My buddy, Lucy Ennis can be seen here in red with one of our new members who is an activities director at our local nursing home.

The ladies from the nursing home really went all out with their Christmas costumes. There’s evidence of that “Funny Bone” we all need!

Below is one of my favorite people, Bev Claussen. Her reindeer antlers light up and blink!

Remember a second bone we all need is a “Back bone.” Our Woman’s Club Executive Board is the “back bone” of this very active group of ladies. They provided a delicious lunch for the more than 50 ladies who showed up for this event. (Remember, we are a community of only 1,000 residents in Ennis – so this is quite a lively organization!).

Besides the back bone and the funny bone, we need a wish bone, right? And we need food, air and shelter. Here you see the food; earlier you saw the butterfly that adorns the air we breathe. And in my home, with the tree decorated, you witnessed my beautiful “shelter.” What about the wish bone?

Before she blew out her candles. my friend, Bernice made a wish.

I don’t know what her wish was, but I know my wishes are for you:

May you always have
all the good food,
clean air,
and lovely shelter you need.
May you always have
a back bone,
a funny bone,
and a wish bone.
And
May the bells of joy
ring in your land
and bring you peace…

… now and forever.

Amen!
What are your wishes for me?

Thanks for visiting.
See ya tomorrow!

Christmas Joys


Some favorite joys
During this Christmas season
Are fun to reveal

Is pie one of your joys of the season?

Lemon meringue pie
Is a favorite of Bob’s
He made one today

Our entry table invites you

With trees and poinsettias
A joy of mine at Christmas
Is lights all aglow

Bells at Christmas time
Joyously ring the Good News
A Savior is born!

Our nephew, Zak Beekman’s gorgeous photography

Some people travel
And find Christmas joy on shores
Far from their own homes

I like being home and putting up the tree!

Remember tree lights
Are symbols of Jesus light
Shining LOVE brightly

Be sure YOU shine, too!

Christmas means haircuts
Angel necklaces and RED
My favorite color

Clouds with silver linings

Back home from shopping
The clouds with silver linings
Tell me, “Time to Rest.”

Time to think about
What the Christmas spirit means.
What’s your CHRISTMAS JOY?

Thank YOU for visiting JanBeek.
YOU give me JOY with your presence here.
Take time to rest – and have a joy-filled December.


Tell me what brings you joy this Christmas season.
See ya tomorrow.

Most Wonderful Time


Most Wonderful Time #Crosscards

Christmas is coming

Bell choirs are ringing round here

Most wonderful time

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