Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘corona virus’

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.

Laughter is Good Medicine


We all need to laugh
Laughter is good medicine
Brings good endorphins

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Laughter reduces pain, increases job performance, connects people emotionally, and improves the flow of oxygen to the heart and brain. Laughter, it’s said, is the best medicine.

Let Laughter Reign

I hope you laughed out loud at some of these. I did!
Did any of them shock you?
Did that make you laugh louder?

The Major Function of Laughter

Some researchers believe that the major function of laughter is to bring people together. While we are socially distancing (afterall, you may be thousands of miles from me), we CAN laugh together!

You may have been surprised that this usually prudent 80 year old blogger would post more than one meme with the word “asshole” in it. Right?

But did you laugh, or did you just breathe deeply and say, “Oh my!”?? Deep breaths are good for you, too, you know!!

Did you know that laughter reduces blood sugar levels? It is believed that laughter increasing glucose tolerance in diabetics and non-diabetics alike. It’s worth a little shock effect of naughty words, don’t you agree?

All the health benefits of laughter may simply result from the social support that laughter stimulates. Just loosen up and laugh, my friends. It’s good for you! It keeps us connected, even though we may be far away.

Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com

Have a happy day… laugh a lot … and spread your joy
Especially during these extraordinary times.

What meme or comment
have you seen or heard
that made you laugh out loud?

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.

Can You Handle It?


Coronavirus
A pandemic to handle
It’s too hot to touch

Can’t touch by Easter
Can’t grab ahold of it now
Has its own timing

But I’ll do my part
To try and stop its spreading
Handle what’s given

I’m given choices
I’m given rules to follow
I will be careful

God sends His angels
To watch over us each day
Bee safe and Bee Well

Follow the guidelines
Please take all the precautions
God bless you, my friends!

Have a beautiful day.
Sending my love.

Tell me how you are.
How ARE you handling this?

I Love You!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I hope it encourages you.

What Can You Do?


So I went outside
The sky was crispy and clear
I enjoyed the walk

Fun in the kitchen
Resulted in a fresh loaf
Baked in Switzerland

Gorgeous scene out our daughter’s window
in Sierre, Switzerland
This bread looks great, but turned out a little dry.
Too much flour, DeAna said.
Top one is the original try.
Bottom one is beer bread.
Turned out just right
DeAna just sent me the recipe for the Beer Bread –
and here are the directions:
Try it!

Let’s let the bread cool
While we take a healthy walk
The hills are alive

That’s our daughter DeAna
and our grandson, Nicky

There’s a lovely view
From high up in the Swiss Alps
Above Rhone Valley

Climbing a mountain
May not be in your sweet spot
How about cuddles?

Aussie Quokka
Doesn’t this sweetheart make you smile?

You can cuddle now
With beloved furry friend
Or with a sweet child

My daughter-in-love, Monika,
with my great-granddaughter, Cosette

If bread and cuddling
Are not your favorite things,
Try this healthy meal!

Not into cooking?
You can trim your dog’s toenails
Or play with your cat.

Not Bob’s favorite chore!
And TazE hates it!
Photo by Alena Koval on Pexels.com

What else can you do?
Try turning on some YouTube
And dancing a while.

If the weather’s great
Go out and knock on a door
Leave some of that bread!

Be sure after you knock on the door,
you run away and hide.
Social distancing, you know?
And besides, be a go-giver anonymously!

What to do today?
You have a lot of choices.
Which one do you choose?

Thanks for visiting.
I’m headed for a walk with TazE.
Bob’s finished with her toes.
See ya later!

Who's in Charge?


The Power of Love

For God did not give us
A spirit of cowardice,
But rather a spirit of power
and of love and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7


Do we have enough self-discipline
To take advantage of this time –
This time to just BE and just LOVE
And make the world a better place?

Ann Weems, in Putting the Amazing Back in Grace, wrote:
“Remember, you’re in charge of remembering
that God is in charge, and that’s a big job
that will last a lifetime.”

Just Love!

God’s got this!!
Have a peace-filled Sunday, my friends.

Oh, and in case you, like us, missed church today,
here is the sermon for today that our pastor,
Rev. Steve Hundley sent out via e-mail.

Find a comfortable chair, grab a cup o’ tea or coffee, and augment your Sunday with a worshipful, inspiring message:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE

Read Psalm 23

     Not long after becoming the pastor of three small churches in the mountains of Virginia, I was asked to give the Baccalaureate Address to the graduating class of Bath County High School.  It used to be, at least in the Bible Belt where I grew up, that local high schools have both a Baccalaureate and Graduation ceremony.  The Baccalaureate was held one evening, a day or two before the actual Graduation Commencement.  And it was tradition to invite a religious leader in the community to speak.  However, I’m not sure that the message I delivered was what the school administration, or even the students, had in mind.

     In most cases, the message given would be a positive one meant to motivate the students to go out and change the world, such as: “You are God’s ambassadors, the hope for a broken world!”  Or: If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”  Or, perhaps: “Shoot for the Moon, for even if you miss, you’ll find yourself among the stars!”  Most Baccalaureate, as well as, Commencement speakers would have them believe that they can be and do anything they set their minds to, (but with God’s help, of course).

     I, however, felt that it was my duty to inform them that they were nothing but a bunch of “harebrained” sheep.  I saw that!  You raised your eyebrows, didn’t you?  (Note from JanBeek, see the picture of sheep I put at the end of this sermon!)

Yet, that is what the Bible says.  Yes, as much as we would like to think of ourselves as having the heart of a lion, we share more in common with sheep.

      You see, like sheep, we tend to stray easily and lose our way.  I’ve have been told that if one sheep spooks and tears off in one direction, all the others will follow.  Imagine a bunch of sheep running up a hill.  Suddenly the one in front makes a sudden left turn, and all the others, with no questions asked, mindlessly follow.  If the one leading heads right off a cliff, tumbling to its death, all the others follow right off the cliff as well.  But, you say, “We’re not like that!”

     I heard recently about a young married couple.  The wife bought a country ham to cook for her husband’s family who were coming over for dinner.  Before putting it in a pot to bake it, she cut both ends off.  “Why did you do that,” her husband asked.  “I did it because that is the way my mother always did it,” she said.  Calling her mother on the phone, she asked: “Mom, why do we cut the ends off a ham before cooking it?”  “I don’t know.  I do it because it is the way my mother always did it.”  Calling up her grandmother, she asked, “Grandmother, why do we cut the ends off a ham before baking it?”  “I don’t know why you and your mother do it, but I always did it because it wouldn’t fit in my small baking pan.”

     Yes, if one sheep spooks and tears off, all the others will follow.  Still, you say, “We are smarter than that!”  (Try to find a roll of toilet paper, or a bottle of hand sanitizer these days.  Just saying.)

     Attending a Montana State University lecture not long ago, the speaker, a journalist professor, pointed out just how partisan our country has become.  He said that we have lost the will, and therefore, the ability to listen and dialogue with those who disagree with us.  “We only listen to those news networks that confirm what we believe to be true,” he said.  “We socialize with those who believe like us. In other words, we are like sheep who follow blindly our own flock.”  Oh, by the way, did you know that a flock of sheep are called a “MOB?”  Google it.

     Secondly, sheep not only tend to follow their “mob”, they are also fragile creatures.  Ken Davis, a comedian, tells of growing up on a sheep farm.  He said there was an old ram on their farm that loved to sneak up behind him and butt him when he wasn’t looking.  He hated that old ram.  One day he spotted the old bruiser coming around the back of the barn.  Determined to get back at that old ram, he looked around for something to hit him with.  With nothing in sight and ram rounding the corner, Ken jumped out and hollered: “BOO!”  It was all he could think to do. 

“Startled,” Ken said, “that old ram just keeled over AND DIED!” 

Later, his father confronted him, “Son, you hit that sheep, didn’t you?” 

“No dad, I said, BOO! and it just died!”

     A crack of thunder is all it takes to scare a sheep literally to death.  As much as we like to think of ourselves as indestructible, this present pandemic and the fact you are reading this sermon in your own home, shows just how fragile we are.  Our Lord Jesus said: “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father, who art in heaven…give us this day our daily bread…and, deliver us from evil’.”

     Yes, we are like sheep who are in need of a Shepherd.  We need help.  Going it alone, depending on our own wiles, spells certain disaster.  I remember one sheep herder/shepherd telling of turning his flock loose one night in the mountains to graze alone on their own.  He knew it was a risk, because sheep cannot defend themselves, much less outrun, even the slowest predators.  Sheep tend to go astray, grazing along without looking where they are going. 

    He did, however, leave them in the care of his trusty sheep dog.  Locating them the next morning, he discovered that they had wandered into a rather rugged mountain park.  Being the rather clumsy animals that they are, more than a few of them had managed to fall over while feeding on the uneven ground. He found sheep scattered around the meadow upside down on their backs unable to get up. He said: “I had to go around picking up sheep and placing them back on their feet.

     The Prophet Isaiah warns the Israelites of the danger of going it alone.  “See, the Lord’s arm is not too short to save … to pick you up when you have fallen.” (Isaiah 59:1)

     While I doubt that anyone was prepared for me to compare the graduating class of Bath County High School to a “flock”, or should I say “mob” of sheep…the foolish notion that the future of the world rested on their shoulders is categorically untrue!  The longer I live, the more I am convinced that what we need to make it in this world is not popularity and success, not financial wealth or even personal happiness.

    What we need is Christ, the Good Shepherd, to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves and instruct us in the proper order of our lives.  For, “The Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not want.  He makes us lie down in green pastures; he leads us beside still waters; it is our Shepherd who restores our souls, who leads us in right paths.  Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we fear not evil…”

     Notice how Psalm 23 reverses the order of how we tend to live our lives.  It is our tendency to approach life head on, burning ourselves out.  And then, turn back to God in search of rest and soul-restoration after a week of chasing the illusive American dream.  Yet, notice that this Psalm reverses the order.  First, there is the Shepherd who provides what we need most, rest and soul restoration.  Only then is it possible to find meaning and purpose in God’s emerging kingdom or face dark valleys. 

   This is the blessing Jesus wanted Martha to see when she was burning herself out by busying herself in the kitchen.  Jesus said to her: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part…” (Luke 10:41-42).

     Notice how the New Testament church began in Acts 2:46-47: “They followed a daily discipline of busying themselves with programs and activities, burning themselves out, so that people liked what they saw and everyday their numbers grew…”  ??? NO! NO! NO!

    It says: “They followed a daily discipline of worship in the temple, followed by meals together in their homes, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God.  People in general liked what they saw.  Everyday their numbers grew as God added those who were saved.”

   Yes, Genesis tells us that “God created the world and on the seventh day, and then He rested.”  That’s true, but WE ARE NOT GOD!  Christ died for our sins, our weaknesses, and on the first day of the week He arose from the dead!   So, we begin with rest, worship, and spiritual recreation before facing the challenges of daily living and serving our God.

   We are His sheep, who find our rest in the arms of the Good Shepherd, so that He might equip us for the facing of this hour even as we face this dark valley of the shadow of death.  For we are not alone, for God in Christ is with us.  Amen.

Hah! Sheep indeed…
But unique indeed, too.
Show your uniqueness today!!
  • Read Psalm 23 again.
  • In what new and unique way have you felt God’s comforting presence?

See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
and for hangin’ in there together.
Have a beautiful Sunday.
Together, in FAITH,
we shall overcome!!

Just remember,
we’re not in charge –
God is!!

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

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