Yesterday I posted my sermon notes on a blog titled, “We All are Good AND Bad.” Today’s devotional in my Daily Guideposts was a wonderful follow-up to that topic… and a terrific antidote!
God is my gizzard Sifts out indigestibles Keeps the nutrients
Owls have a gizzard Because they swallow things whole Sometimes we do, too!
In today’s Daily Guideposts 2020 devotional, Erin Janoso shared a story about her daughter finding an owl pellet. She wrote:
“Owls don’t have teeth, so they often swallow their food whole.Because of this, they end up eating things like feathers and fur that are indigestible – and some stuff like bones – that could puncture their tender digestive systems. Luckily for the owl, it has a gizzard that acts as a shield… sifting what is nourishing from what is not.”
We don’t have gizzards, But we often swallow things That are not healthy.
Social media, Garbage from some gossipers, And harmful untruths.
God is my gizzard. He sifts the good from the bad – Helps discriminate.
Erin Janoso continued in her devotional:
“… unlike the owl, whose body acts involuntarily, I can forget how desperately I need God’s help sorting what’s nourishing from what’s not. “I looked again at the gray mass lying on the table (the owl pellet). If an owl’s gizzard could put such an end to the things that would harm it, imagine what God could do for me, if ony I remembered to ask.”
Erin Janoso ended her devotional with this prayer:
“Lord, help me eject from my heart the things that are indigestible, things that harm me and separate me from You.”
“The Lord is my strength and my shield.”
Be wise, like the owl, and put on the armor of God. Let Him protect you from the indigestibles that come your way.
Yup, June was bustin’ out all over… and I’m glad it is behind us! My hernia is gone. I’m on the road to recovery. I appreciate all your prayers and good wishes.
The surgery that was scheduled for 12:45 yesterday ended up not happening until 4:30, so they kept me overnight. I was so glad they did! The nurses and assistants at Deaconess Hospital in Bozeman were so kind and efficient. I really needed that extra time of TLC before returning home… and Bob needed a good night’s sleep before driving that hour up and hour back to get me.
June’s Behind Us
Now that June is behind us – and I am on the way to healing, let’s pray that our world can put the last 4 or 5 months behind it, too… and we ALL can heal. Find a vaccine for COVID-19, learn to love one another unconditionally, appreciate our uniqueness, live each day with a prayer and a song, and put the One God back into the center of our being!
June was a Bust!
Yup, June was quite the month… June was not “a love song sweetly sung” as this Rogers and Hammerstein suggested. It was a BUST from my perspective! But I tried to keep my attitude positive anyway. Upbeat music like this was one way to do it. Another way to stay positive in the midst of turmoil was to be sure to go up to my sanctuary every morning, spend time reading my Bible and devotionals, and listen for God’s voice to tell me how best to spend each day.
Focus on the Positive
If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I read and am inspired by a book with spirit-lifting devotionals, Daily Guideposts, every day. Each day the devotional starts out with a scripture. Then one of about 50 writers is assigned to write a reflection on it and then end with a prayer. I meditate on the message and write a “Take Away” on the page. It’s a thought I carry with me that day. I record them at the end of each month’s pages where there are two pages with a blank line for each day.
Here are my June pages. Read the Take Aways and see one of the sources for my ability to remain positive in the midst of this pandemic, this social unrest, protests, riots, and my anticipated surgery. These are the thoughts I carried around each day:
Wherever you are, you have reasons to be grateful. Just look around you. You can see! Breathe deeply. You’re alive! Soak in the beauty. You can feel! Relax and sing. You have a voice! Grab a snack. You have food! Thank God.
Look Around You
I had the prettiest room in the hospital! A corner room with a view of the sunset last night and the sunrise this morning. No need to concentrate on the pain when I can concentrate on the view instead, right?
Bob came and got me at 10: this morning. I was grateful for my expedited release. There was a major storm predicted, and we had a one hour drive to get home. We were safely inside before the rain came down and the thunder clapped. And now, the sun is out again!
So, as this day comes to a close, I want to thank you again for your love and prayers. I will take it easy for a while and let Bob and our friends and neighbors pamper me. I hope you feel my love being returned to you. Thank you for being my friend here on WordPress. You mean a lot to me.
Have a great rest of your week. If you’re in the USA, you know this weekend is our Independence Day. We usually have parades and barbecues and family here to celebrate with us. Not this year. This has been a different year, hasn’t it?
Keep your spirits up. Maybe you can use one of those “Take Aways” each day to help you.
Thanks for visiting. See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
Please go to her post to read the story and become acquainted with Donna. Here is her poem:
TRIED YOUR BEST
At the end of my life
when I stand before the Lord,
I just want to hear Him say,
“You tried your best.”
“You may not have always succeeded
and yes, there were times
when you failed;
but you never let Me down for
you tried your best.”
“The gifts that I gave you,
you did try to use.
You may not have always used them,
indeed many times you did fail,
but it is okay
I love you,
You tried your best.”
“You listened for my voice.
You did your best to obey.
The words that I spoke,
they pierced your heart and you
tried your best
to let them change you those days.”
“You were not perfect,
I did not create you to be.
I knew that apple
would be picked off the tree.
I know you are not perfect,
that is okay with me.”
I provided my Son to take all that away.
All I ever wanted from you my dear child
is to know that you wanted to
try your best.”
“Tried your best
to do the right things,
tried your best
to be the best you could be.”
“In all your relationships, I never did frown,
I saw you my child, you were
trying your best.”
At the end of my life when I stand before the Lord,
more than all else, with such love in His eyes,
I want to hear Him say,
“MY child, you
TRIED YOUR BEST.”
Starts with Mind-Set
Part of trying to do and DOING your best is mind-set. It’s where all the effort begins… in your head and in your heart. If you’ve followed my blog very long at all, you know I begin each day in my “Angel Room.” It’s my favorite room in the house.
In my sanctuary, I pray, meditate, read devotionals and the Bible, and often write letters and cards to friends. Often the inspiration for my blog comes during my sanctuary time.
It Takes Divine Guidance
Before I leave my sanctuary each morning and walk down the spiral staircase, I ask for Divine Guidance, I pray,
“Lord, take me where you want me to go today. Help me meet who You want me to meet. Tell me what you want me to say. Help me be what You made me to be. Show me what You want me to do. Help me walk in Your Way.”
These days, with the COVID-19 restrictions in place, He doesn’t want me to GO very far from home. The people I meet are usually on ZOOM or MarcoPolo, FaceTime, FaceBook, or here on WordPress. But, I do ask for help with what to say here on my blog, elsewhere on the internet, in phone calls and messages, and on those cards I write.
God helps me live up to WHO He made me to be… and I try my best to follow His lead. That’s all we can do you know: DO OUR BEST!
There are so many great resources out there to help us on our daily walk. Guideposts is one of my go-to sources. I have been reading their Daily Guideposts for at least a decade.
Recently I received a complimentary copy of Strength & Grace, daily devotionals for caregivers. I was tempted to pass it along to a friend who is caring for her recuperating spouse, but then I read a page or two, and I decided it is very pertinent to all of us who are sequestered and taking care of ourselves – and whoever may be living in the house with us.
Today’s message, April 18th, was titled, “Caregiver Foolishness.” It might have just said, “Our Foolishness,” because we all are foolish at times! We all occasionally make “careless mistakes or unwise decisions.” The message went on to explain:
“Foolishness strikes when we are tired and vulnerable, making us feel even worse.” But don’t stop there, we are told, “The opposite of foolishness is wisdom – God’s specialty. We may be fools, but God is always there with us, ready to carry us when we blunder.”
Try Your Best and Believe
So, the good news is: God knows our hearts. God knows our sincere efforts. He shares His wisdom and strength with us.
As long as we rely on God, it’s okay to be foolish at times. After all, we’re mortal. He did not create us to be perfect! Just join the Guideposts prayer team and me:
“God of strength and wisdom, even in my most foolish moments, You are there. I thank You for Your wisdom when I try my best, and for Your grace when my best doesn’t measure up.
I thank You for Your strength when I am weak. Help me always to remember, as Donna Marie wrote in her poem, ‘At the end of my life, when I stand before the Lord, I just want to hear Him say, you tried your best!’
Help me with my mind-set, my adherence to Your divine guidance, and my wise use of the many resources out there to assist my efforts. Help me in my Belief and forgive my doubts.
In Jesus Name, Amen”
Thanks for your visit to JanBeek today. Do your best to have a restful Saturday night and a blessed Sunday.
Each morning I wonder what Bible verse will speak to me today. I wonder what phrase I will “take away” with me. I wonder how I can keep my faith alive, growing, and contagious.
I read today’s page in Daily Guideposts 2020 and I go to my Bible to read the chosen scripture in its larger context. And then I write the “take away” on the page provided at the end of the month.
These WONDERful phrases keep the Wonder alive in my life.
I pray that perhaps these phrases can help keep the wonder alive in your life, too.
Know God is Always With You
Use Your Talents for Common Good
Be a Ready Helper
Find Strength in Faith
Always Be Honest
Trust in God’s Leading
Keep Faith Alive
Be a Blessing
Love Without Condition
Trust God’s Faithfulness
God’s Love is Perfect ❤
Set Your Affairs in Order
Praise God for His Creativity
Always Show Your Love
Pray for Our Leaders
Help Others in Need
Play a Song of Perseverance
Make Me a Loving Servant
Thanks for Friends, Love, and Laughter
Praise God for His Protection
Concentrate on the Positive
Thank God for Grit!
Wear Your Faith Visibly and Honestly
Commit to 40 Days of Sacrifice
Put Faith Into Action
Lean on Him for Wisdom and Strength
You may consider getting your copy of Daily Guideposts 2020 for your morning devotionals. There are still ten months left to enjoy and be inspired by its daily messages. I find it to be a WONDERful way to start my day.
In her devotional this morning, Cynthia Ruchti reminded me it’s Ash Wednesday. She wrote (on this Feb. 20 devotional in Daily Guideposts), “… my sins have been incinerated, a fine layer of ash is all that remains – and that layer has been blown away by the breath of Jesus’ mercy.”
What a wonderful image that is! She reminded us of the devastation of the 2019 California fires that left whole neighborhoods (in fact major parts of whole cities, like Paradise, CA) incinerated. She mourned, “The ash was so fine it left only a dusting over the footprint of each lost home.”
Cynthia reminded me that Ash Wednesday is “a time of reflection, self-sacrifice, spiritual discipline, and fasting to prepare the heart for Easter.” Her “Faith Step” at the conclusion of the message was: “Our humanity and our sinfulness have been conquered in Jesus and we are free. Ashes to joy. Dust to life. Live victoriously.”
At http://www.Christianity.com the author wrote: “Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.”
I am ready to embrace this season. I am ready to “live victoriously.” I am ready for “Dust to dust” to become “Dust to Life.”
I am ready for “Ashes to ashes” to become “Ashes to Joy.“
Many of you know that I spend my first hour each day up in my sanctuary.
If you’ve been a follower for awhile, you may remember that one of the devotionals I read each morning is:
And I have posted in the past a list of “Take-Aways” for each day of the month. It’s been a few months since I did that. I did not post my list for November yet. Today would be a good day to do that. Perhaps you can find this list helpful. Adopt one a day, and take that message with you as you walk this rocky road called LIFE. Let it help you focus on a direction God is calling you.
November’s Take-Aways from Daily Guideposts
Remember Incredible Moments
Really “See” People
Choose Peace – Even in Chaos
Bee still to Hear/Feel God’s Grace
Keep Faith in Love
Accept God’s Extravagant Grace
Let Children Move, Moo, Climb & Clamber
Keep Your Faith Childlike
Always Give Your Best Effort
Let Your Life Praise God
Live in Grateful Peace
Unclog Your Life; Clean Up!
Bee Mindful of Relationships
Maintain Your Body
Know “Retirement” is a Misnomer
Use Your Reservoir of Love
Know God as Your Guide
Speak Only Tender, Kind Words
Hope Always in Him
Keep Eyes and Heart Open
Take Time to Feel God’s Presence
Always Find Joy in Work
Bee Still and Listen
Let Space Be Transformed
Add Exercise To Your Routine
Thank God For Your Many Blessings
Know God’s Working in You
Look into The Hearts ❤ ❤
I hope “A Thought for Each Day” will inspire you to be your best self, the person God made you to be, every day this month… and create a thoughtful habit for the New Year.
By the way, which of those “Take Aways” will you adopt for today?
Day #7 in the A-Z series: Adding Meaning and Purpose to Life
G = Grace and Gratitude
Are you grateful for God’s chisel?
Photo by Werlley Meira on Pexels.com
You know, our lives are filled with things that crowd out what’s really important. Sometimes, we clutter our time with frivolity. (Do you ever feel like your blogging might qualify in that category?) Transforming our lives so that the most significant goes to the top of our to-do list is not an easy task.
The shaping tool that God uses is like a chisel. By His Grace, He chips away at our selfishness, our self-centeredness, our pride, our laziness, and our greed. When we accept His Grace, He replaces those attitudes with generosity, concern for others, diligence, and a far-sightedness that only He can give.
Unlike my SnapChat app that can instantly turn my skin silky, vibrant, and wrinkle-free, and surround me with hearts of love, God’s chisel is not a one-click deal!
I am grateful for the shaping tools God uses to help me slough away the detrimental parts of my being. (I wish it COULD be a one-click deal, don’t you?)
In yesterday’s devotional page in Daily Guideposts, Isabella Yosuico identifies some of those shaping tools:
He sends people to challenge some obstinate defects in me.
He puts me into circumstances beyond my existing skills to control… to compel me to grow.
He allows problems that overwhelm me. They are sometimes so beyond me that I have no choice but to turn to a Higher Power, and surrender to His/Her solution.
In my eight decades of living on this troubled earth, I have found the wisest and, ultimately, the easiest path to a meaningfulness, purpose-filled, contented life is to submit fully to the Chiseler’s Hands. The Word, my Bible, is my guide. Its guidance directs my attitudes and actions. The Holy Spirit is my constant companion. I am grateful for its presence in the heart of me.
The Grace of the Holy Spirit + Gratitude = HAPPINESS
Tales from the Mama Duck – family5power –
posted this from the image: Medium
on the subject of Gratitude today:
May The Chiseler’s grace continue to shape me.
God Bless You, my “Ideal Reader.” I am grateful for you.
May God’s Shaping Tools continue to chisel away at you, too!
How do you start your day?
I read “A Spirit-lifting Devotional” each morning called “Daily Guideposts.”
Each morning as I meditate on the day’s message, I summarize the “Take-Away” for that day in one to seven words- and write it on the blanks provided on two pages at the end of each month.
I also use that page to pray about what God wants me to do that day. I plan the day out at the top of the page. Sometimes it happens just like that. Other days, God intervenes and unexpected things happen. Here is today’s plan:
I write the chosen words on the page provided and review the messages for the month. These are the 31 “Take-Aways” for this month of March:
Prayer for Today:
Today I am praying to keep a humble spirit.
I ask God to help me see the Extraordinary in the Ordinary.
I remember that Jesus hears and answers us every time we pray.
He may not always say YES, but if we pray with a humble heart,
and ask Him to put a right spirit in us, and we pray in His Will,
we are more likely to get a positive response.