Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘devotionals’

The Joy of Being (in Switzerland)


The joy of just being

Is certainly joy enough

But the joy of being in Switzerland

Is a joy that’s hard to beat – it’d be tough.

While friends and family back home

In California and Montana are roasting

We were enjoying comfy mid-seventies

And lovely meals and yummy wine toasting

Then the weather changed!

.

We were having ham with salad & sausage

At De & Andrés wonderful chalet

I came back to our room to post

And left Bob to finish dessert, but hey…

.

There were two girls outside

Hunkered under umbrellas in the rain

So I pointed to our inside table

And sent them to Bob – let me explain

He was having sorbet; I was done

My place at the table was free

He will love getting acquainted

And they will love his company!

This morning we cooled it in our room

Bob read and I enjoyed reading posts

The day started off rather quiet

More alone time than Swiss’s most

We went for a walk in Vissoie

And enjoyed every sight and each sound

We visited the local church and had

Time for prayer, finding God all around

“Daily Word” gave us the scripture

“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice”

Let nothing keep your joy from you-

Respond with a song; raise your voice!

Like a well that can never run dry

My joy is a wellspring from the Lord

I deal with whatever life brings me

With a smile – and I never am bored!

Keep your sense of humor alive

Find the joy in whatever you see

That poor bunny hit the door with a bang

Oh come on, have a good laugh with me!

There he is on the other side!!

.

The joy of being in Switzerland

Is part of the happiness of being alive

Well enough to travel and adapt

Thanking God each day we survive!

Thank you for traveling vicariously with us!

We love sharing with you. Take joy!

“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.” Psalm 32:11

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –

Love, JanBeek

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

Eyes Ahead


Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Eyes Ahead

Keep looking ahead
Don’t look backward instead
Keep your balance upright
And your future in sight

Don’t be in a hurry
You don’t need to scurry
Be ever expectant
But, don’t be a contestant

We’re part of a whole
Connection’s our goal
Slow down and discover
We can lean on each other

May your eyes look ahead
And read what is said
About those in distress
Who live in a mess

Because they don’t pause
And look at the cause
Of the trouble they’re in
It stems from within

They rush here and there
Seldom are they aware
Of the joy that’s ahead
If they’d slow down instead

So keep your eyes looking up
Let the calm fill your cup
As you savor each day
Spreading love on your way.

In his book, Ever Faithful,
David Jeremiah reminded me
in today’s devotional
that there is something
to rejoice in,
give thanks for,
and pray about
around every curve.
He referenced this scripture:

Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always,
17 pray continually,
18 give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

David Jeremiah reminds us that looking ahead
– keeping your eyes focused on the path
is the important task at hand.
Do not be hurried!
“Real joy in life comes not to the hurried, but to the expectant-
those eager for new experiences and discovery.

There are encounters,
discoveries,
people,
events,
opportunities,
blessings
and challenges
to be found.”

John 16:13

“However, when He,
the spirit of truth has come,
He will guide you into all truth.”

Today, trust the Holy Spirit
to guide you
as you travel your chosen path.
Keep your eyes looking ahead.

David Jeremiah invites us to
“Keep your eyes and arms open
to embrace what you discover.”

I’m gonna do that.
I’m gonna ask the Holy Spirit
to lead me to a new, peaceful path.
And I’m gonna keep my eyes
looking ahead.

How about you?

Thanks for joining me today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

July Take-Aways


Each day as I read my Daily Guideposts
and reflect on what the message
means to me, I create a “Take-Away.”
I have a page or two on which I record them.
Here are the take-aways from July.
Which one or two resonates with you
as a “Take-away” for the month
that you can carry with you into August?

July Take-Aways

  1. Be an investor in prople
  2. Be grateful for daily love, joy, and peace
  3. Celebrate the peace of Christ
  4. Freedom isn’t free!
  5. Treasure your friends; tell ’em so
  6. Happy Birthday, Mary Grace Reynolds (my pastor)
  7. Thank God for our loving children
  8. Celebrate the birthdays of friends
  9. Enjoy every day the Lord gives us
  10. Share freely and generously with others
  11. Spend quality time with our God/Creator
  12. Take refuge in the familiar
  13. Thank God for free will
  14. As God for direction; then Trust the Journey
  15. Care for the vulnerable
  16. Celebrate milestones with friends
  17. Keep an “I’m good” attitude
  18. Share the humor and laughter of others
  19. Slow down and watch where you’re walkin’
  20. Be forever grateful for God’s miracles
  21. Home is where angels live to guard us
  22. His grace is sufficient
  23. Praise God, friends & family for love
  24. Love your spouse, church family & kids extravagantly
  25. Love and appreciate the color in your life
  26. Git Movin’
  27. Praise God for His love, mercy, and guardian angels
  28. Be sure to exercise daily
  29. Thank God for giving you momentum
  30. Thank Jesus for His companionship

I read both
Mornings with Jesus
and
Daily Guideposts
each morning
up in my sanctuary.
Been doing it for over a decade now.

They help me plan my day
and start off on the right foot.

With the “Take-Away”
tucked in my heart,
I head down the circle staircase
with this 12 step prayer
spoken to God on my way:

Dear God,
Thank you for the
1. love,
2. joy, and
3. peace (that are mine) –
Help me with:
4. patience,
5. kindness,
6. goodness, and
7. faithfulness (which brings blessings).
Help me with
8. gentleness, and
9. self-control.
10. Help me live humbly
with an attitude of gratitude,
and a response of
11. generosity, forgiveness,
12. obedience and integrity.
In Jesus’ name,
AMEN.

And at that point, I am at the bottom… ready to start my day.
Here are half of the June Take-Aways

Which of the Take-Aways from June or July will you carry into August with you?

Have an Awesome month!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Daily Take-Aways


Do you take time each morning to read your Bible, pray, and study at least one devotional? It is such a powerful way to start each day.

Let God help you begin your day with your heart focusing on a message you receive during the time you begin with Him. I’ve been using Guideposts’ devotionals for over a decade now. I find it to be constantly spirit-lifting!



Daily Guideposts’ format includes a selected Bible verse, a reflection on that scripture, a prayer, and a couple of related scriptures in a section called Digging Deeper.

Before leaving the daily page, I write my “Take Away” on the page. It’s a message I carry with me that day – a lens through which I encounter what the day brings. Here are the daily take-aways from this month of March 2022:

Daily Take-Aways in March 2022

  1. Trust God’s Perfect Timing
  2. Wear Your Faith
  3. Enjoy a Grace-Filled Perspective
  4. Forgive Always
  5. Seek His Help First
  6. Where He Leads Me,
  7. I Will Follow
  8. Seek God’s Wisdom
  9. For Everything – A Season
  10. “Bee” Compassionate and Patient
  11. “Bee” a Servant Leader
  12. “Bee” Not Dismayed
  13. Stay the Course
  14. Pray for our Troubled World
  15. Give Cheerfully
  16. Trust His Perfect Timing
  17. Pray for World Peace
  18. Take Delight in Others
  19. Life is An Adventure
  20. Jesus Never Leaves Us
  21. Show Agape Love
  22. Believe: I Am Fearfully & Wonderfully Made
  23. Avoid Procrastination
  24. The Spirit Flies
  25. God Supplies Our Needs
  26. Focus and “Bee” Clear
  27. Adopt the Courage of the Cross
  28. He Equips Me
  29. Wake Up Eager
  30. Share Your Smiling Face
  31. Enjoy the Unexpected

If you follow my blog and have a read a few of my posts this past month, you recognize that many of those take-aways were the inspiration for JanBeek’s posts. Which of those topics resonated with you the most?

Will you consider creating a “take-away” from your Bible or devotional reading each day? Try it! See if it helps you focus in a new and different way.

Before I leave you this evening, I need to wish you a Happy April, my friends. Tomorrow’s a new day. It’s a new month. And as I write this my youngest granddaughter, Faith, is in labor – expecting my #4 great-grandchild. We are expecting a beautiful little girl. I am praying she is born quickly, as painlessly as possible, and as perfect as God creations can be. Won’t you pray with me? I’ll keep you posted.

Faith’s older sister, Hope, has given us two great-grandchildren:

Here is Xander
Great-grandchild #1
Here’s Sienna,
Great-grandchild #2

Faith’s brother, Jordan, has gifted us with great-grandchild #3 :

Here’s Cosette!
Look at the RunAway Bunny –
Too cute, huh?

I can hardly wait to meet
Great-grandchild #4.
Here is her mommy, our granddaughter,
Faith,
when she was a baby:

Aren’t I a blessed lady?

What’s your take-away today?
Happy April 1st, dear ones.
No fools among us!!

See ya later today
with my good news, OK?


Love,
JanBeek

Don’t take-away love!
Give it generously instead!
Good night!!

Focus!


Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

The word for today:
FOCUS!

The question for today:
FOCUS on what?

Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pexels.com

You know where I am going with this.
You know that I begin each morning in my sanctuary
where I focus on scripture, devotionals, and my angels.

I have a collection of these wonderful angels.
Most were given to me as gifts from dear friends.
Each has a story to tell – each reminds me of someone special.
Some have wings, others do not. I focus on their message.
“Lift someone up today.”
“Let the Chains of Love bind you to others.”

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

It was my first devo today that caused me
to choose the word FOCUS as my focus.

Then each scripture I read –
and each of the other devotionals
seemed to reinforce those thoughts
until I got to the last one for the morning.
It was in a book titled,
Ever Faithful” by David Jeremiah.

And what do you think the title for today is?
“Clouded Vision”

And the scripture for today?

1 Peter 3:8

Finally, all of you,
be of one mind,
having compassion for one another,
love as brothers,
be tenderhearted,
be courteous.”

The story accompanying the title and scripture could not have been more perfect!
(Thank you, David Jeremiah, for this!)

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of Heart!
Music that calms the soul…

Have a great weekend, my friends.
I am off to clean my windows.
I need to see the world around me more clearly.
How about you?

What’re you focused on today?

Ever Faithful


Remaining ever faithful is a life-long endeavor.

To what or to whom do you remain “ever faithful”?

For Christmas this year
our son, Ty, and his wife, Monika,
gave me this book.

The back cover has a an explanation
of the author’s purpose.

Each day David Jeremiah,
(the author of Turning Point
another devotional
I have been following for years),
selects a scripture,
and reflects on it.

Today’s reflection was especially meaningful to me:

It is trusting the Lord’s direction
day by day in our lives together
that has allowed Bob & me
to remain ever faithful
to one another for these 60 years!

This Friday we will celebrate our 60th anniversary.

This was last year on our 59th.
Here we are 60 years ago!

Yesterday we celebrated my granddaughter, Faith’s baby girl – due April 3rd – with a virtual baby shower. It was attended by about 20 friends from all over this part of our world – from Alaska and Hawaii to NY and across to CA – and states like ours (Montana) in between.

Our daughter-in-law, Monika (Faith’s mom) did a wonderful job researching ahead of time, planning, inviting, and coordinating the event. She linked in to an app that invited her to post a baby picture of the prospective mom as a baby and the prospective dad as a baby at the same age. Then the app blended the two parents and showed what the baby might look like if she favored the mom more. Another picture showed what she’ll look like if she favors dad’s side more.

Because Faith and Kyle actually resembled one another as babies, the two renditions were quite similar. That was fun!

Another activity had all the participants answering questions about the honored couple. The running scores were exhibited and the “winners” were awarded Amazon gift certificates. I didn’t participate in that… couldn’t figure out how to access the game screen! So much for technological prowess!! But folks who engaged had a lot of fun with it.

We were able see Faith & Kyle virtually unwrap each of their gifts, as each told us a little about the gift-giver… and because we were all on a ZOOM share screen, we could see each other. I was terribly impressed with Monika who was able to put all this together and move the activities along at a good pace.

My blog yesterday, “A Virtual Baby Shower,” showed you this expectant mom & dad. Here’s another photo of them:

Faith & Kyle McSparron

I know you join me in wishing them
a happy, healthy pregnancy.
Of course, I will share pictures
of their baby girl with you
when she is born in April.

Meantime, my prayer for them
is that they remain “ever faithful”
to one another –
and are loving, devoted parents
when their new little bundle arrives.
God bless Faith & Kyle!!

Bee well my friends.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I’ll see you tomorrow (God willing)
What are your Tuesday plans?

Hugs to you!

Oh, before I say good-bye,
Here’s a tribute to this
age-old tradition:
marriage!!


Bye for now!!

Heavy Burdened


Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

I am unable to sleep tonight. Part of it is restless leg syndrome. Do you ever suffer from that? If so, what do you do about it?

Part of it is the burden of unfinished business. I FAXed a request to Pfizer for financial assistance in order to get Bob’s medication for his heart trouble, but I am not sure the company received my FAX. I received no verification. I need to follow up. Can’t do it at 2: in the morning, but it weighs on my heart and I am restless. The heavy burden of unfinished business is weighing me down.

So, I got up and decided to read a few devotionals, check out some Bible verses that might help me, and see if I can get back to sleep. I prayed for God’s help, and of course (as always) He delivered. Right in my e-mail box, here was just the message I needed from:

The Tired Elk

I relieved his shoulder from the burden.
Psalm 81:6, CSB
 
Are you carrying around a heavy burden?

So was a bull elk in Colorado who somehow stuck his head into an abandoned car tire and got it caught around his neck. As his antlers grew, the tire was impossible to shake off. He was tracked for two years as he wandered around “tired.” His heavy rubber necklace weighed him down day and night. Finally, wildlife officials were able to find and tranquilize him. They removed the heavy weight from his neck before releasing him back into the wild.

Recommended Reading:Psalm 81: 1 – 10
The Lord knows how much we can carry, and He knows how to lift the burdens from our shoulders at the right time. We can cast all our cares on Him, knowing He will care for us in His timing, in His will, and in His way.
Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Like that elk and this poor soul with head in hand, feeling overwhelmed, I realized I need the abandoned car tire removed from around my neck! I can’t do it alone. So, go to the Word, Jan. Take Dr. Jeremiah’s advice and go to your Bible and then go to God in prayer. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you
and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy
and my burden is light.”

Do you suppose Jesus is laughing at me right now?

“Silly Jan!” He may be saying. “Why are you trying to carry this burden alone? You know I am with you. Hand it over… I got this!”

“OK, Lord. Take this tire off my neck and shoulders. Take the heat and flutters from my legs. I will rest in you. Tomorrow I can do what I cannot do in the middle of the night. Tomorrow I’ll call Pfizer and see about Bob’s medicine. Thank You for being here for me.”

Go to sleep!

Good night!
Peace be with you.
See ya tomorrow (for sure!)


Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Faithfulness


Every morning I begin my day
with a cup of coffee and a climb
up the stairs to my sanctuary
where I spend time with my Bible,
devotionals, prayers, and Jesus.

One of my devotionals is “These Days,”
a daily devotion for living by faith,
published by the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation.
Its format is scripture, devotional, prayer.

Today’s scripture was:

Isaiah 40:11

He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.”

In the devotional, the author, Hope Douglas Harle-Mould,
wrote about the comfort Jesus provides.
She included a poem she wrote to
Our God of all Faithfulness:

“We pray for a cure; God sends us healing.
We pray for continued life; God gives us new life.
We pray death will not come; God overcomes death.
We pray in anguish; God weeps with us.
We pray in fear; God teaches us to laugh.
We pray for ourselves; God gives us each other.
We pray for miracles; God fills us with love.
We pray for the future; God showers us with blessedness.
God, help me trust the voices heralding your hope.”

I am assured
as I read and pray
and study God’s word,
that just as he
carries the lamb
in his arms,
he will be faithful
to carry me.

As I descend the twelve stairs
at the end of my devotional time,
I recite my personal
TWELVE STEP PROGRAM
Thank You, Jesus, for the:

  1. Love,
  2. Joy, and
  3. Peace (that are mine). Help me with
  4. Patience,
  5. Kindness
  6. Goodness, and
  7. Faithfulness (which brings blessings),
  8. Gentleness, and
  9. Self-control.
  10. Help me live humbly with an attitude of gratitude, and
  11. A response of generosity, forgiveness,
  12. Obedience, and integrity.
    In Jesus name,
    Amen!

When I get to the 7th step,
I see the metal sculpture
that says, “Blessings” above my door.
It was a gift from our dear friends,
Jim & Terry, so I pause to thank God
for their faithful friendship.
When I get to the bottom of the stairs,
I see this cross on the wall:

It was made by Native Americans.
I pause to pray for them
and their peace and prosperity.
I send occasional gifts to
schools for Native American children –
– places like St. Labre’ and St. Joseph’s –
and they faithfully write back
acknowledging my small donation.

A student at St. Labre’ School
for Native American children

Faithfulness is a two-way street.
We pray to God faithfully; God answers.
We give to people who touch our hearts;
they give back with gratitude & smiles.
We read God’s Word faithfully each day;
He gives us wisdom and discernment,
understanding and blessings.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Check out this different version of that old song, The B-I-B-L-E… I love it! What a way to learn to names of the books of the Bible, huh?

How do you begin your day, my friends?
What does FAITHFULNESS mean to you?

Thanks for visiting today.
I hope your Friday is blessed, indeed!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Doubting


May sound really weird
For a Christian to embrace
Doubting; How can I?

What does doubting mean?
I believed it’s unbelief.
But, let’s think again.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Matthew 28:17

“When they saw him,
they worshiped him;
but some doubted.”

Who is “they” who saw?
It was Jesus’ disciples.
What does “doubted” mean?

In my devotional time this morning, Daily Guideposts explained that the original text was in Greek. The word “doubted” in Greek is “distazo.” That does not mean unbelief. It is more accurately translated as “hesitation or uncertainty about how to respond.”

In today’s world, as the cartoon shows, the disciples would not have to think twice about how to respond. They would simply get out their cell phones and record this momentous reappearance of their Savior!!

But in the world of Jesus’ time, how would you respond when someone you watched die on the cross suddenly walked out of the tomb? “Distazo” seems appropriate to me. Whoa!! I’d be pretty unsure about how to respond, wouldn’t you?

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

Sometimes I am quite unsure about how to respond to situations in today’s world. How about you?

Our test kits came today for the COVID-19 test we have to self-administer and then mail FedEx in the envelope provided so it can go overnight to the place where the results are determined and then sent to me before our flight out of Chicago to London on Sunday night. (Whoa… that’s a long, complex sentence – did you grasp it?)

I am doubting … I am unsure about how to respond to the instructions.

Unfortunately, my test results won’t come in a fortune cookie. They will be sent to an app on my iPhone. Problem: my iPhone is 8 years old and it won’t upgrade to an IOS high enough to download the app. I am feeling doubtful. Very uncertain about how to respond. The new iPhone 12 and last year’s version (iPhone11) are not available here in Ennis. Checking with our nearest city, Bozeman, I discovered we don’t have an Apple store… and the Verizon Wireless store doesn’t have the phone I want in stock. I have to order it on-line from Apple. Will it arrive in time for our departure? What will I do if it isn’t here in time?

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com

In this COVID-19 world, “distazo” is a natural response. We are unsure of how to respond in so many ways. Get the vaccine or not? Wear a mask or not? Get a booster or not? Join friends for a dinner out or not? Worship in church with others sitting close by or not? Travel or not? Get a new phone or not? Forget the whole thing?

I pray to God for help with decision-making, but I am not sure I am hearing His response. Should I keep asking? Should I reword my questions? Am I missing His answers?

As Daily Guideposts has written in today’s devotional, “Doubt, distazo, is part of our faith journey.” It’s OK to question how to respond when we’re baffled by the challenges we face. Like the disciples, we are faced with some unbelievable situations. These are unprecedented times!

In these troublesome times,
we are encouraged to Stretch!!

Embrace Doubting!

Let your hesitation
and your uncertainty
cause you to
question more,
research more,
and pray more.

Let your hesitancy
and your uncertainty
cause you to
trust more,
experience more,
and increase your humility
as you allow yourself
to admit

“Crap!
I don’t have all the answers after all!”


Get in touch with the
Tiger in you!

Do you find yourself doubting about anything?
What causes you to experience “distazo“?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

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