Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘devotionals’

Choose to Trust


Isaiah 43:4-5a.

“Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men to exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid for I am with you…”

I knew where we were going… HOME! And I knew God was with us, guarding and guiding us. I learned as we were at the “41 miles to go” mark that a woman about my age had died in a tragic accident the day before on this very stretch of road. Her demise was a jack-knifed semi. She hit black ice and slid into it when she was trying to turn and avoid it. It was a clear day – at 4: o’clock in the afternoon. We were traveling home on that two-lane road in the dark. A host of family and friends were praying for our safe travel. We TRUSTED God’s guidance as we crept along, blinded by the bright headlights of on-coming semis.

At about the “20 miles to go” mark, if I had my window down, I could have reached out and touched the big doe that was preparing to cross the road in front of us. We didn’t see the deer until we were almost on top of it… or it on top of us! You can imagine how we prayed prayers of gratitude all the rest of the way home!!

This morning, in my wonderful upstairs space that I call my “sanctuairee,” I was reading a commentary by Rev. Dr. David Jeremiah. It was for me!!

“Praising God for Miracles”

“Among the stories connected to the memory of Francis of Assisi is this one: One day Francis gathered his friends at a remote monastery in central Italy. When he asked them about their journeys, each brother had an exciting tale to report. One had been riding his mule across a narrow bridge that spanned a deep gorge. When the mule bolted, the man was nearly thrown into the ravine. He praised God he hadn’t been killed.

Another brother had nearly drowned fording a river, but he said, ‘God in His grace provided a tree that had fallen across the water. I was able to grasp a branch and pull myself to safety.’ Other brothers expressed similar stories of God’s protection.

Then someone asked Francis about his trip. ‘I experienced the greatest miracle of all,’ said the famous friar. ‘I had a smooth, pleasant, and uneventful journey.’

We should always remember to praise God for His miracles in whatever form they come. He blesses, heals, rescues, delivers, helps, and uplifts more times every day than we can count. We should always be saying, ‘Thank You, Lord!’

Psalm 121:2
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”

Thank you, David Jeremiah, for your timely message this day. It’s a perfect one!

So, on this journey called life,
I choose to trust God.
I may not know
where He is taking me tomorrow,
but I know if I trust in Him,
and ask for His guidance,
and look for His direction,
He will not fail me.

Choose to TRUST

Looking again at the scripture Dr. Jeremiah chose for today’s devotional,
I am reminded of Martin Luther King Day yesterday…
and the way he gave his life for his principles
of Freedom, Equality for all,
and Non-violence.

Yes, God said, “I will give men to exchange for your life.”

I pray we all will remember the men and women
who gave their lives so that we might enjoy the peace we have today.
It is still going on in those war-torn places around the world.
God bless our faithful warriors who fight to keep us free
and those servants of God world-wide
who choose to TRUST in God’s protection
as they fight to maintain their county’s freedom.

Amen

Thank You, God, for the way
You bless,
heal, rescue,
deliver, help,
and uplift us
more times every day
than we can count.

Help us follow Your example of love
and spread Your Good News
with Trust and Assurance
every day.
Amen

Friends: Jan & Hailey
We help one another

God bless you, my friends.
Love,
JanBeek

A Merry Heart


“A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance,
but by sorrow of the heart
the spirit is broken.”

Proverbs 15:13

Use your merry heart
To be like an umbrella
Protection in storms

At the end of day
Your sweet, merry countenance
Is a lovely sight

Your positive view
Shines through the dark clouds of gloom
Lifting others’ hearts
💕

You’ve an extra dose
Merriment is contagious
You infect others

David Jeremiah’s entry in today’s devotional
in Ever Faithful was titled “A Merry Heart.”
It gave me the incentive for today’s post:

“After Richard Norris was badly disfigured
by a gunshot wound in 1997,
he remained hidden at his parents’ home for years.
They covered the mirrors
to keep him from glimpsing his face.
But a team of doctors…
gave Richard a new countenance.”

The scripture selected, Proverbs 15:13, fit the story perfectly.
Richard’s spirit was broken.
His sorrow of the heart was understandable.
David Jeremiah went on to link
Richard’s sorrow to us all:

“While Richard’s story is unusually dramatic,
there’s a sense in which we all need a new countenance.
Study the faces of people you meet every day…”

Oh how I love those
Last two pictures of my friends
Study every face

David Jeremiah goes on to suggest,

“Steal a quick glance at your own face
as you pass a mirror or reflective window.
…Our emotions inexorably flash through
the forty-three muscles in our face
and we communicate our feelings
through our eyes, brows,
and the set of our mouths.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“One smile can light up a room;
one frown can darken a day.

“The Bible tells us a merry heart
makes a cheerful countenance.
Rejoice in the Lord today
and let the joy of Jesus shine through.”

I dare you to listen to this and not smile!!
You know I play the accordion, right?
Well this is a concertina… buttons on both sides.
Aren’t these kids adorable?

Open up you Merry Heart!
Mine is open for you!!

Love ya,
JanBeek

Open heart + Open hands = Merry, Cheerful Countenance

How Big is God?


When I think of BIG, I think of Giant Sequoias.
But, I was reminded this morning during my devotionals
that “BIG” is definitely a relative term.

Ephesians 3:20

“Now to Him who is able to do
exceedingly abundantly above all
that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us…”

“If for some reason it was your job
to design the universe,
how big would you make it?”


That was a question
David Jeremiah asked
in his commentary this month
in Ever Faithful
a 365 day devotional.

He went on to describe
the universe God created.
The dimensions astounded me!

“The distance from planet Earth
to the observable ‘edge’ of the universe
is 46 billion light-years,
and one light-year
is about 6 trillion miles.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Six trillion times 46 billion?
That’s mind-boggling!!
God doesn’t think small!
If His creation is BIG,
that means our Creator is BIGGER.

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

If you have a need today
that seems bigger than
anyone’s ability to handle,
remember what God did
when creating the universe.

God is bigger than all our needs –
Bigger than anything we could ask or think.

I have been away from writing blogs
for over a week now…
Unusual for me.
But I have been constructively busy.
I agreed to accept a nomination
to be an elder on our church’s Session.
So, my problem has been 4 study books
and a workbook that needed my attention.

Then I managed to get a nasty cold,
and the aches and runny nose
and coughing kept me awake at night.
Hard to get motivated to write
an inspirational blog
about love, joy, peace, faith & unity
when you’re facing all that.

Good news is that I am better –
and I am ready to face
my “Bigger God” –
and ask Him for help.
Of course, He delivered!

I have enjoyed catching up
on some of the blogs
you have been posting in my absence.
Thank you for your inspiration!

Here’s another version of that delightful song:

Enjoy these delightful kids!


Pray for health and healing, will you?
My God is big enough … bigger than you can imagine!
See ya tomorrow (I hope)…


Love,
JanBeek

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!!

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