Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘devotionals’

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

Embrace Purpose


What is your purpose?
Has anyone asked you that question recently?
Have you asked it of yourself?

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Another way to ask the question is:
What is my life’s goal?

When I asked my husband Bob, yesterday
He responded,
“To give God credit for everything.”

We talked about the difference between
Internal and external purposes.

Internally we live a life filed with gratitude to God.

Externally, how do we show or express it?

Bob responded,
“Accept your lot without complaints”
and
“Be His hands and feet –
Extending His Kingdom on Earth.”

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

Like these mountains,
Life and purpose have so many layers.

What is God’s purpose for me?

This is the prayer I pray
each morning before I leave
my sanctuary to begin my day in the world:

“Dear Lord,

Guide my feet in Your Way today.
Help me meet who You want me to meet.
Tell me what You want me to say,
And keep me out of Your way!

Help me be who You made me to be.
And teach me to be still
So I can know what You want me to do.
Help me walk in You Will.”

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Romans 8:28

“And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to His purpose.”

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

In today’s These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,
the message resonated with me as I contemplate my purpose:

“I pray and ask God to give me the words I need.
The time to share is now so that everyone will know
the Love of God.

By speaking and writing about God’s love and glory,
we are passing this knowledge on to future generations.

Whether singing worship music,
reading devotionals aloud,
or writing about God,
I am given opportunities to
help the whole world
know and develop
a closer relationship with God.”

That’s my purpose!
Share the love, joy and peace
that are mine through Christ.


I want everyone to feel it!!

Father, please give me the words
to share so everyone will know you.

I LOVE this series of pencil drawings of Jesus with the children!

In my Mornings with Jesus devotional today,
the message fit this topic perfectly.
Cynthia Ruchti, wrote

“A recent project at our house has tested our mettle as a couple…”

She went on to explain how their old 1913 house is crooked.
Trying to “install straight, factory-squared windows into an opening
that is anything but perfectly square has been cause for…
discussion.”

“What a telling picture of the reasons Jesus was so adamant
that … the foundational layer of our souls
has to be built plumb and true,
more meticulously than anything that will come after.”

“Jesus said that JOY is foundational to our lives as Christ followers.
If joy is solid, anchored well, and secure because of our trust in His promises,
anything else we build on top of that will have much greater chance
of aligning with His purpose for us.

We won’t be ‘half a bubble off’ if His joy bubbles inside us.”


Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

I aim to be inspired by
His Word,
His Life,
His Love,

His Gift of Grace,
and His Purpose
for my life.


(That’s the internal purpose)

Externally,
my purpose is to share that
love, joy, peace, faith and unity
that are mine…
with the hope that you
are inspired to share it, too!

Keep looking up!

Is anything in your house noticeably crooked?
When you pass that spot, don’t straighten it!
Look up!

Use it as a reminder of the importance
of building your life of faith on Jesus
and the meaning of the cross.
Jesus is plumb and true, and
by His death on the cross,
you are, too!!

What is your purpose?
What inspires you to live according to your purpose?


Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Confidence


These two little darlings exude happiness, confidence, pure joy…
I can’t help but smile when I look at them. (I bet you’re smiling, too)
I’ve been saving this photo for just the right time.
Today is it!

In my devotionals this morning, I read an article by Brenda Wade, Ph.D.
Brenda is based in San Francisco. She hosts a radio talk show, “Modern Love”
and she facilitates trainings on relationships. Her article in the Jan.-Feb. Unity magazine,
Daily Word, is titled, “Overcoming Racism, Healing from Shame, Opening to Love.”

“The love and peace we want to know in our lives begins inside of us,” Dr. Wade wrote.
“This has been on my mind lately as I’ve dug deeply into … my work, leading anti-racism trainings.”

In her article, she went on to describe an incident in her life that deeply affected her self-image. She was only 6-years-old.

“One day at school, my classmates and I were told to line up two by two and hold hands. I extended my hand, but the girl standing next to me refused to take it. ‘I can’t hold your hand,’ she said matter-of-factly. ‘My mother told me your skin is brown because it’s dirty.’ I was confused. My skin was brown, but it certainly was not dirty.”

Photo by Matheus Viana on Pexels.com

It took years for that little 6-year-old to deal with the hurt. Her young brain just didn’t understand. She felt immediate rejection, pain, and the sting of shame. The notion that there was something wrong with her kept her from telling the teacher or her parents. She just carried that message of inferiority with her and it was reinforced by a high school principal who ignorantly expressed surprise that someone of her color could score so high on her tests.

It was further reinforced in graduate school when a department chair “was more interested in my race than my qualifications” – and as an adult when “a landlord candidly admitted he was denying me housing because I am African American.”

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

How does someone overcome
such prejudicial treatment
and regain the confidence
that ALL PEOPLE deserve?


That is the question Dr. Walker
deals with in her profession.
She conquered it in her own life with
“years of psychological work,
spiritual practice,
self-care, and healing.”

Dr. Brenda Wade wrote,
“When we feel too hurt or afraid
to let ourselves out,
it becomes impossible
to let others in.”

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Embrace the confidence
that there is
hope and a future
and a return of self-confidence
when self-insight
and self-love
can be applied.

The pain of those early wounds go deep.

We know that
we ALL have a responsibility
to respond to one another in love,
with compassion and respect,
and to stand together hand-in-hand
to obliterate oppression and prejudice.

Embrace that future
with
confidence and determination!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Pastoral Prayer

Yesterday during our ZOOM church service, our pastor, Steve Hundley, offered the following prayer. It is just what I needed to hear as I embrace with confidence the power of prayer and the belief that God hears, God cares, and God answers us when we cry out to Him:

“How many times in Your earthly ministry, O Lord, did You touch the fevered brows of those who were ill; or, the trembling hands of those who were afraid; or, the sagging shoulders of those bowed down in grief?

Walk among us now, we pray, and touch us for the same reasons…
* Let those who are ill in body or in spirit feel the power of Your presence, and sense that healing is taking place.
* We pray for all those sick with COVID throughout our nation and world…
* Give those who are constricted by fears and anxieties a feeling of relaxation in Your grace.
* Let peace flow over them like a river, carrying them away from self-preoccupation and into the openness of love and sharing…
* Pour out the hope of Your resurrection upon those who are grieving the loss of loved ones…
* May they walk the Emmaus Road with You and feel their hearts strangely and wonderfully warmed…
* In the chaos and uncertainty of the coming weeks and months, give us confidence of faith in knowing that You are Lord of our lives and Lord of this world, and that You are working Your purpose out…
* As Your children, O Lord, You know how often we recoil from those things that should not frighten or upset us in this world. Comfort us with Your presence, and teach us so to live within the disciplines of faith, so that, we are never without You.”

Amen                         

Embrace with Confidence,
my friends,
the knowledge that you
regard all God’s Children as equals…
and determine never to inflict on anyone
the pain of rejection
or the sting of shame.

As God’s children…
Let us live as One.
Let’s just walk around makng the world a better place!
Embrace Confidence!

Hugs to you.
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

I Love the Lord


I love my Jesus
Praying with me each morning
I know He hears me

Nonjudgmentally
He accepts my croaky voice
And smiles at my praise

With devotional
Ready with encouragement
I read gratefully

May your day be blessed
With sweet assurances, too
Know Jesus loves you

And so do I!
Have a Wonderful Wednesday.

Thanks for visiting.
I gotcha in prayer.
Bee well!
Hugs,
JanBeek

Love Dances With Longing


Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Take my hand and dance with me.
I am in need of a day that is free –
Free of the sorrows and the sighs,
Free to dance to the seagull’s cries.

Photo by Julia Kuzenkov on Pexels.com

Some days I long for a day at the beach
With loving hands within my reach
I get impatient for this virus to end
So I can dance on in the waves with a friend

Jeff Cook in These Days
(Daily Devotions for Living by Faith)

“My impatience
usually stems from
my inability to simply fix everything.
Lord, help me be patient with myself and others.”

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Love dances with my longing heart
As I take up my journal and start
To record the words of Paul
Who also heard the sighing call.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Romans 8:26

“Likewise the Spirit helps us
in our weakness,
for we do not know
how to pray as we ought,
but that very Spirit intercedes
With sighs too deep for words.”

So I sit by the water’s edge dreaming
Of the ocean’s shore and scheming
My next trip to listen to seagull’s cries
And the chance to dance where sea foam flies.


I pray that you have
a peace-filled day, my friends.

I am imagining myself dancing with you on this shore!
Love dances with longing…

See you tomorrow.

Hugs,
JanBeek

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