Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘devotionals’

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

God is My Gizzard!


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!

Photo by mark broadhurst on Pexels.com

God is my gizzard
Sifts out indigestibles
Keeps the nutrients

Owls have a gizzard
Because they swallow things whole
Sometimes we do, too!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

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.”

Photo by Jean van der Meulen on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Daniel Reche on Pexels.com

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.”

Photo by Ric Rodrigues on Pexels.com

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.”

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield.”

Photo by Maria Pop on Pexels.com

Be wise, like the owl,
and put on the armor of God.
Let Him protect you
from the indigestibles
that come your way.

Let God be your gizzard!

Bee well!

See ya tomorrow.
Love ya,
JanBeek

June was Bustin’ Out All Over!


Yup, June was Bustin’

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:

Be Grateful

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.

The view from my hospital bed

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!

Look carefully at the horizon. Those are not more clouds.
That’s snow on the Tobacco Root Range. Yup, snow… July 1st!

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

Doing Your Best


Donna Marie Nielsen, a dear fellow blogger shared a gripping story and a marvelous poem on her WordPress blog, The Father’s Feet:
https://thefathersfeet.wordpress.com/2020/04/02/revealing-gods-power/

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.” 

-Donna Nielsen

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.

I sit in that rocker and enjoy quiet time with God.

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!

Great Resources

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.

The inside cover says,
“Everything is possible for one who believes,”
Mark 9:23

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.”

You HAVE received!

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”

My efforts may not
always be trophy-worthy,
but I try my best!

Thanks for your visit to JanBeek today.
Do your best to have
a restful Saturday night
and a blessed Sunday.

Bee well!!
See ya tomorrow.

What Keeps You Going?


What keeps you going?
When your own strength has left you?
I gain strength from God.

How do I know Him?
How can I be sure He’s real?
I soak in His Word.

I look for His signs
In little things around me,
And I pray a lot!

I know He hears me.
I ask that His Will be done.
I listen for Him.

In devotionals
I find great inspiration.
These lift my spirit.

I “Take-Away” thoughts
To carry me through each day.
They keep me going.

Let me share with you
The “Take-Aways” from each day
During this last month.

Daily Take-Aways, March 2020

  • He Makes All Things New
  • Move Forward in Prayer
  • Pray Fervently
  • Listen to Your Body!
  • Look Up and Live
  • Be Intent on Jesus
  • Remember Past; Live Present
  • Live Joyfully!
  • Problems? Pray for Solutions
  • Trust God’s Timing
  • Let His Power Show in Me
  • Believe – and SOAR!
  • Be “All In” for Him
  • Let the Lord Lead
  • Focus on What Matters Most
  • Keep Your Heart Tuned to God
  • Christ is Everywhere
  • Pray Inclusively
  • Thank God Daily for Health and Friendships
  • Add Daily Exercise to Your Routine
  • God is Ever With Us
  • STOP and Bow Down
  • Perceive and Understand
  • Turn to Jesus Daily
  • Thank God for Peaceful Places
  • Let Beauty Fill You
  • Know God Always is With You
  • Practice Contentment
  • God is Our Steadfast Hope
  • Use Words Wisely’ Always with Kindness
  • Find Sanctuary and Rest in Him

Gain Strength

You can’t carry these
Powerful and Peaceful thoughts
With you and lose strength.

They will sustain you;
They will keep you positive.
They’ll keep you going!

Let God be your strength;
Study His Word and absorb
His encouragement.

Use these “Take-Aways” –
They’re better than vitamins.
Just take One-a-Day!

Have a blessed Thursday.
Beeeee Healthy!
See ya later.





29 Ways to Keep Wonder Alive


What makes you wonder?

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.

  1. Know God is Always With You
  2. Use Your Talents for Common Good
  3. Love Selflessly
  4. Be a Ready Helper
  5. Share Wisely
  6. Find Strength in Faith
  7. Always Be Honest
  8. Trust in God’s Leading
  9. Keep Faith Alive
  10. Be a Blessing
  11. Love Without Condition
  12. Trust God’s Faithfulness
  13. God’s Love is Perfect ❤
  14. Set Your Affairs in Order
  15. Praise God for His Creativity
  16. Always Show Your Love
  17. Pray for Our Leaders
  18. Help Others in Need
  19. Play a Song of Perseverance
  20. Make Me a Loving Servant
  21. Thanks for Friends, Love, and Laughter
  22. Praise God for His Protection
  23. Foster Unity
  24. Concentrate on the Positive
  25. Thank God for Grit!
  26. Wear Your Faith Visibly and Honestly
  27. Commit to 40 Days of Sacrifice
  28. Put Faith Into Action
  29. Lean on Him for Wisdom and Strength
Keep Wonder alive in your life.
Act in WONDERful ways!

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.

http://www.shopguideposts.org/Devotionals

Go out now and
DO LOVE in WONDER-filled ways.

See ya tomorrow.

Ashes to Joy


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.”

Photo by Jakob on Pexels.com

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.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.”

My niece, Jodie

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.

Are you?

How do you recognize Lent?
Tell me about it.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya later.

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