Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘faith’

Is Your Cross Too Heavy?


Photo by Vitu00f3ria Santos on Pexels.com

Thank you, Vitu Santos for this wonderful photo.
It speaks volumes to me…
and it exhibits to me
the message of today’s sermon…

Today’s sermon notes

At the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT today,
Rev. Steve Hundley delivered his sermon titled, “Is Your Cross Too Heavy?”
The Lord prompted me to take my sermon notes in the shape of a cross.
The photo of the cross sermon above is the result of that effort.

Photo by Mauriciooliveira109 on Pexels.com

To illustrate his point – that we need to give Jesus our burdens,
lighten our load, and live in joy, Rev. Steve used this story:

“It’s hard for an egg to become a bird,
but it would be harder for a bird
to fly while still in the egg.”

Let go the egg…
and FLY!
Give Jesus your burdens
and follow Him
with JOY,
not because you HAVE to,
but because you
WANT to.

Photo by Joshua Abner on Pexels.com

God bless you
with the JOY
of
Life Given Away
because you WANT to!

Thank you, Ty, for this beautiful image.

Have a Happy Labor Day weekend.
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Meet Faithful and Faith


Here is Faithful:

Faithful is a Yellowstone moose. He’s 14 years old! When our granddaughter, Faith, was about 10 years old, she visited us here in Montana. As a family, we visited Yellowstone Park. She and her three siblings each were given a little money to select a souvenir from the gift shop. As kids typically do, they chose something for themselves. But, Faith was not typical. She selected this moose – and gave it to me as a present … a thank you for their visit.

Today is Faith and her husband, Kyle’s wedding anniversary. They were married a year ago. Faith is as thoughtful a young lady as she was as a little ten-year-old. Every morning I say a special prayer for Faith and Kyle as I make my bed, and put “Faithful” back in his central place of honor in front of the pillows.

Fourteen years has taken its toll on Old Faithful. His hat is torn – and it was chewed a little by TazE when she was a puppy. But still, I cherish this little stuffed moose.

I tuck the torn hat in under his antler and ask the Lord,

“Please watch over Faith and Kyle.
Tuck them under Your wings, O Lord,
just as I tuck Faithful’s hat under his ear.
Give them health and happiness,
love and longevity.
Keep them safe.
And help them lean on Your love
and their Faithfulness
this day and every day.
Amen.”

Happy 1st Anniversary, Faith and Kyle.

May they love with a universal love –
always generous,
compassionate,
grateful and hopeful,
brave and forgiving,
proud and yet humble.

Here is Faith – on her wedding day –
dancing with her dad, our son, Ty.

Do you have children?
Or grandchildren?
How about great-grandchildren?
The most important gift you can give them is the gift of daily prayer.

God bless you, Faith and Kyle. And both our children and their families.
Yes, we are so blessed.
Thank You, God,
for You are always FAITHFUL!

BEE WELL!

See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek


4 Ways to Keep Positive


There are many ways
To keep our spirits rising
Let’s take time for four

Take a Walk

Take your dog outside
Or invite a friend to join
Get yourself fresh air

Even through a mask
The outdoors is refreshing
Get up and go move!

My path to the Madison River
Keep your distance from others
Enjoy people watching!
Marvel at and appreciate our unity in diversity
Bring a picnic lunch and a friend – sit awhile!
Put on your walking shoes and come join me!

Visit Your Neighbors

Our neighbor Charley with “TMW”

Keep six feet apart
And join your neighbors outside
Share flowers and wine

Share love and friendship
Keep the loneliness at bay
There’s no better way

T – M -W
Is the best invitation
Charley’s “Too Much Wine!”

Janet, our wonderful neighbor
Refill time for Bob
What a view, huh?

Let Go Anxiety –
Adopt Humor & Practice Faith

There’s no better way:
Practice positivity
With the Bible and your faith

Hang around fun folks
And keep in touch by the Web
Share all God’s blessings

Don’t dwell on “Don’t Haves”
Concentrate on what you HAVE
Practice gratitude

Go ahead and laugh!

Son-in-law, Andre’
Decided – save some bucks and
Avoid the virus

He knew just the way:
He could do his own haircut
Well, the front is fine!!

Don’t worry about
Not going to the hairdresser
Just do it yourself

Have clippers, will do!!

Lisa’s South Carolina clouds

Find yourself a friend
Who will be your prayer partner
Daily trade pictures

Pray together and
Exchange positivity
Watch your spirit soar

Connect with the hearts
Of the people that you love
Share each others’ love

Andre’ and our 3 grandsons in Switzerland
Our church services have moved outside now.
The weather has permitted worship on the lawn.
It’s so good to see our friends.
Fran and I text each other daily

Let God Music Lift You


As I write this blog
Susan Boyle lifts me up
Non-stop I listen

I ask Alexa
“Repeat” and she repeats this
Until I say “Stop.”

Listen to the words
Let them sink into your soul
You can’t help but smile

Be raised by music
Let the Love of Christ lift you
You must not stay down

Let God live in you
Let the Holy Spirit speak
Be strong and be well

There are many ways
To keep our spirits rising
Take time for these four

Take a Walk
Visit Your Neighbors
Let Go Anxiety
Let God and Music Lift You

See ya tomorrow.
Have a blessed day.
Love,
JanBeek



We Need Faith


Faith to SEE…

See not just yourself,
but what matters is that we
see the best in others, too!

Faith to FEEL…

Feel their anguish and pain
as well as their joy and gratitude

Faith to DO…

DO reach out in faith
and love to one another!

Faith to LIVE…

Live the peace of God…
sow love!

We Need Faith

Words by John Thornburg


We need a faith so color blind,
So free from time-worn lies,
That when we look from face to face,
We see the eyes of God.

We need an ethic of respect,
An honest pledge of trust,
That when we share the deepest things,
We feel the warmth of God.

We need to act as well as speak,
To see each other’s sweat,
That as we we labor side by side,
We do the work of God.

Come, Christians, look for character,
And not for shade of skin,
That as we rend the walls of race,
We live the peace of God.

In the YouTube video below, hang in there through the introduction to the song, and then let the words, the music, the interaction of the performers, and the joy of the audience and children LIFT YOU UP… “Raise you up to more than you can be!”

With FAITH and God’s help,
we CAN and we will
be part of the healing solution
for this divided world.
We WILL be part of the change
we hope to see in our world.
We PLEDGE to be agents of UNITY!

All you need is LOVE, FAITH, and DETERMINATION to
see the eyes of God,
feel the warmth of God,
do the work of God, and
live the peace of God.

Together, we can be the change we wish to see in the world.
Let’s get to work!

Thanks for joining me.
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek



If You’re Happy…


If you’re happy and you know it,
How do you show it?

In this joyful video,
Children from around the world
Teach us how to let others know it…

I dare you to play this video and NOT SMILE!!
Come on, sing along – and JUST DO IT!!

A-Z What Makes You Happy

Years ago I did an A-Z series on what makes me happy. It started when I was stuck at a railroad track with a stalled train blocking my way to a luncheon engagement. I already was late, and now I was grumbling. Of course, my mood and grumbles didn’t move the train. I decided to change my mood and start thinking happy thoughts instead of growling at the Lord.

Those minutes sitting at the train tracks turned into a 26 day blogging series that included a letter a day: A = ______, B = ______, C = _______ …. you get the idea.

Today I found a new friend… I reposted her blog from today on WordPress and then started to peruse her site. What a delight!

Abide In God

Her by-line says her mission is: “Seeking faith and wisdom in God’s word, a supportive website for the Christian journey.” In her “About” section, I found her picture. I love being able to visualize my fellow bloggers, don’t you?

There is such kindness in her eyes!

Get to Know Blogging Friends

I am having fun getting better acquainted with this delightful mother of a 23-year-old daughter and grandmother of a darling little boy and adorable twin girls. She (I have yet to discover her name) reminds me very much of my across the street neighbor, Penny. So for now that’s what I will call her.

P.S. I just received a response from “Penny.” Her name is Lesley!

Today if I did the A-Z exercise in what makes me happy, I’d have to substitute A = apples (or whatever I said way back then) to A = Abide in God.

What would you put for your A = ______ ?

Pursue Connections

Lesley has a few sub-blogs. If you click on “Abide in God” up there, you will see her other sub-titles. One of them is “Today I am Thankful for…” But when I click there, it says its content is password protected. Lesley – if you are reading this, I want to join that part of your journey. How do I get in? I am knocking at the door!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hello, Lesley – Let me in… I like your link to supportive websites and the reference to James 1:5

With supportive friends like you out there, and the Bible as our guide, this Christian walk can be more do-able! It makes me happy to know that I have you as a soul sister whose purpose matches mine. Together, we can:

Today what makes me happy includes: F = Finding your blog and Following it.

Another blog I follow that makes me happy every day is: D = Derrick’s garden! derrickjknight – If you don’t know Derrick and Jackie, do yourself a favor and go meet them today!

I come to their garden alone … not really alone, for Jackie & Nugget are there… and Derrick is behind the camera, and the dew is not still on the roses:

Jackie, Derrick’s dear wife (master gardener) is busy at work. Her smile makes me happy. J = Jackie’s smile!
(Thanks, Derrick, for your beautiful photography.)

Thank you, Jackie, for sharing your wonderful gardening results with us. I can’t grow roses here in Montana. The antelope eat the buds and chew off the leaves! So I am deeeelighted that you share yours.

Be Happy With What You Have

Show others your joy!
A part of being happy
Is looking around.

Appreciate life
And be thankful for your friends;
Share in their blessings.

Don’t focus on lack.
But look at what you have got,
And thank our Father.

Have a Wonderful Week!
Thank you for visiting JanBeek today.
I hope it made you happy.

Share with me something that brings you joy.


See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

To God Be the Glory


(You can sing my poem to that same tune…
Try it!!)

To God Be the Glory
Great things He has done.
In God is my hope
For the vict’ries yet won.

We all are a work
In progress with Him.
He’s not finished with us yet.
The future’s not grim.

Just look at this seven-year-old.
Hear the joy in his voice.
See the future through him.
In his future, rejoice!

To God be the future…
In Him I can trust.
In Him we can place hope.
His promises are just!

Because He lives,
And I’m connected to the vine,
Because I know He lives,
All hope is mine.

Because He taught us
How to live for others,
I can do my part
With my sisters and my brothers.

Let His love guide your actions;
Let His teachings fill your soul.
To God be the glory –
In Him, let’s be whole!

Let Him heal us all so
We can turn to Him and sing
It is well with my soul…
Whatever life may bring.

God bless you, my friends.
Have a peace-filled week.
Pray to God for health and peace and justice.
Be the love you wish to see and feel in this world.

See ya later today, I hope.
I will post my sermon notes from Sunday
on my next post: “Love the Stranger.”
Be sure to check back.


Thanks for being part of the solution,
not the problem.


Love,
JanBeek

Is Fearlessness Foolishness?


I have heard (and often repeated) the phrase, “Fear is the opposite of Faith.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Fear or Faith?

Are wearing a mask, washing your hands often/thoroughly, and practicing social distancing acts of fear?

Is opening your home or your church, your store or your restaurant with no extra precautions due to COVID-19 an act of faith?

Is being too cautious an act of fear? (What does “too cautious” look like?)

Photo by Julia Kuzenkov on Pexels.com

Was shutting down our church at the height of the virus pandemic being too cautious? Was it contradictory to our faith?

To Open or Not to Open

Many questions of fear or faith were posed during our sermon today by Rev. Steve Hundley. I’ve listed ten of them below. We met as a congregation in the church building for the first time in twelve weeks. We’ve been ZOOM meeting since this pandemic was announced in the USA in mid-March.

Madison Valley Presbyterian Church

To keep people safe, every other row of pews was ribboned off and people sat at least six feet apart in the pews.

Fran McNeill, our music director

During the hymns, Fran played a verse on the piano while the congregation either listened, read the words silently in the hymnals, or hummed along. For now, no singing out loud. That was hard for those of us who love to sing.
But the emissions from singing travel farther than those of just talking … some even further than coughing or sneezing. So, we were cautious.

Jo & Jim Forsberg

Jim Forsberg provided special music during the service. Playing his guitar and singing… one of the numbers he sang was an old time favorite, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” The lyrics go on to say, “all the children of the world… red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight; Jesus loves the little children of the world.” So pertinent in light today’s issues of racial inequality.

In the photo above, Jim and his wife, Jo, are chatting with Fran about the music – and I am sure commenting on how good it is to see one another again.

Megan & Murray

Mask or Not?

This mom had her hands full with this adorable, very active little guy. Murray keeps us all smiling with his exuberant energy. I love seeing the little ones in our worship service. Pastor Steve quoted a doctor at our Madison Valley Medical Center who said masks on children can be more bothersome and dangerous than no mask at all because children have a tendency to touch their face more when wearing one.

Here is Murray’s dad and little sister:

Seeing Nellie and Nick with us brightened my day.

Questions to Ponder

Rev. Steve Hundley posed some very thought-provoking questions in his sermon today. He didn’t really give us answers… just left the questions for us to ponder:

  1. Is God angry with us?
  2. Is God larger than this dreaded virus? (He said the affirmative of that was a quote from a pastor who opened his church early on in the pandemic … and later died of the virus)
  3. Was shutting down the church for 12 weeks contradictory to our faith? (Some of our members were not happy about the closure)
  4. Why have we allowed partisanship, economics, and race to divide us?
  5. In spite of their devout faith, why has the Navajo nation been hit so hard by this pandemic? (Their deaths per capita are higher than any state in the union.)
  6. Is the unity of the church under attack in our polarized world?
  7. Can we be angry without sin?
  8. Can we set aside our political stances as conservatives or progressives and just unite to strengthen the body of the church?
  9. Is it possible for us to focus on what brings us together rather than what separates us?
  10. When someone leaves the church saying they won’t return because “Nobody cares about me,” and I tell them, “Yes, they do,” and they respond with “OK, name ONE!” Can I name YOU? (This question brought tears to my eyes… I know people who have left, and I wanted to stand up and shout, “I care! Name me!!”)
George Kate, and Ross visiting after church
Kathy, Miriam, Dick, and Mike

Fellowship in the foyer after church found people reconnecting, but remaining cautious. Are we maintaining our distance?

It may be easier for us in Montana to try and stay six feet apart, but you will notice in the pictures that even here, we don’t always adhere to that social distancing. It’s difficult! It’s neither foolishness nor fearlessness, it’s just hard!

How are you doing with this business of staying apart? What did you do this Sunday? Did your church meet physically again? If not, how did you worship our God today? Did you approach Him with your most difficult questions?

I hope you are healthy, happy, and safe.
I’ve gotcha in prayer, my friend.
See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

Eyes on Jesus – Just As I Am


Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light at the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the savior,
And life more abundant and free…

Dear Lord,

Go to this world that is dying.
Come to us who are sad and sighing.
Come to us who are weary and worried.
Just calm all of us who are hurried.

We come as we are to your alter,
Knowing without You, we falter.
Take what is broken and mend it.
Take was is wounded. heal and tend it.

Hold those who are desperate; rescue us.
Fill those who are empty; You treasure us.
We know we are guilty, so pardon us.
Help us to grow love as You garden us.

Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

Help us grow the fruit of compassion.
Where you find hate, please refashion.
Take what you see and improve us,
Let your Holy Spirit truly move us.

Move us to love unity and justice.
Don’t let divisions and rhetoric bust us.
Make us strong, wise and actively trying
To restore peace to earth. We are crying.

Crying for healing and restoration.
Crying for prejudice’s elimination.
Crying for every adult and child
To adopt Christ’s ways, which are mild.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

I am praying for you.
See ya later.
Hugs,
JanBeek





Walk the Talk


My 2020 resolution is to “Walk the Talk.” It is a daily commitment. What was your 2020 resolution?

Try to “Walk the Talk.”
Try to live your commitments.
Express them daily.

Today I walked with my TOPS friends. Here are two of them with me: Cherrie & Jeannie. We walked in our Lion’s Club Park. Did a lot of talking as we walked. Tried to solve all the world’s problems!

Valais, Switzerland

No, this isn’t my walking path… it’s my daughter, DeAna’s, in Sierre, Switzerland. She walks this trail up into the Alps – often joined by one or two of her three sons. Yesterday she sent this photo. Our grandson, Chris, was her walking partner.

DeAna “walked the talk” with Chrissy as they navigated the trail on the terraced mountainsides and enjoyed the outdoor time together.

Here is DeAna, our daughter, with her new haircut.
No, she’s not in Paris. That’s just her “photo op!”

.

And before that haircut:

She says she’d like to be on a tropical island!
I’d say being in Switzerland is not a bad option!

Today De’s walk was with Christine, a friend who was one of their waitresses for almost 20 years in the restaurant they once owned on main street in Sierre.

Christine – on the balcony overlooking the Swiss valley

Half way up the Alps from their city is a beautiful little place called Vissoie, De and Andre’ have purchased a new restaurant… new to them, but with a long history in this Alpine village.

It has that typical Swiss chalet appearance with a hotel attached above and on the right. They take possession in October, I think.

Isn’t this an inviting spot? As they plan for this new venture, they get to “Walk the Talk” of trust. Trust that this pandemic world will not always keep people sequestered and afraid to go out and dine together. Trust that the people of Vissoie and the surrounding communities will accept them and frequent their dining hall. Trust that visitors will stay in their hotel.

My prayers are with them, of course, as I encourage them in this exciting new time on their lives.

Lion’s Club Park, Ennis, Montana

As my lady friends and I walked the trail in our beautiful park, we talked about family, commitments, future events, the racial injustice that is sparking protests all over the USA, and the COVID-19 situation that is far from over.

My goal is encouragement and positivity. I share my faith here on WordPress, and I share the Source of my Joy with my walking friends.

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Follow the sunshine
Follow the Almighty Son
Joy’s in commitment

Walk the Talk!
And be grateful for where you are!!


See ya tomorrow.
Have a Blessed Wednesday.

Love,
JanBeek

Wired for Connection


You know I need you.
We’re wired for connection,
Love and belonging.

Me (Jan) with Lexi, Bernie & Suz

Birthday girl needs love.
Friends need connectivity.
We crave relations.

We’re in the same nest.
We’re born in this together.
But don’t smother me!

I rise with the sun
Into a brand new morning
Facing a new day.

Connected to God.
Learning to live cautiously,
Leaning on my Lord.

Proverbs 27:17

“As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.”

When is it Time?

If baby robin #4 in that nest up there doesn’t sharpen her will, poke her beak up with the rest, and open up, she will be doomed to the nest forever!

So, we who need one another are asking ourselves, “When it it time to open up? When it it time to let our courage and our natural need for connections take hold? When can we do it safely?”

Should we wear a mask or not? Should we join the protestors or not? When it is time to believe COVID-19 is safely at bay?

Each Person is Different

Not only is each person different, but each area of our world is different, too. Here in Montana, I could join my friends for a small birthday gathering outside (only 7 of us) and feel safe. I realize everyone in the world does not have that luxury.

But while we each are different, so are we all alike in many ways. We all crave genuine connection.

Matthew Lieberman, a Harvard-trained psychologist wrote,

“The human brain is wired to be social. Love and belonging might seem like a convenience we can live without, but our biology is built to thirst for connection because it is linked to our most basic survival needs.”

Birds of a feather
Flock together, connecting
Love and harmony.

Likewise, we humans
Crave times to touch each other.
Isolation hurts!

Photo by Yogendra Singh on Pexels.com

Pray for Opportunities

We need connection.
Pray for opportunities
To safely gather.

I pray for your health.
I pray for our world’s return
To safe gatherings.

I pray for world peace,
For racial equality,
God’s intervention.

Lord, help us all to
Turn to You for our guidance.
Lift us safely up.

Open every beak
To receive life’s sustenance
And sing Your glory.

Have a Hallelujah Day, my friends.
I feel your presence…

See ya tomorrow.
Jan Beekman

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: