Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘faith’

Embrace Adversity – 8 Ways


How do you define adversity?
It is symbolized by tough times.
It is exhibited by disagreements.
It represents challenges.

How do we deal with adversity?
Why should we embrace it?
Misfortune means misery, right?
Calamity and distress are its partners.

But the Bible says, “The Lord is
A stronghold in times of trouble.”
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed.
“Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”
(Psalm 34:10b)

So let us embrace adversity
By understanding it is a vehicle
That strengthens us just as fire
Tempers steel and hardens it.

We are called to share each other’s burdens.
That is one of the purposes of church:
Congregations are called to care for,
Encourage, empathize, and strengthen one another.

“The church is a network of shoulders
Supporting the collective weight
Of everyone’s troubles, lifting burdens,
Helping others find rest for their weary hearts.”

(Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries)

God often uses hard times to get our attention.
When things are going great,
we are not so quick to turn to Him.
But trials drive us to our knees for answers and comfort.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield,
my heart trusts in Him,
and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise Him.

Photo by Luna Lovegood on Pexels.com

The adversity that I faced recently was the death of my “favorite student,” Ty Stiles. The picture above could easily have been him. His early death was “misfortune” to the highest degree! I have told you about him in several recent blogs. Yesterday was his Memorial Service at Monte Vista Chapel, his home church in Turlock, CA. I was blessed to be able to attend it virtually because the church recorded it on a YouTube broadcast.

How do we face the “misfortune” of such a loss? Only by our faith! Only by knowing God keeps His promises and Ty has gone to Heaven. We will go there some day, too. We will all be reunited. In the meantime, adversity turns to adventure. We are invited to live our lives with thankfulness for the privilege of knowing one another. We are asked to change our perspective from “I can’t handle this,” to “”I can’t handle this on my own, but I can with Jesus’ help.”

Let the adventure of today’s challenges bring strength when we feel weak, safety when we feel danger, comfort when we feel distress. Let us be the ones who stand tall and say, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” Be ever ready to leap for joy and with your song, ever praise the Lord who is our strength.

Pray for his comfort and strength, rather than praying that he’d simply remove difficulties. Embrace Adversity. Be the shoulder others lean on. God will bless you!

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Blueness


Reblogging a fellow blogger’s post… Thank you, mkvecchitto!


A Renewing Force Within
by mkvecchitto

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Malleable are lists of sins we accrue

a barter between gains we’ve won and debts we owe

Embrace unlimited shades of blue

Exhausting – holding this constant guard

Even stormy melancholy seas are drenched in

these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo

Healing power pulses in each flaw

like a broken heart that still beats

Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I was going to call my blog today “Embrace Healing,” but the I came across the post above. I decided that post is a gift in blueness – and it speaks more to my mood today than “healing” does.

Today I am blue… because the note I received from my former student’s mother-in-law, Marilyn, left me with no hope for Ty Stiles’ earthly healing. I studied my broken heart and looked again at Marilyn’s words. “He told Roxann [his wife] that he is ready to go to Heaven.” As I prayed for Ty’s last days, I looked at that broken heart again.

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

Did you ever realize that the two parts of a broken heart are angel’s wings?
Look again!

God’s angels spoke to me and reminded me that death is not final. Jesus conquered death. Ty is a believer. Ty is called according to His purpose. Yesterday Ty’s church members gathered outside his home for a prayer vigil. One of his cousins made the gathering into a FaceTime chat so he could see/hear the prayers being offered on his behalf (and if he was unable to hear and comprehend, at least I know his wife, Roxann, could. The prayers were for her, as well.

As I shared in my “Embrace Reassurance” blog a couple days ago, God hears. God cares. God answers. Sometimes HEALING does not come in the form of a magical cure. Sometimes it comes as RELEASE.

Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.

God bless Ty Stiles!

My heart is with you as you leave the pain
and embrace the beautiful blueness of Christ’s Kingdom.
Someday I’ll join you there, Ty.
Meantime, keep the Pearly Gates polished!

Thanks for joining me at JanBeek
and thank you for praying for Ty and Roxann.
See you tomorrow.

Embrace Reason


Reason required to:
Reach resilience
Rebuild Trust
Repair relationships
Require responsibility
Review daily briefings
Reach across aisles
Revive compassion
Reassure doubters
Resist rumors
Release resentment
Return to mutual respect
Reject falsehoods
Retain faith
Rescind travel ban on Muslims
Rejoin Paris Climate Agreement
Restore Federal loan repayment pause
Renew ban on evictions and foreclosures due to the pandemic
Refuse divisiveness
Resurrect trust in the press
Renew dedication to our constitution
Remember to pray
Rely on God’s plans for our lives and for this world
Reason Required… so,
EMBRACE REASON!

Reason Rallies Renewal

God Bless America
and
God Bless You!
See ya tomorrow.
Hearty Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Gratitude


What are you grateful for today?

Just as children are grateful for their parents,
their homes, their teachers,
their food,
and so much more,
so we as adults must remember
to express gratitude for those same things
and for one another.

How do you express your gratitude?

I really appreciate this video
and express my gratitude
by sharing it with you.
No, you can’t click on this one…
it’s just a photo.

Before you click on the video below,
look up at that man’s face.
See the kindness in his eyes.
See the bit of a smile on his lips.
Notice he is looking at his passenger
in her pretty turquoise scarf.
Anticipate what you think he may be saying to her.
Notice the bouquet of red roses blurred in the foreground.
Now – click on the video below
… and be prepared to be touched!

You may not have been able to understand the words
this Iranian man was speaking to his wife,
but your understanding of the message was clear.
Right?
Didn’t it warm your heart
and reinforce the need to be grateful for one another?


When I think of my family, gratitude bubbles up inside me.

1) I am grateful for my husband’s love… for me and for our children.
2) I am grateful for bouquets of roses. (I could see him passing a bouquet on to others to share love.)
3) I am grateful for the happy home my parents provided for me was a child.
4) I am grateful that my husband’s parents were faith-filled, loving parents, too.
5) I am grateful that my children provided loving homes for their children.

Pass it on!!

There is no greater gift we can give our children than to love one another.
Be grateful for that love and keep it alive!

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

As you EMBRACE GRATITUDE,
think of 4 or 5 things you’re grateful for today.
I’d love to have you share a few of them in the comments below.

We may be blurry, but we’re together!
I’m grateful for our family.
(That was last year… I look forward to being together again in 2021)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Too Big a Pill to Swallow?


Is that idea of a virgin birth
too big a pill for you to swallow?
It gets in the way of faith
for a whole lot of folks.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon
by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, MT
dealt with that subject…
the virgin birth.
He titled it:

Conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and Born of the Virgin Mary


It’s a stumbling block for many
To think of a baby born of a virgin…
The idea can seem like a fairy tale.
It can be a pill too big to swallow.

Some people believe Christ was
Half God and half human.
Only One who is fully God
Can atone for our sins.

Only one who is fully human
Can experience our suffering and pain.
So many deny Jesus’ duality:
Jesus was born divine and became human.

Philippians 2:7
“But made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.”


This verse is our first statement of faith:
He found Himself as human
And humbled Himself.
He chose to be dependent on humans.

Jesus could not have been born
Without that simple peasant girl;
And He suffered all the human pain
And a cruel and painful death.

It’s a gigantic leap of faith
To fully believe the virgin birth.
But, take comfort in knowing
Even the disciples had trouble.

Even though they walked
With Jesus on this earth,
They had trouble believing
He was the Holy Son of God.

The initial act of faith
Is not that total belief.
The initial act of faith
Is to invite Jesus into your heart.

When your own life is changed
By the love of Christ in you,
Then your faith will grow;
You will share that faith with others.

Jesus sees the pearls in the dust.
Not what we are, but
What God intends us to become.
In Christ, our faith can help us get there.

We don’t begin as full believers.
We begin as that dependent manger child.
We begin looking for a Teacher of Wisdom,
And Jesus, the Holy Son of God enters.

Let Him walk with you.
Let Him help your faith to grow.
When it comes to faith,
The heart is one step ahead of the intellect!

Pastoral Prayer

by Steve Hundley

We have run our yearly race to Bethlehem, O Lord, and many are tired from what has been a very difficult year.  We know that You did not mean it that way, but intended for Your Son’s birth to bring us peace and joy and renewal, and a sense of togetherness that comes from this season of love and giving.

In the stillness of this moment we turn our hearts to You as the needle of a compass points to True North.  Amidst all the tension of this year, may You remain at the center, calling us to hope and to clarity of purpose.  On the eve of a new year, give guidance to us and the nations of the world, as we seek to find our way out of this pandemic.  Incline our hearts to modesty, honesty, and compassion.  Let us be tender to all of those in need, especially the young, the old, the tired, the poor, the sick, and all who are struggling just to survive.,,

So many have died these last 10 months, O Lord.  Hold in Your arms those who grieve, whose spirits are distressed by the loss of loved ones, or jobs, or homes in all of the uncertainty that surrounds them.  Speak to us in our worship, we pray, in something heard or seen or felt, that we may go from this place of worship with a renewed sense of Your presence in our lives.

Let the months before us bring rest to a weary world and hope to millions who continue to dwell in darkness.  Use us who wait before You to accomplish Your will, through devotion and imagination and love.  We pray this prayer in the name of Christ our Savior… Amen

May you, my dear WP friends,
find the peace,
comfort,
hope,
and clarity of purpose
for which we pray.

This describes my purpose! I will declare His coming
and live in modesty, honesty, and compassion.

How about your clarity of purpose?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Don’t forget to comment below.
I would love to hear about
your Sunday and your purpose.
Hugs!!

See ya tomorrow…

Missing Or Giving?


This is Vissoie, Switzerland.
Our daughter and son-in-law have a restaurant here.
Isn’t it beautiful?

We missed our visit with them this year. We are not even able to go to California to celebrate Christmas with our son and his family there. I bet we are not alone. Many of you are missing your visits with your family this Christmas, too.

We’ll miss being with our son, Ty, and having my sister, Sally with us this year.

What are you missing?

Photo by Maximiliano Ignacio Pinilla Alvarado on Pexels.com

Like this sad looking dog, we can sit around and look all mopey.
We can focus on what we’re missing.
Or we can go to Ann Kaplow’s blog this morning,
try focusing on the positive,
and answer her question,
“Can you find something to celebrate in today’s images?”

Ann Koplow
Check out her blog below.

Ann KoplowThe Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Celebrate the fact that even though we feel the darkness of this Coronavirus and the isolation caused by this pandemic, we also can experience the LIGHT! The Light still shines – and we can reflect it!

Focus on the Reason for the Season

Let us not focus
On the things we are missing
But on our blessings

We have so much to give!
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Basic needs are met
And we have great resources
Enough to share them

When your needs are met
Leave the reptilian brain
And share your great smile

Food, clothing, shelter –
Not all people are so blessed.
Take these for granted?

No! Let’s treasure them.
Now we can go beyond them –
Reach out to others.

What do we have to give?

You have love to give
You have compassion to give
And you have kindness

Focus on giving
Blessings are overflowing
Share them with others

As long as you give
Know your cup will be refilled
You can’t out-give God!

In this weary world
People long for what you have
Share your love – give faith!

Have a little faith
Not in the things of this world
But in the True Light

Take the LOVE He gives
And let that love shine through you
Give a little FAITH!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed Thursday.
Count your blessings!
See ya tomorrow.

Protected


I’m told Mother’s milk
Protects a baby at birth
And provides comfort

Photo by Cleyder Duque on Pexels.com

It’s a bit risque’
To post such a photograph
But it proves a point

Innocent Babies
Who nurse on their mother’s milk
Have immunity

Like that babe in arms
We, too, are safe – protected
In the arms of God

Job 11:18

“And you will have confidence,
because there is hope;
you will be protected
and take your rest
in safety.”

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Prayer of Protection

The light of God surrounds me
The love of God enfolds me
The power of God protects me
The presence of God watches over me
Wherever I am, God is.

My Sanctuary

I repeat that prayer
As I begin every day,
Standing in this spot.

I turn off the light
And let God’s light shine through me –
Reflecting His Love.

Everywhere I go,
I have faith that everything
Has His protection.

My view from my sanctuary

The Bible is full
Of protection promises
Here’s three hours worth!!!

No, I don’t expect you to sit here for three hours
and listen to all these scriptures, but they prove a point…
just as that nursing baby proves a point.
Protection is out there.
Protection is yours.
“Wherever I am, God is.”
Believe it! Own it!

God is my refuge… my Savior.
Jesus said, “Never will I leave you.
Never will I forsake you.”

I pray you feel His protection this day, too.

God bless you!

I hope you found comfort here.

The Lord is my Shepherd….
He refreshes my soul
and guides me along the right path.
Fear no evil…

See you tomorrow.
Hugs, JanBeek

Live the Faith; Let Your Light Shine!


Live true to your FAITH
Show love to everybody
Daily Walk the Talk

Daily reminder
It is to me from myself!
You may borrow it.

Isaiah 9:2

“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.”

Prov. 8:20-21

“… I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in His presence,
rejoicing in His whole world
and delighted in mankind.”

Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com

“Don’t ever let anyone put out your light because they are blinded by it.”

― Shannon L. Alder

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“I feel that we’re all lighthouses,
and my job is to shine my light
as brightly as I can to the darkness.”

― Jim Carrey

Shine for others
when they are in darkness

Lighthouses just shine
In the place they are planted
Just be still and shine

I will shine the light
I will hold you in my arms
Help you find His Way

I will shine the light!

I Will
Live true to my FAITH
Show love to everybody
and
Daily Walk the Talk

Photo by Zac Frith on Pexels.com

May the light of peace
Shine on brightly in your life –
I will shine the light!

Thanks for visiting today.
If you have a prayer request,
please share it with me.
I will walk beside you in prayer.
Love, JanBeek

Helpless Does Not Equal Hopeless


Remember:
Helpless
Does not Equal
Hopeless.

Even when I feel helpless
To change the outcome
Of a given situation,
I need to hang on to hope!

In this day of indecisive results
I need to hang on to the hope
That the outcome will be
In God’s ultimate plan.

It ain’t over
Til it’s over,
So hang on to hope.
Hang on for dear life!

What are you hoping for?
See ya tomorrow.
Love ya,
JanBEE ;o)

Hold On!


What do you need to hold on to?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At this stage in my life, I don’t need to buy anything else
(except maybe food to sustain Bob & me
and a plane ticket or two to travel
to see our kids when it’s safe to do so)
… but I need to get rid of things instead.

How about you? If you were given this prompt,
“Hold on to your ____,”
how would you fill in the blank?
Ann Kaplow tickled my creative funny bone with her post today:

Day 2886: Hold on to your …

Posted on October 19, 2020 by Ann Koplow

Check it out and see some of the things she identified.
Here are a few things I think I should hold on to:

Photo by Ferdinand Studio on Pexels.com

Hold on to your umbrella;
Let the wind carry you away.
Hang on and float high
To a joyous, better day.

Photo by Fru00f6ken Fokus on Pexels.com

Hold on to your future
Let it carry you to the sky,
To days of brighter sunshine.
Let it carry you up high.

Hold on to your faith;
Let it carry you to love.
Let it bring you greater wisdom
And powers from above.

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

Hang onto your head;
Keep your intellect intact.
Be cautious and discerning;
Know all you hear ain’t fact.

Hold onto your friends,
But remind them to wear masks.
That was Anne Kaplow’s prompt.
Be safe – is all she asks.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Hold on to earth’s hope
For a better, safer world.
Be kind to our planet –
Don’t let this virus stay unfurled.

What do your think we should hold on to?

I’m gonna hold on to Bob.
I’m feeling so blessed that he is feeling so much better.
Did I tell you that the afternoon my sis died
was the day he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure?

I’m gonna hold on to our wonderful doctor
who stayed long after her “shift” was over –
and ordered blood work, x-rays, and an EKG,
and stayed til the results came in.
Then she walked us up the stairs to the front door
to see how Bob did with climbing stairs.
Then called the next morning to
check on him and offer encouragement
and an appointment this week
for an echocardiogram.

Yes, I’m gonna hold on to that wonderful doctor!!

And this guy:


We have had so many friends
and family members praying for us.
God is good.
All the time.
He put a song of praise in my heart.
God hears and answers prayer!


Life is looking up.
We’re holding on!
{{{Hugs}}} to you.
You hold on, too.
Love ya,
JanBeek

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