Hmmm… the prompt for today asked me to tell what is my favorite place to go in my city…
Is that question assuming we all live in a city? Thank God, I don’t!
Now, I don’t mean to offend those of you in cities who love living where there are bright lights, lots of traffic, big buildings, and crowds of people. BUT,
Give me one main street, cars I can count on my two hands, businesses who know customers by name, plentiful opportunities for building friendships as well as volunteering to help others, mountains in the background, and a river that runs through it… and I’ll be happy!
My favorite places to go in my little town? 1. Our independent version of McDonalds is “Sugar High” (It has great burgers and terrific huckleberry shakes) 2. The Manor Nursing Home (I love helping the residents there – it’s such a loving place) 3. The Madison Valley Library (We have a five star library… doesn’t get any better!) 4. Lion’s Club Park (The walking trail bordering the Madison River is divine)
In a little town like Ennis, you can see the stars at night. No bright lights to block out their beauty…
My last couple of posts dealt with the theme of shipwrecks and lifeboats. Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church seemed to contradict the idea of jumping from the ship and hopping on the lifeboat. Or did it?
The boat in today’s scripture lesson was in a storm (“…beaten by the waves …the wind was against them,” Matt 14:24b). The boat was filled with the 12 disciples. Jesus was walking on the water to come to them.
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way[a] from the land,[b] beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night[c] he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,[d] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
In his sermon today, Rev. Steve Hundley took me on a new journey through that scripture. Instead of focusing on Peter and his desire to also walk on water – and his doubt which caused him to begin to sink, Pastor Steve invited us to take a closer look at the eleven disciples who remained in the boat. I had not done that before. In fact, I am not sure I even realized the boat was big enough for eleven of them to fit in there!
If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I have a habit of listening to the sermon and taking notes in poetry. That way I can share the message with Bob on our way home (since he has trouble hearing and following the sermon during church). Well, I did that note-taking today. Here is what I came away with:
Is this a story about faith? Is it about Peter’s doubt? Or, is it about the eleven who Stayed in the boat without a shout?
They saw Jesus walking on the sea. They thought He was a ghost. Jesus said, Never fear, it is I.” Peter: “… if it is You…” Not the eleven, though. Who believed most?
Peter doubted – and he asked to be Set apart so then he’d believe. Like the rest of us who ask For exemption – “Give me special power – relieve!”
Relieve my doubt. Let me ask for help. Do you have trouble asking for help? Do you like playing the hero? Unlike the eleven disciples, do you yelp?
Peter yelped, “Let me walk on water, too.” Jesus gave him the ability to walk. But Peter continued to doubt And so he began to sink. Walk the talk?
No, the church doesn’t need heroes. It needs disciples like the eleven were. Stay in the boat – Wait for Jesus to come. Don’t try to be a hero and cause a stir!
We’ve got a storm of constant change Going on all about us. We need To stay in the boat and pay attention To the eleven. Don’t be a Peter of greed!
The wind and waves stirring up change In our world can eat a person alive. It’s easy to jump ship, but Jesus says, Stay the course. Stay in the boat. Survive!
Take heart! You are not alone. I am with you in the boat. Sing! Know that this is your lifeboat. Wait for the peace and calm that I will bring.”
In his “Prayers of the People” after the sermon and a hymn titled, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” Pastor Steve prayed,
“Take us by the hand And rescue us in our darkest hours. It is You who rescues us. We pray You will not leave us alone. As we strain at the oars, protect us when we find ourselves adrift. Strengthen our hands when we are weak.”
I would add, “Strengthen our faith when we are weak. Keep us on the boat. It is not a shipwreck, not if You, Lord, are our Captain.”
Don’t jump ship! Life may be a shipwreck, but with Jesus as your Captain, your boat is a lifeboat! You can trust Him completely. Sing in the lifeboat!
Sing, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men…” (and of women, too!)
Thanks for visiting JanBeek this lovely Sunday afternoon. I hope you had a great day. Bee well, and Bee safe! And stay in the boat!!
Do you love to travel? What is your motivation to travel? Some people travel to study history. Some travel to see the scenery. Bob traveled recently to “catch the big one!” Others travel for business purposes. Why do you travel?
This week my grandson, Mike, who lived in Switzerland took a trip to Greece with his fiance’ Tania, and sent me some wonderful photos. Why do you think they traveled?
At the same time, our daughter, DeAna, sent us pictures of her travel experience. She and Andre’ (our son-in-law) are traveling to Corsica this week. Why do you think they traveled?
Bob & I traveled to Bozeman today. That kind of travel counts, don’t you think? It’s an hour’s drive… We went for several reasons: Get my new iPhone, Get help programming the phone, Get a haircut, Buy new clothes for our trip to Switzerland. Why do you think we’re going to Europe?
No, our trip to Switzerland has nothing to do with Swiss cows. Guess again!
I am praying that all these COVID tests required for flying to London, and then required for staying there, and then required for leaving and going to Switzerland will arrive on time to each of their destinations. I have faith that God hears my prayers, and God knows how much we need to see our daughter and the rest of our Swiss family. Please pray with me for all to go smoothly!
And stay tuned…
I hope to show you my favorite sites along the way.
Bob says it’ll be pretty hard to beat that wonderful, surreal trip he just took with his buddies to Alaska. Rex sent a photo of Bob fishing (there was a bear on the shore right across the river from where he was)! Just imagine that!
I can’t post that fisherman-bear photo today (gotta figure out how to reduce the size of the file and eliminate some of my WordPress photos so I have room to add more in my media library)… But, it is pretty hard to beat those kinds of experiences, huh?
God willing, and test results arriving on time, we’ll be sharing our fun in the days to come.
Where have you traveled recently? Or what’s your favorite trip?
If you’ve followed my blog or seen my posts on FaceBook, you know my husband, Bob, has been facing some medical challenges. I asked for prayers for his return to usual stamina.
Thank you for those prayers, (if you offered them up to God for us). He is feeling soooo much better – and the doctor has okayed his trip tomorrow!!
So, Happy Labor Day weekend, my friends! I hope you are enjoying a relaxing, fun-filled day.
Bob is getting ready to go on a fishing trip with two of his buddies. They leave at 5: am tomorrow for Anchorage and then will spend a week at Kulik Lodge, way up north on the peninsula of Alaska, in the area called Bristol Bay. Have you every been to Alaska? Have you been fishing there?
His buddies told him he doesn’t need to bring all his flies on the trip. The lodge and guides where he is going will provide for him all the flies he needs.
Doesn’t that look inviting??
If all goes well, he will not only be able to catch some whoppers, but he will have at least one smoked and shipped home with him!
While Bob is getting ready for his trip, I am getting ready for his absence. In our 60 years of wedded bliss, I cannot remember ever being away from him this long!
So, as I get ready to be away from Bob for more than a week, send me some ideas for how to avoid loneliness! Tell me how to get ready to fix a meal for one… and to eat alone for 9 days!
A friend is coming over to keep me company for awhile tomorrow. (Thank you, Julie!)
What are you doing Tuesday?
Thank God for our pets, huh? I know TazE will be great company.
Have a good Sunday evening. I send my love and hugs your way.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek See ya tomorrow (God willing)
I really appreciate all the Happy Birthday wishes extended my way this past weekend. Thank you so much!
Even though I am happy to tell you I am starting my 83rd year on earth, I am also happy to tell you that I am a fan of Jack Benny. Now, if you are too young to remember who Jack Benny was (or you are in another country where Jack Benny was not a nationally known figure), let me tell you: Jack Benny was a comedian who embraced 39 – and decided to stay that age forever more!
Actually, I embrace aging (I wrote a blog using that title once) – I I have no desire to be stuck at 39 or any other age.
Each year brings new insights. Each year brings new joys. Each year brings new challenges. I don’t want to miss any of them.
How about you?
“Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old. Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever. Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.”
Each day I pray for wisdom. Each day I ask God to increase my understanding and I thank the Holy Spirit for the fruits of the spirit that are mine: LOVE, JOY AND PEACE. And I ask God to help me with the other fruits of the spirit: patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… those that I work to increase as I mature in my faith.
How about you?
As I gather up those birthdays and mature in my faith, I remember to keep a child-like spirit. Enjoy that song. Sing it often. Teach it to your grandchildren. Sing it with your great-grandchildren. Put it in your heart.
You can’t be a lemon or a grape if you wanna be a fruit of the spirit!! Who wants to grow up to be a lemon anyway?
Work on that patience, Jan … your great-grandchildren need to see you model it! And your grand-dog needs you to exercise that gentleness and kindness, too. Ain’t always easy.
How about you?
On my birthday, Ty (our son) and Bob went out fishing (not catching… just fishing) … and that required a lot of patience! I went along for the joy of the ride. It was cool on the water in the morning, but the afternoon warmed up.
That evening Ty and our daughter-in-law, Monika, Bob & I went in to Bozeman for dinner and dessert. We had a delightful time at a table out front of “Hooked Sushi” enjoying the music being played down the sidewalk a half a block, and the people and dogs walking by. Such fun!
Only in a college town would you find this kind of vibrancy. I love it!
We went after dinner to a very popular ice cream store … and had great fun with some college students who were in line ahead of us. Look at this cute kid! (Ya, I had fun teasing him …)
Sunday afternoon Bob, Ty & Monika went kayaking/paddleboarding while TazE & I found a shady spot and relaxed.
You can barely see the mountains outlined back there… not a typically beautiful day on Ennis Lake. Pray for the forest fires to be contained and the firefighters to be safe!
What are you doing this Monday evening besides surfing the net?
It’s a beautiful evening for a maiden fly fishing adventure. Bob & Steve took Mary Grace out on the Madison.
Stay tuned, friends. I’ll give you a report tomorrow to let you know how they did. I hope they are able to catch a few big ones. They will call when they are ready for me to get them at the “take out” in Ennis. Bob says, “The tug is the drug.”
Embrace Fellowship Cherish being together Time is so fleeting
Enjoy sharing time So much, you forget photos! Just be in the now.
Today our Presbyterian Women met at a gorgeous home right on the Madison River.
Those pictures above were taken several years back at our two annual fundraisers.
Today I intended to take some pictures to post here for you to see how much we enjoy our fellowship. But, I was having so much fun, I forgot to capture the event with my iPhone!
Instead, it is stored up in my memory bank. There were eleven of us. We had Bible Study, then dessert, and then our business meeting.
We planned future events – among them our volunteer schedule at the local Blood Draw next week – and our participation at the Ennis Art Festival (it was cancelled last year due to COVID).
Not being able to hold those functions helped us realize just how much fellowship means to our mental health. We really missed the connections!
I’ll bet you had the same reaction. Being isolated, socially distancing, wearing masks, cancelling events… all took their toll on us! How good to be back together again!!
Now we are able to go out to restaurants again. We socially distance, but we don’t have to wear masks. It is so good to feel safe in the company of others!
I ordered my favorite item on the Sidewinders menu: Reuben sandwich with sweet potato fries. MmmMmmmMmmmm!!
This afternoon, after our PW meeting, our new pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds, came for dinner and a fly casting lesson. Bob took her to the back yard and she practiced. Mary Grace is going to love going out on the Madison River. The guys are all lined up ready to take turns…
I took this slo-motion video so she can critique her technique. She’s a fast learner!
It was such a beautiful evening here. We thoroughly enjoyed our fellowship with Mary Grace. The Pastor Nominating Committee process was a long, arduous task that lasted about a year and a half… but MGR was worth waiting for!
Today our daughter, De, sent us links to this event coming up in Switzerland. (You remember our DeDe lives in Vissoie, Valais Switzerland, right?) We’ve been to this fun event in the past. “The Cow Fights” are an annual event. They are well attended. People go not just to see the excitement of the cows selecting their “Queen Cow” by the survival of the fittest, but for the fun of fellowship with as many friends as they can muster. They bet on the cow of their choice, drink their fill of Swiss wine and beer, and enjoy a picnic lunch high up in the beautiful Alps.
We won’t be there this weekend for the event, but we look forward to fellowship with our daughter and her family this October (God willing). We learned yesterday that she has a polyp on an ovary. It was detected during a routine annual physical. We are waiting for the biopsy report. Please pray with us that it is benign – and she can have it removed with no long-term adverse affects.
Looking out today at our neighbor’s house here in Montana, I can’t help but thank God for this beautiful place we live. I thank God for our “Hood” … gracious, loving, helpful neighbors. The Hockings, across the field from us, installed a gorgeous flag pole while we were on our trip to CA. What a great addition! We look forward to future fellowship with them – soon!
Meantime, here we are in this video – back in CA, sitting around the table at our son’s house, enjoying family fellowship, singing to our grandson-in-law, Drew, who celebrated his birthday back in Montana.
Ah, Family Fellowship… there’s nothing like it! I thank God each day for it. With Father’s Day coming up Sunday after this one, I look at these fathers in my life, and I thank God for their loving hearts.
I hope you have the gift of loving fathers in your circle of fellowship, too. Never take them for granted! Not every child is so blessed!!
IT’S GIFT FROM GOD!
I pray all you dads out there can slow down this week, enjoy life (it’s fleeting – passing waaay too fast), and Embrace the Fellowship of family, friends and fish.
(And I pray Bob can take some time to go out fishing… He’s been working waaay too hard this last few months.)