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Posts tagged ‘focus’

Embrace Focus


Do you focus easily?
Do you see things with clarity?
Do you hear with understanding?
Do you embrace the concept of focus?

Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
focused on the cross… but not just any old cross …
the cross of Christ, the one on which He died for us.
The one we are to pick up and carry.
Here are the notes I took
as I focused and listened to
Rev. Steve Hundley preach on the subject:
“The Cross of Christ”

The disciples heard Jesus say,
“Take up your cross and follow me.”
Matthew 16:24-26 says,
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, 
“If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 
25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 
26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world
and forfeits his soul?
Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

What does it mean today to believe
And to accept Jesus – take His cross?
We’d like Jesus to be specific.
Would carrying it be like an albatross?
He said “Take up YOUR cross.
But, not ANY cross… What’s the difference?
My cross can be quite worldly.
Do I carry it with reverence?

The world we live in is full
Of crosses in every size and form.
How do we know we’re carrying
The one meant for us when we were born?
The cross that brings healing
And restoration to our world
Is the one Jesus asks us to carry,
Not the cross of destruction hurled.

A cross of love and reconciliation
Can be used and turned to mean
Violence or passivity, both can
Represent abuse and pain. Don’t lean
On a fatalistic cross – or else
You’ll find despair and even death.
Instead, pick up Christ’s cross.
It’ll bring peace to your last breath.


The Bible reassures us that
Pain and suffering will be ours;
But God will meet us where we are.
We’ll receive the peace He showers
On us when we take His cross
And follow Him and His voice.
Let’s FOCUS on God’s saving promise.
Take up His True Cross. It’s your choice!

Amen

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Thank you for sharing our worship service notes
and one of our hymns with me today.
I hope you are able to find church family
with whom to worship in these pandemic days.

If you’d like to join our ZOOM service next Sunday, send me your e-mail
and I’ll forward the ZOOM invitation, bulletin and song sheet to you.

That’s me up there taking this picture with Bob beside me!
ZOOM with us. We’re an informal bunch!
Share, drink your coffee, ask questions…
FOCUS on the message

Thanks for visiting with JanBeek today.
Have a beautiful Sunday afternoon/evening.
See ya tomorrow.

P.S. – Here is another version of “Were You There?”
Soooo Beautiful!!

Embrace Hearts


Happy Valentine’s Day!!

As I write this,
my heart is breaking.

Broken-Hearted

I just discovered this morning that my dear friend, Leena’s son, Vince, died suddenly on Friday. No warning! He was about the age of my son, Ty. Vince worked at our local grocery store. I saw him there often … always a smile, always a cheerful greeting. He was at work Friday. Friday night after dinner, he was sitting in his chair at home with his parents, and he just stopped breathing. Can you imagine the shock??

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

Prayers for All Grieving

My heart is broken
for Leena and Bob and their family.
My prayers go out to all of you
who have lost a loved one this year.

Your hearts are grieving, too,
as you face this first Valentine’s Day
without that special person.
God bless you! Link heartstrings with mine.

Heart strings

In our ZOOM church service this morning,
I provided the “special music.”
It was inspired by the February 14th message
in Charles Stanley’s In Touch Daily Devotional.

“When facing all kinds of difficulties,
many of us have a tendency to power through
in our own strength. But the reality is
that’s never effective – at least not for long.
God wants us to come closer to Him.

When we stay focused on Jesus,
we can take comfort in knowing
He’ll lead us through the hard places.

As you continue walking with Him,
trust that He already knows
what will happen in your life –
and that regardless of what lies ahead,
He will never leave you.”

EMBRACE HEARTS
Lord, link mine to yours –
And link ours to one another.
Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com
Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow

Embrace Hearts with one another –
Offer your love and support to heal.
Heal the broken-hearted by sharing.
Share your love with a song or a meal.

Not everyone has a heart full of love today;
Some are feeling quite empty.
Lord, fill their hearts with the love of God –
And encourage others to “Go With Him” today.

Hugs from JanBeek
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.

Shine Light on Early Darkness


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We turned our clocks back reluctantly last night.
It’s the end of Daylight Savings Time for 2020.
It was dark here in Montana by 4:30 this afternoon.
I’m ready for it to be the end of 2020 – PERIOD!

I am not looking forward to these next couple of weeks.
Tuesday is election day in the USA –
but millions cast their ballots early.
I am among them.

I do not expect to know the outcome of this election
until all absentee ballots are in and counted.
It could be weeks… if not months.
I expect it to be contentious.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

So, to keep myself from falling
Into a mood as dark as the early sundown,
I decided to focus on the October Take-Aways:
Daily Guideposts’ messages to carry with me.


Maybe these “Take-Aways” will help you, too.
Take one-a-day like a vitamin capsule,
And let them fill your dark spaces.
Let them shine light on this “Early Darkness.”

Daily Take-Aways from Daily Guideposts 2020
A Spirit-Lifting Devotional

  1. Don’t Worry – Just Pray
  2. Show Passion for His Passion!
  3. Let His Light Shine Through
  4. Know God Blesses Our Work
  5. Keep an Open, Receptive Heart
  6. Admit Your Wrongs; Seek Forgiveness
  7. Trust God’s Timing
  8. Let Go Ego; Let God Rule
  9. Keep Doing God’s Work
  10. Thank God for Your Mental Health
  11. My Spirit Lives Connected
  12. Help Me Always Show Your Love
  13. See Through the Glass Darkly
  14. At My End, Give Me Peace & Anticipation
  15. Receive Love Gratefully
  16. We Need Family
  17. Be An Intrepid Christian
  18. Be Still and Trust
  19. Be Persistent
  20. Be Helpful; Lighten Another’s Load
  21. Be Grateful for Animals
  22. Be Confident in God
  23. Be Gracious and Generous
  24. Be Seated in His Security
  25. Thank God for Friends
  26. Reach Out to Neighbors
  27. Treasure Aging
  28. Discern What’s Important
  29. Look Beyond Exteriors
  30. Thank God for Those Who Share Our Grief
  31. JUST LOVE

Have a month of enlightenment.
Be the bearer of love.
Shine LIGHT wherever you go.
Have a Happy November!


What is your expectation for this election’s outcome?
Your comment of encouragement will shine light on me!
Thanks for visiting.
See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

Let the light of the kid in you shine…
Let the light of the kid in you smile…
Listen to this darling kid favorite and sing along…
Guaranteed to shine away the darkness!

Focus


FOCUS

(Haiku x4)

problems - possibilities
Opportunities
Are forever around us
Just focus on them

Problems ever near
Do not need our attention
When beyond control

But problems can be
Opportunities if they
Present solutions

person looking searching clean

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Can you solve problems?
Where is your focus today?
I’m for solutions!

How about you?
Are you looking for opportunities?

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See ya tomorrow!

What is Health?


What is Health?

Health-think:say

Health is about what you’re doing,
It is about what you’re thinking,
It is about what you say…
And what you don’t say.

.
Health is the greatest gift
From us to ourselves.
Sometimes we can control it…
But sometimes we can’t!

.
If you have your health, my friends,
Treasure it!
Guard it!
Never take it for granted.

.
Health is a state of mind
and of body.
It can  be a spiritual,
psychological state…

Thank God
Even as our bodies are decaying.

Focus on your blessings!
heart of love
See ya tomorrow!

God’s 12 Step Program


God’s Twelve Step Program
Keeps me focused every day
As I walk downstairs

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My first hour each day
Spent in my sanctu-aerie
Starts my day off right

Then as I walk down
The twelve steps to the “real world,”
This is what I pray:

  1. Thank You, God, for the LOVE
  2. JOY, and
  3. PEACE that are mine.
  4. Help me with PATIENCE,
  5. KINDNESS,
  6. GOODNESS, and
  7. FAITHFULNESS (which brings blessings),
  8. GENTLENESS, and
  9. SELF-CONTROL.
  10. Help me live HUMBLY
  11. With an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE, and
  12. A response of GENEROSITY, FORGIVENESS, OBEDIENCE and INTEGRITY.

In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!

When I get to the seventh step, this is what I see:
(the words above the front door spell “blessings”)

A metal sculpture gift from our friends, Terry & Jim

Blessings

And as I look down, I continue with steps 8 -12

stairs down

And at the “Amen” I come face to face with this:

Elke Angel

She’s one of three angels on the wall
at the bottom of the stairs
(a gift from Norbert and Elke of Germany).

Norbert was 6 years old in 1962 when Bob & I were married.
We lived in the downstairs of the Schallers’ chalet.
Bob was in the army; his base just over the hill.
We have stayed in touch with Norbert through the years.
Such a blessing!

I’ve named this precious angel “Elke,”
in honor of Elke Schaller.
She and Norbert created the three angels.
“Angel Elke” reminds me in my coming and going
to keep that 12 step program in my heart.

I walk to the kitchen and look out.
Here is a neighborhood treasure to greet me!

Deer at Raymond's

Have a blessed day, my deer!!

Love is an act of faith


Love is an act of faith.

This is another winning blog by Gina at Professions for peace. Three simple quotes on love that are profound in their simplicity. Do go to visit and follow her blog. She’s terrific!

Learning to Live in Contentment


It’s a New Day

Are you facing trouble? Aren’t we all? We live in a troubled world! Whether the pain is physical or emotional,  it is real. Pain is a part of life, just as loss is an inevitable part of life. How can we live with trouble and still live in contentment? Each morning we wake up to a sunrise. It’s a new day! The sun may be hidden behind clouds of gray, but it is there – and the clouds will eventually move on so that we can enjoy the sunshine. Meantime, what do we do?

Image

You may have read my recent blog, “Stuck on Stupid.” The picture above is the red barn where our friends walked to try and find help. As they walked the two or more miles down the dirt road to look for help, a storm brewed. The thunder rolled, the lightening flashed, and no one was home at the red barn ranch except a terribly frightened dog. My husband had driven up a one-lane dirt road and got his pick-up stuck in the mud while backing up to make room for an approaching gravel truck to pass. The good news is that we eventually got out with the help of a tow-truck and rescued our friends before they got drenched. The bad news is, we should not have been going up that road to begin with. There was a sign that said, “Road Crew at Work.” That should have been our first clue!

Sometimes our troubles come because we failed to notice or heed the warning signs along the way, and we drove right into the pain – caused by our own … (no, it’s not always stupidity – but sometimes – well, I won’t go there!).

Other times, our pain has nothing to do with our own making. I spoke today to a friend, John, who is recovering from a horrible virus that attacked his muscles. John was a talented handyman. He is having to learn to use his muscles all over again.  “I can’t even drive a nail,” he complained. How can I encourage John to live in contentment?

Another friend is in the process of helping her elderly Aunt Edith move from her home of 30+ years into a retirement apartment across the state to be closer to family. Aunt Edith was a world traveler who had a home filled with precious souvenirs from her many adventures. With no children of her own, this dear widow has no one to whom she feels she can pass along those treasures, so she has sold most of them – and is moving away from 30 years of friends and memories. The sense of loss is enormous. How can I encourage Aunt Edith to live in contentment?

One of the inspirational writers from Guideposts magazine, Sharon Hinch, approached this subject in a book of daily encouragements for your soul, Mornings with Jesus, 2012.  She wrote, “During times of significant losses, as I’ve laid down things that were precious to me, I’ve found comfort in remembering that Jesus understands loss. He set aside the glories of heaven to come to earth… ”

Hinch used one of my favorite scriptures to make her point, Philippians 4:12-13  “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content. In any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”

In her Guideposts devotional, Hinch went on to explain, “Contentment sounds like such a deceptively mellow, easygoing word. But some days it takes fierce, stubborn courage to walk in it. For any of us facing painful loss… I pray for God to breathe the courage of gratitude into our hearts and keep nudging our focus back to Him.”

The key to encouraging John and Aunt Edith to live in contentment with their losses is to encourage them to live with gratitude for what they have. Live with hope for the promise of the sun behind the clouds to peek through, and with a focus on the One who understands our pain of loss – and who holds the promise for our futures in the palm of His gracious hand. It is a new day. Praise God!

Now – as far as the key to helping the ones who drive into harm’s way – on their own accord…

Heaven help us all!

Amen?

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