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.
What are you missing?
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?”
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!
Let us not focus On the things we are missing But on our blessings
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.
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.
“Each of you should give what you have decided to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
I give cheerfully Not out of obligation But from abundance
I am richly blessed So I can be a blessing I give cheerfully
You are richly blessed Your needs are taken care of Reach out to others
You give cheerfully Out of a generous heart And God blessed you
Have a blessed first Sunday in Advent! It is a season of HOPE and ANTICIPATION. I pray your season be filled with love and generosity.
Do you have a child or grandchild in your family who would love to see this video explaining the meaning of Advent? If so, pass this along. It’s wonderfully kid friendly… and a good way to begin the season of gifts and giving.
Before I go, let me give a gift to you: The gift of music by Laura Story… The blessing of faith in the “what ifs” of life…
The older we get, The more ready we must be For our angel friends To leave you and me.
They ascend to heaven Where loved ones wait To greet them in song At the pearly gate.
When our hair turns silver And wrinkles show our age, We have to be ready To turn the eternal page.
The eighties are great; It’s a decade of reflection And a time to appreciate Every earthly connection.
But it also is a time When we look at this season As the winter of our years, And we search for life’s reason.
We look at life differently Than we did in our teens. We see through our experience What life is – what purpose means.
It’s not about what we can get, Or what riches we acquire. It’s about the love we give To the people we admire.
It’s about reaching out to strangers Who are falling between the crack. It’s about filling their needs – Helping give the things they lack.
Reaching up in prayer and praise I thank the Lord for all His gifts. As long as I have life and breath, I’ll reach out to give others lifts.
I hope you’ll use your senior years To do the same – to spread your love – Because we are blessed to be a blessing. For every day, I thank. God above.
My Prayer for You
When your time comes To say good-bye to earth, May the angels welcome you And your friends rejoice at your New Birth! Amen
Welcome to Heaven, Phyllis. I miss you here… But I rejoice at your Eternal Reunion. May all who were blessed by your presence And who entered the pearly gates before you did Be there to welcome you HOME. God bless you! Keep the light on!
Have you ever been living in a house for a week without the benefit of running water? That’s been our situation this week.
If you don’t have water running in your house, then your toilets don’t work. Have you lived in your house without a toilet working and with no outhouse? That’s what we’ve done… and our dear neighbors let us drive the 1/4 mile to their house to use their bathroom when we needed it this week. At night, we’ve slept in the church manse where we could use the toilet when needed without driving to the neighbors’ place at midnight!
We’ve been updating the water system in our house – replacing the water tank, pump, radiant floor heating system, etc… Long story as to why this was necessary, but suffice to say, I am not complaining. I know I am blessed.
I know there are people in this world who have to walk miles to get drinking water – or any kind of water for that matter – and they carry it on their heads to bring it home to their families. So, am I complaining about driving a quarter mile to use a toilet – or about not having running water in my house for a week? No way!!!
But an outhouse would come in handy right about now! Maybe I should just pretend I’m camping right now. Ya think?
When you go to Amazon.com and buy something on-line, you have a chance to donate a percentage of your dollars to a charity of your choice. I give to
Water to Thrive provides clean safe water to rural African communities by connecting donors, sponsors, congregations, schools and community groups directly to communities in need.
There are many organizations related to clean water and building wells in remote places around the world – where fresh, running water is a luxury. I hope you find one that you can support – – – The people who receive your support will rejoice, for sure!
People all over the world are in need of fresh water for their survival. Being without running water in my home for a week has certainly taught me empathy.
What charity is dear to your heart? Have you ever been in a situation where you lacked the water you needed for your daily needs? Tell me about it.
My friend, Doris, who graduated from high school with me back in the Dark Ages, sent me an e-mail today with 48 pictures designed to demonstrate acts of kindness in the midst of this world-wide time of struggle with COVID-19 and racial injustices.
I selected my favorites from the 48 – and want to share them with you here as an encouragement to go out and do likewise. Pick your favorite from these seven that I have chosen. Tell me why it touches your heart.
Each of the seven (selected in random order) were important to me. They demonstrate our need for ONENESS, UNITY, RESPECT, GOODNESS, LOVE, and KINDNESS.
The numbers attached to the pictures were on the website… they are not in any way prioritizing. And that message above was part of the post… “Bored Panda” was the source. Their word “tolerance” is not mine. It seems condescending to me. I prefer “LOVE.” Don’t just tolerate me! Love me… and treat me as I am: your equal! One of God’s children!! Just love me!!
I love YOU!
Can you choose one from those seven? Tell me why it resonated with you.
The YouTube below was also sent to me by that same high school friend, Doris. It’s a wonderful children’s choir singing about the memories that will live on in their lives after this time passes. Click on the arrow, sit back, and enjoy the voices, the melody, and the message.
And don’t forget the message here: ONENESS, UNITY, RESPECT, GOODNESS, LOVE, and KINDNESS.
Bee well, my friends. I’m so glad I didn’t lose you… Memories bring back YOU!!
See ya tomorrow. Hugs, JanBeek
(Oh, leave me a note about your favorite of those seven, will you?)
It takes compassion To have honest empathy; Takes a loving heart.
In a World of Need by Terry Waite
“O Lord: In a world where many are lonely, we thank You for our friendships. In a world where many are captive, we thank You for our freedom. In a world where many are hungry, we thank you for our provision. We pray that You will: enlarge our sympathy, deepen our compassion, and give us grateful hearts. In Christ’s name, Amen”
Notice that in the first quote, Roger Ebert wrote EMPATHY is the most essential quality. In Terry Waite’s lovely poem, he asks God to “enlarge our SYMPATHY.”
What the difference between EMPATHY and SYMPATHY?
Oh, you poor, poor thing! I am so sorry for you. You hurt. What a shame!
I walk in your shoes, Genuinely share your pain. I understand you.
Lord, enlarge our empathy. Help us know how to reach out with compassion. Teach us to love, seek to understand, and share. With God’s grace … teach us!
And help us remember LOVE IS WHAT WE DO! Reach out in empathy and compassion today!
And don’t forget as you reach out to do so with a GRATEFUL heart!
There are plenty of people out there who want to show their love to others. They want to give to make a difference. You are probably one of them.
Besides giving to those we love around us, there are “causes” we care about. We want to give love to those, too. Especially while staying at home during this COVID-19 pandemic, I have felt the need to reach out more than ever.
But, how do you know the cause is “legitimate,” and if you donate to a cause, then the money is going to its intended purpose – and not to line some executive’s pockets – or make an advertising company wealthy?
Intermountain is a nationally recognized nonprofit providing Hope & Healing for children, youth, and families.
On their website, this is INTERMOUNTAIN’s mission statement,
“When families need help with the complex emotional challenges children and teens sometimes face, Intermountain offers innovative treatment developed from years of experience. Our caring professionals rely on our relationship-based approach and client-centered treatment solutions to meet the individual needs of each child and family and help them heal. Our goal is to help every child and family we serve thrive and grow.”
Because I believe Intermountain is committed to meeting its goal – and I have visited its campus in Helena, Montana, and seen first-hand the enormous good they do, I am signed up for an automatic deduct from my retirement stipend each month to send a donation to Intermountain. It’s a small contribution, not enough for me to even miss it, but it is consistent. It adds up to real help when it happens month-after-month, year-after-year. I am committed to doing my small part.
If everyone who heard about Intermountain donated a small amount every month, just think of how much more they could do to help needy children and their families!
I have the assurance that my donation has arrived and is being put to good use because every single month I receive a thank you letter from Beth, the Sr. Development Officer there who is in charge of Special Events (and obviously also in charge of written acknowledgements). Here is a copy of the letter we received in January from Intermountain:
Where’s Your Heart’s Passion?
As an educator for 36 years, I have a passion for children – their health and well-being, their safety and their enlightenment.
I know there are children out there who are facing complex emotional challenges. I am not equipped to help each of them (but I wish I could). Their problems are beyond my resources of time, money, and skills.
Some face separation anxiety with parents who were abusive, or parents who are in prison, or parents who are deceased, or… well, you name it!
I can’t help them all, but I can do a little to support this place in Montana that DOES have the facility, the love, the skills and materials to make a difference.
God has blessed you to BE A BLESSING. If giving to Intermountain is not in your future, then look for a place in or near your community – a place that is legitimate – a place that pools its resources, love, and skills to make a difference in the lives of others in need. There are so many … so many less fortunate than we are … Reach Out to bless others in whatever way you are able!
It’s never too late to capture the 2020 vision…
Make it a year of 20/20 clarity of purpose! Think about your passions, think about your blessings, and with gratitude, consider your giving.
Tell me some way you are giving in love to share your blessings with others in need. I’d love to have you write your ideas in the comments section – and inspire others to give in love, too.