Our Pastor Nominating Committee has been working for months – Seems like a year already – Trying to find the person God has in mind for us.
In this COVID-19 pandemic world, It is an on-line ballgame. Research, paperwork, phone calls, ZOOM meetings, waiting – It’s easy to become discouraged. BUT…
“Be encouraged, knowing that God has planned good things for those who wait.”
Yesterday the Lord reinforced the idea of spontaneity And so I wrote about it. Today, He said, “Flip the page!”
The other side of spontaneity is patience. The other side of the coin says, “Wait!” The next page tells us to set aside Frustration and replace it with trust.
Today’s message in the Daily Readings for Devoted Living, In Touch Magazine says,
“Sometimes… it may seem He’s unconcerned about us, because our prayers aren’t answered as quickly as we expect. When that happens, we need to remember it doesn’t mean God has stopped working. He is actively involved in our lives, but often in ways that are not visible.”
Behind the trees, out of our sight, there may be the answer we are looking for. Wait for the right answer! Don’t settle for less.
In Touch Magazine‘s message today went on to remind me, “God orchestrates circumstances, changes people’s hearts, and protects his children from making foolish decisions that could have disastrous consequences.”
“Waiting times are opportunities for growth in character, obedience, faith, and service.”
Today in the Word from Moody Bible Institute carried that same theme in my devotional today,
“What about you? Are you feeling stuck in God’s waiting room today? While it is no doubt frustrating, these times of delay are not necessarily a deviation from God’s plan. Trust God’s hand to set the next stage for your life. Let Him work in and through you, even during your waiting time.”
John Mayer sang a song “Waiting on the World to Change” – but I don’t think that’s what God has in mind for you. I think God is asking you to pray about your uncertainly. God is asking us to study His Word and learn from Him how to move forward. How is this song a different message?
In our period of waiting, God does not want us to feel powerless. We struggle with fear, insecurity, doubt, and a feeling of lack of power, but Christ is working in our hearts. As I sit in God’s waiting room, I pray for discernment, courage of conviction, confidence and wisdom.
If you are also feeling like you’re in God’s waiting room, Pray with me, “Lord, use this time when nothing seems to be happening. Use it for Your purposes. All our days are Yours. Amen!”
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I’ll be waiting for your answer to my question, “How did that song by John Mayer send a different message about waiting?” Are you waiting for the world to change?
Time for the weekly sermon notes. We had ZOOM church this morning with the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana – sermon preached by Rev. Steve Hundley
As you know, if you’ve followed my blog for a couple of weeks or more, I listen intently to the pastor’s message and I take notes in poetry, tying to capture the essence of the message. Here is today’s attempt:
Steve titled it, “Vocational Temptation” I re-titled it “A Heart to Comply” Read on and you’ll see why.
“My brother made me do it!” That’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ to it! We rolled tires down a quarter mile hill I was dared to hit a cow. Could I do it?
Yup, the tire hit the cow. The ow hit the ground with a thud. Oh my! The cow landed hard – Topped over and bam! Hit the mud!
I got punished big time for it. I was told not to hurt God’s life. Yet later, I saw my dad kill a cow – And heck! He didn’t think twice!
There must be differet standards For different kinds of behavior. Temptations effect each differently. Temptations weren’t new to our Savior.
He can identify with the Christian Who goes to the club to play golf Instead of going to church that day – And excuses himself with a cough.
It’s not hard to give in To the temptations around us. When we do, don’tcha know God doesn’t punish or ground us.
God understands we’re mortals Who are prone sometimes to neglect The things we know we ought to do. He gives us time to repent and reflect.
Jesus went from being told by a voice That God is proud of Him, God’s Son, To being a man in the wilderness Tempted by the devil – but God won!
For 40 days and 40 nights the devil Tempted Jesus to give in to him. But angels were there, and scripture, too. Jesus didn’t let God’s light grow dim.
The light of God shone brightly As Jesus resisted the devil’s invitation To become more than He already was – To rule the whole universe and all creation.
The Lord is asking us today To resist the temptation to forego His Word and do something wrong. Instead, live in God’s Love – Let His light show.
Lord, let my life be consecrated To You, my Savior, and may I Use the gifts You’ve given me With gratitude … and a Heart to Comply!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek Have a super rest of your Sunday. Hugs to you!
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??
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.
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.
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.
Happy 59th Anniversary today to my sweetheart, Bob, my life’s partner!!
Bob & I both have a deep faith. It was God who put us together. It was our faith and prayer that kept us together. During our engagement, he was in Germany, in the army. I was in college, wanting to enjoy college life. I broke up with him. But, God knew we belonged together. He made sure we got back together again! (Thank You, God!) And He helped us stick it out all these years through good times and bad. I’m so grateful!!
Our children, Ty & DeAna, have been such a blessing in our lives. Thank You, God, for the gift of these children!! During our early married years (after the first 8 months in Germany), we lived in Turlock (for a year) and then San Francisco and San Mateo. Bob worked for Shell Oil and then went back to college (San Francisco State). He earned his teaching credential and then coached wrestling and taught Driver’s Ed at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, CA.
We moved from the Bay Area back to the San Joaquin Valley in CA. Bob took over his Dad’s beekeeping business when his father retired. Did you know that beekeepers with hair that is close their head (hair that gets greasy or sweaty) are targets for bee stings? With a perm, the bees couldn’t get to the scalp.
You ask why he didn’t just wear a hat like most beekeepers do? Bob hates wearing a hat! He didn’t wear protective gloves either. Those are topics for another day!
Our Daughter, De
In 1987, our daughter, DeAna, married Andre’, a Swiss (the first cousin of our AFS exchange student).
I have written about De & Andre’s fairy tale story in the past. She moved to Switzerland when our first grandchild was “in the hopper.” That was nearly 30 years ago! Every other year we would go to visit them (so, no, we didn’t really wait ’til retirement to travel … we just got to do more of it after Bob left beekeeping and we moved here to Montana).
This is the village of Vissoie, Switzerland where DeDe and Andre’ live now. Andre’ and De have three boys. Our Swiss grandsons are Mike, Nick & Chris. We hope to travel there this October to spend time with them. Virus, be gone!!!
Our Son, Ty
Our son, Ty, blessed our family in 1989 by marrying his sweetheart, Monika. The two of them adopted four children. Sam, Hope, Jordan & Faith are young adults now. I’ve written about them here on my blog. Our lives are so enriched by this extended family. Ty & Moni live in CA, near Lake Tahoe. This picture of them was taken of them at our youngest granddaughter, Faith’s wedding. We hope to travel to CA to be with them this year in June. Virus be gone!!
Life is Full
Life is full of love and joy and promises for a bright tomorrow. We have so much for which to be grateful. We know we are blessed to have one another and to have lived into our 80s and remained married to that same partner for nearly 60 years.
Embrace Marriage, my friends! And EMBRACE YOUR LIFE’S PARTNER if you are fortunate as I am to have one!
Today, February 11, 2021, our 59th anniversary, starts our 60th year of marriage, doesn’t it? When a baby turns one, they are starting their 2nd year on earth. Yes, that’s the way it works! Sixty years with one life partner!! I am extremely blessed!
On Super Bowl Sunday, we had a Pizza Party. We made our pizza together. Turned out pretty well! We plan to keep on doing things together as long as the Good Lord allows…
With God’s grace and blessings, we will continue to travel this road of life together for many more years to come. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future… and we let Him lead us.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Have a blessed February 11th. See ya tomorrow.
In my devotional time this morning, I read an article that spoke to me of the way poetry fits into my life … a life that is filled with the wonder of poetic healing. I am impelled to share it with you because I hope it will inspire and validate your poetic instincts the way it did mine.
Before you read it, you may want to scroll to the bottom here and click on Laura Sullivan’s piano music. Listen to it as you read Jacqueline Suskin’s inspiring article.
Finding the Poetry in Everyday Life
by Jacqueline Suskin From – Posted on Jan 25, 2021 A professional poet provides tips on healing your life by adopting a poetic mindset.
There’s a saying: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” These days, the battle feels especially hard. From everyday challenges to the forces dividing our nation, it’s fair to ask: How can I bring more joy to my life? More peace?
My answer: poetry.
I’m a professional poet. For a decade, I earned a living doing a project I called Poem Store… I wrote a story I wrote a few years ago for Guideposts about how poetry can be a vital part of someone’s prayer practice …
What is it about poetry that makes it such a powerful, universal language?
Poetry reveals beauty in the smallest details of creation. It finds light in the darkest shadow. It is a guide and a teacher, reminding readers that life is a miracle, something to be celebrated. Good poetry tells deep truths about joy and pain, triumph and grief. Like the Psalms, poetry explores every aspect of human experience, shying away from nothing and expressing gratitude for everything.
That’s why I believe poetry can be healing for anyone. You don’t have to be a professional poet.
Here are some suggestions for cultivating a poetic mindset, gained from a lifetime of writing, teaching and finding my place on this planet:
1. Be in awe of everything. A dictionary definition of awe is “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.”
… The poetic mindset starts with the idea that nothing is an accident. Everything is interrelated and plays a part in a greater whole. Therefore, everything deserves notice and even celebration.
The signs are everywhere. Autumn leaves swirling in wind. A luminous raindrop on your window. The sight of someone you love peacefully asleep. Stars on a clear winter night. (And I, JanBeek, have to interject here: the sight of snowflakes dancing outside on your patio)
Even on your hardest day, a glance around will reveal something miraculous. When I focus on the intricate grandeur of nature, I feel myself relax. My mind unclenches from my problems, and I know that something larger is present, no matter what happens.
Awe is easy to cultivate. Close your eyes. Now open them. What is the first thing you see? Look closer. Ask yourself: How was this thing made? Where did it come from? What does it look like, feel like, smell like, maybe even taste like? What is good about it? What does it remind you of? Does it bring happy thoughts or sad ones? Why? What does it tell you about yourself or the divine?
I’m willing to bet your randomly selected object is full of meaning. A poetic mindset helps you tune into that significance whenever you want. It’s an inexhaustible source of healing, refreshment and inspiration.
2. Make pain your teacher.
Are you brokenhearted and angry? There’s a poem for that…
A poem is a place where you can pour out your hardest feelings. Make the words shout, burn. Don’t be afraid. You can always throw the page into the fireplace once you’ve filled it. Or seal it in an envelope and come back to it later.
Poetry can be a repository for everything difficult in your life.
But there’s more. I find that when I write about something I’m struggling with, my negative feelings begin to ebb. By writing, remembering, I am forced to admit that not everything is so bad. The world is complicated. There is darkness and light. Forgiveness comes into view.
The more I put everything on the page—the whole truth, not just an edited version—the more I ask why things happened. If I could have done things differently. Whether my poem is trying to teach me something. Here’s part of a poem I wrote while I was grieving a loved one.
You were a shining man always giving us a reason to rejoice and so you still are, you always will be.
Writing about grief helped me widen my perspective. I learned that memories are emblems of ongoing life after death. That doesn’t end my grief. My grief teaches me a healing truth.
3. Seek what inspires you.
Life isn’t perfect, but you can live with love and trust anyway.
Poetry helps us remember this essential piece of wisdom. What comes from God is good, and there is always goodness to be found once you train yourself to look.
Poetry to me is a form of praise. I build poems from things I see, people I meet and thoughts and feelings found deep inside. As I present those treasures in poetic language, I am celebrating what is good in them. My poems have an innate optimism. Poetry looks for the bright side of life, whatever is inspiring and beautiful even in the midst of hardship.
To see the world as a poet is to be aware of beauty wherever you go. A poet believes that beauty is a clue to the essential nature of existence. Pay attention to that feeling of joy as you spot a delicate tracery of dew in a spider’s web on your morning walk. The beauty, and your joy, are helping you see something deeply true about life.
4. Open yourself to a new perspective.
Few objects are more humble than the pencil. Yet, for me, a pencil is holy. Every pencil is special because I imagine the thoughts and images that it can be used to create and communicate. What are the holy objects in your life? A poet looks for what is beloved in everything, no matter how ordinary.
That is what makes poetry a force for healing. When you look for what is beautiful, good, true and holy in everything around you, you are really looking for God. When you write down what you see, you are engaged in a deep form of prayer.
When your mind and your heart develop this habit of poetic prayer, you cannot be overcome by the world’s troubles because you carry a treasury of goodness inside yourself.
Your poems don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to rhyme. They don’t have to impress anyone. All they need is a new perspective, that of a poetic mindset.”
Thank you, Jacqueline Suskin. Your Guideposts article inspired me. I hope it inspires my WordPress friends, too.
EMBRACE WRITING POETRY
Here’s a poem from a fantastic musician, Laura Sullivan, who also dabbles in poetry. If you’re unfamiliar with her music, do yourself a favor and click on the YouTube at the bottom here.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Do you have a poem to share? I’d love to have you share something poetic in the comments section here.
So, what is mercy? Is it something that you need? No?! So you’re perfect?
Well dear, guess again! We’re all in need of mercy. It’s undeserved grace.
You ask, what is grace? Well, it’s undeserved mercy! Don’t you just love it?
Definitions are Often so convoluted. Good thing for mercy!
Mercy me! Oh my! I sure need grace and mercy. Both are found in prayer.
Prayer for Help, Mercy and Grace
Prayer from Rev. Steve Hundley PASTORAL PRAYER prayed at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church ZOOM service 2-7-2021
“Loving God, we thank You that You treat us as if all were one; and each one as if there were only one. We thank You that we are all held together in Your love; and none are beyond Your caring reach. Thank You that You hear our prayers:
the prayers we feel awkward about;
the prayers we are hesitant to pray;
and, the prayers we feel that we do not know the right words to pray.
Thank You that You know us well enough to hear our thoughts, our yearnings, our stumblings, our grumblings, our secret hopes and fears, even when we dare not, or cannot put them into words. We are eternally grateful that anytime we turn toward you, the arms of Your grace and love are there to enfold us with Your love that cannot be bought, earned, or bargained for. Since it is the gift which You give and which we can only receive, give us wisdom to joyfully receive it.
O Lord, this past year has reminded us just how fearful and fragile; yet, precious and wonderful life can be. We need Your help. So Jesus, grant us this: the ability to as easily recognize and celebrate the beautiful as we are able to itemize the ugly. Grant us the ability to as easily praise as we are to condemn. Grant us the ability to as easily unite as we are to divide. Grant us the ability to as easily support and help one another as we are to ignore. And, grant us the ability to as easily express joy as we are to display our disappointment.
Grant us some sense of worth and accomplishment which places the mark of meaning to our days. In spite of the many limitations this pandemic has placed on our daily lives, grant us some sense of purpose, that tomorrow is something to look forward to, rather than to dread. Encourage us to reach outside of ourselves, and find ways to express our faith and love in ways that would benefit this world and its people whom You love.
Jesus grant us this: though life tumbles in, and almost everything seems to crumble around us; when the simple things we took for granted seem a distant memory; when hope frays and a simple touch, or a caring hug is something we remember we used to do; O Lord, find some special way to hold us in the palm of Your hand.
We pray for this wonderful yet sometimes unhappy…this divided yet dependent…this brave but fearful, mixed-up world we live in. We have created enemies by the misuse of its power; and, what could have been a blessing for all has become a curse to many by our misuse of its abundance. O Lord, give us and the leaders of this great nation the will to break out of destructive patterns, and grant us peace in our time. “
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we pray this prayer in the name of Our Father Who art in Heaven… Amen!
So, what is mercy? Is it something that we need? You bet! Every day!!
Have a wonderful week. I pray for your health, happiness, and safety – every day! Thanks for visiting. See ya later, Love, JanBeek
Before you leave, take a few minutes to treat yourself to the story behind “The Prayer” and hear the most beautiful voices (my bias) in the world. Where do you see God’s mercy at work in this duet??
What is your power source? Where do you get your ideas?
Today’s sermon on ZOOM with the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana, preached by the Rev. Steve Hundley attributed our power source to (well, what do you think a minister would say?)… God Jesus Christ’s teaching The Word Scripture Of course!
Steve began his sermon today with a children’s message. He shared this (paraphrased by me, of course):
My dad was a forester. He used to cruise the timber to decide what to cut and what to leave to keep the forest healthy. He usually went with a fellow forester – a guy who was not known for his great sense of direction. They would head out in different directions, and when it was time to regroup, my dad told his partner that he’d call out. “You answer,” he told him, “and I’ll call again. Back and forth until you find your way back.”
But, what happened was an ole hoot owl responded back to his partner when he called out, and he followed the direction of the owl. It got him way off track. When my dad realized what was happening, he honked the horn of the truck, and finally the two men were able to reconnect and head for home.
Moral of the story: Listening to the wrong voice can get us lost. We need to listen to the voice and teachings of Christ in order to stay on the right path.
The Church’s Spiritual Power Source
(Inspired by Mark 1:21-28 – story of Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue and being interrupted by a man who was demon-possessed)
The people of the church Were astounded when Jesus Taught with authority – More astounded than by exorcism.
When we think of a teacher image, We rarely think of provocative We have our dull stereotypes. But Jesus, the Teacher, was rare.
Wouldn’t you think His act Of removing an evil force Would have trumped the act Of teaching the Word of God?
No, removal of an unclean spirit Was not what the people raved about. It was Jesus, the Teacher, who Inspired the people to be amazed.
Do Jesus’ teachings still have The power to transform and amaze? Do Jesus’ teachings still have The power to unite and inspire?
The teachings of Jesus and the Growing of churches and believers Are synonymous; did you know that? Let’s join a weekly Bible Study.
Listen to the right voice… The voice of Jesus telling His parables. I’ll lead a Bible Study and we’ll all Tune in to Jesus’ voice – OK?
Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM. We’ll begin with Luke 15:11-24. It’s the story of the Prodigal Son. Look for your ZOOM invitation.
Invite a friend to join us!
Hope you had a wonderful Sunday. Enjoy your evening. See you tomorrow. Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Let me know if you’d like a ZOOM invitation to join us. If so, send me an e-mail address. Embrace Your Power Source!
We have been praying for Ty. He had stage 4 liver cancer that metastasized. He was home on Hospice Care with his wife, Roxanne. Ty was a Child of God whose faith was strong. He told Roxanne that he wanted to – and was ready to – go to Heaven.
In my “Embrace Blueness” post 3 days ago, I shared how a broken heart resembles angel wings… and I wrote, “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.”
My faith informs me that Ty has seen a great light. He is in heaven… and one day I will see “My Favorite Student” again.
May light shine from you As easily as birds’ songs Cheering all near you
Thanks for visiting. I pray you feel the warmth of that LIGHT within you. Let it shine!!! Let it sing of God’s love in you. See ya tomorrow. Hugs, JanBeek