Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘God’

Wonderful Weekend


Enjoying Sunday
Remembering Saturday
And Fish on Friday

Sunday began
with this prayer-filled
good morning photo
from my friend Lisa
in North Carolina

After church,
Sunday continues
with our TazE
needing attention
and us
trying to
just relax!

Saturday memories
include a wonderful evening
shared with Bob
and dozens of friends
at the Madison Valley Ranchland’s
annual “Noxious Weed Dinner and Auction.”

Check out
Bonny Morningstar Guzzo
on Facebook
to see her wonderful pictures
of that highly successful event.

Friday memories
include our walk
along the Madison River
in Lion’s Club Park
where this beautiful
painted fish sculpture
greets us.

The painting on the fish inspires the Haiku poet in me.

“Father, please teach me
I want to learn how to fish
To fish like you, Dad“

Back home, the clouds keep the day cooler
as the sun plays peek-a-boo
The trees provide welcomed shade
And the birds serenade you

The breeze causes the wind chimes
To sing a lullaby
Reminding me of my sis, Sally
She’d love this place as much as I

The deer come quietly to rest
Beneath the shade of verdant trees
They promise not to nibble
But who can trust deer like these?

Time to think about a meal
Don’t know what I’d like to cook
Need to go check out the fridge
Maybe left-overs -Have a look!

Mmmm… I can see shrimp
Waiting for the coconut
Time to make the sauce

Hope all is well with you.
Thanks for sharing
my weekend memories
vicariously with me.

Now it is your turn
What are your best memories
Of this great weekend?

Sending love your way…
Hugs,
JanBeek

Eyes Ahead


Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Eyes Ahead

Keep looking ahead
Don’t look backward instead
Keep your balance upright
And your future in sight

Don’t be in a hurry
You don’t need to scurry
Be ever expectant
But, don’t be a contestant

We’re part of a whole
Connection’s our goal
Slow down and discover
We can lean on each other

May your eyes look ahead
And read what is said
About those in distress
Who live in a mess

Because they don’t pause
And look at the cause
Of the trouble they’re in
It stems from within

They rush here and there
Seldom are they aware
Of the joy that’s ahead
If they’d slow down instead

So keep your eyes looking up
Let the calm fill your cup
As you savor each day
Spreading love on your way.

In his book, Ever Faithful,
David Jeremiah reminded me
in today’s devotional
that there is something
to rejoice in,
give thanks for,
and pray about
around every curve.
He referenced this scripture:

Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always,
17 pray continually,
18 give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

David Jeremiah reminds us that looking ahead
– keeping your eyes focused on the path
is the important task at hand.
Do not be hurried!
“Real joy in life comes not to the hurried, but to the expectant-
those eager for new experiences and discovery.

There are encounters,
discoveries,
people,
events,
opportunities,
blessings
and challenges
to be found.”

John 16:13

“However, when He,
the spirit of truth has come,
He will guide you into all truth.”

Today, trust the Holy Spirit
to guide you
as you travel your chosen path.
Keep your eyes looking ahead.

David Jeremiah invites us to
“Keep your eyes and arms open
to embrace what you discover.”

I’m gonna do that.
I’m gonna ask the Holy Spirit
to lead me to a new, peaceful path.
And I’m gonna keep my eyes
looking ahead.

How about you?

Thanks for joining me today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Finding Grace


What is grace?

There are several meanings.
One is the unmerited gift from God – referenced above.

Another is:

“disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency” …

Each of us has the capacity to act with grace.

When we respond to others with kindness, we are passing along the grace we are given.

Where do we find grace?

  1. Grace is a gift from God
  2. Grace is inside you
  3. Grace is all around you
  4. Grace multiplies when you give it

You have grace in abundance to give.
When you reach out in love
you are giving grace upon grace
.

2 Corinthians 9:8

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you,
that you, always having all sufficiency in all things,
may have an abundance for every good work.”

(NKJV)

One of the definitions of grace
involved the word “clemency.”

It is the willingness or ability to moderate the severity of a punishment
or
an act or instance of mercy, compassion, or forgiveness.

We all know that a life lived well
is a life lived with compassion,
a life filled with forgiveness of others
as well as of ourselves.

We all need to practice clemency!

Find grace in your heart.
Let forgiveness and compassion be your first response!
When we are merciful, we receive mercy in return.

Today’s post was inspired by today’s devotional in Mornings with Jesus.
Gwen Faulkenberry wrote a creative take on Hebrews 4:16,
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”


She imagined a beggar approaching a palace,
being turned away by the butler,
but welcomed with open arms by the prince
who brings the starving man to the queen.
When she sees him approaching,
she jumps from her throne,
runs to him, and says,
“Come in! Come in! How can I help you today?”

Gwen invites us in the “Faith Step” at the bottom of the page
to imagine ourselves as the man
and imagine the queen as God.
What would you ask if you weren’t afraid?

God of grace gives us all the grace we need…
and continues to gift us with the compassion,
kindness, and courtesy we need in order
to pass it on to others freely.

Knowing you have received grace upon grace,
approaching the throne of God,
what would you ask Him for?

I asked for healing of this broken finger,
(it was in there under all that wrapping),
renewed strength in this left hand,
renewed balance so I could stop falling,
and a healing of my head’s 8 stitches
before we head for our daughter’s
in Switzerland later this month.
God is answering my prayers…
in His perfect timing (as always).

What will you ask for?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love to you,
from JanBeek

July Take-Aways


Each day as I read my Daily Guideposts
and reflect on what the message
means to me, I create a “Take-Away.”
I have a page or two on which I record them.
Here are the take-aways from July.
Which one or two resonates with you
as a “Take-away” for the month
that you can carry with you into August?

July Take-Aways

  1. Be an investor in prople
  2. Be grateful for daily love, joy, and peace
  3. Celebrate the peace of Christ
  4. Freedom isn’t free!
  5. Treasure your friends; tell ’em so
  6. Happy Birthday, Mary Grace Reynolds (my pastor)
  7. Thank God for our loving children
  8. Celebrate the birthdays of friends
  9. Enjoy every day the Lord gives us
  10. Share freely and generously with others
  11. Spend quality time with our God/Creator
  12. Take refuge in the familiar
  13. Thank God for free will
  14. As God for direction; then Trust the Journey
  15. Care for the vulnerable
  16. Celebrate milestones with friends
  17. Keep an “I’m good” attitude
  18. Share the humor and laughter of others
  19. Slow down and watch where you’re walkin’
  20. Be forever grateful for God’s miracles
  21. Home is where angels live to guard us
  22. His grace is sufficient
  23. Praise God, friends & family for love
  24. Love your spouse, church family & kids extravagantly
  25. Love and appreciate the color in your life
  26. Git Movin’
  27. Praise God for His love, mercy, and guardian angels
  28. Be sure to exercise daily
  29. Thank God for giving you momentum
  30. Thank Jesus for His companionship

I read both
Mornings with Jesus
and
Daily Guideposts
each morning
up in my sanctuary.
Been doing it for over a decade now.

They help me plan my day
and start off on the right foot.

With the “Take-Away”
tucked in my heart,
I head down the circle staircase
with this 12 step prayer
spoken to God on my way:

Dear God,
Thank you for the
1. love,
2. joy, and
3. peace (that are mine) –
Help me with:
4. patience,
5. kindness,
6. goodness, and
7. faithfulness (which brings blessings).
Help me with
8. gentleness, and
9. self-control.
10. Help me live humbly
with an attitude of gratitude,
and a response of
11. generosity, forgiveness,
12. obedience and integrity.
In Jesus’ name,
AMEN.

And at that point, I am at the bottom… ready to start my day.
Here are half of the June Take-Aways

Which of the Take-Aways from June or July will you carry into August with you?

Have an Awesome month!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

SHARE JOY!


The joy that’s comin’
Is here if you’re hummin’
Git yer guitar and start strummin’
Yer smile’s quite becommin’

I found the beauty today
In weeds I saw along the way.
Many folks would probably say
Pull ’em out – or douse ’em with spray!

Joy is a part o’ yer make-up.
It’s inside ya ready to take up
Residence and cause a shake-up;
So smile and light yer face up!

And a joyful face
is good medicine fir others!

Just let yer heart glow
With the joy that ya know
Is inside; Let it show!
Let yer love flow.

Luke 8:16

A Lamp on a Stand

16 “No one lights a lamp
and hides it in a clay jar
or puts it under a bed.
Instead, they put it on a stand,
so that those who come in
can see the light.”

I let my light shine.
It’s part of my design.
Lips aren’t a straight line –
They should curve up real fine!

Smilin’ makes ya feel better;
So, my friends, be a trend setter!
Turn off sorrow; don’t be a fretter.
You look so much better when you SMILE!

Let yer joy be real clear.
Share it with those you hold dear.
Give it to those far and near
Who need your brand of cheer.

Picture it radiating
And wiping out all hating.
Picture it pulsating
And erasing what’s frustrating.

Yup, this bears repeating:

Joy is a part o’ your make-up.
It’s inside ya ready to take up
Residence and cause a shake-up;
So smile and light yer face up!

Spread Joy!

How do you plan to do that today?
Just smile!!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Joyfully,
JanBeek

Bye for now!

Git Walkin’


This is the week to git walkin’ –
It’s time to git off m’ butt –
Time to leash the pup.
Git outta this home-bound rut!

So off to the park
On this beautiful day –
Git walkin’ before the sun
Warms too much and I wanna stay.

Git m’ hubby to come
And join me in the park.
We’ve got a gorgeous place –
Let’s go before it gits dark!

Take the pup to the river
And enjoy the midday sun.
Let the hubby walk her –
They’ll both have fun!

Bob & TazE
@Lion’s Club Park

With my trusty camera
I’ll git some photos fir ya.
Come walk a spell with me.
Come close – let me stir ya!

Ready? Let’s walk!!

It’s a gorgeous blue-sky day.
There’s not another soul in sight.
We’ve got the park to ourselves –
The day looks mighty bright!

Ya gotta come in person
If you wanna read this sign –
Can’t tell ya about it
Not even the upper headline.

It’s so peaceful to be
In this place with only me
And my hubby and my dog.
Let’s sit a spell and just BE!

Didja bring along a snack?
We could sit here and eat.
Give our pup a treat
And get off our weary feet.

But, no that’s not why we came.
We came to just git walkin’ –
So git a move on, Jan,
And quit yer silly talkin’!

TazE says the day is heating up
So we gotta keep on movin’ –
Whistle a tune as you jog.
Exercise the dog and get groovin’!

Around the back side of the park
The scenery changes a lot.
Fields of baled hay and no shade –
Now it’s starting to get hot!

Don’t you love these round ones?
They were square in fields back home.
Things are done differently
When you git out and roam.

Looking beyond the hayfield,
You can see a ridge halfway up.
That’s where our place is located.
It’s a great neighborhood, yup!

Walking back into the shade
Of the tree-lined park, we see
A gazebo on the lawn out there.
Wanna come sit a spell now with me?

No, it’s heating up; let’s move.
I was surprised as I walked on
To see my friends from the Manor
Having a picnic out on the lawn.

That’s some of the folks
That I lead Bible Study with weekly.
When they saw me out of context,
Some greeted me quite meekly.

Isn’t it wonderful that friends
From our local nursing home
Can get into the van and travel
To the park and watch others roam?

When I saw a couple of the kids
From our neighborhood at play,
Their greetings were robust!
Their smiles and hugs made my day!

Time for a potty stop before
Heading home to get some rest.
I’m so grateful to the Lion’s Club
For their park. Kudos to Cherrie and the rest

Who work to keep it pristine.
It’s a gift to our community.
We plan to walk there most days.
Aren’t you glad today you joined me?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek


Walk with me
through the darkness.
Pick me up each time I fall.
You’ll bring light and erase the starkness!

(Love Randy’s invitation in the song below)

Angels Among Us


I believe there are angels among us.
I hope when you click on the link above,
you can listen to this gorgeous voice
singing this wonderful song.

Angels show us how to live
Sent down from somewhere up above
Angels teach us how to give
And they teach us how to love.

Listen to the words of Chris Rupp’s vocal.
Angels come to you and me…
I had one protecting me last Monday –
I am sure – it’s a guarantee!

Look at what I hit my head on when I fell over backward!

With the full weight of my body,
I hit that trailer hitch!
You tell me how I avoided a concussion-
How I walked away with just a stitch…

Actually, if you read yesterday,
You know my gash required eight…
And I was in the ER four hours,
Returning home rather late.

I didn’t even crack my skull-
And I didn’t break my neck.
I could have broken my back!
Where’s that angel hiding? Let me check!

You have angels among you, too…
At least one on duty at all times.
Tune in – you can feel the protection.
Look around, you’ll see the signs!

As the poem above tells us,
Angels sometimes are disguised as friends –
Sometimes family are our angels –
Angels are the love God sends.

Listen here to another beautiful song:
I Will Be Here – Steven Curtis Chapman – Chris Rupp A Cappella
I hope this link takes you there.

Who is always there for you?

Bob is an angel who is here for me.
It took a few minutes of screaming his name
To wake him from his nap, but I could see him there …
And when he heard me, how quickly he came!

Yes, my friends, angels are among us.
We need to open our hearts and our eyes
To see and to feel them around us.
Mine’s trying to teach me to be more wise!

In Hebrews 13:2, Paul said, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” That verse leads us to wonder if angels appear to us in human form at times. We know that they appeared to many in human form in the Bible. [See Genesis 18:2].

You may be blessed to have an angel living with you all the time, too!

Thank you, Sweet Bob –
For being my constant angel!

Psalm 91:11

“For He will command His angels
concerning you
to guard you
in all your ways.”

Bee well, my friends.
Bee safe, too.
May His angels guard you today and everyday.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Slow Down!


I’ve been telling myself – and you – to have faith,
To step out in faith and begin a new journey.
I’ve been telling myself to lean in and listen
To what God is whispering to me.

Well, He has been telling me to slow down.
“Stop and watch where you are going.
Slow down and move more intentionally.
Sit in the boat awhile – enjoy how life’s flowing.”

Looks like I did that for awhile, right?
But then I stepped on shore, running –
Flitting from one spot to the next,
I didn’t stop to just enjoy the sunning!

In April I fell and broke a finger.
In June I tripped and bruised my knee.
And yesterday I fell over backward –
Needed stitches to the head – Woe is me!!

Not a pretty sight!

I was dashing from garage to house
Carrying groceries in three sacks.
I couldn’t see my feet, so missed the step,
Lost my balance, and fell flat on my back!

My head hit the hitch on the trailer
And gashed my scalp an inch wide,
Two inches long – requiring 8 stitches-
More hurt than my head was my pride!

So the Lord said, “Third time’s the charm.
Be humble and listen to me please.
Be wise about what you carry and where you step –
People can die with falls like these!”

Okay, dear God, I got the message!
Slow down and watch where you walk!
Carry with your good hand, not your left…
Eyes open, steps secure, mind your own talk!

I’m sharing this advice with you, friends,
Because I hope you are wiser than I.
I hope you don’t have to have three mishaps
Before you heed the warning and comply!

SLOW DOWN AND WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING!!

My Daughter#2, Laina, sent me this poem
after hearing this morning
about what happened:

Oh my! Remember this?
About a year ago…
Walked into the closing hatchback on our car!!
Slow learner I am!

Yes, indeed!
I need to slow down and watch where I’m going…
How about you??

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,

JanBeek

Harsh Words of Jesus


If you’ve followed my blog for a while,
You know I attend church every Sunday,
And I usually try to take sermon notes.
As I listen, I try to record the message poetically.

Our pastor, Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds,
is doing a bold sermon series.
She’s asking our church congregants
to send her scripture that puzzles or troubles them.

This week the scripture passage she used
is from Luke 9:57-62. A weird one indeed!
I’ve often thought Jesus was rather harsh
with these two men who wanted to follow Him.

Luke 9:57-62

New International Version

The Cost of Following Jesus

57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Is Jesus saying
You have to leave your family
and forget your livelihood
to be a Christ follower?

Today’s sermon notes:

The mid-west mecca of modern architecture
Is Columbus, Indiana. Ever been there?
I watched the movie, “Columbus,” recently.
Jinn & Casey meet and share.

Ultimately the movie is about
Staying or leaving – choices we make.
Casey needs to go, but doesn’t want to.
Jinn convinces her to leave for her own sake.

Jesus may have been telling the men
To leave for their own sake.
Their situations were different,
But departure was what it would take.

Jewish burial rites have many parts:
Wrapping body, burial, dig up, burn, urn…
In this scripture a man wants to tend to his father.
Jesus prompts, “Come now and learn.”

We don’t know at what point in the rites
This man’s father may have been –
But it seems harsh for Jesus to tell him
“Let the dead bury their dead.” Such chagrin!

Another man wants to go back to his family,
But Jesus says, “Do not do an about face!”
This passage is all about priorities.
Jesus asks us to put Him in first place.

Love is not selfish, sinking in its talons.
Love is generous – love always is kind.
There often is sadness in leaving,
But when God calls, listen, decide, and mind!

Don’t get stuck looking back (like Lot’s wife).
You’ll become a pillar in your own tears and grief.
It’s all about priorities and obedience.
Hear God’s call and follow your belief!

Amen?
Amen!

What is it that determines your values and beliefs?

Perhaps Jesus was not being harsh with those two men after all.
Perhaps, like Jinn and Casey in the movie, “Columbus,”
He was telling them to leave for their own sake –
even though they didn’t want to go quite yet.

Sometimes God’s perfect timing doesn’t seem perfect…
… at least not at the time He jerks us out of our comfort zone!
But often, looking back, we can say, “Aha! Now I see…
God always knows what is best for me!”

Jesus’ words may seem harsh at first glance,
But He always has our best interest at heart.
I need to trust His encouragement to step out…
And what better time than now to start?

Go ahead … Step Out!!
Here we are with our pastor,
Mary Grace Reynolds.
Thanks, MGR, for a great sermon!

See ya on the road to success tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Treasure the Journey


Life is a wonderful journey
Of ups and overs and downs
It’s filled with joy and sorrow
With more smiles (I pray) than frowns!

As I travel this road of life,
I weather the storms and bumps
I look for roses and buttercups
And try to jump over the humps

I look for butterflies and bees
And appreciate the beauty I see
I share the joy and the peace
That God daily gives to me.

Our WordPress friends
share their joy with us everyday.
For example:
Roth Poetry.com
posted about butterflies today.
He wrote:

“I just could not help myself today, when I saw these beautiful butterflies on my Zinnias. I kept shooting and shooting. and they stayed around flitting from flower to flower, poetry in motion! With my 200mm zoom, I was able to focus all the way in on them. These are some of the most beautiful butterflies I have seen!

Beauty flits lightly
from yellow to red buffet
Basking in sunshine

Check out Dwight’s gorgeous photos at:
https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/50171962/posts/4138042931

Life is a journey of beauty
Take time to allow it to sink in
Don’t let the ugliness and discord
Make your vision a stink-in!

There’s plenty of garbage out there
It’s not what God asks us to see
God says to focus on the beauty
There’s plenty of it in you and me!

Don’t let anyone tell you
You’re not up for this journey!

You might have to take a few pit stops,
you might get a flat tire here and there,
you might go through a few thunderstorms,
but through all your experiences,
fruit is being built.
You are becoming stronger,
and your faith and reliance
on God is growing.

I hope when you click on this link,
you can hear this wonderful song
by Jake Owen.

Laugh a lot and keep it light
Let sorrow just roll off your back
Turn a blind eye to the ugly sites
And give the love that others lack

“And no matter what dreams you’re chasing,
Never get above your raising.
May the simple things be amazing
On the journey of your life.”

Treasure the journey!

“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.”

Proverbs 3:5–6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, 
and do not rely on your own understanding. 
Acknowledge him in all your ways, 
and he will make your paths straight.”

Years ago I wrote a poem that was published in the International Library of Poetry annual publication. The title of the book in 2002 was “Chasing Revelation.” My poem was titled, “Have Faith and Step Out.” You can find it here: https://janbeek.blog/2020/01/02/have-faith-and-step-out/ It is as poignant in my life today as it was 20 years ago… maybe more so. How about you? Does it apply? Are you up for the next step of your journey?

Step Out!
And Treasure The Journey!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

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