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Posts tagged ‘grace’

Embrace God’s Perfect Timing


Do you ever try to push things through and discover roadblocks?

That’s been my experience this week on more than one front.

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Trying to push my agenda is harder than rolling hay –
Especially when my agenda is not in sync with the Lord’s.

Photo by Ali Pazani on Pexels.com

Trying to push through an agenda is like filming –
Pointing the camera at the place you want to be
And discovering that you have no film to get there.
GO BACK AND RELOAD!! Take time to pray.

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Life often puts us at crossroads where we choose –
Do we go right or left? Or do we turn around?
What did your script say? And who wrote it?
Are you finding your own way or letting God lead?

Are you on your own time schedule or are you listening?
Do you relinquish control and hear the Holy Spirit saying,
“God’s Perfect Timing is perfect. Let go! Let it flow.”
Stop pushing. Stop filming. Stop writing. Stop blogging.

Just stop!

Photo by Song kaiyue on Pexels.com

Then, when you start up again, be deliberate! Be intentional.
Be collaborative. Be teachable. Be flexible. Be patient.
God’s Perfect Timing is Perfect!

TRUST!

Use it wisely!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

I’ve been living my passion this week…
Loving, learning, listening, sharing God’s grace.

Finding the pastor God has in mind for our church –
and trying to arrange the perfect timing for a visit.

I took a break from WordPress to focus.


It was good to take a break.


Please add our Pastor Nominating Committee to your prayer list…
and help us EMBRACE GOD’S PERFECT TIMING!

See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Bee well!!

Embrace Perseverance


This quote came in the mail today from Billy Mills, national spokesperson for “Running Strong for American Indian Youth” – a project associated with Christian Relief Service.

The synchronicity of the arrival of this in mailbox today was not lost on me. I already had spent my hour up in my sanctuary reading my Bible, devotionals, and praying for you – and other family and friends on my prayer list (yes, you are there!). Among the names on my list is “Native American Youth.” Lord knows their needs and yours.

The word that was my “Take-Away” from that time upstairs today was “Perseverance.” And that’s BEFORE the mail came with this gift! Go back up and read it again… “Collective Perseverance…” and HOPE …Resilience and Certainty in tomorrow – – – Tomorrow: a better day!

Persevere in those choices!!

It’s perseverance
That changes maybe’s to YES.
Chase the doubt away!

To make an impact
Just practice perseverance.
Keep your dreams alive.

God says you are Unique…
Designed for Greatness!!

Being persistent
As you work to problem solve:
The road to success!

Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pexels.com

I can’t just sit here
Expecting success to come.
Gotta go get it!

It’s perseverance –
Working to make it happen
That completes the goal.

What are you working
To complete with great success?
Live with that purpose.

Persevere with Purpose

But tenacity
Ain’t easy when we don’t see
The results we need.

Positivity
Is hard to always maintain
When we keep failing.

But unless we fail,
We’re not trying hard enough!
Gotta fail to learn.

3 “Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5And hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out His love
into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,
whom He has given us.…”

Romans 5:3-4

Don’t let the fact that
There’s certain failure keep you
From taking chances!

Folks who developed
The vaccines we are using
Failed many times.

Before succeeding,
They conjured up their courage
And kept on trying.

That’s the way it is!
So Embrace Perseverance
And live your purpose.

1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded
by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance
the race marked out for us,”
Hebrews 12:1

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Look at that runner;
He did not win his first race!
But perseverance paid off.

What race are you in?
What’s marked out for you to do?
Step out and do it!

Embrace Perseverance!

59 years and still counting

Long term marriages like ours don’t happen accidentally.
Takes lots of perseverance.
Believe me!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

Before you click out,
leave a comment below, will you?

What is the “race marked out for you” today?

Embrace Grace


Photo by Jacob Kelvin.J on Pexels.com

My hands are dirty –
And my heart is soiled, too.
Time for spring cleaning!

This season of Lent is a time for cleaning –
Cleaning out our hearts in preparation
For the arrival of Easter when we can
Embrace God’s grace through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Today’s sermon on our ZOOM worship service
Was titled, “Holy Ground” as our pastor,
Steve Hundley, recounted his trip to
The Holy Land back about 20 years ago.

My feet are dirty –
And my heart is soiled, too.
Time for spring cleaning!

Holy Ground

What was it like to be able
To walk in the footsteps of Jesus?
What was it like to stand
On Holy Ground? Spiritually renewing?

I was expecting each site to be charged
With such power that holy goose bumps
Popped up all over my body.
But I was a bit disappointed.

It was hard to feel the grace of the risen Christ
In this historically preserved place.
How do you feel Jesus breaking bread
When all you’re seeing is the top of a rock?

It’s important to protect these sites,
But looking through plexiglass makes it
Hard to feel the reality of Jesus.
The garden tomb remains open, though.

It’s helpful to see without obstacles
That distort the original places.
We have our own expectations of
What we’ll feel imagining holy faces.

Jesus and the money changers
Were there on the temple floor
Where I stood on that visit.
But I couldn’t feel Jesus’ anger.

I wondered if maybe those men
Were in fact offering a service.
He told them they could tear it down
And He’d rebuild it in three days.

They didn’t know He was referring
To His body, not the building.
Buildings are not what we worship.
We worship God’s nature in spirit and in Truth.

We are often tied to the
Rites and rituals to define us.
But our traditions must not
Rise above the Christ we adore.

It is not the place that matters.
It is the love in our hearts
That counts when we join together
In worship… thanking God for His grace.

Thank You, God, for Jesus, for Easter,
For the meaning of the cross,
And for the sacrifice of Your Son’s life
So we might EMBRACE GRACE.

The HOPE of EASTER
Is in the grace of the cross.
Let’s engage in some spring cleaning
In preparation to stand on that Holy Ground…
At the threshold of our eternal cleansing.

Embrace Grace.

AMEN

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow.
I’m headed to do some spring cleaning!

Embrace His Mercy


So, what is mercy?
Is it something that you need?
No?! So you’re perfect?

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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??

Live Life Forward


I CAN …

If you’ve followed my blog for a week or so, you already know that I journal most days in this little book that is dedicated to my dear and daring daughter, DeAna. I don’t write in it EVERY day, but often I do, when I am up in my sanctuary, motivated by my devotionals. Today was such a day.

Look ahead, my friend
Live Life Forward
Stare out the windshield
Not the rear view mirror

Look toward the future
Find the unexpected gifts
Share the love and grace
You find at every turn

Share the laughter
Share uninhibited joy
Share compassion
Ease each others pain

Find the hidden treasures
‘Neath the tears of sorrow
Let them wash you clean
Ready for tomorrow

Look ahead, my friend
Don’t let the past upset
Live life forward
And bury all regret

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

I have positive thoughts about today.
It’s snowing here…
and it is beautiful outside.
It’s warm and cozy inside.
I pray you are cozy, too.



Thanks for visiting JanBeek
And thank you to all my faithful followers –
Your comments make my day!
See ya tomorrow.

A photo taken from a drone by my friend, Whooter,
showing you how pretty it is
when the snow is beginning to turn things white.
Happy Christmas Weekend!

Is God’s Grace Exasperating?


Today’s sermon at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
was titled, “The Amazing and Exasperating Grace of God.”
I’ve certainly heard God’s grace described as
AMAZING before. That’s typical.
But, exasperating?
When?
How?

Do you know the story of the “Workers in the Vineyard”? It’s found in Matthew 20: 1-16.
Essentially it tells of a landowner who needed extra workers in his vineyard. He agreed to pay the ones who started picking grapes that morning a silver coin for their day’s labor.

Later, with just an hour left in the work day, he realized the workers needed help to finish the job before sundown, so he hired a bunch more workers to help finish the job. This last bunch were the “left-overs” who had not been hired earlier. We can only imagine why they may have been left behind.

At the end of the day, the ones who came last (and had only worked an hour) were paid first. Each received a silver coin.

The ones who had worked all day saw that – and figured they would get more. They probably expected ten times more, since they had worked a ten hour day. When all they received was the same pay as the ones who worked only the last hour, they complained bitterly.

On that story, Rev. Steve Hundley based his sermon, and I took notes (as I do each Sunday) in poetry as I listened. Here they are:

The Amazing and Exasperating Grace of God

Reading the Word of God daily
Helps you discover joy in life;
But some difficult passages
Cause misunderstanding and strife.

Like the story of the workers
Who were paid equal wages
Whether they worked one hour
Or ten… Imagine the rages!

It’s hard to understand
How such treatment is fair.
Jesus explained the boss could
Pay the wages anyway he cared.

Likewise, those who come lately
To the Kingdom of God on earth
Will receive the same blessings as
Those who served the Lord since birth.

Does this seem a fair idea?
Are deathbed conversions real?
Maybe some of them are fake,
But it’s not up to me or how I feel.

This parable isn’t about the workers.
It’s about the generous vineyard boss
Who is a symbol of our Gracious God.
He focuses on the workers, not the cost.

Our God calls out the left-overs
And tells them, “I have room for you.”
God’s amazing grace and love are real,
And they’re available to all – not just a few.

Load me up, Lord.
Haul me to your vineyard.
I’m ready to work!
Amen.


Have you ever found God’s Amazing Grace to be Exasperating?

Or is there a Bible story that you find difficult to understand?
Tell me about it.

Have a Super Sunday.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

Lay Me Bare


I want to lay bare.
Unwrap all my coverings;
Lay bare my soul, Lord.

Photo by Nikolay Bondarev on Pexels.com

It is a process –
Unwrapping our gifts –
Being all we are.

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I want to be clean,
Free of all the barriers
that keep me from God.

Photo by ALLAN FRANCA CARMO on Pexels.com

Life can be twisted,
Locking out our special gifts.
Unlock barriers.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Rid yourself of them –
The chains of security.
Be vulnerable!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Only when your shell
Is cracked open and you flow
Can your gifts be used.

Lord, lay bare my soul.
Unwrap my coverings, Lord.
Reveal my gifts.

Let them be useful
As I reach out in kindness
And share all my gifts.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Blog title and ideas inspired during my devotional time this morning with Strength & Grace, Daily Devotions from Guideposts

James 1:17

“Every good thing given
and every perfect gift
is from above,
coming down from
the Father of Lights,
with whom there is no variation
or shifting shadow.”

Photo by Luis Dalvan on Pexels.com

Lord,
I pray for Your grace and strength
as You unwrap the layers of these gifts.
May we be blessed to become
all that You would have us to be.”

Amen

(Prayer for today from
Strength & Grace)

Lay me bare!
See ya later.
JanBeek

Love is Levitating


Photo by Samir Jammal on Pexels.com

Love lifts me higher
Yes, love is levitating
Love lifts others, too

Let love be your name
May your words and actions lift
Be “Love in Action”

Be love mindfully
Be in a state of presence
You are a present!

God empowers you
With open heart, just connect
Feel the resilience

Love’s stabilizing
It is God’s underpinning
A sure foundation

Photo by Rodolfo Quirós on Pexels.com

Be a messenger
With words of love, peace, and hope
Embody God’s love

A Prayer for Grace
from Strength & Grace
by Guideposts

“Loving God,
Lead me to be a vessel
of Your healing love
in a hurting world.
Help me make a difference
here on earth
by loving people
the way that
You love them.”

Amen
Reach Out in Love

…and have a Wonderful Wednesday!
See ya later.
JanBeek

~Peace~ειρήνη~


Peace in Greek: ~ειρήνη~

Peace in Hebrew, the Jewish language: Shalom

Peace in any language: LOVE

Photo by 42 North on Pexels.com

I pray your Palm Sunday has been a day of ~Peace~ειρήνη~Shalom~Love

Virtual Worship Service

We began our Sunday (after taking a nostalgic virtual stroll through Switzerland here on WP) with a virtual worship service. Many of you who are obeying “STAY at HOME” orders probably did the same. Some churches broadcast their service on You.Tube.com and their members were able to feel like they were together on the screen.

Our Pastor Steve Hundley sent by e-mail (as he did last Sunday) the church bulletin complete with songs linked and the prayers and sermon written out. Let me share a few of his words/prayers and a song with you now.

Opening Prayer:

Loving Father, as we journey with Your Son into this Holy Week of remembrance and hope, help us to understand You and Your love for the world more clearly.  Help us to call to mind these past events in Jesus’ life so that we can sense their significance for our present lives and for the future You are preparing for all creation.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

The Palms:                   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etrgxd6fSvc

Sharing the Peace:    Call someone who is isolated, discouraged and alone; ask what they might need. Pray with them.  (Perhaps you would like to repeat this action throughout the week.)        

Pastoral Prayer:

Loving God, who has brought us once more to this Holy Week in which we remember the ministry and suffering of our Lord, help us now to submerge our own needs and fears in Him and learn of Him. 

Show us by the resoluteness with which Christ accomplished Your will how we, too, may live gracefully under the pressure in this uncommon time.  As the darkness of these days befalls us, teach us to garner our faith by finding new and creative ways to share our lives in spite of the limitations placed upon us. 

Guide us as disease and death taunt us and life is cruelest, and we encounter our own “Calvaries” of the spirit, to respond with love, patience, and compassion.

Merciful God, whose healing power is so evident in the fearless and tireless work of our health care professionals, strengthen them and give them courage and confidence in everything they do.  Encourage them when their efforts seem futile or when death prevails.  Increase their trust in Your power to overcome the risk of their own health, pain, and even death.

Lord Jesus, as You made Your way into Jerusalem, so make Your way into our individual isolation, into our homes, into our rooms, into our hearts, and into our lives.  Oh Lord, make us aware that this world crisis we find ourselves in only affirms with great intensity our need for Your saving grace. 

Lord, we pray for the most vulnerable among us. Lord, heal those who are already sick, and comfort those who are grieving the unexpected loss of a loved one.  Lord, we lift up each one who has been robbed of their employment, their financial security, their sense of peace, if not their health, during this pandemic.  Give hope and light to hold on to until the light flows back at the end of this dark tunnel.

         

Blessing:

Go Now!

… for you cannot go where God is not.

Go with noble purpose,

and God will give meaning to Your days.

Go in love, for it alone endures.

Go in peace, for it is the gift of God

to those whose hearts and minds

are in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Amen.

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

May God’s Peace go with you this day and always.
Bee well, my friends.
See ya tomorrow.

Lead Us By Your Grace


Lead us by Your Grace
Guide us so that we’ll be safe.

Yes, Lord! We need your guidance
Now more than ever.

Enjoy this beautiful rendition of
THE PRAYER.
Let it touch your heart as it did mine.

Hebrews 4:16

“Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Where is our go-to hearth?
We may all tilt toward the screen.
Is it a bright light?

Does it reflect grace
When we addictively turn
To the media?

Social media
Can be a wonderful tool,
For we have choices.

Grace is never far;
It can be undetected
If we choose poorly.

Grace is on our screens
If we know where we should look.
See posts who tag “GRACE.”

I know grace is mine.
I feel it daily with thanks.
I share it with you.

Grace is comforting.
It’s an expression of care.
It gently lifts us.

Grace is God’s great gift.
It is delivered freely.
Accept it with love.


In these days of Pandemic Pandemonium,
Don’t succumb to the chaos!
Know that God hears and He is with you.
Find comfort in His Grace.
We will emerge a stronger, more loving world.

Where have you seen God’s grace
at work in your community,
in your home,
in your heart
this week?


Tell me about it.

See ya tomorrow…
– meantime, I’m holding grace lovingly,
and letting it seep through my fingers to you!

Smile!
We will get through this together.

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