Just as children are grateful for their parents, their homes, their teachers, their food, and so much more, so we as adults must remember to express gratitude for those same things and for one another.
How do you express your gratitude?
I really appreciate this video and express my gratitude by sharing it with you. No, you can’t click on this one… it’s just a photo.
Before you click on the video below, look up at that man’s face. See the kindness in his eyes. See the bit of a smile on his lips. Notice he is looking at his passenger in her pretty turquoise scarf. Anticipate what you think he may be saying to her. Notice the bouquet of red roses blurred in the foreground. Now – click on the video below … and be prepared to be touched!
You may not have been able to understand the words this Iranian man was speaking to his wife, but your understanding of the message was clear. Right? Didn’t it warm your heart and reinforce the need to be grateful for one another?
When I think of my family, gratitude bubbles up inside me.
1) I am grateful for my husband’s love… for me and for our children. 2) I am grateful for bouquets of roses. (I could see him passing a bouquet on to others to share love.) 3) I am grateful for the happy home my parents provided for me was a child. 4) I am grateful that my husband’s parents were faith-filled, loving parents, too. 5) I am grateful that my children provided loving homes for their children.
Pass it on!!
There is no greater gift we can give our children than to love one another. Be grateful for that love and keep it alive!
As you EMBRACE GRATITUDE, think of 4 or 5 things you’re grateful for today. I’d love to have you share a few of them in the comments below.
Sue Dreamwalker wrote this today, “I will be joining the Global Day of Gratitude. This Thanksgiving we need to give thanks for family and friends, and grow our New soul family as we reach out and create New Connections all over the World… As we reach out with our hearts to create Unity and Peace.”
The day called “Thanksgiving” has drawn to a close this challenging year of 2020. But as Dwight Roth reminded us in his post yesterday, it is not just a day to be reminded to be grateful for all our blessings, but it also is a day called “National Day of Mourning for Native Americans.” Check out his informative and poignant post:
In the midst of plenty, I am reminded of the suffering of many. I am reminded of the sacrifice of many. I am mournful as I realize the injustices that brought me to the place of comfort where I am today. I apologize to my Native American friends … and yet I know nothing I can say or do today can erase the truth of what white people did to these dear people. I want to be thankful for what I have – (and I am) – but I recognize the cost… and I am humbled in my position of plenty – and trying NOT to be “Blinded by Comfort.”
I hope your Thanksgiving Day was a day of small gatherings … not the big family crowd we are used to on this day. I hope you kept it intimate and safe. We did. Just four of us. But in our hearts we included you all… and thanked God for your presence in our lives. WordPress is a wonderful community – and I am thankful for your shared thoughts, your insightfulness, and your faithful visits to JanBeek.
Throughout the day, we texted with our family in California and Maryland and Switzerland and bemoaned the fact that we can’t all be together this year. But, we thanked God for our health and our many blesssings. With the magic of WhatsApp and Messenger and FaceTime, we shared pictures. I hope you were able to do the same thing.
Monika is taking the photo. Her parents were able to join them along with our grandson, Sam, on the left and our granddaughter, Faith and her husband, Kyle, on the right. Two other of our grandchildren are missing here. COVID says, “Keep it small.” Tough task!
We feel blessed to be able to share this important day with our pastor, Steve, and his wife, Elaine. Thank God for friends near and far who can join us in these days of social distancing and masks and fear – and can help us feel less alone!
I hope you were able to share the day with loved ones, too… and that you had reasons to count your blessings in the midst of this very unusual year.
Thank you for checking in with JanBeek today. If you are one of the newbies here, welcome!!
You may not know that I take sermon notes in poetry most Sundays, and then I share them here. I do… and I enjoy helping you hear what I heard through my poetic filters. Comments always appreciated.
Sermon by Reverend Steve Hundley Madison Valley Presbyterian Church Ennis, Montana Notes by Jan Beekman
God is Great, God is Good!
Thanksgiving celebrations Have a history with friends. This year with COVID, Most will find unwelcomed ends.
Reunited old relationships Were important to reflame. Old traditions are important. What’ll we do to reclaim?
What can we do to overcome This year of so many deaths? How can we truly be thankful When so many breathed last breaths?
Remember to give thanks For life – no matter how short. Help the family say good-bye, And trust God. Give no retort!
There is no way we can Make whining acceptable. Suck it up and give thanks For life! … Be respectable.
Praise and give thanks to God For the daily gifts He gives. Blessed be the Lord of all. Blessed be our God. He lives!
Psalm 100 gives praise No matter the troubles and strife. Remember the password to God: “Thank You!” God, thank you for life!
Rev. Steve told a story about a family Thanksgiving a few years ago where his mom ALWAYS asked him to be the one to provide the blessing. But on this particular Thanksgiving, his four-year-old second cousin interrupted and said HE wanted to say the blessing this year. Steve’s mom told him he could, assuming Steve would follow up with the REAL blessing.
The four-year-old cleared his throat and declared, “God is Great – God is Good – Amen!” Steve’s mom asked, “That’s it?” And the boy responded emphatically, “Yes! That’s it!” Then she turned to Steve, expecting him to expound further. Steve simply said, “Amen!”
Yes, that’s it … that’s all we need to know: “God is Great! God is Good! Amen!”
Steve’s opening prayer this morning: “Father in heaven, we give You thanks for life and for all of the experiences that life brings us. We give You thanks for joy, hope, peace, and answered prayers, but we also give You thanks for our trials, sorrows, and pain. We give You thanks for our land, for the beauty of the landscape, for the riches it provides for our living, for the people and cultures among us. Above all things, we give You thanks for our hope in Christ, for the life and freedom that will ultimately be ours. Teach us to cherish all Your gifts. Teach us also to use all these resources for the good of society and for glory to You. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.“
*AN AFFIRMATION OF THANKSGIVING
I believe in the God of fruit time and harvest, who makes the land to bear gifts in its time and fills our tables with the bounty of His hand.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who was the first fruit of those who slept, and brings us to spiritual tables where our cups overflows.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, who causes us to remember all things for which we are grateful and teaches us to see a relationship between our gifts and the Giver.
I believe in the world as the arena of my spiritual life, where I am to share my table with the poor and my hospitality with the stranger; for in so doing, I shall fulfill the desires of my great and good God who has given me everything, and of His Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Thank you for joining me for our Sunday service. If you find yourself in Ennis, Montana on a Sunday morning, do come and join us at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church. 308 W Hugel St, Ennis, MT 59729 (406) 682-4355
May the Lord Bless and Keep You safe now and always.
I’d love to see how you complete one or both of those sentences.
I have given them a lot of thought lately.
Write your sentence before you look below for what I wrote.
I’m alive for a reason. I’m alive because my number hasn’t come up yet! My purpose in life is – to love – to accept love gratefully, – to spread that love far and wide – and to help others seek the Source of that joyous, peace-filled love.
I don’t love because I expect love in return… (but that usually happens). I love because God first loved me, my parents loved me, and I have been blessed with family and friends who love me. My cup overflows… and I NEED to share it.
How did you finish the sentence?
Have a great weekend. Live for your purpose! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
Every day’s a celebration If you just know where to look. Look at all your many blessings. Take a look in the Good Book.
“Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. Therefore, be firm in this freedom, and don’t become slaves again.”
Unlock the gifts of freedom With the key of appreciation. Be grateful for our liberties – We’re a very blessed nation.
We enjoy liberties that people In many other countries will never see, But will long for their whole lifetimes. Thank the Lord that we are free!
Free to vote and free to protest; Free to shout when we disagree. Free to love and be loved in return; Free from the oppression of tyranny.
“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him’.”
With my morning cup of coffee, I will wait in my sanctuary. I will read and pray and ask the Lord For hope to live in you and me.
I will seek the peace that God can give, And put the results in His hands. I will seek His strength for today Ask Him to heal the hurt in our lands.
I will celebrate the right to vote As I listen for the results to come. I will celebrate the eternal joy That I can claim. It’s denied to some.
If you are feeling disgruntlement And joy seems strangely aloof, Ask Jesus for His divine power To shine His joy – and Celebrate Truth!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. I’ll see you tomorrow. (By then, we may know a bit more of the election results!) Celebrate Freedom!!
…And defend GER? Yes, defend HER! God Bless the USA. Preserve freedom. Celebrate your right to differ – Celebrate the ways we agree!!
Oh, for the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent, child, Friends on earth and friends above, For all gentle thoughts and mild
Lord of all, to Thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.
Enjoy this beautiful hymn while you read the rest of this post. I love The Cambridge Singers directed by John Rutter. Sooooo beautiful!!
Yes, Lord, I raise this joyful hymn in grateful praise to You!
Yesterday I had the privilege of spending time with my granddaughter, Hope, and her family: her husband, Drew, and their two children, Xander and Sienna. I am so grateful for their visit!
I was so busy with the children while they were in the house, I didn’t have time to think about pictures. But once they were strapped in their car seats, ready to leave, I said, “Wait! I need to capture this visit!”
I actually captured this photo of Xander & Drew just before Xander was strapped in. His toy phone is his constant companion. He carried on very loud pretend conversations with his dad and Bob and imaginary friends!
For the Beauty of the Earth For the glory of the skies, For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies
Lord of all, to Thee we raise Our voices in grateful praise!
I pray that one day my great-grandchildren will grow to become young people who can sit and listen to a story, a poem, a wise parent… as Hope and Drew share “The Great Realisation” with them. God Bless “Tom Foolery” for his beautiful poem and the timely message he is sharing in this video with his child. If you have not heard this before, please take time to to listen. It is WONderful!!
Thanks for visiting today. Have a WONderful week. See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
[Jesus said] “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
The peace that Jesus Christ gives us is “Shalom.” It is a deep peace, filled with health and joy, security and contentment. It is a deep, lasting peace that sustains us through any circumstance. Thanks to Jesus, we can have peace with God, with one another, and with our own spirit.What a priceless gift!
Peace in Quietness
In silence, I commune with my Maker each morning. In that quietness, I find strength and wisdom. In His Word, I find reassurance.
Isaiah 55:3 (KJ version)
“Incline your ear and come unto Me. Hear and your soul shall live.”
In the stillness of the 9-11 Friday morning, Bob and I took our TazE and headed with our ATV to meet friends and spend the day communing with them and with nature.
In the quietness of the morning, the roar of 5 ATV’s pierced the air. Headed to McAtee Bridge and on to Ruby Creek, five couples left the Madison Valley, glanced across the landscape to the glory of the Sphynx Mountain, and climbed to the 9,400 ft. level to enjoy God’s creation.
“He says, ‘Be still and know that I am God.”
Compassion and Gratitude
In the stillness of this Sunday afternoon, I treasure the blessings of this weekend. The time in the mountains, the camaraderie of friends, the health we enjoy, the beauty of the river, the peacefulness of cloudless blue skies. And I don’t take any of this SHALOM for granted! I know there are others whose homes and businesses are burning right now. I have a heart of compassion for those in Harm’s Way – and I pray for their safety.
Our valley is covered with smoke from fires that are ravaging this western part of the USA. I know there are people for whom “Shalom” is a distant image – a feeling they long to see return. I pray that it will. I pray that my happy pictures gave you pause to smile – and gave you hope for a blue-sky, peace-filled future.
In the midst of COVID-19 and fires, racial injustice and political unrest, may you find SHALOM in your heart.
You are blessed to be a blessing – So share your joys – And count your blessings.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. See ya tomorrow. Gentle Hugs ❤ Shalom!
Do we have an obsession with image? More concerned about the outside than the inside? As a nation… as a world?
Are you fed up with it? Do you feel it is robbing us of our sense of purpose and our wisdom?
These are some questions I gleaned from Scilla Elworthy, the elderly South African woman in the Ted Talk above:
Are you fully alive in your body? Do you have energy and attractiveness in your soul? Are you content with what is? Can you remove the mask, let the wrinkles show, and still like yourself?
Self-acceptance is a great, great gift!
Obsession with image is tiring… Yes, I believe that!
What makes you feel electric? Does the world see your energy? Do you have real aliveness?
Health, exercise, purpose, usefulness… those are the keys!
Many people struggle to find purpose in life. Scilla Elworthy said, “Most people fear pain and loneliness.”
We worry about what will happen when we are no longer able to care for ourselves and must rely on other people.
Dementia is a real fear for me. My mother was diagnosed with it before she died. My sister is in a home today – a nursing home – being cared for because she has Alzheimer’s. It is in my family. Is it in my future? I cannot dwell on that! I must live in the NOW and love myself so I can love others. The keys are:
prayer and meditation,
time in nature… being outside with things that are alive
What about death? It is inevitable. Approach it with curiosity. Think through it. Know that death is not finality.
What are the gains of growing older? We can speak out! Dare to speak up about those things that we think are wrong! Stand up for those things! Make a contribution by making a difference – by being true to ourselves.
Know that with age comes wisdom. Wise, experienced leaders are a gift to the world. As we age, we can be that older, wiser person who sees beyond the horizon. The world need us!
But age and wisdom are not synonymous. Wisdom does not come automatically. We can’t live in a foxhole and gain wisdom. We need to go out and risk adventure. Risk rebuke. Risk the world hating you. We need to be true to ourselves as we lift our heads to what is happening around us and seek the solutions to the challenges we all face. We can’t be ostriches with our head in the sand.
A friend of mine said she has decided that the best way to avoid dissension is just to avoid having an opinion. “I try to remain totally objective – with no opinion expressed. Opinions just garner arguments,” she said.
We can’t let ourselves live in that kind of fear! Avoidance invites stagnation.
“Whoever is free from all fear will always be safe,” Scilla Elworthy said in the Ted Talk above. So, we must let go of any fear we have of speaking out.
What do you care about? What’s your opinion about aging? Let’s hear it!!
I’m not afraid of growing older. Just don’t call me old!! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek