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Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

Embrace Gratitude


What are you grateful for today?

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!

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

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.

We may be blurry, but we’re together!
I’m grateful for our family.
(That was last year… I look forward to being together again in 2021)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Keeping Awake


Here is
Rev. Steve Hundley’s sermon
as recorded through the
poetic listening ears
of Jan Beekman
at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana
Based on this scripture:
Mark 13:24-37

Steve Hundley and Jim Forsberg provided the music today, too.

Keeping Awake

Advent season begins today.
It was 2020 years ago
When the star shone bright
And shed its light on the baby below.

We must always be ready
For His return; don’t know when
He will come to take us
Home with Him. ‘Til then…

We can’t expect to be alert
Every second of every day.
God does expect us to rest.
“Keep awake 24-7” He did not say!

But in several scripture passages,
It does warn us, “Keep Awake!”
Be ready for the Master’s return.
We pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” for Heaven’s sake.

We can’t stay on tiptoe forever
Without the muscles starting to ache.
We can’t keep our eyes always open;
Expecting to do so is a mistake.

God’s not telling us to forego
The rest He knows we need.
He’s just telling us to always care
About His return – Show it with each deed.
❤ ❤ ❤
“Bee” ready for His coming!

Don’t say goodbye to Thanksgiving too soon!
Keep that Attitude of Gratitude in your heart every day!
Thanks for visiting
JanBeek

See ya tomorrow.

Global Gratitude


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.”

Sue DreamwalkerWalking The Storm

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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:

rothpoetryBlinded By Comfort

Photo by Gabriela Custu00f3dio da Silva on Pexels.com

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.

Our table in Montana

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.

Our son’s table in California
Our son, Ty, at the end of the table.

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!

Relaxing after dinner

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!

Thank you, Elaine, for being such a dear friend!

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.

My joy and gratitude overflow.
I hope it spills out globally –
and it is contagious!

I hope you had a safe and happy Global Day of Gratitude
while remembering our Native Americans …

Happy Native American Day!
God bless the Indians!!

Tell me about your Thanksgiving Day.
What did you do?

God is Great! God is Good!


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.

Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on Pexels.com

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.   

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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.

See ya tomorrow.

Alive for a Reason


You’re alive for a reason.
What is it?

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com
I’m alive because…
My purpose in life is to…

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?

I hope you had (have) a loving family too.
My daddy was the world’s greatest hugger!

Have a great weekend.
Live for your purpose!
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Celebrate!


Photo by Sebastian Ervi on Pexels.com

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.

Galatians 5:1

“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.”

Photo by William Eickler on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Lamentations 3:22-24

“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!!

The Joy of Human Love


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!

Here is Hope – with her beautiful smile.

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!”

Sienna was tucked in, thumb in place, too tired to smile – ready for a nap on her way back to Big Sky.
This is the typical Sienna – big smiles – big appetite!

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!

This is a scene a mile from our house at the golf course. I bet Sienna was asleep before they got this far!

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

Enjoy the coolness
of these beautiful Fall Days!

Shalom


John 14:27
(The Living Bible translation)

[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.”

Shalom

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!

Thank you, Ty, for this
1st Cor. 18:31

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.

Jan, TazE and Bob
On the road again!
Caroline Feldman Photography

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.

McAtee Bridge over the Madison River
The Talc Mine
Barn near McAtee
See the mountains of talc ahead of us?
Up, up we went to the look out – high above the valley floor.
A perfect, blue sky day. We were blessed!
Up we climbed –
high enough to find snow at our favorite outhouse!
Time for a picnic
Lunch break with the Asbergs, Feldmans, and Washburns
The trail to Black Butte
Pictures don’t do it justice!
The red rock ridges were spectacular!!
Don Asberg & Barbara Washburn
Dinner time – a BBQ at Ruby Creek Campgrounds
Barb Asberg with Charley Brown and me –
A beautiful spot right by the river
And then Saturday afternoon
we had the privilege of another river view
Steve Hundley fishing the Madison
right below Fran McNeill’s deck
Bob & Steve discussed which flies
would be best on that stretch of the river
Steve enjoyed his time on the river
Elaine Hundley and I enjoyed visiting with Fran McNeill
at her lovely home on the river
Fran has this plaque on her wall –
and we enjoyed an invincible summer day together.

Psalm 46:10

“He says, ‘Be still and know that I am God.”

Another of Fran’s plaques

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.

Another of Fran’s plaques…
filled with great promises.

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!

Scared of Getting Older?


Do we have an obsession with image? More concerned about the outside than the inside? As a nation… as a world?

Photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels.com

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?

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

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!

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by sergio omassi on Pexels.com

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:

  • gratitude,
  • prayer and meditation,
  • time in nature… being outside with things that are alive
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

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!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

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!!

Derrick told me I earned every wrinkle.
I told him, “… and every silver hair, too!”

I’m not afraid of growing older.
Just don’t call me old!!
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

For the Joy


For the joy of life

I give You thanks, O my God

Thanks for Montana

For the Joy of Life

In the beautiful outdoors

Thank You, O My Lord

We thank Thee for all
The blessings You give us, Lord.
Thank Thee for Jim Reeves!

What a voice!

What a beautiful land we live in…
Let’s take care of it, okay?
Protect the animals,
the trees and flowers, and rivers,
And let’s protect one another, too.

Bob & I are so happy that we were able to sing “Happy Birthday” to our daughter, DeAna this morning. Thank God for the internet! Today is the 53rd anniversary of her birth. She is celebrating it with her son, Chris, and her choir at a retreat in the Alps. Wish we could be there to celebrate with her!

Newborn DeDe with her brother, Ty..
Her tongue was always out… I thought maybe we needed to have the doctor shorten it!!!
But eventually she grew some teeth and the tongue stayed in!!
Yup, she grew lots of teeth! And the cutest smile, too!!
This was when she was in second grade.
About that time (2nd or 3rd grade)< her Grandma Beekman
made her a slip to match her own and curled her hair.
That’s becoming a big girl!!
I love this photo of DeDe as a high schooler.
Such a sweet and talented kid!
Yes, we are blessed!
And here she is today…
Celebrating her birthday in Switzerland
at a choir retreat with her son, Chris.

Oh, For Blessed JOY!!!
The joy of a child’s birthday…
Always our baby!

We remember so well the day of her wedding!
That’s my wedding dress from 25 years earlier…
Ah, sweet memories!

What are some of the JOYS that fill your heart today, my friends?
Is it the great outdoors, the animals, the beauty of God’s creation?
Is it family and the love of staying connected in spite of this pandemic?
Tell me!

See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting!!
Hugs,
JanBeek

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