Do you want to bee Like a lobster every day? They never stop growing In a physical kind of way.
Each day they are alive, They eat, reproduce, and grow. One grew to forty-four pounds It was a whopping 3′ long – Whoa!!
I want to bee a lobster Who constantly grows, too. But my growth would develop spiritually Each day I travel through.
Too often we become lazy – Satisfied with our status quo. But lobsters are never complacent. No wonder they continue to grow!
I need to revive my commitment To nourish my mind and my heart With the same tenacity as the lobster. Today’s a great day to start!
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 3:18
Today’s post was inspired by an entry in All God’s Creatures, a Guideposts publication. Shirley Raye Redmond wrote a commentary titled, “Keep Growing” for the November 27 entry.
She ended her thoughts with this quote by Oswald Chambers:
“Spiritual maturity is not reached by the passing of years, but by obedience to the will of God.”
Isn’t it interesting that when I search for photos related to obedience, the pictures all are of dogs? Not us human beings. No, the word conjures up obedient dogs! Would that we could be as responsive to discipline as a dog is! Or as committed to growth as a lobster!
Bee like a lobster Or a dog – Committed and Obedient…
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?
Have you caught enough? Not everyone in this world Has caught enough fish.
Many without jobs In this COVID-19 world Are short of supplies.
Not every pantry Is filled to overflowing. Some have no pantry.
So what must we do? Sit back and enjoy our life? No, we’re called to share!
There is enough food On this, our beautiful earth, To provide for all.
The secret is: SHARE! Just count your many blessings; Reach out to others.
You will discover The more you give, the more you Have to give. That’s TRUTH!
Accumulation as a definition of success fails to realize that if you store up treasures on earth in excess of what you need, you may discover they bury you… and you really can’t access it all, anyway. How is that bunny gonna get that carrot outta the ground, huh?
On the other hand, if you’re all show and no growth, you won’t have enough to feed yourself, let alone give any away!
“All show” is that fancy car, extra large TV, more shoes and purses or wallets or clothes than you need, elaborate houses, etc. You get the picture. Spend it all on the “things that pass away” – and you will be one lonely fisherman!
Generosity is the Key
It was the little things you did The sacrifices that you made The small donations from your little The generosity from your abundance That made such a difference In the lives of others
Generosity is the key To a richer, fuller life Not the number of your barns Filled to overflowing, But the love you freely gave From the depths of a grateful heart
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all you possess. I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.
I wish you enough gratitude to help you live with joy. I wish you enough generosity to help you give generously. I wish you enough health to give you strength to serve. I wish you enough love to give it all away.
Whatever you send into the lives of others, comes back in to your own. But, do not give for what you can get, give because you have been richly blessed.
Cristan Mihai is a blogging guru who started his blog within a month of when I did in 2012. His posts on “The Art of Blogging” have taught me so much about how to create and continue to improve my JanBeek, Loving One Another website. A constant piece of advice that Cristian repeats at least weekly is: “Punch Those Damn Keys.”
In his “About” introduction to himself on his website, Cristian wrote:
“Cristian Mihai (born 25 December 1990) grew up in Constanta, Romania. And he’s still growing up, or at least trying to. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he gets lucky and writes something good. He can’t, however, draw a straight line. No matter how much he tries. Not even with a ruler. And, please, don’t ever ask him to sing.”
You can tell by that introduction that he has a wonderful sense of humor. You know he is an English-as-a-second-language blogger. You would never know that by visiting his website. His English is perfect! And his tips, ideas, lessons about how to improve are priceless. He offers his services in a number of ways – and he is sponsored by several companies on his website. He’s a full-time blogger. He tells us that TENACITY is one of the most effective qualities if you want to grow your blog.
What’s ironic about his “The Road to 1,000th Order” blog?
He posted today “The Road to 1,000 …” the same day I received this notification of congratulations from WordPress:
Posting for Readers
I am not selling anything on my blog, so I won’t get 1,000 orders… But I would love to get 1,000 followers! And I am pleased to know I have posted that record 1,000 number of times – pleased because I know my posts and my readers have grown and improved through the years.
I post for my readers… and to my readers. I post to encourage, inspire, educate, and occasionally just to share my love, to share my joy or to entertain.
I post to show you the scenery, people, activities, and animals in whatever corner of the world I am today, knowing it may be very different from your surroundings. I enjoy seeing where you are and what you are doing.
Each day one or two new folks join us. Each day between 70 and 120+ folks from around the world visit JanBeek. Of those an average of 15 to 20 click “like” to let me know they have been there. If I am lucky, 8 or 10 will leave a message (usually it is only 2 or 3 comments, however). Usually I have no idea who more than 75% of my visitors are (except that WordPress tells me where they are from).
Encouraged or Discouraged?
Are those numbers typical? Are they encouraging or discouraging?
They are neither. They just are what they are. The “Discover” site on WordPress has 42,500,197 followers!! What would I do with that? I’d have to hire several private secretaries to keep up!!
It is not the numbers that keep me posting. One thousand posts since 2012… of those, the last 148 have been consecutive. It is not the numbers… it is the contacts, the friendships, the connections with people I have come to love here – or conversations with those I love in other walks of my life, as well. I hope to meet face-to-face someday the new friends like Derrick and Richard who are so kind with their messages of affirmation.
It was 148 days ago when I decided to make blogging a priority after my devotional time each morning.
It was 148 days ago when I committed to taking that part of Cristian Mihai’s advice, that “Get serious about it,” very seriously.
Just “Punch those damn keys!” Say what you mean – and mean what you say. Get passionate! Share what you care about. Be the change you want to see in the world … one word, one post, one action, at a time.
Cristian Mihai – The Art of Blogging
Cristian has 131,548 followers and often offers them perks… like today, “A random person will be selected among those who order until we reach #1000 will receive six months of reblogging, one sponsored post per month for a duration of six months, and a one-on-one Skype chat with me.”
I am one of Cristian’s 1,000. I ordered his on-line book, “The Art of Blogging,” and I subscribed to some one-on-one tutoring from him. He gave me some great advice about formatting, headlines, content, and networking. I recommend you take him up on his offered perk today. Who knows, maybe you will be the 1,000th person! He’s offering a great reward!
This was Russ Towne’s post this morning on FaceBook. I love the poem and the fulfilled promise.
I love the message at its conclusion, advocating what JanBeek is all about: “🎶❤️ All we need is love, ❤️ 🎶” and “Make the world better by the beauty [you] share.”
Russ Towne wrote, “The local chapter of the California Writers Club selected my poem below for inclusion in their publication ‘WritersTalk.’ This poem has had two titles over the years: ‘Broken Promise’ and ‘Their Time in the Ball.’ Which title do you think fits this [poem] better?”
An unopened bud A leaf left unfurled A loss of great beauty To a beckoning world
Withered by fear From memories and pain Won’t risk rejection Shame and disdain
Unrealized potential Hidden deep in a ball They suffer in silence A broken promise to all
Kindness can open Closed buds over time Heal shattered hearts And ease fearful minds
A bud can be opened By the love of a friend Who believes in their dreams So their spirit can mend
Sometimes it takes The smallest of sparks A word to encourage Those alone in the dark
Nurturing love Can go a long way To help beautiful petals Feel the light of each day
Bask in the glory Of knowing they dared Make the world better By the beauty they shared
Often late bloomers Are most lovely of all As their beauty is deeper From their time in the ball
Gottfried from the Banter Republic blog wrote a delightful post today. I chuckled. I sighed. I related. But, I related at a distance. He is 6’5′ an I am 5′ nothing on a good day. So, I decided to have some fun with his post.
There is a permanent bias towards tall short people. For some short people or fat people, people are quick to get on a high horse when you call out the obvious. But giants and shrimps get no such protection. I always sometimes am at the mercy of poorly constructed jokes. Talking about “you’re tall short for nothing”. How about you? What’s your excuse for being the same size as a skyscraper’s ladder side stool?
Joseph: How tall are you?
Gottfried: 6’5 Jan: 5′ nothing
Joseph: Do you play basketball? miniature golf?
Gottfried: Nope Jan: Yup
Joseph: What a waste! How can you be that tall and not play basketball?
Gottfried: Do you play mini-golf? No? But here we are. Jan: Yup!
Yes, the rumors are true, the air up down here here is a lot fresher stinks. One of the upsides of being a giant shrimp, away from being able not being able to reach the top shelves at supermarkets (subtle reminder we’re not obligated to assist you) (subtle reminder – I need your help!), I also don’t get to breathe fresher, unadulterated air. No guessing why brief tall people are constantly making a fuss, their nostrils are clogged (they’re tired of bending down to me).
I am not your selfie stick. If I do choose, out of the magnanimity of my good heart, I could take charge of selfies (I don’t… selfies are waaay too close with my short arms!). If I’m not feeling it, leave me alone, nobody asked you to come here a minion (face it, you’d be lost without me… if all people were tall, you’d be no big deal!). Oh and yeah, when you “play” punches us, it actually hurts Ya, me, too. Being huge small doesn’t reduce the pain. One of these days we’ll hit back and land you in the hospital (Small but mighty, watch out, my punch hits you where it hurts most!!).
I’ll start charging for hugs. There’s a common misconception that giants minis are your life-sized teddy bears your own little childhood teddy bear. Kindly shelve that idea ! Well, actually, I don’t mind – I like the hugs!. It does help if you smell nice though Yes!, so replace your deodorant and we’ll see. I’ll tell you this though, I’m tired of people hugging my tummy the top of my head. Can you guys like “grow up”? No, grown ups don’t have near as much fun!
I get tired too. For my little nieces and nephews, if I’ve carried you once, I can’t do it ten more times, don’t be a little shit. (I don’t have any of those little shits in my family!) For the older folk, the same applies, the last thing on my mind is to carry y’all on my back. (Couldn’t if I tried… and the good news is nobody expects me to). I remember this one time I scored a match-winning goal for my Department and the entire bench ran onto the pitch to celebrate with me. I found myself under a pile of close to twenty bodies. Long story short, I nearly died that day. (Good news is no team ever tried piling on top of me – if they had I WOULD be dead!!)
My dress sense isn’t off. You don’t just know the struggle of finding items of clothing and shoes that fit. (You’re right – I don’t! But, my pants are always too long! Hemmiing is easier than trying to add inches.) Don’t be that asshole that’s counting the number of my outfits. Talking about “you like this shoe oh”. My friend, it’s my only shoe, shut up. I have to make all my shoes, plus they cost a fortune. It’s not that I planned to look homeless, it’s the market. (Nanni, nanni, nanni – I can buy the display shoes; they always put size 5’s on the rack. They’re cuter!!)
There are many positive being a giant shrimp. You can randomly give someone a knock during a parade and they’ll never guess it’s you (you do it from on top, I can do it from underneath). But know this, Giants Shrimpy folks are some of the kindest, warmest, most caring and all-around welcoming people you’ll ever meet (That’s an area of commonality, for sure!). The idea isn’t really to talk down on you, it’s just how it is. (I talk up to you gladly!) It does help that people “lookup” to me and I promise to not disappoint. (I love looking up at you. One of my most fun boyfriends in high school was 6’4″ … they called us Mutt & Jeff. Mom had to put a stool out on the porch so I could reach up high enough for a good-night kiss.)
Get yourself a giant (Not a bad idea! Get yourself a shrimp!)
Hope you had as much fun reading this as I did responding to Gottfried, the Jolly Giant!
The Willow trees in our back yard were only saplings when we moved here
nine years ago. They are extremely fast-growing trees which are now at
least thirty feet tall. As I sat in their shade, I observed the wide
splits in the bark. The old years growth sheds away as the tree expands.
Eventually it falls away back into the soil. We are like trees. Those
who grow the most continue to shed things they no longer need; negative
attitudes, hurts, ideas, stereotypes, resentment, and bitterness, etc.
Some are trapped in their own bark unwilling to let go and change for
the better. How are you at shedding your bark?
Growth brings expansion
Stretching us //sometimes to our limit
Breaking us out of our comfort zone.
Growth causes cracks in our perception
Finding, perhaps there are other ways
Of thinking or feeling that may be different.
Growth brings change
Change is often painful
Forcing us to cast off old ways of thinking;
To have growth, we will have to change.
With change comes new strength;
New strength moves us beyond the present;
Fulfills our dreams for today…
Knowing tomorrow, we will again
Expand, stretch, and shed our bark.