Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Hope’

The Reason


My Hope Angel
From Sue Woodruff
Romans 15:13

The God of hope brings peace and joy.
He fills my heart with song.
No matter what sorrow today may bring,
I can sing His praises all day long.

My heart overflows with God’s sure hope
That comes by the power of His Spirit.
When troubles mount; fear fills my heart –
I lean on Him and know He’ll clear it.

I trust today in God’s promises;
I know His joy and peace.
His love o’erflows within my heart
His power is sure to all fears release.

Lisa Glines Photography

So when the fear in storms erupt
Sending troubles to your life,
Just turn to Him and see beyond –
Where Hope resides and Joy melts strife.

He is the reason I can sing today.
He is the reason I have peace in my soul.
He is the reason you can live with joy.
Let the power of His Spirit make you whole.

After listening to the John Anderson YouTube version of this song, I wrote this comment: “What a gorgeous rendition of this song. Previously I had enjoyed only the Josh Grobin version. Beautiful as it is, this choir adds extra beauty to it with their gorgeous harmonies… such an important message in this troubled world! Yes, let Him lift you to His shoulders… and let’s BEE more than we can ever BEE without him!”

Let the Lord lift you;
Let Him raise you up to Him –
Strong on His shoulders!

Your faith empowers
You to be more than you’d be
Without His presence.

Michael Solioz Photography
Tania on the mountaintop

My grandson, Mike, in Switzerland, sent me this photo that he took of his girlfriend, Tania, high in the Alps, overlooking the Rhone River Valley where they live. Lifted up… high into the heavens … with the sun streaming down, the peace of Christ permeates the world.

May that peace be yours today, my friend.
May you find joy and comfort in Him.
May He be the reason you can “sing His praises all day long.”
God bless and keep you.

Share with us your reason
for a sense of peace and hope
in today’s troubled world.

Bee well!
Love, JanBeek



Keep An Open Mind


Do You Know?

When Bob and I had the privilege of working with a young man from Pakistan who needed help learning to read and write English and eventually pass his GED (I think that stands for Graduation Equivalent Diploma), one of the hardest things to teach Zahid was three little words: “I don’t know.”

My adult children will tell you that their mom had the same problem. When they were little and would ask me a question, I was sure that a good mom always had an answer… and it was not supposed to be “I don’t know.”

It took them years to catch on to the fact that Mom was a good faker, and they should not swallow hook, line and sinker everything she told them!

Be Discerning

It was not so difficult for my grandchildren to discern my {{{BS}}} from the truth, however. See that middle kid up there, the one with the all-knowing smirk? He caught on right away to Grammy’s elaborate answers! Full of sarcasm and wonderful wit, he had the best comebacks – and taught me my come-uppance!

What? You’re wondering what took me so long? Did I really live to be a grandmother before I learned, “Intelligence isn’t knowing everything, it’s the ability to challenge everything you know?” Ask Nicky!

“Be discerning” means we have to question the validity of everything we see and hear! Even if it comes from what we THINK is a “reliable” source. Challenge it!! Especially in this COVID-19 climate that has become so politicized.

Be Positive, But…

It’s one thing to be positive, but it’s another thing to be gullible!

Yesterday I heard one of the news reporters telling us that there are people out there recommending that those tested positive with Coronavirus should take a healthy dose of bleach … Clorox … that it would kill the virus. Ya, well, it’ll kill YOU, too!

Yes, we want to believe that when all this is over (and of course that’ll be by April 1st when we can all go back to work, right?) … we want to believe that the “new normal” will be hunky dory. Games will sell out (NOT!). It may be 2022 before we are even allowed to congregate in stadiums again!

Restaurants will have a two-hour wait. Heck, that’s true of Food Bank lines in big cities already!

Every kid will be glad to be back in school. Of course, and I have a bridge to sell you!

Be Hopeful

While we are keeping an open mind, being discerning and positive, avoiding the hype and maintaining a level head in all this, it is essential that we keep HOPE alive.

Believe that good will come of all this when the dust settles. Be a part of the solution by staying at home if you can, and by wearing a mask when you go out into a public place. And most important of all, keep your faith alive!

God so loved the world – that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him – should not perish, but have everlasting life! Keep that faith alive. Indeed, God is in charge… and He loves you and me!

Spread Your Joy and Kindness

There may be those out there who will read the first part of that first meme on this blog, “Consider evidence that contradicts your beliefs and admit that you may be wrong…” and will challenge what you say. Just as wise-beyond-his-years-Nicky challenged my implausible answers to his questions, listen to their doubts.

Listen to the folks who have a different point of view. Respect their right to believe as they do. Examine the validity of what you think is true. And if you are convinced you’re right, go ahead and stick to your guns. But, do so with kindness and respect.

Maintain your joy… and spread your kindness in this puzzling, troubled world. Honey works better than vinegar every time!!

Don’t you agree?
See ya tomorrow.

Bee well!!

NoRmAl?


Who wants to be
NoRmAl??
Not me!!

I want to walk down
A new and different path –
A better way –
A more compassionate road –
An avenue that’s better for our planet
and for us.

Kevin League Photography

I want the whole world
to enjoy what I do:
the blue skies
and the clean water,
the promises of
a brighter tomorrow,
and a sure hope for
the future of our planet.

Kate Cottingham Photography

Let’s let the sun set
On this troublesome time,
And let’s help our world
Usher in a wiser, more loving,
Beautiful, sustainable tomorrow.

There never has been a time
when more possibilities,
when more opportunities
were so obviously apparent.
We don’t want to go back to what was.
We WANT a “new normal.”
Let’s take advantage of this time …

Pray for solutions.
Be positive.
Let’s all do our part.

What’s your plan
for what to do differently
once we are able
to emerge
from this
COVID-19 challenge?


Let’s share our ideas!

See ya later!

Faith is What it Takes


April snow falls so gently
On our Madison Valley town.
Trees and bushes are covered
With God’s pure and flaky gown.

Pintail Ridge is quiet –
Even robins hunker in
Partly finished nests of
Grasses and twigs so thin.

The air is misty stillness;
No folks are out about.
Spring snow falls so softly
I want to go out and shout:

“COVID-19 LEAVE US!
We don’t need your deadly germ!”
The virus didn’t hear me…
But the robin caught a worm!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Our birds will not go hungry –
And neither, friends, will we.
As God is in His heavens,
He’s also here to comfort me.

He sends the gentle snowflakes
To spread quiet, lovely peace.
He sends birds to remind us –
Here come the Canadian geese!

Photo by Brandon Montrone on Pexels.com

Our feathered friends are signs
Real spring is on its way.
Soon we’ll see the flowers
With colors to brighten our day.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

But for now, be still and listen.
God whispers through the flakes,
“The birds will not go hungry –
Trust, be calm; faith is what it takes.”

April snow falls so gently
On my neighborhood today.
But there will be a sunny morrow…
And we’ll all go out and play.

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com


Children will be back in school.
Yay! We’ll all go out to play.
Fishermen fish, golfers golf, workers work –
We have faith – we’ll see that day!

Faith is what it takes.
Let’s remain positive together, okay?
God bless you!

Happy April 1st to you.
What’re you going to do to make today memorable?
I’ll see yo 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.

Spread Love & Hope!


Beautiful Words of Love

O love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer fuller be.

O joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.

Today’s Worship Service

In the absence of a worship service in our church today because of COVID-19 and the need for social-distancing, our worship service was e-mailed to us. The hymns I include in this blog were chosen by our pastor Steve and our music director, Fran McNeill, and then e-mailed to us from our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church here in Ennis, Montana today.

The following sermon by Pastor Steve Hundley was printed for us to “hear” in the privacy of our homes. It is powerful!

Please take your precious time now and hear it with me:

Today’s Sermon

TRUSTING GOD IN THIS DARK TIME

Read: Psalm 130

Read: Romans 8

Some years ago, Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote a book entitled, “WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE.”  He wrote this book in response to the death of his 14-year-old son, Aaron, from a rare disease called “Progeria” which causes the body to age and die prematurely.

In his bestselling book, Rabbi Kushner concluded that we must decide between a God who is infinitely powerful, but not loving enough to prevent such tragedies as the suffering and death of his 14-year-old son, or, a God who is all loving but not all-powerful.  “You can’t have it both ways,” he says, “we must choose: all-powerful or all-loving.”

Yet as Christians, we believe that:

  1. Evil exists in this world, causing bad things to happen to good people, so evident in these past weeks of the COVID 19 pandemic.
  2. Secondly, we believe that our God is all-powerful; and
  3. Thirdly, we believe that our God is a loving God.

Now, I admit that our dilemma is that we can reconcile any two of the above philosophically, but not all three.  For example:  If evil exists in the world, how can a loving God be all-powerful?  Or, if God is all loving and all-powerful how can evil possibly exist?

Still, the Bible does not deal with human, philosophical questions, as much we would prefer it be so.  Instead, the Bible deals with divine faith questions.  So, even if we cannot know philosophically how evil can exist in light of God who is all-powerful and all-loving, what we “can” know from scripture is that “no matter what evils or tragedies we face in life, our God will not desert us.”  And, knowing that is enough. 

Yes, it is enough for most of us—most of the time.  But, in moments like this, that alone may not be enough.  When our entire world is paralyzed by this current pandemic, it is difficult in this dark hour not to cry out to God: “WHY, OH WHY, GOD?”  I don’t mean to make you feel guilty, for It is only human to want to know “WHY?”

I don’t know about you, but I find myself cringing every time I hear someone in the media refer to this COVID 19 pandemic as “AN ACT OF GOD.”  In all fairness, I realize it is an accepted way for referring to any such natural disaster.  Still, I am uncomfortable attributing such death and tribulation to the will of God.  As someone said: “If God is light,” according to Holy Scripture, “then why should we impart darkness to God?”

Visiting a young couple who stopped coming to church after their only child died of cancer, their pastor pleaded: “You can’t stop believing in God because of what has happened, can you?”  “Oh, I still believe in God,” said the grieving father, “I don’t come to church anymore because I hate God!”

It is for people much like that father that I have chosen to venture further out on the “thin ice” of what is called “the Theodicy Problem”, that is: “Why do bad things happen to good and innocent people?” 

So, I humbly dare to venture forward on behalf of all around this world who have suffered or lost loved ones in the midst of this unprecedented natural disaster that has and will continue to cost so many lives.

Let me begin by saying that the Bible, as I understand it, speaks of our all-powerful God who does not completely control everything in our fallen creation because of the limitations God has placed on God’s self in order to allow us freedom of faith.  Without freedom, there could be no faith.  Faith, by its very definition, requires us the freedom to love and believe in God, or to reject belief and love for God.  God does not desire us to be puppets, manipulated into having to believe in or love God.  Therefore, our God has granted us, and creation itself, freedom by relinquishing total control over our lives and the world.

The Bible speaks of Satan—and other dark forces at work in this world.  And, our own human experiences confirm that there is a dynamic evil force that exercises a powerful presence in our world contrary to the will of God.

“Yet, God in Christ,” writes Paul to the Roman Church, “broke the power of these dark forces on the cross,” which means that we are dealing now with mortally wounded, though still very dangerous “principalities” and “dark powers.”  Bad things continue to befall good people because these dark forces are still alive, powerful, and enemies of all that is good in this world.

As Christians, in this Easter Season, we have hope and assurance that through Christ and His resurrection, God’s eventual victory over the evil in our world is a foregone conclusion.  But, until that time “when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord,” our God will do all that can be done to drive back these dark forces and utterly destroy them, as we continually pray and serve Him until God’s Kingdom comes on earth as it is in Heaven. 

Until that time, says Paul in Romans 8:19-23:

Creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

In his book: “Christ and Time”, Oscar Cullmann uses the analogy of WWII to illustrate our and creation’s struggle against the powers of darkness.  He makes a clear distinction between two definitive days of the war: D-Day and V-Day.  D-Day was the day Allied Forces landed in Normandy and established a beachhead.  The strategizing generals on both sides recognized that the outcome of war was decided on that fateful day, June 1944. 

They understood that if the enemy had driven the Allies back into the sea, the Nazis would have won the war.  However, the Allied Armies prevailed in Normandy and sealed the doom of the evil Nazi regime.  Still, in spite of the triumph of D-Day, the Allies had not yet totally subdued the enemy.  Between D-Day and V-Day (Victory Day), there would be many months of suffering, death, and struggle.  There would be horrendous battles as the Allied Army, little by little, pushed back the Nazi forces.  Still, the ensuring battles would culminate in “Victory Day,” which marked the complete surrender of the enemy and the total liberation of Europe.

So you see, the cross and resurrection of Jesus were our D-Day.  God in Jesus won the decisive battle over evil and death in this world.  However, God and His children, as well as nature itself, continue to face struggles while driving back the forces of darkness whose power has been broken.  Still, dark forces are alive in the world and free to raise havoc.  God’s V-Day is not yet here!  However, we can be confident in God’s triumph over evil and death (and COVID 19), because we know how it will end. 

Or, as Paul says:

Who (or what) shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine or nakedness, or peril, or sword (or this COVID 19 pandemic)?  As it is written, “For Your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither, death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 35-39)

Pastoral Prayer:

(Written by Rev. Steve Hundley and printed in our worship e-mail)

“In midst of life, O Lord, our lives have been interrupted by death: the death of our normal routine, the death of worship as we have always done it, the death of life as we have known it, the death of our personal plans, the death of innocence, the death of institutions, the death of promises, the death of those we love, the death that works in our own bodies.

In spite of our broken dreams we give You thanks for the gospel of Jesus Christ, whose message is not death but life: the life of the Spirit, the life of dreams, the life of faith, the life of love, the life of justice; life for the small people of the world, life for the meek, life for the broken and rejected, life for the diseased and afflicted, life for our loved ones, and life for us.

Lord, we pray for those who need hope, healing, and grace.  We hold up before you those who are alone and isolated, those who are sick, and those who are scared of what the future holds for them. Lord, help us to discover new ways of living: living for Christ, living for those around us, living for this frightened world, living for Your Kingdom.  Let the Christ of the empty tomb make empty tombs of all our disappointments and fears.  Come and reign over us, now and in the days ahead and forever and ever. Amen”

Verse One:
God be with you till we meet again; By His counsels guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you; God be with you till we meet again.

Chorus:
Till we meet, till we meet; till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet, God be with you till we meet again.

Verse Two:
God be with you till we meet again; ‘Neath His wings protect and guide you,
Daily manna still provide you. God be with you till we meet again.

Verse Three:
God be with you till we meet again; When life’s perils thick confound you,
Put His arms unfailing around you; God be with you till we meet again.

Verse Four:
God be with you till we meet again; Keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
Smite death’s threatening wave before you; God be with you till we meet again.

(Back to chorus)

Photo by 42 North on Pexels.com

Spread Love and Hope

I pray you found love and hope in these songs, these words, and these prayers.

If you did, as I did, you can spread love and hope by forwarding this post to your friends and family. Or you can sit with those in your household (as I did with my husband this morning) and read/sing these messages together. Or you can do both!

God’s got us in the palm of His hand.
He never fails us.
Spread His love and hope to this hurting world today.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

God bless you.
See ya tomorrow.



Songs of Resilience


In the midst of this COVID-19, there is hope. I loved this message that is linked below. It tells of the people of Italy who are using music as a link to one another and to feelings of HOPE.

The author wrote. “Songs of resilience that recall difficult times of the past are finding a special resonance.” It is MUSIC THERAPY in action! (I majored in music therapy in college!)

You MUST go and read, “What you see outside your window.” That blog will give you hope, too. Click on the link up there.

I saw on that blog a picture of a girl standing on her balcony in Italy, playing her accordion. Since that is my instrument, I certainly related to her… and I found this picture of this old cowboy playing his accordion:

Photo by Immortal shots on Pexels.com

Isn’t he cool? I hope he is playing “Songs of resilience that recall difficult times” that can resonate with his listener and help them to…

Keep the faith and
… Keep hope alive.

Yes, my friends,
Share your positivity.

Share this link with your friends, okay?

See ya later.

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