“Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth…”
Ah, TRUTH! It can be so evasive… But a positive attitude and an open heart and mind Can make Truth more discernible. Seek it out with questions wise and kind.
Positive people are filled with curiosity; They never stop asking when and why. You can’t stop an intelligent child From asking, “Why?” even if you try.
So foster that curiosity! Appreciate it in your own design. You are a Child of God, you know, So embrace your uniqueness and SHINE!
Thank you for visiting JanBeek today. Your positive remark in the comments below Will add to my joy today. Let your positivity show!!
My last couple of posts dealt with the theme of shipwrecks and lifeboats. Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church seemed to contradict the idea of jumping from the ship and hopping on the lifeboat. Or did it?
The boat in today’s scripture lesson was in a storm (“…beaten by the waves …the wind was against them,” Matt 14:24b). The boat was filled with the 12 disciples. Jesus was walking on the water to come to them.
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way[a] from the land,[b] beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night[c] he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,[d] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
In his sermon today, Rev. Steve Hundley took me on a new journey through that scripture. Instead of focusing on Peter and his desire to also walk on water – and his doubt which caused him to begin to sink, Pastor Steve invited us to take a closer look at the eleven disciples who remained in the boat. I had not done that before. In fact, I am not sure I even realized the boat was big enough for eleven of them to fit in there!
If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I have a habit of listening to the sermon and taking notes in poetry. That way I can share the message with Bob on our way home (since he has trouble hearing and following the sermon during church). Well, I did that note-taking today. Here is what I came away with:
Is this a story about faith? Is it about Peter’s doubt? Or, is it about the eleven who Stayed in the boat without a shout?
They saw Jesus walking on the sea. They thought He was a ghost. Jesus said, Never fear, it is I.” Peter: “… if it is You…” Not the eleven, though. Who believed most?
Peter doubted – and he asked to be Set apart so then he’d believe. Like the rest of us who ask For exemption – “Give me special power – relieve!”
Relieve my doubt. Let me ask for help. Do you have trouble asking for help? Do you like playing the hero? Unlike the eleven disciples, do you yelp?
Peter yelped, “Let me walk on water, too.” Jesus gave him the ability to walk. But Peter continued to doubt And so he began to sink. Walk the talk?
No, the church doesn’t need heroes. It needs disciples like the eleven were. Stay in the boat – Wait for Jesus to come. Don’t try to be a hero and cause a stir!
We’ve got a storm of constant change Going on all about us. We need To stay in the boat and pay attention To the eleven. Don’t be a Peter of greed!
The wind and waves stirring up change In our world can eat a person alive. It’s easy to jump ship, but Jesus says, Stay the course. Stay in the boat. Survive!
Take heart! You are not alone. I am with you in the boat. Sing! Know that this is your lifeboat. Wait for the peace and calm that I will bring.”
In his “Prayers of the People” after the sermon and a hymn titled, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” Pastor Steve prayed,
“Take us by the hand And rescue us in our darkest hours. It is You who rescues us. We pray You will not leave us alone. As we strain at the oars, protect us when we find ourselves adrift. Strengthen our hands when we are weak.”
I would add, “Strengthen our faith when we are weak. Keep us on the boat. It is not a shipwreck, not if You, Lord, are our Captain.”
Don’t jump ship! Life may be a shipwreck, but with Jesus as your Captain, your boat is a lifeboat! You can trust Him completely. Sing in the lifeboat!
Sing, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men…” (and of women, too!)
Thanks for visiting JanBeek this lovely Sunday afternoon. I hope you had a great day. Bee well, and Bee safe! And stay in the boat!!
Hi! Welcome back… Two blogs in one day. Unusual for me! But I wanted to share with you one of the devotionals I was eluding to in my last post when I told you several readings this morning were dealing with ships, boats, storms, etc. This one is worth your time, too… Have a read:
I read this one this morning….
Saturday, August 12, 2023
I was inspired by it. I think you will be, too…
Now you are a wrecked ship, broken at the bottom of the sea. All your merchandise and crew have gone down with you. Ezekiel 27:34 (NLT)
AFTER ENJOYING A WEEKEND AT the coast, my husband and I headed home. As I drove along the highway, we spotted a large roadside sign. Its words read, “Life is a shipwreck. Sing in the lifeboat.” We exchanged a glance and smiled, reflecting on the previous several months.Together, we’d weathered a shipwreck of our own. After Dave suffered a life-altering accident, we slowed our pace. He needed to be taught a few basic skills and to learn appropriate emotional responses. Speech challenged him. Like a metaphorical bird, words perched at the tip of his tongue, then flew away before he could capture them.I became versed in the true meaning of caregiving. Caring and giving. As I looked after Dave’s needs, I saw in his eyes a new level of love—richer, more complete. Just as his trust in me grew, my faith in Jesus deepened.I felt panic as waves crashed against our boat of the life we’ve made for ourselves. For a time, I wondered if the ship Dave and I sailed was sinking. But when I cried out, Jesus was there. He wasn’t asleep, because God never sleeps (Psalm 121:4). He calmed our waves and guided our vessel to a safe harbor. This tempest hasn’t drowned our faith. It strengthened it (Proverbs 10:25). Yes, we are singing in the lifeboat—singing praises to Jesus, our Captain, and we always will. —HEIDI GAULFAITH STEP: Are you sitting in a lifeboat? Ask Jesus to settle the waves of your life and find rest on His calming seas. He’ll never let you sink.
I hope you are inspired, as I was, by this post to abandon the shipwreck and “Sing in the lifeboat!”
I first posted this message 4 years ago, but it is timeless – – – and it is worth reposting as February 14th is tomorrow and we all are thinking seriously about the topic of LOVE, right?
What is TRUE love? And how do we exhibit it? How do we receive it? What is its origin? Poets have written of love for centuries. None resonates more perfectly to me than the words of love in the Bible, like Romans 12.
“Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Share with God’s people who are in need.
…. Romans 12:9-13
No better Valentine’s message of love ever has been written. To add to it, go to your Bible and read the next few verses, Romans 12:14-16 … and get caught up in the wonderful message of Jesus’ love!
Of course, the scripture that often is read at weddings is also one that must not be forgotten:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 New International Version
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
My blogging friend, Sue Dreamwalker, wrote today, “So, keep love in your hearts for each other and all living creatures. And remember to love yourself…”
Love is more than just a game or two. Two in love can make it… Take my heart and please don’t break it!
Have a wonderful, love-filled Valentine’s Day!
Hugs to you and your loved ones, JanBeek (& Bob, too)
The Septolet is a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen wordswith a break anywhere in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture.
. . . Kindness Lovingly given Gratefully received Reap what you sow
We rise Lifting others Carry . . .
What picture did those words create for you?
Here is the picture that came to my mind.
And this is the scripture that came to mind:
Luke 6:25 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”
Jesus is my inspiration. God’s Word is my go-to for direction. It inspires me to be kind, not just to my family, friends, and loved ones, but also to those who annoy me… maybe most to them!
Hey, WP Friends, why don’t you try it, too? I’d love to see your word picture.
Tim McGraw sings the message in a most beautiful song. This is new to me, too. Have you heard it before? The images that accompany it are so inspiring. You’ll be glad if you take time to see and listen!
Hugs to you… Have a Wonderful Weekend. Always be Humble and Kind!
In my devotional studies today, the Moody Bible Institute’s “Today in the Word” asked that question. What is peace and where do you find it?
If you go to Pexels.com and put in the word “peace” you will find many images that suggest answers to those questions:
What does this one suggest to you?
Of course, this suggests prayer…
… and this has a Zen origin, right?
Many folks find peace by going out into nature and finding seclusion.
Others look for peace in communication with others who are seeking the same goals.
Music provides a source of peace for me and many others.
My greatest sense of peace comes from my faith. As a Christian, PEACE is not a place. It is not an unattainable emotion. Peace is a person!
My peace comes from God’s grace in the person of Jesus.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
I find evidence of that joy-giving peace all around me… and I am assured of it as I read my Bible and study the devotionals that reinforce my faith.
Today in the Word has a study of The Gospel of Luke titled, “Peace on Earth” this month.
In his introductory pages, Dr. John Koessler wrote, “This promise of peace belongs to those upon whom His favor rests.”
Does His favor rest on you?
Thousands of years before His birth, Isaiah predicted Him:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Then, when Isaiah’s prediction came true, Jesus came to earth… the Prince of Peace, Here to show us how to find His peace, Here to show us how to live.
Ephesians2:14 put it this way:
“Jesus is our peace” Because Jesus “came and preached peace to you who were far away and those who were near.”
Jesus came, lived to show us and teach us, and died to save us. Believing that is the road to His grace. Believing that is the way to Eternal Life. Believing that is the path to peace.
Dr. John Koessler wrote:
“Those who know the peace of Christ become agents of peace themselves. When Jesus first sent His disciples to proclaim the kingdom, He told them, ‘As you enter the home, give it your greeting.’ Matthew 10:12 (the traditional Jewish greeting, Shalom) This was more than a social formality, Christians are offering peace through faith in Christ to others. The shalom of Christ is more than a greeting. It is a promise. There is more to peace than a personal experience. For the Christian, peace is a person. Jesus is our peace.”
Reach out! Touch Him! He is the Holy Spirit in you. He is the King of Peace, here to give you His peace. Take it!
In Him is my peace of mind. Where is yours? I pray you find it in Him. Merry Christmas! He came to save you and me.
Love and peace to you, JanBeek
Thank you, God, Lord, Christ Jesus, Holy Spirit for the love, joy, and peace that are mine!
Ooooops! In yesterday’s post on “Waiting” I made a real boo-boo!
I was up in my sanctuairee this morning reflecting on the subject of waiting, anticipating the coming of Christmas – and I realized, Oh Lord, help me my God!! I mixed up Lent and Advent!! I said we had 40 days of waiting for the Christ Child during Advent! No, no, no… Lent is the 40 days of waiting for Easter, Advent is the 4 weeks before Christmas with 4 Sundays to celebrate the coming of the Baby in the manger. It might be the period of time the Wise Men followed the star to find the manger scene and present their gifts to the Savior.
But there is a mystery about the Wise men and their travel to follow the star. The wise men arrived after the birth. If they saw the star at the moment of Jesus’ birth, then it would have taken at least a few months for the wise men to arrive.
Regardless of the time it took the Wise Men to travel, since when did Nov. 27 to Dec. 25 equal 40 days?? Sheesh!!
The season of Advent is celebrated over four Sundays before Christmas – this year, those Sundays are Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 11, and 18. The Advent season ends at sundown on Christmas Eve. The end of Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical or church year for Christians.
So, this season of “Waiting” is a time when my Jewish friends wait, too. They celebrate Hanukkah. The word Hanukkah is Hebrew for “dedication,” which refers to the rededication of the temple after the Maccabees’ victory. They need to wait for that season to begin on December 19th. Hanukkah, (Hebrew: “Dedication”) also spelled Ḥanukka, Chanukah, or Chanukkah, also called Feast of Dedication, Festival of Lights, or Feast of the Maccabees, Jewish festival that begins on Kislev 25 (usually in December, according to the Gregorian calendar) and is celebrated for eight days. Hanukkah reaffirms the ideals of Judaism and often involves a festival with lighting of candles each day of the festival. Although not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, Hanukkah came to be widely celebrated and remains one of the most popular Jewish religious observances. Hanukkah is celebrated from Monday, December 19 to Monday, December 26 in 2022.
The menorah is a symbol of Hanukkah. The menorah is meant to spread light to others. It is traditionally placed in a window,on a table or outside your door. Jewish faithfuls are supposed to light the menorah just after dark each night of Hanukkah.
As Christians, we pause and take time to put up our Christmas tree, decorate our home, our church, our community, and purchase the presents we want to give to our loved ones. Santa Claus has usurped the place of Jesus Christ as the central Christmas figure in many homes. It’s not Santa’s birthday we wait for and celebrate, however.
It’s not 40 days til Christmas! It’s coming sooner than you think… sooner than I imagined! We need to approach this season as innocent children… a Child of God … waiting expectantly. Focusing on the real Reason for the Season.
Jesus actually tells us to be like children and to come to Him full of faith and trust. The popular children‘s song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” reminds us that “all are precious in His sight” and no matter your race, gender or nationality, God wants to see all children come to Him.
So, forgive my “Ooops!” from yesterday… and get busy, my friends. Finish up those Thanksgiving leftovers, and get in the spirit! And let’s look – as through the eyes of a child – at what Advent really means:
Thanks for visiting JanBeek and my OOOPS today! See ya tomorrow.
Hugs to you and your loved ones!
By the way, I am missing the Bell Choir this year. Our director, Jan Thomas, is moving from Ennis to Bozeman. Tomorrow the moving van comes. Keep her and her hubby in prayer, wouldja? They are going to be sorely missed in our community.
We are WAITING for a new bell choir director to emerge. Got any recommendations?
There is more than one way to interpret the word “wait.” The photo above shows you a waitress who is “waiting” on a table.
Some waiting is defined by an expectation of something or someone to come… like a good friend.
Other waiting is short-term, self-imposed, self-defined… …. like waiting for your food to digest before that next meal or dessert after a huge Thanksgiving dinner!
What are you waiting for?
Today is the first day of Advent. As a Christian, that means we have 40 days of waiting.
The season of Advent lasts through Christmas Eve. When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, it is the last or fourth Sunday of Advent. In Eastern Orthodox churches, which use the Julian calendar, Advent begins earlier, on November 15, and lasts 40 days, rather than 4 weeks.
40 days of waiting for the coming of the Christ Child … waiting for Christmas.
The word “Advent” stems from the Latin word adventus, which literally means “coming” or “arrival.” Our sermon at my church this morning dealt with this topic of waiting… waiting for that special arrival.
Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds spoke about a children’s book (I think it was a Dr. Seuss) that depicted a “waiting place” as a “useless place” but she encouraged us to view waiting differently.
She asked us what we do when we are waiting. Some people find something to read. Others play on their phones or engage in conversation with a friend. Some write letters or cards or they reach out to help a neighbor. Spend the waiting time productively.
I wrote this conclusion as I listened:
There is a lot we can do while we wait. Think about the good things we can do. Gracious God, help us make waiting useful. Let’s fill it with good things for me and You.
We can live during this time of waiting With love and hope in our heart. We have control over our actions. We can spread peace – today’s the day to start.
Psalms 27:13-14 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Have a wonderful season of Advent.
Love and hugs to you!
Make your waiting a time of love and compassion! Reach out today!