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Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

Embrace Pray-ers


James 5:16b

“The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”

I embrace prayers
And I embrace the pray-ers
Reaching out to God

As Bob & I prepare to embark on our trip to London and Switzerland, we are humbled by the number of prayers being offered on our behalf by family and friends. Bob came back from his Alaska trip a week and a half ago unfit to travel again… but with care and prayer, he is so much better – – – and his doctors have given him the ok to take this next trip. It’s been booked since last March! We leave Sunday. Oh, time is swiftly passing!

We know God hears – and we know our dear Lord is holding us in the palm of His hand. We are grateful for the intercessory support.

I know you have faced challenging times, too, and you know the power of prayer when you are navigating rough waters.

I know Jesus is a pray-er. He modeled the effectiveness of prayer for us. I am not sure how many times in the Bible it says Jesus went to a quiet place and took time to pray… but I know it’s a lot! If He counted on speaking to God in order to determine His next steps, who am I to try to go it alone?

So, I am up this evening talking to God, knowing Jesus intercedes for me, too… and I can feel the prayers of friends and family who have shared comments such as, “Let us pray that all goes smoothly,” and “Praying for you and Bob… Seeing family is worth the effort. God’s peace,” and “I hope all of your test come back negative and your travel plans run smoothly.” Thank you, WordPress friends!

With a community of believers out there, friends sharing their prayers and good wishes, and with my faith in scripture such as James 5:16, I can go to bed this night and sleep peacefully. I know the One who holds me also holds the future … and wants only my good.

Thank You, Lord, for the love, support, and comfort You send through my spiritual family.

Thank you for helping me relax and put these COVID test results and travel requirements in God’s hands. If this trip to London and Switzerland is meant to be, all my worries are for nothing. As the meme above says, “Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change.” Instead, Jan, put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters!

Now that I am safely tucked into the Man from Galilee’s hand,
I can relax and go get a good night’s sleep!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Good night!

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Doubting


May sound really weird
For a Christian to embrace
Doubting; How can I?

What does doubting mean?
I believed it’s unbelief.
But, let’s think again.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Matthew 28:17

“When they saw him,
they worshiped him;
but some doubted.”

Who is “they” who saw?
It was Jesus’ disciples.
What does “doubted” mean?

In my devotional time this morning, Daily Guideposts explained that the original text was in Greek. The word “doubted” in Greek is “distazo.” That does not mean unbelief. It is more accurately translated as “hesitation or uncertainty about how to respond.”

In today’s world, as the cartoon shows, the disciples would not have to think twice about how to respond. They would simply get out their cell phones and record this momentous reappearance of their Savior!!

But in the world of Jesus’ time, how would you respond when someone you watched die on the cross suddenly walked out of the tomb? “Distazo” seems appropriate to me. Whoa!! I’d be pretty unsure about how to respond, wouldn’t you?

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

Sometimes I am quite unsure about how to respond to situations in today’s world. How about you?

Our test kits came today for the COVID-19 test we have to self-administer and then mail FedEx in the envelope provided so it can go overnight to the place where the results are determined and then sent to me before our flight out of Chicago to London on Sunday night. (Whoa… that’s a long, complex sentence – did you grasp it?)

I am doubting … I am unsure about how to respond to the instructions.

Unfortunately, my test results won’t come in a fortune cookie. They will be sent to an app on my iPhone. Problem: my iPhone is 8 years old and it won’t upgrade to an IOS high enough to download the app. I am feeling doubtful. Very uncertain about how to respond. The new iPhone 12 and last year’s version (iPhone11) are not available here in Ennis. Checking with our nearest city, Bozeman, I discovered we don’t have an Apple store… and the Verizon Wireless store doesn’t have the phone I want in stock. I have to order it on-line from Apple. Will it arrive in time for our departure? What will I do if it isn’t here in time?

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com

In this COVID-19 world, “distazo” is a natural response. We are unsure of how to respond in so many ways. Get the vaccine or not? Wear a mask or not? Get a booster or not? Join friends for a dinner out or not? Worship in church with others sitting close by or not? Travel or not? Get a new phone or not? Forget the whole thing?

I pray to God for help with decision-making, but I am not sure I am hearing His response. Should I keep asking? Should I reword my questions? Am I missing His answers?

As Daily Guideposts has written in today’s devotional, “Doubt, distazo, is part of our faith journey.” It’s OK to question how to respond when we’re baffled by the challenges we face. Like the disciples, we are faced with some unbelievable situations. These are unprecedented times!

In these troublesome times,
we are encouraged to Stretch!!

Embrace Doubting!

Let your hesitation
and your uncertainty
cause you to
question more,
research more,
and pray more.

Let your hesitancy
and your uncertainty
cause you to
trust more,
experience more,
and increase your humility
as you allow yourself
to admit

“Crap!
I don’t have all the answers after all!”


Get in touch with the
Tiger in you!

Do you find yourself doubting about anything?
What causes you to experience “distazo“?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Spontaneous Leisure


Elfchen or “Elevenies”
are poems with eleven words
in a pattern of
1+2+3+4+1



Embrace

Spontaneous Leisure
as you relax
and enjoy life today:
Sunday


Sunday
mornings always
are hurried “UP
‘N AT T’EM” days.
Rush!

Shower.
Get up.
And get dressed.
Then gobble your breakfast.
Church!

(Click the arrow below)

Listen
“Rush Hour”
for a minute …
Then click it off.
Frenzy!

Happy?
Not likely.
That “Happy Hardcore”
Destroys any residual sanity.
Yuck!

(Go back and click outta that sound!)

Repetitive,
nerve wracking…
Who needs it?
Put your feet up.
Relax!


Wallow
in silliness
for a while;
Find yourself some laughter.
Chuckle!

Find
some friends
to join you.
Good for your soul.
Laze!

A few friends took me up on my suggestion yesterday. My silly blog was titled, “Embrace a Camel” and I really went off the deep end. One little friend got into a box and joined the insanity club!

How about you?
Do you take a day
to just be silly
and relax
every now and then?

It’s called “Spontaneous Leisure”
and I recommend it!

Today we slept in.
We dressed in a casual, leisurely fashion.
We ate brunch at 10: am
(our church didn’t ZOOM the service today
or we would’ve tuned in to it)
and then we went up to our sanctuary
and had our own worship service up there.

It was just the break from routine that we needed!

Embrace
Spontaneous Leisure.
Just treat yourself
Take an unintentional break –
Relax

Jesus
Accepts worship
Wherever it occurs.
God condones taking breaks.
Recline!

Question: “What does the Bible say about rest and relaxation?”.
Answer: “Rest” is defined as “peace, ease or refreshment.
“Relax” means “to become loose or less firm,
to have a milder manner,
to be less stiff.”
The Bible speaks quite highly of rest.

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Doctor
ordered relaxation:
Just sit back –
Put your feet up –
Chill!

Embrace Spontaneous Leisure

Do it today!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Christ’s Presence


Angels in the room
Praying with Jesus and me
Embrace Christ’s presence

My sanctuary
Is a sacred, divine place
Jesus lives up here

Surrounding angels
Fervently with Christ and me
Pray daily to God

God knows every need
Even before it’s spoken
Bow in prayer with me

“Christ, my loving Lord,
Thank you for Your sure presence
Bringing daily peace.

Thanks for hearing me
When I’m calling out Your name.
Thanks for answered prayers.”

Bruises nearly gone –
Lump diminishing daily –
Families back in homes.

Neighbors reaching out,
Keeping loneliness at bay.
Sunshine on this day.

Blogging friends respond
With words of comfort and joy.
My heart overflows.

Thank you, my dear friends –
You are here to lend a hand
With words of kindness.

Embrace Christ’s Presence
In your life as well as mine.
We are blessed indeed!!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Courage


Some days it takes courage to get out of bed!
Some days it takes courage to look yourself in the mirror.
Have you had days like that?
Today was one of them for me!

Oh my! Goose egg reduced –
– but eye suffering drained blood!

So, I could go back to bed and feel sorry for myself –
– or I could get up and face the day.
I had to ask myself, WWJD??
(What would Jesus do?)

So, I began with that simple prayer…

Jesus said to me, “Get up and face the day! Be courageous!”
So, I did… and by noon the one black eye was better
and the color had shifted so it was on the other eye, too.

Not near as frightening looking!

Matthew 9:22

“But Jesus turning and seeing her said,
‘Take courage, daughter…’ “

My devotional for today in Mornings with Jesus
reinforced the prayer response.
So, up and out I went!

We have been having day after day with skies filled with smoke
from the fires that are all around MT, ID, CO, CA, and OR.
The mountains have been invisible to us weeks on end.
But today I could see the mountains!

The view of the Madison Range
from our Pintail Ridge
here in Ennis.

By the time I spent a little time with a friend
and returned home this afternoon,
we had the clearest blue sky in months!
See, if you have courage to face the day,
God is good – and He will make you glad you did!

The beautiful view of blue sky
above and around our home…

The moral of the story is,
EMBRACE COURAGE!

Don’t let your hesitancy
keep you from facing the day.


Get up,
Get going,
Get out,
and
Get happy!

God is good.
Trust Him!

Oh, and remember those fires in CA?
They are not over…

Please keep the firefighters and those in Harm’s Way in your prayers.
Our son and his wife are sharing their home with a family of 8
who were evacuated from their home… but it is not destroyed…
just in the evacuation zone … and the fire is still headed toward
our granddaughter’s in S Lake Tahoe. So keep the prayers flowing!

See ya tomorrowGod willing!

EMBRACE COURAGE –
and reach out to do what you can
to help others…


Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Living Bread


Happy Sunday, my friends.
I hope you had a great day.
As usual, Bob & I attended church
and I took notes as I listened to the sermon.

The message was delivered by Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds.
The sermon was inspired by
John 6:51-63.

I was amazed at how cleverly MGR
took the scripture and applied it
to today’s world.

Bread & wine

John 6:51-63 NIV

51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. 60On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” 61Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.

The Living Bread

We come to church to seek comfort,
But is that the point of our faith?
Aren’t we called to be moved by Jesus?
He appeared a bit delusional to His disciples.

Jesus suggested what was prohibited.
People didn’t eat human flesh!
That teaching came across blasphemous.
Associating with Jesus caused them alienation.

Jesus’ message was meant to teach
His followers that He was the food
That would bring them into relationship
With God … and not laws or codes.

God saves – Rituals don’t.
God sent manna and now Jesus.
First physical, then spiritual saving.
Jesus told them, “I am the Bread.”

Trust Jesus to provide
the catalyzing calories
in our lives.
Feed on Him daily!

Jesus is the Living Bread…
Drink in the Wisdom of the Word

God Bless You
for visiting JanBeek today.
I appreciate you.

What did you do today?

I pray your Sunday
was filled with life and love.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Old Churches


Photo by gifted photograher, Gerry Mooney

This old church in McAllister, Montana is a treasure! The bell in the dome still rings, though the organ in the church no longer plays and the roof and foundation of it are compromised. It needs a lot of TLC.

Its history goes back to 1885 – when the land was gifted to the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1887 the structure was completed. It was transferred to the Presbyterian Church (where Bob & I are members) in 1952.

We (as a congregation) love this old church, and many of our members, their friends, and their grandparents or parents or children or grandchildren have been married or baptized there.

Preserving precious old churches such as this one is an ongoing responsibility. It is costly and time-consuming. Respect for what it was and how it served its community in decades past keep us loving those old buildings.

Here are a few others that are treasures in their communities. If only they could talk!

Dilapidated
Sadly abandoned old church
Is God still in there?

Matthew 16:6.
In many ways Matthew chapter 16
is a chapter about the church.
Jesus was the first to mention the church.
He only mentions the church twice,
and both times are here in the book of Matthew.


In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said,
“And I say unto you,
That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”


This is the first time that Jesus used the word church.
He used the word church only twice,
so it is good to know exactly what Jesus taught about the church.
It may be that the things that Jesus taught about church
are the things that are the most important to know about it.

Church is a place to trust in God’s promised presence
( Matthew 18:20)
as we worship Him together,
out of a sense of love and obedience
( Colossians 3:16 ).

When the church is functioning biblically,
it’s more active and alive when the seats are empty,
and the community is filled with those
seeking to activate the gospel in love for each other.

Many of these old churches were also home
to the cemeteries that bear the tombstones
of its deceased members.

What a shame to allow them to
deteriorate and collapse.
But, who has the money
for restoration and maintenance?

Weekly church attendance is down in our society today.
It sometimes downplayed into a legalistic ritual.
According to Pewforum.org, 61% of churchgoers
attend to feel closer to God,
while a sizable majority of non-churchgoers
state they practice their faith in other ways.

Which is the right way?
Modern society may beg us
to believe the choice is ours,
but biblical truth is clear
about going to church.

Jesus Christ seeks in earnest
to meet us on a day set aside
to commemorate His defeat of death,
to equip us to sustain our faith until He returns.

I am so grateful for my friends
who sit in the pews with me every Sunday.
Indeed, they help me sustain my faith.

Old churches remind us of the
value placed on weekly worship
in communities gone by.

Let’s all work to keep our churches
vibrant, healthy, and inviting.
Don’t let it become a place of ruin!

Oh the church in the valley
Is a place I know so well…
Listen to Jim & Jesse
sing to you about it:

Do you have a little old white church in your history?

Embrace Anger


Today’s sermon was titled, “Please Go to Bed Angry.”

What??? We all know what the Bible tells us:

So how could our pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds tell us to go to bed angry?
What a weird twist on a well-known scripture, huh?
What was the point she was making?
Here are the notes I took as I listened to today’s sermon:

Sit with yourself in silence
Long enough to feel the anger
That’s hidden inside of you.

If you’re not angry,
You’re not really livin’ –
Anger is a quiet, deep given.

Anger leads to rage and hatred.
Anger leads to destruction –
And we might not know it’s there.

I’m angry, and I name it.
I see it; I control it.
Paul tells us, “Walk away!”

Don’t let your anger lead you to sin.
Some people hurt us intentionally
And the gospel says, “Walk away!”

But there are people in our lives
Who need to be there –
And we may find some of them “angry.”

What do we do with anger?
Acknowledge it, define it, use it.
Let it build for the common good.

When I “feel” anger,
It doesn’t have to define me.
Sleep on that anger and address it.

Weather the conflict and
Don’t let it divide us.
Initiate the pain confrontation.

Managing anger demands strength
And a clearness of mind.
Let it be the light illuminating
a better way forward.

Amen?

Anger is like boiling water inside you.
It bubbles up and alerts you
To the need to get it up and out.

Righteous anger is addressed
In the Bible very clearly when
Jesus overturned the tables.

The money changers were
Ripping off the worshipers.
Jesus would have none of that!

John 2:15 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. Matthew 21:12 12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. Mark 11:15 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves…



If Jesus had slept on that anger,
Might he have responded differently?
I doubt it. The situation was untenable!

Some actions and incidences
Deserve our righteous anger.
No need to sleep on it!

But other reasons for anger
Are not so clear cut!
Let the resolution stew a while!

After sleeping on it,
You may find there is a better solution
Than the one you thought of yesterday.

Let God speak to you.
Listen to His calming influence.
Respond biblically!

So, while we may embrace the right to be angry,
And we may feel justified exhibiting righteous anger,
The real path to a peaceful, joyful, and fulfilling life
Is the path described in Colossians 3:12. It’s my choice!

How about you?

Embrace Answered Prayers


Have you had a worry today?
Something you have no control over?
I have!

My daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland
had surgery this morning.
When I went to bed last night,
I prayed to God.

“Take care of my girl, God.
Be with the surgeon.
Guide the anesthesiologist.
Make the results perfect.
Keep the whole process in Your capable hands!”

I set aside worry.
I slept soundly after giving it to God.
This morning DeDe sent me a text.
“It all came out ok.
I am fine!”

Praise God for answered prayers!

Do you turn your worries over to God in prayer?
Then, do you remember to thank our Heavenly Father
when the things and people you pray for turn out OK?

.

Every day I sit in my rocker up in my sanctuary
and I pray for my family and friends.
I pray for my neighbors and my church friends,
I pray for my pastor, my cousins who live in other states,
my son and daughter and their families, and
I pray for you, my Word Press friends.

If I have know specific needs
(like DeAna’s surgery this morning),
I will make my requests specific.
But most of the time I just ask God,
“Please take care of these beloved people.
You know their needs. Be with them, Lord.”

Like a river cutting through rock.
my prayers are tenacious.
I know God hears my prayers.
I know the Holy Spirit speaks to me
and reminds me of the people I need to remember.
I know God expects me to be persistent in prayer.
I am inspired by the way Jesus prayed.

This painting of Jesus praying
sits in front of me in my sanctuary.
So, as I pray, I know Jesus intercedes for me.
I know He hears and He models prayer for me.


Luke 6:12

“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray,
and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.”

.

Prayers for Yourself

Not all prayers are for others.
Sometimes we need to pray for ourselves.
We need to ask God to provide for our needs
and we need to thank God for the way He provides.

Bob and I will celebrate our 60th anniversary next February.
Every day I pray to God for Bob’s health and safety
and I thank God for sending him into my life.
Every day I spend with him as my partner
is an answered prayer.



Every day
our lives are blessed
by the power of what love can do.
Our love grows richer
year after year.
Are you so blessed, too?



We are grateful for the love we share
and the way our friends and family
love us in return.

Thank you, friends.
Thank You, God…
for answered prayer!!

We found a love
only few ever find.

If life should end tomorrow,
I’d leave this earth a millionaire –
Because every day with you, my dear,
Is a day of answered prayer.

I love you, BobbyBee.

What answered prayer
is your “million dollar gift”
my friends?

Embrace God’s Grip


Do you ever tell yourself, “Get a grip!”??

When life seems challenging and circumstances tax your patience,
do you ever wonder if God’s really gotcha covered?

Well, trust me –

Trust the Savior –

He’s gotta grip on you!

God’s gotta grip on me.

Our Lord’s not lettin’ us go!

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Romans 8:38-39

“ For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

My Prayer for Today

“Gracious God, how grateful I am to rest secure in Your grip forever.”

God’s Not Gonna Lose Me

In today’s devotional time, Daily Guideposts 2021 reminded me that while I may misplace my sunglasses or my phone occasionally, God never misplaces me!

In his comments, Bill Giovannetti recalled a time when his daughter asked him, “What if I lost God? Or what if God lost me?”

Her younger brother responded, “Right, Josie, you’re the only person in the whole wide world that God forgot about!”

Reading Romans 8:38-39 together, Bill and his son reassured Josie and asked her, “If God keeps His Word, what is that verse telling you?”

“It’s telling me God never loses His sunglasses,” she said, “Or me!”



Today Bob & I celebrated my birthday
(I’ll match Bob’s age – and be 82 tomorrow).
Our hands certainly show
the wear and tear of work and years!

But, like that hold God has on us,
we’ve got a grip on one another –
and we’re not letting go!

GG (Great Grandma Jan) with Xander

Taking a clue from us and God,
Xander’s got a grip on his GreatGrandma Jan
(GG – that’s me!) and he’s not letting go!

Sienna & Hope
(my great-granddaughter and my granddaughter)

My great-granddaughter, Sienna,
gets a grip on her mommy, my granddaughter, Hope.
When children have a hold on loving, devoted parents, God smiles.

Sienna with Ty

It’s a double blessings when Grandpa
gets down on the floor with his granddaughter.
Our son Ty helped Sienna learn how to get a grip on puzzle skills.

Sienna with Monika

Children are blessed indeed
when they have a grandma who reads to them.
Sienna gets a grip on what books are all about
with Grandma Monika’s help.

Hope, TazE, Sienna, and me

How special to get a grip
on my great-granddaughter, Sienna,
and her mommy, Hope …
while they get a grip on TazE,
our Boston Terrier!

Monika, Sienna, Hope and Bob

Not every family has the privilege of gathering 4 generations together!
Get a grip on longevity … and the joy of embracing great-grandpa!

Xander and TazE

Such fun to see TazE getting along so well with Xander!

Xander decided he needed to get a grip on those puzzle skills, too.

Monika and Hope with Sienna & Xander…
They sang Happy Birthday
to help me get a grip on
turning a year older.
Not older… just more mature, right?
So nice!

Ty & Monika brought their big dog, Nakota…

… and TazE had trouble getting a grip on
having such a big buddy!

She was exhausted!
Time to get under the table
and get a grip on some rest!

Time for
me
to get some rest, too.



Never doubt that
you can rest in God’s Grip!!

Yes, He’s gotcha covered…

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –

Love,
JanBeek

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