I love playing around with various poetry forms. I love learning about new forms. Yesterday I encountered a “Dalit” for the first time. Do you know it? It is 4 lines of 8 syllables each. I thought that would be fun to try. Here we go…
The choice is yours – choose joy today. We are blessed to be in sunshine. I select happiness today, And it splashes over to you!
Yes, even if you are in rain or snow, you can have sunshine in your heart. My heart prays for peace in war-torn places. My heart prays for safety for those in Harm’s Way. My heart prays for rain in Australia and stability in all places of turmoil. My heart prays for joy in your heart. Choose joy!
Try a Dalit poem. Share it! And Have a Marvelous Monday! See ya later.
We had a wonderful day yesterday – the day of Bob’s 81st birthday. It started at our son’s house in Placerville where happiness definitely knocked on our door and entered in full array!
We went to church with our family at “Jesus Culture” in Folsom. We filled a row in the congregation of more than 1,500 people. It was amazing! Every seat was filled. People were standing in the aisles. The music and the message were God-inspired.
After church we visited dear, long-time friends whom we had not seen in a decade. We learned that our friend has stayed in touch with us (between years of Christmas cards) by following my Facebook posts. She doesn’t click “like” or leave a message, so I had no idea that she was one of my regular followers. When we got together, the years dissolved … and it was like we had never been apart. Do you have friends like that?
After that wonderful visit, with a delicious lunch and memorable, heart-felt, warm conversation, we returned to our son’s house where we celebrated Bob’s 81st birthday. Our daughter-in-law and granddaughter made Bob’s favorite birthday “cake,” a Jamoca-Almond-Fudge pie. Mmmm!
I pray that the happiness we feel be in your heart today. May it knock on your door, stay late, and leave the gifts of peace, love, joy and good health behind.
Time for kids and joy It’s Sunday before Christmas Church and friends and love
The sanctuary Is ready for the people The Son waits with us
Fifth Advent candle Waits with us for Christmas Day Hope, love, joy, and peace
All are brightly lit But not the center candle It represents Christ
Flowers decorate The stairs to the church’s front Poinsettias tell all
Kathy and Jaime Beautifully play the songs That ring in Christmas
The smiles of children Remind is of the Christ Child Whose birth we await
Today’s sermon was told by Elaine Hundley, in her husband Rev. Steve Hundley’s absence. The sermon focused on Joseph, the baby Jesus’ earthly father.
We pray for Steve as he sits at his dying mother’s bedside way over on the other side of the USA. We pray for Elaine who is experiencing her first Christmas apart from Steve in 42 years! She remained here to carry on Steve’s ministry in our church. God bless her!
I listened carefully to capture the message as Elaine delivered a sermon Steve had written some years ago. To understand the introduction, you need to know that Steve and Elaine are adoptive parents.
Here are my poetic renderings:
“Feeling Good About Christmas”
The adoption agency checked us out. They made sure we were okay. I wonder what God did to check out Mary and Joseph to parent Jesus His way.
Joseph was a righteous man who Believed the angel Gabriel who told: “The baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit.” So Joseph didn’t desert her – nor scold.
He took her to be his wife, And ignored what might have been said By the town folks as they gossiped. He knew she was pure and had not “gone to bed.”
Joseph was a good man, a believer, Who read and understood God’s grace. He saw through the Holy Spirit’s lenses, And was able to accept this Holy Child from God’s Holy place.
May we, too, know the Christ Child as God’s gift to us.Amen!
Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent. May the peace of Christ permeate your heart and give you a peace-filled week.
Sanctuary time Starts with prayer and devotions Up the down staircase
Jesus prays with me Angels surround me up here Dark changes to light
Look out the window The mountains can’t hide the Son Where I am He is
12 Step Program
On my way down the up staircase, after an hour that begins my day with the JOY of God’s Holy Spirit guiding my thoughts and helping me plan my actions for the day ahead, I recite my own “12 Step Program.”
Thank You for the LOVE,
and PEACE that are mine.
Help me with PATIENCE,
FAITHFULNESS which brings blessings,
Help me live HUMBLY with an attitude of GRATITUDE
and a response of GENEROSITY, FORGIVENESS, OBEDIENCE, and INTEGRITY.
In Jesus name I Pray AMEN
And on that AMEN, I am on the floor of my foyer, over which the sanctuary waits for tomorrow where I have my Bibles, Daily Guideposts, Thankfulness Journal, inspirational books, and a collection of crosses and angels.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. God bless you! Have a PEACEful Thursday. See ya later.
Winnie the Pooh said, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
Yesterday at church, the smallest people there took up the largest place in my heart… and the hearts of the congregants. I didn’t have my camera with me to show you a picture of the “Terrific Tuesday” children who sang Christmas carols to the congregation and recited a memorized Bible verse into the microphone. But, you just have to imagine these three darlings along with five others ranging in age from 4 to 10 – – – singing and reciting praises to our Lord. It was glorious!
Ruby, Cord, and Hailey were joined by five others yesterday as they sang, “Father Abraham,” and “Silent Night,” and synced hand motions to “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”… Oh my! Every face in the church was bursting with God’s JOY as we watched these darling little ones.
Elaine Hundley, our Pastor Steve’s wife, delivered the sermon. Steve is off in Virginia at his mom’s side as she lies dying. As we pray for Steve and his mom, Faye, our congregation also is mourning the death of Reverend Jean Johnson, who died after a difficult surgery and related difficulties. She had been the pastor here in the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church for 32 years.
If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I take notes in poetry as I listen and internalize the sermon. Elaine called her sermon, “Second Chances” as she talked about Zechariah’s muteness due to unbelief – and the second chance he received after acknowledging his baby boy’s name is John. In my notes, I focused more on the message to Mary – and her response to Gabriel and to God. Here is what I wrote as I discerned the message yesterday. I called it Believe and Trust:
Based on Luke 1:26-56
Think about Gabriel’s messages To Zechariah and to Mary. He told each their child’s name And spoke as if a voice from a fairy.
Zechariah was a priest and he Should have believed the voice. But he doubted – and became mute. Like Zechariah, we have a choice.
We can believe as Mary did, Or doubt as Zechariah chose to do. The result of Mary’s faith Was rich in blessings. So it is with you.
When God speaks to us, we know Blessings are ours – if we trust. Through faith, we are free to rejoice; We are free to believe – We must!
Mary’s song speaks as if God Already has done what He said. She praises the gift of His Son. She didn’t look on her fate with dread.
Sometimes, like Mary, we face unknowns. Like her, we are called to accept The challenges God gives us as gifts. Know God’s in charge, so have no regrets.
Christmas is a season in which, as we light the Advent candle – there is a new focus each week. We await the birth of the Christ Child with a focus on JOY this week. I pray you find JOY in this day – and project nothing but HOPE, PEACE and JOY to all you meet.
As Pooh said, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” What’s taking up room in your heart today?
Look for the smallest ways to believe, trust, and spread the Good News! Wheeee!! Take JOY into your heart! (It’s no small thing.)
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. I hope it brought you JOY today. See ya later.
I have a dear friend in California who is sending inspirational scripture with music and devotionals each day during this season of Advent. Today she sent a link to a song that started my day with a smile.
The song, composed in the minor key, is perfect for this season. Do you know it? The choir and soloists are superb:
“Come to set us free, come to make us your own. Come to show the way to your people, your chosen. Open our lives to the light of your promise. Come to our hearts with healing, come to our minds with power, come to us and bring us your life.”
For me, Advent is the season of Adventure – a season of reaching out to others in love while we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child each Christmas.
I know many of my readers are people of other faiths, and I respect your right to worship the One God in your chosen way. But, I hope you feel a sense of greater love, more generous giving, and the promised peace during this holiday time of the year. I hope the drama, the stress, and the conflict are minimized in your life… and you can find JOY in the hustle and bustle of the season.
Gracious God, Be with my Word Press friends this season. Bring them JOY and PEACE. Help them live with compassion and reach out in love. In His name I pray, Amen.