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Posts tagged ‘life’

Embrace Life


“To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.”

-Thomas Campbell

Today we are celebrating the life of my brother-in-law, Stan.
He gave us many reasons to smile.
He will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.

If you could write your obituary,
celebrating your life,
what would you want folks
to say about you?

Here lies __________________ (insert your name)
S/He was __________________ (insert an adjective)
We could count on him/her to ____________________ (what could folks count on you for?)
His/Her life was noted for ________________________ (what’s your legacy?)


Have you discovered how to discern His Will?
Are you asking God each day to help you do His Will?

How are you using your time today?
Time is our greatest gift.
Use it wisely!

We’re in Oregon with Bob’s sister.
Priceless time!

I am praying that you
have a Marvelous Monday!

Hugs to you.
See you tomorrow (God willing)…
JanBeek

Embrace Your Journey


The word “Race” implies competition when you “Run the Race.”
But life lived in competition rather than collaboration is a lonely one.
When I was an elementary school principal back in the 1980’s,
I wrote our school theme song using the California Poppies tune.

The California Poppies song went like this:

“Poppies, golden poppies, gleaming in the sun,
Closing up at evening when the day is done.
Pride of California, flower of our state,
Growing from the mountains to the Golden Gate.”

The words I wrote for our Caswell Elementary School in California were:

We’re the Caswell Cougars.
We are Number One!
Green and yellow banners
Waving in the sun.
Caswell is a place for
Learning and for fun.
We’re the Caswell Cougars;
We are Number One!”

One of my fellow principals objected to our song.
She felt I was in competition with her school.
I responded, “There’s room at the top
for more than one.
Come up and join us!”

As I have journeyed through this life,
I am going and growing.
I am understanding better
where my colleague was coming from.

Thirty years later I can look back
And I can see my competitive spirit
At work in that school song…
Unintended yes, but obvious to others.



If life is viewed as a race,
then there is room for only one at the top.
The race goes to the swiftest.
But a journey has room for many.

Hold my hand as we walk this path.
Pray with me. stay by my side.
Soon enough we will reach the mountain top
And when we do, celebrate with me.

Today Bob & I are journeying to Oregon
where we will join his sister and her family.
We will gather to give back to one another
The love we have shared on this life’s journey.

We will hear the echo of Bonnie’s husband
As their daughter and son speak of the ways
Their dad sent out, sowed, and radiated love
During his 86 years here on this earth.

As we travel today, Bob and I acknowledge
The grace of God that has allowed us to share
These six decades with one another –
And we take not one of those chapters for granted.

Stan Hunt’s chapters on earth have ended,
But we know his story doesn’t end here.
We know death is not an end to our journey;
It is a beginning of our eternal life – forever with our Lord.

We will share, hug, and weep for our loss,
And we will assure one another of the faith we have.
We know we will see one another in eternity.
We will continue the journey – writing our masterpiece!

Have a beautiful Sunday, my friends.
I send you my love
as we journey this life together.


See ya tomorrow (God willing),
JanBeek

Embrace your Open Heart


No, not like open heart surgery!
It’s your open heart of love and compassion!
It’s an open heart, ready to listen and respond.

In Chapter 8 of Nehemiah,

“…all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”

With open hearts, they “lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord.”

Do you listen eagerly with an expectant mind and heart? Do you listen with a mind that genuinely wants to know more? If so, you will hear the Lord speaking to you when you earnestly pray.

Photo by lucas souza on Pexels.com


Yesterday I was encouraged to listen – to engage “ears that really hear” – as I bowed in reverence to God while up in my sanctuary. I was feeling badly that no one from our Beekman family was scheduled to be in Oregon next Monday for Bob’s brother-in-law’s funeral. Bob’s sister, Bonnie, lost her husband, Stan, last week. Bonnie has three brothers. Two are in California and plan to go to Stan’s burial later this month. It is scheduled to occur in his hometown cemetery in southern CA. But, we are here in Montana … and were not planning to attend either event. We had lots of excuses. None of them seemed to be holding water!

God spoke loudly and clearly to me
as I opened my heart
to His message
in the daily devotional,
In Touch,
by Charles Stanley.

“So many things clamor for our focus,
but nothing is as important
as what the Lord has to say.
He is worthy of our undivided attention.”

“Open your heart,” God said to me.
“Nothing is more important in your life
next week than to be with Bonnie.”

So we will fly to Oregon on Sunday. We will be there to demonstrate our open hearts of love for Bob’s sister and her family. We will not live with “If Only” in our hearts.

It will be a short trip. We’ll return here for those other important obligations on Tuesday… but the Sunday/Monday things can wait. God said “THIS IS MY MESSAGE TO YOU.” And He said it loud and clear. “Open your hearts. Open your wallets. Reschedule what you planned to do here. Find ways to delegate. You’re not indispensable here. Schedule your plane, rental car, and hotel. BE THERE!”

So, dear WordPress friends, if you don’t see a post Sunday or Monday, you’ll know why. How many consecutive days I have posted is not a number that is worth worrying about. Opening our hearts to our loved one who has lost her spouse… that’s the focus!

They were with us when we celebrated Bob’s 80th two years ago.

“Rest assured that whoever listens to God’s Word
with an open heart and alert mind
will receive from Him.”

Charles Stanley

I love the Lord, for He heard my voice;
He heard my cry for mercy.
Because He turned His ear to me,
I will call on Him as long as I live.

Psalm 116:1-2

If God can turn His ear to me
and respond with an open heart of love.
Who am I not to return the gesture?

Are you ready to
EMBRACE YOUR OPEN HEART, too?


I’m off to volunteer this afternoon at the medical center’s vaccination center.
Yay!

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Kindness


Bob’s brother-in-law, Stan, died
At noon today, Oregon time.
Our hearts are heavy, of course,
But we hear heaven’s bells chime.

The Lord is blessed to receive
His creation back into His arms.
Our arms ache for one more hug,
One more poem with all his charms.

We’re not the only ones who’ve lost
A loved one to death this year.
This pandemic has taken too many
And this virus is not over, we fear.

As Stan was lying in his hospital bed,
Health care workers included his daughter, a nurse.
So many of our faithful ones have stepped up to help
Or else this COVID-19 would have been much worse.

The kindness shown by the hospital staff
Helped the family cope with their loss.
The kindness we all show every day
Is a way we live what we learn at the cross.

Stan’s death was not the result of the virus,
But his departure carries with it the sting
Of a beautiful life ended on earth.
Can we focus now on how the angels sing?

Showing kindness to the folks we meet
Is a way to acknowledge their pain.
We know everyone has a burden to bear;
And many don’t have the words to explain.

My neighbor has a treasured pet who is sick,
My friend lost her brother yesterday.
My husband’s fisher buddy needs surgery,
And my granddaughter has bills she can’t pay.

The man with the gun was bullied in his youth,
And he took out his hate in a store.
The victims’ families are beside themselves.
We all are wondering how we can take any more.

Embrace kindness as a first line of defense.
Embrace kindness as the action you choose.
Embrace kindness, for you know in your heart
It’s the way to show love and help hate defuse.

Bible Verses about ‘Kindness’

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.— 1 Corinthians 13:4-5


As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.— Colossians 3:12

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.— Galatians 5:22-23

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.— Ephesians 4:32

EMBRACE KINDNESS TODAY
(and every day!)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow
(Lord willing)

Embrace Comfort


Embrace Comfort

Embrace
The comfort
Offered by others
Then return the favor
Comfort

Comfort
Makes life
A little easier
Even in our sorrow
Care

Whisper
Your cares
To our God
He hears every word
Believe

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Reach
Hold hands
Hug your friends
Even virtual hugs matter
Express

Love
Is comfort
Comfort in Action
Never underestimate your love
Increase!

Last night Bob & I received word that his brother-in-law, Stan, was in ICU. He had fallen in the shower and was unconscious. The paramedics came, performed CPR, broke three of his ribs in the process, but made sure he was breathing. Took him to the hospital. Stan and Bob’s sister, Bonnie, live in Oregon. We can’t hop in the car and go there, but thanks to technology, we can reach out in love. We can pray and ask our friends to pray, too. God hears. God cares. We can show we care, too.

Today we learned that the family has asked for Stan to be taken off of life support. He never regained consciousness… and if he survived, his brain would not be functioning properly. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not continued life on this earth, but the peace and comfort of eternal life. Thank God for our faith. We know we will meet again in heaven.

There are so many ways to show love. What are some of the ways you embrace comfort across the miles?

EMBRACE COMFORT



Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.


Hope to see you tomorrow.

I’m sending my love your way.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Knowing our dear Stan is departing his earthly body,
I am sending this lovely video
“If Tomorrow Starts Without Me”
to comfort
our sweet Bonnie and their children,
Tammy & Todd…
and all the Hunt/Smith/Beekman family
with my love.
May they find it comforting.

Embrace Borrowed Time


Another Massacre

Ten people were killed, including a veteran police officer, during a mass shooting Monday inside a grocery store in Boulder, Colo.

Another Senseless Loss of Lives

Another Sick Man with a Gun

Police officer among dead in Boulder, Colorado supermarket shooting

I could have been in that supermarket, in line to get my vaccine. You could have, too.

Many of us live as though there is no tomorrow. We simply have no concept of a world without us and yet each second the clock ticks away is one less second off our lives and as David said, “It is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

WE ARE LIVING ON BORROWED TIME

Psalms 90:10
The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span[a] is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.

James 4:13-14
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.


The average life span (world-wide) is less than 70 years but should we live beyond 70 years those extra years are seldom years of joy and happiness. Too many of our elderly in the USA are in nursing homes, separated from family, suffering from illness and loneliness.

If you are like Bob & me: in your 80s and relatively healthy, living independently in your home, count your blessings, praise God, and take no breath for granted!

Our whole existence is a gift from God. From the day of our birth until the day of our death we are on borrowed time.

What is the Meaning of Life?

One of the great questions of all time is, What is the meaning of life?

The Bible is filled with answers to that important question.

Eccl. 12:13
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Mark 12:30
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”

I am blessed to use my time to spread love, joy, peace, faith and unity. That is my blog’s purpose. In my retirement – in my borrowed time, I share my love with you and I gratefully worship my Creator, calling out God’s name. Sharing the name of Jesus and living with the Holy Spirit as my guide. I live with an attitude of gratitude and a response of generosity, forgiveness, obedience, and integrity. I know each day is a gift. Each breath could be my last.

WE NEED TO BE USING OUR TIME WISELY

Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

Jn. 6:28-29
28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

As Christians we are not to manage our time the same way the world manages theirs. We must make sure that we seek God in everything that we do. We are to organize our time and plan wisely for the future. There are time management apps that we can download on our phones that we should all take advantage of. If you’re old school a simple notepad or calendar will help.

We are to take care of the most important tasks first. We should pray for God to remove procrastination and idleness from our lives. We should seek to do God’s will daily.

GOOGLE Rick Warren’s 25 Important Bible verses… pray about each one.

EXAMPLES OF WASTING TIME

The Prodigal Son as described in Lk. 15:11-13 wasted his wealth, his strength, his youth and his energy on riotous living but mostly he wasted his time.

Samson wasted his strength and testimony with a woman who was of the enemies of God.

The rich farmer in Lk. 12:16-19 was preoccupied with the wealth of this world and gave no thought to the world to come.

Continually meditate on Scripture and allow the Lord to direct your life. Everything in this life will burn. Don’t put your focus on the world.

A woman who had been living a very high-pressured life moved with her family from the city to the country. The family had resolved to reduce the stresses and tensions that they had been under by entering into a gentler, easier life-style. A neighbor called on the mother one day and noticed something that had been pinned on the family bulletin board. She asked about it and the mother said, “Oh, that’s a poem that represents what our moving here was all about. The poem starts out, “Lord slow me down..” But I haven’t had time to read the rest of it.”

Before Tonight’s Sunset:

  • Thank God for another day on this earth
  • Pray for souls of the people whose lives were senselessly lost in yesterday’s massacre – for the families of the victims* – and for that sick man and his family
  • Pray for an end to hate
  • Pray for peace in our world
  • Reach out to someone and express your love and appreciation for him/her
  • Determine what you can do tomorrow to make this a better world – right where you are

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

God Bless You!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)


* Here is one of the victims – a father of seven children,
the youngest of whom is seven years old.

Dear Lord,
please put an end
to this senseless hate
and needless killings.
Help us just love one another!!
Amen

Embrace the Journey


“On the Road to Easter”
was the title of today’s sermon
by Rev. Steve Hundley
at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana

Come join me as we EMBRACE the JOURNEY

Lent is upon us and
Easter is only two weeks away.
Next week we’ll celebrate
Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem that day.

Jesus arrived in glory.
Then, we see Jesus carry
His cross to Golgotha.
We’ll journey to where they’ll bury
His body in the rocky tomb
Before Easter will finally dawn.
The journey is a painful one –
A time when His family thinks He’s gone.

It reminds me that life
Is a journey of great proportion
And we have markers along the way.
Some show where others made their fortune.
But few of us have monuments
Built to mark our stopping places –
Like Lewis and Clark’s various markers
And Jesus’ stopping spots – sacred spaces.

Our journey needs places of rest –
Places where we feel lifted up
The way Golgotha lifts us to Jesus
Knowing His death & resurrection gifted us.

Jesus spoke about His death
But the disciples didn’t want to hear.
They thought of death as an enemy.
Jesus said death means resurrection’s near.

Like a seed buried in the ground,
We must die and be buried to rise.
Jesus told His disciples He’d draw
The world to Himself with words so wise.

He spoke of His death as if
He had already died. He said
His death would serve God’s purpose.
His impact continues to grow – He is not dead!

As Easter approaches, we look
At the cross and make our way
To the Light; it illumines our path
To His miracle that happened Easter Day.

Hallelujah! Easter is coming!
Embrace the Journey.
Amen

Morning’s Comin’
We can make it though the Night!

Thanks for joining me on JanBeek today.
Have a beautiful Sunday afternoon/evening.

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Adversity – 8 Ways


How do you define adversity?
It is symbolized by tough times.
It is exhibited by disagreements.
It represents challenges.

How do we deal with adversity?
Why should we embrace it?
Misfortune means misery, right?
Calamity and distress are its partners.

But the Bible says, “The Lord is
A stronghold in times of trouble.”
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed.
“Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”
(Psalm 34:10b)

So let us embrace adversity
By understanding it is a vehicle
That strengthens us just as fire
Tempers steel and hardens it.

We are called to share each other’s burdens.
That is one of the purposes of church:
Congregations are called to care for,
Encourage, empathize, and strengthen one another.

“The church is a network of shoulders
Supporting the collective weight
Of everyone’s troubles, lifting burdens,
Helping others find rest for their weary hearts.”

(Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries)

God often uses hard times to get our attention.
When things are going great,
we are not so quick to turn to Him.
But trials drive us to our knees for answers and comfort.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield,
my heart trusts in Him,
and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise Him.

Photo by Luna Lovegood on Pexels.com

The adversity that I faced recently was the death of my “favorite student,” Ty Stiles. The picture above could easily have been him. His early death was “misfortune” to the highest degree! I have told you about him in several recent blogs. Yesterday was his Memorial Service at Monte Vista Chapel, his home church in Turlock, CA. I was blessed to be able to attend it virtually because the church recorded it on a YouTube broadcast.

How do we face the “misfortune” of such a loss? Only by our faith! Only by knowing God keeps His promises and Ty has gone to Heaven. We will go there some day, too. We will all be reunited. In the meantime, adversity turns to adventure. We are invited to live our lives with thankfulness for the privilege of knowing one another. We are asked to change our perspective from “I can’t handle this,” to “”I can’t handle this on my own, but I can with Jesus’ help.”

Let the adventure of today’s challenges bring strength when we feel weak, safety when we feel danger, comfort when we feel distress. Let us be the ones who stand tall and say, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” Be ever ready to leap for joy and with your song, ever praise the Lord who is our strength.

Pray for his comfort and strength, rather than praying that he’d simply remove difficulties. Embrace Adversity. Be the shoulder others lean on. God will bless you!

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Connections


https://smarturl.it/ThanksForTheDance

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Did you click the link?
The link was “Thanks for the Dance”
From Leonard Cohen.

If you didn’t hear –
Didn’t see the video,
Go up and do it!

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

EMBRACE CONNECTIONS
Look into another’s heart
See the hidden pain

Learn to disagree
Learn to listen with your heart
Show your compassion

Connections can save
The loneliest from despair
Suicide is real

Express your concern
Let your compassion embrace
Those in depression

Depression is real
Too often it is hidden
Inside solitude

Leonard Cohen’s poem
Hit me right between the eyes
Took me to my niece

‘Twas nineteen years old
When her life appeared hopeless
Jumped Golden Gate Bridge

Photo by Mohamed Almari on Pexels.com

‘Twas two weeks later
When her decomposed body
Washed its way ashore

Only dental charts
Helped to identify her
Memories are raw

Never imagined
Her pain was so very deep
Didn’t see the signs

So much is known now
Nearly forty years ago
We just weren’t aware

Today it’s rampant
Especially Montana
Third in the nation

Growing suicides
It’s not a good statistic
Something must be done


These are images from Leonard Cohen’s impactful video. (Haven’t watched it yet? Go back up to that link. Take five minutes and then come on back.) The poetry and his raspy, musical voice will touch your heart. You’ll carry it with you.

You’ll ask yourself, “What Happens to the Heart?” and you will want to be more aware, more compassionate, more helpful. You’ll look in your friend’s eyes. You’ll study your loved one’s face. You’ll ask questions. You’ll care. And you’ll want to know WHAT CAN I DO? When you see sadness, despair, loneliness, you’ll want to help. How??

There are visible
Ways we can show how we care
Check out resources

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness


Embrace Connections
They can make the difference
YOU are important!

Thanks for dropping by JanBeek

Sending you love and hugs
Stay Connected!!
See ya tomorrow


Embrace a Tree


Hug a tree for me
Find one you can wrap your arms
Around and hang on

Trees are like people
Some are so big that you can’t
Quite get around them

Like giant redwoods
All you can do is admire
Their magnificence

Some are just loners
They stand apart from others
Saying “Look at me!”

Some are connected
So tightly to each other
There’s no room to join

Others form a line
Saying, “Come and join us, but
You must look like us.”

Others welcome all
They are so hospitable
You just flock to them

Some are quite fruitful
They produce enough to share
And do every day

Others hide their fruit
Above gnarled exterior
Daring you to touch

Some are cold, distant
Dark and often depressing
Warning, “Keep away!”

I love trees who shine
Like bright, colorful people
Beckoning us near

Prickly trees are
Ones we try to steer clear of
Lest we should get caught

The young and tender
Beckon us to hold them tight
And protect their growth

Trees that nourish us
Are like the fruit-filled people
Who say, “Let me share.

Come see what I have.
Come taste of its sweet goodness.
I am rich with love.”

“Come sit beside me
Please let me give you some rest.
Come and embrace me.”

“I won’t hold my love
High above and out of reach;
Won’t put you at risk.”

“I’ll spread out my arms
And keep you safe from all harm.
I’ll listen. You talk!

Tell me your troubles.
Sit beneath my shade and rest.
Come, embrace a tree.”

We come in colors
Bright and shining as the sun.
Bare – when summer’s done

Trees are like people:
We hide our troubles inside
Deceptive faces.

Let’s learn from our trees.
Let’s let true colors shine through;
Show your true beauty.

Unlike this odd tree,
Keep your roots firmly grounded.
Embrace a tree now!

Any old tree will do!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Tell me, what’s your favorite tree?
Which one is like you?

Bob & I send our love.
See ya tomorrow.

“Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing.”

—From “When Autumn Came” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
     translated by Naomi Lazard

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