Give from your big heart Embrace generosity Use Christ’s example
Our Lord gave His all So we’d have Life Eternal It’s available
All you need to do Is open your heart to Him And embrace His love
If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know that I have a habit of taking notes in poetry as I listen to the weekly sermon. Sometimes it’s easy to do that… other times the poetry escapes me. Today the message came to me in rhythm and rhyme quite easily! It was an inspirational take on this very familiar scripture. I hope it speaks to your heart as it did mine.
Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church by Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds was based on this scripture:
As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Usually this scripture Is used on Stewardship Sunday; But, relax! This is not What I’ll talk about today!
Who among us will go to the bank, Empty it, and put it in the offering plate? I wouldn’t expect that of tou – Not today… not on any date!
But, let’s look at the lofty ones, The ones who act like priests, But are not… and moreover, They righteously parade and gorge on feasts.
Jesus isn’t just ranting, but teaching. He tells the disciples about the widow’s life. He praises her for her generosity And coveys her years of trouble and strife.
He scold the scribes and pharisees For giving out of their spare change. While the widow gave all she had, He admonishes the limits they arrange.
These two teachings arre Jesus’s last. From here Jesus will face His fate. Chist encourages us to learn There’s no pay grade low enough to be ingrate.
The widow is a victim of the system. But, in spite of that, she gives all – Knowing her money will help someone. That widow certainly stands tall!
As part of the sum of many, She gives out of sacrificial love. Likewise, Jesus gave His all, so we Can learn from Him and join Him above.
“God so love the world That He gave His only begotten Son That whosoever believeth in Him Shall not perish But have everlasting life”
That marvelous rendition of this hymn by St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir reminds me of the men and boys’ double choir that we heard last month at Westminster Abbey in London. Sitting next to our daughter, who cried buckets of emotion all the way through it, I remembered my years as member of the University of Pacific’s A Capella Choir. We sang this version of the song at most of our concerts. I love it! I hope you are blessed by it, too. Soooo beautiful!!
Have a blessed rest of your Sunday and a wonderful week!
I send you my love and lotsa hugs.
See ya tomorrow (God willing) Embrace Generosity… and generously give as you are able…
Do you ever try to push things through and discover roadblocks?
That’s been my experience this week on more than one front.
Trying to push my agenda is harder than rolling hay – Especially when my agenda is not in sync with the Lord’s.
Trying to push through an agenda is like filming – Pointing the camera at the place you want to be And discovering that you have no film to get there. GO BACK AND RELOAD!! Take time to pray.
Life often puts us at crossroads where we choose – Do we go right or left? Or do we turn around? What did your script say? And who wrote it? Are you finding your own way or letting God lead?
Are you on your own time schedule or are you listening? Do you relinquish control and hear the Holy Spirit saying, “God’s Perfect Timing is perfect. Let go! Let it flow.” Stop pushing. Stop filming. Stop writing. Stop blogging.
Then, when you start up again, be deliberate! Be intentional. Be collaborative. Be teachable. Be flexible. Be patient. God’s Perfect Timing is Perfect!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I’ve been living my passion this week… Loving, learning, listening, sharing God’s grace.
Finding the pastor God has in mind for our church – and trying to arrange the perfect timing for a visit.
I took a break from WordPress to focus.
It was good to take a break.
Please add our Pastor Nominating Committee to your prayer list… and help us EMBRACE GOD’S PERFECT TIMING!
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.
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!
“Rest assured that whoever listens to God’s Word with an open heart and alert mind will receive from Him.”
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.
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)
Obedience First listen Learn to absorb Take it all in Heed
We all know what it means to be obedient, right? Listen, absorb, heed… Did you hear any of these expressions when you were growing up?
“If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about!”
“Why?? Because I said so, that’s why!”
“Yours is not to question why. Yours is just to do or die!”
Where did those images of obedience come from? Certainly not from a Loving Father.
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” — Luke 11:28
“If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:18
“If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land” Isaiah 1:19
“And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32
Who or What to Obey?
Obedience Differs with Who you obey Make it “The Word” God
Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22
To heed God’s Word Is better than honey Better than palaces Better than money
To heed God’s voice As He whispers in your ear Is to hear His angels speaking And to cherish what you hear
Obedience to the teachings Of wise men and women, too Is the road successful people Travel daily. How about you?
Are you tuning in to wisdom Are you listening really well? If so, then your obedience Will show – others will tell.
They’ll tell of your goodness. They’ll see what brings you peace And they’ll want to have a share In the joy that will not cease.
“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’ Jeremiah 7:23
When we live in obedience, We can sing with the best of them: It is well with my soul – And we can can pray for the rest of them!
Embrace Obedience! Easter is coming… when we set aside time To thank our God for sending the Perfect Example Of what Obedience – even to the cross – looks like.
Praise God! Hear – Heed -Obey!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. I pray my Embrace series is encouraging you. See ya tomorrow.
Embrace Questioning! Do we embrace all questions? Like, “Are you stupid?”
No, it’s not questions, But the act of questioning That deserves embrace.
Not all questions are Developed with pure motives. Embrace those that are!
Embrace a pure heart Full of inquisitiveness. Ask because you care.
When you meet someone Ask their name and remember – Use it lovingly.
Ask about their life. Listen with sincere interest. Listening’s a gift.
Questioning’s one thing; Listening is another. They go hand in hand.
When I think of questioning with a pure motive and listening with an open heart, I think of Job. Even if you are not a Christian, seeped in the Bible stories, you have heard the expression, “The patience of Job.” (That’s pronounced Jobe… not job, like Steve Jobs, the American business magnate). What made the prophet, Job, come to mind?
Job is presented in the Bible as a good and prosperous family man who is beset by Satan with God‘s permission with horrendous disasters that take away all that he holds dear, including his children, his health, and his property. He struggles to understand his situation and begins a search for the answers to his difficulties. Searching for answers involves questioning. He does so without condemning God. He maintains his trust in God to ultimately work for his good – even when he is in the worst of his turmoil.
What a desolate looking man! What must he be saying to God? What questions would you be asking?
What does Job ask God? “He demands answers from God Himself. Job wants to know why bad things happen to good people. He knows it’s not right, and will not accept the saccharine answers of his friends.”
God, “Why Have You Made Me Your Target”? (Job 7:20)
God explains to Job that to us mere mortals sometimes there are no words—no rationalizations—that can make sense of the unhappiness we endure.
Trauma happens and we have to accept it. Explanations may make us feel better, but they mislead. Ultimately, Job, like all of us, must endure suffering not knowing why … or if the question even counts.
Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.
The Book of Job asks “why good people suffer,” but never actually answers the question. What it does do, is correct misconceptions about why we suffer. The truth of this wonderful tale is that man can’t know everything.
Again, let me repeat, “Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.”
How does this story relate to your life and mine? Have you ever questioned why life was throwing stones at you that you didn’t deserve?
Or have you questioned why you didn’t get a job that you knew you deserved?
This happened recently to my son. He applied for a job that he knew he was qualified for. Another person was chosen instead. He got a form letter of rejection. Instead of falling into a fit of depression or raging in disbelief, he called the person who did get the job and congratulated her. He asked if there was anything he could do to support her in her assignment – and he asked her to keep an eye out in case she saw a position in the future for which she thought he might be a good fit.
Within a day, he received a call back and an extension of his responsibilities was offered along with a significant pay raise.
Now, I’m not suggesting that every time you ask the right questions with the right motive, you’ll get a pay raise!
No, it’s not that simple. But, what embracing questioning does is it changes your focus. The right questions – in the right spirit – make the difference between misery and openness. The difference between depression and expression. The difference between pessimism and positivity.
Embrace a pure heart Full of inquisitiveness. Ask because you care.
Don’t question, “Why you?” Instead ask, “What can I do?” “Can I be of any help?”
Your attitude counts. Humility is the key. Embrace questioning!
God is good. All the time! Even to the Jobs of this world! Be patient in love. Your pay raise is coming!!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek Got any questions?? See ya tomorrow.
What is your power source? Where do you get your ideas?
Today’s sermon on ZOOM with the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana, preached by the Rev. Steve Hundley attributed our power source to (well, what do you think a minister would say?)… God Jesus Christ’s teaching The Word Scripture Of course!
Steve began his sermon today with a children’s message. He shared this (paraphrased by me, of course):
My dad was a forester. He used to cruise the timber to decide what to cut and what to leave to keep the forest healthy. He usually went with a fellow forester – a guy who was not known for his great sense of direction. They would head out in different directions, and when it was time to regroup, my dad told his partner that he’d call out. “You answer,” he told him, “and I’ll call again. Back and forth until you find your way back.”
But, what happened was an ole hoot owl responded back to his partner when he called out, and he followed the direction of the owl. It got him way off track. When my dad realized what was happening, he honked the horn of the truck, and finally the two men were able to reconnect and head for home.
Moral of the story: Listening to the wrong voice can get us lost. We need to listen to the voice and teachings of Christ in order to stay on the right path.
The Church’s Spiritual Power Source
(Inspired by Mark 1:21-28 – story of Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue and being interrupted by a man who was demon-possessed)
The people of the church Were astounded when Jesus Taught with authority – More astounded than by exorcism.
When we think of a teacher image, We rarely think of provocative We have our dull stereotypes. But Jesus, the Teacher, was rare.
Wouldn’t you think His act Of removing an evil force Would have trumped the act Of teaching the Word of God?
No, removal of an unclean spirit Was not what the people raved about. It was Jesus, the Teacher, who Inspired the people to be amazed.
Do Jesus’ teachings still have The power to transform and amaze? Do Jesus’ teachings still have The power to unite and inspire?
The teachings of Jesus and the Growing of churches and believers Are synonymous; did you know that? Let’s join a weekly Bible Study.
Listen to the right voice… The voice of Jesus telling His parables. I’ll lead a Bible Study and we’ll all Tune in to Jesus’ voice – OK?
Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM. We’ll begin with Luke 15:11-24. It’s the story of the Prodigal Son. Look for your ZOOM invitation.
Invite a friend to join us!
Hope you had a wonderful Sunday. Enjoy your evening. See you tomorrow. Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Let me know if you’d like a ZOOM invitation to join us. If so, send me an e-mail address. Embrace Your Power Source!
What? Embrace Extravagance? I have to be kidding, right?
Extravagance is kin to outlandish. Extravagance means excessive. Right?
Wrong! Extravagance doesn’t need to mean outlandish. It can be thought of as abundance.
Extravagance is Abundance of some good food – Okay if it’s shared!
Extravagance is An abundance of pure love – Beautiful when shared
Extravagance is The overflow of blessings – Lovely gifts from God
When the night sky touches your soul, When other bloggers touch your inner core, It’s a sign of the extravagance of others That keeps you longing for more
In his “Keys to Living Life”
Today, January 24, 2021, Rahul Gaur wrote a blog so powerful that I HAD to share it. First I tweeted it. I have never shared someone else’s blog by tweeting it before. I have reblogged a few. This one is so impactful that I need you to click on Rahul’s name and go to it. See it for yourself. It is extravagantly beautiful! Here are a couple of sentences that particularly touched me:
“The soul is the lost intuition and the listening switch of your body. When you need to see things beyond as they are, to see things as they were meant to be, you listen to the orchestra of your soul.”
Sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church Ennis, Montana
Thy Kingdom Come
“Thy Kingdom Come” is a political statement – Except we believe in a heavenly kingdom.
It’s not a worldly kingdom. It is “THY” kingdom come. Let God’s Kingdom reign, Not MY domain – not MY will.
As a pastor, I am sometimes Guilty of saying, “Look at me!” I do the “my” and not “Thy” message And have to learn to lose self.
We all need to learn to be De-throned … and let God’s Kingdom be the focus. Peace, reconciliation & hope are God’s.
God’s Kingdom is not attainable On our earth. It is not! Utopia here in our world Is not within our reach.
No earthly political order Will ever be the Kingdom of God. God’s Kingdom is like a seed. It’s like a net in the water.
The seed one day will sprout. The net will gather fish. God’s work on earth is extravagant, But the Kingdom is elusive here.
The Kingdom of God is at the door. It takes eyes of faith to see What lies beyond the threshold. It is there though we see it not.
When we say “Thy Kingdom COME,” We might more easily say GO. Go from You into me… God’s Kingdom lives in each of us.
It’s an awesome fact that The Kingdom of God is in you. We must not lose hope or faith And we must not live in satisfaction.
Never be satisfied with what is. Only when we submit to God’s Kingdom Does it really COME. So care! Care for the poor; release greed and pettiness.
It’s liberating to know when We turn our lives and our futures Over to our Extravagant God – We’ll see His Kingdom coming into the world.
“Listen to the orchestra of your soul.” Rahul Gaur Keep you ears open to soulful listening… Thank you, Rahul, for your blog. Thank you, Rev. Steve, for your message. Thank You, God, for your Kingdom of Love.