He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Just as no pot created on the potter’s wheel Ends up looking just like another pot, And yet each is beautiful in its own way, So each of us beautiful – no one is not!
Something beautiful, something good – All my confusion He understood. All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, But He made something beautiful of my life.
Give your brokenness and strife to God. Let Him make something beautiful in you. Then share it – as only you can do – So others can appreciate their uniqueness, too.
Use your unique qualities to make the world a better place. Don’t judge others or turn them away because they’re different. Embrace them. Love them. Appreciate the way they add color to your world. Know God designed each of us intentionally … be reverent!
I love you, my friend. Thank you for adding your uniqueness to my world. See ya tomorrow.
Let’s embrace bird songs. They bring music to our souls. Delight in their sounds!
The following video is a 42 minute delight. It displays 80 birds, identifies them for you, and plays their songs. I LOVE it!
I recommend that you play it as background music as you read the rest of my blog and go about your day.
Peek back at it every now and then – because the close-up pictures of these birds and the words that identify them and the settings where you find them will be sure to delight you!
I woke this morning to the sound of doves cooing. They have built their nest in the eaves Outside my bedroom window – Crafted it with twigs and leaves.
Partner doves made their home there And sang their song, “I hid hid hid it!” Soon they’ll lay their eggs there And change their song to “I did did did it!”
But their nest is not hidden from us. We can see their coming and their going. Their song brings us daily happiness. Our day starts with shared music – enjoying!
After you have listened to some of that first video, check this one out. It is just the dove… Then go back to that first one. Let it mesmerize you! (You can slide the red bar at the bottom of it to go back to where you left off.)
“Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall; happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”
Just as each bird has its song, People have songs that identify them. Some are blues, some jazz or rock and roll, Others are known by their favorite hymn.
As I listen to music on my Amazon device And I hear one I wanna put in my cart, I say, “Alexa, add that to my favorites.” My list – like a bird song – comes from my heart. .
Take a break from the bird songs, and listen to a song that touches my heart. I can’t help but sing along whenever it plays:
In my “Happiness Project” (one sentence journal) the verse at the top of the page today was:
“It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.”
– Thomas Jefferson
What Creates Happiness for You?
I used to find my greatest happiness in the classroom – working with young children. Then I found it in my home with my husband and two children. Neither of those sources, however could be defined as “tranquil.”
It wasn’t until we moved here to Montana, we both retired, and we bought a house with an upstairs “SanctuAiree,” that I found my place of tranquility. Surrounded by trees with singing birds outside and my Bibles, devotionals, and angels inside, I am at peace. Inner peace is my definition of tranquility and happiness. How about you?
For me, there are few things in life which create more tranquility than the sound of a dove cooing. Our God used a dove as the carrier of good news (it returned to the ark with an olive branch to announce “Dry Land! It’s here! It’s here!”) The dove is a symbol of peace.
What a way to wake up in the morning! And then they greet me on the rooftop when I am in my SanctuAiree.
Doves are little gifts from God. I love them and their song.
What is your favorite bird song?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I hope you’ll be singing when you leave here!
(You can go back to that first video and continue enjoying those bird songs)
Have you ever listened to someone for a minute and thought “Their cornbread isn’t done in the middle” ??
My beef stew this noon needed cornbread to accompany it.
And the cornbread WAS cooked all the way through. What does this have to do with Palm Sunday? Sometimes I stew over the way the disciples led Jesus to his demise in Jerusalem.
It’s rather corny to suggest that they were half baked. But they were! They didn’t have a clue about what Jesus was about!
Even though he told them He was going to die and rise again in three days, they were as clueless as those peppers in my stew!
Do you know what Hosanna means? I thought it was an expression of celebration. Nope, it means, “Help me!” And that’s just what He did. But, like half-baked cornbread, they had no idea how He was helping them.
Today’s sermon notes from the message by Rev. Steve Hundley at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana was titled, “Going Through the Motions”
Imagine a small church in a small town. Imagine how the congregation is feeling down. Their brothers and sisters are being slaughtered. They’ve forgotten what Jesus did for their sons and daughters.
Imagine the preacher having just received Mark, The book that recalls Jesus’ light in the dark. The description of the first Palm Sunday Leaves out important things that happened that one day.
Mark doesn’t talk about the presence of crowds. He does write that some shouted aloud “Hosanna!” but he made the folks sound mundane, And he paints the disciples as being quite lame!
Abraham was asked what he thought of the telling. He said he thought it was just what they were yelling. “Hosanna” means HELP US and that is what Jesus did as He told them He’d empty His cup on the cross that day. Listen up!
He said He would rise again, but they didn’t understand. We’re like that – just marching along with the band. Help us this Holy Week to do more than go through The motions to recognize what You had to do.
Lord, You’ve known the clamor of over 2,000 Sundays When people wave palm branches as if it’s fun days. Allow us to stop just going through the motions, And instead prayerfully express our devotions.
You gave Your life on the cross, O Lord, So that we might understand where we’re headed toward. It’s not a deep dark hole for eternity without You. It is Heaven with You – fully baked – clear through!
Help us, O Lord, to live this Holy Week Fully alive – remembering You – the One we seek. You are the bread of life – who died and rose again. You’re the yeast in life who will come again. Amen!
EMBRACE the HELP that only God can give. Hosanna!
He came. He lived. He died. He rose. He will come again.
Don’t just go through the motions this Easter EMBRACE the HELP that Jesus offers us By His life, His teaching, His example, And let your example be “baked clear through!” Amen
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.
“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.
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!
So, what is mercy? Is it something that you need? No?! So you’re perfect?
Well dear, guess again! We’re all in need of mercy. It’s undeserved grace.
You ask, what is grace? Well, it’s undeserved mercy! Don’t you just love it?
Definitions are Often so convoluted. Good thing for mercy!
Mercy me! Oh my! I sure need grace and mercy. Both are found in prayer.
Prayer for Help, Mercy and Grace
Prayer from Rev. Steve Hundley PASTORAL PRAYER prayed at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church ZOOM service 2-7-2021
“Loving God, we thank You that You treat us as if all were one; and each one as if there were only one. We thank You that we are all held together in Your love; and none are beyond Your caring reach. Thank You that You hear our prayers:
the prayers we feel awkward about;
the prayers we are hesitant to pray;
and, the prayers we feel that we do not know the right words to pray.
Thank You that You know us well enough to hear our thoughts, our yearnings, our stumblings, our grumblings, our secret hopes and fears, even when we dare not, or cannot put them into words. We are eternally grateful that anytime we turn toward you, the arms of Your grace and love are there to enfold us with Your love that cannot be bought, earned, or bargained for. Since it is the gift which You give and which we can only receive, give us wisdom to joyfully receive it.
O Lord, this past year has reminded us just how fearful and fragile; yet, precious and wonderful life can be. We need Your help. So Jesus, grant us this: the ability to as easily recognize and celebrate the beautiful as we are able to itemize the ugly. Grant us the ability to as easily praise as we are to condemn. Grant us the ability to as easily unite as we are to divide. Grant us the ability to as easily support and help one another as we are to ignore. And, grant us the ability to as easily express joy as we are to display our disappointment.
Grant us some sense of worth and accomplishment which places the mark of meaning to our days. In spite of the many limitations this pandemic has placed on our daily lives, grant us some sense of purpose, that tomorrow is something to look forward to, rather than to dread. Encourage us to reach outside of ourselves, and find ways to express our faith and love in ways that would benefit this world and its people whom You love.
Jesus grant us this: though life tumbles in, and almost everything seems to crumble around us; when the simple things we took for granted seem a distant memory; when hope frays and a simple touch, or a caring hug is something we remember we used to do; O Lord, find some special way to hold us in the palm of Your hand.
We pray for this wonderful yet sometimes unhappy…this divided yet dependent…this brave but fearful, mixed-up world we live in. We have created enemies by the misuse of its power; and, what could have been a blessing for all has become a curse to many by our misuse of its abundance. O Lord, give us and the leaders of this great nation the will to break out of destructive patterns, and grant us peace in our time. “
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we pray this prayer in the name of Our Father Who art in Heaven… Amen!
So, what is mercy? Is it something that we need? You bet! Every day!!
Have a wonderful week. I pray for your health, happiness, and safety – every day! Thanks for visiting. See ya later, Love, JanBeek
Before you leave, take a few minutes to treat yourself to the story behind “The Prayer” and hear the most beautiful voices (my bias) in the world. Where do you see God’s mercy at work in this duet??
In these days of national crises, It’s easy to feel powerless. It’s easy to duck our heads and hide. It’s easy to take the role of cowardice.
Our uncertainty about the future Stirs in us anxiety and fear. But stronger yet is our faith. We take courage. God is here.
This letter from Amy Klobuchar, A politician I have come to admire, Came to me in today’s mail. Her message calms the fire.
Today’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. comes at a time when his work and his message are more important than ever. The forces of division that are trying to convince us that our neighbors are our enemies have been loud in recent months — but I still believe as I always have that there is still more that unites us as Americans than separates us.
Our nation is coming together to reject violence and authoritarianism. This is the spirit that we must bring into the future. We must heed the words of Dr. King, that we are all “tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Thank you, Amy
Turning to the wisdom of the scriptures, We can gain resolve and be brave. We can shine a light and be courageous. God tells us how to behave.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave or forsake you.”
“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit this land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
The rioters at our nation’s capitol last week were intent on “taking back the country” by overturning the Biden/Harris election. They were convinced that the election was fraught with fraud. Hundreds of court cases were brought against election officials. Each case lost or was thrown out. Even judges appointed by President Trump found “no fraud existed.”
The actions of the rioters were not what Martin Luther King would have sanctioned. They were not what God in His scripture advocates. Paul, in his letter to the people of Corinth said what we need to hear today:
1 Corinthians 16:13
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”
He was not speaking to rioters. He was speaking to give courage to the people of Corinth to stand against oppressors.
Part of today’s problem in the USA (in my humble opinion) is that there is a host of Americans who have decided the people on the side of the law are the oppressors. They have painted Donald Trump as their liberator. A huge portion of our citizenry still is convinced the election was stolen. For only the second time in our history, the outgoing president will not be there at the inauguration to wish the incoming president well – and to encourage a peaceful transition of power. It is sad, indeed!
The most important thing we can do as a nation – and in fact, as a world – is to pray. Ask God to give courage and steadfastness to those people who have been elected to lead us forward. Join together in asking for a peaceful transition. There are (hopefully) many such prayer meetings occurring today and tomorrow. Here is one of them:
As we EMBRACE COURAGE and stand in the power and love of Christ, we must be discerning. Listen for the voice of God’s Truth. Try not to believe misleading rhetoric. Be sure we stand in God’s Will as we act by His strength.
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Embrace Courage, my friends. See ya tomorrow.