Yesterday I wrote about embracing a clear conscience. Then I went up to my sanctuary and read some of my devotionals. As is often the case, I was astounded at how God synchronizes my reading and writing and my life.
One of my devotionals is a Bible Study published by the Moody Bible Institute, Today in the Word.
My friend, Caroline, and I are studying the books of 1st & 2nd Thessalonians. The topic on Wednesday was “Living with Integrity.” Integrity is one of my favorite words … one of the most important life concepts. Without it, there is no way we can have a clear conscience!!
“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.”
A quiet life is one that knows when to tune out the thunder, avoid the noise and the crowds, and settle into a peaceful place where introspection is possible.
If we never steal ourselves away from the hustle and bustle long enough to look at ourselves honestly and listen to the Holy Spirit directing us, and analyze our thoughts and actions, how can we hope to live a life of quiet integrity with a clear conscience?
The Moody devotional reminded me:
“A quiet life does not mean moving to the country. It can be described as taking care of one’s own responsibilities, as opposed to meddling in others’ affairs. Such a person is peaceable and respectful of others.”
When we stop, take a break, slow down, and look around us and inside our souls, we open ourselves to discover the beauty and the peace around and in us.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I love hearing about how you’re doing… What’s your secret to a clear conscience and a peaceful existence?
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Living peacefully Brings out the best in others – Invites harmony.
Beautiful to see – Guys who live in harmony – Enjoy company.
The relationships Born of friendship and shared joy – Beautiful to see.
Beautiful to be Playing harmoniously – Embracing friendships.
As my outer world Reflects my inner spirit, Harmony abounds.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
My friend, Elaine Forsberg, recently left this earth for her eternal home. The memorial service for her was last weekend. She was a woman who raised her children to love God, follow Jesus, embrace harmony, and play harmonically. She did all those things herself. She taught by example.
Her son, Jim, plays the guitar and the saw! Her daughter, Peggy, also plays the saw… and the violin (magnificently). If you had attended Elaine’s service, you would have come away knowing this was a woman of great integrity – a woman who loved God – a woman secure in her destiny.
The Gandhi quote above fit Elaine Forsberg to a tee!
Besides loving God, Elaine loved music. She played the piano and made it possible for her children to appreciate the beauty of harmony.
The video below with its beautiful harmonies and gorgeous scenes of nature would be a favorite of hers. It’s a favorite of mine, I sang in the A Capella Choir all four years at the University of the Pacific. It was one of my favorite activities in college – and those harmonies still live in my heart.
To survive in peace and harmony, united and strong, we must have one people, one nation, one flag.
O Lord, may we learn to live in harmony. May our world embrace harmonious unity. Help us, God of Creation, to learn to follow Your commandments. There is no better way, we know, to live peacefully. Help us “Embrace Harmony” and spread its beauty to all we meet. Today we focus on harmony, peace, wholeness, and joy. Embrace us, O Lord, as these thoughts flower in our consciousness – and bring our dreams of world-wide harmony to vivid life. Amen.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
May you feel the peace of harmony in your heart today.
Updated 10:20 AM ET, Sun May 9, 2021 Lynne Moody in a promotional photo for the ABC TV series “That’s My Mama.”
(CNN)Lisa Wright always knew she was adopted, but had no idea her biological mother was a star on one of her favorite television shows.Now Wright is sharing the story of having been reunited with actress Lynne Moody after 50 years in what reads like the perfect Hollywood ending, according to NBC’s “Today.” “I grew up watching my mother on TV and didn’t even know it,” Wright told the morning show. “‘That’s My Mama’ — that was our must-see TV. We all sat down and watched ‘That’s My Mama’ every week, and who knew? No idea. … And that’s my mama!”
Wright said she knew very little about Moody, who was 18 when she gave birth, and had a closed adoption.
“My (adoptive) mom told me, ‘Your mommy loved you, but she was really young, and she knew she couldn’t take care of you. I wanted the baby so bad, and that’s why your mom let me take care of you,'” Wright said. “You weren’t abandoned. This was just the best thing for you.”More of CNN’s Mother’s Day coverage
But encouraged by her son a few years ago to do genetic testing, Wright first tracked down an uncle who told her the family had been searching for her all these years and who led her to Moody, who, like her daughter, was living in Los Angeles.
Moody called her birth daughter.”A voice on the other end says, ‘Is this my daughter?’ And then I just went, ‘Oh, my God, is this my mother?'” Wright said. “And then she goes, ‘Yes, sweetie, this is your mom.’ It was just the most indescribable feeling.”It was a deep connection for Moody, who never had any other children and never thought she would find her beloved child.”When I found out that she was my daughter, at that moment, it was like I was giving birth,” Moody said. “Because I lost my legs, I was on the floor in a fetal position, screaming and crying. I didn’t know how deep that hole was.”
And the actress best known for roles in the TV series “Roots” and “Knots Landing” had a Mother’s Day message for all.”Life is full of surprises sometimes, so hang in there no matter what your circumstances are,” she said. “Be open to miracles, be open to surprises, and keep the faith.”
I have four adopted grandchildren. This story touched my heart for obvious reasons. On this Mother’s Day, there are many children out there who have been raised by loving adoptive parents. There are many biological parents out there who gave up their child for altruistic reasons. Some of them have located their children and have a happily-ever-after reconnection story. Others have reconnected, but the results were not so glorious. Still others have not tried to find their biological parents (or children) and live with that sense of unknowing, not sure that filling in the blanks would be helpful for anyone.
Whatever the situation, it is always heartwarming to me when I read about these cases of rejoining. It is sweet to know there are cases where the child can find his/her roots – and the parent can fill that empty spot with fresh discovery. I know when it happens and it is positive, God’s hand is involved… and it makes my heart sing.
I am grateful for the mom who gave her child up for adoption because she knew she could not provide a suitable home. I am equally grateful for the family who took the child in – and loved him or her completely – fully embracing him or her as their own.
On this Mother’s Day, may all those adopted children feel a sense of gratitude for the mom who gave them birth – and for the mom who raised them. May they know, whatever the circumstance, they are loved. They are wanted. They are not an accident. God don’t make mistakes!!
Embrace Anticipation! You never know what God has in store for you around the next bend.
What is your purpose? Has anyone asked you that question recently? Have you asked it of yourself?
Another way to ask the question is: What is my life’s goal?
When I asked my husband Bob, yesterday He responded, “To give God credit for everything.”
We talked about the difference between Internal and external purposes.
Internally we live a life filed with gratitude to God.
Externally, how do we show or express it?
Bob responded, “Accept your lot without complaints” and “Be His hands and feet – Extending His Kingdom on Earth.”
Like these mountains, Life and purpose have so many layers.
What is God’s purpose for me?
This is the prayer I pray each morning before I leave my sanctuary to begin my day in the world:
Guide my feet in Your Way today. Help me meet who You want me to meet. Tell me what You want me to say, And keep me out of Your way!
Help me be who You made me to be. And teach me to be still So I can know what You want me to do. Help me walk in You Will.”
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
In today’s These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith, the message resonated with me as I contemplate my purpose:
“I pray and ask God to give me the words I need. The time to share is now so that everyone will know the Love of God.
By speaking and writing about God’s love and glory, we are passing this knowledge on to future generations.
Whether singing worship music, reading devotionals aloud, or writing about God, I am given opportunities to help the whole world know and develop a closer relationship with God.”
That’s my purpose! Share the love, joy and peace that are mine through Christ.
I want everyone to feel it!!
Father, please give me the words to share so everyone will know you.
In my Mornings with Jesus devotional today, the message fit this topic perfectly. Cynthia Ruchti, wrote
“A recent project at our house has tested our mettle as a couple…”
She went on to explain how their old 1913 house is crooked. Trying to “install straight, factory-squared windows into an opening that is anything but perfectly square has been cause for… discussion.”
“What a telling picture of the reasons Jesus was so adamant that … the foundational layer of our souls has to be built plumb and true, more meticulously than anything that will come after.”
“Jesus said that JOY is foundational to our lives as Christ followers. If joy is solid, anchored well, and secure because of our trust in His promises, anything else we build on top of that will have much greater chance of aligning with His purpose for us.
We won’t be ‘half a bubble off’ if His joy bubbles inside us.”
I aim to be inspired by His Word, His Life, His Love, His Gift of Grace, and His Purpose for my life.
(That’s the internal purpose)
Externally, my purpose is to share that love, joy, peace, faith and unity that are mine… with the hope that you are inspired to share it, too!
Is anything in your house noticeably crooked? When you pass that spot, don’t straighten it! Look up!
Use it as a reminder of the importance of building your life of faith on Jesus and the meaning of the cross. Jesus is plumb and true, and by His death on the cross, you are, too!!
What is your purpose? What inspires you to live according to your purpose?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Is your memory slipping? Mine is. The bad news is, my sweetheart’s memory is slipping down the same slope as mine. That’s not good news. For 59 years, we’ve covered for one another. Now we need someone else with a blanket and a diary… the blanket to cover our faux pas – and a diary to go back and retrieve the lost information!
Do you recall … neither of us remembering the actual color, size, and details of our luggage? Did you laugh with us? Well now, it is a situation where BOTH of us forgot about receiving something a year ago… denying it, causing someone else a lot of frustration, and needing a huge dose of forgiveness for the trouble we caused.
Ah, the mind is a sad thing to lose!!
Now is what we have Tomorrow isn’t here yet Sift through sands of time
Yesterday is past Remembering helps us learn Embrace the Present
In the Haibun above, I addressed the short story and the diary idea in my prose – and then added a two-part Haiku to the story. Thanks for the inspiration from Dwight Roth who often contributes Haibun to d’versepoetry.com … and does it so well. Check out today’s post from Roth Poetry:
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!
Looking for beauty Can sometimes be elusive When your eyes are closed
So open your eyes To find the beauty around. It is everywhere!
Do you look at it? The “it” that’s blocking your view? Where do your eyes go?
Look up to enjoy The beauty, not the blockade! Listen for the sounds.
The amorous dove Is cooing to his partner: “Come with me and rest.”
“It is the Sabbath – A day to stop and relax. Let’s go to our nest.”
“Are you listening? Don’t look down – the nest’s not there. Let’s fly to our roost.”
“You go if you want. I’m perfectly happy here. Cozy. Protected.”
“OK. I give up. Every bird is not the same. Be happy sitting…
But I want to go Exploring other vistas.”
Like that female dove, Sometimes we seem to be stuck In our own small rut.
Afraid to venture Out into this great big world To meet challenges.
There are lovely views On horizon’s other side – Beyond folds of light.
This view is Lisa’s – It’s in North Carolina. Sent to me with prayer.
I may not go there – Not today or tomorrow. But maybe someday.
I want to explore The beauty of Lisa’s world. Its vistas call me…
Just as our preacher, Dawn, who was in the pulpit, Felt Africa’s call.
She shared her stories With us in church this morning. They were amazing!
She spoke of children Where poverty and illness Put them at great risk.
Experiences Shared with us in church today Brought love of strangers.
“When were You hungry and I fed You? When were You thirsty and I gave You drink? When were You a stranger and I welcomed You? When were You naked and I gave You clothes? When were You sick or in prison and I took care of You?”
“Whenever you did one of these to the least of these, my children, you did it unto Me.”
Paraphrased from Matthew 34-40
Love Stories from Africa
Our guest speaker told of her missionary trips to Uganda and Ghana, South African areas where she was called by God to go – not to speak of religion – but show the love of Christ through her actions. She helped children with cancer, families with loved ones dying of HIV-AIDS, orphaned children, farmers in need to seeds to plant their crops, or goats to provide milk, or workers who needed motor bikes to get to their places of employment. She danced to the music of the natives, and walked barefoot in the sands of these foreign lands.
Judgement turned to admiration. She gained appreciation for the resilience of these people. The poverty rate was 80% in many of the remote regions of the north. Improving their health care and job opportunities was the goal of the USA funding that she managed. The people had so little that every bit of help was doubly appreciated. They had so little, and yet they had so much. So much love. So much beauty.
Beauty comes smiling at us Everywhere we turn If we just open our eyes See the love – and learn!
Learn to treasure all the people God has made. Reach out to those you meet. Love them all – be not afraid!
Love is all we need. Gotta keep it real simple: Love God – Love People!!
Embrace Sunday. Embrace God and Love One Another. See ya tomorrow (God willing).
“To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.”
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!
I am praying that you have a Marvelous Monday!
Hugs to you. See you tomorrow (God willing)… JanBeek