Back in April of 21012, when I first started blogging, I posted this…
Today I was looking at old posts, trying to find photos I can erase to make room for the new.
I noticed that back in those days, I had few (if any) followers.
This post had zero likes… probably zero views… but it is still there – and…
It is worthy of a second look. I know that beautiful (inside and out) friend…
I have met other friends like her since then.
Today I posted “Embrace Blogging Friends,” and you, my dear reader, are one.
You are the faithful reader who has encourages me, nearly ten years later, to keep on.
You make like special. You are special. Thank you for loving me here at WP.
Thank you for encouraging me,
Thank you for being you.
Click on that title now… it deserves a couple of reads, I think!
Posts tagged ‘love your neighbor’
Back in April of 21012, when I first started blogging, I posted this…
Recognize our Commonality
Celebrate our Differences
We are more alike
More binds us than separates us.
Work to make this world
A better place because
You are in it.
be a new day of new hope
and greater unity.
Let’s each do our part
to make it so.
Oh, and take care of our bees.
We need them!
See ya tomorrow.
No, I don’t want to go back!
I don’t want to revisit the old normal.
Surely as we move from 2020
to a new year, we’ll create a better normal.
This is my prayer this Christmas:
Lord, help us learn what You
have in mind for us to learn
from this rare year we’ve just survived.
Letter from a Wordsmith
With his permission, I am sharing with you the first part of a Christmas letter I received this week from my former pastor, Rev. Brent Mitchell. He is a master wordsmith! He said what’s in my heart so much better than I could have said it.
“Mark it how you will,
2020 was a year not lost,
but forever to be remembered
for both its absences
and its unexpected gifts.
By the middle of March,
it became apparent that
what we thought as normalcy
had left its predictable confines
for parts unknown,
leaving no forwarding address.
Masked and gloved,
we were left to fend for ourselves
absent even the comfort
of shaking hands
or intimate conversations,
the communion around tables,
camaraderie of birthdays celebrated,
the sacred closeness of hospital visits.
Absent of the humanizing connectivity,
of those familiar and holy intersections,
we were left to laugh alone,
to cry alone,
and hope in seclusion.
It cost us treasures we never knew
were so valuable
and time that cannot be recalled.
“But admit it:
There were unexpected gifts.
There were letters we finally wrote,
the books we never touched until now,
the prolonged stillness that allowed us to think again,
and listen to what our hearts were saying.
We talked to God
because the hours got quiet enough
to hear His still small voice.
It happened because we watched enough TV
to realize we had watched TV enough,
and golden silence gave us gifts
that weren’t insipid.
“I think, in short, that if we were paying attention,
not only did we get older,
but almost certainly wiser
because even a painful awareness
of what lurks in our hearts and minds
is worth more than gold.
The gift was rediscovering
at a visceral level
that we really are never alone;
nor in the absence of everyone,
are we left unloved.
“My prayer is that when this is over,The Mitchell Musings
and it will one day be over,
we won’t forget the things we learned
the hard way this year:
that God willing,
we’ll never go back
to the tired normalcy of endless distractions,
of busyness as usual,
and the noise that never ends.”
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I leave with you my hopes and wishes
for a most Blessed Christmas.
I sat down to eat
Breakfast on this cold morning
The grasses sparkled
Like diamonds placed there by God –
My jeweled morning gift!
I want to share it
With you and my neighbors, too
(The ones who are gone)
What’s your November 1st look like?
Yesterday it was cold, but no frost.
Today it sparkles!
What a gift!!
A friend sent this card
with “Your friendship means the world to me”
written on the inside.
“I can feel your footprints
in my heart everyday.
Do you mind is I
walk all over your heart, too?”
Those footprints are not just ON my heart,
they are IN my heart.
I feel her love deeply.
It keeps me buoyed on days
when I might otherwise be feeling down.
I subscribe to “Someone Cares” cards from Guideposts. I love these cards because they always include a pertinent scripture reference, an uplifting message, and a pertinent story on the back of each.
This last mailing of Guideposts’ cards had the message
I used in my last post,
“Whenever we’re together,
and even when we’re not,
warm and caring thoughts of you
make me smile a lot.”
Guideposts “Someone Cares” cards are available
I highly recommend them.
They are unique and special.
When I open the package of 12 every 6 weeks or so,
the cards call out the names of friends
for whom I feel that card would be most appropriate.
The back of this particular card
had a wonderful story on it
– written by Lisa Bogart:
“When my best friend came to New York to visit me, I wanted to pack all the sights, food, and fun I could into our four days together.
On the first morning, we took a 10:00 train into Manhattan. We walked crosstown, hopped on the subway, and headed uptown to the Cloisters… then to the Metropolitan Museum of Art… farther downtown to my favorite barbecue place… window-shopped and gawked at the towering buildings. Finally, we took a train home at 10:30 that night.
My friend was pooped and asked if we could stay closer to home the next day. When she came down for breakfast, she had her knitting with her. She suggested we sit on the patio and knit for awhile. I put on a pot of tea, and we spent the morning catching up and renewing our friendship.
We went on a few more adventures before she left, but it was that quiet time together that I remember best. It makes me smile and feel close to her even when we’re miles apart.”
Do you have a special friend who has left footprints in your heart? Why not send a card to them today letting them know you are thinking of them in a special way? Sending snail-mail cards does not have to be a “lost art.” Keep it alive with your footprints today!
I love you, dear WordPress friends.
You leave your footprints in my heart
each time you visit and leave a note.
God bless you!
See ya tomorrow.
Recently I posted an A-Z list of what makes me happy. One of my blogging friends responded and suggested I use those items as titles for future blogs. I like that idea, and decided I’d take her suggestion. But I had two items for each letter of the alphabet. I’ll choose just one of the two each day and see if I can keep at it for 26 consecutive days. I’ve never made it to more than 9 in a row in the past. So here we go!
Day #1 = Antelope
Meet Little Annie
She was the neighborhood pet
Fish and Wildlife killed her
Well, that little Haiku didn’t end the way you expected, did it? Why would the Fish and Wildlife authorities euthanize such a precious creature?
Annie was abandoned by her mother. Neighborhood kids found her in the bushes on their property. Not wanting her to starve, they began feeding her milk from a baby bottle. The mama antelope never returned. Eventually, Annie followed the children to their home.
As the weather turned colder, Annie began sleeping in their garage. During the day she roamed free. She made friends in the “hood.” Folks loved her. Naturally. She became bolder, and would enter people’s garages if their door was left open. One person decided she was a nuisance. She called the Fish & Wildlife (F&W) folks and told the children that she had done so.
Alarmed that they may have done something wrong, they told their folks about the disgruntled neighbor lady. Afraid of what the authorities might do, they called a friend whose house borders a nature preserve. The friends relocated Annie to their beautiful property that has a creek running through it.
Before Annie’s location was discovered by the F&W, and before she was able to be adopted by an antelope herd in the preserve, we visited her one last time.
Annie kissed us, ate out of my husband’s hand, and bid us good-bye, blinking her beautiful, long eyelashes. We all prayed that she’d link up with a herd.
No such luck! F&W found her, put her in their truck, brought her to their local headquarters and euthanized her! 😪
I know there are laws. I know people aren’t supposed to feed or tame wild animals. But, come on!! Wasn’t there a place she could have lived happily? A petting zoo somewhere or an animal preserve where she could have been placed far from people?
We live on a piece of property in Montana where the antelope come through daily. It’s the antelope freeway in our back yard. I often film them in that space between us and the neighbors. I love them! I’ve learned so much about them as I watch their migration from the mountains behind us to the Madison River east of us. But, I let them keep their distance. And I pray those Mamas keep good track of their babies!
Enjoy one of my videos! That’s Bob and me talking to them.
❤️ Rest In Peace, Annie ❤️
My country has been taken
Prisoner as it makes
Prisoners of children.
Who absconded with
My country and turned
Its southern border into
What can we do,
What must we do
To take it back?
(Notes from a sermon based on Romans 8:12-17 delivered by Rev. Jean Johnson. Many of you know, to listen more intently, I take notes on Sunday mornings while listening to the message from the pulpit. Sometimes they are recorded in poetry. Last Sunday was one of those times.)
We all are God’s children.
Some call God, “Our Father.”
But, some folks choose to ignore Him.
They balk and say, “Why bother?”
God speaks to us in Romans,
To us who’ve already heard.
It’s not for the unknowing
Who think the Gospel’s absurd.
Those led by God’s Spirit
Are children of our Lord.
We show our Love and faith
By living in One Accord.
To live in One Accord with God,
We worship, study, love, and pray.
Our witness shows The Spirit
At work in us each day.
We’re living out the reality
Of what already is in us.
Be who you already are
Without works or trouble or fuss.
We used to belong to sin,
But Jesus came to the rescue.
We have reason for joy and acceptance.
Isn’t this Good News to you?
We have assurance of this reality –
This adoption is done, signed and sealed.
We sing praises to God, our Father.
Our case clearly has been appealed.
Knowing God as Father is possible
By Christ’s life, His Word, His death.
That evidence is proof enough;
We affirm it with every breath.
I believe in God, The Father,
In Jesus Christ, my loving Lord.
Thank You for Your Saving Grace.
Now, let us live in One Accord.
We have a family of jack rabbits who live under our porch. It is such fun to watch the bunnies emerge, tiny and vulnerable, with the most amazing ability to jump great heights and long distances. Our neighbors have jack rabbits who live in their field. Curious about humans and their habitations, the bunnies often hop over to inspect the house. Doggie doors are not a good idea. Not only might jack rabbits find their way in (as did this bunny when we left our double doors open one afternoon in our downstairs bedroom), but skunks, badgers, and coyotes might become unwelcomed house guests as well!
This week my husband received a phone call from Texas. It was our neighbor’s husband. His wife had called him in a panic because a little jack rabbit had jumped into the hole of their downstairs window grate. Try as it may, bouncing like a… well, like a jack rabbit… it could not leap high enough to escape. She watched the frantic creature and recalled an incident a year ago when something similar happened. They were not home to see and help it, so the bunny died. They found it weeks later when they returned. The only reason they discovered the carcass was that the smell drew them to the area!
Determined not to let this bunny meet the same demise, she called her husband. Now, what was he to do from Texas to Montana? Why she didn’t call us – or one of the other neighbors – I have no idea! But, that’s what her husband did. We weren’t home at the time, so he called the next neighbor. At a neighborhood dinner last night, we learned the outcome. Oh, how I wished I had been there to capture the incident on video!
Dashing over to help the damsel in distress with her trapped rabbit, Bob discovered the frantic creature still bouncing as high as it could inside the window box grate. He lifted the grate out of the window well, set it down on the ground in front of him, and as the jumpin’ jack rabbit leaped, he placed his hand under the bunny’s tummy and gave him a boost. Up and over his head she went (with his help, of course) and off she bounded! The neighborhood gathering got s good chuckle out of it as we imagined the story Little Jack must have told his bunny mates when he returned to the hole in the field.
Do you suppose a screen over that window well might be a good idea?
Believe me, we learned to be sure our downstairs door is closed!
Who is the neighbor you find the most challenging? It’s not the one who loves you back. It’s not the one who reciprocates with a meal invitation or the one who waters your plants for you when you’re off on a trip. It’s not the neighbor across the state or the country or the world who sends you a Christmas card or calls you once a year. It’s the one who doesn’t love you back. The one who doesn’t reciprocate. The one who doesn’t seem to know how to reach out to others. The one who needs us to love them the most – expecting (and receiving) nothing in return. Do you have such a neighbor? How do we love THAT neighbor?? I Cor.13:4-7 tells me how (In Eugene Peterson’s “The Message”).
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
When I love my neighbors with THAT kind of love, keeping my ears tuned to God, asking for God’s help discerning the best way to help THAT neighbor, then I can be sensitive and listen with my heart. I can give while preserving the dignity of the recipient. I can try to deliver to THAT neighbor a much-needed touch of God’s grace.
Most gracious God, who gives me enough grace to feel it overflowing, teach me to share. Help me love THAT neighbor Your Way.