Mi Familia is such a blessing We’re so glad we are here The trip was long and arduous But we traveled without fear
We knew God was with us Your prayers were felt for sure Thank you, God, for safety With You our trip was secure
God bless “Mi Familia!” It is so good to be with them! Monika, our daughter-in-law, is taking the picture. That’s Ruthie & Darrell, her parents, on the left. Our son, Ty, is at the head of the table there… and of course, Bob & me. We’ll be joined on Christmas day by our grandson, Jordan, and his family – – – and our granddaughter, Faith, and her husband. They are expecting their first child (a baby girl) in April. We are so excited for them!
Monika and Ruthie fixed a wonderful dinner last night: salmon and veggies and potatoes. Yum!
We spent time talking about our heritage and remarking about how much Ty looks like my dad, his Grandpa Sal. Can you see the resemblance?
Then we had fun giving Bob a bad time about his “honker!” See how he inherited his nose from his paternal great-grandfather Davis? That’s his dad’s mother’s father.
Prior to dinner we took time to toast “Cheers!” to all the family and friends who prayed us safely here – and gave thanks to God for answered prayers.
Outside the weather was chilly, rainy, and then foggy … but the spirit of Christmas was alive and well, warm and inviting.
Across the continent – and over the Atlantic to Switzerland, our crazy, fun-loving grandson, Nick (and his sweetheart Celine) celebrated the birthday of the King in their own way with a milkshake from the Burger King!
Don’t you love the way the internet shrinks the world and brings “Familia” into our lives from around the world?
Merry Christmas to you, my dear blogging friends. I pray that you have a meaningful, love-filled holiday with your family gathered round.
Remember the Reason for the Season… and bring that Christ Child into your family circle.
God bless you. Let me know what your Christmas plans are, okay? I look forward to hearing from you… and I thank you so much for following my blog. I post with you in my heart and prayers.
I send my love and hugs. Have a wonderful time with your family! See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love, JanBeek
Every morning I begin my day with a cup of coffee and a climb up the stairs to my sanctuary where I spend time with my Bible, devotionals, prayers, and Jesus.
One of my devotionals is “These Days,” a daily devotion for living by faith, published by the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Its format is scripture, devotional, prayer.
Today’s scripture was:
He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.”
In the devotional, the author, Hope Douglas Harle-Mould, wrote about the comfort Jesus provides. She included a poem she wrote to Our God of all Faithfulness:
“We pray for a cure; God sends us healing. We pray for continued life; God gives us new life. We pray death will not come; God overcomes death. We pray in anguish; God weeps with us. We pray in fear; God teaches us to laugh. We pray for ourselves; God gives us each other. We pray for miracles; God fills us with love. We pray for the future; God showers us with blessedness. God, help me trust the voices heralding your hope.”
I am assured as I read and pray and study God’s word, that just as he carries the lamb in his arms, he will be faithful to carry me.
As I descend the twelve stairs at the end of my devotional time, I recite my personal TWELVE STEP PROGRAM Thank You, Jesus, for the:
Peace (that are mine). Help me with
Faithfulness (which brings blessings),
Help me live humbly with an attitude of gratitude, and
A response of generosity, forgiveness,
Obedience, and integrity. In Jesus name, Amen!
When I get to the 7th step, I see the metal sculpture that says, “Blessings” above my door. It was a gift from our dear friends, Jim & Terry, so I pause to thank God for their faithful friendship. When I get to the bottom of the stairs, I see this cross on the wall:
It was made by Native Americans. I pause to pray for them and their peace and prosperity. I send occasional gifts to schools for Native American children – – places like St. Labre’ and St. Joseph’s – and they faithfully write back acknowledging my small donation.
Faithfulness is a two-way street. We pray to God faithfully; God answers. We give to people who touch our hearts; they give back with gratitude & smiles. We read God’s Word faithfully each day; He gives us wisdom and discernment, understanding and blessings.
Check out this different version of that old song, The B-I-B-L-E… I love it! What a way to learn to names of the books of the Bible, huh?
How do you begin your day, my friends? What does FAITHFULNESS mean to you?
Thanks for visiting today. I hope your Friday is blessed, indeed!
Although the flow May feel like a free fall, Embrace the flow. There’s Someone at your call.
He’s right there to catch you When you’re about to land. He won’t let you crash – He’ll hold out His hand!
Yesterday Bob & I dashed off to Bozeman for three reasons – and there ended up being four… oh actually five:
Drop off his pickup at “Dark Horse Snug Tops” to replace the hinge on his hatch cover
Go to an appointment with the nephrologist (what’s that? -the doctor who deals with the branch of medicine related to physiology and diseases of the kidneys-)
Keep an appointment with the cardiologist (you all know that’s a heart doctor), and an unexpected
X-ray of his abdomen… oh, and I was there for a 5th reason:
To shop for the veggies to make vegetable soup for tomorrow’s fellowship at church
We were hoping that the nephrologist would say his kidneys show no signs of protein or amyloid deposits – and so a biopsy would not be necessary. God answered that prayer!
We were hoping the cardiologist would say all the preliminary tests are done and show no signs of AL Amyloidosis (the cancerous kind) – and so no more labs and scans before our trip to Mayo Clinic in January. God answered that prayer.
The unexpected x-ray showed yes, the abdomen area is full of air (that’s why it sounds like a kettle drum when you tap on it) – but it’s not fluid – and he’s not showing signs like pain or vomiting – so we won’t deal with that issue right now. God is good! We trust His timing on this – (and all our other decisions).
I got my veggie shopping done (Thanks, CostCo, for your lovely fruits and veggies) – and …
The pickup latch cover hinge was fixed and BONUS: they replaced the key mechanism that was troubling (God answers prayers you didn’t know to mention … He’s way ahead of you!)
So, go with the flow…
“Out of the believer’s heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Today’s word in Unity‘s Daily Word is FLOW. The introductory thought is, “I flow with the nourishing life of God.” John 7:38 is the featured scripture. The devotional (quoting Lao Tzu) says, “The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things, without trying to.”
As believers, we know that “supreme good” is God. We know God is “The Flow.”
Unity‘s Daily Word goes on to say, “Whether I experience this flow as a current of a river, the swelling of ocean waves, or my body’s life-sustaining circulation, I am in sync with this flow, which by its nature knows which way to go and what to do.”
How refreshing is that thought to you? It nourishes my soul. By the Holy Spirit, I know God’s life is in me – moving, changing, dancing and singing. I am one with the flow. I need not dash and rush and worry about things happening on time! I need not worry about Bob’s heart and kidneys, his abdomen or his pickup. I need not worry about his lack of stamina on the drive home. Just go with the flow – and trust. Follow along in the car – and honk if his pickup drifts and he seems to be falling asleep!!
Sometimes the flow is slow and steady … and I am out there in a fiery mood, trying to rush it along.
Don’t be in a rush To try to get too much done. Let the smooth flow of God Stop you mid-run!
Delight in the sneakiness Of a red sunset’s glow, And take time to relish The soft taste of snow.
Embrace the joy Of vegetables’ texture and smell, The magic of herbs as they cook, And bid stressing farewell!
Embrace the flow Of God in your life. Let Him slow you down As you eliminate strife.
Don’t worry about health. Don’t stress over unfinished tasks. Just go with the flow – And take time for some laughs!
Overflow this Advent season with the love of Christ Jesus, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the easy flow of God answering prayers in your life.
The wind is like a lion The wind is a howling hyena The wind is like a frisky lamb The wind is a cotton ball
The part of Montana where we live (Madison Valley in Madison County) is a wind tunnel. Right now as I sit here at my computer, I can see it. I can hear it. I can read my barometer telling me that it ranges between 15 and 25 mph this morning. Occasionally gusts of 35 mph rock the flaps on the exhaust pipe above the stove in the kitchen. People who visit us here in Ennis often comment, “How can you stand it?”
We really don’t mind it when we stop and think about what it does. The wind blows the rain clouds in. It blows the storm off to the east and over the mountain range. We can see the clouds moving and we marvel at the way those wind gusts keep us from becoming an overgrown city! Our response to those visitors’ comments is, “Oh it’s terrible! You wouldn’t want to live here!”
The wind is like a scooper The wind is a funnel The wind is like a filter The wind is a sieve
No, we don’t get tornadoes here! Our winds are not that bad! But they can be inhospitable. We’d move if that’s all we had!
The wind is like a welcomed monitor The wind is a necessary friend The wind is like a vacuum cleaner The wind is a friendly lion
Simile/ˈsiməlē : a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid (e.g., as brave as a lion, crazy like a fox ). Metaphor: compares two things directly without using “like” or “as”; the subject IS the object. Metaphors are more direct than similes, which can make them seem stronger or more surprising. Example: The sunrise this morning was an ocean of honey dusted with powdered sugar.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. I am sending love, joy, peace, faith and a sense of unity your way this day. Don’t let them get blown away!
Blogging is like a private jet. It can take you anywhere!
My high school buddy from the Stone Age, Doris, sent me a story today. It was written by a guy (no name available) who recalled an experience that stuck with him and changed him forever.
Did the title of this blog draw you in? Stay with me.
The story writer told about the way a young Downs Syndrome man impacted the hearts of all he touched. I was moved by the story – and decided it was too good to keep to myself. I hope it touches your heart, too.
Nicky’s Lesson for Us All
In 1979, I was managing a Wendy’s in Port Richey, Florida. Unlike today, staffing was never a real problem, but I was searching for a someone to work 3 hours a day only at lunch. I went thru all my applications and most were all looking for full time or at least 20 hours per week. I found one however, buried at the bottom of a four inch stack, that was only looking for lunch part time.
His name was Nicky. Hadn’t met him but thought I would give him a call and see if he could stop by for an interview. When I called, he wasn’t in but his mom said she would make sure he would be there. At the appointed time, Nicky walked in. One of those moments when my heart went in my throat. Nicky suffered from Downs Syndrome. His physical appearance was a giveaway and his speech only reinforced the obvious. I was young and very sheltered. Had never interacted on a professional level with a developmentally disabled person. I had no clue what to do, so I went ahead and interviewed him. He was a wonderful young man. Great outlook. Task focused. Excited to be alive. For only reasons God knew at that time, I hired him for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week to run a grill.
I let the staff know what to expect. Predictably the crew made sure I got the message, “No one wants to work with a retard.” To this day I find that word offensive. We had a crew meeting, cleared the air, and prepared for his arrival.
Nicky showed up for work right on time. He was so excited to be working. He stood at the time clock literally shaking with anticipation. He clocked in and started his training. Couldn’t multi-task, but was a machine on the grill.
Now for the fascinating part… Back in that day, there were no computer screens to work from. Every order was called out by the cashier. It required a great deal of concentration on the part of all production staff to get the order right. While Nicky was training during his first shift, the sandwich maker next to him asked the grillman/trainer what was on the next sandwich. Nicky replied, “single, no pickle no onion.” A few minutes later it happened again. It was then that we discovered Nicky had a hidden and valuable skill. He memorized everything he heard! Photographic hearing! WHAT A SKILL SET.
It took 3 days and every sandwich maker requested to work with Nicky. He immediately was accepted by the entire crew. After his shift he would join the rest of his crew family, drinking Coke like it was water! It was then that they discovered another Rainman-esque trait. Nicky was a walking/talking perpetual calendar! With a perpetual calendar as a reference, they would sit for hours asking him what day of the week was December 22, 1847. He never missed. This uncanny trait mesmerized the crew.
His mom would come in at 2 to pick him up. More times than not, the crew would be back there with him hamming it up. As I went to get him from the back, his mom said something I will never forget. “Let him stay there as long as he wants. He has never been accepted anywhere like he has been here.”
I excused myself and dried my eyes, humbled and broken-hearted at the lesson I just learned. Nicky had a profound impact on that store. His presence changed a lot of people. Today I believe with every fiber of my body that Nicky’s hiring was no accident. God’s timing and will are perfect.
This Christmas, I hope we all understand what we are celebrating. We are all like Nicky. We each have our shortcomings. We each have our strong points. But we are all of value. God made us that way and God doesn’t make mistakes. Nicky certainly wasn’t a mistake. He was a valuable gift that I am forever grateful for.
We are celebrating the birth of the ONE that leveled the playing field for all of us. God doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, republican or democrat, or black or white. He doesn’t care if your chromosome structure is perfect. He doesn’t care what level of education you have attained. He cares about your heart. He wants us all to love and appreciate the gift HE gave us on Christmas, His son, the Savior, our salvation. His Son that was born to die for our sins. To pay our debt. To provide us a path for eternity.
So this Christmas, let’s check our hearts. There is a little bit of Nicky in all of us and I suspect there is a Nicky somewhere in your life who is looking for the chance to be embraced. Thank God for that. Thank God for His perfect gift, Christ Jesus.
Another of my high school friends, Kristy, sent me that sketch up there done by a 93-year-old friend of hers, Alice Paschal. What a wonderful rendition of that glorious Christmas Day! Like those two doves, my husband, Bob, and I are sitting in the rafters, peering down on that magical scene – marveling at the love Christ brought down to earth. Grateful for those who share His love in stories, words and actions.
Ready to Learn
May we all be like the workers in that restaurant long ago – ready to learn to love, learn to accept, learn to wrap our arms around the most vulnerable. May we learn to see one another through Jesus glasses, from the inside out.
I first posted this in December of 2020 … and here it is a year later … December of 2021 … and in many ways, we are more engulfed in the effects of COVID-19 now than we were then!
My resolution for 2020 was to “Walk the Talk.” Little did I know when I created those 20/20 Perfect Vision glasses January 1, 2020 what a challenge that would be!
I posted the picture of that little girl in early January, determined to talk less and to do more.
No Way of Knowing
I had no way of knowing when we celebrated the first of five planned Lenten breakfasts leading up to Easter that it would be our last. COVID-19 hit, our gatherings were shut down, and social distancing eliminated these opportunities.
Time to read more, time to think more, time to reflect on stories like the one at the top of this blog.
I asked you, my WP readers, “How will you spend the rest of this 2020 year? What will you do to Walk the Talk and Show the Love of Christ with those you meet?”
I asked you, “Think about it.”
And here it is another year gone by, still dealing with the effects of COVID-19, and still asking the same questions. still making the same requests:
And I still want you to know, “I love you.“ I hope you have avoided the ravages of the virus. I hope you are well, and looking forward to a wonderful Christmas with loved ones.
Thanks for taking time to read JanBeek. I hope it inspires you. Bee well! Bee LOVE.
Christmas is coming You see it everywhere you look these days. But… It’s not a “Merry Christmas” I am wishing for you! It’s a “Mary Christmas!” That’s in contrast to a “Martha Christmas!”
New International Version
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Are You Mary or Martha?
If I am not totally aware, it is easy for me to fall into the Martha role. Company is coming! I love entertaining.
But, if I am busy being Martha, I find at the end of the evening I didn’t engage in a meaningful conversation with anyone!
“Oh, Jan, Jan!” Jesus would say to me, “prepare for your guests in advance, so when they come, you can sit down and enjoy their company!”
But what if guests pop in unexpected? Should I be the Mary who lets Martha do all the work? Surely there is a happy medium here somewhere!
Work or Shirk?
If company pops in unexpected, drop everything and enjoy the surprise! They didn’t come to see your house. They probably didn’t come to eat your food. They are there to see you! So it’s not a question of work or shirk!
Put on a smirk – take off the apron – set aside the work!
If you convince them to stay and enjoy a snack or a meal with you, invite them in to your kitchen and continue to enjoy one another as you fix up some goodies together!
‘Tis the season to enjoy the love of company – ‘Tis the season to spread the joy and remember the reason for the season. It ain’t stressin’ yourself out with decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, and entertaining like Martha!
It’s Mary – the Christ Child – the simplicity of the stable – the spontaneity of good friends – and the Good News!
Have yourself a Mary Christmas!
Love to you… Pop in – and sit awhile! Let’s listen to some relaxing Christmas music and have a cup o’ tea or hot cocoa! Hugs, JanBeek
The Light of Love surrounds me The Light of Love enfolds me The Light of Love strengthens me Wherever I am, the Light of Love is.
LoveLight is powered by the Source. The Source is God, my Creator. The love of God enfolds me. The power of God protects me. The presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is!
If I walk in awareness of LoveLight, It is easier to shine in the darkness. It is easier to let God’s Light shine through me. It is easier to find the path He intends for me. It is easier to respond to others with compassion. It is easier to find JOY at every turn.
Embrace the LoveLight in you! Recognize its Source. Praise God for each blessing. Recognize their Source. Pray for God’s patience and kindness to be manifested in you this day. Shine!
Each morning as I sit in my 100+ year old rocker that was made by Bob’s great grandfather, and I count my blessings, thank God for them, and plan my day ahead, I thank God for you! You, my WP readers, are a source of Light for my writing. You light up my life! Your responses are a source of encouragement. My goal is to spread the LOVE, JOY, PEACE, FAITH and sense of UNITY that are mine. I hope you feel those blessings in your life, too. Let that LOVELIGHT shine through you today.
1 John 2:9-10 “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.”
“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love [God], for I have put my trust in You.”