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Posts tagged ‘pastor’

Embrace Your Pastor


Embrace Your Pastor.
He or she needs your support –
And needs your feedback!

Photo by Binyamin Mellish on Pexels.com

Your pastor plants seeds
With each sermon presented.
You fertilize them.

You add nutrients
To the soil where they’re resting
By watering them.

Water the ideas
By ruminating on them.
What was the message?

Each week I take notes.
I capture the main ideas
As they resonate.

Today’s seeds that Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds sowed were inspired by Ephesians 2:11-22 and enhanced by the experience she had Friday night and Saturday morning with a group of young bicyclists who were traveling 4000 miles for cancer research. Here are my notes that I took while listening this morning.

TENACITY

Serving 400 hours as a hospital chaplain
Was required in my seminary studies.
Why God – why? What’s the answer?
With integrity and stamina, just serve!

Ephesians 2 is not about empty connections.
It’s talking about the death of our worst instincts.
It’s talking about getting on board with Christ.
Paul believed Christ would come back yesterday!

We’re still here thousands of years later…
Wondering when that victory over death
And division will come to this earth.
The Kingdom of God didn’t come in Paul’s time.

It hasn’t come in our time, either.
Addictions, abuse, fires, death, wars continue.
Where is the world where all divisions are erased?
We’re here to put our feet on the ground and be hopeful.

Moments of hope will come to you.
The U of Austin bike riders were my moment.
Stories of lodging needs and cancer research,
Tenacity, friendship, and HOPE scenarios entered.

Hope is a screamer and fighter.
Sometimes it works out for the good.
HOPE is the reality that God is love.
Evil will not win. God’s hope will!

Say YES to what pulls on your heartstrings.
Say YES to the reality of God’s hope.
Say YES to Truth and love and reaching out.
Say YES to cancer research and to helping.

Every inch gained in the fight against cancer
Is an inch toward life and hope.
We are building the Kingdom of God here
Where violence and oppression will be foreign to us.

With tenacity, hang in there.
With tenacity listen to God’s response to
Your questioning… Why God? Why?
With tenacity and stamina and love, just serve!

Amen


Let’s just grow flowers of love.

Embrace Your Pastor.
He or she needs your support –
And needs your feedback!

Happy Sunday.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Embrace Being 26 Again!


Happy 26th birthday
to our new pastor
and dear friend,
Mary Grace Reynolds!

If you’ve followed my blog
for a week or more,
you have seen posts about
Mary Grace Reynolds.

For the past year and a half,
my life has been consumed
by the Pastor Nominating Committee.
The search was arduous, extensive,
long and detailed… and successful!

We reviewed over 100 Pastor Information Forms,
Followed up with phone calls, texts, ZOOMs
and reference checking on at least 40 of those.
The bottom line: We believe
Mary Grace was God’s choice for us!

Happy 26th birthday, Mary Grace!
God bless you!
Just two puffs – and all 26 candles were out!

Do you remember your 26th birthday?
Where were you?
What did you do?
What was your station in life?

1939 +26 = 1965; I was a new mom.
On this day, my baby, Ty, was 3 months old.
We were living in San Francisco –
Park Merced, near San Francisco State Univ.

I was teaching in Daly City, California.
Bob was working for Shell Oil in S.F.
Mama Fran was our babysitter –
But, I had the summer off.

Ah, to be 26 again!
What would I do differently?
I am not sure.
What would you do differently?

This was March of 1966. Ty is 11 months old!

Yes, I was 26 once upon a time.
Seems like an eternity ago.
Would I change anything if
I could go back and do it again?

Actually…
Nope!!

How about you??

Embrace the Light


Today was a very important, memorable day at our church.
It was Father’s Day, yes…
and we honored our fathers and our Father in Heaven.
But the real LIGHT of the day
was the opportunity to be in church
on this special Sunday when
Mary Grace Reynolds,
was presenting her first sermon as
our official new pastor.
MGR is fresh out of seminary,
but she conducted the service
as if she had ten years of experience!
We are so blessed to have her
at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
here in Ennis, MT.
If you ever are in our area on a Sunday,
you MUST come and experience
the Holy Spirit alive and well in this little community!!

Her sermon title was, “There’s a Light On.”

If you have followed my blog for a week or more, you know that most Sundays as I listen to the sermon, I take notes – and most of the time I take them in some form of poetry. Today was no exception. Here is what I heard through my JanBeek filter:

I feel the Holy Spirit
Perched on my shoulder.
How we understand where we’ve been
Matters a lot as we grow older.

Even though this is a new beginning,
We sit on the blessings and woes of the past.
We incorporate these into who we are
As we step into the future – at last.

Genesis One spoke to me this week.
Looking at effortless, timeless majesty,
We are reminded of God’s control
As the mountains loom with no hesitancy.

God holds all the cards; we don’t!
The utility of history – truth and facts –
Reminds us to adapt historical records
As we articulate how God in creation acts.

God’s power was articulated in Genesis
By stories and memories told with persistence.
The Israelites were reminded of their God
Who breathed the world into existence.

The creation story reminded them of hope –
The hope and identity they have in God.
Our stories tell who and where we’ve been.
They reveal our cracks, our cobwebs, our sin.

We can look back at the God
Who turned the light on within us,
And we notice God’s sovereignty –
Grateful for how His Son freed sin from us.

The Israelites remember the pain
They had in exile for so many years.
We too remember the pain and grief
Of life – and thank God for drying our tears.

As we move as a church body
Into newness, remember the past.
Recall how He kept the light on –
And move joyfully into the future – at last.

God is in this place with us
Sure as the sun continues to rise.
We’re challenged to move forward now
Knowing we’re guided by the Light of God’s eyes.

There’s a Light On!
Embrace the Light!
Amen.

Toward the end of the service,
Mary Grace presented a beautiful Pastoral Prayer.
I took notes as I prayed this prayer with her:

Holy God, be with us.
Most High God, comfort and heal the afflicted.
Lord, grant Your presence.
Bring them out of their suffering.
Lord, we know You can – and You do.
Almighty God, whom we sometimes call Father,
pour out Your spirit on all fathers
who are working today
to provide food for their families,
and to keep them sheltered.
Eternal God, whom we still call Father,
You are so much more than earthly fathers.
Make whole what has been broken.
Most Loving God,
we give thanks for all those we call
father.
Thanks for all those
who sacrifice for their children.
God, whom we call Father,
we stand in praise and awe of Your Power.
Remind us
You are in the boat
and
You have the Light on!
Amen

Photo by William Mattey on Pexels.com

Hear our prayer, O Lord.
Hear our prayer, O Lord.
Incline Thine ear to us,
And grant us Thy peace.

Amen

Have a beautiful, blessed Sunday, my friends,
And a very Happy Father’s Day.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Expectant Waiting


Are you waiting expectantly for something?
Somewhere in time what you long for
Is out there for you … you just need to
EMBRACE EXPECTANT WAITING.

(I recommend you listen to that gorgeous
piano and orchestra as you read this blog.
“Somewhere in Time” – so beautifully played
From Maksim Mrvisa/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)

I have been waiting – trying to be patient –
This past nine months has felt a little like
The nine months of pregnancy:
Expectantly waiting for a new beginning!

But unlike the birth of a baby,
This wait has birthed for us
A new pastor for our church…
And now we have to wait.

Wait for the Presbytery to approve –
Wait for Mary Grace to check out of her college dorm
And check back into her home in Tennessee
And check out of there to drive here.

Meantime, as we wait expectantly,
God says, “Live in the now!
Every day is a new beginning.
Don’t waste today waiting for tomorrow.”

What are you looking forward to?
Are you waiting expectantly for retirement?
Are you planning a cruise or a vacation of some sort?
Are you anticipating a visit from special family members?

DeAna’s new toy

Our daughter, DeAna, who lives in Switzerland,
Is anticipating a trip to Turkey this September.
She bought herself a motorcycle so she can
Ride her own bike – not sit behind on her hubby’s.

I would not be looking forward to such a trip.
I’d be shaking in my boots! But Bob & I are
Eagerly anticipating a trip to England and then
On to Switzerland to spend time with De & family.

We also are expectantly waiting
For our trip to California next month.
We’re going there for my sister’s memorial –
We’ve waited half a year for this closure.

What are you expectantly waiting for?
It seems to me that life is more exciting
If you have something to look forward to.
Never stop dreaming about tomorrow’s joys!

While Mary Grace, our new pastor, was here last week,
The weather decided to rain and snow and blow.
It was mid-May for crying out loud! S’posed to be spring!
So we eagerly anticipated springtime’s return.

Yesterday when Mary Grace flew back to Virginia,
Montana was gray and cold – not looking like spring at all.
But today we had the most beautiful blue sky with
Puffy clouds and warm temperatures. Go figure!!

Our Madison Range was hidden behind grayness,
But today the gray lifted and beautiful snow-capped
Mountains emerged. That’s Jack Creek Canyon
And Fan Mountain out there. Come back, springtime!

Knowing I was missing the colors of spring,
My friend, Lisa, in North Carolina, sent me
Photos of her gorgeous roses in her garden.
I am expectantly waiting for our flowers now, too.

Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with
all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Because the future SOMETIMES (often) depends
On what you do today, look for the joy and hope around you.
Do whatever you can to make today the best it can be.
Don’t worry about tomorrow. Just live today with joyful expectation.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Romans 8:24-25

“For in this hope we were saved.
Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it with patience.”

We waited for the pastor candidate we did not see.
We waited for the congregation to vote affirmatively.
And now we wait for our Mary Grace to return
And begin her spiritual leadership in our church.

It’s hard to wait with patience, but we are told
Like those beautiful roses that sprang from a plant
That was brown and leafless in the winter,
The blossom will bloom – and it’ll be worth the wait.

My mom often told me when I was
Eagerly, anxiously, anticipating something,
“Cross that bridge when you come to it!” Good advice!
Go back now to the top now… and watch that musical video.

The images are wonderful. This bridge is one of them.
“Edited video Leonidas” – magnificent!
Worth the wait!


Tell me, what are you
expectantly waiting for?


Thank you for taking time to visit JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Pentecost Sunday


Pentecost Sunday at MVPC

Today is the day we have been waiting for: Pentecost Sunday.
It is the day our pastor candidate, Mary Grace Reynolds,
presented the sermon for our congregation.
She not only preached, but she did the whole sheeebang!

Her prayers, her management of the announcements,
her Call to Confession and Assurance of Pardon,
her Children’s message, the way she interacted
with young and old … all were so lovely, so perfect!

After the service, the members stayed and cast their ballots.
100% of the members voted to affirm her candidacy.
100% of the members voted to affirm her “Call.”
That included her salary package, reimbursable items,
and general terms of employment – no dissentors! Hooray!

The Holy Spirit came in tongues of fire to the people
On that first Pentacostal Sunday. It enabled the people
to speak in the language of their hearer… a miraculous day.
Today felt miraculous to me. Thank you for your prayers!

We all prayed for this vibrant, young pastor
fresh out of seminary –
ready to serve the Lord!
Mary Grace Reynolds

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I post my sermon notes on Sunday afternoons. I take notes as I listen, and I try to capture the main points of the message in poetry. Here are my notes from today’s message:

A Greening

Inspired by the New Testament scripture:
Romans 8:18-30

Red is the color of love
. It’s cultural shorthand for things warm & vivid
It symbolizes the brightness of joy
Also paints emotions angry and livid

Red is the tongues of the Holy Spirit
Tongues of fire that came down from on high
Paul tells in the book of Romans
The meaning of the glory from the sky

The Holy Spirit brought hope to hearts
The Spirit intercedes for us
When we don’t put our scripture notes
In a binder & they shuffle, we fuss.

The Holy Spirit tells us to wait
Reorder the pages – and take a breath
Know that others are forgiving
They know a mistake is not sudden death

Going on – the meaning of colors –
The red enhanced by the color green
Is when the people tune back in
To hear the message – what does red mean?

The alms and cadavers and elements
Were explained as they impact the world
Hildegard’s approach to medicine explained
Kept us tuned in as new ideas unfurled

The power of nature to put forth healing
Was linked to the nature of creation
Nature is inclined to create new life
And it anticipates newness with elation

Humans, the Earth, and the Holy Spirit
Are trapped in a state of decay
The Holy Spirit gives us the tenacity
To hang in – to endure day by day.

The Holy Spirit helps us understand
The holiness of our yearning & pain
The pain is a signal that tells us
We need to endure, for God will remain

God gives us the Holy Spirit
To guide us into seeking solutions
Our hope is stored in what we don’t see
But leads us to resolution

It helps us resolve to be
The light that directs people to see
The Fruits of the Spirit in us
Lord, help the world see that love & peace in me.

Amen

My day started with a message from my friend, Lisa.
She sent me pictures of roses from her garden.
The red of these roses symbolizes love to me
And I share that love with you today, my friends.

Just as red comes in many shades,
So does the expression of how we care
Vary in a multitude of ways. Thank you
for reaching out and covering us in prayer.

God heard.
God answered.
God is good
All the time!

Welcome to Madison Valley Presbyterian Church, Mary Grace!

We are soooo delighted that the Holy Spirit led you here.

Lots of Love!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek on Pentecost Sunday.
Have a great rest of your day.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Enthusiasm


Enthusiasm:
Expressions of elation –
Show your excitement!!

Photo by Gilbert Anthony on Pexels.com

Like this flower child,
I’m over the top gleeful.
Timing perfection!

I’ve shared confusion
And dismay for the slowness
Of resolutions.

But if I let go –
And put it all in God’s hands,
His timing’s perfect!

I can’t tell you more
Than to say I see the light
At the tunnel’s end.

Yesterday I worked
All day to finalize the
Membership notice

Our Number One pick
Has accepted our first call –
Returning to preach.

The congregation
Will hear her message.
It’s all in God’s hands.

The Lord says, “Relax!
Know I have got you covered.
It’ll be alright.”


Embrace excitement!
Continue to be in prayer.
Let God surprise you.

You know I have been knee-deep
in the process of trying to find the pastor candidate
God has in mind for our Presbyterian Church
here in Ennis, MT.

It’s been nearly a year of searching.
By the end of this month,
I should be able to show you her face…
and tell you about her.
Meantime, she will return in a couple of weeks
and preach to our congregation
and they will be given the chance to vote.
If they approve,
then the Presbytery gets to vote.

The Lord says, “Paaay-shuns!!”

It will all happen in His perfect timing.
I believe that.
But, I can’t contain my excitement
at the prospects of what the future holds!

Pray with me that it all
happens as God intends-
In His perfect timing.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”


Esther 4:14

Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.



Wait expectantly!
Open your eyes to the
fulfillment of your deepest prayers!

Photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels.com

Embrace Enthusiasm!
Are you excited about something in your future?
What is it?

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