The older we get, The more ready we must be For our angel friends To leave you and me.
They ascend to heaven Where loved ones wait To greet them in song At the pearly gate.
When our hair turns silver And wrinkles show our age, We have to be ready To turn the eternal page.
The eighties are great; It’s a decade of reflection And a time to appreciate Every earthly connection.
But it also is a time When we look at this season As the winter of our years, And we search for life’s reason.
We look at life differently Than we did in our teens. We see through our experience What life is – what purpose means.
It’s not about what we can get, Or what riches we acquire. It’s about the love we give To the people we admire.
It’s about reaching out to strangers Who are falling between the crack. It’s about filling their needs – Helping give the things they lack.
Reaching up in prayer and praise I thank the Lord for all His gifts. As long as I have life and breath, I’ll reach out to give others lifts.
I hope you’ll use your senior years To do the same – to spread your love – Because we are blessed to be a blessing. For every day, I thank. God above.
My Prayer for You
When your time comes To say good-bye to earth, May the angels welcome you And your friends rejoice at your New Birth! Amen
Welcome to Heaven, Phyllis. I miss you here… But I rejoice at your Eternal Reunion. May all who were blessed by your presence And who entered the pearly gates before you did Be there to welcome you HOME. God bless you! Keep the light on!
Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. … Each day has enough trouble of its own… Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live … So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. … “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”
I asked Donna, “Do you know that song?” She replied, “I do!” and then she sent me the song she was singing.
Here’s the one I was singing:
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God…”
What is it you seek? Is it the Kingdom of God? Let’s pursue God first.
What are “all these things”? The scripture was referring to food and clothing… the basics… and reminding us how God takes care of the birds and the lilies of the field.
When I pursue the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, I am seeking His wisdom. I am seeking the peace that only He can give. I am seeking understanding and the deep compassion that God’s Son taught us. I am seeking to exemplify His love ❤️ and the joy that comes with Trust in His Promises. 🙏🏽 I seek His righteousness so that I may exhibit greater patience, kindness, gentleness, and goodness.
Seek Ye first the kingdom of God … and all these things will be given unto you.
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Pray for discernment I love the Lord’s perfect will Freckles and lashes!!
Do not let the world Trick you into seeking pride – It’s a dead-end street.
Do not let the world Trick you into seeking wealth – Not in hoarded coins.
Do not let the world Tell you what to dream about – Look in God’s Word.
Let the Son set you free. You shall know the Truth And the Truth shall set you free. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge Him.
I pray for you, my friend… For your health, happiness, safety, And for God to guide you in His Way.
We’re unreachable When we are unteachable. Let’s check our mindset.
Is our mind open To attentive mindfulness? Live expectantly?
Anticipate good? Humbly work for improvements In self and others?
Develop ideas – Hopeful and doable ones In a right spirit.
We close open doors When we are unteachable. Let’s check our mindset.
Keep your mind focused On the good that you can do. Let’s be teachable.
Let’s be reachable. Let us reach out to others With humble mindset.
Pray with me: “Lord, help us to develop a heavenly perspective to look at life’s trials and difficulties through the Truth and Hope of God’s Word. Peel away all barriers to Your wisdom, Lord, And make us teachable and reachable! Amen!”
Thank you for all the sweet responses and inspiring messages that helped make my 81st birthday so memorable. I love my WordPress community!
It’s Sunday, so of course, Bob & I went to church this morning. Our worship service was outside. It’s a beautiful day here in Ennis, Montana. Thank you, God, for the sunshine and mild temperatures in the 70s. Everyone wore masks and socially distanced. The sermon topic was based on two New Testament scriptures: Romans 8:26-30 (A Wonderful Future for God’s People) and Matthew 13: 31-33 (The mustard seed and the yeast).
Hope in Difficult Times (as usual I took my notes in poetry as I listened. Here they are:)
Bombarded daily with bad news, It’s hard to keep our spirits up. But reading the Bible is a fresh breath Of positivity and love that fills our cup.
The parables of the mustard seed and The yeast that magically rises the dough Are examples of Jesus’ storytelling. They are hard to easily explain, though.
Trying to explain the parables is like Describing photosynthesis to a four-year-old. You can say all you want to explain them, But we need simplicity in what we’re told!
See the mystery of God’s world. Don’t try to explain it away. Look at the wonders of creation And let the mystery come into play!
It’s okay to read and not understand How God makes the world work. It’s okay to wonder and say “I don’t know,” We can’t see it all – Some’s in the dirt!
Some of the greatest miracles Of Jesus are buried from our minds. We can’t see the way His mysteries Play out – but we see the love that binds!
Look at how the mountains skip, And the trees clap their hands, And know that these exaggerations Are part of the Power where God stands.
Read the Bible not with a microscope, But with a telescope so that you Can see the bigness of His Word. He’s bigger than our understanding – That’s so true!
The music that accompanied our worship service today was so appropriate to this world we currently are trying to navigate. Sing along … the words are here for you on this You.Tube:
Lord, show me the Way, one day at a time! Help me believe in what I could be – and all that I am. Just give me the strength to do every day what You want me to do. So for my sake, teach me to take – One Day at a Time. Show me the Way!
The other song that we had printed on song sheets so we could sing along was “Mansion Over the Hilltop.” I had not heard it before. Have you?
In our call to confession, we read in unison these words from our bulletins:
“Let us trust in the words of the Psalmist who said, ‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit,’ as we lay our burdens before our God.”
The biggest burden on my heart today is this big guy pictured on the left in the photo below. My cousin, Cliff, is shown here with three of his rowing buddies from the University of Washington. Cliff is losing his battle with cancer.
I lay my burdened heart before God as I asked for prayers for my cousin, Cliff Hurn. He is in his last days of trying to fight off cancer. He has fought the good fight and he is tired. Hospice has been called in and his family has gathered around. Please pray for his wife, Janine, his family, and all of us who love him so much.
How do you speak – especially during social distancing – with a loved one who has dementia?
My sister, Sally, has dementia. She lives in a Masonic Home less than five minutes from her daughter, Jodie. It’s in Pennsylvania – a loooong ways from me in Montana! But, even though they are close, in today’s pandemic world, Jodie can’t go to visit her. Sally is on the second floor of the care facility and when Jodie drives to see her, she is not even allowed out of her car. They just have to wave to one another out their windows.
I am sure that is a very smart safety precaution on the part of the Masonic Home. Jodie just tested positive for the virus last week! Now she is in quarantine for two weeks.
On Sunday I had my first ZOOM meeting with my sis. Rochelle, the Activities Director facilitated the meeting. Sally was basically non-responsive, so it was hard to know what to say. Rochelle repeated my comments to be sure Sally heard, but even then I barely got a nod most of the time. Still, it was good to see her.
Do You Relate?
Do you have a parent or sibling, a neighbor or friend with dementia? If so, you know what I mean. You’ve been in my shoes, and you long to be up close and personal with your loved one so you can look into each other’s eyes and make real connections.
Here are Bob and me with my sis, Sally, and her husband, Dave, waaaay back in the days of flat-tops, skinny ties and thighs, and 3″ heels! It must have been Easter … we’re all decked out. I will send her this photo. Dave died of a massive heart-attack more than 20 years ago. Pictures are an important way to tap into memories.
Using Technology to Tap Memories
I took my laptop out on the porch and showed Sally our scene of the mountains. I reminded her of the Thanksgivings we have spent together here sitting on the porch (or looking out this window), enjoying that view. Still, no change of facial expression and no words. Maybe it’s because the ground and mountains are often snow-covered in November!
Don’t Give Up – Keep Trying!
I talked about our times together at various Thanksgivings around the dining room table and showed her that scene. She has visited us in November at least ten years in a row before she needed to go to assisted living and wisely chose to be near her daughter and grandson.
Reach Way Back
Reaching back into the cobwebs of my brain, I remembered us as young girls sitting on our grandmother’s porch, reaching out into the “weeds” and finding stalks of sweet anise, breaking them off, and munching on them like you might snack on a stalk of celery.
Actually, I still love to munch on sweet anise. I remembered I have some in the refrigerator. So, I went with my laptop over to the kitchen. I opened the fridge and asked Sally if she remembered sitting on Grandma’s porch, nibbling on this while we waited for mom to come and get us after school.
When I showed her the sweet anise (commonly known today as fennel), I got my first real smile from her. She nodded. Ah, folks, smells and food are great memory triggers!!
The greatest trigger for memory when you are visiting with a loved one who has dementia is music. Find an old tune. Dig out that old pair of shoes that might bring back memories and play the sweet old songs that mom used to sing to us.
Study and Seek advice
Today on Facebook, my niece Tammy, who is a registered nurse and works with many Alzheimer’s patients, posted this helpful reminder:
Apply What You Learn – Reach Out
I have a friend in our nursing home here in Ennis who has dementia. During this COVID-19 pandemic, the residents have been on lock-down. No visitors. No outings. But recently, the nursing home constructed a “Visiting Booth.” It’s a little 8′ x8′ structure with a roof, two side walls (north and south), an opening to the east. It has a plexiglass partition to the west.
On a sunny day this week I called the nursing home and scheduled a visit with my friend. The nursing home arranges half hour visitations. At the appointed time, the CNA, Bonney, wheeled the resident (my friend) out into the fresh air and into the booth. I sat on the outside of the plexiglass on a park bench. It was hard to hear, but Bonney did what Rochelle had done for my sister and me. She repeated to my friend whatever I said.
I brought my laptop and my cell phone. Used the cell phone “hot spot” to connect to the internet. Logged on to a five year old video of my friend’s daughter singing and playing the SAW in a church service. Bonney brought the laptop into the booth and held it close to my friend. Of course, she thoroughly enjoyed seeing her daughter, hearing that beautiful, inspiring song, and visiting with me about things we had done together in years past.
I left with a song in my heart at the end of our visiting time. I couldn’t figure out how to get the video of Peggy and her saw from my FB page to this post. But, I found Peggy with her violin singing and playing “How Great is Our God” with Jordy Christo, on You.Tube, so I’ll post that here.
If you go to http://www.facebook.com/janbeekman you can find the “Amazing Grace” video with Peggy and her saw. It’s worth the click and your time. This is what it’ll look like when you get there:
I pray that you are inspired to reach out to someone today who needs to hear from you.
We may be limited by this pandemic, but we are not frozen. Do what you can to brighten someone’s day!
See ya tomorrow. Have a Wonderful Wednesday. Love and Hugs… Stay Well!! JanBeek
Faithful is a Yellowstone moose. He’s 14 years old! When our granddaughter, Faith, was about 10 years old, she visited us here in Montana. As a family, we visited Yellowstone Park. She and her three siblings each were given a little money to select a souvenir from the gift shop. As kids typically do, they chose something for themselves. But, Faith was not typical. She selected this moose – and gave it to me as a present … a thank you for their visit.
Today is Faith and her husband, Kyle’s wedding anniversary. They were married a year ago. Faith is as thoughtful a young lady as she was as a little ten-year-old. Every morning I say a special prayer for Faith and Kyle as I make my bed, and put “Faithful” back in his central place of honor in front of the pillows.
Fourteen years has taken its toll on Old Faithful. His hat is torn – and it was chewed a little by TazE when she was a puppy. But still, I cherish this little stuffed moose.
I tuck the torn hat in under his antler and ask the Lord,
“Please watch over Faith and Kyle. Tuck them under Your wings, O Lord, just as I tuck Faithful’s hat under his ear. Give them health and happiness, love and longevity. Keep them safe. And help them lean on Your love and their Faithfulness this day and every day. Amen.”
May they love with a universal love – always generous, compassionate, grateful and hopeful, brave and forgiving, proud and yet humble.
Do you have children? Or grandchildren? How about great-grandchildren? The most important gift you can give them is the gift of daily prayer.
God bless you, Faith and Kyle. And both our children and their families. Yes, we are so blessed. Thank You, God, for You are always FAITHFUL!
Yesterday I posted my sermon notes on a blog titled, “We All are Good AND Bad.” Today’s devotional in my Daily Guideposts was a wonderful follow-up to that topic… and a terrific antidote!
God is my gizzard Sifts out indigestibles Keeps the nutrients
Owls have a gizzard Because they swallow things whole Sometimes we do, too!
In today’s Daily Guideposts 2020 devotional, Erin Janoso shared a story about her daughter finding an owl pellet. She wrote:
“Owls don’t have teeth, so they often swallow their food whole.Because of this, they end up eating things like feathers and fur that are indigestible – and some stuff like bones – that could puncture their tender digestive systems. Luckily for the owl, it has a gizzard that acts as a shield… sifting what is nourishing from what is not.”
We don’t have gizzards, But we often swallow things That are not healthy.
Social media, Garbage from some gossipers, And harmful untruths.
God is my gizzard. He sifts the good from the bad – Helps discriminate.
Erin Janoso continued in her devotional:
“… unlike the owl, whose body acts involuntarily, I can forget how desperately I need God’s help sorting what’s nourishing from what’s not. “I looked again at the gray mass lying on the table (the owl pellet). If an owl’s gizzard could put such an end to the things that would harm it, imagine what God could do for me, if ony I remembered to ask.”
Erin Janoso ended her devotional with this prayer:
“Lord, help me eject from my heart the things that are indigestible, things that harm me and separate me from You.”
“The Lord is my strength and my shield.”
Be wise, like the owl, and put on the armor of God. Let Him protect you from the indigestibles that come your way.